Under a $100? I’m sure you could find something in that range but a return question for you, how much did you spend on your bike? If you spent a couple hundred on a bike, I guess a $100 rack would work. But if you spent a couple thousand on your bike, wouldn’t you rather pay for the peace of mind that your expensive bike isn’t going to go flying off onto the road? Or have someone walk off with your bike as you run into the gas station to grab a drink or something? Many of the higher end racks come with built in locks not only for the bike but also to your car. So you don’t have to worry about someone walking off with your rack as well.
The problem with a cheap rack is the fitment to your vehicle will be questionable, possibly damaging the paint. You won’t have a way to completely secure it without the chance of theft, meaning you’d have to put it on and take it off each time you use it. And as I mentioned before, low end racks don’t come with any form of bike security. As they say, you get what you pay for.
If you have a cheap bike that you don’t care about, then maybe this is right for you. Personally my bike wasn’t cheap. I wanted a rack that gave me peace of mind and was an investment for how much I use it. Just my two cents.
If you truly can’t spend more than $100, there are a couple solutions, but both involve time and risk. The first is to look for a used bike rack for sale online or in your local community. The second is to search Amazon and eBay for knockoff versions of more popular racks. Beware, however, that these knockoffs probably won’t work as well as the originals.
I use the swagman xc tray style hitch mount from Amazon for about 130. It has been on the back of my car for 2 years rain, sleet or snow and still works fine. Also really like the Saris bones trunk mount models. They are really durable as well, just tough to put full sus or female frames on them.
Thank you all for your input and sorry it has taken me a few days to reply (got really busy at work and kept getting side tracked). I’ve been doing a lot of research and I guess I’m just gonna wait until I buy a new bike then just get a rack with it.
One, the rubber straps that come with it will crack sooner than later. I swapped mine out for velcro wraps and those ball-end bungee things.
Two, depending on your receiver height, your bike could ride scarily close to the ground. which means you either have to drive like a lowrider (cornering up steep driveways and avoiding potholed roads) or use one of those hitch-dropper things (add to the price) or, as I did, elevate the rack with a bit of welding and spray paint. I knew going in that I might have to do this, but for the price, strength and the low weight of the rack, I’d happily buy and modify again. You have an SUV, so you might be ok, but my Forester has more of a car-like ride height.
Here are some pics of the ride height, before and after modification:
Also I highly recommend a hitch tightener, if you go with any style of hitch rack at all. Works great to prevent rattling! I use this one, but I only paid about half this price on a different site (might have been Amazon, my memory fails me).