Facebook Pixel Code
 

Best Tire Racks

Updated September 2018
Why trust BestReviews?
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers.
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.
Bottom Line
Pros
Cons
How we decided

We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

  • 16 Models Considered
  • 1 Experts Interviewed
  • 142 Consumers Consulted
  • Zero products received from manufacturers.

    We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

    Why trust BestReviews?
    BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.
    BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers.
    BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.

    Shopping guide for best tire racks

    Last Updated September 2018

    Whether you change your vehicle tires from summer to winter or keep spares for your ATV or other vehicles, you need a convenient way to store your tires. A good tire rack is a neat, effective, and simple solution.

    However, there are many different tire racks on the market, and you have to determine the type, material, and weight capacity that’s right for you. If you’re unclear about your options, we’re here to help.

    At BestReviews, it’s our mission to help you choose the best. We research what’s available, compare performance and value, and give you all the information you need to make the right choice. For everything you need to know about purchasing a tire rack, keep reading our shopping guide.

    A tire rack does a great job keeping your spares out of the way. If you want to keep spare tires in pristine condition, consider tire covers or tire totes.

    Types of tire racks

    Tire racks (or tire shelves, as they’re sometimes called) come in several types.

    Mobile tire racks

    Mobile tire racks are often found in commercial garages, where they’re used to move tires from storage areas to where fitting takes place. They can hold a dozen or more tires, but as a result, mobile tire racks are large and probably too awkward for most people to consider for home use.

    Fixed tire racks

    Fixed tire racks vary enormously. Some fixed racks can hold 50 tires or more and are again designed for commercial use. Fixed tire racks that can hold four to six tires are ideal for home garages. This type of tire rack is best suited for the home auto enthusiast or RV, ATV, and motorcycle owners.

    Folding tire racks

    Folding tire racks save space when not in use, though their lighter construction means they are less durable than fixed tire racks. Folding models also tend to have a lower weight capacity. If there will be times when the tire rack is empty, and you need the space for something else temporarily, folding tire racks are ideal. However, if you’re swapping from summer to winter tires, your rack is going to be in constant use. The same is true if you are keeping spares for an ATV, garden tractor, or other vehicle. If you’re going to be loading and unloading the tire rack frequently, we recommend the rigidity of a fixed tire rack for home garages.

    Tire dollies

    Again mostly used by tire technicians, a tire dolly is a lot like a hand truck, but it is specifically designed to move tires around. Though most people won’t need a tire dolly at home, it could benefit the weekend race enthusiast who has several sets of tires to transport.

    EXPERT TIP

    Check how far a tire rack will stick out from the wall. Make sure you have sufficient space, particularly if your vehicle takes up a lot of room in your garage.


    Staff  | BestReviews

    Features for tire racks

    Wall mount

    A wall-mounted tire rack is a fairly simple construction. Some are a set width, but most are adjustable. There are generally only a couple of settings – for example, 32 inches or 48 inches – with no steps in between. You need to decide the setting you prefer at the start, because once the tire rack is mounted on the wall, it’s no longer adjustable.

    The bars that support the tires usually have several locating holes, allowing you to rack tires and wheels of different sizes. Some tire racks have a sliding adjustment, though this doesn’t always offer the same degree of flexibility.

    Material

    Aluminum tire racks weigh less, and manufacturers like to highlight this feature. You might save 10 or 20 pounds when compared to a steel tire rack, but when you add in the weight of a set of wheels and tires, at 30 or 40 pounds each, the overall difference isn’t so much.

    Steel is a much more rigid material. Wheels and tires are sometimes thrown around with little consideration for the tire rack. A 40-pound combination hitting a steel rack will bounce off, with little chance of damage. The same impact on an aluminum tire rack could easily dent or twist it. If you’re always careful in the garage, it’s not a problem, but it is worth thinking about.

    Perhaps the deciding factor is what you intend to store. Aluminum tire racks are often depicted by manufacturers with a full rack of motorcycle or car tires but seldom with complete wheel and tire sets. That’s probably as good an indication of structural strength as you need.

    Weight capacity

    Some cheap folding tire racks carry as little as 200 pounds. This type of tire rack can cope with tires alone but could easily be pushed to its limit by a full set of wheels and tires. We prefer tire racks with a weight capacity of at least 300 pounds, and many of these are no more expensive than lighter options. Heavy-duty tire racks are usually rated for 400 pounds.

    Warranty

    The warranty period for tire racks varies considerably. Twelve months is standard on low-cost racks, but the best tire racks come with a lifetime warranty (though be sure to check the conditions).

    The hardware needed to mount your tire rack to the wall is usually included, but the structure of your wall can make a difference. Make sure the tire rack is properly anchored, even if that means buying additional fixings.

    Prices for tire racks

    Tire rack prices tend to reflect the quality of the construction. That doesn’t mean cheap tire racks are poorly made, but the more you invest, the more robust the tire rack will be.

    Folding tire racks are the cheapest. You’ll find 200- and 300-pound capacity models for between $35 and $45. Fixed tire racks with similar weight ratings run from around $60 to $80.

    Heavy-duty fixed tire racks with 400-pound capacities can cost up to $150. Though aluminum tire racks don’t have the weight ratings of steel models, the material is more expensive. Aluminum tire racks with 300-pound weight capacities are priced around $150 as well.

    DID YOU KNOW?

    Aluminum tire racks don’t rust, but steel racks can. Look for a powder-coated finish (sometimes called an epoxy resin-coated finish), which is durable and easy to wipe clean.

    Tips

    • Tire manufacturers recommend storing tires upright, but it’s okay to stack them on top of each other if you have to. Tires should never be hung from ceiling hooks, which will distort the bead, preventing a proper seal with the wheel rim.

    • Wheel and tire combinations should always be stored upright. If you stack them, each adds more weight to the set below. With a stack of four, for example, the bottom combination could have 120 pounds or more pressing down on it. That will likely cause permanent damage to the tire.

    • Tires should not be kept in the same position all the time, with the weight bearing on the same patch of tread. If they’re on a rack, give them a quarter turn once a month. If you’re storing a vehicle for any length of time, don’t let it just sit. If you can’t move it from time to time, put it on axle stands to take the weight off the tires. If possible, remove the wheels and tires, and rack them. If not, at the very least, give the tires a quarter turn on a regular basis.

    • When in use, wheels and tires pick up brake dust and all manner of dirt. If left to sit, this debris can eventually eat away at the rubber or ruin the finish of your wheels. Always clean tires and wheels before storage. A stiff brush and warm, soapy water are often all you need.

    • Tire racks have sharp corners. Don’t mount the rack at head height, or you could have a nasty accident. Either fix the rack at torso height – which makes lifting tires on and off easier – or well above head height. The drawback with a higher mount is that you will need a ladder to load and unload the rack. If that’s the case, it’s safest to get someone to lend a hand.
    A wall-mounted tire rack is also a space-saving place to store bicycles. Just hook in the front wheels, and let the bikes hang vertically.

    FAQ

    Q. How do I work out the weight capacity I need for a tire rack?

    A. An average alloy wheel and tire combination for your car can weigh 40 to 50 pounds each, but truck or RV tires will weigh more. ATV tires often weigh less, but if the wheels are steel, they could be heavier. We recommend purchasing a tire rack that can hold 300 to 400 pounds, which should be more than enough for a set of four tires and wheels.

    Q. Does it matter where I store my tires?

    A. It’s not a good idea to store them outside. Tires warm up very quickly and can easily exceed 100°F. Expansion, followed by contraction when they cool, can eventually cause cracking that weakens the tires. Freezing temperatures are just as bad. You should also avoid storing tires near a furnace or sump pump. These appliances can produce higher than average amounts of ozone, which can damage the rubber. Do what the pros do: keep tires cool and dry in a garage or shed.

    Q. Do I have to mount my tire rack to a wall?

    A. It depends on the type. Mobile tire racks are designed to be wheeled around, of course, and you might find that a convenient option if you have lots of space. However, most consumer tire racks are designed to be bolted to a wall. Usually the tire rests on a pair of horizontal bars, so the bottom of the tire descends below the frame by an inch or so. If the rack is left on the floor, the tires could roll off, although you could raise the ends of the rack with bricks or cinder blocks.

    The team that worked on this review
    • Bob
      Bob
      Writer
    • Devangana
      Devangana
      Web Producer
    • Eliza
      Eliza
      Production Manager
    • Jennifer
      Jennifer
      Writer
    • Katherine
      Katherine
      Editor
    • Katie
      Katie
      Editorial Director

    BestReviews wants to be better. Please take our 3-minute survey,
    and give us feedback about your visit today.

    Take Survey