Before we start, it is very important to understand in entirety what a hitch bike rack is. It is basically a kind of rack for bikes that is slid onto a trailer hitch on a car, truck, or any other sort of sturdy motor vehicle. There are various kinds of bike racks, but the ones attached at the back of the car are a lot more convenient and safer than those bike racks that are adjusted on top (roof based) or based out of a trunk. These hitch bike racks attached to the back of cars are not only available in a larger variety of styles and options, but make it extremely easy to load and unload the bikes. They eradicate problems that may arise due to the increased height of the vehicle when the bikes are mounted on top, with regard to parking lots and garages. They usually work with a lot more models of vehicles than the roof or trunk-mounted racks, and also provide a larger capacity, when it comes to transporting bikes.
In this day and age, when camping and going out into the mountains and the wilderness is growing traction, due to the onslaught of constant information and stress, it is important to continue with the habit of biking. This can only be achieved if you have a secure bike rack to transport your bikes so that you can enjoy long bike rides under the glowing sun, with your family following close behind. Imagine the sun setting whilst there is a slight rainfall dropping down onto you, in the midst of mountains, or a beach or even a forest, cycling your way through the natural beauty. To achieve that, you just cannot forego this item.
Quick Answer: Best Top-Rated Hitch Bike Racks In 2019
- Hollywood Racks Sport Rider SE 4-Bike Platform Style Hitch Mount Rack
- Tyger AutoDeluxe 4-Bike Carrier Rack
- Allen Sports Deluxe 4-Bike Hitch Racks
- Yakima – Holdup Hitch Mounted Bike Rack
- Schwinn 4-Bike Hitch Mount Rack
- Thule T2 Classic Hitch Mount Bike Carrier
- Allen Sports Premier 4-Bike Hitch Racks
- Thule T2 Pro XT 2 Bike Rack
- Yakima – Ridgeback Tilt-Away Hitch Bike Rack
- Yakima FullSwing
In this article, we will list down some of the best bike racks that are available these days. The products will not be restrictive of the type of bike racks because it is primarily based upon the preference of the user, so it is important that the decision is left to him/her in the end.
Here is a mention of different kinds of hitch bike racks, detailed in brief so you can have a look at which product can satisfy your needs and demands
- Best Hitch Bike Racks
- Types of Bike Racks
- Bike Rack Reviews
- #1. Hollywood Racks Sport Rider SE 4-Bike Platform Style Hitch Mount Rack
- #2. Tyger AutoDeluxe 4-Bike Carrier Rack
- #3. Allen Sports Deluxe 4-Bike Hitch Racks
- #4. Yakima – Holdup Hitch Mounted Bike Rack
- #5. Schwinn 4-Bike Hitch Mount Rack
- #6. Thule T2 Classic Hitch Mount Bike Carrier
- #7. Allen Sports Premier 4-Bike Hitch Racks
- #8. Thule T2 Pro XT 2 Bike Rack
- #9. Yakima – Ridgeback Tilt-Away Hitch Bike Rack
- #10. Yakima FullSwing
- Comparison Table: Best Hitch Bike Racks
- Buyer’s Guide: How To Choose The Best Hitch Bike Rack
- Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs): Bike Racks
- Q: What is the best hitch bike rack?
- Q: What is a hitch-mounted bike rack?
- Q: What size hitch do I need for a bike rack?
- Q: How do you remove a Thule bike rack from a hitch?
- Q: Do bike racks damage your car?
- Q: How do I protect my car from a bike rack?
- Q: Can you get four bikes on a roof rack?
- Q: Are roof bike racks safe?
- Q: How much does a bike rack cost?
- Q: Can you open your trunk with a bike rack?
- The Bottom Line
Best Hitch Bike Racks
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Types of Bike Racks
After we move on from the top picks for hitch bike racks, it is significant to differentiate between the different kinds of bike racks that are available in the market.
This type is usually suitable for owners of hatchbacks, sedans, or even SUVs, but it is pertinent to mention that they increase the overall weight and height of your vehicle. This is because the rack is mounted on top of the car’s roof and so needs to be adjusted as per the surroundings. For example: for enclosed garages or low ceilings, this kind of rack may not be suitable. However, it allows you free access to your trunk and also helps in the reduction of your mileage when it comes to gas, because of how it is designed.
Boot racks can be immensely easy to install and load bikes on. They are affordable and portable, with easy transmission into the storage facility. It does not require any additional fitting and can even improve the overall fuel control, usage of your car or truck. However, what is important to mention here is that when reversing your car, you need to be extremely careful because it is lodged at the back of your car, and you may hit someone or something if you are not as careful as is demanded.
Tow bar racks
It is low heightened in nature, which is an advantage when it comes to loading and unloading your bikes. It is not only very durable and strong but also allows the prevention of risk to the paint of your motor vehicle. What is important to note is that tow bar racks can be extremely pricey to purchase, and you might even need a tow bar to install it onto your vehicle in the first place.
Trunk mounted racks
This is usually meant for owners of a Sedan. This is because they allow for versatility, and they are extremely easy to load bikes on. However, if you are looking to gain access to your trunk, you will have to detach it first, and assembling it back together may be a tedious task.
This is considered the ideal pick for trucks and SUVs. The opening of the hitch is something that must be given adequate attention because a smaller opening makes it compatible with smaller SUVs whilst larger openings are meant for bigger SUVs and trucks. If you want frequent access to your trunk, it is important to choose one which can be folded or tilted away.
Bike Rack Reviews
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This rack is styled to hold up to 4 bikes with hooks of ratchet frame and sliding wheel cradles. The rack can tilt and fold as easy access to storage. It has an easy installation method and includes locks for both bikes and rack. It is mounted on the back of your vehicle and allows you to remove the space for further bikes if you need to carry bikes under the maximum limit. Its design is adjusted in a manner to fit most bike models, so there is no need to conceive or concoct webs of worries surrounding the fact whether the mount will work for your bike model or not. In the center, there are ratcheting hooks to secure the frame of your bike, and there are adjustable wheel cradles to help you load the bike. There is also a facility of quick-release springs that allow your rack to tilt and fold, as well as the presence of an anti-rattle handle, which helps reduce the movement of the rack. It must be noted that there are a keyed-alike hitch lock and frame hooks to fasten the vehicle and bikes to the rack, with a cargo basket accessory and a security cable that wraps through the frames to the hitch pin, in a bid to minimize theft.
Overall, the basic advantage of this rack is the fact that it comes pre-assembled and prepared, therefore, making it extremely easy to adjust. It is a rack that can hold a good amount of bikes (4) and is made up of very sturdy material. The padded clamps and wheel holders raise the level of security of your bikes, and it provides a system of a hitch with a locking pin and security cable that ensures its protection. But the demerit of it all is that the straps have to be fastened tightly to keep the bikes secure.
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This rack fits all kinds of bikes, which is a huge problem when contemplating which rack to buy since you mostly already have a set of bikes that you need to fit, so this solves a huge problem. Similarly, it includes a lock and safety strap, with a lock and hitch pin, as well as a bike cable. In providing convenience, it offers access through its tilt-down feature and easily foldable feature, which can also be a big hassle for users. The security of your bikes is guaranteed because it offers specifically designed points meant to attach your bikes securely. What further adds to its security are the aligned bar cushion and soft cradles. These add-ons help to secure the individual frames of your bikes, and the rack itself is extremely easy to install in your car. They also come with a detailed list of instructions, so you are bound to find your way through it. Although it provides such a great variety of features, the rack is still offered at a very affordable rate that leaves you guessing about its price.
The primary advantage of purchasing this rack is that it has a high quality, strong construction that can help you carry up to four bikes. Not only are your bikes fastened tightly onto your car, but they are also individually secured and protected. The installation process will take you a matter of a few minutes, even if you are a beginner, and it allows convenience through its tilting and foldable options. Perhaps, the only downside that comes with it is the straps of the rack, which are made of plastic, and sometimes not of the material that customers may like.
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This rack envisions ease of use as its primary focus. It has quite a rugged design and can be used to transport up to four bikes, very safely. It displays individual cradle frames with a tie-down design that helps protect and secure your bikes, not just collectively but individually too. It brings with it foldable arms, which can also be titled or dropped out of the way when there is no use of them. It caters to a wide array of models and is not specific to what model of bike can fit in. So, this is a highly recommended bike for those who wish to accommodate a number of bikes in transporting it from one place to another. Not only it is designed very stylishly, but it also has a very modern look to it, aside from the amazing features it provides. The locking hitch that is given is meant to allow the insertion of the rack without movements that may harm the bikes, wobbles, etc. Even when the rack is adjusted onto your vehicle, you can still access it through the titling feature, which can prove to be extremely useful.
If we were to list down some of its advantages, perhaps, the top most would be the fact that its hitch comes with an installation feature that is very fast and provides two keys. Similarly, the arms can be folded or titled out of the way, and it comes alongside individual tie-downs meant to protect and secure your bikes on a whole different level. Not to forget that it encompasses various kinds of models and does not restrict one’s choice of bikes that are to be transported. What may sound bad to some users, however, is that under the brunt of the weight, sometimes the bar may even bend.
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This rack caters to the security and protection of your bikes very well. It presents a StrongArm wheel hook that moves in a way that secures your bike without making contact with the frame. Since this feature allows for adjustability, side by side, there is a reduction of interference. It is designed quite simply and is a very straightforward rack, which gives it extra points for efficiency and effectiveness. The rack also allows the user to swiftly load the bike regardless of what design or model your bike is. It is important to note that the special StrongArm feature of this bike basically protects the carbon frames and the paint of the bike, through the adjustable space that you can choose yourself so that your bikes do not clink onto one another and damage each other. When speaking about the simplicity of its design, it is styled like a tray, which is not only very easy to use but also an immensely comfortable design, with a clever mechanism to lock and secure. If you have customized bikes with special bodies of paints that you want to be protected from the damage of bumping into one another during what could be a rocky ride, this product is the way to go about it.
Its preliminary advantages have already been mentioned, the StrongArm design, which helps load the bikes in record time, the racks which prevent the bikes from touching one another, and destroying their build, paint, or whatever accessory they have additionally attached to them. Similarly, it is strong enough to carry two bikes, weighing 60 lbs. Each, but can be advanced to secure four bikes if the hold Up is attached. The disadvantage is that it is not resistant to rust, so you have to be really careful in not letting it rust away.
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This rack is built in a way that it provides room for the bikes for an entire family. The bikes are within your access even after the rack has been installed. It has both very strong tie-downs and a special system of cradling, which tightens the security of your bikes on an individual basis and also protects their cables. It also has arms that can be easily folded away if they are not being used. This rack comes from a line of products that are very highly reputed brand which is well known in the cycling industry. It provides a capacity of up to four bikes and is made of a steel tubing that is extremely sturdy. It is not just a design that deals with security, strength, and protection but is coating with a powdered finish that makes it visually appealing. It is designed in a hitch mounting manner, which makes it easily adjustable for a number of vehicles of different sizes. It does not have to be constricted to when you are on the road; you can just leave the rack on your vehicle, to save up some precious storage space. It has hold-downs which make sure that the bikes are individually placed and secured in place, to minimize contact damage. It is also very easy to set up and install, and because of its user-friendly nature, it is highly popular in this industry.
Perhaps, the greatest setback with this rack is that the straps are not as durable as other parts of it, which can become a cause of great concern for the users. But there are several pros that may change your mind, like the design which allows you to access the behind of your vehicle easily, or the folding arms which can be tucked away when they are not in use or even the feature that allows you to place the bikes in separate compartments so that they are not harmed because they are constantly rubbing together.
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This model has a lever which is specially placed so it can be used to fold or tilt the rack as per necessity or immensity of the usage. Not only is it well built, but it also has a design that makes it attractive for the user to grasp at first instance. The rack provides bike mounts, which can be adjusted in a manner to secure the bikes separately to avoid physical contact between the bikes and prevent bodily damage. As per the name of the product, it is a very classic product which has been in stores for quite a while now, but due to the nature of its practicality, it continues to feature high on such lists. This rack accommodates bikes with 20-29 inch wheels and tires ranging up to 5 inches in size without the adapters. If you own a carbon-framed bike or a mountain bike or even a fat bike, this is the rack you are looking for. It also comes with an STL or snugtite lock so that the vehicle’s receiver hitch can be attached or locked onto the rack for greater security. It is extremely affordable and also very durable, which is why it gains tract on the popularity chart.
Generally speaking, it is hailed because of the foldable features, the frame-free ratcheting arm meant to secure your bikes swiftly, and the bike mount, which can be adjusted in a way to avoid physical contact between the bikes themselves. The lock which is provided helps fasten its security measures and allows the user to heave sighs of relief when traveling. However, the durability of the plastic parts involved is pretty questionable.
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This rack is designed in a very rugged manner to advance all of its features for a perfect outdoor adventure, with no obstacles surrounding it. It can easily handle up to four bikes and can be fitted across most types of Class III, and Class IV 2-inch receiver hitches. It can be assembled very easily and quickly, with arms that allow folding, a Spine Shield, and quick lift access. The installation is merely a matter of three bolts, and it has a release feature plugged internally, which allows you to tilt the rack and lift the gate when you want to gain access to your vehicle. It comes with a bonus lifetime warranty, which is always attractive for the customer. The bolts on this rack help secure the bikes in such a way that they come with a no wobble feature, with its dual compound cradles, which are durable in nature and also resistant to UV rays. It is worth mentioning that the cradle beds are soft, hence will add to the comfort level of your bikes.
The downside is that the upright bar may sway a lot when you are traveling; that is, the car is on the move. But there are other features like the high number of bikes you can carry, the quick set straps meant to individually and collectively secure and protect your bikes, which may change your mind about this rack. Similarly, the easily tilted arms and the bolts with their no wobble feature that helps avoid unnecessary movement of the rack, are also pertinent factors that should be taken under consideration.
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In terms of the setting up and installation process, not only will this rack be swiftly usable, but its security can be depended upon. It holds two bikes but may range up to four as per the requirements. Once you have installed the rack to the vehicle in question, your bikes can be locked into it with its AutoAttach system. It also provides a knob meant for locking with a cable to help ease the process of loading your bikes and keeping them secure and protected. If your rack is not to be used at a particular point in time, you can fold it towards your vehicle so that it does not come in your way. It can carry a total of 120 lbs, the number of bikes may vary with regard to the weight of each bike. There is no need to frantically worry about physical contact between the bikes and assorting them in individual layers of protection as long as their placement is done correctly. They will not bump into one another even in rockier surfaces when the vehicle may be a little jiggly. It has made significant leaps when it comes to the spacing of the tray and its lateral adjustability.
The pros include the lever, which tilts the rack up easily and at your convenience. Similarly, the arm which comes with a free frame helping to keep the bikes individually protected. It must also be noted that individual weight limits are not assigned so you can adjust the number of bikes according to your desires. For higher security purposes, it has a cable with a lock knob that is integrated into the rack. However, it is not appropriate or suitable for recumbent bikes.
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With a design that features a hitch mount, it has a carrying arm that can be extended to help you attach your bike tubes. This rack is very easy to install with its simplistic measure of SpeedKnob style that comes with specified points of attachment, lowering the complexity of the task. As per your needs, the rack allows you to carry a range of bikes up to even five in number, therefore, making it suitable to purchase as a family that loves to travel and bike along on its journeys. It also has the upper hand lever and the zip strips, which help you tilt down the rack or fold it when you do not require its use. Similarly, it fastens your bikes onto the rack when you’re not on the road. Its anti-sway feature comes in a manner that it helps avoid physical contact between the bikes, preventing damage. Similarly, it is awarded a lifetime warranty, which is always a very handy facility to have.
If the bikes that you are carrying are too heavy, the rack may bend a little. On the contrary, the procedure to install this rack has been made very easy and free of complex tools because of the SpeedKnob. Similarly, the features provided can help you tilt and fold the rack easily, and the ZipStrips enhance the security capacity of the rack. Its high capacity also brings up a bonus point for users looking to make this purchase.
#10. Yakima FullSwing
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The innovative design of this rack is what is setting it apart from others. It is designed in such a way that it helps secure the safety of your bike. It is highly suited for those who love to travel and treat their bikes with high care and intense love. It is not only a provider of high care and protection but is also very convenient to use. It has cradles with an anti-sway feature to avoid the physical contact of bikes with each other so that their body and paint can be retained in perfection. It also has a padded arm, which again helps in the protection of your bikes when they are being loaded. It displays a technology known as the TriggerFinger, which provides access to a button; upon its mere clicking, the arms can be folded out of the way. Even when it is fully loaded with all your bikes in and installed tightly, you have access to your vehicle. With its ZipStrips, which is a hassle-free feature, the level of security rises manifold. Similarly, it has a SpeedKnob feature, which helps in the easy installation of the rack even if there are no tools or technical assistance involved.
The pros of this rack are the fact that it can swing away even when your bikes are placed atop it, so you are able to gain access to your vehicle with ease. It is also very easy when it comes to the installation process, the zip strips which have been integrated into the rack allows for better security whilst the cradles help keep the bikes protected. It is also added with a bonus lifetime warranty. The greatest disadvantage is that it cannot be adjusted onto the Jeep Wrangler models, so consumers who have those may want to look for other options.
Comparison Table: Best Hitch Bike Racks
|NAME||Hollywood Racks||Tyger AutoDeluxe||Allen Sports Deluxe||Yakima Holdup||Schwinn||Thule T2||Allen Sports Premier||Thule T2 Pro||Yakima Ridgeback||Yakima FullSwing|
|CAPACITY||4 Bikes||4 Bikes||4 Bikes||2 Bikes||4 Bikes||2 Bikes||4 Bikes||2 Bikes||4 Bikes||4 Bikes|
|MOUNT TYPE||Platform Style||Folding Carry Arms||Folding Carry Arms||Tray Style||Fold-away Style||Platform Style||Folding Carry Arms||Platform Style||Tilt-away Style||Tilt-away Style|
|COMPATIBILITY||2” Hitch Receiver||2” Hitch Receiver||2” Hitch Receiver||2” Hitch Receiver||1.25” or 2” Hitch||2″ or 1¼” Hitch||2” Hitch Receiver||2″ or 1¼” Hitch||2″ or 1¼” Hitch||2” Hitch Receiver|
|EDITOR RATING||4.7 / 5||4.2 / 5||4.3 / 5||4.2 / 5||3.3 / 5||4.1 / 5||4.3 / 5||4.3 / 5||3.9 / 5||4.1 / 5|
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Buyer’s Guide: How To Choose The Best Hitch Bike Rack
When you are making the purchase for a bike rack, you need to be quite wary about the features, sizes, and reviews that come with these products. This is because it is a product that is going to be used quite rigorously, and you cannot go with just an ordinary product. What if you’re on one of your travels, and you hear a sound of creaking, you look behind, and you see that your bike rack has lost ground and has no more ability to transport your bikes. In the midst of what could be a jungle or a deserted space, your bikes will be left forlorn, perhaps to never be recovered again. In this context, you need to be mindful of the bike rack that you are bringing into your life.
First and foremost, you must be conscious of the size or width of your bike tires. If you have bikes that have pretty slim tires, you are good to go with almost any rack, but if you are a biker who owns a mountain bike kind of medium, then, you must consider the thickness of your tires. So before you buy the bike rack, make sure that you check its capacity with regard to your tires.
Secondly, the weight of your bike is also extremely important. A lot of racks have predefined set limits of how many bikes they can carry, but what if your bike exceeds the weight limit that is set overall, then, fitting the same number of bikes may land you in heaps load of trouble, so you must be careful about that. Before loading up, research thoroughly or look through the provided manual, to secure a better understanding of how much weight, both individually and collectively, your rack can tolerate, because, once again, you would not want to offload in the middle of your journey, and have to sacrifice your bikes completely unless a Uhaul is within reach, so be extremely careful in this regard.
Finally, the ease of its use is perhaps one of the most important things you must consider. This is because, on a road trip, you do not want to be stuck with a rack that is so complex that you cannot even use it as per your needs and desires. The assembling and installation process should either be easy or defined so expressively in the manuals, that despite their complexity, they are easy to lodge and dislodge.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs): Bike Racks
Q: What is the best hitch bike rack?
A: Depending on your needs and demands, for example the weight of your bikes, the number of the bikes that you want to take on your travels, as well as the width of your bike tires, the kind of vehicle you own and the preferences that you may have in securing and protecting your bikes, this answer could vary. There are several amazing bike racks that can accommodate you, including the Thule T2 Pro XT, the Yakima Ridgeback, Allen Sports PREMIER HITCH MOUNTED BIKE RACK, it wholly depends on what you have in mind. Different models and companies may work for different people. It is your preferences that will define what the best hitch bike rack is for you.
Q: What is a hitch-mounted bike rack?
A: The hitch-mounted bike rack is a kind of bike rack that can be slid into the receiver of a trailer hitch on a truck or car or any other motor vehicle that you may have.
Q: What size hitch do I need for a bike rack?
A: ‘Most hitches have a 2″ x 2″ or 1-1/4″ x 1-1/4″ receiver opening. If the opening of your vehicle’s hitch is 2″ x 2″, any bike rack made for this opening size will fit. If your hitch is 1-1/4″ x 1-1/4″, you’ll need to know its class to ensure that you find a bike rack that will fit.’
Q: How do you remove a Thule bike rack from a hitch?
A: When removing a bike rack from the hitch, you need to grab hold of your key first and foremost, to unlock the unit. Then, at the point where the bike rack is attached to the receiver, the base of the rack, on the right side of it, there is a black bar that must be pulled out slightly away from the rack. Finally, you must deal with the loosening of the anti-rattle knob so you can remove the Thule bike rack from the hitch.
Q: Do bike racks damage your car?
A: If you are not careful with the bike rack, it may damage your car and its paint. You may get the scratches you are fearful of, so be extremely cautious and careful when you are installing your bike racks.
Q: How do I protect my car from a bike rack?
A: In mounting a bike rack, you must add an extra protective covering or layer of paint or film. This will help in reducing scratches caused by roof racks and trunk racks. But there are sometimes racks that come with various accessories meant to protect your car’s paint and the body from scratches that may emerge as a result.
Q: Can you get four bikes on a roof rack?
A: In normal circumstances, you can fit up to four vehicles on the roof rack that you adjust onto your vehicle. In the case of a vehicle that has a smaller roof, the number will naturally go down. Similarly, you have to consider the weight limit that comes with that specific rack, both individual and collective, so that excess of weight does not damage your car.
Q: Are roof bike racks safe?
A: Roof bike racks may be considered a good choice if you do not have a problem with having to airlift your bike onto the roof each time. It must also be noted that you should be traveling to places where there is no ceiling limit or low clearance garages because the roof rack may become a problem in this regard.
Q: How much does a bike rack cost?
A: Bicycle rack costs can range from approximately $60 to $3,600, depending on the design and materials used. On average, the cost is approximately $660. Bicycle lockers costs range from $1,280 to $2,680, and bicycle stations are approximately $250,000.
Q: Can you open your trunk with a bike rack?
A: Most manufacturers do not give you access to the trunk with a bike rack attached in between. It is recommended not to use the trunk during this process because the door hinges are designed in a manner that they can only hold a certain amount of weight, so if you exceed that limit, the door could fall down on whatever or whoever is underneath it.
The Bottom Line
Insight of the various products mentioned in this article, it is important to know what your needs are. If you have a small family of say, for instance, two people, getting a rack that is sturdy for two might be perfect for you. Similarly, your preferences may differ according to the way you travel, the length of your journey, and the frequency of your trips, so it would be wise to keep all of that into consideration when looking to make this choice.
At the end of the day, whatever you purchase will help you on your trips to exploring the world, so take a deep breath, research thoroughly, and make that purchase. Cheers to your travels ahead, enjoy!