The Best Hitch Bike Rack

Have you ever felt a need of owning a bike rack for moving your bikes from one place to another? If not, then you should definitely think about it!

A hitch bike rack can do wonders for you, making transportation of your expensive gear a piece of cake! But of course, with such an amazing variety available, it can be more of a headache for a first-timer to buy decent equipment for him/her.

What distinguishes a good rack from a great one is a question that will cross your mind when you’ll step into the world of racks. If you are unaware of what you’re looking for, the decision can be the most difficult one to make.

But before you jump to a conclusion, it is crucial to understand what is available in the market. When talking about hitch mount bike rack, there are two types of it:

  1. Platform/Tray Hitch Bike Rack

These types of racks grip the bikes tightly from their wheels, can hold multiple bikes, are stable, and do not wobble, making transportation of your bikes safe and secure.

  1. Hanging Hitch Bike Rack

On the other hand, hanging hitch bike racks can accommodate up to 4 bikes at a time, holding them from the top frame.

If you’re in for buying a rack for yourself, that is stable, durable, and versatile, here is a guide with a list of the best hitch bike rack, helping you to grab one that best suits your needs.

 

Products Features Price
Swagman XC Cross-Country 2-Bike Hitch Mount Bike Rack Easy to install, Metal body for long-lasting durability, Fits receivers of different sizes, Wheel trays hold your bikes separately, keeping them scratch-free, Adjustable wheel pools accommodate bikes of different sizes, Foldable and compact, Can hold up to 2 bikes at a time https://www.amazon.com/Swagman-Cross-Country-2-Bike-2-Inch-Receiver/dp/B0001VO1YY
Allen Sports XR200 2-Bike Hitch Rack Adjustable wheel trays, Compatible with most bicycles, Foldable carry arms, No adaptor bar needed, Easy fit for hitch receivers measuring at 1-1/4 inches and 2 inches https://www.amazon.com/Allen-Sports-Deluxe-2-Bike-Hitch/product-reviews/B01MQWGUBS?pageNumber=6
KAC Overdrive Sports K2 Anti-wobble system for hassle-free transportation, KAC lifetime warranty, good for e-bikes, Foldable and compact https://www.amazon.com/Overdrive-Sport-2-Bike-Hitch-Mounted/product-reviews/B07D94B52G?pageNumber=2
Swagman Traveler XC2 Bike Rack A low platform for easy mounting of bikes, Compatible with hitch receiver of 2 inches, Dual wheel trays for individual accommodation of bikes, Padded frame for scratch-free transportation, Automatic adjustment of bikes https://www.amazon.com/dp/B003YJK252/?tag=rackmaven-20
5Hollywood Racks HR1400 4-Bike Hitch Rack Versatile, compact, and foldable, Strong metal frame, Can hold up to 4 bikes at a time, Comes with locking pins and security cables, Switchable from 2-bike carrier to 4-bike carrier, In-built no-wobble system

 

https://www.amazon.com/Hollywood-Racks-HR1400-Platform-Receiver/dp/B07YMKVHVP
Yakima RidgeBack Hitch Bike Rack Levers make operating the rack easier, Made from heavy-duty steel, Hard plastic zip strips, Can hold up to 5 bikes at a time, Anti-sway cradles, Designed to tilt away from the vehicle giving you complete access to the tailgate https://www.amazon.com/Yakima-Products-RidgeBack-Hitch-Bike/dp/B01FW6HHBG
Allen Sports Deluxe 2-Bike Hitch Mount Bike Rack Affordable, Allen Sports lifetime warranty, 1-1/4 inches and 2 inches multiple hitch receivers makes it compatible with most vehicles, steel body covered with black powder, Tie-down cradle system and straps, Lightweight, Foldable carry arms https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00TRTSMG4/?tag=rackmaven-20
Critical Cycles Lenox Hitch Rack Quick and easy installation, Affordably priced, Heavy-duty steel frame coated with black powder, Uses easy mechanism to position bikes within, Movable, rubber carry arms, Tilts outwards to give easy access to the tailgate, 4-bike holding capacity https://www.amazon.com/dp/B06WWFS68S/?tag=rackmaven-20
Yakima DoubleDown 4 Bike Rack Can fit receivers of different size, Easy to assemble and install, Switchable anti-sway cradles, Built-in button that needs to be pushed to gain access to the rear, Foldable carry arms, 4-bike holding capacity, Affordable https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0012SBVSY/?tag=rackmaven-20

 

Platform/Tray Hitch Bike Racks                              

For bike enthusiasts who love biking in the open with family and friends and are looking for a safe to transport their expensive studs, platform hitch bike racks are the best way to do so. These are easy to install and pretty trustable when it comes to carrying your bikes with absolute safety.

  1. Swagman XC Cross-Country 2-Bike Hitch Mount Bike Rack

When it comes to reliability and quality, Swagman is the most trustable name. This brand is known for its fabulous designs and quality products, where each equipment is made to satisfy your needs while promising affordability along with it.

What makes Swagman XC Cross-Country 2-Bike everyone’s favorite?

This rack has been cleverly designed to fit your needs. The hitch bike rack easily slides into hitch receivers of 1-1/4 inches and 2-inches. This becomes an important feature especially when you wish to use the rack on more than one vehicle that too with variable size hitch receivers.

To make the frame wobble-free and withstand rough rides, this good’s label has added a threaded pin in the design. This rack model comes with a pin and no tools, needing you to use only your hands to tighten the rack in place. But to ensure everything is safely set in place, you can buy a wrench to tighten the threaded pin, because it is always better to be safe than sorry.

Additionally, the Swagman hitch mount bike rack is quick to install. Spare only a few minutes, play along its 3 movable arms connected to the center bracket and pins and you’re done!

The Bike Holding Technique

The Swagman XC Cross-country 2-bike rack can easily accommodate 2 bikes at a time as the name suggests. Because it is a platform type hitch bike rack, it holds the bikes by the wheels, without having to remove them. But remember, the rack is fit enough to hold bicycles that weight below 70 pounds in total.

The addition of 2 pairs of wheel pools is another cool feature that makes this rack a huge hit. The wheel tray can conveniently be moved forward and backward on the arm by loosening the turn knobs. Plus, the trays are designed in a way that they can fit in bikes of different sizes. So, whether you’re planning to transport your mountain bike or children’s bicycle, the new Swagman will do it with ease!

The biggest advantage of this rack’s clever design is that the bikes do not bump into one another, keeping your expensive gear safe from scratches. Also, the wheel tray ensures that each bike is fixed securely in place. Another fact that makes Swagman XC Cross-country bike rack a hit are the 2 ratcheting hooks. These hooks move up and down along the center arm, allowing you to lock the studs in place without additional clips or clamps.

All you need to do is pull the hooks while mounting the bikes. The wheels of the bikes will be pushed down in separate trays with the hooks tying them down tightly. These hooks make sure your bikes stay well fixed in place, surviving through rough rides without you having to worry about it!

Even though the frame comes completely padded for scratch-free transportation of your gear, but just add a bit more safety from your side, slip in a thick piece of cloth in between the studs and frame.

Although, Swagman has surely tried its best to come up with a rack is that cleverly constructed but there is one side where it lacks. Even though the hooks promise to tie your bikes down safely but an addition of a security cable wrapped around the studs will provide you with an extra sense of security.

Is Accessing the Trunk With this Rack Attached Possible?

With Swagman XC Cross-Country bike rack, you’re in for a surprise. Where most hitch bike racks are designed to fix permanently, giving little to no access to the trunk, this model of Swagman is more user-friendly in design.

Once fixed in place, you’ll require a few seconds to tie your bicycles down. So, even if you wish to access the trunk, unloading and loading the bikes won’t take much of your time and effort. Also, dual diagonal arms along with the center one can fold up by pulling down the pin, giving you ample space to park your van when not driving without having to remove the rack completely.

Pros:

  • Easy to install
  • Metal body for long-lasting durability
  • Fits receivers of different sizes
  • Compatible with most cars
  • Wheel trays hold your bikes separately, keeping them scratch-free
  • Hooks to tie down the studs securely
  • Adjustable wheel pools accommodate bikes of different sizes
  • Foldable and compact
  • Padded frame
  • Market competitive price
  • Can hold up to 2 bikes at a time

Cons:

  • Buy a locking hitch pin and security cable separately
  • The low platform does not compliment cars with low ground clearance

 

  1. Allen Sports XR200 2-Bike Hitch Rack

Allen is a name that needs no introduction when it comes to sports good. Hence, with its trailer hitch bike rack like the XR200 shouts quality itself! To be precise, this bike rack is durable, versatile, and affordable!

Adaptable and Affordable

What is you were told there is a bike rack that is both fabulous and affordable at the same time? Sound too good to be true, right? But this is what Allen Sport’s XR200 bike rack promises to provide, quality, and versatility that serves you for years ahead!

How far the versatility of this model stretches to? Take a look! The XR200 bike rack comes with adjustable wheel trays that “adjust” according to the size of the bicycle wheel. So, even if you have a stud with fat tires, positioning it in this rack won’t be a problem at all! Also, it comes with a frame attachment system that promises to hold your bikes in place, keeping them steady through a rough ride!

No matter what shape or size your bike is, the upper frame connector fully protects them by mounting bikes into the wheel trays with any adaptor. Yes, you hear that! The XR200 comes with no adaptor bar, which means even without it, you can still manage to tie-down your bikes pretty safely!

Then how can one be sure of the safety of their expensive gear? Worry no more because this hitch mount bike rack comes with individual tie-down cradles that keep your bicycles fixed tightly in place and giving you ample space to access the trunk right after.

Also, when not in use, the carry arms of this rack can be folded up, saving parking space at the back! And yes, the frame is fully padded which means, your bicycles will remain scratch-free if somehow they end up bumping into one another.

Pros:

  • Adjustable wheel trays that can fit bikes of different types and tire sizes
  • Compatible with most bicycles
  • Foldable carry arms
  • Individual tie-down cradles for tightly holding the bikes in place
  • No adaptor bar needed
  • Fully padded frame
  • 2 bike holding capacity
  • Made for fat tires
  • Easy fit for hitch receivers measuring at 1-1/4 inches and 2 inches

Cons:

  • Installing the rack can take a lot of effort and time
  • Might not fit perfectly into a hitch receiver of size ¼ inches which may lead to wobbling while in transit

 

  1. KAC Overdrive Sports K2

Next, it’s time to talk about the very amazing KAC Overdrive Sports K2, a rack that is versatile, durable, and powerful!

Easy to Use, Versatile, and Compact

Finding a rack that has all three qualities, easy to use, versatile and compact is hard to fine. But the new K2 provides this lethal combo to you at a price that is market competitive. It easily supports up to 2 bikes at one time, the weight of which should not exceed 60 pounds altogether.

Also, this platform bike rack comes with 5 inches wide wheel trays that can conveniently accommodate fat tire and e-bikes. And to make installation easy and quick for non-professional people, the parts come pre-assembled. What more can you ask at a price that is pocket-friendly?

The KAC K2 bike rack comes instilled with an anti-wobble system so even if you have a long, rough road to cover, your bikes will be securely fixed in place. With this rack installed in the back, you can be sure of transporting your bikes safely and without any scratches.

Additionally, the frame comes fully padded and uses clamps and locking/hitch pins to tie the bikes down. But remember, for bicycles with a lower frame, you might need to buy an extra KAC bike frame Adaptor to position them in place. this adaptor does not come with the rack and hence, needs to bought separately which might incur you some extra bucks.

Along with the wonderful features, this rack by KAC comes with a lifetime warranty which means, now you get to enjoy life long performance of the rack without a problem. Furthermore, when not in use, you can fold the arms up and gain access to the trunk without having to worry about de-installing it again and again. This is surely the best deal that should not be missed!

Pros:

  • Anti-wobble system for hassle-free transportation
  • KAC lifetime warranty
  • Can fit bikes with fat tires
  • Equally good for e-bikes
  • It can hold up to 2 bikes at a time
  • Fully padded frame
  • Foldable and compact
  • Rear reflectors improve visibility

Cons:

  • You may need an additional locking system to securely tie-down the bikes
  • The platform tilts slightly backward when installed, thus, you might get a harder time in position two bigger bikes together

 

  1. Swagman Traveler XC2 Bike Rack

Next place on the list of the best hitch bike rack goes to the Swagman Traveler XC2 Bike Rack. The name is surely a new one because when it comes to quality and durability, Swagman offers the best products in town!

Easy to Install and User-friendly

Enclosed in a strong body frame, the rack can accommodate two bikes at a time, each one weighing less than 35 pounds. To ensure your hitch bike rack survives through the years without deteriorating, Swagman uses black coating over the frame which promises long-lasting performance.

Furthermore, the XC2 bike rack is easy to install. It conveniently slides over a hitch receiver of 2 inches, and all you need is to push in a few pins through the arms and you’re done with the installation. Isn’t it great? Also, if your RV doesn’t have a built-in hitch receiver, no need to worry as this model comes along a bumper mount adaptor that makes it compatible with most cars.

The rack is positioned lower as compared to other hitch racks. The platform consists of two-wheel trays that give your bikes their individual space for accommodation. If you’re tired of lifting your heavy bikes high above the shoulders, the low platform of this rack will be more of a blessing for you!

From adult bikes to children’s bicycles, the Traveler XC2 by Swagman can manage it all. Another feature that makes this rack amazing equipment is the addition of wheel pools on side of the mainframe. This works as a cushion in between the bikes so that during transit, your studs remain safe and scratch-free.

Unlike an average bike rack, this new Traveler XC2 rack does not require you to place the bike on top and adjust them manually. Rather, it comes with hooks and lever that when pressed, automatically adjusts the bikes in place, helping you transport them pretty smoothly!

The only thing that goes against the rack is that has no security cable to lock the bikes with, which means you need to buy it separately or else, you might end up crying over your stolen bikes!

Pros:

  • Easy to install
  • A low platform for easy mounting of bikes
  • Compatible with hitch receiver of 2 inches
  • Dual wheel trays for individual accommodation of bikes
  • 2 bike holding capacity
  • Metal frame coated with black powder for rust-free usage
  • Padded frame for scratch-free transportation
  • Automatic adjustment of bikes

Cons:

  • Does not come with a security cable

 

  1. Hollywood Racks HR1400 4-Bike Hitch Rack

If you’re ready to spend a little more in the name of quality, you can get your hands on one of the best racks, the Hollywood HR1400 bike hitch rack. Since the company established itself in the year1973, Hollywood Racks has earned the reputation of selling high-quality racks that are secure, strong, and simple in design.

Hence, if you’re in search of a rack that you can trust with your expensive bikes, Hollywood Racks HR1400 is one to go for!

Something to About HR1400 Hitch Bike Rack

Amongst all the racks on the list, this one is the priciest. But of course, with the higher price comes greater quality. The Hollywood Racks HR1400 is all about the secure transportation of your bikes. This one is made especially to accommodate heavier bikes including mountain bikes which cannot be adjusted into simple racks because of their larger frame.

The HR1400 is a rack with a strong framework and body. It comes in a solid steel body, covered with black powder to keep it from rusting. Given the solid check of metal utilized on it, the whole rack weighs more than 70 pounds. Although, installing it is not a problem but people with no prior experience might need a hand or two to fix it rightly in place!

Furthermore, detaching and attaching it to the hitch receiver may require additional help from the outside. However, it can still be detached single-handedly into two units, with each holding 2 studs at a time without a problem!

The HR1400 is intended for use with vehicles that have a 2” inch hitch receiver. The shank gets into the collector without you having to buy extra tools for it. There is a locking pin that makes sure about the rack fits into the hitch receiver easily. This locking pin likewise has a lock and key that guarantees the rack is sheltered on the vehicle. Furthermore, there’s a switch at the back of the shank that you move clockwise to dispose of all wobbling.

Mounting Bikes on the HR1400 Hitch Bike Rack

The Hollywood Racks HR1400 is a platform-styled hitch rack that has 4 arrangements of wheel plate that are sufficiently wide to accommodate bicycles with up to 3-inches tires.

The plates and arms are adjustable so you can conveniently uphold a bicycle with a 60-inches wheelbase and weight up to 200 pounds in total. Sounds unbelievable, right? And to make things even more interesting, Hollywood Racks has paid special attention to the frame, creating a body that is strong and durable.

To ensure the bikes tightly fit in place, two masts stand upright and are padded. Not only do these padded masts push down the bicycles in the wheel trays but also cushion your studs against bumping into one another, keeping it safe from damages.

From heavy hybrid bikes to children’s bicycles, this rack is ideal for transporting every kind of bike! The versatility of this model allows you to enjoy tension-free transportation of your bikes, carrying an entire family’s gear in the safest way possible. To ensure safe transit, the rack uses Velcro straps to tie-down the bikes and hold them individually in each tray. Remember, this model by Hollywood Racks allows you to carry at least 4 bikes simultaneously where each is secured in place using a 9-foot security cable for hassle-free transportation.

Adding to its amazing characteristics, HR1400 has been cleverly designed to make accommodation and installation easy. You can install trays separately, all depending upon your use. If you wish to carry two bikes, ferry one attachment only and if you plan on transporting more, attaching the other tray won’t take time because all you need to do is push or remove the pin at the center where the joints attach.

Accessibility and Compactness

Do you want to enjoy a bike rack that gives you complete access to the trunk without having to unload it? Well then, you’re in for a surprise! The HR1400 is designed to tilt downwards once installed. It means, even after you position your bikes within it, you can gain access to your tailgate with a problem.

Furthermore, along with versatility, durability, and an amazing design, the rack is compact. Because most hitch bike racks when installed cannot be folded and take up much space at the back, the HR1400 is the opposite of it. The carry arms can be lifted, saving you ample space for parking without having to detach it every time!

Pros:

  • Versatile, compact, and foldable
  • Strong metal frame covered with black powder for guaranteed durability
  • Gives you access to the tailgate without having to detach it
  • Can hold up to 4 bikes at a time
  • Comes with locking pins and security cables
  • Can manage bikes weighing up to 200 pounds in total
  • Padded clamps and masts for scratch-free transportation of bikes
  • Switchable from 2-bike carrier to 4-bike carrier
  • Compatible with most bikes
  • In-built no-wobble system for hassle-free carriage
  • Lockable pins safely attach the rack to the hitch receiver

Cons:

  • Expensive as compared to other hitch mount bike racks
  • Heavyweight makes it hard to lift alone

 

Hanging Hitch Bike Racks

As compared to roof-top or trunk-mounted bike racks, hanging hitch bike racks easily slide over the receivers, attaching firmly to the rear of your trailer and RV. Here are some hanging trailer hitch bike racks that are a must-have for people who own either a common car or a motorhome and love biking in the wild.

  1. Allen Sports Deluxe 4-Bike Hitch Bike Rack

Well, honestly when it comes to quality, you cannot go wrong with Allen Sports. When talking about hanging hitch bike racks, missing out on Allen Sports Deluxe 4-Bike Hitch rack is less of a sin!

This rack is made of super-strong steel so that carrying 4 bikes, weighing up to 140 pounds simultaneously won’t be a problem. And yes, it comes coated in black powder making it rust-resistant. No matter fall or winter, no matter summer or rain, this rack withstands the cruelest of weathers with bending a pin, assuring high performance at every go!

Furthermore, this rack can carry not one or two but four bikes at a time, making it favorite of all. If you belong to a bike enthusiast family, this is the deal-breaker for sure! The Allen Sports Deluxe bike rack has 2 arms, each one measuring at 22 inches with 4 plates covering the top.

The top plates make loading and unloading studs super easy while the long arms keep them at a fair distance from the rear of your vehicle. The individual wheel trays position your bikes separately, tilting them away from the vehicle, which means both your car and bicycles will remain safe from damages. Moreover, this fabulous hanging trailer hitch bike rack will fit in all types of bikes, ranging from small kid’s bicycles to adult’s heavy mountain bikes.

Safe Transportation and Easy Installation

Although most racks are easy to install when talking about Allen Sports Deluxe bike rack, it is designed in a way it makes installation super quick and convenient. It will merely take you 15 to 20 minutes to install it in place, but to make is a strong fit, you’ll need to buy a 2-inch trailer hitch or extension that’ll help it fix in place.

Besides this, the deluxe rack comes with no-wobble bolts used for installation and ensure the rack does not sway in the air during the drive.

For your bike’s safety, Allen Sports Deluxe rack arrives with individual cradles with rubber straps. Not only do these hold the bikes down, but do so very easily and without hurting your car’s paint job. Additionally, the nylon straps tightly wrap around the bike frame keeping them safe from falling off or swaying during a rough drive. In short, it is easy to install and absolutely the safest of means to carry multiple bikes at one time.

Accessibility to the rear And Foldable

The rack is designed in a way that when installed, the hanging platform tilts away from the rear, giving you access to the tailgate without having to detach the rack all over again in times of need.

And when not in use, you can either fold the carry arms to save some parking space or simply detach it from the vehicle, which won’t take much of your time. The Allen Sports Deluxe 4-bike hitch rack is all about a strong body and great performance!

Pros:

  • Can hold up to four bikes at a time with a total weight not exceeding 140 pounds
  • Easy installation and set up
  • Strong steel body coated with black powder for tension-free usage
  • In-built individual tie-down systems for secure transportation of bikes
  • Cradles with rubber straps that keep your vehicle’s paint job safe
  • Foldable arms for saving space
  • Gives accessibility to tailgate without having to detach it
  • Affordably priced

Cons:

  • The rubber cradles may worn out over time

 

  1. Yakima RidgeBack Hitch Bike Rack

Ever heard of a rack that can carry 5 bikes at a time? if you haven’t then you surely have missed out on the new Yakima RidgeBack hitch bike rack. It is beautifully designed and packed with fabulous features which will surely tempt you into buying one for your car right away!

Fits Multiple Hitch Receivers

If you’re planning to use this hanging hitch rack for different cars, you’ll want it to fit multiple hitch receivers easily. And to be honest, the Yakima RidgeBack happily does so! This bike rack is made in a way that it can slide into hitch receivers measuring at 1-1/4 inches and 2 inches.

The rack itself is pretty light in weight, so installing and holding up won’t be a problem at all. Once you push the shank in the receiver, it slides smoothly and locks with a pin. Furthermore, you will also find a speed knob at the rear of the shank that when turned will raise a wedge inside the shank, forcing it in between the sides of the hitch tube. This in-built system makes the rack wobble-free, as all the pieces fall in place together very tightly.

As its name proposes, this Yakima Ridgeback is a hanging-style 5-bicycle rack. It has double arms with supports for 5 bicycles that are manufactured from hard plastic. For people who are avid cyclers, the hard plastic support make a great advantage as even after multiple uses over time, the zip strips won’t break loose.

Moreover, each of the bikes is ties down with 3 zip strips. Because these are longer in size, it can easily accommodate bikes with larger frames. They have grooves and levers that firmly secure your bicycles. Furthermore, the anti-sway cradles ensure your bikes stay tightly in place, reducing the risk of them bumping into one another. And yes, these cradles have a soft lining inside which promises to hold your studs down without leaving blemishes.

The Yakima Ridgeback can hold up to 5 bikes at a time, each when held in place separately so that no parts bump into each other, causing breaking and damaging. But remember, the cradles of the rack do not promise complete safety of your studs. You might need to buy an extra pair of cables and locks to ensure the bikes are kept safe from getting picked up by someone else.

Design Offering Control and Storage

See the red and black levers on the Yakima RidgeBack? All of these serve a different purpose so that you get to experience hassle-free and secure transportation of your studs. The rack is designed in a way that when installed, tilts away from the tailgate; gives you ample space to access it.

Also, lifting the red lever gives a chance to fold the cradle arms, which saves space for parking. The black lever at the front when pulled down tilts the rack away from the vehicle. This is so that even with the rack attached to the rear, you can gain easy access to the trunk of your car.

There are no extra cables or pins that make the design complex and difficult to install. The levers give you a fair chance at mounting bikes automatically, tying them down safely, and getting them ready for transportation.

Moreover, the best about Yakima Ridgeback is the compactness that it offers. It weighs around 35 pounds, is easy to detach, and carry arms can be folded up to allow decent free space at the back. All the things that make a rack the “best” can easily be found in this model.

Pros:

  • Levers make operating the rack easier
  • Made from heavy-duty steel for promised durability
  • Hard plastic zip strips for tying down the bikes
  • 3 zip strips hold one bike which guarantees complete safety
  • Can hold up to 5 bikes at a time
  • Anti-sway cradles
  • The speed knob eliminates the risk of the rack wobbling while driving
  • Designed to tilt away from the vehicle giving you complete access to the tailgate

Cons:

  • Additional adaptor required to hold bigger bikes

 

  1. Allen Sports Deluxe 2-Bike Hitch Mount Bike Rack

Although, it might be a smaller version of the Allen Sports Deluxe 4-bike hitch mount rack, the 522R is not less in performance! It is made from heavy-duty steel, is durable, sturdy, and most importantly, pocket-friendly.

Compatibility

One of the best features of a good rack is its compatibility with vehicles. When talking about the Allen Sports 522R rack, it is designed in a way that it easily fits into hitch receivers of 1-1/4 inches and 2 inches. So, if you’re playing to use it on different cars over time, you won’t have to worry about buying an additional adaptor for installation.

Convenient Usage and Simple Design

This hitch rack is made for everyday use! It comes packed in three parts and requires three bolts for assembling. Even if you’re not a pro at using tools or fixing equipment, you can still manage to install it with a 14-mm socket wrench and an adjustable wrench within minutes of unboxing.

The Allen Sports 522R weighs around 21.2 pounds, making it lighter than most hanging hitch bike racks. This model comes with lower loading height, and because it is light in weight, lifting it for mounting isn’t much of a task.

Mounting Bikes and Accessing the Tailgate

Allen Sports takes care of your needs when it comes to safe travels. This model by Allen is embedded with a patent tie-down system for guaranteed protection of your studs. Although, the cradles are not adjustable still they are placed in a position that promises to grip your bikes tightly and carry them to the destination safely. Moreover, these tie-downs are made from rubber, which means you won’t see them breaking up even after years of use. Sound great, right?

Furthermore, the cradles of Allen Sports 522R have nylon straps and plastic buckles that wrap around the bicycles and hold them down without letting them out of place even for a minute or two. As these straps fasten the bicycles to the mainmast, it reduces movements and keeps them tightly and safely in one place.

Want to know more about the Sports 522R hanging hitch rack? Well, the rack is designed in a way that it tilts away from the rear. When it is installed, it bends at a specific angle so that you can complete access to your gear in the back. All you need to do is pull a pin that grips the bottom mast and things will fall in place.

And when not in use, rather than detaching it, you can simply fold the dual carry arms and keep on driving like there’s nothing at the back! In short, Allen Sports Deluxe 522R is super affordable, great for carrying two bikes at a time, and promises to deliver the best performance for many years ahead under Allen’s lifetime warranty.

Pros:

  • Affordable
  • Comes with Allen Sports lifetime warranty
  • Tilts at an angle that give you access to the rear
  • The 1-1/4 inches and 2 inches multiple hitch receivers makes it compatible with most vehicles
  • Steel body covered with black powder that keeps it safe from rusting away
  • Easy and quick installation
  • Tie-down cradle system and straps for wobble-free transit
  • Lightweight
  • Can hold up to 2 bikes simultaneously
  • Foldable carry arms save space at the back

Cons:

  • The non-wobble bolt does not eliminate wobbling of the rack during transit completely

 

  1. Critical Cycles Lenox Hitch Rack

Hauling your high-priced ear without the proper equipment can be a painful process! Not only will you be wasting time and effort but might also end up damaging both your car and bikes in the process. This is why, you are recommended to buy the Critical Cycles Lenox Car Rack, which is affordable, sturdy, and most importantly, serves its purpose without hindrance.

Durable and Easy to Install

Talk about easy installation and durability, the Critical Cycles new model instantly pops up in mind. Using merely a few bolts, you can easily assemble it without help. Once done, to fix it to the car, all you need is a 2-inches hitch receiver to make it work.

Weighing proudly at 25 pounds, the rack is crafted out of heavy-duty steel which adds to its durability and sturdiness. Also, to make sure it stands strong against weather changes, the body is covered with black powder which saves it from wasting away. Although the Lenox bike rack itself is light in weight, it manages to hold up to 4 bikes at one time with a combined not exceeding 140 pounds.

Double Carry Arms

The Critical Cycles Lenox rack is a hanging style hitch rack big enough to accommodate 4 bikes simultaneously. It comes with a set of 8 bike holders with 4 holders on each arm. These arms are movable, making the rack compatible with bikes of different sizes and types.

The hex key attached to the rack allows you to position bikes within the rack without much effort. Moreover, the holders are intelligently manufactured from rubber, instead of plastic which can easily break at the time of collision or accident.

The high-end bike rack offers versatility in performance and compatibility which allows your family to enjoy biking together. The Lenox hanging hitch bike rack uses cradles with an individual tie-down system that grip the bikes and fix them within the carry arms. No matter how big the frame of your bike is, the adjustable cradles will easily wrap around and hold it in place.

Foldable Carry Arms

Are you looking for a rack that can be folded when not in use? For bikers who do not go out for adventure very often, the Lenox bike rack makes an ideal choice. Pull out the pin and fold the arms down to save parking space at the back when not in use.

Furthermore, when fixed at the back of the car, the rack can be tilted outward by pulling out the clevis pin. This way, you’ll gain access to the rear and be able to grab your things without having to unload the entire rack every time!

Pros:

  • Quick and easy installation
  • Affordably priced
  • Heavy-duty steel frame coated with black powder
  • Sturdy and durable
  • Uses easy mechanism to position bikes within
  • Individual cradle tie-down system to hold the bikes
  • Movable, rubber carry arms that make it compatible with different size and type of bikes
  • Tilts outwards to give easy access to the tailgate
  • 4-bike holding capacity

Cons:

  • The rack does not come with a security cable which needs to bought separately
  • You might need to use bungee cords to wrap around the bikes, stopping them from swaying and bumping into each other

 

  1. Yakima DoubleDown 4 Bike Rack

If you’re looking for something reliable, the Yakima DoubleDown bike rack is the one to consider! It is trustable with quality, sturdiness, and performance. The rack comes in parts but installing it is not an issue at all!

Offering Versatility

The Yakima DoubleDown rack weighs around 35 pounds, which is a bit heavier than other bike racks. When it comes to installation, you might need a pair of extra hands for lifting it, although, the process of fixing it in place isn’t technical.

This hanging hitch rack is made of heavy-duty steel which promises sturdiness and durability. As for the easy installation, the Yakima bike rack easily slides in hitch receivers measuring at 1-1/4 inches and 2-inches, respectively. This truly means that the rack can be used for different vehicles with many problems. To make it the right for a 2-inch receiver, all you need to do is insert a bracket and rivet it to the shank bolt below. The shank will than slide into the receiver which is held in place by a hitch pin and safety clip.

Furthermore, the rack comes coated with black powder for rust-free performance for as long as you don’t get bored. And yes, it can carry 4 bikes at a time, but remember, the combined weight of your bikes shouldn’t be more than 160 pounds (40 pounds for each bike).

Convenient Bike Mounting

For an untraditional bike’s frame, when mounting them on the rack, you might need Yakima’s tube adapter to make it work. Otherwise, the hanging hitch rack itself is a hub of amazing features that helped it make its way to the list.

There are 4 individual cradles used to hold the bikes down. Each cradle is cleverly manufactured from hard plastic with rubber straps that make up the tie-down system of the rack. With each cradle are positioned 4 sturdy posts where the straps attach and the cradle has 2 grooves inside which allows for the safe freightage.

Apart from these cradles, the rack has switchable anti-sway cradles too that hold your bike tightly in place while in transit, keeping them safe from swaying and banging into one another. Additionally, you’ll also find a bottle opener below the frame, just in case you get thirsty on long rides!

User-friendly Design

The Yakima DoubleDown hanging style hitch rack uses the TriggerFingers system for user-friendly design. The arms can quite conveniently be folded up by pulling the red lever on top of the mast. With the compact design, you’ll get to enjoy the free behind, allowing you to drive into parking spaces and garage without banging the rear and damaging it.

Furthermore, to give you access to the rear, all you need to do is pull back the in-built red pin! Although the rack has some great features to offer, it does not come with a promising security system. You’ll have to buy the deadlock for security separately, which is sold by Yakima itself. Apart from this, this hanging hitch rack is a must-have for every bike owner!

Pros:

  • Compatible with most cars at it can fit receivers of different size
  • Easy to assemble and install
  • Switchable anti-sway cradles
  • Hard plastic cradles with rubber straps
  • A built-in button that needs to be pushed to gain access to the rear
  • Foldable carry arms
  • 4-bike holding capacity
  • Affordable

Cons:

  • No definite security system which forces you to buy deadlocks separately from Yakima

Buyer’s Guide to Finding the Right Hitch Mount Bike Rack

Before you head out to buy a rack for your car, consider a few factors that will influence your decision. What purposes will the rack serve? Do you want a hitch rack or a roof-top one? Should it be expensive or cheap? How many bikes should it be able to hold?

For people with little knowledge about what should they be looking for in a bike rack, here is a guide to help you with the decision-making!

Types of Bike Racks

Ideally, there are three types of bike racks: roof-mounted, trunk-mounted, and hitch-mounted bike rack. Each one serves a different purpose and has a variable holding bike capacity. So without further ado, here is a closer look at what these types of racks can do.

  1. Roof-mounted Bike Rack

As the name depicts, the roof-mounted racks are installed at the top of your vehicle. If your car already has a roof rack, this type of bike rack becomes the best choice. It easily fits onto the roof-top and can be used for various purposes.

The roof-mounted bike rack is versatile. Apart from transporting bikes only, the rack can be used to move other heavier objects including kayaks, paddles, etc. moreover, one major benefit of having this bike rack is that it has the maximum capacity of holding bikes. Unlike other racks, this one easily accommodates up to 7 bikes at a time, making it ideal for a family who is a bike enthusiast.

The only thing that goes against the roof-mounted bike rack is that it is difficult to install, especially if you’re new at it. You might need tools and an extra pair of hands and even then, you’ll end up spending hours before the rack becomes workable.

  1. Trunk-mounted Bike Rack

Amongst all three, the trunk-mounted bike racks are the cheapest but also less secure. Most of the models come with adjustable straps that wrap around the bike frames and hold them down tightly.

Irrespective of it being affordable and easy installation, this rack cannot be trusted when it comes to your bike’s safety. The rubber straps have been reported to break easily, throwing off the bikes in mid-way, causing damage to the studs and vehicle too.

  1. Hitch-mounted Bike Rack

When it comes to moving bikes in the safest manner possible, the hitch-mounted bike racks are the most trustable. These racks are the sturdiest in the lot although they do take up most of the space at the back of your vehicle.

Why Choose A Hitch-mounted Bike Rack for Your Bikes?

The variety of options available in the market in the category of bike racks surely can be overwhelming, confusing a person with no prior knowledge of purchase. But if you’re looking for a rack that can be trusted with a blind in terms of sturdiness, quality, and versatility, a hitch-mounted bike rack is what you should be considered without a doubt!

  • Low Height and Clever Design

The best part of owning a hitch-mount rack is that they are heightened pretty low. With this one attached at the rear of your car, you won’t need to lift your heavy bikes high which surely hurts the arm. Moreover, unlike trunk racks, these one position your bikes at a distance from your vehicle, keeping it safe from scratches. While installing a rack for your bike, you definitely won’t want to ruin the paint job of your beloved RV or Sedan!

  • Stability

As compared to other types of bike racks, the hitch-mounted bike rack offers more stability. These usually come pre-assembled and require only bolts for installation. Most models of hitch bike racks are made of heavy-duty steel that makes the frame durable and sturdy enough to hold multiple bikes at one time that too that weigh more.

Oddly enough, these racks can also be used to freight other items including skis, snowboards, and cargo holders, all of these without breaking or bending a bar.

  • Security

A bike rack is intended to transport your bikes safely to the required destination. Although the work can be done by simply towing them to your vehicles, the bikes can damage in the transit. And surely, you wouldn’t want yourself to be surrounded in such a catastrophic situation!

Hitch mounted bike racks make freighting of your bikes secure. These models come with independent cradles and straps that tie-down your bikes tightly into the wheel trays, holding them in place so that they reach their destination without any damages.

  • Multiple Bike Holding Capacity

Is your family an adventure seeker? Are you someone who loves exploring the wild on your bicycle? If yes, you definitely need to have a bike rack like, right now!!

People who love spending time outside with family and friends, plan biking trips with their closed ones, hitch mounted racks can make hauling of bikes super easy and convenient. Most models are designed to accommodate more than one bike, which means, now you can enjoy carrying multiple bikes to your favorite place without having to make multiple trips to the starting point.

  • Lifetime Performance

When investing in expensive equipment like a bike rack, you wish to enjoy hassle-free lifetime performance, of course. This is why, if you’re in search of something durable, a piece of equipment that lasts over the years without wasting away, then hitch mounted bike rack is what you should invest in!

These are made from heavy-duty steel which promises to serve its purpose over the years, withstanding the changing weather and surviving through the hottest of days. But remember, money doesn’t buy quality. There are many labels available in the market that offers quality at affordable prices.

Understanding How the “Hitch” Works

For every vehicle, you need a different sized hitch receiver to fix in the rack. To be clear, hitches broadly fall into 5 categories, where each category is classified upon the towing capacity of the car.

The range typically starts from Class I (it fits any vehicle and can manage weight up to 2000 pounds) to Class V (ideal only for pick-ups and larger trucks and can two up to 10,000 pounds of weight easily).

As for the hitch mounted bike racks, these fall into the Class II or above category because Class I cannot hold bikes that weigh more. Once you understand the classification of the hitches, it is then better to check your car’s owner manual for more information. Most manuals have complete information on which hitch receiver can be fitted at the rear and helps you choose a rack accordingly.

Things to Consider When Buying Hitch Mounted Bike Rack

What to look for when buying a hitch rack? Here is everything that you need to know:

  • Design of the Vehicle

Your vehicle’s design has a direct impact on what type of rack you should be purchasing especially if you’re in search of a good trailer hitch bike rack.

  1. For vehicles with spare-tire at the rear, you need a hitch rack with a larger shank. What is a shank? It is the metal tube that adjusts in the hitch receiver and fixes the rack in place.

For this, you need to measure the distance from the middle of the hitch’s pinhole to the outmost corner of the spare tire to get the right-sized shank in place. And if somehow a larger shank isn’t available for your model rack, you can always add an extension for extra space.

  1. Moreover, if your car has low ground clearance, make sure you opt for a rack that is decently weighted above the ground. If the rack isn’t high enough, you won’t be able to transport your bikes safely, damaging them on the way of course!

 

  • Accessibility of the Vehicle

Even with a rack installed at the back, you would want to access your cargo in the trunk. unlike most trunk-mounted bike racks, the hitch-mounted racks are designed in a way that they tilt away from the car, offering enough space for you to open up the rear and grab your important stuff in the back. Here are three types of hitch bike racks providing little to no accessibility:

  1. Fixed-position: For people who do not want to gain access to their car’s rear in any way, for them, fixed racks are good. Once installed, these fix in place and give no accessibility to the trunk. If you wish to grab something from the back, you’ll have to unload it and detach it first.
  2. Tilt-Hitch: This type of hitch rack is designed to tilt away from the car when installed; leaving some space at the back that gives you accessibility to the rear.
  3. Sway-away: The Sway-away bike rack will keep the bikes completely away from the vehicle, providing unlimited access to the bikes still in place.
  4. Parallelogram rack: All you need to do is push the button/pin on the rack and it’ll extend away from the vehicle. With this type of rack, you get limited access to the rear while the bikes are still mounted on it.

Types of Hitch-Mounted Bike Racks

Once you’ve decided to buy a trailer hitch bike rack, you further need to explore the categories that lie within and choose the best one. Still, confused? Here are the most popular types of hitch rack available in the market:

  1. Hanging Hitch Mount Bike Rack

Except for a few models, these types of racks grip your bikes from the top frame only. Most are designed to hold 2 to 5 bikes simultaneously without compromising on the quality of performance. As compared to platform racks, the hanging ones are lighter in weight and can fit different hitch receivers, mostly measuring at ¼ inches by ¼ inches and 2 by 2 inches.

The hanging hitch mounted racks are further divided into two categories: single-arm and dual-arm. What you choose completely depends on the goal you wish to achieve and your style preference.

  • Single-Arm Hitch Mounted Bike Rack

The single-arm hitch bike rack grips your bikes by a single cradle. These can conveniently accommodate different sized bikes including both standard-frame bikes (mountain and road bikes) and alternative-frame bikes (women’s and children’s bicycles). This rack is easy to install with loading and unloading of bikes made super comfortable and quick! Additionally, the ease of loading and unloading depends on the type of cradle arms the single-arm hitch rack has. These are as follows:

  1. Rotatable cradles: These movable cradles adjust according to the size of the bikes you wish to mount. It comes with a hand knob that needs to be moved to secure the frame into the rack. The cradles may be simple to operate but are bulky, making it difficult to secure bikes with smaller crossbars such as kid’s bikes on time.
  2. Single, fixed cradles: Racks with single, fixed cradles use either Velcro straps or top plate to secure bikes in place. they are non-rotatable and do not adjust according to the frame size of your bike, thus, provides limited options when it comes to mounting bikes.

 

  • Dual-Arm Hitch Mount Bike Racks

The second type of hanging-hitch bike rack is one with dual arms. This type of bike rack comes with two cradles that tightly grip around the bikes, holding them securely in place. It can easily accommodate up to 5 bikes at one time and cushion them from the center so none of the bikes bump in one another.

Most dual-arm hitch mount bike rack comes with anti-sway cradles that are not only compatible with most bikes but keep them safe during transit. Although most models offer complete security, you might need an adaptor to tie-down alternative-frame bikes for safety purposes.

  1. Platform/Wheel Mount Hitch Bike Rack

Opposite of the hanging bike racks, the platform hitch mounted bike racks hold the bikes from the wheels. These come with a built-in anti-sway system and are very stable. Moreover, every model is heightened differently; giving you ground clearance as per your satisfaction, providing the safest means of moving bikes from one place to another. As for the bike holding capacity, most platform hitches mounted bike racks can easily manage to carry 4 bikes at one time.

The platform/wheel mount hitch rack is further available in two styles:

  1. Frame holding rack- This type holds the bike from the top frame using a vertical tube, ensuring complete safety.
  2. Wheel holding rack- This one has two individual arms that easily clamp on to the front wheels of the bike, tying them down tightly.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

It is understandable when buying something new for yourself, expensive equipment; your mind is bombarded with a million questions. To clear your confusion, here are a few answers to the most commonly asked questions regarding hitch mounted bike racks:

  1. Do hitch mounted bike racks have anti-rattle systems? How does it work?

Yes, most models come with an in-built anti-rattle system that is super easy to use. Some work with a simple turn knob, however, others have a hitch bolt, requiring the utilization of a wrench each time you stack or empty bicycles.

  1. Does the rack have an anti-theft system embedded in it?

As far as the hitch bike racks are concerned, most come with locking pins and cradles that offer complete security of your bikes. Hence, yes most models come with an already existing anti-theft system.

  1. Is storing the rack easy?

If you are an occasional biker, go for lightweight and compact hitch mounted bike racks that can be folded away when not in use.

  1. Can I tow my trailer with the rack installed?

Yes, a few models to provide you with the option of towing trailers without removing the rack.

  1. Are hitch mounted bike racks legal?

Every state has its own law, but in general, if the rack is placed well about the license plate, not hiding it with the frame, then yes, the rack is absolutely legal to use. But in case you’re confused and unsure, it is always advisable to contact the local authority for details and permission.

  1. How do I know if the rack will fit my car?

Different racks are designed to fit cars of different types. But there are few models being offered in hitch mounted bike racks that come with universal hitch receivers. This means these can easily fit vehicles like a sedan and RV equally well.

  1. Can I use Hitch mounted bike rack to transport other items?

If you wish to transport boats or kayaks, then hitch mounted bike racks aren’t designed for it. For this purpose, you should opt for roof-top racks only!

Conclusion

The best hitch mount bicycle racks are streamlined and simple to stack, making them a worthy choice, of course! But when buying something like this, you need to be sure of what you’re looking for. Understand your needs first and search for models that fulfill your objectives.

You first need to ensure that you get a rack that will accommodate your vehicle’s hitch, can accommodate bicycles you intend to utilize and satisfy your own transportation needs.

Cutting the story short, a hitch mounted bike rack is the ultimate solution to all your bike “hauling” problems!

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