Biking

Best Hitch Bike Rack 2018 – For Bike & Outdoor Lovers

What type of bike rack is more versatile and convenient for your car today?

Hitch-mounted bike racks are some of the most popular types of racks today. This may be attributed to the fact that they are easier to install, load and unload the bikes. Additionally, the various hitch bike carriers have a larger carrying capacity, with some being capable of transporting up to 6 bikes at a time. However, modern hitch bike tracks come equipped with an assortment of features and have varying pros and cons.

Bike Rack Installed In A Car

What you need to note at this point is that not all hitch bike racks will serve you the best. To buy the best rack for your rack, you need to consider several things, such as the versatility, type of rack, carrying capacity, ease of use, as well as the type of hitch you have on your vehicle. Additionally, you should buy a rack that offers a stable flat platform for your bikes will not scratch the paint off your bikes and allows you easy access of the trunk whenever you need to open it while on the move.

As you can see, this can be a daunting task for a beginner. To help you save time and money, we took the liberty to test some of the best hitch bike racks today. Based on out tests and feedback from thousands of users, here are 5 of the best hitch-mounted bike racks today.

Top 5 Best Hitch Bike Rack

ImageProductBike supportWeightPrice
Allen Sports Deluxe4 Bikes22 lbs
Yakima RidgeBack 2-5 bikes33-39 lbs
Kuat Racks Sherpa 2 Bikes45.6 lbs
Yakima Two 2 Bikes39 lbs
Swagman XC 2 Bikes5-25 lbs

1. Allen Sports Deluxe 4-Bike Hitch Mount Rack – Best Rack for Stability and Convenience

Are you looking forward to carrying your bikes safely without the hassle of having to lift them all the way to the roof of your car? Buy the Allen Sports Deluxe Hitch mount bike rack today. This rack is compatible with 2-inch trailer hitches and can securely transport up to 4 bikes. In addition to its remarkable aesthetical appeal, the Deluxe bike rack was designed to offer exceptional durability. As such, it is made of steel and features a black powder finish.

Click here for more pictures at Amazon

The carry arm of this carrier measures 22 inches and features a patented tie-down mechanism to secure up to 4 bikes. This rack is designed to carry up to 140 pounds. You will love the fact that this rack is easy to install and use. As a matter of fact, you only need about 5 minutes to install it on your car. With regards to stability, the Allen Deluxe features a no-wobble bolt. This securely holds the hitch-mount rack in place, however rough the ride is.

Again, the rack is designed to allow you easy access of the tail gate on your car. In this regard, its carry arms can drop out and fold downwards using a patented single pin mechanism. You can then tilt the entire rack upwards and out of the way of the tail gate on your car.  The lifetime warranty offered by the manufacture on this product is a guarantee that it is of the best quality possible.

What We Liked About This Rack

  • It features folding carry arms that allow you easy and timely access of the car trunk
  • The product is easy to assemble
  • Features a no-wobble installation at the hitch, making is more stable even during rough rides
  • It is equipped with individual tie down cradles to secure each of the 4 bikes in place during the drive.

 

>> Final ThoughtsCustomer Reviews

Easy assembly, secure no-wobble attachment to the hitch and comparatively high carrying capacity make the Allen Sports Deluxe bike rack one of the best today. The folding arms and easy tie down mechanism make the product easy to use, even for the first-time users.


2. Yakima Products RidgeBack Hitch Bike Rack – The Best Fully-Assembled Rack


Looking for a secure multi-bike carrying solution for your outdoor activities? The Yakima RidgeBack Hitch Bike rack will not disappoint you, in this regard. While the rack is designed to secure and transport up to 4 bikes, it will not prevent you from accessing the tail gate on your car. For easy access of the trunk, the upper hand lever of the rack is designed to tilt the entire rack and fold it flat. This leaves enough room for the tail gate to open. Again, this makes the rack easier to store whenever you are not using it.

Click here for more pictures at Amazon

How secure is the rack, you must be wondering. The Ridgeback hitch-mounting bike rack features ZipStrips that are specifically designed to secure individual bikes to the rack. These, along with the Anti-sway cradles, make it impossible for the bikes to bump into each other while being transported. This mechanism also makes it easier to load and offload bikes to the bike rack.

Simplicity is the main selling point of this rack. As such, it comes fully assembled and is fairly easy to install onto your car. You will also find the rack very versatile in that it may be used on the 2” as well as the 1.25” trailer hitches. When not loaded, the rack weighs 50 lbs and has a carrying capacity of 150 lbs. Each of the cradles on the rack can securely carry bikes as heavy as 40 lbs.

What We Liked About This Rack

  • This hitch bike rack comes fully assembled, hence does not require any assembly tool
  • Features a ‘SpeedKnob’ for additional security against theft
  • Has a leaver to tilt and fold the rack for easy storage and easy access of the trunk
  • It is compatible with both 2-inch and 1 ¼ -inch trailer hitches
  • Features Anti-sway cradles to prevent bikes from coming into contact while on transit
  • Equipped with ZipStrips that are strong enough to hold up to 40 pounds each.

 

>> Final ThoughtsCustomer Reviews

If you are looking for versatility, high carrying capacity and hassle-free loading and offloading experience in your new bike track, you should try the Yakima Ridgeback Hitch Bike Rack today. Simply put, this rack has all the features you need to transport multiple bikes safely and securely.


3. Kuat Racks Sherpa 2.0 -2 Bike Rack – The Best Lightweight Hitch Bike Rack

Ever imagined owning an all-aluminium, yet affordable hitch bike rack? The lightweight, easy-to-install, and more secure bike carrying solution lies with the all-new Kuat Sherpa 2.0 2-bike rack. You probably are aware that hanging heavy things on your vehicle can affect its consumption. Since the Sherpa is lightweight, it will not affect the MPG on your car. Additionally, its lightweight allows you to make adjustments using one hand.

Click here for more pictures at Amazon

Although the rack can only transport up to 2 bikes, the folding tire cradle ensures that the bikes do not bump onto each other while on transit. To further enhance its user friendliness, the rack features a foot-actuated pivot lever. As such, you can as well lower your hitch bike rack with your hands full. The re-designed Sherpa rack features an intuitive Rear tire cradle and front tire ratchet, Semi integrated bike lock mechanism to further protect your bike, especially the wheels.

While the individual trays on this bike are fixed, it boasts of a 14.5″ spacing in between the trays. This is commendable as it makes it impossible for the bikes to come into contact, even on bumpy roads. You will also love the low loading height offered by this hitch rack. This makes it easier to load and offload the bikes as you do not need to lift them too high.

What We Liked About This Rack

  • Features a re-designed pivot that has an optional foot assist for added convenience
  • It has a folding front cradle that leaves enough room between the rack and your car
  • It features an all-aluminium lightweight and durable design
  • Comes with a semi-integrated bike lock mechanism for added security
  • Features a co-molded strap on the rear tire cradle features to protect the wheels on your bike against damage.
  • Has an intuitive release on its front tire ratchet, making it easier to use

 

>> Final ThoughtsCustomer Reviews

The new Sherpa is not only an affordable hitch bike rack; it features appealing ergonomics and is functional. Although it lacks adjustability, the rack is aesthetically appealing, lightweight, user-friendly, and comparatively secure for your bikes.


4. Yakima Two Timer Hitch Rack – The best Hitch Bike Rack for Versatility


Talk of affordability, conventional and appealing design in a hitch-mounted bike rack and any knowledgeable bike owner will propose the Yakima Two Timer. The track features an innovative design that allows you to mount any two bikes at the back of your vehicle, regardless of their suspension or wheel size, and frame design of the bikes. While this is the case, the Two Timer bike rack is best suited for fat bikes and any bike that has fenders.

Click here for more pictures at Amazon

With regards to versatility, the Two Timer can accommodate almost any bike. As a result, the bike features a centre-mounted bike hook system that is designed to hold the bike at the middle of the top tube. Based on the user manual for this product, the hooks on this rack may be repositioned to grip the bike at the down tube, the top tube or at the bottom (for the ladies’ bikes). This means that you can reconfigure your Two Timer rack to accommodate any bike frame design. Additionally, the rack can fit in both the 2-inch and the 1 ¼ -inch trailer racks.

The interface between the saddle and the handlebar can make it hard for you to load bikes onto some of the hitch bike racks today. In a bid to overcome this challenge, the wheel holders in the Yakima Two Timer are designed to move independently. This, again, make is easier to load any bike onto your hitch bike rack. Again, the wheel holders on this rack are equipped with straps to secure the wheels in place. The straps on this rack can accommodate various wheel sizes, including the 4” and the 5” fat wheels.

What We Liked About This Rack

  • Can accommodate two bikes safely and securely
  • It is very versatile and can accommodate almost any type of bike
  • The tire straps on the tire holders can hold any bike tire size
  • It is compatible with both the 2’ and the 1 ¼ “ trailer hitches
  • It is easy to tilt this rack, even with the bikes loaded, to allow for a clear access of the trunk
  • Features a tough and durable steel construction
  • It is equipped with a HitchLock to secure the rack in place at all times

 

>> Final ThoughtsCustomer Reviews

Imagine the convenience and versatility of having a hitch bike rack that can accommodate any bike. Well, this is now possible, thanks to the Yakima Two Timer Hitch back. This makes the rack ideal for riders who love changing bikes from time to time. You can rest assured that the bike will accommodate any bike, including the fat bikes and bikes that have fenders.


5. Swagman XC Cross-Country 2-Bike Hitch Mount Rack – The Best Affordable Hitch-Mounted Bike Rack


Do you want to buy a secure, reliable, durable and user-friendly hitch bike rack, but are working on a limited budget? You should try out the Swagman XC Cross-Country Hitch bike rack right away. Although it can only carry two bikes, the rack can carry heavier bikes. Actually, you can load bikes as heavy as 35 pounds onto each of the two holders on this rack. Regardless of its affordability, the XC Cross-Country Hitch Bike Rack is comparatively secure. In this regard, each bike is secured at both of its wheels as well as at the frame.

Click here for more pictures at Amazon

The hooks that hold the bikes in place are also cushioned and may be adjusted to accommodate different bikes. Additionally, the hooks may be ratchet down to offer a tighter fit for your bikes. This being the case, it is easy to load both children and adult bikes onto this rack. The rack is designed to take up various bike types, including cruiser bikes, downhill bikes, BMX bikes, Y-frame design bikes and Full-suspension bikes.

What We Liked About This Rack

  • Features a compact design and can fold to allow for easy access of the truck
  • Equipped with a tight, anti-wobble hitch devise to prevent it from jiggling while on transit
  • Fits bikes of varying wheel sizes, including the 20’’ and 29’’ wheels
  • You can also but fat bike trays to use with this hitch track
  • It is a very affordable 2-bike carrier

 

>> Final ThoughtsCustomer Reviews

While the XC Cross-Country Hitch Bike Rack is a very affordable model, it offers features found in some of the costlier hitch bike racks. This rack has features to prevent it from wobbling when loaded with heavier bikes. You will definitely love the versatility offered by this hitch bike rack.


Hitch Bike Rack Buying Advice – What to Consider

Initially, bikes were used as a standard mode of transportation. However, millions of riders today use bikes for competitive and recreational purposes. Whether you are interested in mountain biking, downhill racing or BMX, you will probably require a car to transport your bike(s) to the desired biking location.  Hitch bike racks are considered to be the simplest and more convenient when it comes to transporting mountain bikes from one location to another using a car.

This may be attributed to the fact that hitch-mounted bike racks are comparatively easier to install, load bikes and detach from the car. As a matter of fact, the bets hitch bike racks today are reputed as the safest, easy-to-use and efficient way of transporting bikes at the back of a car today. However, there are multiple types and brands of Hitch-mounted bike racks today. So, which of the hitch bike racks available today is the best?

What should you consider while shopping for these accessories? Choosing the right bike rack for your car can be a daunting task. To help you make the right choice, here are some of the things you need to consider while shopping for the best hitch mounted bike rack:

The Type of Hitch Bike Rack

Currently, there are several hitch-mounted bike rack types in the market. However, the various variations are similar when it comes to the basic design and functioning, basically, a hitch rack is designed to be attached to a trailer hitch, at the back of your car. In this regard, the rack slides into the hitch on your car and is secured using a locking mechanism. If you are in the market for the best hitch-mounted bike rack, these are some of the options you should consider:

  • Swing Away Hitch Racks

These are comparatively more expensive, but are more convenient in that they allow you to easily access the trunk. The various Swing Away Hitch racks feature a rotating joint on their arms. As such, you only need to remove a pin or loosen a knob to open up the arm. The arm then swings to either side of the car, allowing your full access of the trunk as well as to the rack and bikes on it. However, most of these bike racks do not allow you to lower or raise the bikes.

  • Fold Away Hitch Racks

This is the basic type of hitch-mounted bike racks today. These racks are rather unique in that they can fold down, allowing you full access of the trunk. If the bikes are already loaded on the rack, you can as well lower the rack out to access the trunk. This comes in handy for such vehicles as the vans, SUVs and hatchbacks because their trunks cannot be opened with anything on the way.

If you would like to access the trunk, you should first unhinge the bikes from the lifted position, and lower them to the ground before opening the trunk. As you can imagine, it can be comparatively difficult to raise and lower the rack, especially when multiple bikes are loaded.

Carrying Capacity

Different bike racks have different carrying capacities. In this regard, you need to consider the number and weight of the bikes you will be transporting before making the choice. Most of the hitch bike racks available today can carry 2 to 4 bikes. This is makes the hitch-mounted racks more attractive, bearing in mind the most roof-mount racks can only hold up to 2 bikes. To avoid damage to the bikes and your car, you should buy a rack that can safely handle the weight of your bikes. If you will be transporting electric bikes, you need to know that they are relatively heavier than conventional mountain bikes.

Hitch Rack Setup

Most of the hatch bike rack models available today are comparatively easy to set up. Actually, most of them come with elaborative instructions on how to go about it. While most of them come with assembly instructions, you can as well have yours assembled by a professional for the best instruction. Again, you need to consider whether the rack will be supplied fully or partially assembled. If the rack is supplied partially assembled, you should ensure that you have the right tools to assemble your hitch-mounted car rack. However, most of the leading brands will only require one or two specialty tools to assemble.

Versatility

How versatile is your preferred hitch bike rack? With regards to the versatility of the rack, there are several things that you need to consider. For instance, can the rack be expanded to accommodate more bikes? There are some models that may be expanded to take up additional bikes, although some require you to purchase additional parts.

Again, you also need to consider the type of trailer hitches your preferred rack model can fit. There are several hitch bike racks that can fit in both the 2 inch and the 1 ¼ inch hitches. Again, those that can only fit in either the 2 inch or the 1 ¼ inch hitches. A rack that can fit in multiple trailer hitches is considered to be more versatile.  In this regard, you should consider the class of hitch-mount bike rack you are buying. Based on the size of the hitch receiver, here are some of the options you have:

  • 1 ¼ Inch Receivers

Receivers this size can take up both Class I and Class II hitches. Class I hitches are often found in smaller compact cars. If this is the type of hitch you have on your car, it is advisable to go for a track with a torque weight of up to 200 lbs and a gross trailer weight of up to 2,000 lbs.

Class II hitches, on the other hand are normally installed on smaller SUVs and mid-sized cars. These can take up more weight, up to 3,500 lbs in most cases.

  • 2-inch Receivers

Hitch-mounted bike tracks with such receivers may be used on class III and class IV hitches. The Class III hitches are normally found in SUVs, full size cars, vans and tracks. These are comparatively tough and can take up more trailer weight, up to 5,000 lbs. Racks in this category are often referred to as ‘hitch with any 2″ receiver’, regardless of the rating they have. Class IV hitches are normally installed on trucks, SUVs and vans and are the toughest of all hitch types. As a matter of fact, the various class IV hitches can tow up to 10,000 lbs.

When shopping for the best hitch bike rack, you also need to consider the type of bikes the rack can safely transport. For instance, there are some racks that are specifically designed to carry fat bikes. However, there are some that can take up all sorts of bikes. These should be your preferred racks, especially if you are looking forward to changing bikes in future.

Stability

This is something many bike owners forget to consider when shopping for the right hitch bike rack. It is advisable to buy a rack that is more stable while driving down the road, whether it is loaded or not. The joints are some of the parts that are least stable in any rack today. As such, you should ensure that the joints in your preferred rack are tight and stable enough to reduce jiggling. Another rack part that is prone to jiggling is the mounting point. To prevent the up-and-down motion experienced in this part, you should opt for a rack that uses an internal drive system.

Such a securing mechanism is designed to pull the rack towards a large pin. This pin then slides into position through the hitch and the rack to secure it in place. This mechanism, when used along with a wedge piece between the hitch and the rack, makes the rack more stable and safer to pull behind your vehicle.


Conclusion

Just as is the case with any other bike carrier, the Hitch-mount bike racks have their pros and cons. However, it is possible to get one that works the best on your car, provided that you make the right considerations. First and foremost, you must buy a rack that is safe to pull and is less likely to cause damage to the bikes or your car. This is why you should consider the carrying capacity as well as the maximum towing weight of the rack before buying.

Having taken such aspects into consideration, the hitch bike racks reviewed in this guide are some of the best today, choose one to save yourself time and money.

About the author

Nik Paterson

Hello, Welcome to my second home, here in this OutLifeGear blog I spend a lot of my free time writing tips, outdoor guides and product selection guides. I am an outdoor person and know how much it is crucial to be prepared for the outlife adventures. So this is where you will find all my sharings.
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