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How It Works In A Nutshell
For this review, we used the Allen Sports Deluxe Locking Hitch Rack 4 capacity, although all their hanging hitch rack models are very similar. Putting the Allen Bike Rack on your car and taking it off is incredibly easy and very quick. I can get the rack on and off my car in under a minute.
All of Allens hitch racks are compatible with cars that have a 2 hitch receiver. The 2 & 3 bike capacity racks are also compatible with a 1.25 receiver . The rack arms go through the bike frame and the top tube of the bike rests on the rack arms. Tri-glide buckles and cradles secure the bikes to the rack.
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Whats Good About The Allen Sports Bike Rack
First and foremost, this is a pretty cost-effective bike transportation solution. Theres a sea of options out there, many ringing in at two to three times the price of this Allen. So, its a good budget-conscious option for those who need to haul around multiple bikes.
While Im not a fan of the straps, the tie-downs do rotate and that helps to get them in the right position. If you are trying to secure the tie-down to a part of the bikes frame that is angled a bit, you can usually find a spot that works.
While Allen claims that it has a no-wobble hitch installation, there is some shimmy on the road, which is the case with just about every bike rack. I still bungee the bikes together, especially the front tires, so things dont sway too much and damage my ride or bikes.
Why A Hanging Rack
But hanging racks also have their benefits. First of all, theyre much more affordable. Secondly, theyre much lighter-weight. As a 52 female, I can take this Allen bike rack on and off quickly and do it all by myself. I cant do that with a tray rack, even the lightweightSaris SuperClamp EX at 63 lbs.
As a busy mom, I use the trunk of my minivan A LOT groceries, soccer equipment, balance bikes, gym bags, the occasional extra kid and I need easy and quick access to it. So although loading the bikes on the rack and taking them off requires significantly more effort than a tray rack, I prefer the convenience of being able to take the rack off and on with ease.
Additionally, with all the garage space currently being used up by bikes, tools, soccer paraphernalia, strollers and bike trailers this rack does not add visual clutter to the garage or take up much space. This rack literally only takes up a few inches of floor space. Score!
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Who The Allen Rack Best For
- Families who are looking for hitch rack system to use with standard, road, and hybrid adult bikes, as well as 20+ kids bikes
- People needing a lightweight rack they can easily take on or off the car without any help
- Families looking for a super affordable bike transportation solution for up to 5 bikes
Whats Not Great About The Allen Sports Bike Rack
Using the Allen rack isnt without some headache. First, getting the bikes on is challenging from a spacing perspective. At 26 inches long, there are only about four inches of space between each bike. Ive only ever had two adult bikes and one kid bike on ours. I couldnt imagine trying to cram four big-people bikes on there.
The biggest issue, however, is that the straps are a royal pain. Back when I was in shape and used to do off-road duathlons, my buddy Bob had a more expensive Thule rack. It used a rubber strap that could be quickly and securely wrapped around the frame. The company now uses a ratchet strap. Of note, Allen does offer a Premier model with the rubberized straps similar to the original Thule. Getting this particular Allen racks straps around the bike, through the opening, and back through the other opening to tighten isnt easy, especially once you already have a bike or two on the rack. It will stay in place itll just take you some wrangling.
The more expensive Allen racks do have a rapid-tilt feature.
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Is It Safe To Buy Allen Sports 4 Bike Hitch Racks For 2 In Hitch On Desertcart
Yes, it is absolutely safe to buy Allen Sports 4 Bike Hitch Racks For 2 In Hitch from desertcart, which is a 100% legitimate site operating in 164 countries. Since 2014, desertcart has been delivering a wide range of products to customers and fulfilling their desires. You will find several positive reviews by desertcart customers on portals like Trustpilot, etc. The website uses an HTTPS system to safeguard all customers and protect financial details and transactions done online. The company uses the latest upgraded technologies and software systems to ensure a fair and safe shopping experience for all customers. Your details are highly secure and guarded by the company using encryption and other latest softwares and technologies.
Frame Shape & Adaptor Bar Usage
Allen Sports sells adaptors bars that attach to the headset and seat post of bikes to make loading smaller bikes and bikes with steep sloping frames a bit easier. Most of the bikes we loaded onto the rack technically could be loaded without the adaptor, but the adaptor was beneficial in a couple of different scenarios.
Allen Sports Bike Frame Adaptor
These adaptors also come in handy to change the configuration when loading bikes on the rack. For example, when I was loading a 20 bike that technically didnt need the adaptor, the bike wouldnt fit because the rim & tire of the first bike was in the way of the hand grip and hand brake of the 20 bike. I put the adaptor on the 20 bike and it lowered the level of the handlebars to where I could slide the bike onto the arms in the proper position.
Steep sloping top tubes and some 20 bikes use the adaptor in order for easier loading. However, step-through frames and steep sloping top tubes can also be mounted by rotating the cradle and placing the rack arm behind the rear seat tube and below the rear down-stay.
With my step-though frame I actually prefer this method to using the adaptor. It is just as quick, and it leaves my bike level on the rack as opposed to having the front tire way higher than the back tire. Again, the angle of your bike on the rack depends on the shape of your frame.
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Allen Bike Rack Bottom Line
The Allen Sports Bike Racks are far simpler to install on your vehicle than traditional tray racks. They are lighter, less bulky, and dont pose the storage space problem that tray racks do. The trade-off for that simplicity, however, is that its more complicated and time-consuming to load bikes onto the rack, and your bikes are going to experience some premature wear and tear if you load to its max capacity. For the price, though, this sturdy Allen Bike Rack cant be beat!
Allen Deluxe Hitch Rack Features
Folding carry arms
The carry arms on your rack can be easily folded down out of the way when not in use. This allows for greater flexibility in using your vehicle with the rack installed.
Individual Tie-Down System
Allen’s individual tie-down system secures and protects your bicycles. The tie-downs are fixed in position on the carry arm, but rotate so that the can engage a wide range of bicycle frame sizes and styles.
Tilt-away main mast
The main mast on the rack can be quickly tilted back fro easy lift gate access when the rack is in place on your vehicle.
No-wobble hitch installation
Allen Deluxe Hitch Racks include the hardware to securely install the rack into your receiver hitch. The included No-Wobble Bolt will allow you to fully tighten the rack in place.
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What Are The Different Types Of Bike Racks
Bicycle racks come in many styles, but there are a few major categories into which most of them fall. Platform bike racks attach to the backs of cars and provide platforms on which most bicycles can sit. Hanging bike racks also attach to the backs of cars, but they use metal poles or hooks to hold bikes by their frames . Trunk-mounted racks attach to car trunks and hold bikes behind cars, and spare tire racks do the same, but for cars that have spare tires mounted to their rears. Finally, roof racks hold bikes right-side up on their roofs, while truck bed racks do the same, but in the flatbeds of pickup trucks.
Ease Of Removal And Storage
Once assembled, the rack easily slides into a 2″ hitch receiver. This model is secured to the vehicle using a No Wobble hitch bolt that requires two ¾” wrenches to install. The No Wobble bolt is of limited use for preventing rack wobble in the receiver. No matter how tight we got the bolt, play existed on all of our test vehicles. An anti-sway or no wobble bolt is a great feature employed by the Editors’ Choice Thule T2 Pro, but the one included with this particular model, the Deluxe 4, doesn’t work.
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What Is Better A Hanging Or Platform Hitch Bike Rack
Hanging and platform hitch bike racks have a lot in common, but they also have some key differences that may make one a better choice for you. Both hold bikes behind cars and both styles have deluxe models that can hold multiple bikes. One way they differ is in terms of loading — platform racks support bikes from below, so setting them in the rack doesn’t require much lifting. Hanging racks support bikes from their frames, so users have to lift the bikes higher in order to secure them. Platform racks also tend to be more expensive than hanging racks.
There is no “better” choice between hanging racks and platform racks — just a choice that’s best for your individual situation.
Allen Deluxe 2 Bike Hitch Carrier 522rr
Allen Deluxe hitch bike racks are the perfect way to get out there and bring your bikes along. Rugged, tested design will deliver years of reliable use.
- Hitch insert fits either 1 1/4 or 2 receiver hitches or 2 receiver hitches .
- Included No-Wobble Bolt secures rack inside of receiver hitch with a movement-free installation.
- Arms fold out of the way when not in use and rack tilts back when needed.
- Patented individual tie-down cradles secure and protect your bicycles.
- Accommodates a wide range of bicycle frame designs
- Minor assembly required.
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Loading & Unloading Bikes
The proper way to load bicycles is to load them onto the rack arms and place top tubes into cradles with the bikes in alternating directions , beginning with the largest/heaviest bike first. Then secure the bikes into the cradles using the straps. Lastly, secure the wheels and bottom brackets of bikes together and to the mast with a 70 strap .
I have been using this rack regularly for a couple months and I have never strapped the bikes together or to the mast. The bikes do sway when you brake and accelerate, and they will bang against the mast if they arent secured when you brake or accelerate quickly. Using the strap to tie them all together would significantly decrease the amount of movement and sway of the bikes as you drive, cutting down on wear and tear.
I would be hesitant to use this rack on long drives or in a lot of stop & go traffic unless they were well strapped. However, because I only take our bikes on short distances, I just make it a point to drive a little less aggressively when the rack is all loaded up my kids tend to be less carsick when I drive with the rack on, so thats a bonus!
The manufacturer also recommends putting padding between the bikes to protect them from damage. But all that in addition to securing all the bikes with the strap adds a lot of time into loading and unloading the bikes, and Id rather just get where Im going quicker. If I were taking the bikes longer distances, then I definitely would go to all the extra trouble.
How Much Do Bike Racks Cost
Bike racks cover a wide price range and their individual costs depend on their style. Platform racks are typically the most expensive, especially platform racks designed to hold many bikes. They can bear price tags up to and over $1,000 apiece. The most costly model on this list is the Thule EasyFold XT, which holds two bikes and costs $900. By contrast, trunk-mounted racks are usually the least expensive, with some even costing less than $100. The Allen Sports Deluxe Truck Mounted Bike Rack is one of these coming in at only $33.
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Capacity And Bike Fit
The great thing about Allen Bike Racks is that your bike is likely going to fit. Just go check out some of the consumer reviews on Amazon people have figured out some crazy ways to get their bikes from point A to point B with this rack for sure.
The downside is that your bike is also likely going to undergo some significant wear and tear if you use this rack on the regular. I have spent at least three hours taking bikes of all shapes and sizes on and off this rack trying to figure out the best way to configure them and what will and wont fit. Here are my key learnings:
#1 If you want to carry 4 bikes, buy a five 5 bike carrier. If you want to carry 3 bikes, buy a 4 bike carrier, and so forth and so on. I tested out the 4-bike carrier, and every time I loaded it, I reconfigured or used different bikes. And every time that fourth bike was pretty difficult to get into the cradles. However, 3 bikes was always fairly easy and very doable. The racks price only increases $10-$30 as the capacity increases. So depending on your budget, if you can size up, I would highly recommend it.
#3 The best way to load this rack depends on the shape and size of the bikes youre hauling. The manual tells you to alternate the direction of the bikes when loading the rack. Sometimes this was the best fit for the bikes we tested, other times there was no way to make that happen. So if your bikes arent fitting one way, unload it and try bikes in a different spot or a different direction.
Folding & Rear Hatch Access
Allen Bike Racks all have arms that fold down when not in use and masts that tilt away from the hatch. How they tilt and fold depends on the model you buy. Some models have pull levers and release buttons. These are significantly quicker to use than the models that have QR pins. However, I have the model that uses the QR pins and its not a loathsome task by any means.
To access the hatch you remove a QR clip and tilt the post away from the car to access the hatch. The mast tilts back about 45º. The hatch cannot be accessed when bikes are loaded on the rack. Tilting the hitch while it is loaded with bikes could weaken the structural integrity of the rack and also damage the bikes. So remember to pack the trunk before you load the bikes. Otherwise, youll have to venture into the backseat of your car to access the trunk. and no parent wants to acknowledge the mess in the backseat of the car.
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Best Bike Rack For 2022
You can carry your bike behind the car, on top of it or even in a truck flatbed.
Riding a bicycle from Point A to Point B is easy and a lot of fun. Getting a bike from Point A to Point B without riding it? That’s trickier. If you like to ride on vacation or if you prefer a path that’s a bit far from home, then you know how valuable the right bike rack can be.
The issue is that there are as many bike racks as there are bicycles. Finding the one that’s right for you means sifting through a deluge of models with different mounting styles, different holding capacities and different price points. It’s critical to be pointed in the right direction at the start of your journey.
That’s precisely why we created this list, which features the best bike racks available in a variety of categories, based on expert opinion and customer satisfaction. After our picks, read on for more information about selecting and using the bike rack that’s right for you.