What Is A Good Bike Rack Brand
There are many brands that make reliable bike racks and we’ve featured many different brands on this list. Even beyond what we’ve detailed here, there are many brands that make bike racks worth buying. That said, we’ve featured multiple models from Allen Sports, Yakima and Thule. These are some of the most trusted brands in bike racks and for good reason.
From Sleek Platform Designs To High
- / Best Hitch Bike Racks of 2022
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If youre searching for the best way to transport bikes, hitch-mounted racks are the way to go. Securely attaching to the receiver hitch of your vehicle, they offer unmatched versatility and ease of use. There are a wide range of options to choose from, but hitch racks fall into two basic categories: platform models are the most expensive but offer excellent stability and convenience, while hanging racks maximize carrying capacity in a compact package. Below we break down our top picks for 2022, from high-end, exquisitely manufactured designs like 1Ups Heavy Duty Double to Kuats budget-oriented and weight-conscious Beta. For more information, see our hitch rack comparison table and buying advice below the picks.
- Best 4-Bike Hanging Rack: Yakima RidgeBack 4
- Best Hitch Rack for Rear Cargo Access: RockyMounts BackStage
- Best Vertical Hanging Rack: 1UP Recon Rack 6
Hitch Mount Vs Other Bike Rack Styles
Weve made it clear throughout this piece that a hitch-mounted rack is our favorite design, and platform models in particular. Comparing common bike-carrying alternatives, there isnt a style that offers as much convenience, capacity, or compatibility with such a wide range of vehicles . Rooftop racks have a lower maximum capacity , are more of a pain to load and unload, and can impact gas mileage or create a whistling sound on the highway. Trunk-mounted racks are cheaper but prone to causing paint damage on your vehicle if you dont take extra precautions. If you have a truck, the simple pickup pad is a nice, affordable option, but you do lose the security of a locking hitch and it can take some work to limit bike-to-bike contact. In the end, all have their merits, but no other bike rack type can match the versatility of a hitch mount.
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What Is A Hitch Bike Rack
If youve never purchased a bike rack before or are just beginning to research your options, its easy to feel overwhelmed. There are many different types of bike racks on the market, including roof-mounted bike racks, hitch-mounted bike racks, and even spare tire bike racks, to name a few. Each type of rack is different and has its advantages and disadvantages.
It is nothing more than a bike rack that attaches to the trailer hitch of your car. You remove the ball mount and secure the rack to the receiver. It is usually secured with a hitch pin and clip or hitch lock. Depending on the model you buy, the rack may be L-shaped or straight. Depending on the configuration and capacity, they can also hold two, three, or even four bikes.
Most of these bike racks come with straps with locking tabs that allow you to secure the bikes in place, as well as ones designed to support the frame of each cycle. Some use Velcro as well as tension tabs.
You will also find basic hitch bike racks and advanced hitch bike racks on the market. The more basic bike racks allow you to transport your bikes safely but may block access to your cars tailgate or truck. More advanced and pricier models offer a swivel feature that will enable you to fold or lay the rack down to access the vehicles tailgate, trunk, or rear door.
Best Overall Hitch Bike Rack
Number of bikes: 2 Weight capacity per bike: 60 lbs.What we like: Loaded with features, well-built, and easy to use.What we dont: Expensive and a bit heavy.
Thule recently updated their popular T2 Pro, but the latest model retains its title as our favorite hitch-mounted rack thanks to its complete feature set and premium build. Taking the place of the top-selling XT, the XTR adds a set of wheels at the base for easier shuttling to and from a garage, but the rest of the design remains exactly the same . The T2 Pros user-friendly tilt feature is best-in-class, providing quick and easy access to the rear of the vehicle, and its versatile carrying system accommodates everything from fat bikes to 20-inch kids models. At $800, the T2 Pro certainly isnt cheap , nor is it particularly light at over 50 pounds, but its sturdy, long-lasting design is ideal for committed riders.
Number of bikes: 2 Weight capacity per bike: 60 lbs.What we like: Great price for a versatile platform-style rack.What we dont: Design is a bit less sturdy and feature-rich than premium alternatives.
Weight capacity per bike: 35 lbs.What we like: An inexpensive yet surprisingly reliable way to carry two bikes.What we dont: Not the most user-friendly design and the ratcheting arms scuff bike frames.
Number of bikes: 4 Weight capacity per bike: 40 lbs.What we like: Proven, affordable way to haul 4 bikes.What we dont: Need an adapter to carry step-through bikes.
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Key Features To Look For When Buying The Best Bike Racks For Hitches
Having seen some of the best options on the market today, you should be ready to find one for yourself. However, there are many more options available and to buy these, you need to understand what to look for. In the following section, we will dive a bit deeper into the features. Here is our small buyers guide for selecting the best bike racks for hitches:
Best For Truck Beds: Thule Gatemate Pro
Also available at REI
Why We Love It: It can carry up to seven bikes draped over the rear of your truck bed, protecting both the vehicle and the bikes from harm.
What to Consider: It can be a nuisance to install and uninstall.
Built to protect both your truck and your bikes, the Thule GateMate Pro works with both full-sized and compact pickups, and can carry up to seven bikes. The flexible padding adjusts easily, an integrated system of bike holders keeps the bikes separated, and the strap anchors can be positioned in a number of configurations to best suit your vehicle. They also have integrated a welcome series of inside-facing mesh pockets to let you store the rest of your kit securely.
Weight: 5.5 pounds Weight Limit: Not specified Number of Bikes: 7
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Hanging Hitch Bike Racks
Unlike platform racks, hanging hitch bike racks carry bikes via their frame rather than their tires. Bikes typically hang via their frames top tube on the racks two support bars.
Hanging racks are available in capacities ranging from 2 to 5 and can often accommodate bikes with wheel sizes 16 and up.
If you are on a tighter budget, especially if you need to haul 3 or 4 bikes, hanging racks are your best bet.
Compared to platform and vertical hitch bike racks, hanging bike racks are significantly lighter, making them much easier to install and remove. As a result, if you dont want to leave your rack on your car for an extended period of time, a hanging rack is a solid choice.
A PASS FOR
Bikes on hanging hitch racks are spaced much closer together and make significantly more contact with each other compared to platform and vertical racks. Scratches are common and should be expected.
If you are hauling higher-quality bikes , wed advise you to skip a hanging rack. But if you can only afford a hanging rack, be sure to buy a rack with more capacity than you need you so can leave extra space between the bikes when loaded.
Bikes with carbon frames should never be carried on a hanging rack! If you have a carbon frame, platform and vertical are your only options.
Best Overall Hanging Hitch Bike Rack
MSRP : $449
CAPACITY: 2, 4, or 5 bikes
Best 5 Bike Capacity on a Budget
MSRP : $159
CAPACITY: 4 bikes 20 wheels +
Our Pick For Hitch Racks: Kat Sherpa 20
Of the 75-plus bike racks weve tested, the Küat Sherpa 2.0 tray-style hitch rack is the best overall for transporting one or two bikes. As long as your vehicle has a trailer hitch, this lightweight model is one of the easiest to mount on your vehicle and is simple to load bikes onto. And it holds bikes securely by the front wheel, with minimal side-to-side movement and without contacting the frame. Even with bikes loaded, it easily tilts down so you can open your vehicles rear hatch or trunk. When its not carrying bikes, the Sherpa 2.0 easily folds up and out of the way. To fold it back down, you just step on a convenient foot release. The Sherpa 2.0 is available for 1¼-inch and 2-inch tow hitches.
In our tests, assembling the Sherpa 2.0 was relatively easy. This rack has a beautiful finish, with a metallic powder-coated frame. And, like most of the tray racks we tested, it comes with locking systems for securing the rack to the vehicle and the bikes to the rack. When the Sherpa 2.0 is not on the vehicle, its also nicely balanced, so it stands on its own, without needing additional support. Although its not the cheapest two-bike tray rack we tested, the Sherpa 2.0s price is about average among those of our test group.
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Best For Two Bikes: Kuat Transfer V2
Also available at REI
Why We Love It: Capable of carrying a variety of bike sizes in an upright, wheel-on configuration, the Transfer V2 proves both highly versatile and very strong for years of use.
What to Consider: It runs a bit pricey compared to other two-bike racks and doesn’t come with some of the features Kuat offers on higher-end racks.
When designing the Transfer V2, Kuat focused on creating the most versatile two-bike hitch rack possible. The new edition holds wheelbases up to 50 inches, and wheels that range from 18 to 2 inches â it can even hold tires up to five inches if you outfit the rack with an accessory strap. And the rack is quite robust, with automotive-grade, 750-hour salt spray hardware, steel construction, and a new flatlock hitch cam that improves stability. It also comes with a tamper-resistant hitch attachment, a semi-integrated bike cable lock, and it folds up easily when not in use. If your needs expand, you can quickly add additional racks to carry up to four bikes without having to buy a whole new rack set-up.
Weight: 37 pounds |Weight Limit: 35 pounds per bike | Number of Bikes: 2
For The Budget Conscious The Ikuram R 2
The IKURAM hitch bike rack is perfect for families or avid bikers who need the convenience of being able to transport their bikes safely without breaking the bank. This bike rack is budget-friendly at less than $100 and gives you value for your money. The IKURAM mount bike rack stands out because it combines good quality and an affordable price. This is your best bet when you need convenience and versatility coupled with affordability. It is suitable for use on cars, trucks, SUVs, and sedans.
The IKURAM hitch bike rack can carry up to two bikes with a weight of up to 84 lbs combined and fits onto most standard Class 3 and 4 two-inch receiver hitches.
Whether youre going to a nearby bike trail or youre doing intercity travel, the IKURAM hitch rack is for you. If you are going as a family, you can get a crossbar adapter which is sold separately and comes in handy for kids bikes.
It is made of strong and durable alloy steel, an added advantage is its resistance to corrosion. The finish adds a neat look that blends well with your vehicle. It also includes padded bike cradles with hook and loop straps to prevent any chipping and preserve the look of your bike finish. While the rubber cradle straps are UV resistant and this helps to slow down aging and degradation.
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Wheel Size And Tire Size
Almost all racks can carry 24 bikes and larger, but smaller kids bikes, fat bikes, and ebikes arent as universally compatible.
Platform Hitch Racks: Generally a best fit for 24 bikes and larger, although some racks have 20 bike adapters. The 1-up is the only platform rack that can carry a 16 bike.
Most platform racks either come with trays that can accommodate fat tires, or have optional fat tire trays.
Horizontal Hanging Racks: With a lower weight limit, youll need to be more careful about carrying heavy bikes kids or adult! So while those fat tires wont come into play because youre hanging the bike by the frame, make sure that fat bike isnt too heavy!
While most hanging racks can accommodate 20 kids bikes and larger, Allen racks are really the best option if you need to carry a 16 bike.
Vertical Hitch Racks: Wheel size compatibility is really dependent on brand. Some brands can carry 12 bikes, while others can only go as small as 24.
How To Use Bike Racks Safely
When it comes to using bike racks safely, there are a lot of different factors, which means there are a lot of things that can potentially go wrong. Any potential problems can lead to damage to your bike or your vehicle — and mishaps while your vehicle is in motion can be hazardous to you or other drivers.
Each bike rack will have its own instructions that should be followed carefully in order to ensure maximum safety. Needless to say, a roof rack will have very different instructions than a platform rack, both when it comes to attaching the rack to your vehicle and when it comes to placing your bicycles in the rack. Just make sure that you follow the manufacturer’s instructions to the letter .
That all said, there are still some rules that apply universally. You’ll want to make sure that your bikes aren’t in the way of your car’s exhaust pipe, as that can damage them. You’ll also want to ensure that you have enough space, either on top of your vehicle or behind it, to accommodate your bike rack and bikes. You’ll also want to make sure that your pedals are in a safe configuration so they don’t move and scrape the rack or your vehicle.
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Looking For A Dedicated Rack For Cargo E
As, especially long tail, cargo e-bikes are particularly heavy and bulky youll probably need a specific carrier. Luckily, Hollywood Racks have thought about this and designed the Sport Rider SE HR1450Z-W. The Z Series is a 2 carrier specifically designed and built for lugging 2 electric cargo bikes.
It has the same weight capacity as the aforementioned carrier, namely 80 lbs per bike. Its extra long armed, robust wheel holders accommodate tires up to 3 wide. Padded, ratcheting hooks lock along the cargo e-bikes vertical mast.
Thanks to its ability to haul bikes with a wheelbase up to 60 this heavy duty rack will allow you to carry your beloved long wheelbase e-bikes such as the Mycle Cargo or Yuba Mundo without issues. Just one thing could make it even better, if it came with a ramp.
Happen to own a Tern GSD cargo e-bike and want to know what your options are in terms of hauling your bulky e-bike on a hitch rack?
Reddit r/CargoBike and the Tern GSD official Facebook page second the use of Hollywood racks. In case of the HR1500 and a Gen 1 Enviolo hub GSD, a 20 wheel adapter for the rear wheel is required to clear the chain tensioner.
Other options that support the Terns weight and fit its wheelbase include the 1up Super Duty Single, the Yakima Foldclick and Thule Easyfold XT 2 . Some cargo bike owners mention they satisfactorily use the Kuat NV 2.0 carrier to haul their GSD, even though it doesnt officially support its weight.
What To Search For When Purchasing 2 Bike Hitch Rack
Another critical aspect is that you must submit your order on a reputable E-commerce platform. If you are still unsure about which website to utilize, seek advice from friends or follow the Quora section on Google or any other reliable source of information. And then get to work. Let’s go over some additional important aspects of online shopping.
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Do You Need A Lightboard
One important factor to consider when choosing a rack for your e-bike is whether or not you need a lightboard. A lightboard is a reflector board that attaches to the back of your bike and helps make you more visible to drivers. If you will be riding your e-bike on the street, its a good idea to get a rack that includes a lightboard.
Other Good Bike Racks
If youre a solo rider and want a light, easy-to-manage tray rack, or if you need a tray rack rated for an RV or trailer: Consider the Küat Transfer v2 1-Bike tray rack, which has several advantages: a lower cost, a lighter weight, and the flexibility to add an extension for a second or third bike if necessary. Not many racks are sturdy or flexible enough to handle the pounding created by the back of an RV or especially a travel trailer, but the Transfer is. You can also carry a second bike with Küats add-on extension. The Transfer will hold a bike up to 40 pounds, its simple to load, and it holds the bike securely. We tested four of these single-bike racks, and the Transfer was the lightest, least expensive, and best overall. Its ultralight, 20-pound weight and compact dimensions make it easy to mount, although you do have to cinch a bolt down through the hitch to secure it. . If you think youll ever be regularly carrying a second bike, though, or you even just want the flexibility to spontaneously throw on a friends bike, we still think the Küat Sherpa 2.0 is the better choice.
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