Wheel Size And Tire Width Compatibility
Wheel size and tire width arent major considerations when choosing a hanging rack, but those that opt for the platform style will want to verify their bikes will fit in the included trays. The good news is that the majority of road and mountain bikers wont have a problem at allevery platform rack on our list can fit 26- to 29-inch wheels and 3-inch and under tires. Its when you get to the extreme ends of the spectrum with 12- to 24-inch kids bikes or fat bikes with 4- to 5-inch tires that problems can crop up.
One of the reasons that the Thule T2 Pro XTR took the top spot on our list is its ability to fit so many bike styles straight out of the box. Its the only one that can both accommodate 20- to 29-inch wheels and tires up to 5 inches wide . Others, like the Kuat NV 2.0, require two separate adapters to fit bikes with wheels between 20 to 24 inches and tires larger than 2.75 inches. For reference, purchasing both Kuat adapters isnt costly at around $20, but they are separate pieces that youll need to store when not in use.
Material And Build Quality
The saying you get what you pay for rings very true in the hitch-mounted bike rack world. In short, if you plan to use your rack a lot or keep it on your vehicle even in the rainy seasons, its well worth paying for a premium design. 1Ups Heavy Duty Double and Recon Rack 6 are among the most expensive racks in our round-up, and both feature high-quality, all-metal constructions that have excellent lifespans. On the other hand, racks like the $120 Swagman XC2 that use a lot of plastic or cheap, thin metal, will be prone to rusting out or breaking down over time. That said, just because a rack is made up of a lot of plastic doesnt necessarily mean that its not durable. One design that does a great job of balancing metal construction and strategic use of tough plastic is our top-rated Thule T2 Pro XTR. Not surprisingly, the Thule comes with a steep $800 price tag.
Thulet2 Pro Xt 2 Bike Hitch Rack
Premium platform hitch bike carrier delivers maximum strength, security, and user friendliness.- Easy to install and remove the rack with the tool-free AutoAttach system- Carrier easily folds when not in use and tilts away from vehicle for rear access due to the HitchSwitch lever- Lock bikes to the rack and secure the rack to the receiver with the integrated cable lock and lock knob- Eliminate bike interference by adjusting side to side to create generous spacing between bike mounts- Secure bikes quickly without frame contact with the frame-free ratcheting arm- Ideal for carbon frames, mountain, downhill, and fat bikes as it fits 20-29 wheels and up to 5 tires without adapters- Max number of bikes: 2- Load capacity: 120 lb- Max bike weight: 60 lb- Dimensions: 54 x 15 x 43 in- Folded dimensions: 54.7 x 22.5 x 33.8 in- Weight: 51 lb
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Bike Racks For The Whole Family
Thule Apex XT is a hanging hitch bike rack that can carry up to 5 bikes. This secure bike rack keeps bikes stable on the trip, and fits a range of frame styles and sizes. Perfect for a bike vacation with the whole family.
Thule Apex XT Swing 4 hitch bike rack has all these perks and more! This bike rack provides access to your trunk with the bikes still loaded.
Choosing A Hitch Rack For Carbon Fiber Bikes
Carbon fiber bikes are dream machines for many riders and come with premium price tags, so its no surprise that a common question is how to transport them safely. To keep the material protected, the most important thing to do is select a style that doesnt allow for any frame contact. This means youll want to avoid the standard hanging rack category, as models like the Yakima Ridgeback secure the bike with straps directly over the top tube. Among platform-style racks, its best to choose one of two basic designs: a ratcheting arm that locks in over the front wheel and a strap through the rear wheel or a dual-arm design like 1Ups Heavy Duty that tightens over the front and rear tires. The common denominator among these compatible racks is a high price tag, but its well worth it to avoid any unnecessary damage to your carbon rig.
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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
Review Of The Thule Roadway 2 Bike Rack
Today we’ll be taking a look at the Thule Roadway Tilting 2 Bike Rack, part number TH912XTR. The Thule Roadway hitch mounted 2 Bike Rack is the perfect solution for carrying 2 bikes from point A to point B. The dual arms are going to provide excellent support for our2 bikes. The cradles themselves are adjustable along the dual arms they feature cut out grooves so it’s going to accommodate our brake lines and our cables a little bit better. The anti sway cradle is going to secure our down tube in place preventing the sway and the movement in our bike while we’re on the road.It also features a cam buckle strap which we’ll can run through our bike’s frame down through the accessory of the bike rack to reduce more movement in our bike. When not in use the Thule Roadway’s dual arms fold down for compact storage.
That’s class 1, 2, and 3. We’ll have our shank with the 2 inch adapter on it for our 2 inch receiver. You can simply remove the bolts, take it off, and then you’ve got an inch and a quarter. Let’s go ahead and put it in our 2 inch by 2 inch receiver.We’ll line up our pin holes. Then we’ll grab our included anti rattle bolt.
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How To Use A Thule Bike Rack
- Place a palm on the lever and pull the rack out
- Lower the rack until it clicks into the bike install position
- Open the wheel hook and extend it to its furthest position
- Open the wheel ratchet strap
- Lift the bike and place a front wheel into the cradle and back wheel into the rear cradle
- Lock each wheel with the ratchet straps
- Lift the ratcheting wheel hook and secure the front wheel
- Secure the wheel hook as close as possible to the fork without making contact to prevent any rubbing.
- Once the front wheel is secure, tighten the wheel ratchet strap until the wheel protector is in place.
- Feed the cable lock through the frame, then the wheel, and back to the cable, locking it with the key
- If you need to access the tailgate, pull the lever and lower the rack
Thule T2 Pro Xtr 2 Trailer Hitch Platform Bike Rack Features:
- Versatile design fits nearly all styles of bikes up to 60 lbs with zero frame contact
- AutoAttach system makes installation and removal simple and tool-free
- Integrated wheels help to maneuver the rack on and off the vehicle
- The HitchSwitch lever allows you to tilt the rack down for rear vehicle access or tilt it up when not in use
- Fits 20 29 wheels and up to 5 tires without adapters making it ideal for carbon frames, mountain, downhill, or fat bikes
- Integrated cable lock and lock knob locks bikes to the rack and secures the rack to the receiver
- Generous spacing between bike mounts with the ability to adjust side to side to eliminate bike interference
- Carries up to 4 bikes with Thule T2 Pro XT Add-On
Thule T2 Pro XTR 2 Trailer Hitch Platform Bike Rack is the worlds best vehicle trailer hitch bike rack.
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Types Of Hitch Bike Racks
Platform RacksPlatform racks dominate this round-up, and in our opinion, are the best way to transport your bikes. Compared to hanging racks, platform designs are compatible with a much wider range of bike styles, sit lower to the ground for easier access, and are excellent in terms of stability. Most have two attachment points: a ratcheting arm that secures the front wheel, and a strap that holds the rear wheel in place. This straightforward and effective system makes it easy to rapidly load and unload your bike, and it minimizes any wobble or side-to-side movement while driving. In addition, these racks are the most gentle on bikes because they typically only come in contact with the tire or wheel .
As with any product, there are bound to be compromises. Platform racks are big, bulky, and generally quite heavy. If you plan on removing your hitch rack with any regularity, youll want to pay attention to weight, and many leading options tip the scales at 50 pounds or more. Platform-style hitch racks also are among the most expensive options on the market, with prices of leading designs like the Thule T2 Pro XTR and 1Up Heavy Duty Double clearing $600. That said, for serious riders, the added weight and cost are well worth the security and ease of use of this style.
Bike And Receiver Hitch Locks
Bike racks in general have very similar feature sets, and one common upgrade that you see on mid-range and premium designs are locks. Starting with bike locks, these flexible cables allow you to secure the bikes frame or wheel to the rack. While not a perfect deterrenta solid set of bolt cutters will make quick work of themthey do provide a degree of security while parking your car . Our favorite bike locks are those that are integrated into the rack, which makes it very convenient to quickly deploy them when needed. Racks that include a separate cable lock that you need to store in your vehicle are less appealing, and in those cases, we prefer to purchase our own metal U-lock.
The second accessory lock is for the receiver hitch, which typically is found on the hitch pin or integrated into the bottom of the rack. The aim is to keep thieves from removing the entire rack from your car. Considering even a budget-friendly design is often $200 or more, this is a sensible addition. There arent major differences between styles in terms of functionality, although weve found the integrated type is a little easier to use. Its worth noting that if the rack youre purchasing doesnt include a receiver lock, every manufacturer on our list above offers one as an accessory.
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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.
Thule Bike Rack Review: T2 Pro Xt
Looking for the best hitch mounted bike rack for your vehicle? Then the Thule T2 Pro XT bike rack may be the perfect choice for you! Known as one of the best hitch racks on the market, this Thule bike rack offers maximum strength, security, user-friendliness, and a straightforward installation and removal process. But before you can snag this incredible rack, your vehicle must have a hitch installed. If you are in need of a hitch installation, head to one of our 1,500 install locations.
Learn moreabout the rackâs features, install process and easy use!
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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.
How To Install
Installingthe Thule T2 Pro XT bike rack is a very simple process. The only tools youâllneed to attach the system to your vehicle is your hands! Here is a step by stepprocess on how to install the rack:
Watch this video if you would like a visual of the Thule T2 Pro XT installation process:
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