Are you looking for a secure way to transport your bike to a great place to cycle in? Are you planning a cycling getaway with friends or family? What you need is a reliable hitch bike rack!
With such a rack, you can carry your two-wheeled vehicle anywhere you want without worrying about it getting damaged during transport.
We have created this guide to let you know the benefits of a Hitch Bike Rack. We will also share our Best Hitch Bike Racks Review List to help you make an informed buying decision.
Comparison Chart of the Best Hitch Bike Racks
BV Bike Bicycle Hitch Mount Rack Carrier
Thule T2 Classic Hitch Mount Bike Carrier
Critical Cycles Lenox 4-Bike Hitch Mount Rack with 2" Receiver
Best for the Money
Swagman XC Cross-Country Rack (1 1/4 and 2" Receiver)
Best 2 Bike Rack
Allen Sports Rack for 1 1/4" and 2" Hitch
Best 3 Bike Rack
Allen Sports Racks for 2" Hitch
Best 4 Bike Rack
Best 5 Bike Rack
Thule T2 Pro XT 2 Bike Rack
Best from Thule
Yakima Products Hold Up Tray Style
Best from Yakima
What is a Hitch Bike Rack?
A hitch rack for your cycle, as the name implies, is a bicycle rack which attaches to your vehicle by sliding into the receiver of a trailer hitch. They can work for vans, trucks, cars, and even SUVs. They allow you to secure your bike on the vehicle and drive it to your destination. Some can accommodate up to five bicycles at a time. The type you need depends on the type and number of cycles you want to move.
Using such a rack ensures your bicycles remain safe. Reliable models help prevent any scratches or similar damage your cycle might encounter during the ride. They are easy to install and use. They are a great way to prevent you from trying to figure out how to tie a bike to the roof of your car or jam it into an open trunk.
What Kind of Hitch Do I Need for a Bike Rack?
You will require a Class II or higher hitch for such a rack. A hitch that is Class I won’t work. Some may not work with anything less than a Class III. Always refer to the model's specifications to know about the correct hitch you need to attach for the said rack. You should purchase a hitch from a reputable dealership. Also, you should get the hitch professionally installed.
How to Choose a Hitch Bike Rack
Before you go ahead and purchase one, you should keep certain features in mind to make an informed buying decision.
You should be familiar with the styles available. The styles are platform (tray-type), hanging (the cycle’s frames are suspended from arms), and wheel only (the cycle is suspended by the wheels). Opt for the style you like.
You need to ensure the one you purchase can accommodate the type of cycles you will be carrying. Keep in mind, a rack meant for a kid’s bicycle might not work for an adult model. Some can’t carry fat bikes or mountain cycles.
Do look at the weight capacity offered by the rack. This includes the number of cycles you can carry on a rack as well as the weight the said rack can tolerate.
The design is essential, too. Is it foldable when not in use? Can the main mast be lowered for easy access to the trunk? Does it have pads to protect your two-wheeled transport? Are the tie-downs offering enough security? Is the rack preventing wobble?
You should opt for a model which is easy to install and remove. This also includes the assembly time. No one likes wasting minutes trying to figure out how to make such a rack ready for use.
Quick Take - The Best Hitch Bike Racks
Before you go any further, here are our top picks:
Review of the Best Hitch Bike Racks
For those looking for the best models currently available in the market, we have created this list for you. We’ll be going over each item’s features, pros, and cons, to help you make an informed buying decision.
BV Bike Bicycle Hitch Carrier
We are beginning our review list with the BV Bicycle Hitch Mount Rack Carrier. This item is also our best overall selection because of all the features it has. This product has a Tilt Back Design. Such a design enables you to open the rear gates (or trunk) without there being the need for you to detach the hitch rack. This feature offers more convenience to you.
Also, take note of the Fold-Up design. Due to this, it can be folded when you aren't using it. Such a design is a good way to save space. Furthermore, it has a Safety Reflector, which increases overall visibility. Enhanced visibility is great to ensure safety during the night.
It does away with wobbling because of the Anti-wobble design. You should know this has a patented 2-way anti-wobble system. Such a system prevents any wobbling between the hitch and the rack. The cycle you mount is also safe from scratches due to the tray-style loops and padded arms. So, you can see this model of a hitch rack has a lot for you to benefit from.
You can carry your cycle anywhere without having to worry about proper support or damage. The max load it can carry is 35 lbs. per bicycle.
The BV Bicycle Hitch Mount Rack Carrier is our best overall and for good reason. It is durable. The design keeps your cycles safe. It is easy to install. You can securely transport your bicycles anywhere you want.
Thule T2 Classic Hitch Mount Bike Carrier
The Thule T2 Classic Hitch Mount Bike Carrier is our Runner-up on this list. As the name states, it is one of the classics available on the market. In a sense, it has helped play a role in improving the more recent models of tray-style bicycle hitch racks we see. With this product, you will find loading as well as securing your cycle quite easy. Even if you happen to load and unload a cycle numerous times throughout the day, this is more than up for the challenge.
Do keep in mind this is a heavier option. It weighs approximately 56.1 lbs. So, carrying it too far, especially over rough terrain, won't do your vehicle any good. However, having said that, your bicycle will remain secure while you travel. Also, it gives you a lot of versatility. This rack can accommodate almost any bike as long as the wheelbase is of 48" or less (with wheels ranging from 20" to 29").
This is accompanied by all of the pieces you will need to assemble and install it correctly. The directions are easy to follow. The overall durability is impressive. This rack is made of steel and has a coating of long-wearing paint.
The Thule T2 Classic Hitch Mount Bike Carrier is our Runner-up because of how durable and secure it is. This is a heavier model, so, it isn’t recommended for long travels. However, it does work for a variety of bicycles and will serve you well.
Best for the Money:
Critical Cycles Lenox 4-Bike Hitch Mount with 2-Inch Receiver
For those interested in a more affordable or Best for the Money option for a hitch rack, we have the Critical Cycles Lenox 4-Bike Hitch Mount. This is a product from another brand you can trust. When you are transporting your cycles somewhere, you need to make sure they stay securely in place. This model offers you just that and a bit more.
The tie-down cradles and traps are there to ensure your bicycles don't wobble during travel. They also protect your cycles from damage, which can result from scratches and bumps. The carry arm spacing works well to accommodate a range of sizes and styles. Furthermore, when it isn't in use, you can easily fold it all up to save space. The tilting main mast makes for convenient lift-gate access because you won't have to remove the rack.
This is made from steel. Such a durable construction means it will continue to serve you for a long time. It offers you a weight limit of 80 lbs. A bit of assembly is required for you to begin using this rack. However, the entire process is easy to follow.
The Critical Cycles Lenox 4-Bike Hitch Mount Rack is our Best for the Money selection. It offers you a range of features at an affordable price. While it is a bit heavy, it does keep your bicycles secure.
Best 2 Bike Rack:
Swagman XC Cross-Country 2-Bike Hitch Mount (1/1/4 and 2-Inch Receiver)
If you're someone who wants to transport two bicycles, you need one which can cater to your needs. Our choice for the best two cycle rack is the Swagman XC Cross-Country Hitch Mount Rack. It is a hassle-free way to secure your bicycles and take them where you want.
It also has an intuitive construction which enables you to adjust this product to accommodate a range of two-wheelers. This item focuses on security because the frame and wheels are kept locked. You can increase the level of security by using a separate lock cable, of course.
Whether you have to carry a children’s bicycle or an adult cycle, this can carry both. It features two upright ratcheting arms. You can easily fit cycles with frames of up to 59-cm. The arms have a soft coating to help protect the frames from any scratches or similar damage. Furthermore, the rack itself is made of metal. The durability is increased because the metal construction has a powder-coated finish to decrease corrosion.
It won’t take you long to assemble the entire rack. Once you have secured your bicycles on it, you are free to drive off to any place knowing the cycles are protected. As an added bonus, you can use this for trucks, vans, cars, and even SUVs.
The Swagman XC Cross-Country 2 bike hitch mount rack is recommended for those who wish to carry two cycles. This can be used for adult and children's bicycles. It fits a range of two-wheelers and due to metal construction, will serve you well.
Best 3 Bike Rack:
Allen Sports 3-Bike Hitch Racks for 1 1/4 in. and 2 in. Hitch
Sometimes you have more than two cycles to take around with you. If you're such a person, you'll require a model which has been created for handling such a load. Our Best 3 Bike Rack selection is the Allen Sports 3-Bike.
This is a model that you will be able to assemble and install in no time. The individual tie-downs are present to secure, as well as protect, all three cycles. The tie-downs, on this rack, are fixed in position on the carry arm. However, they do rotate to offer versatility with the type of cycles you might want to carry.
With this product, you know your two-wheeler will remain secure while you drive over uneven terrain. This frame helps minimize wobble. The design of this allows you to fold the carry arms out of the way when it isn't in use. This helps with saving space. Furthermore, the tilt-away design offers convenience by giving you easy lift-gate access.
Allen Sports is a brand you can trust. That is why this is a model which you can opt for if you have three cycles to carry. The entire frame has a durable make. It is powder-coated, which helps reduce corrosion. Investing in such a product means you are investing in something that will last.
The Allen Sports 3-Bike Hitch Rest is recommended for those who have more cycles to carry. The overall frame is durable and resistant to corrosion. It prevents wobbling and any resulting damage to the bicycles during travel.
Best 4 Bike Rack:
Allen Sports 4-Bike Hitch Racks for 2 in. Hitch
We have another spectacular product from Allen Sports to share with you. The Allen Sports 4-Bike Hitch Rack, as the name states, is a model meant for up to four cycles to be carried hassle-free. Whether you have kids bikes, an adult bicycle, or both, this can accommodate a variety of cycles.
This features Allen's patented tie-down system. Such a system allows the 22-inch long carry arms to secure bicycles individually. You won't have to worry about wobble and any likely damage when using such a rack.
The design of this allows you to fold the arm quickly when it isn't in use. This allows you to save space. Furthermore, the main mast has a tilt-design through which you get easy access to the lift gate. It shouldn't take you more than 5 minutes to have this installed and ready for use. This is also a durable product. It is made of steel and features a black powder finish to reduce corrosion.
When you are looking for a bicycle hitch rack, you should opt for one from a company you can rely on. A lifetime warranty accompanies this model. Such a warranty lets you know Allen Sports is a brand you can trust.
The Allen Sports 4-Bike Hitch is a great product for those who want to carry four cycles. This is a durable model which is powder coated. The design allows the arms to be folded out of the way when not in use. You can tilt the main mast when required.
Best 5 Bike Rack:
Retrospec Lenox Car 5 Bicycle Carrier Hitch Mount
Retrospec is another brand bicycle-owners should know about. This model, the Retrospec Lenox Car, is our Best 5 Bike Rack selection. As the name states, the design is able to support five cycles at once. The carry arm spacing featured in this rack accommodates a variety of kid and adult cycles. So, if you are planning on a family trip, you can easily use this to ensure everyone’s bicycles are onboard.
This features Anti-Rattle Adapter which helps minimize the bicycle’s wobble during transport. Some of you might not know this, but the wobbling of cycles, as they are being transported by a vehicle, leads to scratching and damage. You don't want that, right? We know you want your two-wheelers to be secure, and this product offers just that. This rack's tie-down straps and cradles will individually keep the cycles in position.
Talking more about the convenient design, the arms can be folded when this isn't in use. This makes parking the vehicle easier because the rack won't take up too much space. The foldable nature aids with storage if you decide to take it off of the vehicle. With this product, you get durability because of the steel construction. It offers you a weight limit of 35 lbs. per cycle.
The Retrospec Lenox Car 5 Bicycle Carrier Hitch Mount is recommended for those who have a lot of cycles to carry. The construction is durable, however, the rubber straps might leave you wanting more in terms of quality. It is still a hitch rack you can rely on.
Best from Thule:
Thule T2 Pro XT 2 Bike Rack
Nearing the end of our review list, we have the Thule T2 Pro XT. For bicycle-owners, it will do them good to know about Thule being another brand they can rely on. If you have been wondering about the best hitch bicycle rack being offered by Thule, this is the product you should keep an eye on. This model is described as the Premium platform hitch rack for two to four cycles. The maximum weight capacity it offers is 120 lbs. So, if your two-wheeler fits in this limit, you are good to go.
However, keep in mind, four cycles can only be carried with a Thule XT Pro XT Bike Add-on. Without such an add-on (which is sold separately), this can accommodate only two bicycles.
This can easily be used for cycles with wheels ranging from 20 – 29”. Fat bikes with tires up to 5” can be carried by this rack. It is recommended for a variety of cycles (downhill, mountain, and carbon frames). The installation process, as well as removal, is easy because of the Tool-free Auto-Attach knob. You get convenience through the HitchSwitch Lever. This lever can be used to tilt it up and down. You can easily fold the entire rack up for storage too.
The featured Ratcheting Arm secures your two-wheeler without there being any frame contact. Such a design helps prevent scratches. You also get generous spacing between the bicycles. Being securely locked, you won’t have to worry about any wobble.
For those interested in buying a model from Thule, the Thule T2 Pro XT 2 Bike Rack is what they need. It is a durable rack which can carry two bicycles. It keeps them secured, and there is no worry about wobble.
Best from Yakima:
Yakima Products Hold Up Tray Style Bike Rack
The last entry on our review list is the Yakima Products Hold Up Tray Style Bike Rack. This is another reliable rack you should know about. It offers you an easy way to load and carry bicycles. For those planning to cycle in a specific area, safely taking the cycles to the said place is a real concern. You don’t want the bikes to fall or be damaged during transport! A model like this one, can do away with such concerns.
The design features a Strong Arm pivot which allows this model to be one of the strongest racks currently available for sale. The side-to-side adjustability decreases the likelihood of the bicycles touching each other during mounting, removal, and transport. This can carry cycles which fall in the 20-29" wheel range. You can use this rack to carry full suspension bikes, carbon road bicycles, and even disc bikes. The load capacity it offers is 60 lbs. per bicycle. This rack can carry two at once.
Such a frame is great if you wish to decrease or completely prevent any chance of your bicycles getting scratched during transport. The Strong Arm pivot secures the bicycles at the wheels. You can adjust it as you prefer for convenience.
Yakima Products Hold Up Tray Style Bike Rack is our selection for the best rack Yakima has to offer. It is easy to install and can carry two bicycles at once. The Strong Arm pivot works great to secure the bicycles without having them touch each other.
Benefits of Investing Model From Our List
After reading our review list, you can see all of the mentioned items have numerous features to offer.
The benefits of investing in a model from our list include:
You will be purchasing one from a reliable company.
The models mentioned in our list boast durable construction. They are also resistant to corrosion and will serve you a long time.
These will keep your cycles secure. The tie-downs and the padded arms ensure your two-wheelers aren’t damaged by wobbling. So, say goodbye to scratches even when traveling over uneven terrain.
The hitch bicycle racks on our review list offer convenience. They are easy to assemble and install. These models can also be folded up for easy storage.
Depending on the number of bikes you have to carry as well as the type of bicycle you own, you can easily find the best bicycle rack for your needs.
Pros and Cons of Hitch Bike Racks
Before we finish our guide, we’re going share with you a number of pros and cons you should be aware of.
- The assembly and installation are easy: It is easy to assemble and then install a hitch rack on to a vehicle. When not in use, you can remove it.
- It is easy to load and unload the bicycles: Reliable hitch racks make it easier for you to load and unload the cycles. Some of them can even be lowered for better convenience.
- They feature durable construction: Good quality bicycle racks have been constructed to be durable. Most of them have steel frameworks which are resistant to corrosion.
- They are available in hanging and platform styles: You can go ahead and opt for a hanging or platform style hitch bike rack depending on your preference.
- They can make vehicles burn more fuel: Heavier hitch bicycle racks can make a vehicle burn more fuel.
- They need a Class II or higher hitch: Such cycle racks do require a Class II or higher hitch for attachment.
- Bicycle Racks can add length to a vehicle: The length of your vehicle will be increased. This can make it difficult for some drivers to maneuver a vehicle.
We hope we were able to offer you valuable information about hitch bike racks. Do go through our Best Hitch Bicycle Racks Review List again to find the best option for you. A reliable bicycle rack can last you a long time. They can help in offering a lot of convenience on biking trips with your family and friends.