The 10 Best Hitch Bike Rack Options in 2019 – Latest Review

With cars getting bigger and the cost of gas rising, hitch bike racks provide a wonderful option for transporting bikes.  Luckily they’re available in different shapes and sizes. So, no matter how unique your needs are, you can definitely find something worthy of your attention.

But why would one want to invest in a hitch-mounted rack as opposed to a roof-mounted rack? Right off the bat, these racks are aerodynamic which means they actually complement your car’s performance. On top of that, an aerodynamic rack adds onto your safety even as you embark on a long road trip.

Yet another major benefit of getting the perfect hitch-mounted bike rack is that it eliminates issues of overhead clearance. Such issues are pretty common with roof-mounted racks.

10 Best Hitch Bike Rack 2019 – Comparison Table

Having a long day? The basic comparison table below should make things easier for you. It contains all the basic information you need to make an informed decision.

The Best Bike Racks For Cars

1. Thule T2 (Black) Pro XT 2 Bike Rack

This bike rack was specifically designed to handle extra-large wheels. We like the fact that it is pretty firm and generally easy to operate.

In particular, the manufacturers have done a good job of designing its frame to make it as flexible as possible. For instance, the Thule T2 boasts a lever that you can use to either tilt or fold it up.

Such modifications come in handy in making this bike rack one of the most usable choices on the markets currently.

Product description

The Thule T2 Pro XT 2 bike rack is easy to set up and will offer maximum security for your bike. It can accommodate a maximum of two bikes. That’s because it is designed to leave sufficient space between them so that they don’t bump against each other constantly.

What’s more? You will not need any tools to attach this rack on to your vehicle. While it is not in use, the rack will conveniently fold up towards the vehicle so that it does not unnecessarily occupy much space.

This rack can hold up to 120 lbs, so do not worry about it breaking down due to a heavy bike. It also has an integrated cable lock and a lock knob for locking the bike on to the rack securely.

Other features and benefits  

The main outstanding feature of this rack is that it is compatible with a majority of the bikes and wheel sizes in use, without having to reconfigure the arms or acquire add-ons.

Apart from the bikes, it is also compatible with many vehicle models too. In addition, it is designed to mount a few inches from your vehicle's body making it extremely easy to open no matter the model of your car.

In fact, you can fold it up to accommodate a spare tire since in that position, the rack will be approximately 4-inches from your vehicle’s body.

Although the Thule T2 Pro XT 2 rack has to be assembled, it will only take about 10 minutes of your time to do so. All you will have to do is attach the rails with eight bolts and then, if necessary, you can install the lock cores.

Removing it too is easy since it will involve a retractable hitch pin on the rack.

Another important feature of the T2 Pro is its sturdiness. The main swiveling mechanism is very firm and will not become shaky that easily.

Therefore, we can confidently inform you that this rack is one of the most complete packages available on the markets currently.

Pros

  • The security system is reliable
  • It is compatible with most wheel sizes
  • It has a stunning look

Cons

  • The sliding arms are a bit shaky

2. Allen Sports Deluxe2” Hitch Mounted Bike Rack

Are you looking for an affordable bike rack which you will only put to use occasionally? Well, here is the solution.

The bicycle frame is the part that acts as the primary attachment point and although it is not as flexible as other racks, the fact that it comes with a lifetime warranty will definitely calm down your nerves.

Product description

This model of bike racks is one of the simplest to use. It is of relatively low height and this will give you an easy time while loading the bike on to it.

The nylon straps coupled with the plastic buckles will help in securing the bikes and prevent excessive movement of the bike while the vehicle is in motion. The rack has four sets of mounting cradles which are attached to the horizontal support arms, meaning that it can accommodate up to 4 bikes in one go.

Other features and benefits

To start with, the rack will come in parts which you will have to assemble. This should only take you a few minutes to do. After that, the Allen Deluxe will then easily slide into a 2” hitch receiver.

A firm hitch bolt is what will secure this rack to the vehicle. However, you will have to use tow ¾ wrenches to install this bolt effectively. This no wobble bolt will ensure that the rack is held on to the vehicle as tightly as possible.

Whenever the rack is not in use, the carrying arms will easily fold down to avoid occupying a lot of unnecessary space. Your vehicle will also be quite flexible even when the rack is installed.

The rack has a tie-down system which is meant to effectively secure and protect your bicycles by holding them in place. The tie-downs tend to rotate so that they can accommodate bicycle frames of different designs and sizes.

You will also have an easy time accessing the lift gate even when the rack is in its position on your vehicle since the main mast is one which you can easily tilt back.

Finally, it is made of strong steel material reinforced with black powder which will ensure that it can support all the bikes comfortably without the risk of breaking up as well as be durable.

Pros

  • It is strong and durable
  • It can easily fold back when not in use
  • It comes with a lifetime warranty

Cons

  • It will limit your access to the compartments in the back of the vehicle

Also read: 10 Best Tonneau Cover – Soft Folding, Hard Folding & Electrical Options

3. Thule Helium Aero 2 Bike Hitch Carrier

This model is one of the lightest racks which will incorporate various features into one design. You can be assured that it will offer you maximum security, protection as well as convenience whether in operation or not.

Product description

This rack will automatically eliminate any issues you may be having with regards to transporting your bike on your vehicle. It has hold-fast cradles and firm cages which will hold your bikes in place securely. The rack is built in a way such that there is enough space to ensure the bikes do not bump against each other.

The rack also makes use of RDT technology and this means that your bikes will remain as still as possible during the ride since the rack will absorb most of the shock from bumps on the road.

It also has integrated locks for security purposes while installing and removing is the easiest task since you will not need any tools to do so.

Other features and benefits 

To start with, the Thule Helium 2 Bike rack is made out of light and durable aluminum. This makes extremely light as compared to other racks. Therefore, handling it and even installation and removal will not require a lot of energy.

The patented hold fast cradles which are reinforced with RDT technology will ensure that the bikes are held firmly in place. It also absorbs any shocks that they come about as a result of bumps on the road.

The cages are firm and do not sway easily. They also have sufficient space to ensure that the bikes do not grind against each other and also add to the shock absorbing feature.

The rack has an auto-attach system which does not require any tools to install and remove from the vehicle. This means that it will take you a maximum of 10 minutes to install and remove.

When not in use, the hitch switch will let the arms to be folded down and it can also tilt away to give you access to the rear of the vehicle.

Pros

  • It is lightweight
  • The installation is tool-free
  • The bikes do not grind against each other

Cons

  • It is too pricey

4. Tyger Auto TG-RK3B101S 3-Bike Hitch Carrier Rack

The Tyger Auto Carrier rack is one of the highest rated racks due to its wide range of impressive features all integrated into one design. It comes with two dual arms which can fit into various models of bikes. To add to all that, a free hitch lock security strap and a cable lock are part of the package.

Product description

This rack has a sturdy frame that can accommodate up to 3 bikes comfortably and safely. It has a standard OE black coating which is meant to protect it from damages caused by rust and corrosion.

The arm also has extremely soft cradles to avoid causing any sort of damage to your bike. It is also quite easily foldable and the installation instructions are simple enough for you to follow without asking for assistance.

Other features and benefits

The first impressive feature with this rack is that it can fit most of the dual-arm bikes. All you would need is for your vehicle to be equipped with either a 1.25 or a 2-inch hitch receiver. On top of this, it comes with a free cable lock, a hitch lock, and security straps.

The rack is meant to accommodate up to 3 bikes. Therefore, it is made out of steel which has black powder E-coating to make it very strong and rust resistant respectively.

It allows you to access the vehicle with its tilt down feature. Additionally, the carry arms are foldable when they are not in use so as not to occupy unnecessary space.

The soft cradles will shield the bike frame from getting any damages and will also ensure that all the bikes on the rack are provided with maximum security.

The package comes with an easy to read and understand installation manual. Therefore, it will take you less than 10 minutes to completely install and start using the rack.

Finally, it comes with a warranty.

Pros

  • It easy to install
  • It is foldable when not in use
  • It is rock solid

Cons

  • It is a bit wobbly at the joint
  • It has a habit of dragging the bikes on the road

5. Yakima Products Hold Up Tray 2 Bike Style Rack

The hold-up rack is probably the best hitch rack that has ever been produced by Yakima. It is easy to use and also fast in loading and unloading bikes from it. The arm pivot is beefed-up and this makes it extremely strong.

It has a side to side adjustability which ensures that the bikes do not interfere with each other.

Product description

This rack produced by Yakima has a solid build and will serve you for many years to come. The company also has a reliable customer support and so you can easily get replacements for parts that have a potential of wearing out easily.

The rack is faster and more convenient to use when more than one bike is involved in the scenario. For a rack of its quality, the rack is very affordable.

Other features and benefits

The hold-up was specifically designed to hold two bikes and is more suitable for vehicles with either a 1.25 or 2-inch receiver.

Although you will have to assemble the rack, it is a really simple process. It will involve a big bolt which serves to mount the base on to the hitch while there are eight other smaller bolts which mount the trays to the base. The package comes with wrenches and so it should take you less than 20 minutes to assemble the whole kit.

The arm is really strong and will ensure that your bike is held safely and securely. The design of the arm ensures that the bike is secured at the wheels and in the process protects the paint and carbon frames from being ruined.

The rack has side-to-side adjustability, meaning that the space between the bikes can be adjusted to prevent them from interfering with each other.

Another impressive feature of this rack is that it can accommodate almost all the models of tires out there. It can hold full suspension bikes as well as disc brakes through the axles.

The SKS cable lock system will lock the rack and the bikes and will play an important part in keeping your property safe from thieves. The locks also act as a backup plan just in case the arm fails.

Loading and unloading the bike on to and from the rack is really easy. It will not only save on time but will also protect you from injuries associated with lifting heavy loads and securing them in place.

When the rack is not in use, it folds up into a fairly compact and vertical position and thereby reducing the overall of your vehicle. This means that it will not interfere with your vehicle fitting in the parking spot.

Pros

  • It's easy to load and unload the bikes
  • Assembling the rack fairly easy too
  • It can accommodate many different designs of tires

Cons

  • It has poor quality plastic components

6. Hollywood HR140Y SportRider Rack 

Hollywood HR140Y Racks is a top-notch rack that has an off-putting price, but don’t be off first by its price before understanding its unique features. The designers of this rack have everything thought out as far as transporting your bike is concerned. 

The bike racks offer flexibility, ease of use, safety and durability.

The rack fits most bike sizes, frames, and styles including kids’ bikes, ladies bikes, men’s bikes, mountain bikes, road bikes among other. Whether the bike has a horizontal top lube or not.

Product Description

The racks are constructed from top quality steel and aero quality fasteners and coated with thick powder.

The rack comes as a two bike rack unit which can be easily converted into a four-unit rack using add-on kits. Therefore, you can use the bike for transporting up to four bikes with a maximum of 50 lbs per bike. Maximum bike wheelbase is 60," and maximum tire width is 3". If transporting a few bikes, you can use the rest of the space for other cargo.

In addition, the rack can be modified if you wish to carry an adult-trike, an adult-bike, and a trike adapter kit.

Other Features and Benefits

The wheels hoops are easy to adjust, it has a security cable for securing the bicycles to the rack, in addition to a lock system that secures it to the hitch.

It is an easy-to-assemble rack, using two bolts. It uses a no wobble- no tools system hitch securing system.

In addition, a locking hitch pin is included plus a security cable that is 9'. The locking hitch secures the rack to your motor vehicle while the cables are provided for locking the bikes to the racks.

The rack is designed to ensure the car, and the bikes are safe. There are gaps between bikes when on the rack to prevent bike to bike contact. In addition, the bikes do not touch the vehicle when loaded and don’t wobble. It also comes with a threaded pin for screwing it into the hitch to prevent the rack from swinging when you are on the move.

In addition, loading and off-loading bikes takes a few seconds.

When not loaded with bikes, the rack is conveniently handled. It easily folds flat against your vehicle. Folding it makes it neat-looking, easy to park and easy to fit in your garage.

Pros

  • Durable and solidly built
  • The rack won't damage your vehicle
  • Easy to load and off-load bikes
  • Easy to install on your car
  • Two-locking system
  • It is a 2-bike rack that easily converts into a 4-bike carrier
  • Suitable for all sizes and shapes of bikes

Cons

  • It is heavy, but it is expected because it has to be strong enough to handle the weights of four bikes.

7. Swagman-XC 64650 Cross-Country Two-Bike Hitch Rack

The swagman-xc hitch rack is a simple platform rack that offers affordability, reliability, and convenience to fit your bike traveling needs. The rack comes with the manufacturer’s backing of a lifetime warranty.

The rack works by securing both wheels of the bike and the frames on the rack.

The rack is designed to transport up to two bikes.

Product Description

The swagman-xc hitch rack is made from 100% steel. It has a powder-coated finish that makes it corrosion resistant. The rack is constructed with grip arms that are frame-friendly. They are soft to protect the bike’s finish.

It comes with an anti-wobble hitch device to prevent the rack from wobbling by supporting the bike when the vehicle is on the move.

In addition, it is designed with a locking hitch pin 1/2 inch and a 10mm security cable, but the items are sold separately.

The two center arms are designed with different heights. This makes mounting bikes of different sizes easier.  The rack’s arms are adjustable and can fit other bike sizes and frames.

The rack has a maximum bike weight capacity of 35 lbs per bicycle.

The upright ratchet arms are adjustable to fit bikes with different frames and sizes. It can accommodate bikes with up to 59 cm.

The rack fits tires with 20" to 29".

Other Features and Benefits

It is an easy-to-assemble rack. Also loading and offloading bikes on it is quite a breeze.

The rack also comes with convenience. You don’t have to remove the unit to get access to the trunk of your car. The rack is designed to help you access the trunk of your car easily. You simply fold down the center arm of the hitch rack.

It can be folded up to decrease it in size. It is therefore easy to store it, when not in use.

Unfortunately, the wheel hoops can’t fit bikes with extra wide tires. If your bike has extra wide tires, you need to buy the fat tire wheel trays separately.

Pros

  • Simple to use. Easy to install and load and offload. Easy to access trunk with the rack on.
  • Very affordable
  • It is easy to store it
  • Three security points for your bike
  • The rack is anti-wobble
  • Wheel hoops for stability
  • Limited lifetime warranty

Cons

  • Fat tire wheel hoops,
  • 10mm security cable and locking hitch pin have to be purchased separately.
  • It can only carry specific sizes and types of bikes of up to 35 lbs.

8. Yakima 4 Bike Double Down Rack

Yakima 4 Bike rack is a popular rack that comes with convenience, affordability, and ease of use. It is a solidly built hitch bike rack with two supporting arms. The rack carries up to four bikes.

The product’s price is in the middle range. But considering that racks that are cheaper are mostly two-bike carriers, then this rack is competitively priced. The rack comes with a limited lifetime warranty. 

Product Description

The rack has a powder coat finish, which makes the bike corrosion resistant, and therefore durable.

The rack weighs 31 lbs. its dimensions are L 36.00" x W 14.00" x H 44.00"

The straps are rubberized which provide anti-vibration stability.

It has narrow arms that fit a variety of bike sizes and frames.

Other Features and Benefits

Assembling the rack is quite fast and easy. It takes about five minutes.

In addition, it is conveniently tilted when it is not in use, to access the vehicle trunk.

Also, the support arms can fold down easily with the push of a button using TriggerFinger technology when the rack is not loaded, to create space for reversing the vehicle.

The bikes have no contact with the vehicle and with each other when on the move. The rack is fitted with an anti-sway technology, Standard SwitchBlade™ to secure the bikes and prevent them from swinging and banging each other when the vehicle is moving.

The bike is compatible with Class II and Class III hitch receivers (2” and 1¼”). Class I receiver may be too light to carry the weight of four bikes. The rack fits into the hitch tightly because of an adjustable SpeedKnob.

The rack comes with an extra locking feature that is optional. It is called DeadLock™. It locks the rack to your vehicle and also locks all the bikes to the rack.

Good news to beer lovers, the rack comes with a built-in bottle opener.

Pros

  • Limited lifetime warranty
  • It fits different sizes of bikes and different frames of bikes
  • It is easy to install it. It is also easy to load and unload bikes on the rack.
  • Affordable
  • Flexible with hitch receivers. It is compatible with Class II and Class III.
  • It racks four bikes
  • Optional DeadLock™ safety feature
  • Anti-Sway cradles

Cons

  • Fitting four bikes is possible but it is really stretching the rack.
  • It also takes a little bit of creativity to fit bikes with different frames, not unless you are willing to invest in a virtual top tube bar.
  • If you need the DeadLock™, then you have to dig deeper into your pocket because it is sold separately.

9. Swagman-XTC2 Hitch Bike Rack 64670

The Swagman-XTC2 rack is a platform style, user-friendly, convenient, solid and reliable rack. The rack carries up to two bikes.

The rack comes with a wheel-mount design (vs. a frame-mount design) that removes the hassle of lifting your bike to fit into the frame cradles on the rack. It is a much more comfortable mounting experience.

This model is an improved version of the Swagman XC-2 S64650. It is more expensive with a few additional features. It comes with additional aesthetics, a two-tone color scheme.  Also, the wheel cradles are pretty strong.

In addition, the wheel hoops have strong clamps for adjusting the wheel hoops, plus the wheel straps are also quite powerful.

Product Description

It can accommodate only two bikes with a maximum weight capacity of 35 lbs. per bike.

The rack is compatible with 1-1/4" and 2" hitch receivers (Class I to Class III).

 The rack is designed with a soft, bike frame friendly grip (well coated) that holds the bike securely without scratching its finish off.

It fits bikes with 20 to 29-inch wheels.

It has a built-in anti-wobble device.

It has push button ratcheting arms that allow easy adjustments of the rack

Other Features and Benefits

It is quite easy to install it on your vehicle. It is designed as a wheel-mount system. You simply lift the bike onto the rack and let the wheels of the bike rest on the wheel hoops. Then you ratchet down the hooks, and that’s it.

The center arm can be folded down to access the rear of your vehicle without having to remove the rack.

When not in use, the rack folds up easily for storage.

Another good thing with this rack is that it comes with a limited lifetime warranty.

Unfortunately, the rack is expensive at that price though the price may seem to be in the medium range. This is because though it is slightly cheaper than other racks in the market, but those other racks can carry more bikes.

Another disadvantage is that the wheel hoops will not fit bikes that have wide tires. The wheel hoops for bikes with fat wheels have to be bought separately.

Pros

  • Strong and solid components
  • Limited lifetime warranty
  • Easy assembly
  • Easy to load a bike and easy to off-load a bike too
  • Anti-wobble device
  • Easy access to the vehicle’s trunk
  • A wheel-mount design

Cons

  • It carries only two bikes, therefore, it is expensive.
  • Cable and locking hitch pin 1/2" are sold separately. Also, fat tire trays are sold separately.

10. Thule Parkway 956 Four-Bike Hitch Mount Rack

Thule Parkway is a uniquely designed, simple four-Bike hitch mount bike rack. The manufacturer also has two-bike racks with the same design on offer.

The rack is medium priced, though a security system to secure your bikes and rack comes at an additional cost.

It can carry up to four bikes with a maximum weight of 35 lbs. In addition, the carrier has forks with a wide width that can accommodate bikes of all sizes. It may be challenging to fit very small bikes.

Product Description

The rack is constructed from high-strength steel.

The rack has classic soft rubber cradles. They are designed to protect the bike’s frame while safely securing it to the rack.

Soft rubber straps hold the frame tightly onto the cradles. The cradles also serve to prevent the frames from swaying and scratching.

The rack is designed with dual arms to fit a wide range of frames, and therefore there is no need of using adapters.

Other Features and Benefits

It is mounted easily on a vehicle. You mount it by simply sliding the rack into the hitch receiver, then tighten the hitch pin. The process takes about five minutes. It is also quite easy to load and offload bikes on this rack.

In addition, the rack is also easily tilted away to give you access to the vehicle rear.

Also, the hitch pin and rubber straps work as anti-vibration devices. The hitch pin stops noise in the hitch receiver, vibration wobbling, and rattling. The rubber straps tie the frames down, preventing them from vibrating.

There is an optional two-lock system that is purchased separately from the bike. You can buy a six feet Cable to lock the bike to the rack in addition to a Snug-Tite receiver lock. The Snug-Tite receiver serves to lock the rack to the vehicle in addition to holding the rack and preventing it from swaying.

Pros

  • The components are made from durable materials.
  • The rack can hold up to four bicycles.
  • It is easy to install it on your vehicle.
  • It is easy to load and offload bicycles on it.
  • The rack protects the bike from scratches, thanks to their soft rubber cradles.
  • Holds all types of bikes

Cons

  • It is expensive especially if you need to install the two-lock system.
  • It is a bit heavy, but remember it has to be strong enough to carry the weight of four bikes.

The Buying Guide

There are quite a number of factors to consider when shopping for a bike rack. We zoom in to some of them in the next few paragraphs to help you make an informed choice.

The Right Rack for Your Bike Type

Even though hitch racks are available in different shapes and sizes, some tend to work better for specific types of bikes. Fortunately, no matter the type of bike you own, there’s a rack that can accommodate it.

Best Option for Mountain & Road Bikes

Road bikes and mountain bikes work best with hanging, platform, and wheel-only mounts. Hanging racks are generally cheaper than the other two although they can only accommodate a handful of bikes. If you’re thinking of carrying a few more bikes, the platform rack offers a secure platform.

Step-Through Frame Bikes

Once again, there are three types of racks suitable for these kinds of bikes. They are the hanging, platform, and the wheel-only mounts. But we’d particularly like to recommend the wheel-only type for these of bikes. The hanging mount may still work but you’d need an adapter bar for that.

Best Hitch Bike Rack for Kids’ Bikes

The hanging mount is the best option for children’s bikes. That’s because small bikes tend to fit best on racks with flexible dual arms. Otherwise, you may need to invest in an adapter bar if using any other type of mount.

Carbon Fiber Frames

Bikes that come with carbon fiber frames would work best with racks that don’t come into contact with the frame. So, to maintain the warranty on these frames, we’d recommend settling for platform racks. These should come with special wheel clamps to prevent any form of contact with the pricey frames.

Bikes with Suspension

You don’t want to settle for a rack that compresses the bike’s suspension when mounted. For that reason, we generally encourage those who own bikes with suspension to go for platform racks. In particular, one should go for a rack that enables them to clamp onto the wheels.

Best Racks for Electric Bikes

As you know, electric bikes are quite heavy in weight. Therefore, you’d need to go for a rack that’s capable of accommodating this extra weight. For that reason, we’d recommend finding something whose critical joints are properly welded – and whose parts are made from heavy-duty materials.

If you’re looking for the ideal bike rack for trikes we’d recommend the 3-wheel cradles. These kinds of racks have the extra space needed for trikes as well as recumbents.

Finding the Right Hitch Size

Never buy a bike rack until you confirm that it can actually fit on your vehicle. Ordinarily, most hitches come with a special receiver opening which enables them to fit most vehicles. But even then, you just want to be sure that you’re getting the right thing for your auto.

So, if your car is designed with a 2x2-inch receiver, you want to double-check that you have the right rack for it. You don’t want to end up with a 1-1/4x1-1-1/4 inch receiver when what you actually need is a 2 by 2.

Besides that, there are generally two kinds of hitch classes namely Class I and Class II hitches. Basically, Class II hitches are best suited for carrying extra-heavy loads than Class Is.

But just in case you aren’t sure which hitch to go for, all you’d need to do is refer to your hitch’s load capacity. This should be provided on a sticker appearing somewhere on your hitch.

Vehicle with Rear Mounted Spare Wheel

Does your vehicle come with a rear-mounted spare? Then you should be sure to go for a rack designed to accommodate that. Likewise, you should check the bumper clearance just to make sure your hitch rack fits without any ‘hitches.’

Rack for Low Ground Clearance Vehicles

Do you drive a vehicle with a painfully low ground clearance? You might want to go for a bike rack with a built-in rise in the shank. This would help prevent a situation where the rack drags when one drives over dips in the driveways.

Which One Is The Best?

Given the many, dynamic requirements of a good hitch bike rack, we’d settle for the Allen Sports Deluxe Bike Rack. The 4-bike rack comes with a well-made tie-down system which secures each bike, individually.

Most importantly, this patented design boasts a handy, folding arm which easily drops out of the way especially when the rack isn’t in use.

Final Thoughts

It’s no secret that the kind of hitch mounted bike rack you go for matters a lot. So, don’t skimp on value. Look closely at what you specifically need, chances are that you’ll find it just waiting for you. And luckily, the reviews above are meant to make things even easier for you.

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