It doesn’t matter if you are a serious or casual rider. Someday, you will find yourself looking for a way to transport your bike(s) for one or two reasons. It could be you have to explore faraway places and needed to get your bike where the adventure begins. Or, you are relocating to another area and would rather move with your bike instead of the common practice of selling the bike and buying another when you arrive your destination.
Whichever way, hitch bike racks are the best way to transport the single-
In doing that, you ought to be certain you have the right hitch receiver size which can bear the weight of the bikes you want to carry. To avoid picking a mediocre rack, one has to reflect on several factors ranging from the racks’ security system, to how user-friendly it is, its capacity, convenience, durability and other tiny details. Considering these factors, we thoroughly inspected a vast range of bike racks. The following are the ones that emerged as the best hitch bike racks in the market.
Best Hitch Bike Racks
Swagman XC Cross-Country Hitch Bike Rack
It wouldn’t be entirely out of place to say Swagman is the genesis of hitch bike racks. The company founded by Jim and Jan Morris was one of the first in the world to make and market a hitch style bike rack after they identified the need for a better way to transport bikes. That was in the 90’s. Today, we have the Swagman XC Cross-Country, a 2 bike platform hitch rack designed to make the transportation of bikes easy and unstressful. This hitch bike rack fits 20″ to 29″ wheel sizes, 1-1/4″ and 2″ hitch receiver. With a maximum load capacity of 35 lb. per bike, it can transport up to 2 bikes in a go.
Swagman XC has an inbuilt anti-wobble hitch device which excellently ensures that the bikes are secured at the frame and the wheels. While its upright ratchet arms can be easily adjusted to fit different bike frame sizes, the centre arm is well-crafted to allow access to the rear-of-vehicle without removing the rack. Also, its frame grip arms have a fine coating that protects the bikes. These features work together to stiffly secure the bikes as they are being transported thereby enabling a safe and stable ride.
- Lightweight and user-friendly;
- Easy to mount and disassemble;
- It’s a strong and good looking hitch rack with simple design;
- Offers good stability and firm grip for smooth rides;
- Can accommodate different sizes of bikes;
- Very durable and powder-coated to prevent rust;
- Some bikes frame aren’t easy to fit on the rack;
- Not suitable for vehicles with stiff springs, it transfers the load shock directly to the rack and bikes.
For several reasons, Swagman XC is the perfect rack for anyone looking for a sophisticated but stress-free way to transport bikes. Beyond the hitch bike rack’s adjustable cushioned hooks which makes it suitable for different sizes of bikes, it has an inbuilt anti-wobble hitch device, can easily accommodate all kinds of bike, easy to assemble, and folds up for compact and easy storage. It is one of the most user-friendly and reliable hitch bike racks available.
- Carries up to 2 bikes. Fat tire wheel trays sold separately (64674). Locking hitch pin 1/2 inch and 10mm security cable sold separately (64031)
- Fits a 1-1/4" and 2" hitch reciever
Thule T2 Pro XT Hitch Bike Racks
Thule is famous in the business of manufacturing hitch bike racks. Their products have severally been applauded for not being difficult to install and requiring no base rack – They mount to the receiver hitch. Thule’s T2 Pro is a platform hitch bike rack for 2″ and 1.25″ receivers. Built for carrying 2 bikes, it possible for the hitch bike rack load capacity to be increased to 4 bikes with the Thule T2 Pro XT Bike Add-on albeit separately sold. The rack has a tool-free AutoAttach system which makes a straightforward installation and removal. Also, its HitchSwitch lever can be accessed easily, making it possible for the rack to effortlessly tilt-away from the vehicle for rear access, and fold-up when not in use.
Apart from the user-friendly features, the hitch bike rack has all it takes to deliver maximum security. This is evident in its “Complete Locking Convenience”. This means Thule T2 Pro has a locking system that locks bikes to the bike rack and the bike rack to the receiver with an integrated cable lock and lock knob. Ultimately, the bikes are secured in such manner that disallows frame contact with the ratcheting arm. This hitch bike rack works for different kinds of bikes. It fits 20 t0 29″ wheels and accommodates up to 5″ tires without adapters.
- It is one of the most versatile hitch bike racks;
- Has a tool-free AutoAttach system, moderately easy to mount;
- Remarkably durable;
- Strong and reliable security prevents wobble and the rack from falling off;
- Can carry up to 4 bikes in one go;
- Finely integrated cable lock;
- Very friendly to users;
- Not the lightest and best-looking rack on the list.
It isn’t cool when hitch bike racks have good features. It is when the features are excellently working as intended. The T2 Pro XT is certainly one of the best hitch bike racks in the market. Probably, it’s the best of them all. The rack delivers maximum security and user-friendliness that’s appropriate for most of the bikes and fits all intents and purposes.
- Tool-free auto attach installation makes it easy to install and remove the rack
- Hitch switch lever easily tilts rack up when Not in use or down for rear of vehicle access
Allen Sports Deluxe 5 Hitch Bike Racks
Allen Sports’ mission is to design and manufacture fine bicycle carrying, parking and storage racks. It all started in 1967 when Dick Allen decided to make rear-mounted bicycle carriers in his garage. Fast forward to 2017, and the Allen Sports Deluxe hitch carriers are popular for their quality, versatility and durableness. There are different models of the Allen Sports Deluxe which haven’t fallen short of what is required from a good hitch bike rack, like the 3-Bike Hitch Mount Rack.
However, the 5-Bike Hitch Mount rack stands out not only because it can easily carry up to five bikes. Of course, that’s a major advantage but the hitch bike rack has more to offer. Constructed with a tie-down system which protects and secures the bikes from falling off, the rack has a folding carry arm design which enables the rack’s arms to fold-up when not in use. This also means that the 5-bike carrier for 2-inch hitches can be easily stored. It doesn’t require much space.
With a 28-inch long carry arm that effortlessly accommodates up to 5 bikes in a comfortable way, it takes only a few minutes to set up and install the rack. Meanwhile, the carry arm spacing allows for a wider range of frame sizes. This works well with the tie-down cradle system which individually protects the bikes. Also, this hitch bike rack can be tilted back for easy lift-gate access.
- Easily accommodates up to 5 bikes;
- Convenient and folding carry arm;
- Takes a few minutes to install;
- Accommodates wide range of frame sizes and designs;
- Constructed of good steel.
- Not very stylish.
The Allen Sports Deluxe 5-Bike’s tie-down cradle system effectively holds up to five bikes in place while they are being transported. Fortified with a no-wobble bolt which eliminates movement of the rack, and a foldable carry arm for convenience and suitability, the hitch bike rack is definitely an ideal choice for transporting bikes.
- 5-Bike rack fits vehicles with a 2-inch trailer hitch only
- 28-Inch long carry arms individually secure bicycles with Allen's patented tie-down system
Hollywood Rack HR1400 Sport Rider SE4 Hitch Bike Racks
Hollywood Rack has been making good quality hitch bike racks since its birth in 1973. The HR1400 Sport Rider SE4 was created for a market niche. It originated from the need for hitch bike racks that would safely transport bikes on long-distance trips without losing the ease-of-use appeal. The two-bike base unit carrier has a two bike add-on kit which can be effortlessly assembled to the base unit. All that needs to be done is to install and tighten two bolts.
Produced with the Hollywood Rack patented “No Wobble-no tools” hitch tightening system, anyone using HR1400 Sport Rider would observe that slack between the receiver and the rack is eliminated without the use of tools. With a maximum load capacity of 50 lb per bike, this product can transport four bikes in one go and, is configurable as either a 2 bike or 4 bike rack. Its hitch size is 2″ only, and the maximum tire width – 3″.
The rack’s ease-of-use appeal is profound in its frame clamps. While It can fold flat against the car when not in use, It also tilts down for easy cargo door access.
- Quick and simple to install;
- Very easy to load and unload bikes;
- Has an anti-vibration technology;
- Suitable for different kinds of bike frames and sizes;
- Has a strong and durable frame;
- Don’t cause damage or scratch on vehicles;
- Smoothly folds against vehicle when not in use;
- Has a solid attachment and hitch lock to secure the rack to the vehicle.
- Not light in weight.
- Could’ve been lighter in weight;
- Take more time to load bikes of different shapes and sizes.
HR1400 Sport Rider is a heavy duty bike rack suitable for all kinds, style and size of bikes. Its padded universal top clamps and adjustable tire holders offer satisfactory flexibility. Taking into consideration its efficiency in the safe transportation of bikes, the assurance of causing no damage or scratch on vehicles and the fact that it is designed for easy use, nobody would disagree it’s one of the best hitch bike racks in the market.
- Heavy-duty platform style bike rack holds up to 4 bikes (max. 50 lbs per bike)
- Features patented "No Wobble-no tools" hitch tightening system, and a keyed alike locking hitch pin with 8' security cable is included
Yakima HoldUp Tray Style Bike Rack
It’s quite obvious why Yakima thinks its Holdup is the quickest and simplest way to load bikes. The tray style bike rack may not be the perfect example of what’s expected of a bike carrier; nonetheless, the product is surely one of the best hitch bike racks around. It is a sturdy hitch rack with a tough arm pivot capable of carrying a wide range of bicycles. The strongarm design effectively protects carbon frames and paint while it secures the bikes at wheels.
With the high weight capacity that enables it to accommodate heavier bikes, it typically carries 2 bikes but, can hold up to 4 bikes with the optional HoldUp + 2 (an add-on that doubles the HoldUp hitch carrier’s capacity from 2 to 4 bikes). While it doesn’t take forever to load the bikes, it is possible to adjust space between bikes in order to reduce the chance of bike-to-bike interference. The rack can be tilted down with bikes loaded for rear-of-vehicle access and, the wheel trays can be folded up to give the hitch rack a smaller look thereby, making it more compact for storage.
- Has a sturdy security system;
- Very versatile as it accommodates a vast range of bikes;
- Built with remarkable compact features for easy storage;
- Eliminates bike-to-bike interference;
- Can carry up to 4 bikes at once;
- Fairly user-friendly;
- Perfect for carrying multiple bikes of different styles;
- Permits rear-of-vehicle access with loaded bikes.
- Not light in weight;
- Not the easiest rack to assemble on the list.
Yakima HoldUp has a distinctive compact feature which makes it ideal for anyone with limited storage space. It can carry a wide range of bicycles, including heavy one, is easy to install, easier to use, convenient, durable and very versatile. To cap it all up, it has a strongly built security system that holds the rack to the vehicle. It’s a hitch bike rack to recommend for friends.
- The Hold Up is Yakima's fastest, easiest way to load bikes; Its beefed-up arm pivot makes it stronger than ever and the side-to-side adjustability reduces the chance for bike-to-bike interference; It's a road trip companion for life
- StrongArm design enables you to load your bike quickly whether it's a 20" wheel or a 29'er
Kuat NV 2.0 Hitch Bike Racks
Kuat NV 2.0 is as good as the previous hitch bike racks Kuat produced. As an update of Kuat NV, what makes the difference is the fortification of the pivot system with foot assist and the incorporation of adjustable cradles which efficiently allows a quicker bike fit adjustment. If you’ve used Kuat NV, you will observe that the individual bike cable locks of the NV 2.0 are simpler to use, longer and enduring. This makes it possible for NV 2.0 to accommodate bikes with up to 4.8″ tires and still maintain a good. Also, the changes made to the rack’s ratchet arm offers more stability.
The 2 bike capacity rack can take up to 60 lb for each bike. However, it can carry up to 4 bikes with the optional NV 2.0 Add-On. It fits 20 to 29″ tires and is available in both 1.25″ and 2″ hitch sizes. NV 2.0 comes with a hitch lock and fully integrated cable locks. Its rear tire strap features co-moulded strap meant to protect the wheels and the entire package is based on a no-tool install and tight hitch system.
- It’s a good looking rack;
- Can carry as much as 4 bikes at once;
- Built with a serious security system;
- Allows a faster bike fit adjustment;
- Very easy to assemble;
- Durable and user-friendly.
Unlike most hitch bike racks, NV 2.0 doesn’t lack the ability to carry fat bikes. Assembling the rack is super-simple and its security system is profound. Kuat isn’t totally bluffing when it proclaimed NV 2.0 the most advanced hitch rack on the planet. Although we can only regard the product as one of the best hitch bike racks available, it is nonetheless, a high-quality tray-style hitch mount rack.
- Built-in Repair Stand
- Integrated Cable Lock and hitch lock included
Over the years, hitch bike racks have proven to be the easiest and safest way to transport bikes. This is obvious if you count their advantages over trunk and roof racks. For instance, they are more aerodynamic compared to roof racks and, you don’t have to scream at garage doors because of the overhead clearance issues common with roof-mounted racks.
More so, their availability in a vast range of style makes it easy and fast to load and unload bikes. They work with more vehicles and are generally more secure than other kinds of bike racks. To pick the right hitch bike rack, one must know that some bike racks are more suitable for carrying certain kinds of bikes. However, the racks reviewed above are predominantly versatile and durable. For us, they are the best hitch bike racks.