Best Hitch Bike Rack of 2019: 10 Best and Most Secure Hitch Racks on the Market

Bikes Loaded on the Back of a CarEven though I had bought a professional-grade bike, hitch rack. It never occurred to me that I would have to look for the bike carrier on the market. However, one important event made me go through the process of writing this article.

Last summer was the first time I went mountain biking(mountain bikes) with my wife. We always wanted to try riding off-road, but our town doesn’t have proper trails for that. Therefore, we had to drive more than ten miles away.

It wasn’t until the day before the trip that I realized that the only way to transport our bikes would be via some sort of a hitch rack/bike rack hitch. The roof-mounted one that I had wasn’t suitable for both of our GTs. So, I had to act quickly and find a carrier that would do the job.

I went through some online reviews and buying guides, but none of them assured me enough that one of the proposed options would fit snugly on the back of my car. Finally, I simply went to the local bike store and bought a hitch rack on a hunch.

The next day, we went on the trip as planned. I was driving around 70mph. At some point, I slowed down to make a sudden turn. The next thing I knew, my wife was yelling at me to stop the car. What happened was that my bike racks somehow fell off the rack. Fortunately, the frame of the bike was intact, but the saddle and the rear wheel suffered a fair amount of damage.

This event really made me realize the importance of quality hitch racks. So, I decided to find the bike frames out there and share every useful piece of information on the subject.

Here are our Best 3 Bike Racks:

Last update on 2019-11-20 at 23:53 / Affiliate links / Reviews/ Ratings Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

10 of The Best Bike Racks This 2019 – A Comparison Table Of Hitch Racks

Product Name

Description

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1. Thule T2 Pro XT 2 Bike Rack

This is probably the hitch mount bike rack on the market today. It offers ultimate security for the bicycles, a sturdy build, and the ability to load different models, like mountain, downhill, carbon-frame, and fat bikes.

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2. Kuat Racks NV 2.0 Bike Rack

As a close second on the best bike hitch rack, this rack is small in size but stable enough to support the bikes without any issues. Thanks to its folding capabilities, users can park in tight spots without taking it off.
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3. Yakima Products Hold Up Tray Style Bike Rack

Adjusting the space between the bikes with this product is a breeze. There is no chance that they will come in contact with each other. Furthermore, it’s versatile and supports various types of frames.
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4. Kuat Racks Sherpa 2.0

This rack offers foldable wheel cradles for greater clearance. It’s also lightweight, highly adjustable and easy to use.
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5. Swagman XTC2 Hitch Bike Rack

Swagman’s all-time classic offers time-saving features. This model is all about convenience. That’s why it includes foldable arms that allow easy access to the trunk.
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6. Allen Sports 4-Bike Hitch Rack

Heavy-duty and extra-secure, this rack can transport up to four bicycles without add-ons! Even though it might look like a monster if we compare it to other products on this list, it’s actually easy to drive with it.
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7. BV Bike Carrier Tray-Style Hitch Rack

This model is perfect for all users who need to transport their bikes at night. It fits both large and small vehicles and delivers a great level of security for lightweight bikes.
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8. Swagman XC Cross-Country 2-Bike Hitch Mount Rack

This rack is highly versatile and allows us to load large frames due to the adjustable ratchet arm. It also fits most lightweight bikes, and users can install it within minutes.
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9. Trivision Outdoor Security Camera

The Chinook offers world-class security thanks to the locking hooks and wheel cradles with ratchet straps. It’s one of the safest racks on the market.
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10. Hollywood Racks Sport Rider Bike Rack

With this rack, users can forget about the annoying wobble. Aside from having an enormous weight capacity, it’s also one of the sturdiest heavy-duty carriers.Check Price

Last update on 2019-11-21 at 00:21 / Affiliate links / Reviews/ Ratings Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

How to Choose a Hitch Mount Bike Rack For A Good Bicycle

Happy sporty family travelling by car in summer

After the incident, it seemed impossible that I’d be able to find the hitch bike rack that would be just perfect for my car. I found a lot of information about racks, but none of it seemed to provide any real value.

For me, it was especially hard to discern between good and bad racks because I wasn’t a true biking enthusiast at the time, and I was just entering the world of road bikes. I used to ride bikes with my wife once a month, and it never occurred to me that someday, we’d do it almost every single weekend.

So, aside from reading blogs, reviews, and forums, I also visited local bike shops and asked sellers for their honest opinion. More often than not, they were happy to offer me some real insight into the types of hitch racks available, their benefits and disadvantages. Most importantly, they explained to me what hitch racks were, how to secure them properly, and why finding the bike rack would be the optimal solution for my type of car.

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Bike Rack Hitch – What’s So Special About Bike Hitch Mount Rack?

Why would someone choose a hitch rack over some other type of rack? This was the first thing that crossed my mind when I started looking for the hitch bike racks of 2019. Thankfully, one of the local sellers gave me the answer. But first, he explained to me what hitch racks were.

I already knew that these carriers were supposed to slide into the receiver of a trailer hitch. Yet, I was skeptical about using them because of the incident. Also, I wasn’t aware that these had certain advantages over other types, like trunk-mounted and roof racks.

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The Benefits of Bike Hitch Rack

Couple Cycling Taking Mountain Bikes From Rack On CarFor me, the hitch bike rack must have better aerodynamic qualities than the roof racks. With such a rack, I could experience a reduced drag from the air while I drive. Also, I wouldn’t have to take it off every time I had to drive the car through short garage doors.

Moreover, the hanging bike racks should be compatible with more rear of your vehicle than the trunk option. That’s why I chose a hitch-type carrier in the end. That also saved me the time and effort of finding the right model that would fit the trunk of my car.

Most importantly, the seller at the local bike shop managed to persuade me that hitch racks were more secure than those that go on the car roof or on the trunk. Then, he took the time to show me how hitch racks work and what safety measures they usually incorporate.

Finally, we came to the conclusion that my bike fell off because I took a sudden turn and failed to properly integrated locks it with a cable. I was in a bit of a hurry that morning, and I probably forgot to double-check the integrated locksbefore I started the engine. So, it’s plausible that it was all my fault in the first place.

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The Dilemma Between Hanging and Platform Bike Bicycle Hitch Mount Rack

After all of the aforementioned happened, I was one step closer to finding the hitch bike rack reviews. However, the seller at my local bike shop asked me whether I’d like the hanging or the platform type. I automatically said that I was more interested in Close-up bicycle on car roof rack railing at outdoor parking. Vehicle with mounted bike on rooftop. Active sport touristic trip concepta platform rack because the one that my bike fell off from was the hanging type.

He agreed that platform racks were probably more secure. He also explained to me the differences between the two.

Deciding on a hanging rack wouldn’t be a bad decision at all because my mistake caused the bike to fall off of it. Moreover, such a rack also has certain benefits that might make some users choose it over the platform option.

Best Bike Racks – The Hanging Type

With most hanging racks, we attach the upper part of the frame to it. Simply put, the bike hangs from its top tube. Such hanging racks are convenient for bicycles with standard frames. Yet, what really amazed me was when I learned that there were even different types of hanging racks.

For example, I could choose either the one that had two arms, the one with a single arm, or the one that grasped the bike by the wheel.

As the name says, a dual-arm hanging rack has two arms that keep the bike in place. However, even though the vast amount of space between the arms might provide great stability, that only goes for large bikes.

On the other hand, a single-arm rack has one holder that secures the bike with a clamp. Still, this solution might not be suitable for children’ bicycles or those that have large-diameter tubes due to the clamp’s size. Therefore, I decided to skip this option for the time being.

The racks from which the bikes hang by their wheels were really interesting to me because, on some of them, I could place my bike vertically. These are probably the only hanging option for bikes with non-conventional frames.

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Best Bike Racks – The Advantages and Disadvantages

Bikes on top of a car.The main advantage of a hanging rack is that it weighs less than its platform counterpart. This makes it a perfect choice for owners of small and light vehicles.

It also costs less than the platform type and can usually hold up to 5 bikes.

However, some hanging racks will require a type of sway-control device to prevent bikes from swinging.

Some already come with special cradles that hold the bikes in place. But if these cradles are not included, they can be bought in all well-equipped bike stores or online.

What Is an Adapter Bar on a Hitch Mount Bike Rack?

Not all bike frames will be able to fit on dual or single-arm racks. So, some users might need to buy an adapter bar. Such a bar is easily installed, and it connects the bike’s frame with the rack’s arms. Above all, it is a much cheaper solution than buying a new rack if we suddenly need to transport a bicycle that doesn’t fit.

The Platform Type Of Hitch Mount Racks

I actually thought that the trunk racks would be a platform rack, as it seemed more stable than the hanging option. The wheels are placed in holders that don’t allow them to move. Moreover, I can adjust these holders to fit a wide variety of bicycles, regardless of their size or type of bike frame.

However, unlike hanging racks, platform racks usually come in two versions. The first one clamps the frame, while the second one clamps the wheels.

I find the first option to be more secure than the second one because it has a hook that goes over the frame and holds the bikes in place. As a result, the bikes don’t sway, and there is no need for additional equipment in order to keep them stable. Most importantly, the bicycles don’t come in contact with each other if I have to hit the brakes. Hence, they don’t get scratched or damaged.

In contrast, the second option is great for models with suspension because the rack puts no pressure on the frame itself. Moreover, there’s no chance for the bike frame to get scratched by the clamp.

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The Advantages and Disadvantages of Platform Bike Racks

Platform racks can usually hold up to 4 bicycles at once. Unlike the hanging racks, they are more stable, and the bikes don’t sway while you’re driving. Depending on the rack, its weight, and how much additional equipment it has, the platform option is probably more suitable for heavier rear of your vehicle and SUVs.

These racks also limit the contact with the frames, which leaves no room for scratches or other damage that may jeopardize my warranty. I simply find them to be more convenient than the hanging option, especially because both loading and unloading is quite simple. Above all, I guess that the best advantage of the platform racks is that they can support various types of bicycles.

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How to Pick The Right Trailer Hitch For Bikes

Man wearing sportswear loading bicycles on the bike rack mounted to a car towbar

Another question that bugged me was the fact that the hitch racks might not fit my car in the end. I wasn’t really sure whether these racks were made for certain hitches and whether all models were available for different hitch openings. The last time I bought such a rack, I installed it without any problems due to sheer luck rather than knowledge.

The clerks at my local bike shop explained that hitches usually have either a 1 1/4″ x 1 1/4″ or a 2″ x 2″ opening. Hitches that have a 1 1/4″ x 1 1/4″ opening are categorized either as Class I or Class II. Basically, Class I hitches can’t carry as much weight as their Class II counterparts.

Moreover, some accessories designed for Class II can’t fit the Class I hitches at all. Manufacturers usually design them differently in order to prevent overloading by accident. Yet, if I had a Class II hitch, I’d be able to install hitch bike racks that were Man on a bike turning to look at woman standing next to carmade for both Classes.

Things are much simpler with 2″ x 2″ openings. Namely, all racks that are made for such an opening will have that information on the packaging. But what happens if someone doesn’t know the Class of their hitch?

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Best Hitch Mount Racks – How to Determine their Class

Another valuable piece of advice that I got at my local bike shop was that I could determine the category of my hitch via its maximum capacity. This information is usually found on the hitch itself. Sometimes, it’s on a sticker, and sometimes, it’s stamped on it.

Namely, Class, I hitch usually have a maximum tongue weight capacity of around 200 lbs. On the other hand, Class II hitches can go up to 350 lbs. So, if my hitch receiver has a capacity of 400 lbs, it will fall into the Class II category and be able to support a wide variety of hitch racks.

However, if the hitch receiver isn’t satisfactory, there is always the option of asking a local mechanic to install a different Class on the rear of your vehicle.

Related Buying Guide On Bikes That Fits This Topic: Best Bikes for 5 Year Olds

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Choosing The Top Racks For Bikes – “10 Hitch Bike Rack”

Best Bike Racks: #1. Thule T2 Pro XT 2 Bike Rack

Thule T2 Pro XT 2 Bike Rack

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When I started looking for the hitch bike rack, Thule T2 Pro XT 2 really caught my eye due to its size and simplicity. Had I bought this product last year, my bike would not have fallen off the rack. The cable lock it comes with is rather convenient, so I would have probably locked it properly.

What We Think About This

Thule T2 Pro XT 2 is a platform hitch bike rack. The manufacturer claims that this product offers maximum security, strength, and user-friendly features. All these claims are probably true because Thule is known for making high-quality and durable products. Moreover, this platform can be installed easily and in no time at all.

The box contains the product itself, with no extra features. The T2 Pro XT 2 can hold up to 2 bikes. However, the manufacturer offers an add-on for two more bicycles that you can buy separately.

This platform rack is made for vehicles with a 2″ x 2″  hitch opening. But, since it can transport only two bikes, I wouldn’t be able to load my kids’ bikes too without an add-on. Therefore, the basic version is great for someone who hasn’t started a family yet.

Most importantly, with this carrier, I could transport different types of bicycles, like downhill, mountain, carbon-frame, and even fat bikes. All 20-29” wheels would fit without any problem whatsoever. Also, I wouldn’t have to buy adapters if the tires were up to 5”.

The Ratcheting Arm

The ratcheting arm on this product secures the bike without coming in contact with the bike’s frame. Therefore, there is no chance that the arm will scratch the finish or damage the frame in any way, shape, or form. That is ideal if we have to brake suddenly or if there are some nasty road curves along the way.

Integrated Cable Lock and Lock Knob

T2 Pro XT2 offers an integrated cable lock and a lock knob. As a result, there is no chance that I would lose the cable. Thanks to that, my mind would be at peace because I’d know that I’d be able to attach and secure my bikes no matter what.

HitchSwitch Lever

The HitchSwitch lever allows us to easily fold the rack when we are not using it. So, we don’t have to take the carrier off the vehicle each time we don’t need it. This feature is especially beneficial if we have to park our vehicle in a densely populated area.

AutoAttach System

With the AutoAttach feature, we can remove the rack without having to use any tools. Therefore, this rack is easy to install, and it will save us a lot of time and effort before the trip.

Best Trailer Hitch Bike Rack: #2. Kuat Racks NV 2.0 Bike Rack

Kuat Racks NV 2.0 Bike Rack

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My wife’s car has a different hitch opening from mine, so she can’t use our rack when I’m away for business. However, Kuat Racks NV 2.0 would solve this problem because it also has a version that supports 1.25” hitch openings.

What We Think About This

Kuat Racks NV 2.0 is, above all, a thing of beauty. But aside from the eye-catching design, it offers great stability. The manufacturer presents this model as a state-of-the-art rack that is packed with features. Also, it advertises it as a product designed for adventurers who want to travel the world.

The box contains the rack, the instruction manual, and a non-integrated hitch lock. Furthermore, I could load two bikes on this carrier with the possibility of buying an add-on in order to load two more. Additionally, all bikes with 20″ to 29″ tires should fit this rack perfectly. However, users will have to buy a separate adapter if they have 20-24″ tires.

Kuat Racks NV 2.0 supports both 2” and 1.25” hitch openings. Also, it can hold up to two bikes that weigh 60 lbs each.

Adjustable Front Tire Cradle System

The front tire cradle system on this model allows me to adjust it in order to fit various tire sizes. Thanks to that, I wouldn’t have to worry about whether the tires would match the cradles each time I decide to install a different pair.

Intuitive Front Tire Ratchet

What makes this product easy to use is the front tire ratchet. It allows us to place the bikes on the rack without the risk of them getting damaged along the way.

Co-Molded Tire Strap

I really like the fact that this model comes with integrated tire straps. There is less chance for them to break, and they will surely tightly grasp the wheels in place.

Best Hitch Mount Bike Rack: #3. Yakima Products Hold Up Tray Style Bike Rack

Yakima Products Hold Up Tray Style Bike Rack

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Above all, I’ve included Yakima Products Hold Up Tray Style Bike Rack on this hitch bike rack list because of its side-to-side adjustability. I always need a lot of time to adjust my rack in order to prevent the bikes from coming in contact with each other. However, this product makes that much easier because all I need is a couple of twists with the right key in order to set it up.

Our Experts Thoughts About It

The manufacturer claims that using this carrier is the easiest and fastest way to load bikes. Still, I would also say that the rack is pretty durable since it’s made out of steel. It supports both 2’’ and 1.25’’ hitch openings and can hold up to two bikes that weigh 60 lbs each.

It’s great for all biking enthusiasts who are always on the go and need to load their bicycles quickly. Many can benefit from it simply because it supports wheels between 20”-29”, as well as carbon frame bikes, and even those with disc brakes or full suspension.

StrongArm Design

The StrongArm feature grasps the wheels. Therefore, the bikes’ frames and the paint job will remain intact even if we’re driving on bumpy terrain.

SKS Cable Lock System

SKS cable locks allow us to further secure the bicycles. Once we attach them properly, it’s highly unlikely the bikes will fall off the platform.

Side-to-Side Adjustability

Probably the most notable benefit of this product is that it allows users to adjust the space between the bikes with ease. This feature can save us time if we’re in a hurry.

4. Kuat Racks Sherpa 2.0

Kuat Racks Sherpa 2.0

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Kuat Racks Sherpa 2.0 would be a good option for me because it happened once that I wasn’t able to park my vehicle due to the rack’s size. Thanks to the folding tire cradles, this product actually leaves a tremendous amount of clearance.

Our Thoughts About This

Kuat presents Sherpa 2.0 as a convenient aluminum rack that is easy to install and take off. They also claim that it is a completely redesigned product that has little to do with the first Sherpa model.

Yet, it seems that it isn’t as strong as some of its counterparts on this list. It can only hold two bikes that weigh only 40 lbs each. However, the cradles can support tires as large as 3” and wheelbases that go up to 47”. Furthermore, this model allows us to create spacing between the bikes of up to 14”. It also comes in two hitch sizes of 2” and 1.25”, which is great news since we can install it on various vehicles.

Kuat Racks Sherpa 2.0 is intended for bicycle enthusiasts that don’t own heavy-duty bikes. It would also be perfect for small, lightweight cars.

Pivot with Foot Assist

One of the great benefits of this product is that it has a pivot lever that we can activate by foot. This makes the process of unfolding the rack completely hassle-free.

Folding Front Cradle

The folding front cradle feature can be really beneficial once we unload the bikes. It will allow us enough clearance to park even in tight spots.

5. Swagman XTC2 Hitch Bike Rack

Swagman XTC2 Hitch Bike Rack

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What really bugs me about the rack that I own is that I’m not really able to access the rear of my car whenever I have it installed. With Swagman’s XTC2, though, I wouldn’t have such a problem because the center arms fold down.

Our Thoughts About This

XTC2 is one of the Swagman’s hitch bike rack models. It was among the first that Swagman created, and it still holds well among its modern counterparts. This is exactly why I considered to choose it as the hitch bike rack. Swagman doesn’t sugar-coat the features and benefits of this carrier. It presents it in a straightforward fashion and takes pride in it for what it is.

The XTC2 can transport up to 2 bicycles with wheel sizes ranging from 20” to 29”. It can also fit 1 1/4″ and 2″ hitch openings.

Unfortunately, users shouldn’t load bikes heavier than 35 lbs each. Another thing that made me unhappy about this rack is that I would have to buy 1/2″ locking hitch pins and cables separately.

This product is lightweight when compared to others on this hitch bike rack list. So, the fact that it only supports bikes that weigh up to 35 lbs isn’t a disadvantage. It only means that it will suit small vehicles.

Soft Grip Arms

The arms on the XTC2 are coated in order to preserve the frame’s paint job. Furthermore, we can fold them down and have easier access to the rear side of our car.

Easy Assembly

The manufacturer states that users can easily assemble the XTC2. The provided instructions look simple to me, so I would probably be able to set up this model in no time.

6. Allen Sports 4-Bike Hitch Rack

Allen Sports 4-Bike Hitch Rack

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A while ago, my wife and I invited two of our friends to go mountain biking with us. They didn’t have a bike rack, and mine could transport only two bikes at a time.

What We Think

Therefore, we had to buy an extension in order to fit all four of them. However, if I had bought the Allen Sports 4-Bike hitch rack, I wouldn’t have had to worry about that; this model can hold up to four bikes out of the box.

The manufacturer emphasizes the safety of this product and presents it as rugged and easy to use. However, the reason I featured it on this hitch bike rack list is that it can transport up to four bicycles.

Even though it’s a hanging type of a hitch rack, it seems to provide enough support. This is due to Allen’s patented tie-down system that locks the frames in place. I could fold the carry arms in a matter of seconds and set up the whole rack within five minutes.

Due to the weight and the number of bikes that it can carry, this product is only available for 2” hitch openings. Furthermore, the manufacturer claims that users should only attach the rack to professionally installed Class III or Class IV hitches.

Allen Sports 4-Bike hitch rack would be a good choice for all users who need to transport more than two bikes at once. However, users that have bikes with non-standard frames might need to invest in adapter bars.

Folding Carry Arms

The Allen Sports 4-Bike Hitch Rack incorporates folding arms that can be folded within seconds so that they don’t get in the way of other cars or objects nearby.

Individual Tie-Down System

Allen’s special tie-down system protects the bicycles from coming in contact with each other. Moreover, I could rotate these in order to fit different types of bikes at the same time.

Tilt-Away Main Mast

The main mast of this model can be tilted away, which would allow me easier access to the trunk.

No-Wobble Hitch Installation

The No-Wobble Bolt that comes with this model will securely hold the rack in its place. Thanks to that, I could be sure that this carrier wouldn’t fall off even on bumpy or steep terrains.

7. BV Bike Carrier Tray-Style Hitch Rack

BV Bike Carrier Tray-Style Hitch Rack

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To be honest, I was afraid to transport my bikes at night because the rack that I owned didn’t have a safety reflector. BV Bike Carrier Tray-Style Hitch Rack incorporates this feature, which makes it one of the safest products out there for transporting bikes after sundown.

What We Think

BV describes its Bike Carrier as a hitch rack that provides the user with the most effortless way to transport bicycles. This is not far from the truth. The overall design of the product and multiple user-friendly features make this rack ready to use within minutes.

This product can carry up to two bikes that weigh 35 lbs each. Therefore, it’s one of the lighter racks on this bike rack list. The hitch tube can fit both 1.25” and 2” hitch openings. So, a wide variety of vehicles will support this model right out of the box. However, what distinguishes it from the rest is that it includes an adapter for 2” receivers.

BV Bike Carrier Tray-Style Hitch Rack is great for people who have multiple cars with different hitch types. For example, this product would fit both on my wife’s car and mine thanks to the 2” adapter. Hence, this feature can save you the cost of buying two different racks.

Tilt-Back Design

Like most of its counterparts, this model also incorporates the tilt-back feature. That would allow me to move the whole rack backward in order to open the trunk or access the rear part of my vehicle.

Fold-Up Design

What’s good about this rack is that I could simply fold it when I’m not using it. Thanks to that, I could save space and avoid taking off the whole rack.

Safety Reflector

The Safety Reflector feature sets this product apart from some of its competitors. It enhances the visibility of the rack and ensures safe night driving.

8. Swagman XC Cross-Country 2-Bike Hitch Mount Rack

Swagman XC Cross-Country 2-Bike Hitch Mount Rack

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A friend in need once asked me to borrow him my hitch rack. However, he wasn’t able to load his bike, which had a 50 cm frame. If I had owned Swagman XC Cross-Country, that would’ve been possible because it supports frames up to 59 cm.

What We Think

Swagman states that using XC Cross-Country is a secure and stress-free way to transport bikes. They back up that claim with the fact that the rack grasps bikes both by the wheels and the frames at the same time.

XC Cross-Country is compatible with 2” and 1 1/4” hitch openings and can fit up to two bicycles with a wheel size ranging from 20” to 29”. Furthermore, the maximum carrying capacity is 35 lbs per bike, which is a standard for lightweight racks. Additionally, unlike some other competing products, this one folds up vertically. That feature is useful because it could give me even more clearance in tight spots.

Above all, I’ve included the Swagman XC Cross-Country on this hanging bike racks list because it’s easily adjustable and can fit a wide variety of frames. This rack will be a good choice for those who don’t need sturdy platforms and want to save a coin or two.

Supports Large Frames

XC Cross-Country allows us to transport bikes that have large frames. In other words, we’ll be able to unfold the ratchet arms up to 59 cm in height.

Foldable Center Arm

Unlike some other models, this rack allows the user to fold the center arm. Thanks to this feature, I would be able to unload the trunk without taking the whole construction off.

9. Swagman Chinook Hitch Bike Rack

Swagman Chinook Hitch Bike Rack

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The first product that I bought wasn’t the platform racks at all. As soon as I got home, I realized that it didn’t have a locking pin for the hitch. So, I had to postpone packing for the trip, go back to the store and buy one. I could’ve picked Swagman Chinook that day, but I’m not sure why I didn’t. If I had, I would’ve gotten a locking pin with it.

What We Think

Swagman states that Chinook is one of their latest products. They take pride in its state-of-the-art design, durability, and user-friendly features. At first glance, Chinook looks modern and streamlined. Simplicity is the key characteristic of this model because I could install it with ease. Moreover, the design doesn’t jeopardize the compatibility with numerous different frames.

Still, I would really like to emphasize the quality of the tire cradles and the ratchet straps that firmly grasp the wheels, as well as the adjustable locking hooks that help secure the frames to the rack. It seems to me that Swagman has given the security characteristics of this model some thought.

Chinook can transport up to two bikes that weigh 45 lbs each. Furthermore, I could attach it to hitches that have both 1 1/4″ and 2″ receivers. However, there’s bad news for all those who prefer fat bikes. Namely, they would have to buy the fat tire tray separately.

All in all, this product seems quite satisfactory to me, especially because it can carry bikes that are heavier than some other models in its price range. Therefore, I would recommend it to all owners of 45-lb bikes and those that have unconventional frames.

Fit

The manufacturer emphasizes the versatility of this product as its prime feature. I can agree that this rack is convenient for a lot of different bike models and types of frames. As a result, most users will probably be thrilled to see that their bicycles fit like a glove.

Security

Security is an important aspect of Chinook. It’s probably one of the main reasons it’s on this hanging racks list. It has two lock cylinders that secure the bike to the rack. Moreover, the design also incorporates a hook that will keep the frame in place.

Adjustability

This product is easily adjustable according to our needs and preferences. We can fold it up against the vehicle for greater clearance, and we can even adjust the wheel cradles to desired positions.

Versatility

With appropriate add-ons, this product can even fit fat bikes. What’s more, we can tilt it back while it’s loaded in order to access the trunk of our vehicle.

10. Hollywood Racks Sport Rider Bike Rack

Hollywood Racks Sport Rider Bike Rack

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I need to go back to the event that I described at the beginning of this article. I forgot to mention that my wife told me that she heard rattle seconds before my bike fell off the carrier. Afterward, I checked the hitch and realized that I couldn’t tighten the rack enough. So, the wobbling was probably one of the reasons for the whole mess.

What We Think

In contrast to my rack, Hollywood Racks Sport Rider Bike Rack includes a state-of-the-art system that I could use to fully tighten it with ease and without any tools. That’s one of the reasons I’ve included it on my mount rack list.

The manufacturer presents this model as a heavy-duty platform carrier that can hold up to two bikes. The maximum weight capacity is 50 lbs per bicycle. However, we can only install it on hitches with 2” openings.

What’s good about this model is that the wheel cradles can fit bikes with wheelbases that are up to 60”. It secures them via universal locking-frame hooks that can fit most frames on the market. As a result, this carrier would be great for all biking enthusiasts who have large and sturdy bikes but expect more reliability from a hitch rack.

No-Wobble, No-Tools Hitch Tightening System

One of the main features of this product is the no-wobble system. It allows the user to tighten the rack with their bare hands within seconds. As a result, installing this rack would be child’s play.

Locking Frame Hooks

Locking frame hooks allow users to completely secure their bikes to the rack. The security cable and key-like locking hitch pins also come with the product. These will further help to prevent bicycles from moving.

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Do We Have a Winner?

Finding a hitch mounted bike rack wasn’t an easy task for me because I had to choose between multiple products that incorporate world-class features. However, according to my judgment and research, the best one is definitely the Thule T2 Pro XT 2 Bike Rack.

What sets it apart from other models is the design that offers greater clearance. Also, it seems that every competing product on the list lacks something, but Thule T2 Pro XT 2 manages to incorporate all of their benefits.

For example, some racks have the same features as T2 Pro XT 2, but they are of the hanging type, and Thule’s model is platform-based, which automatically offers better security.

The only downside of this product is that it’s available only for 2” x 2” hitch openings. However, if users are ready to spend an extra coin or two in order to get the bike hitch mount rack, they can always ask the mechanic to install a corresponding hitch on their vehicle.

Bike racks (or bicycle carriers) are used for transporting bikes for longer distances, for example when you’re going on a trip. They’re, by far, the safest way of transporting your bikes.

Most Asked Questions and Answers:

Bikes help you stay active and explore the places around you no matter where the road takes you. However, it’s next to impossible to transport a bike without a bike rack. Also, on top of allowing you to take your bike with you, racks can help you organize your bikes at home.

Unfortunately, some mistakenly think that bike racks are either too difficult to set up or just not worth the hassle. In the following section, I’ll explain everything from setting up a hitch to mounting a female bike on a rack. Ultimately, I hope you’ll see how easy it is to set up and use a rack, and how it can benefit you.

How to Install a Bike Rack on a Hatchback in 2 Easy Steps

Bike racks (or bicycle carriers) are used for transporting bikes for longer distances, for example, when you’re going on a trip. SUVs and hatchbacks usually have these racks attached to the rear trunk, roof, or the rear tow hitch.

Also, setting up a bike rack on a hatchback is quite easy, and you don’t need any special skills or tools to do it. You’ll need:

A bike rack

  • Place the Rack Keep the hatch ajar, and place the upper bars of the rack on it.
  • Hook and Tighten the Straps Hook the upper straps to the top edge of the hatch and tighten them.

Do the same for lower and side straps. Lastly, make sure each section is tightly set up and secure. Pro tip: You can also test the security of the rack by placing bikes onto it. If they don’t make the rack start slipping — you did it!

How to Put a Hitch on a Car in 3 Easy Steps

If you’re moving, or are constantly on the go, a car hitch can be a lifesaver.

For example, you can use it to attach a trailer for your family’s next vacation. A hitch also comes in handy if your car breaks down and you need to have it towed.

You’ll need:

  • Power drill (if your vehicle doesn’t have the holes)
  • Wire tube brush
  • Pin and clip
  • C-clamp
  • Wheel chocks
  • Torque wrench
  • Lubricant

1. Prepare Your Car To ensure the safety of yourself and your car, you should:

  • Activate your parking brake and chock your wheels to prevent your car from rolling.
  • Raise the level of your car with a jack if you want to give yourself more room to work.
  • Use a lubricant and a wire tube brush to clean the holes that the hitch will hook into.
  • If your car doesn’t already have the holes, drill them.

2. Attach the Hitch Although you can do attach the hitch by yourself, it’s even better if you have a pair of helping hands. First, you’ll need to lift the hitch and attach it to the frame of your car.

Use the C-clamps to hold everything in place.

3. Tighten the bolts You can tighten the bolts with your fingers, just enough for the hitch to stay in place. Then, use a torque wrench and tighten the bolts to match the values from your hitch’s instruction manual.

Pro tip: You’ll also need to rewire your car’s turn signals and brake lights to your tow hitch.

How to Put a Female Bike on a Rack in 4 Easy Steps

It can be difficult to set up female (low tube) bikes on a regular bike rack and get them to stand on their own without moving around.

Because of that, I prefer totem pole back racks, as they can handle all types of alternative bike frames.

Totem Pole Bike Rack This type of bike rack can store up to 6 bikes and carry up to 200lbs. You can attach it to the hitch of your car, or place it inside your home to serve as a regular bike rack.

What’s more, you don’t even need any additional tools or materials to assemble this rack — you can do everything by hand.

1. Install the Hitch Pull the rack’s hitch over your car’s hitch, and make sure they can both handle the same amount of weight.

2.. Set up the Poles Take the upright pole and connect it to the hitch, then tighten the screw on the pole until it clicks. Next, place the top pole over the upright pole, and do the same.

3. Set up the Stabilizing Bars You’ll get three stabilizing bars to screw into the main pole. One is for the lower front of the pole, and two are for the sides. You can also adjust the height on all of the bars, depending on the height of the bikes you’re using.

4. Strap Them In Last, but not least, you can use the bands attached to your totem pole rack to secure all of your bikes in place.

Why Purchase a Portable Bicycle Rack for Cars

Bikes are a great mode of transportation in general. They allow you to navigate around any environment quickly and easily, give you a good workout, and save you money on fuel.

I just love taking both my road bikes and car when I travel, so I can explore the places I’m visiting. Portable racks allow you to store your bike easily when you’re traveling, and they don’t take up a lot of space.

They’re also, by far, the safest way of transporting your road bikes. They won’t scratch or damage your bike, and they will allow you to take it with you wherever you go.

How to Put a Hitch on a Truck

Hitches come in quite handy, especially if you own a truck. You will need them to attach a trailer, or in case your truck breaks down and needs to be towed.

Installing a hitch isn’t all that difficult, but you need to make sure you do the job right the first time around, to avoid any damage.

You’ll need:

  • Bolts
  • A drill
  • A jack
  • C-clamps

1. Create the Setup First, prop the truck up with the jack so you can access parts of your truck easier. Then assemble the hitch without tightening any bolts. The process will help you see if the hitch fits your truck properly, and ensure there aren’t any missing parts.

2. Drill the Holes You can use the hitch as a reference while you’re drilling holes in your truck’s frame. To avoid any issues with the fit, make sure that the holes are about 1/16 of an inch thicker than the bolts you’re going to use.

3. Bolt the Hitch Use the C-clamps to clamp the hitch to the truck. Tighten all of the bolts and any other loosened parts on your truck (such as the exhaust and the bumper).

Next, all you need to do is bring your truck down back to normal level — and you’re done!

Pro tip: If you’re setting up a trailer, fix any electrical wires you might have according to the instruction manual. Also, always take your truck for a test-drive before going on any long trips.

When to Buy or Not to Buy a Used Bike Rack for SUVs

When you’re not sure how much use you’re going to get out of something, it’s not a bad idea to buy a used product to cut down on costs.

For example, bike racks are a great tool for all avid drivers, but they can cost a pretty penny. There’s no shame in buying a used product to save money, but you shouldn’t let someone take advantage of you.

Do’s of Buying a Used Bike Rack for SUVs

  • Ask the seller how long and where they’ve been using it.
  • Ask them why they’re selling it; if they get all flustered and confused — something’s not right.
  • When possible, inspect the rack by yourself, and test it out on the road to see if it holds up.
  • Look up the specifications of the product. Don’ts of Buying a Used Bike Rack for SUVs
  • Never buy something because it’s cheap. There’s usually a good reason for the low price.
  • Steer clear of any racks with obvious scratch marks. No one expects it to look brand new, but there shouldn’t be too many signs of damage either.
  • Don’t go into it blind.

Research the product to know that it’s exactly what you need.

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