In addition to being a great form of exercise, bikes are extremely enjoyable and efficient means of transport.
Its flexibility in use allows it to be pedaled anywhere and everywhere. However, traveling with it might prove to be a challenge in some cases. You might find yourself in situations where you will need a way to carry your bike on your car.
Bike racks are great for this reason, and if your vehicle already has a trailer hitch, then you can quickly get a hitch bike rack for you. Here are some of the best hitch mount bike racks that you can look into.
What Is a Hitch Bike Rack?
Buying a bike rack for the first time can be a bit overwhelming. If you have already begun your research, you will notice that there are various types of bike racks available in the market; each consisting of their unique selling points, their advantages, and disadvantages. But what is a hitch bike rack?
To put it in simple terms, a hitch bike rack is a bike rack that is attached to the trailer hitch of your vehicle with nuts and bolts, and even safety chains. Depending on the model you purchase, the hitch bike rack can be straight, or L shaped, and can hold 2-4 bikes.
Best Hitch Mount Bike Rack Reviews
The whole idea of buying a hitch mount bike rack is very daunting, especially with so many options available. After all, you must pick the best hitch bike rack for the money. So, we have rounded up some of our top picks.
1. Allen Sports 4 Bike Hitch Racks for 2 Inch Hitch
This bike rack features a hanging system that can carry up to 4 bikes in total. Each bike will be hung from their cradle, making it roomy enough that the bikes do not clash against one another. The bikes are secured very well due to the innovatively designed tie-down system that is featured on the Allen Sports bike rack.
For this bike rack, you will need a hitch of 2 inches, so Class III and Class IV should work correctly in this case. Within a few minutes, you can easily install the rack on your vehicle’s hitch. It secures to the hitch with a nut and bolt.
Moreover, it’s pretty lightweight, weighing around 22 lbs only, which makes it easier to handle alone.
The good thing about this model is that it tilts outward a bit, making it possible for you to access the vehicle’s rear quickly. Also, the rack can be stowed away without a hassle; thanks to its foldable nature. Simply fold down the arms when you are done with it.
Furthermore, the build quality and finish are as exceptional as its features. Constructed with steel and coated with a durable powder, there is no question of this bike rack’s durability.
- An innovative and secure tie-down system
- Easy and quick installation and removal process
- Holds up to 4 bikes
- Plenty of room and has individual cradles for each bike
- Foldable for easy stowaway when not in use
- Vehicle’s rear is still accessible after install
- Quality finish and durable performance
- Constructed of steel
- You need to assemble some parts
2. Swagman XC Cross Country 2 Bike Hitch Mount Rack
If you are on a budget, then the XC model is the perfect bike rack to go for. But, do not let their inexpensive price tag fool you. Despite the reasonable price, the XC model by Swagman packs a punch when it comes to their features.
In addition to having an adjustable tray, the rack also features ratcheting arms, and a hitch pin to keep the rack stable. You can easily adjust the arms to fit any bike with a maximum frame size of 59 cm. Holding at maximum two bikes at a time, this bike rack requires a receiver hitch of either 1 ¼ inch or 2 inches.
If that wasn’t all, its lightweight tremendously helps when it comes to installing and removing the XC bike rack. Since it only weighs 32 lbs, you can easily go through the installation process on your own. Due to its small footprint, stowing it away is also very easy after use and doesn’t take up that much space.
Since you do get what you pay for, some shortcomings must be expected. For example, loading and unloading the first bike (the one closest to the vehicle) can be a bit of a hassle.
You will find that the release mechanism on the arm isn’t as smooth and may take some effort. Also, if the arms rub against the bike frame too much during the drive, it may scruff it up or chip off the coating.
If you find these to be a deal-breaker for you, then you might want to upgrade to one of the other ones mentioned in this list.
- Very reliable
- Very compact and lightweight
- Can be stowed away easily
- Sturdy arms that can hold most bike frames
- Easy installation and removal process
- Rubber tire straps
- Not a user-friendly design
- The arms can scruff up the bike frames
3. Tyger Auto TG-RK4B102B Deluxe 4 Bike Carrier Rack
The Tyger Deluxe bike rack is beautifully designed and heavy-duty without being complicated to use. Carrying up to 4 bikes at a time, this bike rack requires either 1 ¼ or 2 inches hitches and is one of the best bike racks for truck hitches.
This 4 bike carrier rack features dual rubber cushioned arms, which can be folded down after use, and a single supporting mast in the center, which can be tilted to create access to the vehicle’s trunk. There are four soft cradles on each of the arms for the bikes to be mounted and are secured by safety straps.
Constructed of premium grade stainless steel with an e-coating finish to protect it from corrosion, the rack itself is quite sturdy and very durable. Installing it is pretty simple. All you have to do is line up the hitch’s pinhole with the center post’s opening and screw in the bolt that comes with the rack.
If you are looking for a hassle-free bike rack that will stand the test of time without breaking the bank, then this Tyger Deluxe bike rack is what you should go for.
- Polished finish that is resistant to rust
- Compact and easy stowaway
- Soft and secure cradles for the frames
- Protective pads that protect the bike frames
- Easy access to vehicle’s trunk due to the tilting feature
- Very budget-friendly
- Can carry up to 4 bikes at a time
- Bikes can be easily loaded and unloaded
- Hitch pin lock to prevent theft
- Blocks the driver’s rearview when fully loaded
- Bikes will remain a bit unstable
4. MaxxHaul (70210) 4 Bike Deluxe Hitch Mount Rack
Another budget-friendly option is the MaxxHaul bike rack. Constructed of steel, this bike rack is strong and durable and can work with any hitch of 2 inches. The rack features soft cradles that hold your bikes by its frame and secures even further by Velcro straps. Transporting your bikes is safe and tension free.
The installation and removal process is a breeze, and you can easily do this on your own as it is reasonably light at about 26.4 lbs. One of the best features that the MaxxHaul has is the fact that it can be swung down to give you access to your vehicle’s tailgate.
This not only saves you a lot of time but also your energy and takes away a lot of frustration.
Having said that, the bike has a few shortcomings. After all, no product is ever perfect, and it depends on the user and whether or not these flaws are deal-breakers for them. For instance, if your bike has slanted handles, then this rack is not going to be any use to you.
Even then, for the price and what it can do, the MaxxHaul still makes it to the best 7 hitch mount bike racks. Mount 4 bikes on it and transport them easily anywhere without any fear.
- Constructed of steel, therefore robust and sturdy
- Minimalist and user-friendly design
- Bike rack can be swung down for easier access
- Easy installment and removal processes
- Carries up to 4 bikes without hassle
- Soft cradles and Velcro straps to keep the bikes secure
- Not powder coated, therefore vulnerable to rust
- Not as safe as you’d expect
- Cannot hold bikes that have slanted bars
- Does not have the folding feature
5. Yakima – Holdup Hitch Mounted Bike Rack
This platform-style bike rack is made so that it can hold your bike securely without coming into contact with the frame of your bikes. You will find this extremely useful since it is a surefire way to prevent any scratches or scruffs made during transit.
The bike rack also features cradles for bike tires that are adjustable along with clamps that hook over the tire and lock it into place. This feature allows the bikes to be held securely in place without getting damaged.
Its design is one to take notice of. Its unique design allows for you to load and unload bikes as effortlessly as possible, regardless of how much each bike weighs.
The rack in its entirety can hold up to 120 lbs, meaning that each bike has a weight limit of 60 lbs. This makes the Yakima Holdup bike rack stand out from the crowd.
Moreover, the fact that you can instantly convert this 2 bike rack into a 4 bike rack with an optional holdup makes it even more intriguing. Same as a lot of the other ones mentioned above, this bike rack requires a 1 ¼ inch or a 2 inches hitch receiver.
All in all, it is an excellent product with two unique features that truly make it one of a kind. It can either be a 2 bike or 4 bike rack, depending on what you need when. If that’s not all, it is very versatile and can accommodate a variety of bike types, such as disc brakes, carbon road, full suspension, and even Thru Axle bikes.
- Effortless loading and unloading of bikes
- Strong and durable
- Versatile and can accommodate various types of bikes
- Carries 2 bikes right of the bat, but can hold 4 if required
- Features StrongArm design
- Zero frame contact
- Needs a bit of assembling
6. BV 2 Bike Bicycle Hitch Mount Rack Carrier
The BV bike rack is a great option for you if you want to carry at least two bikes simultaneously and something that can carry children bikes when required. Starting from its easy installation process and fold-up design, this bike rack is convenient and considered as the best bike rack for truck hitch by many.
The rack is connected to the vehicle’s hitch on three distinct points, allowing for it to be very sturdy and stable during transport. The frames of the bikes are tightly secured to the rack while the tires are kept firmly in place due to its tray-style design. All of this prevents one bike bumping against one another.
To prevent scratches or scruffs on your bikes, the rack features padded arms. The mechanism through which the rack gets its folding and tilting capabilities is of decent quality, so the rack won’t fall apart no matter how many times you fold and unfold during and after use.
- Tilt and fold design
- Safety reflector strips for better visibility
- Padded arms to prevent scratches
- Tray-styled loops
- Easy to install
- The total capacity is 70 lbs.
- Not suitable for heavy bikes or bikes with thick tires
7. Overdrive Sport 2 Bike Hitch Mounted Rack
The Overdrive bike rack is more than just impressive. Not only is it quick and easy to install, but it can also be adjusted to fit your bikes and prevent accidents snugly.
Moreover, the rack features an anti-wobble design so that there are no gaps in between the receiver and the rack itself. This not only keeps your bikes stable but also allows for safe and secure transit.
The bike rack is foldable, allowing you to save plenty of space when you store it away after use and can tilt downwards which gives you easy access to the vehicle’s rear even with the rack loaded up.
It is recommended that you use a 2-inch hitch for maximum security for your bikes. A locking hitch pin and knob is provided for further protection, along with a frame adapter.
Most of the parts will come assembled, but you might have to do some of it on your own. Weighing at 49 lbs, it is a bit heavier than some of the other racks reviewed above, but it is not unmanageable.
Additionally, reflective strips are attached to the back of the bike rack, which makes it convenient for traveling in bad weather and at night.
Overall, the Overdrive bike rack has a lot of features working in its favor. Starting from the fold and tilt feature to optimum security and safety features, this is another one of the top best hitch bike racks the market has to offer.
- Quick installation process
- Anti-wobble system further stabilizes your bikes
- Fully adjustable for a snug fit
- Strong and Durable build
- Safe and secure
- Foldable and features tilt design
- Reflector strips for more visibility
- Some assembling might be required
- Relatively heavy
Benefits of Using Hitch Mount Bike Rack
As already mentioned, there are various types of bike racks available in the market. So, why hitch mount bike racks in particular? Here are the several benefits of using a hitch mount bike rack:
Able to Carry Multiple Bikes
With hitch mount bike racks, you can effortlessly carry multiple bikes without posing a risk to your vehicle’s maximum load capability. Many other types of bike racks can sometimes take two bikes at once, but that’s the extent of their limit. Hitch mount bike racks, however, can carry up to 4 bikes in total, depending on the configuration.
Locked and Secured
Many bike racks are secured by straps that hold the bikes to your vehicle. This isn’t a fool-proof system for safety, should one of the straps come loose or damaged.
Same Vehicle Clearance
You can add a considerable amount of height to your vehicle if you choose to purchase a roof rack. While they carry two bikes, you can leave them upright.
No Need to Take the Bikes Apart
This is a well-known fact that many bike racks require you to take apart your bike before loading them. Not only is this a hassle, but also time-consuming and requires much effort.
Things to Consider Before Buying
We know that hitch bike racks have a lot of benefits that bring about a lot of convenience and ease in transporting your bikes. Having said that, there are some other areas that you need to take into consideration before choosing the right one for you.
The Three Common Types of Racks
There are three types of hitch bike racks that you need to choose from. The platform type holds all your bikes securely on a tray, while the hanging type suspends them with arms going through the frame. Lastly, the wheel only types delays the bike by the wheels instead of the frame.
Type of Bike
The kind of bike you have will have an impact on the type of rack you will be buying. You may need a special adapter to hold on to children’s and women’s bikes, whereas, any hitch rack should work for a standard bike made for men.
You need to consider the weight of the rack as it is crucial for the installation and removal processes. Determine how much weight you can handle so that you can easily install and remove the rack by yourself, and whether it can be easily stowed away when it is not in use.
Size of Hitch
Having a receiver of an inch or two is ideal as almost all hitch bike racks would easily fit into it. However, if you have a larger receiver, like the Class V hitch, you can either buy a rack made to fit into it or purchase an adapter.
Having a smaller hitch size, a Class I, might mean that you have to buy a very different type of bike rack.
Take note of how many bikes you may need to carry at a time. Most hitch bike racks allow you to carry anywhere from 2 to 4 bikes. Stating the obvious, you will find that you have more options when it comes to racks that can carry fewer bikes than racks that can carry four.
Many bike racks have unique selling points that set them apart from the rest. Some may be foldable while the others may have protective pads to create a buffer between your bike and the vehicle. Survey the options presented in front of you and see which additional features are more important in your situation.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: Do you need a trailer hitch for a hitch bike rack?
Ans: To use a hitch bike rack, having a trailer hitch is mandatory. If you do not have one already, there is no need to worry as you can find it in most authorized dealerships.
Q: Which Class hitch should I use?
Ans: You need at least a Class II hitch to use the bike racks due to the limited weight capacity of lower Class hitches. Class I has a maximum weight capacity of 200 lbs.
Q: How to determine the class hitch of my vehicle?
Ans: Check the owner’s manual. If it is not there, then there should be a stamp or sticker on the hitch itself.
Q: Is a special adapter required for the bike racks?
Ans: Ideally, you won’t need one if you are using a hitch with Class II or higher. However, the situation may differ depending on what the manufacturer offers. You can always check the documentation or your manual to see if you need one or not.
Q: Will my license plate and brake lights be blocked with the bikes?
Ans: Depending on how many bikes you are carrying and their size, there might be a possibility. The bike rack itself, however, will most probably not get in the way as they are designed with that specific thought in mind.
We’ve tried to cover the finest options on the market in our hitch mount bike rack reviews.
So, I’m sure that you’ll find your ideal pick from the list. If you find it hard to make a choice, go through our buying guide which will help you to get the best hitch mount bike rack out there.
Let me know in the comments what you think of our recommendations.