Whether you’re heading off on a camping trip or simply want to hit a trail across town, a vehicle-mounted bike rack can make transporting your two-wheeler a breeze. But with so many options to select from, choosing the best hitch bike rack is no easy task. Our guide to the best hitch bike racks can help you make a smart decision.

Product FAQ

1. What Is a Hitch Bike Rack?

There are several different types of bike racks. Some racks mount on the roof of a vehicle, and some mount onto the trunk. A hitch bike rack is one that slides onto the trailer hitch of a car or truck.

2. What Are the Advantages of Having a Hitch Bike Rack?

The best hitch bike racks make it easier to load and unload bikes because they don’t require as much lifting. Compared to trunk racks, hitch bike racks are usually more secure and can be used on a wider range of vehicles. Compared with roof racks, hitch bike racks are more aerodynamic. And while overhead clearance in parking garages can be a concern with roof racks, it’s not an issue with hitch racks.

3. How Many Bikes Can I Carry on a Hitch Bike Rack?

The best hitch bike racks carry anywhere from 2 to 5 bikes. If you plan to transport an adult trike, a recumbent bike, or another type of specialty bike, your hitch bike rack may require an additional support mechanism, which is often sold separately.

4. How Does a Hitch Bike Rack Work?

There are two different types of hitch bike racks. Hanging racks hold bikes by their frame, and usually by the top bar of the bike. Hanging racks work best with bikes that have a standard frame and can hang level. Platform racks, meanwhile, support bikes by the base of their tires.  A platform rack usually has a base that the bike rests on.

5. What Special Features Are Helpful to Have on a Hitch Bike Rack?

Some bike racks have swinging arm features that allow you to swing both the rack and the bikes it is holding away from the vehicle’s rear cargo area, allowing for easy access to that part of the car. If you need regular access to your vehicle’s rear cargo area, a rack with a swinging arm or other features that build in accessibility could be a good option for you. Some of the best hitch bike racks also have special features designed to minimize swaying and wobbling while the bike is in transport. Some of these special features make the rack easier to use, but usually the more special features a rack has, the higher the price tag.

6. What Kind of Hitch Do I Need on My Car?

Hitches are classified according to their towing capacity. Most hitch racks are compatible with hitches that are Class II through Class IV. Class I hitches often don’t work because they can’t support heavy loads. In addition to hitch classification, you’ll want to know the size of the hitch on your vehicle and purchase a hitch rack that will fit. If your vehicle doesn’t currently have a hitch, you should be able to install one.

How We Reviewed the Best Hitch Bike Racks

To evaluate the best hitch bike racks, we took into consideration the ease at which each rack could be assembled, installed, and used to transport bikes. We also looked at how safely and securely each rack functioned and the degree to which the bikes being carried were crowded. Finally, we evaluated how much a bike rack hindered access to a vehicle’s rear cargo area.

Overall Price Range of the Best Hitch Bike Racks

More expensive bike racks have features that make it easier to load and unload bikes, while also keeping the bikes more stable and wobble-free during transport. Higher-end racks are also designed to allow some access to the rear cargo area of a vehicle even when the rack is installed.

What We Reviewed

  • Kuat Racks NV 2.0 Bike Rack
  • Swagman Chinook Hitch Bike Rack
  • Thule T2 Pro XT 2 Bike Rack
  • Allen Sports Delux Hitch Mounted Bike Rack
  • Yakima Products RidgeBack Hitch Bike Rack
  • Softride Hang2, 2-Bike Hitch Mounted Rack
  • RockyMounts Backstage Swing Away Platform Hitch Rack
  • Hollywood Racks HR1400 Sport Rider SE 4-Bike Platform Style Hitch Mount Rack
  • Swagman Traveler XCS2 Towing Bike Rack
  • Critical Cycles Lenox Hitch Mount Bike Rack

Kuat Racks NV 2.0 Bike Rack

Kuat NV 2.0 Bike Rack, Gray Metallic, 2" Hitch Size
  • 2 Bike capacity up to 60 lbs. each
  • Holds wheelbases up to 48” and tires as large as 4.8”
  • Adjustable front tire cradle system

Features

The Kuat NV 2.0 rack is simple to install and can be easily adjusted to accommodate all types of bikes. It is designed to keep bikes stable during transport and comes with enhanced cable locks for better security. This rack also comes with a work stand that can be used for making roadside repairs.

PROS

  • Easy installation
  • Suitable for all types of bikes
  • Work stand included
  • Attractive design

CONS

  • Heavier than some other racks
  • More expensive than some other racks
  • PRICE
  • WHERE TO BUY
  • WARRANTY

This bike rack comes with a lifetime warranty.

Swagman Chinook Hitch Bike Rack

Swagman CHINOOK Hitch Mount Bike Rack
  • EASY TO ASSEMBLE: The CHINOOK hitch mount bike rack's instructions are easy to follow. Once installed you can load and...
  • CONVENIENT: Bike rack tilts down to allow access to rear of vehicle effortlessly. Saves you time and energy for more...
  • WORRY FREE SECURITY: Have peace of mind knowing that the adjustable locking ratchet hooks are securing the frame to the...

Features

The Swagman Chinook Hitch bike rack can carry 2 bikes and is suitable for most types of bikes. A tilt-down feature allows for easy access to the rear of the vehicle even when bikes are loaded. This lightweight rack folds down for easy storage when not in use.

PROS

  • Carries 2 bikes
  • Suitable for most bikes
  • Lightweight

CONS

  • Installation and use more complicated than some racks
  • PRICE
  • WHERE TO BUY
  • WARRANTY

This bike rack comes with a lifetime warranty.

Thule T2 Pro XT 2 Bike Rack

Thule T2 Pro XT 2 Hitch Bike Rack (2"), Black, Model: 9034XTB
  • Thule T2 Pro XT 2 - 2": Premium platform hitch bike rack for 2 bikes
  • Dimensions: 54 x 15 x 43 inches, folded dimensions: 54.7 x 22.5 x 33.8 inch
  • Tool free auto attach system makes it easy to install and remove

Features

The Thule T2 Pro XT rack is designed to transport 2 bikes, but it can carry up to 4 bikes if add-on equipment is purchased. This easy-to-install rack locks in bikes so that their frames don’t touch and keeps them stable even on bumpy roads. When it’s not in use, this rack can be folded toward the vehicle, or removed completely and collapsed for easy storage. This rack is ideal for carbon frames, mountain, downhill, and fat bikes. Bike locks are included.

PROS

  • Can carry 2 bikes
  • Easy installation
  • Bike locks included

CONS

  • Heavier than some other bike racks
  • More expensive than some other racks
  • Can’t be installed on trailers or towed vehicles
  • PRICE
  • WHERE TO BUY
  • WARRANTY

This bike rack comes with a lifetime warranty.

Allen Sports Delux Hitch Mounted Bike Rack

Sale
Allen Sports Deluxe Locking Quick Release 4-Bike Carrier for 2 Inch...
  • Hitch insert fits either 1 1/4 or 2 inch receiver hitches (2 and 3 bike models) or 2 inch receiver hitches (4 and 5 bike...
  • Quick install hitch secures and tightens rack inside of receiver hitch; Includes 2 keys
  • Arms fold out of the way when not in use and rack tilts back when needed

Features

The Allen Sports Delux hitch rack can be easily installed and is capable of carrying up to 4 bikes. This rack accommodates a wide range of bikes, and its folding arms drop out of the way when not in use.

PROS

  • Suitable for a variety of bikes
  • Easy installation
  • Less expensive than some racks

CONS

  • Requires a professionally installed hitch
  • PRICE
  • WHERE TO BUY
  • WARRANTY

This bike rack comes with a lifetime warranty.

Yakima Products RidgeBack Hitch Bike Rack

Yakima - RidgeBack 4, Hitch Rack, 4 Bike Capacity
  • SMART DESIGN: UpperHand lever tilts the rack down to access the back of your vehicle and folds flat for easy storage;...
  • DURABLE, STABLE, SECURE: Zero-hassle ZipStrips secure the bikes to the rack and are fully removable; Anti-sway cradle...
  • EASY INSTALL: Tool-free SpeedKnob quickly tightens and locks the rack to your car; Fully assembled; Easy 5 minute...

Features

The Yakima Products RidgeBack rack comes fully assembled and can carry up to 4 bikes. Anti-sway cradles eliminate bike-to-bike contact, and this rack tilts down for easy access to the rear of the vehicle. When not in use, this rack folds flat for easy storage.

PROS

  • Carries 4 bikes
  • No bike-to-bike contact
  • Comes fully assembled

CONS

  • Separate adapter required for bikes with step-through frames
  • PRICE
  • WHERE TO BUY
  • WARRANTY

This bike rack comes with a lifetime warranty.

Softride Hang2, 2-Bike Hitch Mounted Rack

Softride Hang2, 2-Bike Hitch Mounted Rack for 2" and 1.25”, Swings...
  • Unique parallelogram base tilts carrier away from vehicle for trunk, hatch, or tailgate access - load your groceries or...
  • The Hang2 holds bikes vertically by the handlebars; innovative style means no contact with your frame or fork. Perfect...
  • With two bikes loaded, doesn't stick out further than any competitors’ Tray Style Racks; compact size behind vehicle;...

Features

The Softride Hang2 bike rack carries 2 bikes without allowing their frames to touch. This rack can be tilted away from the vehicle to open up access to the trunk, and quick-release arms make storage and parking easier. Designed to minimize wobbling, the Softride Hang2 is ideal for carbon frames, electric bikes, or full suspension mountain bikes.

PROS

  • Locks in bikes so frames don’t touch
  • Designed to minimize wobbling
  • Quick-release arms for easy parking, storage

CONS

  • Hitch pin not easy to use
  • PRICE
  • WHERE TO BUY
  • WARRANTY

This bike comes with a limited lifetime warranty.

RockyMounts Backstage Swing Away Platform Hitch Rack

RockyMounts BackStage 2" Receiver Swing Away platform hitch 2 bicycle...
  • The industry’s first 180 degree swing away platform hitch rack
  • Carries 2 bikes, up to 60 lbs. Not compatible with Add-On
  • No contact with frame, secures bicycle by front wheel

Features

The RockyMounts bike rack carries 2 bikes and is suitable for all types of bikes. The rack has a unique arm that swings away from the rear doors of the vehicle, getting both the racks and the bikes it is holding out of the way. The rack keeps the bikes 13 inches away from each other.

PROS

  • Suitable for all bike types
  • Swing-away arm
  • Carries bikes so their frames don’t touch

CONS

  • Difficult installation
  • Heavy
  • PRICE
  • WHERE TO BUY
  • WARRANTY

This bike rack comes with a lifetime warranty.

Hollywood Racks HR1400 Sport Rider SE 4-Bike Platform Style Hitch Mount Rack

Hollywood Racks HR1400 Sport Rider SE 4-Bike Platform Style Hitch...
  • Please refer to product pictures for this item’s dimensions
  • Specifications: Weight – 85 lbs. | Weight limit – Max 50 lbs. per bike | Hitch size – 2” Only (Do not use a 1...
  • Includes keyed alike locking hitch pin with 8' security cable to prevent rack sway, and locking frame hooks to deter...

Features

The Hollywood Racks HR 1400 Sport Rider comes pre-assembled, is easy to install and adjust, and keeps bikes wobble-free. When not in use, the bike rack can be folded flat against the vehicle. It can also be tilted down to allow access to the cargo door. This rack fits most bike types and can be modified to carry an adult trike.

PROS

  • Comes assembled
  • Easy to adjust
  • Folds flat against vehicle when not in use
  • Fits most bike types

CONS

  • Can’t be used on trailers or towed vehicles
  • Heavier than some other racks
  • PRICE
  • WHERE TO BUY
  • WARRANTY

This bike rack comes with a limited lifetime warranty.

Swagman Traveler XCS2 Towing Bike Rack

Swagman TRAVELER XCS2 Towing Bike Rack
  • Carries 1 or 2 bikes
  • Fits: 2 inch towing receiver
  • Max load: 35lbs per bike

Features

The Swagman Traveler carries 1 or two bikes and has upright arms with push-button locks that make it easy to load and unload bikes. Soft vinyl coating on the arms protects the finish of the bike, and when not in use, the arms fold up for convenient storage or lay flat against the vehicle to allow rear access.

PROS

  • Carries 1 or 2 bikes
  • Arms have soft vinyl coating that protects bike finishes
  • Affordable
  • Easy installation

CONS

  • Requires assembly
  • PRICE
  • WHERE TO BUY
  • WARRANTY

This bike rack comes with a limited lifetime warranty.

Critical Cycles Lenox Hitch Mount Bike Rack

Critical Cycles Lenox 2-Bike Hitch Mount Rack with 2-Inch Receiver
  • 2-Bike hitch mount rack made to fit a 2-inch trailer hitch. Vehicle must have a class III or IV 2 inch hitch to use this...
  • Carry arm spacing designed to accommodate an array of frame styles and sizes
  • Tie down cradles and straps take great Care in individually securing your bicycles while protecting them from damage

Features

The Critical Cycles Lenox Hitch Mount Bike Rack carries two bikes and can accommodate a wide range of bike types. This rack sits lower on the rear of the vehicle, making it easier to load and unload bikes. When not in use, the center arm of this rack folds down to allow cargo access, or the rack can be removed completed and folded for storage.

PROS

  • Carries a range of bike types
  • Easy loading and unloading of bikes
  • Affordable

CONS

  • Requires assembly
  • PRICE
  • WHERE TO BUY
  • WARRANTY

This bike rack comes with a limited lifetime warranty.

The Verdict

Two of the best hitch bike racks are the Swagman Chinook Hitch rack and the Softridge Hang2 rack. Both racks combine mid-level pricing with the ability to easily and securely transport a range of bikes. Both are also designed to allow access to a vehicle’s rear cargo area even when the racks are installed.

The Swagman Chinook Hitch bike rack has a tilt-down feature that allows for easy access to the rear of the vehicle even when bikes are loaded. The Softride Hang2 bike rack can be tilted away from the vehicle to open up access to the trunk, and quick-release arms make storage and parking easier.

Last update on 2021-10-26 at 21:50 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This