Riding your bike close to home can be fun, but sometimes you want a change of scenery.
Maybe you want to try out a mountain trail you’ve heard about. Or you want to take your family’s bikes along on your next camping trip.
So how can you get your bikes where you want them to go?
A great way to transport your bikes from one location to another is to use a bike rack that’s been mounted on your car, truck or SUV. And of all of the different types of bike racks on the market, the easiest to use is a hitch bike rack.
Top 4 Hitch Bike Rack Reviews
The Hollywood Racks HR1400 Hitch Mount Rack is our top pick. It’s more expensive than the other bike racks we reviewed, but this is one of those times where you get what you pay for. The Hollywood Racks HR1400 is easier to use and has better build quality than the other bike racks.
This bike rack comes preassembled and is ready to use right out of the box. It’s designed to hold either 2 bikes, or 4 bikes with a hitch system that doesn’t require any tools and will not allow the bikes to wobble.
The Hollywood Racks HR1400 is also getting great reviews from customers. There are hundreds of reviews online and this bike rack received a high rating.
One review came from a customer who said that he had another 4 bike hitch rack that was frustrating to use and almost guaranteed that you would scratch up your vehicle. With the model number, the bikes don’t hang from a bar, they settle into their own tire slots.
Not only does this design stop the bikes from wobbling as you drive down the road, it also prevents them from scratching up the back of your vehicle. This customer said that he can load up four different sized bikes in half the time that he used to take with his old bike rack and the bikes are much more stable and secure.
Customers are saying that the Hollywood Racks HR1400 is easy to use, the bikes are very secure even when going 70 mph on the highway, and that this bike rack is very durable. It’s suitable for bikes of different sizes whether they are men’s, women’s, or children’s bicycles.
Bicycles can be loaded very quickly and are held very securely thanks to the ratcheting clamp design. This bike rack can also fold flat when it’s not being used. After researching many different bike racks, the Hollywood Racks HR1400 Hitch Mount Rack is easily our top pick.
The Thule 2 Bike Platform Hitch Rack comes in two different models designed to work with different sized hitches. The 916XTR T2 works with 2 inch receivers and the 917XTR T2 works with 1 1/4 inch receivers. Other than the different sizes, both models are identical.
They both use heavy-duty tubes with molded wheel trays that are designed to cradle the wheels and support the weight of your bicycles.
The Thule 2 Bike Platform Hitch Rack can accommodate bikes of different sizes. It’s designed to work with bicycles with a 20 inch wheel diameter up to a 29 inch wheel diameter. It can also accommodate bicycles with disc brakes, thru-axles, and other nontraditional frame designs.
This bike rack also features a multi tiered locking system that uses an integrated cable lock. This locking system not only protects your bike from thieves, but it also keeps your bicycles very secure while driving, preventing any wobbling as you drive down the road.
The Thule 2 Bike Platform Hitch Rack is getting great reviews from customers. With hundreds of reviews online this bike rack received an almost flawless rating.
The Thule 2 Bike Platform Hitch Rack comes unassembled, but customers are saying that the instructions are clearly written and you can have this bike rack put together in about 45 minutes. This bike rack is also heavy.
This can be both a pro and a con. It weighs about 60 pounds which can make it difficult for one person to set up on their own, but it’s also very durable and stable. It doesn’t feel flimsy or cheaply made.
If you do a lot of riding, you may decide to leave this bike rack on your car rather than putting it on and taking it off after every ride. The way the Thule 2 Bike Platform Hitch Rack mounts allows access to the back hatch/cargo area of a lot of vehicles without the need to remove the rack. This bike rack also folds up nicely when you don’t have any bicycles loaded up.
The Thule company has a reputation for making great products and a lot of customers are saying that this bike rack is no exception. It’s easy to use, it’s very versatile, and it’s also very durable and well built.
The Swagman XC Cross-Country 2-Bike Hitch Mount Rack is designed to be very stable. It features a built-in, anti-wobble hitch device and it also secures your bicycles both at the wheels and at the frame for a more stable ride.
The hooks are cushioned so you don’t have to worry about scratching up your expensive bicycles and they are adjustable to accommodate bicycles of different sizes.
The Swagman XC Cross-Country is able to accommodate anything from child sized bicycles to full-size mountain bikes. It will support bicycles that weigh up to 35 pounds. When you’re not transporting bicycles, the bike rack folds up vertically and is very compact.
The Swagman XC Cross-Country 2-Bike Hitch Mount Rack is also a very inexpensive option with a price tag that is about half of what you would pay for other bike racks.
The Swagman XC Cross-Country 2-Bike Hitch Mount Rack is also getting great reviews from customers.
Customers are saying that this bike rack is very easy to put together and easy to use. One customer said that it is not only very simple to put together, but he likes the way it folds up for easy storage. It can be taken off the hitch and stowed inside your vehicle while you’re out riding.
This bike rack is also very versatile. One customer said that they have one men’s and one women’s bicycle and the Swagman XC Cross-Country is able to easily accommodate the differences in bike design. Another customer said that this bike rack easily accommodates all of the bikes that they have, from his son’s tiny 16 inch bike up to full-size mountain bikes.
People are saying that the Swagman XC Cross-Country 2-Bike Hitch Mount Rack is not only easy to assemble and easy to use, it also has solid construction and is very well made. Bicycles are securely mounted to the carrier and customers are saying that they feel very confident driving with their bicycles mounted to this rack.
The Allen Sports Deluxe 4-Bike Hitch Mount Rack is our top pick for anyone on a budget. It’s not the best bike rack available, but with a lower price tag it is a fraction of the price of the more expensive models and yet it is still a very capable bike rack.
The Allen Sports Deluxe Bike Rack can be installed on most class III and class IV, 2 inch receiver hitches. It carries up to four bicycles with a weight limit of up to 140 pounds. This bike rack is designed to be easy to use and very convenient.
It features a patented tie-down system for securing your bicycles and the folding arms make the rack a lot more compact when it’s not being used. The Allen Sports Bike Rack also has a tilt away main mast that allows the bike rack to be tilted back so you can gain access to the rear of your vehicle without removing the bike rack.
We found over 2000 reviews online for the Allen Sports 4-Bike Rack and the reviews are outstanding.
Several reviews came from people who said that they were not serious cyclists who would be using a bike rack every weekend. Because of that, they didn’t want to spend over $300 on a more expensive model. These customers are saying that the Allen Sports Bike Rack is easy to use and is also very sturdy and well built.
One review came from a customer who owns the much more expensive Thule rack. He said that he needed a second bike rack but didn’t want to spend so much money so he took a chance on the Allen Sports Bike Rack. He says that although the Thule is the better made product, the Allen Sports Deluxe 4-Bike Hitch Mount Rack is sturdy enough and doesn’t need to be as beefy as the Thule rack.
The Allen Sports Deluxe 4-Bike Hitch Mount Rack is getting great reviews from customers and although it may not be quite as sturdy as bike racks that cost three times as much, it’s definitely sturdy enough to get the job done. People are saying that their bikes are very secure on this rack and that it is a great value for the money.
What is a Hitch Bike Rack?
With a hitch bike rack, the rack is mounted on a trailer hitch at the back of your vehicle. With these types of bike racks, you don’t have to worry about overhead clearance issues like you would with a roof-mounted bike rack. And you can transport more bikes than you could with a trunk-mounted rack.
If you want to use a hitch bike rack, your vehicle needs to have a trailer hitch. Some vehicles, like SUVs, already have them. But if your vehicle doesn’t, one can be installed.
Once you find a trailer hitch that will fit your vehicle, you can install it yourself. As long as you have some basic hand tools, and a rudimentary knowledge of how to use them, you should be able to do the installation pretty easily.
You can also have a trailer hitch installed by a mechanic. And because it’s a relatively easy job, it shouldn’t cost much. Just call around to find a professional who will do the work for a reasonable price.
Once the trailer hitch has been installed on your car, installing the hitch bike rack is pretty simple. In most cases, all you have to do is slide the rack into the trailer hitch and secure the rack with a locking pin.
What are the Benefits of Using a Hitch Mount Bike Rack?
Bike hitch racks are popular because they are so easy to use. The bike rack itself is easy to install and remove. They are also the easiest to bike racks to load a bike onto.
You can use a hitch bike rack to transport several bikes at once. In fact, these racks can hold anywhere from two to five bikes at a time, depending on how big your hitch-mounted rack is.
Even “lightweight” bikes have some weight to them, and having to lift one high enough off the ground to put it on a roof-mounted rack, for example, would be a struggle. But because hitch bike racks sit pretty low to the ground, you won’t have to lift a bike very high in order to put it on the rack.
What are the Different Types of Bike Hitch Racks?
Hitch-mounted bike racks can be split into two basic categories: Hanging-style and platform-style.
And the racks in those categories can be further split into sub-categories.
Hanging-Style Hitch Bike Racks. Most hanging-style racks support a bike by its frame, although some do hold a bike by its wheels.
As bike racks go, hanging-style racks are pretty inexpensive. And they can carry between two and five bikes at once.
There are several different kinds of hanging bike racks, including single-arm bike racks, dual-arm bike racks, and wheel-only-mount bike racks.
Platform-Style Hitch Bike Racks. Sometimes called wheel-mount racks, platform style racks are usually the more expensive of the two options. They also tend to weigh more than hanging racks, while providing a more stable platform for your bikes to rest on.
Platform-style racks can carry between two and four bikes at once. And they have a few advantages over hanging racks. For one, bikes don’t sway in them the way they might in a hanging-style bike rack. And bikes are easier to get onto and off of a platform bike rack.
Some different types of platform style hitch bike racks include frame clamp racks and wheel clamp racks.
Hitch Bike Rack Features and Accessories
Along with the basics, many hitch bike racks include extra features that make them even easier to use. Some hitch racks also come with accessories designed to make using the rack even more convenient.
Here are some of the most common hitch bike rack features and accessories.
* Anti-Rattle Devices. As you travel, especially if you’re driving over rough terrain or poorly maintained roads, a hanging hitch rack can make quite a bit of noise. As you bounce over a rough road, the rack might shift and shake inside the trailer hitch, which can cause a rattling noise.
An anti-rattle device will reduce the amount of moving, shifting and bouncing the rack does inside the trailer hitch. As a result, there will be less noise.
* Locking Mechanisms. To help prevent theft, many hitch bike racks come with locking mechanisms. With these systems, your bike and the bike rack are locked to your vehicle. This makes it hard for a thief to just walk away with your bike.
* Trunk Access. With some hitch bike racks, once the rack and your bikes have been loaded up, you can’t really access the back of your vehicle. But some racks make it easy to get to the trunk. These bike racks can either be tilted down or swung to the side and out of the way.
Most people prefer swing away hitch bike racks. With these racks, all you need to do is remove a pin or loosen a knob. Then you can swing your bike rack—bikes and all—to the side, almost like you’re opening a door. This gives you full access to your trunk.
Once you’re done in the trunk, you just swing the bike rack back into place, secure it, and you’re ready to continue your journey.
A hitch bike rack makes it easy to transport your bikes from one place to another. And if you keep this guide in mind, you’ll be well on your way to choosing a hitch bike rack that suits your needs perfectly.
Hollywood Racks HR1400 Sport Rider SE
Hollywood Racks HR1400 Sport Rider SE