Best Hitch Bike Racks for the Money– Review 2018

hitch bike rack reviews

Looking for the best bike rack for your car? You are on the right spot! To help you choosing, our experts bikers researched the market, took opinion from users and made a list of 10 best car bike racks.  Keep reading to see what’s the best hitch bike racks for the money.

Trailer Hitch Bike Racks can be used to haul all types of cargo! The latest generation of mount bike or hitch bike racks makes it easy to travel in remote areas with your bike. Also, you can use them to haul excess luggage, firewood, sporting equipment, hunting equipment, bicycles, wheel-chairs or scooters and so many other things!

Top Hitch Bike Racks Comparison Table 2018

Most mount bike racks are made from the same strength aluminum that is used on air crafts, so they are solid.  They drastically vary in price, but this is not a time to buy the least expensive.  Consider the price tag, but don’t be fool by buying low-quality stuff that is not made of quality materials.

There are many types of hitch racks to choose from, so when choosing your hitch rack, you should answer these basic questions:

  • What you are hauling?
  • Where are taking it? (ie: mountains, rough terrain, etc)

According to where you will put the bike the racks are two types:

  • Tray or platform racks is the first type in which the bike sits in a tray
    Hanging racks in which bikes just hang

Top Features of Trailer Hitch Bike Carrier

mount bike rack features

When you are perusing the market for the best trailer hitch racks the features are an important issues you must see. To enjoy the most versatile, easy to use trailer hitch rack, shop for those that contain most or all of these top features. Also, security and quality should be preferable over anything.  The structure should be simple but quite useful, should be adjusted perfectly and it is better, if you can store more bikes.

Folding Support Bar

First, buying a rack that has a folding main support bar or platform is great for two reasons. It allows you to fold the rack out of the way so you can access the vehicle’s cargo spaces. And it provides the most compact storage when you take it off the vehicle and put it in the garage.

Easy to install

Secondly, look for trailer hitch racks that are easy to install. You shouldn’t have to use any tools to fit and secure your trailer hitch rack. There should be a locking clip which keeps the pin in place for the sleeve. Remove the clip, pull the pin, and slide in the sleeve, replace the pin and clip and you are ready to load. If a tightening clamp is present, the task should be accomplished with a knob, not a small diameter bolt that requires a tool.

Locking Mechanism

The third feature to look for is a quality locking mechanism that will hold the post or platform securely in place so that it won’t bounce or become loose during transport. This will keep the load right where it should be and keep it from coming in contact with your vehicle, causing damage to your cargo, the paint job, or both. Again, this locking mechanism should not require tools to employ.

Load capacity

Finally, shop for trailer hitch racks that have enough beef to handle a significant weight load. Most are rated for several hundred pounds, at least. If you plan to haul very heavy loads, simply look for large capacity trailer hitch racks to meet your needs. They, along with models that come with all of these features, are readily available.

In Depth Reviews on Top 10 Best Trailer Hitch Bike Racks

1. Allen Sports Deluxe 4-Bike Hitch Mount Rack with 2-Inch Receiver

The first hitch mount bike rack we have on our list is the Allen Deluxe 4-Bike Hitch Mount Rack with a 2-inch receiver. If you want to keep your bike secure and make sure that it would be free from scratches and dents, you can easily choose Allen Sports Deluxe 4-Bike Hitch Mount Rack which secure your bikes with patented tie-down system. Its 22-inch long carrying arms is suitable for carrying two bicycles when you go to camping with your partner. Some models from this brand also has individual cradles that can accommodate up to 4 bikes at a time. Installation is a snap. You’ll love  the 22-inch carry arms, which help to secure your bikes and easily fold out immediately when needed.

Now none of you or your partners have to leave the bikes at home when going to trip. So you know the basics of what features you’re going to get on this bike carrier. For a quick understanding see at a glance what it will offers –

Here is a list of the features that the Allen Deluxe 4-Bike Hitch Mount Rack has to offer:

  • Easily fit to the different types of vehicles; such as sedans, MPV and SUVs.
  • The 22” carry arms hold up to four of your favorite bicycles
  • Allen’s patented tie-down system hold the bikes smoothly
  • Simple assembly. You can set it up very quick time
  • Sturdy steel construction keep it last longer
  • Accommodate different sizes of bikes
  • Black powder coat finish made this product tough and durable
  • And the most importantly it’s backed by a Lifetime warranty

The Pros

  • Solid, welded structure
  • Quick to load/unload bikes
  • Extra carrying arm to protects bikes
  • Great for a large family
  • Affordable

The Cons

  • May bend under heavy load
  • Small bike cradles

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

The Swagman XC Cross-Country 2-Bike Hitch Mount Rack is versatile, and you can easily see why. This hitch-mount rack can accommodate both adults’ and children’s bikes. So it doesn’t matter what type of bike you have—it could be BMX bikes, cruiser bikes, downhill bikes, full-suspension bikes, “Y” frame designs, etc—it’s going to work! And you don’t have to remove the front wheels either. It folds up for easy storage. If that isn’t convenience, then we don’t know what is.

This Hitch mount bike rack is fairly easy to install. You only need to slide it in, make sure it’s secure, and you’re good to go. There usually is no more need for you to remove any part of the bike, which makes it even more easy to use.
Another thing that’s good about hitch mount bike racks is that you have lesser chances of scratching the paint on your vehicle, which is always good news to all. Now let’s see if the next product we have, the Swagman XC Cross-Country 2-Bike Hitch Mount Rack with 1 ¼ and 2-Inch receivers will be more than enough to fit the bill.

Swagman XC Cross-Country 2-Bike Hitch Mount Rack at a Glance

These are the features that the Swagman XC Cross-Country 2-Bike Hitch Mount Rack has:

  • Load bikes in a minute
  • Specifically designed to Carry up to 2 bikes at a time
  • It can fit hitches with 1 ¼” & 2” receivers
  • Wide wheel cradles to hold 20-29″ wheels
  • The adjustable quick-release tire hoops and ratcheting top arm to carry different sizes of bike frames
  • These top arms can fold down easily so you can fold it when don’t want to use
  • Your bike’s finish is always protected due to its frame grip arms design
  • Weighs 32 lbs

You may buy the Swagman XC Cross-Country 2-Bike Hitch Mount Rack on all your favorite. For a quick and hassle free purchase, you may also look it up online.

The Pros

  • Convenient hook and loop straps
  • Accommodate vast array of bikes
  • Soft-frame coating on bike grips
  • Good value for price

The Cons

  • Soft plastic adapter
  • The screw-in pins are hard to remove
  • Expensive

3. Swagman XTC Cross-Country 2-Bike Hitch Mount Rack

Now let’s take a look at another Swagman hitch mount bike rack which is the XTC Cross-Country 2-Bike Hitch Mount Rack for 1.25-inch and 2-Inch Receivers. This bike carrier has received a lots of praises from its customers and today we are going to do some due diligence what its secret is. So keep reading to learn more about this product. Today might just be your lucky day.

The Swagman XTC Cross-Country 2-Bike Hitch Mount Rack is designed for vehicles that have 1.25 and 2 inch receivers, and can accommodate up to 2 bikes at a time. With this one , you can be assured that any bike on bike, or bike on vehicle damage will be reduced to a bare minimum. It has a built-in anti-wobble device, integrated wheel straps, push button ratcheting arms and sliding wheel platforms, so you can get the most of this product. It also has soft frame-friendly coating on its grip arms. Very easy to use, and would give you peace of mind whether you’re on the road or parked for a bathroom break. Very easy to fold down when not in use. It’s something that you know is worth having especially during long drives.

Swagman XTC Cross-Country 2-Bike Hitch Mount Rack at a Glance

Here is a list of the high-lighted features and functions that the Swagman XTC Cross-Country 2-Bike Hitch Mount Rack has to offer:

  • Built for 2 bikes with twenty to twenty-nine inch wheels.
  • It can easily fit in 1.25 and 2 inch hitch receivers
  • IT also has ratcheting arms that work at a push of a button for easy adjustments.
  • This hitch mount bike carrier has a built-in anti-wobble hitch device.
  • Its center arm can be folded down so the rear of the vehicle can be accessed easilu.
  • It also has grip arms that are soft and frame-friendly
  • It can carry bikes without having to remove the front wheel.
  • Weighs 32.7 lbs.

The Pros

  • User-friendly design
  • Adjust to the shape and design of your vehicle
  • Rubber strap to protect the bike
  • Soft coating to protect the frame

The Cons

  • Some users criticizes the plastic construction as flimsy
  • Wing nuts may loosen
  • Not so robust like the above one

4. Thule Parkway Hitch Mount Rack

One of the most popular hitch mount bike racks are made by Thule which is ideal for bikes with wheels 20-29″  in diameter and 3-inch wide tires.  A High-strength steel construction give it extra strength and stability. Although it’s designed to fit 2 bikes at a time, you can upgrade this to carry 4 bikes at the same time.

Three Models Available For The Most Popular Size Receivers
Thule provides you with a 4 bike carrier that will fit in most any hitch. You can choose any of them from 4 bike 2 inch receiver, 4 bike 1.25 inch receiver and 2 bike 2 inch receiver.

Haul Bikes For The Whole Crew
Whether you are planning for a group ride of just fun for the family the Parkway can accommodate it. With able room on the forks you can load up to four bikes. With a weight limit of 35 lbs most adult bikes will ride securely and safely.

Forks Wide Enough To Handle Most Sizes
This carrier has an 11 inch fork width. At this size you should be able to handle bikes for most sizes. This width can accommodate all but the tiniest or most unusual shaped bikes.

Access To Your Trunk Or Hatchback
Like many other rear mounted carriers you can fold the frame down for access  requires you to remove a bolt. Like most carriers of this type you have to have the bikes off of the forks. Leaving you bikes on while trying to lower can cause potential damage or harm to you and or your bikes.

Put It Together And Be Off And Driving
This bike rack is super simple to assemble. Most people report that they can have it together in less than 15 minutes.

Not All Racks Are Perfect
The one biggest complaint about Thule’s Parkway bike carrier is that it does not use a standard hitch pin. Also to lock it down you must have Thule’s lock. Although I can not suggest it, many have reported that they drilled out the hole and used their own pin and lock. This complaint is not just isolated to Thule. One advantage to this way of securing to the receiver is that it creates more stability and less vibration of the carrier frame.

The Pros

  • Can carry up to four bikes
  • Rust-free protection
  • Anti-sway cages
  • Easy to mount

The Cons

  • Heavy loads may damage car fender
  • Requires specific tool for mounting/removing rack from car

5. Yakima DoubleDown 4 Bike Hitch Mount Rack

Yakima has been providing quality protects to the bicycle industry for over 25 years thanks to its tool-free locking system which  ensure stress-free setup. It’s no wonder that the DoubleDown series of hitch mounted bike racks are so popular. The DoubleDown offers the following features:

Specially Designed Cradle To Reduce Wear And Damage
Yakima’s special cradle called the switch blade will keep your bikes from damaging themselves. Swaying can wear or even damage your favorite bike creating a bad day. Less sway means less worries for you and that means more enjoyment riding.

Narrow Arms For Supporting Most Bikes
The arms on this carrier are narrow enough to fit most bikes. Some riders have reported that they have difficulty with the kids bikes. Usually most get them on after a few minutes of trying them in different positions.

Powder Coat Finish For Durability
This type of coating helps keep your carrier looking good. It’s durable so it will withstand wear and tear. Although any coating overall does not weigh that much, powder coat is lighter than paint therefore it does help in keeping the weight down.

Versatility In Vehicle Mounting
No need to worry which size receiver you have. Yakima had the foresight to know the Class II and Class III mounts are the most widely used and included an adapter. You can easily change from a 2 inch hitch to a 1 1/4 inch hitch. Riding with a friend with a different size hidden tow mount is not a problem.

Almost Anyone Can Move It
This unit is handled fairly easily. Weighing in at 37.5 pounds most anyone can move it around if swapping vehicles or needing removed for other activities.

Proprietary Pin Is Frustrating But Offers Less Vibration
One complaint is that you have to use Yakima’s own hitch pin. What the upside is for this (and other manufacturers who do this) is that their special pin will cinch down on to the main tube. By doing this the amount of noise and vibration is reduced making a more comfortable ride for you and your passengers.

Smooth Transport For Your Bikes
The Double Down is a stable and sturdy way to move around your rides. You will drive easy knowing that your bikes will ride smoothly through rush hour traffic or through backwoods roads.

Limited Lifetime Warranty
Yakima’s warranty is limited to the original owner of the product. Additionally they will cover manufacturers defects but not wear and tear. They will not cover abuse either such as overloading and ramming it into that brick wall behind you. As long as you take care of your Yakima DoubleDown, it will take care of you for many many years.

The Pros

  • Fits 1.5 and 2-inch receiver
  • Anti-sway cables
  • Accommodates virtually any bike

The Cons

6. Yakima Products Hold Up Tray Style Bike Rack

The aspect of the Yakima Tray Style Bike Rack is superior, from construction quality to fitting and ease of installation; all made this product highly demandable to the users. The Yakima looks sturdy, and it is. StrongArm™ design  is capable of carrying up to four bikes whether it is 20” wheel or a 29’er. Easy-to-adjust sliding wheel tray makes catching the rear wheel a snap. Customers appreciate the StrongArm pivoting wheel hook, which secures without contacting the frame. 

Yakima also got our attention for Versatility and tray style hitch rack category. The new design features SKS Cable Lock System to delivers simple and secure vehicle attachment. You will never have any issues with the bike to bike contact, and the trays easily hold plus sized tires up to 5 inches in width. Like most of the tray style hitch racks, the Yakima has front wheel clamps that are pushed down onto the front tire.  Overall, with a few minor tweaks and high price tag, you will be impressed with the adjustability and light weight of the rack.

The Pros

  • Excellent quick lock and anti wobble system
  • Easy to carry
  • Bike frame are kept secured
  • Accommodates carbon road bikes as well as disc brakes,

The Cons

  • Too Expensive racks

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

Thule Hollywood Racks HR1400 is one of the simplest hitch racks we reviewed. This bike carrier holds 2 or 4 bikes(max. 50 lbs per bike). Heavy-duty platform-style rack mounts will fit almost any style of bike using a universal top clamp and adjustable wheel holders.  making it perfect for large family vacations.  You can folds it flat on your car back part when not using. So very reliable to use out of the box. If you want bike rack made of top-quality materials including high-strength steel this one is a top choice.  Safely carry two to four bikes as the rack securely mounts onto the two-inch hitch.

The 9′ security cable security cable keeps this rack safe and secure on the go and protect it from the thief.  The wheel straps add security to the rack. Once you’ve secured it successfully, make sure to use the locking mechanism to keep thieves from stealing the rack.

The Pros

  • Built to offer you solace
  • You can carry upto four bicycles
  • Comes pre-assembled and easy to adjust
  • Lifetime limited warranty

The Cons

  • Have to mount an extension to carry four bikes
  • Only one strap to secure bikes to the rack
  • The bikes touch one another when driving

8. Kuat Racks Sherpa 2.0 -2 Bike Rack

Kuat Racks Sherpa 2.0 is an updated version of the Kuat Racks series. What you’ll get with this updated version is better security, compatibility, and a user-friendly design. Highlights include Semi integrated bike lock and front tire ratchet design  for better operation. This hitch racks make loading and unloading of the bikes easier due to their low loading height. The foot release is a fantastic option compared to other brands like the T2 Classic, which needs 2 hands to do the same job.

Rear tire cradle features co-molded strap is way easy to secure the wheel. It is hard to assemble, but still worth every penny. You just need to be careful when installing. The folding tire cradle creates enough spaces so your bikes won’t rub. The all-aluminum construction made it light weight. Overall, this rack is crafted to offer the best quality regarding bike carrying.

The Pros

  • Lightweight, simple, foot pedal tilt mechanism
  • Convenient Front tire ratchet design
  • Co-molded strap to protect wheels

The Cons

  • Lacks versatility, expensive
  • Tough to fit smaller bikes

9. TYGER Deluxe Black 1-Bike Trunk Mount Bicycle Carrier Rack

The much anticipated Mount Bicycle Carrier Rack from well known brand Tyger Auto is good to go for travelers. It takes just a few minutes from the box to get ready for bikes. It can both 1-1/4” and 2” Hitch Receiver.  Make no mistake; this one fits all types of dual-arm bikes on vehicles equipped with either a 1.25 or a 2 inch hitch receiver.  The bike cable lock & hitch pin lock ensure your bike and bike rack will be secured. In addition to the incredible versatility, TYGER Deluxe 4-bike Carrier Rack is also one of the lightest racks in its class.  We also love 2 safety straps which stabilize the bike during driving. 

Soft cradles and bar cushion are attached to the rack so that your bike does not get damaged during driving. Installation is easy. But don’t install it on campers, rvs or any other types of vehicles longer than 18″. This is Tyger Auto top-selling model, which holds 4 bikes. A little pricier, this model is perfect for the family ready to ride together. When it comes to foldable rack, manufacturers assume that you will not be removing them on a daily basis, they are more of a set-it-and-forget-it item.

The Pros

  • Padded lower frame prevent damage
  • Safety strap included
  • 100% assembled to make your installation process easier
  • Sturdy and handy construction

The Cons

  • Hard to adjust the arms
  • Not ideal for too longer cars

10. Allen Sports Deluxe 5-Bike Hitch Mount Rack with 2-Inch Receiver

This is the one. The Allen Sports Deluxe 5-Bike Hitch Mount Rack. Capacity to take maximum number of bikes in our top 10 reviews. But only the downside is it fits vehicles with a 2-inch trailer hitch only.  Some of what you’ll get with this latest version is -it carry your bicycles securely and avoid the hassles. Allen Sports has always made competent and affordable bike racks for bicycling enthusiasts everywhere.  Allen Sports has added tie down cradles and quick-setting straps to secure, protect, and reduce wobbling while your bicycles are strapped in

The arm design makes for easy loading for a range of bikes. The sturdy steel construction maintain high level of quality. Black powder coat finish is made this product tougher and durable. With only three bolts needed to assemble this hitch rack will be pure gold in your car. Afterall, Allen Deluxe Hitch Racks has all the necessary hardware included to securely install the rack into your receiver hitch.

The Pros

  • Covers all the basics and despite its low price tag
  • Proven design
  • Installs in less than 5 minutes
  • Foldable

The Cons

  • The bikes cannot lock to the mount
  • Fits only 2-inch hitches only

How to Choose the Right Hitch Mount Bike Carrier

Here are a few of the types you will see when searching for a Trailer Hitch Rack:

  • Flat Cargo Carriers: Usually have raised edges and are great for luggage and camping equipment
  • Hitch with Ramp:  Most commonly used for transporting wheel chairs, scooters or lawn mowers
  • Motorcycle Carriers:  Used for scooter, dirt bikes or motorcycles
  • ATV Carrier:  Smaller and attach to ATV’s.  Most likely carrying hunting equipment, ice chests, etc.
  • Enclosed Carriers:  These are completely enclosed and are your best choice for carrying luggage on a long trip so that dirt and water are kept out
  • Load Extenders:  Usually used on large trucks for carrying items such as canoes or pipes

Read related article which is written on best windshield wiper blades, a must need tool for every car owner.

Regardless of the one you choose, make sure you get the best quality for your money!

Buying gear for your bike is just like making sure that you make the right investment for it, you choose the best for good maintenance, so that it will have a longer life. This greatly depends on how much you love biking (and your bike) of course. What is good to know though, is that you don’t need to get the most expensive gear in order to think you have the best one. It’s the same thing when choosing for a hitch mount bike rack for your bike. A hitch mount bike rack is considered to have the largest selection when it comes to style. It is the ideal rack for most vehicles because of its aerodynamic design, because you generally only need to hitch it to the rear of your vehicle. It also has a height that makes it very easy for you to load up and unload your bikes without too much strain on your back or your arm muscles.

Now that you know what the high-lighted conveniences of owning a hitch mount bike rack are, it is time to know what are the things you need to consider when shopping for one. It isn’t just enough that you go from one store to another and listen to what the salesperson has to say. You need to do your own research as well. And what better way to do that than to go online and look for hitch mount bike rack reviews, right?

Going back to the things that you need to take note of before you purchase this bike rack, we have gathered a few pointers you need to remember when looking for “the one”. So pay attention as this could spare you time and money that usually goes to waste when looking for the “perfect product”.

First, you need to know what size of receiver opening that you have on your vehicle. Most receivers have a 1 and ¼” by 1 and ¼” size, or a 2” by 2”. Hitch receivers which have a 1 and 1/4-inch receiver are generally divided into three categories. Know more about each of them below:

  • Class I – Can carry up to two bikes and has a tongue weight of up to 200 pounds. It has a towing capacity of 2,000 pounds.
  • Class II – Can carry up to four bikes. It has a tongue weight of 350 pounds and has a 3,500-pound towing capacity.
  • Class III – Can carry up to five bikes at a time. Tongue weight: 350 pounds to 1,200 pounds. Towing capacity is 3,500 to 12,000 ponds.

Some Other Trailer Hitch Accessories

Trailer Hitch Risers

If you’ve ever had a trailer or RV with a really low hitch point, coupled with a heavy load on 15 inch tires then you’ve probably experienced the pain of bottoming out going through a dip or up a steep incline. Damage to your trailer, chains and wiring can easily be the result, or worse.

Cargo Tie Down Straps

No matter what type of hitch-mounted carrier or trailer you have its impossible to safely and securely haul your stuff where it needs to go without a selection of cargo tie down straps.

Trailer Hitch Locks

Trailers, loaded are empty, are stolen on a regular basis and when that happens it’s a financial hit, a hassle, and may cause you to lose work or lose your vacation.

Trailer Hitch Extenders

There is a wide variety of Trailer Hitch Extenders available to meet your needs for class II, III and IV hitches. Match the extender to the existing hitch and you’ll know what to do from there.

Are Trailer Hitch Racks Safe?

Some consumers have concerns about the safety of using a trailer hitch rack. The fact is, when properly installed, they are one of the safest types of racks available. You’ll never pull into your garage or parking structure, for example, and wipe out your racing cycle strapped to the roof mount – out of sight, out of mind! You’ll never have a cheap strap break or wear through, causing your scooter to hit the pavement at speed.

To maintain safe use of trailer hitch racks, two issues must be adequately covered. First, the trailer hitch rack must be built with quality components and materials. When you purchase one online, make sure it is a respected company with a reputation for quality design. If you build one yourself, use high-strength steel and get it welded right. Use the proper hitch sleeve size, and one rated for the amount of weight you plan to carry, and you’ll be in great shape.

Secondly, your trailer hitch rack will provide safe, secure, and easy transportation of bikes, cargo, motorized chairs, and more, if you properly load the items onto the rack. Make sure that loads are balanced, with a low center of gravity. If loads hang over the edge, make sure they do not create an unsafe torque on the main support bracket – with balance again being the key. Do not overload the weight specifications for the rack and you likely won’t have any problems.

Finally, make sure your load is adequately secured, the same as when your hauling cargo on any type of exterior rack or trailer. Bungee cords are not enough. Use quality tie-down straps with good hooks and ratchets to ensure the greatest safety. Be sure, also, to mark your load with a bright orange or red flag to alert following drivers that you have a load on board.

Be wise, use appropriate caution, and you’ll enjoy versatile, safe use of your trailer hitch rack.


If your vehicle has a low clearance, make sure that the bike rack would also have enough ground clearance so that your bikes and the rack can avoid any kind of damage. And if your vehicle nas a spare tire mounted to the rear, make sure you get a hitch mount bike rack that has a longer shank. What you need to do is to measure the distance between the hitch pin hole center on the hitch receiver, to the outer edge of the spare tire. Make sure your measurements are accurate.

All in all, these are the things you need to remember when looking for the best hitch mount bike carrier for your vehicle. Stick to these tips and you’ll have nothing but endless fun bringing your bikes anywhere you want. Good luck!

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