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Best Hitch Mount Bike Racks

Best Hitch Mount Bike Racks

Hitch Mount Bike Racks are an excellent way to transport your bike on the back of your vehicle. They provide a convenient and safe method for transporting bikes without having to use any special equipment or remove them from their wheels. Hitch Mount Bike Racks come in many different shapes and sizes, so it is important that you make sure you choose the one that best suits your needs. In this blog post we will explore some of the benefits of using hitch mount bike racks as well as what types are available today.

Best 9 Hitch Mount Bike Racks

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1. Yakima RidgeBack FullTilt Hitch Bike Rack

This lockable hitch rack compatible with 1-1/4” and 2” receivers features tilt-down accessibility to rear of vehicle, ZipStrips straps to quickly secure bikes, and SpeedKnob technology for fast installation.

Need a hitch rack that offers plenty of performance but leaves enough in the budget for dinner out after a great ride with friends? The Yakima RidgeBack tilting bike rack for 1-1/4” or 2” trailer hitches is the perfect blend of value, function, and convenience. With 3 different models to carry up to 5 bicycles, the RidgeBack bike mount’s SpeedKnob tool-free installation connects the rack securely in the receiver hitch and locks the rack to the vehicle.

A new UpperHand lever provides one-handed tilting for rear door or hatchback access and folding flat for simple storage, while ZipStrips straps clamp bikes speedily and snugly and anti-sway cradles prevent bikes from coming into contact. Bikes can be locked to the carrier with the inclusion of a Yakima HandCuff cable lock (sold separately), and beverages can be opened thanks to the built-in bottle opener (beverages sold separately).

Features

  • Fits both 1 ¼” and 2” trailer hitch receivers and available in models to carry up to 5 bikes
  • SpeedKnob both tightens and locks the carrier onto the hitch
  • UpperHand lever tilts carrier away from vehicle for rear cargo access and also folds the rack flat for convenient storage
  • ZipStrips straps ratchet fast and secure around bike frames, and anti-sway cradles provide stability to avoid contact between bikes
  • Addition of a TubeTop frame adapter (not included) makes rack compatible with virtually any style of non-standard bike frame
  • Addition of a Yakima HandCuff locking cable (not included) locks bikes to hitch rack
  • Built-in bottle opener
  • Full instructions included

2. Thule Apex Swing Hitch Bike Rack

It turns out you can have your cake and eat it too. The Thule Apex Swing Hitch Bike Rack for 2 receiver hitches only combines all the great features of the other Apex models with the addition of a convenient swing-away feature to allow rear of vehicle access with up to four bikes fully loaded. Beginning with super strong, lightweight construction and an integrated handle for easy lifting and carrying to and from your vehicle, the Thule Apex Swing Hitch Bike Rack installs quickly and securely into any 2 receiver hitch. The revolutionary, advanced arc design of the bike arms provides easier bike loading / unloading as well as better ground clearance.

The Hold Fast RDT (Road Dampening Technology) Cradles absorb the shock of the road for smooth transport and full bicycle protection while the patented No-Sway Cages prevent bike to bike contact or swinging into the vehicle. The integrated cable lock & key secures all bikes to the carrier while the included Locking Knob and Snug-Tite Receiver lock virtually eliminates wobble and locks the rack into the receiver. The patented Hitch Switch lever allows the bike rack arms to fold down fully when not in use, allowing for garage access, parallel parking etc. Hitch Switch lever also enables the entire rack to tilt down out of the way for easy access to rear of the vehicle (with bikes unloaded).

Features –

  • Swing-away design allows unobstructed rear of vehicle access with bikes fully loaded
  • Easily holds up to four bikes
  • Fits 2” hitch receivers only
  • Proprietary Hold Fast RDT (Road Dampening Technology) Cradles absorb the shock of the road while driving, protecting the bicycles and ensuring smooth travel
  • Patented Thule Racks No-Sway Cages prevent bike to bike contact or swinging into the vehicle
  • Patented Hitch Switch lever enables bike cradle arms to easily fold down completely (ideal for parallel parking and pulling into garages etc.)
  • Arc design of the bike cradle arms provides greater clearance off the ground and optimal distance between each bicycle
  • Compatible with virtually all bike sizes, styles and shapes. 
  • Full system locking security included: integrated heavy-duty bike cable lock secures all bikes to hitch rack; 9027 itself locks to the trailer hitch using the Locking Knob and Snug-Tite receiver locking assembly
  • Combines lightweight, ultra-rugged construction with premium styling and finish
  • Integrated handhold for easy lifting and carrying to and from vehicle
  • Thule Racks Lifetime Warranty!

3. Yakima – Holdup Hitch Mounted Bike Rack

This best-selling 2-bike platform hitch rack is incredibly easy to load/unload bikes from without any frame contact, folds up when bikes aren’t being carried, and is fully locking right out of the box. Models for 1 ¼” or 2” receiver hitches available.

The Yakima HoldUp hitch bike rack will hold up to the years of use inflicted by a diehard rider like you—but it won’t hold you up getting to your favorite riding spot. Available in two receiver mount sizes, the Yakima – Holdup Hitch Mounted Bike Rack fits 2” hitches and the Yakima – Holdup Hitch Mounted Bike Rack fits 1 ¼” hitches. HoldUp platform trays carry bikes by the wheels at an easily-accessible height and adjust side-to-side to avoid handlebar interference, and loading bikes is a cinch: just lift into place in the trays, pivot the StrongArm wheel hook over the front wheel, and tighten the ratcheting rear wheel strap. The HoldUp receiver hitch bike carrier fits 20” – 29” wheel diameters (including non-standard frame shapes, disc brakes, thru-axles, and full suspension), and because bikes are secured by the wheels frame contact is eliminated.

This 2-bike platform rack tilts down for hatchback access even when bikes are loaded, and folds up to save space on the vehicle when not in use. Plus, the HoldUp bike trays are fully lockable right out of the box: an integrated cable locks the bikes to the rack, and a hitch bolt locks the rack to the receiver. The glossy black finish adds style and durability, and the built-in bottle opener is handy after your ride is wrapped up. The Yakima – Holdup Hitch Mounted Bike Rack is also compatible with the Yakima HoldUp +2 to convert to a 4-bike hitch rack. Please note: The HoldUp 1¼” hitch rack is NOT compatible with the HoldUp +2.

Features

  • Easy-to-load platform trays carry up to 2 bikes
  • 8002443 HoldUp fits 2” receiver hitch only
  • 8002445 HoldUp fits 1 ¼” receiver hitch only
  • Carries bikes with 20” – 29” wheel diameters
  • Accommodates most bicycle frame styles, including non-traditional, disc brakes, thru-axles, and full suspension
  • StrongArm wheel holder pivots easily into place and ratchets down to secure bicycles by the front wheel, eliminating frame contact
  • Rear wheel ratchet straps clamp simply and securely
  • Wheel trays adjust side-to-side to accommodate different bicycle sizes and prevent bike-to-bike interference.
  • Rack tilts down for rear vehicle access even while bikes are loaded, and folds up for on-vehicle storing when not in use
  • Includes full locking security with integrated cable lock for bikes and hitch lock for carrier
  • Attractive glossy black finish protects rack from the elements
  • Integrated bottle opener included
  • 120 lb. total weight limit (60 lbs. per bike)
  • HoldUp 2” rack compatible with Yakima HoldUp +2 two-bike add-on (sold separately)
  • HoldUp 1 ¼” NOT compatible with Yakima HoldUp +2

4. Thule T2 Classic Hitch Mount Bike Carrier

Rugged and straightforward platform style hitch-bike rack for 2 hitches carries two bikes with zero frame contact and is compatible with 20 inches to 29 inches wheel mountain bikes, road and cyclocross bikes as well as fat bikes with up to 5 inches wide tires, and comes with lock for hitch pin.

The T2 Classic is super easy to load and unload thanks to the platform design where each bike is placed in two tray-mounted wheel cradles and secured in place by the SecureHook ratcheting arm assembly with a wheel hook that ratchets down on to the front tire directly in front of the fork with no frame contact. Locking security for the bikes is possible with the addition of Thule lock cylinders and/or an accessory locking cable (sold separately). For extra convenience, the HitchSwitch lever allows platform to be folded up when not in use or tilted down with bikes loaded to allow hatch door to open. The included STL (Snug Tite Lock) locking hitch pin locks the T2 into the receiver hitch. Please Note: Thule 9044 T2 Classic fits 2” hitches only. For 1 Ό” hitches, you need the Thule 9045 T2 Classic.

Features

  • Platform-style hitch bike rack for 2 hitches only Carries two bikes but an additional two bikes can be carried with the Thule 9046 T2 Classic 2 Bike Add-On (sold separately)
  • SecureHook ratchets down and quickly and firmly grips onto the front tire directly in front of the fork, stabilizing the bike in the wheel trays
  • Fits most styles of bikes from 20” to 29” wheel sizes and up to 5” wide fat bike tires
  • Weight capacity: 120 lbs, 60 lbs per bike
  • Hitch Switch lever enables platform to be folded up for storage or tilted down with bikes loaded for clearing rear hatch door
  • Fully lockable with optional locks and keys: SecureHook ratcheting wheel hooks lock into place with optional locks and T2 Classic itself locks into receiver with included STL (Snug Tite Lock) hitch pin lock housing
  • Adjustable trays can adjust side to side to optimize placement of bikes to eliminate frame to frame contact
  • Made in the US

5. Kuat Transfer V2 Hitch Bike Rack

Introducing the new Kuat Transfer V2 Hitch Bike Rack, engineered with improved compatibility for fat bike tires and larger frame sizes. So if you and your friends want to take your custom built dream bikes on an epic journey you’ll never forget, look no further than the Transfer to have them securely attached in seconds utilizing our previous model’s revolutionary Flatlock cam system. The first one ever made available exclusively for 2″ hitch receivers only. The updated version now includes a steel construction that will stand up to harsh conditions for years of use, while also providing owners with peace of mind knowing their heavy investments are well protected from theft when they’re away from their vehicles thanks to our automotive-grade 750 hr. salt spray hardware which provides much needed resistance from corrosion in any condition.

6. Thule T2 Pro XT/XTR Hitch Bike Rack

Introducing the newest in bike carrying technology, the Thule T2 Pro XT. This hitch mount platform style rack for bikes is as sleek and lightweight as it is sturdy and powerful. With a lower profile than traditional racks, you’ll have easy access to your rear when needed. The innovative AutoAttach system makes installation fast with no frame contact! Another great feature of this product is that it has special arms that can accommodate any type or size of bike up to 60 pounds per bike- even fat bikes! If you’re always on the go this will be perfect for you since it tilts down to easily allow for access when in transit but also folds up neatly away without taking up space when not in use. It really doesn’t get any better.

7. Swagman XC2 Hitch Mount Bike Rack

Swagman XC2 Hitch Mount Bike Rack is the only bike storage rack you’ll ever need. It’s easy to assemble and use, it’s sturdy design assures stability, and holds up to 2 bikes weighing a maximum of 35lbs per bike. This Hitch Mount Bike Rack is easily folds when not in use so you have no excuse for missing that last ride with your friends!

The rack is easy to set up and has a built in anti-wobble hitch device that will secure your bike frame from shaking while on bumps such as in rough terrain, curbs or potholes. It can be taken down and folded compactly which makes it convenient for storage when not using it, saving space. It also has an upright ratchet arm with cushioned pads that fits most rims from 20″ – 29″.

8. Thule Camber Hitch Bike Rack

The Thule Camber Hitch Bike Rack is the complete package. It hooks up to your 1.25″ or 2″ hitch and will tilt down for easy rear of vehicle access, thanks to its Kwiklift design. The bike rack also features integrated anti-sway cradles that prevent bike contact with other bikes, and a ratcheting strap system that provides superior fit it’s designed for a wide range of frame styles – from children’s bikes all the way up to adult mountain bikes. It also offers compact storage when not in use (bike arms fold downward), perfect for those plans where you were going back home by car but changed your mind at the last minute!

9. Kuat 2 Bike Beta Rack

Bend the landscape with this rugged and reliable hitch-mount bike rack. A durable, hand tight cam system securely attaches it to your vehicle while its gated hitch pin locks into place. The Kuat 2 Bike Beta Rack is compatible with 1.25″ to 2″ trailer hitches sold separately (D101). Pack up for a trip across town or cross the country on these 40lb bikes because either one of them will fit on this two bike capacity rack that tilts down for access to your vehicle when you’re done loading up!

Types of Hitch Bike Racks

I have been a bike enthusiast for many years now and I have discovered that there are two types of hitch mount bike racks: tray style and platform style.

The tray-style is the most popular, which simply slides onto the back of your vehicle’s receiver. This type is easy to use because it doesn’t require any tools or assembly.

However, if you want a more secure hold, then you should consider a platform style rack. These racks typically come with straps to securely fasten bikes in place as well as locks to keep them from getting stolen.

Hitch Mounted Bike Rack Buying Guide

A hitch mount bike rack is an excellent choice for anyone who wants to transport their bikes without having the worry of them being stolen or damaged. Once you have purchased a hitch mount, it will be possible to bring your bikes with you on long trips and keep them protected from theft at home when not in use. This article provides some information about what makes these racks such a good investment.

Bike Weight Capacity

A hitch mount bike rack’s weight capacity or the amount of bikes it can accommodate will depend on what type you purchase. Some racks are designed to hold one bike, while others can manage up to four. This is due in part to the design and also how much clearance there is behind your vehicle.

Below are a few tips for choosing which size best suits your needs:

  • If you have many bikes that need transport but only have room for one frame, then consider buying a single bike carrier instead of multiple ones – this way they’ll be easier to store when not in use.
  • For families with kids who own several bicycles, an adjustable two bicycle option may work better than individual carriers.
  • For adventure seekers or those who need to transport motorcycles, go for a four bike option.

Tilting Feature 

A hitch bike rack without tilting feature is a perfect recipe for disaster.  If you plan on driving anywhere with your bike rack, be sure to get one that tilts away from the vehicle otherwise, the bikes will rub against the car as you drive.

This means there should always be some space between the frame and where it would touch if not tilted up or down accordingly – this can help mitigate damage of any kind done to both surfaces while in transport mode.

Bike Wheelbase Compatibility

Compatibility of the bike wheelbase is also an important concern when buying a bike rack.

The first thing to consider is the distance between the front wheel axle and rear dropouts on your bike.

A proper measurement should be taken for this, which can then be matched up with any model of hitch mount bicycle carrier so that it fits without hindering its stability.

When making sure that your bike will fit inside of a certain size range, remember to account for what you’ll need in terms of clearance from ladder racks or other objects like trees as well (just make sure there’s enough space).

Swing-Away Feature

Swing-Away is another feature that you need to take into account.  It is convenient for when you need to access the rear of your vehicle, such as going through a drive-thru or unloading groceries from the back.

What this means is that instead of having to remove the entire rack and then reattach it later on, you can simply swing it out so there’s enough space in between bikes at all times.

This way everyone has easy access while simultaneously maintaining safety precautions with bike protection – not only because of its width but also due to its weight capacity (upwards of 150lbs).

Swinging racks away are designed for those who don’t want their bicycles brushing against one another in transit mode too much throughout their journey.

Material and Build Quality

The hitch mount bike rack needs to be made from a sturdy material that can withstand the weight of a bike as well as any other forces exerted on it.

Thin metal won’t do, so make sure to check for strength and rigidity in your chosen hitch mount carrier before buying.

It’s also worth considering how much upkeep will be required – if you are not able to perform minor repairs yourself then don’t buy an expensive product!

Building quality is another thing to look out for when purchasing this type of rack; brands with excellent customer service ratings may help avoid headaches down the line.

For example, Yakima offers free replacement parts should anything go wrong with their products which reflects favorably on both them and the product they’re selling.

Bike Frame Compatibility

Compatibility of the bike frame is another factor to consider when buying a bike rack.

The most important thing to do is measure the distance from the bicycle axle to where it meets the seat post.

This measurement should be taken with the brakes applied and tires at their maximum diameter; this will ensure that no frame-related issues arise in case of what kind of bike you have (or are considering).

Some hitch mount bike carriers require use of an adapter for bicycles which don’t meet up with certain measurements, so take note before buying one!

Weight

Weight of the hitch mount bike rack is another factor to consider. The rack does not have to be too heavy because it is secured to the hitch and not mounted on top of a vehicle.

The more expensive racks are usually made of aluminum which is lightweight and rust resistant.

A lighter rack means you will have to take less time when it comes to installing or removing the bike carrier from your vehicle, as well as transporting it up a flight of stairs.

Wheel Size and Tire Width Compatibility

If the wheel and tire are too wide or narrow for the carrier, they won’t fit inside securely – this can lead to a bike coming loose if driving over rough terrain which could cause damage to both vehicle and bikes.

Another thing worth noting is that not all tires will be compatible with hitch mount racks depending on their construction but as long as you’re buying from a reputable company then these sorts of compatibility issues should be few and far between!

A good idea would be to measure your own wheel width so there is no room confusion, but the general rule of thumb is that if your tire width is about as wide or wider than the rack tray then it should fit.

If you’re really not sure and are purchasing a more expensive bike carrier where compatibility with tires has been taken into account, please contact them beforehand to avoid any disappointment later on!

The best way to find out all this information would be by reading through customer reviews before making your purchase – there’s plenty of helpful advice in these forums so don’t worry too much about getting things wrong because other customers have already done all the research for you!

Conclusion

There are lots of different things to take into consideration when purchasing a hitch mount bike carrier – but hopefully with these tips we’ll have made life easier! There’s plenty more information out there about how much space is required behind your vehicle (or what car type) so go ahead and do some research before buying one because they can vary hugely depending on their size!

Last modified: June 5, 2021
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