Best Hitch Mount Bike Rack To Transport Your Bike

Best Hitch Mount Bike Rack To Transport Your Bike

As cyclists, we know how hard it is to leave our bikes at home. Even when going on vacation trips by car. A hitch mount bike rack might be the best bike transport solution if you want to take your favorite two-wheel vehicle with you.

If you want to find out more about the types of hitch mount bike racks and how to choose one, read on. Otherwise, click on the links below and check out our selection of the best hitch mount bike racks.

Product Price Rating
Allen Sports Deluxe 4-Bike Hitch Mount Rack with 2-Inch.. $ Star rating 4.5 of 5
Yakima Products RidgeBack Hitch Bike Rack $$$$$ Star rating 4 of 5
Thule Vertex XT Hitch Mount Bike Carrier $$$$ Star rating 4 of 5
Swagman XC Cross-Country 2-Bike Hitch Mount Rack $$$ Star rating 4.5 of 5
Allen Sports 3-Bike Hitch Mount Rack with 1.25/2-Inch Receiver $$ Star rating 4 of 5

A hitch mount bike rack is a type of bike rack that mounts in the hitch receiver on the back of your car or trunk. Because of its positioning, most cyclists prefer this type of rack over the roof-mounted models for a long series of reasons.

In fact, hitch mount bike racks are easier accessible compared to roof-mounted ones, they are more secure, eliminate the overhead clearance problems and work with the major part of the vehicles. In this guide, I’ll describe each type in detail and give you some buying tips to help you choose the best one for your needs. 

Types Of Hitch Mount Bike Racks

We can distinguish two major hitch mount bike racks categories, based on the bike mounting style, hanging racks and platform racks. Both types are then divided into several groups. Let’s have a more detailed look at them.

Hanging Racks

Hanging racks are designed to support bikes by their frames. To carry them, the bikes are hung from their top tubes, this is why these racks are perfect for bikes with standard frames. Most of these racks are designed to hold a maximum of five bikes and are preferred by those who want to save on weight and costs.

In fact, hanging racks are usually more lightweight compared to the platform racks and come at more affordable prices.

If you have a bike with a non-standard frame, you’ll still be able to fix it to a hanging hitch mount bike rack with an adapter bar. Moreover, some model hangs the bikes from their wheels. This eliminates the contact between the rack and the frame of the bike, and  it is a great solution for bikes with alternative frames.

The main disadvantage of these racks is that they might require the use of a sway control device to prevent the bike from swaying and scratching your vehicle.

Platform Racks

Platform hitch mount bike racks are designed to support the bike from the wheels. Because the bikes will actually sit on top of the rack, the bike sway problem is eliminated, so you will not need a sway control device.

These racks attach the tires of the wheels to the cradles, and in this way, they are also perfect for the bikes with alternative frames. The wheel holders are usually adjustable, therefore these racks are perfect for a wide range of bike regardless of their frame size or wheel size. The bikes are also easy to load and unload from the rack.

Platform racks can usually hold maximum 4 bikes, they are heavier compared to the hanging racks and most of the times they are also more expensive.

Specialty Bike Racks

Most of the times, special bikes such as trikes, tandems, fat bikes and electric bikes can’t fit on traditional hitch mount bike racks. If you own such a bike, then you’ll have to consider a specialty hitch mount bike rack.

Fortunately, on the market, there are dozens of models of racks designed specifically for these types of bikes, so you’ll have plenty of options to choose from.

How To Choose A Hitch Mount Bike Rack

  • Type: the first things to consider when choosing a hitch mount bike rack is the type. Most cyclists choose the type based on the type of bike they own, but you can also select the right bike rack for you based on preferences.
  • Frame compatibility: once you’ve chosen the type, you should check the frame compatibility. In some cases, you’ll have to invest in additional accessories, such as adapter bars and sway devices. In the case you want to carry both a children’s bike and an adult’s bike on the same rack, make sure both bikes can be mounted securely. In this case, a platform rack might be more suitable.
  • Material: hitch mount bike racks are usually made of aluminum alloy, but some manufacturers also propose models made of carbon fiber. Remember that some materials are heavier than others, so you might want to consider this aspect too when choosing the right product.
  • Hitch receiver capacity: your vehicle’s hitch receiver should also be considered. The gross weight capacity of hitch receivers can vary between  2.000 and over 10.000 lbs., but most vehicles usually have a gross weight capacity up to 6.000 lbs. Depending on this value, you’ll be able to carry between 2 and 5 bikes at a time.
  • Security: if there are reasons to believe that you’ll ever leave your bikes mounted on the hitch mount rack unattended in public spaces, then you might also want to consider their security. Most hitch mount bike racks have locking systems that will prevent thieves from stealing your bike. However, these racks are usually more expensive than the simpler models.

Best Hitch Mount Bike Rack For Your Bike

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

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

If you are looking for a convenient and secure hitch mount bike rack, then you might want to know that the Deluxe 4-Bike Hitch Mount Rack with 2-Inch Receiver by Allen Sports is one of the most popular on the market.This bike rack is designed to fit all vehicles with a class III or IV 2-inch hitch. It has a capacity of four bikes and it is perfect for families who enjoy active trips in nature. The only consideration to make is that the rack fits only 2-inch hitches, so it will not be possible to use it if your vehicle’s hitch has other specifications.

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The rack is made of steel and coated with a powder finish. Designed to last in time, the rack is easy to operate and secure for the bikes. Moreover, when the rack is not in use, the carrying arm drops out of the way and folds down flat, allowing you easy access to the back of your car.

The rack is also very easy to install on the hitch. In fact, its installation requires less than 5 minutes.

Things We Liked
  • Capacity: this bike rack can hold up to four bikes and is ideal for families or friends who go on trips together.
  • Construction: the rack is made of steel and boasts a black powder coat finish. Thanks to these characteristics, the rack is made to last.
  • Lifetime warranty: this hitch mount bike rack is backed by a lifetime warranty offered by the manufacturer.
  • Patented tie-down system: the rack has 4 individual 22-inch long arms that secure the bicycles and boasts a patented tie-down system.
Things We Didn’t Like
  • It is usually quite a hassle to figure out the orientation of the bikes if you want to fit all four.

2. Yakima Products RidgeBack Hitch Bike Rack

Yakima Products RidgeBack Hitch Bike Rack

The RidgeBack Hitch Bike Rack by Yakima Products is a high-quality rack designed to hold five bikes at a time. Thanks to its capacity, the rack is suitable for many purposes. Moreover, it also fits hitch receivers or 1,25 and 2 inches, being suitable for a wider range of vehicles.The rack boasts some excellent features most cyclists will love. The one we like best is the SpeedKnob locking system that allows for a quick installation and locks the racks to the vehicles without the need to use any tools.

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On the other hand, the UpperHand lever allows you to tilt the rack down and gain full access to the vehicle whenever needed if the rack is empty.

Moreover, the ZipStrips are designed to secure the bikes to the rack. Another feature to mention is the anti-sway system designed to eliminate bike to bike contact.

Things We Liked
  • Compatibility: the rack is compatible with all vehicles with a hitch receiver of 1,25 or 2 inches. The manufacturer even offers a tool that can help you check the compatibility between your vehicle and the rack.
  • Warranty: the rack is backed up by a limited lifetime warranty.
  • Removable ZipStrips: the ZipStrips are used to secure the bikes to the rack and are fully removable. The rack also folds flat for storage.
  • Options: the manufacturer also proposes versions of the rack with different capacities and accessories.
Things We Didn’t Like
  • Considering the price of this rack, the product could be more solid and sturdy.

3. Thule Vertex XT Hitch Mount Bike Carrier

Thule Vertex XT Hitch Mount Bike Carrier

Thule Vertex XT Hitch Mount Bike Carrier is another popular hitch mount bike rack to consider if you have a hitch receiver of 1,25 or 2 inches. The rack has a capacity of 4 bikes and the manufacturer also proposes two different options with capacities of two or five bikes.The rack also boasts some features that make it stand out from the crowds. One of the features we like is the increased mast height which ensures an improved ground clearance. The rack is easy to install without tools and it comes with a convenient hitch adapter.

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Regarding the bikes, the rack is easy to use. The rack has a Hold Fast cradles cushion designed to keep the bikes in place, while an anti-sway system prevents the bikes from getting in contact either between them or with the vehicle.

The rack is also suitable for bikes with non-conventional frames when used with an adapter. Moreover, the unique arc design makes loading and unloading the bikes as easy as pie.

Things We Liked
  • Receiver lock: the Snug-Tite receiver lock is designed to eliminate hitch rack movement and lock the rack to the vehicle.
  • Foldable: the rack comes with a Hitch Switch system designed to fold the rack when not in use and provide easy access to the vehicle’s trunk.
  • Integrated cable lock: the rack comes with a hide-away integrated cable lock that allows you to lock the bikes to the rack. The cable stores inside the hitch when not in use.
  • Mounting system: the rack offers an excellent bike stability. This feature also increases the security of the rack.
Things We Didn’t Like
  • The rack is rather heavy and sometimes it seems that it has a loose fit in the hitch.

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

Swagman XC Cross-Country 2-Bike Hitch Mount Rack

Designed for cross-country bikes, the Swagman XC Cross-Country 2-Bike Hitch Mount Rack is perfect for the cyclists whose bikes have a non-standard frame. This hitch mount bike rack is made of steel and has a platform system designed to accommodate up to two bikes with a wheel size between 20 and 29 inches.The rack is compatible with hitch receivers of 1,25 or 2 inches and it has a weight capacity of 35 pounds per bike.

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The carrier is designed to provide a stress-free way of transporting your bikes. In fact, each bike is secured by the wheels, a safer and more stable way of transporting your bikes. Moreover, the cushioned hooks are adjustable and adapt to different sizes of bikes.

The rack, on the other hand, is compatible with a series of accessories designed to increase its versatility. On one hand, there is available a locking hitch pin and a 10 mm security cable designed to keep your bikes safe. On the other hand, the manufacturer also produces fat bike tire trays compatible with the rack.

Things We Liked
  • Adjustability: the rack can hold almost all types of bikes with non-standard frames, as long as the wheel’s dimension is between 20 and 29 inches.
  • Load capacity: the rack has a full load capacity of 70 lbs. The maximum load capacity per bike is 35 lbs.
  • Frame grips: the rack is designed to keep your bikes securely and free from scratches, thanks to the soft frame-friendly coating.
  • Foldable: when not in use, the rack folds up vertically to a compact dimension, ensuring an easier storage.
Things We Didn’t Like
  • The rack is not completely compatible with women’s bikes, and they are pretty hard to secure on the rack.

5. Allen Sports 3-Bike Hitch Mount Rack with 1.25/2-Inch Receiver

Allen Sports 3-Bike Hitch Mount Rack with 1.25/2-Inch Receiver

The Allen Sports 3-Bike Hitch Mount Rack with 1.25/2-Inch Receiver is designed to deliver a carrying capacity of up to 3 bikes, for a total weight capacity of 102 lbs. The rack is designed to mount on most standard class II, III, and IV hitches of 1,25 or 2 inches.The rack boasts 16-inch long carry arms that secure each bike individually. Moreover, the patented Allen tie-down system helps to keep the bikes in place and reduces the sway to prevent the bikes from scratching your vehicle.

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The carrier also folds compactly in a matter of seconds, allowing you to store the bike rack easily when not in use.

Two other great features of this rack are the installation ease and the price. In fact, for the quality offered, the rack comes at a really affordable price, while installing it requires no tools and is done in minutes.

Things We Liked
  • Sturdiness: this hitch mount bike rack is sturdy and designed to hold your bikes securely. The rack is sturdy and built to last in time.
  • Easy to install: the bike is easy to set up and install in less than 5 minutes.
  • Compatibility: this rack is compatible with almost all standard class II, III, and IV receiver hitches with a size of 1,25 or 2 inches.
  • Warranty: the Allan Bike Rack is backed by a lifetime warranty. Its conditions are displayed on the manufacturer’s website.
Things We Didn’t Like
  • The rack would need improved security features; otherwise, the product is great.

Conclusion & Final Pick

The RidgeBack Hitch Bike Rack by Yakima Products is the one that impressed us the most.

This bike rack is designed to hold up to 5 bikes, it is compatible with 1,25 and 2 inches hitch receivers, and it is easy to install on a wide range of vehicles.

The rack is designed to secure the bikes perfectly. It locks them in place preventing swaying, which keeps both the bikes’ frames and the vehicle free of scratches. Moreover, the rack mounts to the hitch easy and without tools.

The manufacturer also proposes the same rack with different capacities. On the other hand, it is also compatible with a series of accessories that allow users to use it with non-standard bike frames.

All these features, combined with the high-quality of the materials and the lifetime limited warranty offered by the manufacturer, makes the RidgeBack Hitch Bike Rack probably the best hitch mount bike rack on the market.

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