The Five Best Hitch-Mounted Bike Racks

Hitch-mounted bike racks are effortless to load, since there’s no will need to hoist your journey onto your car’s roof, and they carry bikes by the wheels (not the body), reducing possible for damage in transit. There’s a great deal of things to look at when selecting from the ideal options accessible for transporting your wheels with relieve. Here’s five of the ideal new hitch-mounted bike racks on the industry.

Thule Helium

What It Is: A 1- or two-bike rack that retains your bike(s) by the tires and doesn’t touch the bike’s body. The rack sits increased than some other hitch racks. To secure a bike, aluminum arms fold in from possibly side and push down onto tire rubber. A button on the manage of every arm releases that side of the rack when you’re ready to unload. Just about every bike mount has an integrated theft-deterring cable lock. And, the rack is quick and effortless to mount to the car or truck.

Why We Love It: Bikes are high-priced, creating a system rack that doesn’t touch the body appealing. Also, since the rack closes from equally sides, it helps make offsetting bikes less complicated than on other racks. It folds down 1-handed for effortless trunk obtain. At forty three lbs ., it’s also 1 of the lighter hitch racks accessible, however still sturdy and suited for tough highway driving. And, it’s effortless to assemble with involved resources.

Downsides: This rack matches tight to the car or truck, and in some situations, that healthy might was too tight devoid of a hitch extender. Thule has a web page site devoted to assist determine if the rack will healthy your car or truck. I wasn’t equipped to install it on a Toyota Sienna minivan devoid of an extender, but it did healthy on a Toyota RAV4 with the mounts tight to the bumper. The rack carries two bikes, max—there’s not at the moment an choice to expand it to 3 or four bikes. The rack just cannot carry bikes with wheels smaller sized than 26 inches. It is also not rated for e-bikes. Max encouraged body weight per bike is 37.five lbs ..

Extras: Appropriate with Thule’s Entry swingarm, which rotates the rack absent from the trunk creating obtain even less complicated. Also accessible in a solitary bike version.

[$699 (two-bike rack), thule.com]

Dovetail Ferst

What It Is: Manufactured by an pro in lean manufacturing, this 12-pound (1 bike) to fourteen-pound (double) rack is the lightest hitch rack you can obtain. The rack retains bikes by the crank—a bike carry procedure popular with tour operators. A plastic assist at the top rated of the crank boot flips to seat beautifully between the non-driveside crank and the body. And a plastic sleeve inside of the boot guards carbon cranks as properly as aluminum types from scratches. With the crank inside of the boot, a twist knob secures the bike. And a Velcro strap wraps the entrance wheel to a 50 percent-tray for stability.

courtesy Dovetail

Why We Love It: Just one of the major limitations to employing a hitch rack is the body weight. This rack can be taken off the car or truck in much less than a moment with the involved resources, then picked up 1-handed and stashed on a shelf, in your trunk, or any where else. Because Dovetail Ferst retains bikes by the cranks, it’s practically common. Set up was rapidly and easy since there had been number of parts. And while it doesn’t fold, in several months of use, that wasn’t a hardship. With the rack mounted on a swing arm, I had complete trunk obtain.

Downsides: Dovetail Ferst’s web page is in enhancement, and it doesn’t at the moment have the complete assortment of goods, so call the business with inquiries, which includes which bottom bracket assist (or supports) you will need. The assist that arrived with the rack was great for mountain bikes, but I desired a various assist for gravel bikes. Profits are direct-to-consumer only, so you just cannot wait around in a shop and look at out this rack. No lock involved, however a Masterlock Python will equally secure rack to hitch, and bikes to rack.

Extras: Coming soon—Dovetail’s servicing kit that allows you stability your bike by its bottom bracket with the entrance wheel secured for on-the-highway bike cleaning and servicing. Also coming before long, trays for excess fat tire bikes, and Voile-model straps for those people who do not rely on Velcro.

[$375 (two-bike rack), dovetailferst.com]

 

Kuat NV two.

What It Is: An eye-catching, present day 1- or two-bike rack that converts to a 3- or four-bike rack with the addition of additional mounts. Just about every mount can assist a 60-pound bike, and the rack works for bike wheels from 20 to 29 inches (20- and 24-inch bikes call for an adapter). Moreover, Kuat has a properly assumed-out assortment of extras to make employing and storing this rack person-helpful.

Why We Love It: A large amount of racks kind of appear the very same. This 1 is distinctive and immediately recognizable. Because bike wheels rest on supports, not in trays, there’s no will need to swap trays if you make a decision to carry a excess fat bike alternatively of a highway bike. The rack feels beautifully sized for each individual bike. And it will come in two hues, some thing other racks do not offer. The wheel supports are adjustable, so you can established it up to make sure bikes nest properly. Built-in locks are strong plenty of we had self-confidence leaving an high-priced bike secured only with the rack’s cable. A foot/hand lever allows you fold or lower the rack 1-handed. We enjoy the life time guarantee, too.

Downsides:  You possibly start off with a two-bike rack and insert 1 additional mount or two. There is no foundation unit that allows you insert 1 to four mounts, meaning there’s no solitary bike choice. The NV two. is a beast at fifty six lbs . for the two-bike rack and ninety one lbs . for the four bike rack. Repositioning bike supports requires fiddling to get bikes to nest. The rack matches two-inch receivers only.

Extras: This rack will come with two mounts that can be expanded to 3 or four. The rack is accessible with or devoid of an integrated bike stand. Kuat also sells the RackDock, a wall-mounted receiver that retains your rack for storage. Kuat’s HiLow Professional has an up to date hitch cam and redesigned lock. And Kuat’s swing absent is an additional way to get your self room to get into your trunk.

[$689 (two-bike rack), kuatracks.com]

Yakima HangOver

What It Is: A vertical hitch rack that hangs up to 6 bikes in about the very same room that a two bike tray rack requires up on your bumper. The rack will come in four- and 6-bike configurations. Bikes hold by the crown of their suspension forks. They are secured with a strap at the top rated and a strap all around the back again wheel

Yakima’s vertical HangOver hitch rack retains up to 6 bikes. courtesy Yakima

Why We Love It: Massive people and pals who like to shuttle will enjoy this rack. A foot-tilt lever allows you angle it absent from the car or truck for loading and for trunk obtain. The rack has two mast heights, letting you to regulate it so the rear tires of the bikes on the rack continue to be clear the ground, which is frequently an problem with this model of rack. Couple racks carry 6 bikes. So, if you’re touring with a bigger crew, this rack is 1 of the ideal options out there. A hitch lock is involved. The fork cradle is padded so it will not scratch mountain bike stanchions. And the rack can manage suspension bikes of most any wheelbase.

Downsides: We uncovered it tricky to load, even with the rack lowered. It is a cumbersome seventy seven.sixty five lbs ., so really hard to deal with off the car or truck. The HangOver is for suspension fork bikes only. The four bike rack just cannot be expanded to keep 6 bikes. No cable locks are involved.

Extras: Yakima helps make masses of rack extras. The four bike HangOver is compatible with the company’s BackSwing.

[$599 (four-bike rack), yakima.com]

 

Lolo Racks Lolo Rack

What It Is: A significant-duty, vertical rack that matches practically any car or truck with a two-inch hitch receiver, this Portland, OR-designed rack retains bikes by their handlebars. It carried up to 220 lbs . of bikes which includes 6 mountain bikes, four highway bikes, young children bikes and more. And, it’s so burly, it feels like it’ll last a life time. The handlebar-keeping hooks are effortless to move with a ratchet and a wrench, so shifting the configuration as desired is a no-brainer.

courtesy Lolo Racks / Nathan Holstedt (@fullfroth)

Why We Love It: If you’re the guy who often volunteers to generate your pals to the trailhead, or who shuttles your crew to a descent, this rack is for you. It is rapidly to load, and it retains up to 250 lbs . of bikes securely. Also, if you’re the guy who feels like other racks are flimsy, you’ve fulfilled your new bike provider. Handlebars rest on angled, overbuilt hook mounts, then secure at the bar and at the back again wheel with oversized bungies. Lolo Rack is created from significant-duty metal, and it felt more stable than any other rack we tested. With the rack on your car or truck, there are several options for how you posture it, so this rack healthy cars and trucks that other racks didn’t. We tested it on a Toyota Sienna minivan, a Toyota RAV4 SUV, and on a F-350 truck with a camper in the mattress. Repositioning the rack to tilt even further absent from, or nearer to, the car or truck demands moving a solitary bolt. And, even with bikes loaded, the rack folded down and out of the way for trunk obtain. With a ratchet and a drill, it requires seconds to move handlebar mounts to accommodate bikes successfully. Lolo Racks are designed and designed by Oregon riders. And they do an remarkable career boxing the rack compactly for transport.

courtesy Lolo Racks / Nathan Holstedt (@fullfroth)

Downsides: It was more sophisticated to assemble this rack than other people we tested, and assembly demanded a multitude of resources. It matches a two-inch hitch receiver only. A 1.25-inch receiver just cannot manage the load. And if your car or truck rides low, a vertical rack might not be the ideal choice—bike wheels can in some cases bump the ground.

Extras: Alternatively of awkwardly storing this rack for winter, use it to haul skis and excess fat bikes at the very same time. Most ski racks can mount to the backside of this rack to carry skis vertically. If you do not bike or ski in winter, look at mounting this rack to your garage wall and storing bikes on the rack to minimize garage clutter. Lolo Rack sells DH-distinct handlebar hooks for transporting twin crown fork bikes.

[$740, loloracks.com]


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