Investing in the best hitch bike rack is a great way to guarantee yourself a safe and convenient way of transporting bikes.
Hitch bike racks like the Thule T2 Pro X2 2 Bike Rack are versatile, stable, and convenient. Not to mention, this particular model is loaded with features.
This includes a user-friendly tilt function and an accommodating carrying system that allows it to support anything from children’s bikes to fat adult bikes.
10 Best Hitch Bike Racks That You Can Buy Today.
Best Overall Rack
The Thule T2 Pro XT 2 is a good example of a hitch rack where you get exactly what you pay for.
Easily one of the most expensive hitch bike racks on the market, the T2 Pro XT 2 is a favourite among many enthusiasts. The main reason? The best in-class tilt feature that allows users to access their vehicle’s rear conveniently.
In addition to this, the T2 Pro XT 2 can accommodate anything from fat bikes to children’s bikes with its carrying system.
Sure, it’s not cheap. It’s not light either. However, it is durable and it is designed to last. Not to mention, the number of features it brings to the table is staggering, even when you consider its price.
Outside of what we’ve already mentioned, the T2 Pro XT 2 even has an expanding wedge attachment system. There’s also a lot of space between the rack and your vehicle, as well as between the bikes mounted.
You also get integrated locks for some added peace of mind and security.
The T2 Pro XT 2 literally does it all, making it the best hitch bike rack in the market by a mile.
- Jam-packed with useful features
The Kuat Racks Sherpa 2.0-2 Bike Rack is a rare hitch bike carrier. Unlike many of its competition, its very light at just 32 pounds. It also features a “no tool installation” system, where you can just use your hands to tighten the hitch.
These two features combine to make the Sherpa 2.0 one of the easiest to remove and install from vehicles. Also, it’s made by Kuat, a manufacturer known for their high-quality racks. Thus, the rack naturally benefits from the brand’s numerous popular features.
Unfortunately, the light weight comes at a price. It maxes out at just 40 pounds a bike and it can’t accommodate bikes with tires wider than 3 inches. There’s also multiple reports of the rack failing within two to three years of use.
This is why, despite its numerous features, attractive price point, and light weight, we hesitated to recommend it as our best overall pick.
If it’s any consolation though, Kuat’s “No Worries Warranty” policy is real. They’ve pulled through numerous times for when users reported having problems with the rack.
- Lifetime warranty
- Long-term durability concerns
Best Swing Away Hitch Rack
The RockyMounts Backstage was one of the first platform racks to have a side-swinging mechanism. The manufacturers have since refined this over the years.
As a result, the BackStage remains the best swing away hitch rack available on the market today.
Mind you, this isn’t the result of a lack of competition either. It’s true that other manufacturers have yet to incorporate the same design to their racks. But, you’d have to give RockyMounts props.
In addition to thie side-swining mechanism, the BackStage is loaded with premium features. This includes its very own cable lock, an accommodating bike carrying system, and durable ratcheting arms.
You can also feel that you’re getting your money’s worth just by holding the rack and checking out the materials.
The only issue we see hereis how heavy the BackStage is. The design easily adds 10 to 20 pounds more to the rack.
This makes it one of the heaviest platform-style racks available on the market today.
- Side-swing mechanism
- Premium construction
- Easy rear access
Best for Easy to Use
If you did away with all the bells and whistles and prioritized simplicity, you’ll get the Swagman XC2 Hitch Mount Bike Rack.
Not that this simplicity is a bad thing. In fact, this is one of the XC2’s greatest strengths. The conventional clamp system is paired with a simple frame. This results in a svelte and slim figure.
Yet you still get very secure mounting options that lets you mount your bikes with ease. As a bonus, you can fold the rack up when you’re not carrying bikes around.
Unfortunately, you do have to sacrifice carrying capacity. However, that’s a small price to pay for something so inexpensive and secure. It can mount bikes with at least 20-inch wheels with ease without damaging the frame or your car.
There’s also a bit of a learning curve during your first few times using the rack. It’s quick and easy to use once you get used to it. But, for beginners, the instruction manuals are close to useless.
- Simple and easy to use
- Set-up is far from convenient
- Limited bike support
Best for E-Bikes & Mountain Bikes
Are you looking to load heavier bikes onto your vehicle? Well, worry no more. The Thule EasyFold XT 2 Hitch Bike Rack was designed specifically for this purpose.
In fact, it comes with a convenient rack. This lets you push bikes onto the platform with far less effort than you think you’d need.
Additionaly, the EastFold XT 2 is designed for easy storage. You can fold the platform sides upwards in half. Meanwhile, it comes with an integrated handle so you can carry the rack with just one hand for shorter distances.
The EasyFold XT2 has a full load capacity of 130 pounds. This means that electric bikes and heavy mountain bikes are no problem for it.
Unfortunately, the EasyFold XT 2 caters to a pretty niche market. Sure, it does meet those people’s needs very well. However, unless you need to mount two heavy bikes, you’re not going to need the EasyFold XT 2.
Not especially when it costs so much more than even the more expensive hitch bike racks on our list.
It’s a good hitch mount bike rack for a select few, but only for them.
- Integrated ramps
- One-hand handle
- Easy storage
- 130-pound load capacity
- Prohibitively expensive
- Unnecessary for most people
Best for Those on a Budget
The people over at Allen Sports are miracle workers. How they created a budget-friendly bike carrier hitch that supports 4 bikes is just beyond us.
The Allen Sports 4-Bike Hitch Racks for 2 in. Hitch isn’t perfect by any means. It’s fairly basic compared to the other hitch bike racks on our list. Then again, that’s okay with it is this affordable.
Also, despite its low asking price, the sturdy metal frame combines with the easy-to-use and stable straps for a secure hold.
This hitch rack also is very user-friendly. It’s not too low to cause concerns, but it’s not too high to make lifting an issue. Also, it has built-in cradles for easy placement.
The included tension bolt also helps minimize any rattles and vibration that’s usually associated with hitch racks when on the road.
Naturally, you have to make a couple of compromises at this price point. The main one is the space constraints.
You can’t exactly fit more than two bikes on this rack and expect to there be a lot of separation between the bikes. This is especially true with larger bikes which have larger wheels.
- Low price
- Fits 4 bikes
- Quick and efficient
- Space constraints
- You might have to use additional cords or padding for a more secure fit
Best for 4 Bikes
If you need to mount an entire garage’s worth of bikes and don’t want to purchase additional protection, then look no more.
The Tyger Auto TG-RK4B102B comes with soft cushion protectors, bike safety straps, and user-friendly ratchet buckles. It also fits on both 1.25-inch and 2-inch hitch receivers, installs in minutes, and can be folded when not in use.
For added protection, this hitch bike rack is coated for added rust resistance. You can also access the rear part of your vehicle with the tilt-down feature.
- Multiple secure mounting options
- Can fit 4 bikes
- Collision damage protection
- Users report swaying of bikes when on the road
Best for Value
The BV 2 Bike/4 Bike Bicycle Hitch Mount Rack isn’t cheap by any means. It’s not expensive either.
It’s well-priced, especially when you consider how rugged and durable the build feels like out of the box.
Then, once you’re installing it, you’ll find yourself surprised with how light it is compared how it looks.
Speaking of installation, the rack is ready to use and installs within minutes. You’ll also find the instructions very user friendly.
The tilt-backward and fold-up design makes this trailer hitch bike rack convenient to use. If used in cars, the former lets you open the rear gates without having to worry about removing the rack.
At the same time, the latter helps you save space when you’re no longer using the rack to store bikes.
For added visibility, especially at night, the rack has been fitted with safety reflectors.
Speaking of safety, the rack uses tray-styled loops and complements it with well-padded arms.
These combine to make sure that your bikes are held firmly in their respectively places throughout the ride with minimal scratches.
- Sturdy and strong
- Competitive pricing
- Practical design features
Best Low-Cost Alternative
The MaxxHaul (70210) 4-Bike Deluxe Hitch Mount Rack is what we’d recommend if you need a temporary bike solution.
Will it last a long time? Maybe, but we doubt it. But, will it fit 4 bikes for a couple of trips? Most likely.
We doubt that it will fit 4 adult bikes comfortably, but it should have enough space for 4 bikes, as stated on its product description.
Also, the reason why we’re recommending it is how low the cost is and how much you’re getting for the price.
True, it won’t rival the more expensive hitch bike racks on our list. However, it feels a lot more sturdy and strong than its price would suggest. The steel construction feels like it can withstand its fair share of abuse.
It even has hook and loop straps on its adjustable bike cradles for added security.
The bike rack also comes with a swing-down arms. This gives you easy and convenient access to the rear part of your vehicle.
All in all, this bike rack is worth trying if a bit risky.
- Sturdy steel construction
- Easy attachment and installation
- Swing-down arms
- Low, low price
- Questionable build quality
Best for Anti-Wobble
The Hollywood Racks Sportride Se is a heavy-duty platform bike rack that can support two bikes at 50 pounds each. It then locks these heavy bike’s frames to the rack itself.
Then, for added security, it comes with its very own security cable and a locking hitch pin right out of the box.
What really gives this bike rack an edge over its competition is the patented anti-wobble system. It is designed to not require any tools for tightening the hitch.
Yet, you won’t feel any wobbling on the hitch while on the road. This results in a quick and easy installation process. Also, the manufacturers made the rack adjustable so it can hold bikes with 60-inch wheelbases.
The only problem we see with this bike rack is it’s compatible only with vehicles with 2-inch receivers. You can’t use adapters on it, nor can you hook it to towed vehicles or trailers.
- Supports 50 pound bikes
- No-tool tightening process
- Adjustable rack
- Works only with 2-inch receivers
Hitch Bike Rack Buying Guide
If you want to buy the best hitch bike rack, you’ll need to know exactly what to look for.
Here are the most important factors to consider when shopping for a hitch bike rack:
Hitch Bike Rack Type
There are two types of hitch bike racks. Specifically, these are the hanging and platform racks.
Hanging bike racks hang bikes in space and support them from the top tube. This frees the tires and wheels from any obstruction. This also helps minimize any chances of damage during transport.
They’re usually more lightweight compared to other bike racks. However, it comes at the cost of possible frame damage during transit.
Platform bike racks support bikes by holding the wheels or frame in place using a strap or a clamp or a combination of both. This helps minimize frame contact, as well as damage to the wheels and tires.
Unfortunately, the result is a heavier hitch bike rack that can have a huge impact on your vehicle’s gas mileage. (1)
The “bike capacity” of a rack determines how many bikes you can carry with you. Usually, a hitch bike rack can support two or three bikes, with 4-bike hitch racks also available.
Hanging hitch bike racks are usually able to hold more bikes at the expense of support and separate between the mounted bike frames.
On the other hand, platform-style bike racks can’t usually hold as much bikes. But, they offer a lot more protection from scratches and other kinds of damage to the bikes.
Weight Carrying Capacity
Just because a hitch bike rack can support 4 bikes doesn’t mean it can support heavier bikes. It doesn’t work like that.
In addition to how many bikes a rack can support, you’ll also have to take note of the maximum weight per bike each arm can hold. Otherwise, you’re opening yourself up to risk of damage and accidents while on the road.
One of the most common gripes with hitch bike racks is that it limits the access to your vehicle’s rear compartment. However, some bike racks are able to solve this issue by incorporating a kind of tilting feature.
Basically, what this means is that you can either tilt the rack down or up. This then allows you to access the rear part of your vehicle without removing the rack or the bikes.
Wheel size compatibility isn’t that big of an issue if you want to use a hanging-style bike rack. However, if you plan on using a platform-style hitch rack, you’ll want to make sure that your bikes are compatible with the tray. (2)
In particular, wheel size is a common incompatibility problem with platform hitch racks.
Do double check if you plan on mounting bikes with wheels less than 20 inches in size or larger than 29 inches.
Fat bike tires are a usual issue with platform-style bike racks as well.
Make sure to check for compatibility first if you plan on mounting bikes with tires as fat as around 4 or 5 inches.
Full-suspension mountain bikes, cruiser bikes, and children’s bikes are usually problematic when using hanging-style hitch bike racks. On the other hand, platform-style bike racks are usually universally-compatible with most bike frames.
Still, you’ll want to double check just to make sure.
The more you pay, the better the material quality of the hitch bike rack will be. That is the simple and honest truth.
The best bike racks use the ideal combination of metal construction and tough plastic. This includes the Thule T2 Pro XT 2 Bike Rack. Unsurprisingly, it’s also one of the most expensive racks on our list.
In lower price ranges, you’ll have to either settle with racks with thinner metal or cheaper plastic.
Both the Thule T2 Pro XT 2 Bike Rack and the Thule EasyFold XT 2 Hitch Bike Rack are easy to recommend. They’re well-made, packed full of useful features, and easy to use. However, they’re also very expensive. The latter, especially, since not everyone can make full use of its heavier load maximum capacity.
If your budget is a bit tight, we recommend taking a close look at the Swagman XC2 Hitch Mount Bike Rack.
The Tyger Auto TG-RK4B102B is an excellent alternative as well. This is especially true if you need to mount 4 bikes. You also don’t have to worry about adding more cords for better security with this hitch bike rack.
Outside of these three, we recommend taking a close look at our other recommendations as well.
We’re confident that you should be able to find the best hitch bike rack based on our list and other tips.