If you have a truck, the simple pickup pad is a nice, affordable option, but you do lose the security of a locking hitch and it can take some work to limit bike-to-bike contact. Thank you for thinking outside the box and building a great rack system. As long as you have a hitch, carrying bikes behind your car is simple with any of the racks below. At the very top of Yakima's expansive hitch rack line-up is the Dr.Tray. At $569, it’s a big investment for a rack with so many compromises, but the FullSwing 4 does undercut the RockyMounts BackStage by a considerable $81 and can carry two additional bikes.See the Yakima FullSwing 4. I found that I would need this bike to be hung at 63.5" using these ho… Not surprisingly, the Thule comes with a steep $620 price tag. Type: HangingWeight: 34 lbs.Number of bikes: 4 (available in a 2-bike version)Weight capacity per bike: 37.5 lbs.What we like: Great combination of features, bike capacity, and affordable pricing.What we don’t: Unproven long-term durability. Platform Racks In short, releasing a pin allows them to open like an arm, pivoting the entire rack to the side of the vehicle. Wheel hoops adjust for different wheelbases. After reading these discussions, we hope you start to see certain aspects that separate these models from other bike racks you’ll come across in your search. Height (from tow bar) All racks: Unloaded 1380mm Loaded 1800mm At $49 and $50 for the Yakima and Thule adapters, these are not cheap accessories and should be taken into account as you’re choosing a rack style. A final scenario is where a specific rack simply can’t fit a certain wheel or tire size. It’s worth noting that these add-ons are usually only compatible with the 2-inch receiver version of the racks due to the low maximum tongue weight of 1.25-inch receivers. The bike rack is working beautifully. As expected, 2-inch receivers can handle more weight, which is a consideration if you’re planning on hauling a heavy platform rack with some 50+ pound e-bikes aboard. As part of their 2019 HD Truck Rack collection, Yakima has their first vertical bike rack setup, plus a solid rooftop tent, and a tidy cargo basket, among other hauling solutions. Vertical Hitch Towbars. In this section, we’ll provide you with 10 product reviews of the RV bike racks that we see as the best on the entire market. And a final note: many hanging racks come with an adapter, so they can work with either hitch size. In short, if you plan to use your rack a lot or keep it on your vehicle even in the rainy seasons, it’s well worth paying for a premium design. Type: PlatformWeight: 37 lbs.Number of bikes: 2 (available in 1- and 3-bike versions)Weight capacity per bike: 40 lbs.What we like: Great price for a versatile platform-style rack.What we don’t: Simplified design lacks some useful features. As such, on certain platform racks, there can be wheelbase compatibility issues. Why isn't the 1Up ranked higher? We’ll start with the positives: the NSR 4 is a proven product that securely holds bikes in place, the highly adjustable design ensures the rack will work with a wide variety of vehicle types, and it’s one of the few models out there that minimally affects ground clearance by keeping the bikes close to the back of your car. The final potential bike compatibility pitfall is related to the shape and style of your bike’s frame. Like 1Up’s Heavy Duty above, the Kuat goes head-to-head with our top-rated Thule T2 Pro XT. If, like most cyclists, you plan to keep your rack on your vehicle for extended periods of time or just want to retain access to your rear cargo area, you’ll want to get a hitch rack with a tilt feature. For riders who want a premium design and typically carry traditional road and mountain bikes, 1Up's Heavy Duty Double is a great choice. As with any hanging-style hitch rack, there’s no avoiding the fact that the FullSwing 4 makes direct contact with your bike’s frame. British Columbia-based Swagman lacks the brand recognition of Thule or Yakima, but their XC2 model is a smart choice for recreational riders on a budget. (As racks are bolt-together, locking hitch pins are not highly recommended. The vertical HangOver bike rack is what first caught our eye out of Yakima’s new heavy-duty truck rack range. If you intend to carry up to 5 bikes to your riding location, Yakima Ridgeback 5-bike rack is worth checking out. Among platform-style racks, it’s best to choose one of two basic designs: a ratcheting arm that locks in over the front wheel and a strap through the rear wheel (featured on the Thule T2 Pro XT, Kuat Transfer, Kuat NV 2.0, and others) or a dual-arm design like 1Up’s Heavy Duty that tightens over the front and rear tires. All that said, it's hard to overlook the beauty and level of craftsmanship of the 1Up. But step-through frames (common on cruiser bikes), full-suspension mountain bikes, and kids’ bikes can be problematic. Constructed of heavy-duty steel, our first-ever vertical bike rack safely hauls up to six mountain bikes to the trailhead. I am a physician on the front lines of COVID-19 so your rack offers a welcome respite for my family and me when we want go get away from it all :)". Furthermore, it undercuts the similarly designed Recon Racks GEN2 R4 by $175. Dr.Tray. I love being able to have all six bikes loaded and the kids in the car in the same time it takes the guy across the lot to get a single bike off his rack, front wheel attached, etc. Securely attaching to the receiver hitch of your vehicle, they offer unmatched versatility and ease of use. There are the horizontal type and the vertical type. Why do we have the Thule EasyFold XT 2 ranked here? We think the WestSlope and Transfer hit a nice sweet spot in performance and value, but the RockyMounts’ build is undeniably basic. Once you have this number you can compare it against the max wheelbase spec for the rack you're interested in purchasing. The standard baskets are able to carry 24- to 29-inch-wheeled bikes, and the rack can accommodate fat bikes and 20-inch kids’ bikes with different attachments (sold separately). In testing, we’ve found that weight-saving models like the Yakima Dr.Tray and Kuat Sherpa 2.0 have their fair share of compromises in carrying ability and longevity. Considering the $120 drop in price from the T2 Pro XT, it’s no surprise the T2 Classic is somewhat lacking in refinement and features. 3 height positions for easy reach and ground clearance tuning. Without a doubt, their Heavy Duty Double's sleek aluminum build and attention to detail are a cut above the rest. Features: Hitch-mounted rack lets you carry 4 mountain bikes vertically on the back of your vehicle Great for families, group rides, and tour operators Only compatible with bicycles equipped ... Hitch; Hanging Rack; Fat Bikes; Mountain Bikes; Tilt-Away Rack; RV Hitch Rack; Yes - I am a beast; 4 Bikes; Yakima; Yes - I need access; Fits 2 Inch Hitch; 4 Bikes; Flat-Towed Vehicle ... Yakima™ “HangOver” Vertical Hanging bike rack is one of our stand-out product and the only vertical bike rack to safely haul up to 6 bicycles. And although the T2 Classic has a spot for locks on the ratcheting arms, they are not included with the rack and will cost you an additional $40 (for the Thule version). Hitch racks is a competitive space, but what really sets the T2 Pro XT apart from the field is the sheer number of features it offers. Type: PlatformWeight: 32 lbs.Number of bikes: 2Weight capacity per bike: 40 lbs.What we like: Lighter than most other platform-style racks.What we don’t: Long-term durability concerns. In short, the best ski/snowboard carrying solution I have come up with for a tall vehicle is to carry them vertically on a hitch rack. But if these complaints aren’t deal-breakers, the WestSlope is a desirable option for families and group rides.See the RockyMounts WestSlope 3. For group rides, tour companies, or if you simply want to maximize your carrying capacity, Recon’s Gen2 R6 is worth a serious look. Trunk-mounted racks are cheaper but prone to causing paint damage on your vehicle if you don’t take extra precautions. Further, as we touched on above, there are limitations with the arm design if you’ll be hauling bikes with different wheelbases (for example, a long-travel adult mountain bike and a kid’s bike). Christal Mouat. The majority of riders stick with the two-bike design, but families or those that anticipate carrying bikes for group rides should consider getting a higher-capacity hanging model or one of the platform add-ons to start. Premium Lightweight Tray Hitch Bike Rack. As stated above, these wheel size and tire width issues won’t be a problem for a lot of riders—it’s often easier to store a small kids’ bike inside the vehicle, for example—but it’s a good thing to have in mind as you’re narrowing your rack search. "I LOVE your rack! The Yakups bike Racks we manufacture can be ordered as a customized bike rack. And what we like most about the SuperClamp is its minimalist and relatively lightweight build that takes up very little space behind your vehicle and is easy to store in your garage. Skip that extra bit of carbon instead. *Editor's Note: "Capacity" refers to weight capacity per bike. Type: HangingWeight: 35 lbs.Number of bikes: 4 (available in 2- and 5-bike versions)Weight capacity per bike: 40 lbs.What we like: Proven, affordable way to haul 4 bikes.What we don’t: Need an adapter to carry step-through bikes. Type: HangingWeight: 56 lbs.Number of bikes: 4Weight capacity per bike: 40 lbs.What we like: The convenience of a swing-away design.What we don’t: Heavy and pricey for a hanging rack. This affordable bike rack can hold two bikes and carries a maximum weight of 70 pounds. Moreover, there’s no option to add an extension to the XT 2, which means that two bikes are your hard ceiling and you’ll need to buy another rack if you want to carry more. Perfect for tour operators, group rides and big families. Ratcheting hooks hold bikes securely by the frame and lock to deter theft. A hitch bike rack from Thule is easy to install and use, and carries 1 to 5 bikes safely and securely. Among the options on the market, Yakima’s RidgeBack is a long-time favorite: it features a durable build, reasonable price, and anti-sway design that limits bike movement while on the road. This limitation is what pushes the Beta down our list, but among two-bike hanging racks, we think the Beta has a best-in-class mix of weight, build quality, and functionality.See the Kuat Beta 2.0. Type: HangingWeight: 85 lbs.Number of bikes: 6 (available in 4- and 5-bike versions)Weight capacity per bike: 50 lbs.What we like: The most secure and easiest way to carry six bikes.What we don’t: Very heavy and very expensive. ", “Mountain bikers appreciate a good rack, and the shortcomings of most racks keep us on a perpetual search for the ideal way to transport our bikes. The common denominator among these compatible racks is a high price tag, but it’s well worth it to avoid any unnecessary damage to your carbon rig. We’ve put this rack through its paces over nearly two years of testing—logging more than 20,000 miles in the process—and have come away thoroughly impressed. And with the exception of some truly cheap options, nearly all hitch-mounted bike racks have this functionality. Further, the Recon’s burly build tips the scale at 85 pounds, which makes it difficult to set up and remove. The big news here is the included ramps that allow you to push your bikes onto the platforms rather than having to lift them off the ground. There are two main receiver hitch sizes—1.25-inch and 2-inch—and it goes without saying that you should verify which one you have on your vehicle prior to purchasing a rack. In general, platform-style racks can carry anywhere from one to four bikes (if you invest in an extension), while hanging-style racks range from two to five total bikes. Type: PlatformWeight: 50 lbs.Number of bikes: 2 (4 with add-on)Weight capacity per bike: 60 lbs.What we like: Time-tested design and easy bike-to-bike adjustments.What we don’t: Lacks some of the features found on newer racks. A hitch rack is used to carry your tandem or single bike on the back of your vehicle. Our biggest complaint with the Beta is that Kuat doesn’t offer a higher-capacity version. Best Hitch Bike Rack Buying Guide. Perhaps best of all, the low 32-pound weight is easy to remove and install, and the small footprint takes up minimal space when off your vehicle. It’s simple to operate, and the rack feels almost weightless even with heavy bikes on the trays. An adapter is necessary to carry full-suspension mountain bikes, step-through bikes, or smaller kids’ models, which adds a significant amount to the overall investment (top tube adapters are about $50 each). Both have a four-bike capacity, anti-sway strap systems, and a tilt mechanism to get the rack out of the way when loading or unloading your car (both require you to remove the bikes to tilt, however). Attractively priced at $329 and weighing a very reasonable 37 pounds, there’s a whole lot to like about the Transfer 2. We designed and tested it in the lab and on the road to meet our demanding Yakima standards. Our editor described it as "a work of art much like a high-end bike," and there is a lot of truth to that statement. The ramps are quick to deploy, do a nice job guiding the bikes up and down, and store easily on the rack while driving. British Columbia-based North Shore Racks is known for being one of the original companies to offer high-capacity hanging models that are worthy of shuttle days and rough roads. Others, like the Kuat NV 2.0, require two separate adapters to fit bikes with wheels between 20 to 24 inches and tires larger than 2.75 inches. The Ridgeback is one of Yakima’s newest bike racks for vehicles equipped with a hitch receiver. Both the T2 and NV 2.0 are very user-friendly and have long-lasting builds, although we have found the Thule is a little more versatile. Don’t expect the same easy loading or wobble-free experience as a platform-style rack, but the FullSwing 4 is a well-built design that should keep most people happy. Ranging from three to six bikes (with many optional extras), like its name implies it’s intended to hold … Needless to say, it’s worth the time to verify you have proper clearance. Equally impressive is that this ultralight rack is still rated to carry 80 pounds total (40 pounds per bike). As an example, here’s a link to a technical drawing for Kuat's NV 2.0 hitch rack. In addition, Kuat included extras like integrated cable and receiver locks and a unique bike stand for quick repairs at the trailhead (note: this piece is not locked to the rest of the rack, so we often stored the stand inside our vehicle). The bike rack is a vertical design similar to Softride Hang2 but does not tilt down. North Shore Racks’ hitch-mounted rack design is the industry’s fastest loading, most lightweight, vertical mountain bike rack. Lastly, Recon Racks is a small company based out of Ferndale, Washington, and ordering backlogs sometimes can be an issue (we’ve seen wait times up to three weeks). It’s worth noting that if the rack you’re purchasing doesn’t include a receiver lock, every manufacturer on our list above offers one as an accessory. Featuring moveable tray platforms, an easy-to-use tilt-down lever that resembles the one on Thule’s T2 Pro above, and a total weight that undercuts our top picks by 10 to 15 pounds, the rack has a lot going for it. It won’t impact most folks, but larger mountain bikers on big, modern downhill-oriented models will want to verify this piece of information. Another quibble we have is that the lock is not integrated into the rack, which is a handy feature that we appreciate on the Thule T2 Pro above and Yakima Dr.Tray below. And finally, we’ve seen some major issues with rust appearing in as little as one year of use. At $800, the MTR goes head-to-head with 1Up’s top-end Equip-D model ($729), and both offer easy loading and unloading, good security while on the road, and compatibility with a range of bike styles (although the Saris is more e-bike-friendly with its 60-lb.-per-bike weight capacity vs. the 1Up’s 50 lbs.). Manufacturers oftentimes have a technical drawing available of the rack in question, and you can use the measurements for assessing whether or not you’ll run into any fitment issues. Our favorite bike locks are those that are integrated into the rack, which makes it very convenient to quickly deploy them when needed. The user-friendly tilt feature is best in class, providing quick and easy access to the rear of the vehicle, and its versatile carrying system accommodates everything from fat bikes to 20-inch kids’ models. Hanging Racks For 2 bikes, I love my 1-Up. And while hanging racks often resemble one another in how they work—unload the bikes, fold the arms down, and then pull a lever to lower the rack—platform models can vary widely. Further, you get included bike locks, a receiver lock, and its secure strap system is one of the best in the business. Thule’s T2 Classic is the predecessor to our top pick, the T2 Pro XT, and as such, is a quality rack with most of the features you’d expect from an earlier iteration. For years, 1Up stood out in the platform market with its innovative dual ratcheting arms that only secured over a bike’s tires (with zero chance of frame contact). To keep the material protected, the most important thing to do is select a style that doesn’t allow for any frame contact. Holds up to 4 or 6 Bikes; Securely supports bikes by the fork crown; Fits suspension-fork bikes only ... / per . And as mentioned above, all of the components on the Thule are extremely well-made, which makes the investment worth it over time... Read in-depth reviewSee the Thule T2 Pro XT. At $620, the T2 Pro certainly isn’t cheap, nor is it particularly light at over 50 pounds, but its sturdy, long-lasting design is ideal for committed riders. Constructed of heavy-duty steel, our first-ever vertical bike rack carries more bikes in less space, so you can safely haul up to six mountain bikes to the trailhead. The saying “you get what you pay for” rings very true in the hitch-mounted bike rack world. We’ve made it clear throughout this piece that a hitch-mounted rack is our favorite design, and platform models in particular. Further, while they’re fairly easy to use, putting them on and taking them off every time you go biking will inevitably become annoying. Available in 4, 5 and 6 bike capacities, 2" receivers only. At $450 and $539 respectively, they’re clearly a big investment, costing nearly as much as the main racks themselves. This is something Saris may resolve over time, but it's enough for us to drop the MTR in our rankings for now.See the Saris MTR 2-Bike Rack. What are the shortcomings of the NSR 4-Bike? Their ability to safely carry up to six mountain bikes, while still offering enough ground clearance for waterbars, made them an instant favorite among downhill-oriented riders. For those planning on hauling heavier downhill mountain bikes, e-bikes, fat bikes, or cruiser models, it’s a good idea to verify the bike weight capacity of a given rack. Considering even a budget-friendly design is often $200 or more, this is a sensible addition. Overall, it’s not a featherweight at 34 pounds, but the Thule’s sturdy build makes for a solid way to transport a lot of bikes. What do you give up by saving with the Kuat? LOLO Racks is a rider owned and built company from Portland, Oregon. If neither of those options work, you’ll need to do some digging. But it’s hard to ignore the RidgeBack’s track record of reliable performance, which makes it our top hanging hitch rack.See the Yakima RidgeBack 4. My neighbors Suburban with 5 bikes on a Kuat tray rack is no joke 27 feet long! Sitting atop Kuat’s hitch rack collection is their top-end NV 2.0. I had a different 5-bike rack and hated every minute of it. At the risk of sounding like a broken record, it’s yet another reason we prefer the platform rack style. The Dr.Tray's $599 price tag puts it among the more expensive in this grouping, but its full feature set and low weight make it an intriguing option for dedicated riders. If, however, you’re looking for the ultimate in rear cargo access, the BackStage should be at the top of your list.See the RockyMounts BackStage. In addition, the MTR includes a unique pivoting option, which allows you to shift the rack vertically to avoid any interference with your taillights (when you don’t have bikes loaded). Price starts at $1849.00 plus shipping for a 2 place bike rack. As with the Dr.Tray above, Kuat’s Sherpa 2.0 is a lightweight alternative in the heavy platform rack world. The tilting feature is available on both hanging and platform-style racks, although one key point of differentiation is that many platform models can tilt with the bikes loaded, while hanging racks require you to unload your bikes first. Type: HangingWeight: 14 lbs.Number of bikes: 2Weight capacity per bike: 40 lbs.What we like: Smart mix of weight, strength, and features.What we don’t: Only offered in a two-bike capacity. This premium design checks all the right boxes: its materials have a high-quality feel, the rack stays solidly in place even on bumpy forest service roads, and the adjustable wheel cradles make it easy to avoid bike-to-bike contact. vertical hitch mountain bike rack Perfect for tour operators, group rides, and big families. And we’re happy to see that the Beta hasn’t skimped on too many features: the rack tilts for rear vehicle access, its arms fold down when not in use, and it has same wobble-free hitch attachment mechanism that’s found on Kuat’s premium offerings. Great for big families, group rides, or tour guides, Yakima’s beastly bike rack loads up to six bikes at up to 37.5 pounds each in a very cool vertical carry system. I can't get one in my 1-Up without buying the adaptor. Type: PlatformWeight: 55 lbs.Number of bikes: 2 (4 with add-on)Weight capacity per bike: 60 lbs.What we like: True 1Up competitor in convenience and features.What we don’t: Very expensive and unproven long-term durability. Although the Camber 4 may undercut the RidgeBack 4 by around $50, as it currently stands, we’d rather pay a little more for the Yakima with its long track record.See the Thule Camber 4. Type: PlatformWeight: 52 lbs.Number of bikes: 2 (4 with add-on)Weight capacity per bike: 60 lbs.What we like: Loaded with features, well-built, and easy to use.What we don’t: Expensive and a bit heavy. This and 6 bike-ability is why I chose the rack. And finally, the RockyMounts is a little limited in bike compatibility, with a max weight of 40 pounds and tire width of 3 inches. Width (loaded) 3 bike rack: 1150mm 4 bike rack: 1400mm 5 bike rack: 1700mm 6 bike rack: 2000mm. Hanging hitch racks are a popular way to transport road or lightweight bikes without the need to lift them overhead and onto the roof of your vehicle. Tilting racks allow you to open the cargo door on most SUVs, hatchbacks, and trucks, but swing-away designs take access to the next level. How does Saris’ design stack up to the legendary 1Up? The … Further, we think Yakima has the best cradle system, which includes ratchet-style straps to securely hold the bike’s top tube to the rack. "The Lolo Rack is the solution we've been looking for. In the end, all have their merits, but no other bike rack type can match the versatility of a hitch mount.Back to Our Top Hitch Bike Rack Picks  Back to Our Hitch Bike Rack Comparison Table. 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