Thule T2 Pro Xt
Kuat Racks Nv 2.0
Yakima Holdup 2
Are you travelling and wish to bring your road companion along with you? We all know how addictive it is to have your bike at every step of the way and feel like something is missing when you can't ride it and experience that usual thrilling doze which for some is therapeutical.
Maybe its only a long-term biker that will understand this. Well, a hitch bike rack is definitely the answer to your problem. However, there are a variety of bike racks currently on sale. Each manufacturer will offer something different from the others.
It could be a better price, better durability, the ease of use, a sense of assurance of your bike's security, the number of bikes it can carry with some even managing up to a total of four bikes which I know might sound ridiculous but it is actually true, and other features.
You will therefore need to learn about them so as to come to an informed decision. To make your search less hectic, below are five hitch bike racks that you should consider and therefore go through during your free time.
With them, I have included their features, advantages, and disadvantages to enable you to compare them easily.
Best Hitch Bike Rack List
Thule T2 Pro Xt
If you prefer a hitch bike rack that can provide a platform for two to four bikes, then this Thule T2 Pro XT, could have just been made for you. And that is not all since it is also very easy to install and even remove due to its tool-free auto attach system and is even fitted with a lock cylinder.
You must be wondering about its fitness, well it is perfect for 20 - 29" wheels. If your bike is a little fat, it can go up to a maximum of 5" tires, and its hub spacing is up to 197 mm to enable you to reduce any interference and adjust bike mounts side to side. And guess what?
You do not have to remove it to access the rear of your car since it can tilt down and about its storage, you can always fold it when you are not using it. Are you concerned about your bike's security back there? Well, it might please you to know that this hitch bike rack is very secure. This is because it will guard your bike with its ratcheting arm in the absence of a frame contact.
Kuat Racks Nv 2.0
If you are looking for a hitch bike rack that will not require tools for installation, maybe this Kuat Racks NV 2.0 by Kuat is what you need to get. This is because it has a hand tight hitch cam system to fulfill that purpose.
So what inches of wheelbases can it hold? This bike rack can manage a base of up to 48" and 4.8" large tires. This means you definitely need not to worry if your bike is fat. Moreover, it has an adjustable front tire cradle system to ensure that despite the wheel size of your bike, it still makes a perfect fit.
With this bike however, you can only carry two bikes which is still good enough in my opinion. If you bought an old version of this rack, this new one is even better with its integrated foot assist and pivot system.
In case you are wondering how that is helpful, this will enable you to use your foot to balance the rack as you want, making loading and offloading a very easy task. It also has integrated cable locks to keep your bike intact and therefore very secure.
And with its Trail Doc stand, you can hold your bike for any repairs without using an ounce of your energy.
Yakima Holdup 2- Bike Hitch Rack
Is your bike a carbon road or even a full suspension bike? Well, this hitch bike rack from Yakima could be ideal for you. If you are wondering about its recommended weight, it can carry up to two bikes of 60 lbs each and if you want to make them four, you will need an optional holdup or a 2" hitch receiver.
First and foremost, its assembling is very fast and simple. It is also fitted with a StrongArm design that will enable you to secure your bike on the ramp without difficulty. And just like the two bike racks above, it is fitted with a fully integrated security to ensure that you don't have to feel unconfident about your bike being at the back. This is without the help of the frame.
That aside, it also comes with adjustable tire cradles to ensure that the wheels, regardless of their size fit perfectly. And to keep the bike intact, it also comes with a locking clamp. Bike-to-bike interference has also been reduced with its ability to be adjusted side to side.
Saris Superclamp Ex
If you feel unsure about your bike being at the back as you drive during the night, then maybe this Saris Superclamp EX bike rack made in the USA could be perfect for you. This is due to the presence of reflectors on the outside wheel trays which makes it easy to notice during such hours.
Its ability to tilt when you want to access the rear of your vehicle is also an added advantage. Furthermore, it doesn't have to be a nuisance to you when you aren't using it since it is foldable against your car.
It also comes with a locking hitch pin and integrated cable locks to ensure that your bike is intact on the rack and therefore secure without touching the frame of the bike. If you may want to pause for a cold drink in the hot sun, the manufacturer had you in mind by adding a built-in bottle opener in the menu.
It only weighs 35 lb. and carries up to two bikes weighing 60 lb. each.
Kuat Sherpa 2.0
Is the color of your rack of essence to you? Well, it may please you to know that this Kuat Sherpa 2.0 bike rack fortunately comes in gray, black, and pearl for you to choose from. While its rear tire cradled system is designed for your bike's security, its front tire ratchet system will ensure that your bike is intact in its place.
You also won't be needing any tools while assembling, installing, and even removing this bike rack. Are you worried about its durability? You definitely have a reason to, however, this rack made fully from aluminum will last long in its use.
It is suitable for two bikes which are adequately spaced from each other to ensure very little interference and is designed elegantly. Compared to other bike racks on the market, it is light in weight. And guess what? You can also fold it when its out of use.
Did You Know?
Is a hitch bike rack the only one of its kind? Well, it isn't. Manufacturers have also come up with roof racks, truck racks, spare-tire racks, which am sure most, if not all of us have seen, and many others.
So what is different about the hitch rack? Does the word "hitch" ring any bell? If it doesn't, a vehicle has a trailer hitch onto which the bike rack is attached. And how does it work? Before positioning the rack into the receiver, you will have to first displace the ball and hitch.
Like all products in the market, the hitch racks are not all the same. For example, their shapes vary with some being straight and others taking the L-shape. They also vary in functionality since some can carry a maximum of two, while others go up to a total of four bikes.
These racks have also been fitted with defined saddles onto which the frame of your bike will rest. And to secure your bike, which is the main agenda, it comes with straps. Are you still using an old model hitch rack?
If you are, you need to buy an advanced one to start enjoying the amazing features that come with it. For instance, with these new models, you do not have to dismantle the bike rack to get something from the rear of your vehicle.
Instead, they have been fitted with a tilting feature for convenience when doing exactly that. And you do not have to also worry about it when it's not in use, this is because you can simply fold it.
Why You Would Choose the Hitch Rack Over the Other Types of Racks?
Since It Can't Be Perfect, What Are the Disadvantages of the Hitch Bike Rack?
Things to Consider Before Purchasing the Best Hitch Bike Rack
The Weight of the Rack
If you think that it is the weight of the bikes that matter, you are definitely wrong. The weight of the rack is necessary to gauge how easy or hectic it will be to either install or remove. You should therefore choose one that is not very heavy as this will pose difficulties later.
It shouldn't be too light either as it may not efficiently and effectively support your bike as required.
The Carrying Capability of the Rack
As I had mentioned earlier, hitch racks can hold a minimum of two bikes to a maximum of four. This is definitely a reason to make you purchase a specific rack or forego it. Apart from yourself, do you have children with bikes?
If you do, you will need to buy a rack that can carry as many bikes as possible, and if you are a bachelor, a rack of two bikes is good to go.
Any Unique or Advanced Features?
This is basically what makes your hitch rack stand out from the others currently on sale. For instance, the advanced versions of the hitch racks enable you to access the rear of the vehicle without having to remove your bikes, you just have to tilt them.
You can also fold them against your car when you have no use of them. There was also a hitch rack I reviewed that was fitted with a built-in opener. For some of us, that may look like a very unnecessary feature to consider.
However, there is someone out there that is going to buy it for that and other reasons best known to them.
Does the Type of Your Bike Matter?
Yes it does. Unknown to some, the type of your bike should greatly influence the rack that you settle for. Some bikes will require special adapters offered by hanging racks to perfectly fit onto the rack. This applies to children's and women's bikes.
As for the men's bikes, specifically the standard ones, they are just as simple as their riders and will therefore fit on almost all hitch racks. And if by any chance you own a racing bike with a carbon fiber frame, you should not purchase a hanging rack as it will just cause damages to it.
The Type of the Hitch Rack
Did you know that there are three different types of hitch racks in the market? Well, if you didn't, now you do. However, you do not just choose what you feel or think is best for you. These types are perfect for certain bikes.
You therefore have to find out which hitch rack suits not only your car but also your bike before purchase. The three types are the platform, which holds your bikes on a surface, wheel only, in which the wheels suspend the bike, instead of the usual frame, and hanging, in which the arms suspend the hanging bike from the frames.
The Brand of the Hitch Rack
Each product will always have the big fish in the industry and the "others". For hitch racks however, the top gamers in the industry include Thule, Kuat, Yakima, Saris, Critical Cycles, Swagman, and Allen Sports.
Some of which, I reviewed their products and highly recommended them earlier. However, those other companies could be offering more than you imagine. This bigger companies are likely to feel that they have nothing to lose whether you purchase their product or not.
But for the upcoming ones, they do not want their first few products to get negative feedbacks as this will prevent them from fully getting into the market. They might therefore offer better packages to encourage you to go for their hitch racks.
In your free time therefore, you should try to find out about other hitch racks on the market. For some of you, you may feel that it is always a good idea to stick with the best, which is still okay. It's all about your preference. The advantage of the "other" companies is that they are likely to offer budget-friendly prices.
So if you feel like you have to somehow squeeze your budget to have a hitch rack, then this is definitely a good idea. And if you feel you have all the resources you need to go for the most expensive one, why not?
Do you have to ship the hitch rack to your preferred location? It could even be across continents. Some previously used hitch racks on sale are available. And the good thing is that they are still good as new.
Most of them can be freely shipped and you won't have to worry about additional costs as in the case of other hitch racks. And who wouldn't want a free thing? Almost no one, I definitely would consider it.
However, do not just purchase a product for such a reason. At least have two or more other reasons for doing it.
Well, we all want a hitch rack that will be our companion for a long time. However, there are other things you may have to consider. For starters, durable hitch racks tend to be very strong and therefore definitely heavy.
A heavy hitch rack may cause a few problems here and there. For instance, it could make the installation and removal procedure very hectic. It could also be too heavy which may cause an imbalance to your vehicle and the aftermath could be unspeakable.
However, a light rack will not pose such challenges but will only be useful for less time. Therefore, weigh your options on what you need more and go for it. For example, could there be ways of dealing with the imbalance? If there are, you can consider it.
Thank you for taking your time to go through my article. I hope that the information I provided was of help. I reviewed five hitch bike racks that I highly recommend. However, my top pick is the Thule T2 Pro XT.
For starters, it is fitted with the tilting feature to enable you access your trunk without having to offload your bikes on the rack. It is also foldable when its not in use and requires no tools for its installation or removal.
It also comes with a ratchet arm to ensure that your bike is intact in its place and therefore secure without touching the frame. The recommended size of the wheels for this bike rack is 20 - 29" for the diameter and 5" for the width.
For a perfect fit, an adjustment can be made on the bike mounts side to side and lastly, an integrated cable lock system is also included in the menu and the carriage can include up to four bikes in the presence of a 2" hitch.
However, nothing under the sun is perfect with some customers complaining about the quality of the cable locks and a poorly drafted instruction manual. Its advantages however outweigh the disadvantages and if it suits your needs, you should definitely get one of these!