20 Best Hitch Bike Racks Of 2022

Hitch Bike Racks are the way to go if you’re looking for the most effective way to move bikes. They provide unequalled versatility and convenience of use while securely mounting to your vehicle’s receiver hitch.

Although there are many variations available, Hitch Bike Racks can be divided into two main types: platform models, which are the most expensive but provide outstanding stability and convenience, and hanging racks, which optimise carrying capacity in a small package. Our top picks for 2022 are broken down below, ranging from high-end, superbly made models like 1Up’s Heavy Duty Double to Kuat’s cost- and weight-conscious Beta.

In our search for the best hitch bike racks of 2022, we came across several excellent competitors in a range of pricing ranges.

Types of Hitch Bike Racks

1. Platform Racks

The majority of the racks in our comparison are platform racks, which are also the best for moving bikes, in our opinion. Platform designs have many more bike style compatibility options than hanging racks, sit closer to the ground for quicker access, and have good stability. Most have two points of attachment: a strap to hold the back wheel in place and a ratcheting arm to secure the front wheel.

This simple yet efficient method avoids any wobbling or side-to-side movement when driving and makes it simple to load and unload your bike quickly. These racks are also the softest on bikes as they usually just make touch with the wheel or tyre (and not the painted frame).

2. Hanging Racks

Road or lightweight bikes can be transported using hanging hitch racks instead of having to lift them up and onto the roof of your car. While not necessarily cheap, a high-quality hanging rack with the same capacity as the Yakima RidgeBack 2 costs around half as much as a platform type. For those who intend to remove the rack on a regular basis, hanging racks’ less weight and greater compactness are advantages. The Kuat Beta, for instance, weighs only 14 pounds and can be conveniently stored in a garage corner when not in use.

3. Vertical Hanging Racks

Our third category has only recently shown significant growth in popularity. Vertical hanging racks have become more popular recently due to their high-capacity configurations, which were previously mostly found on the back of guide service vehicles and/or shuttle rigs.

The appeal is obvious: You can transport more bikes closer to your vehicle by hanging them from their handlebars vertically and anchoring them below at the back wheel. And unlike conventional hanging models, there are no top tube problems to worry about.

RELATED: 20 Best Bike Racks For Home & Garage In 2022

20 Best Hitch Bike Racks Of 2022

1. Kuat Sherpa 2.0

Our top pick is the Kuat Sherpa for a number of reasons. It weighs about 45 pounds, which is a bit less than other versions, and it is made of aluminium, making it as light and sleek as it can be given all the capabilities it offers. You don’t have to fuss around with a time-consuming installation because it doesn’t require any tools.

Hitch Bike Racks

With a few significant design upgrades, such as a foot-assisted, hands-free pivot lever that enables users to lower the rack without having to set down all of their gear first, the rack has just undergone a redesign with the user experience at the forefront. The front tyre ratchet was also devised by Kuat to make it much simpler to release the wheel, while the back wheels are kept safe by a co-molded strap.

2. Thule Camber 2-Bike Hitch Rack

Priced affordably, the Thule Camber 2 bike hitch-mounted rack is ideal for casual users. It has arms that fold down when the rack is not in use and can accommodate both 1.25-inch and 2-inch receivers. The cradle’s design is appropriate for holding bikes of different sizes (though large fat-tire bikes and e-bikes might be challenging to get on).

More stability is provided by the cradle extension, so you can drive on mountain roads with confidence knowing that your bikes won’t move. To access your trunk without disassembling the entire setup, the rack can tilt back. Even though it’s not particularly difficult, the installation does require some tools because only three bolts are required to assemble the hitch rack.

3. Thule T2 Pro XT 2

Although this bike rack has a heavy price tag, it is the best on the market for a number of reasons, not the least of which is how simple it is to use. The AutoAttach knob takes care of the 2-inch hitch installation process without the need for any equipment, and the HitchSwitch lever tilts the rack up against your trunk car when it is not in use. Do you need to access the trunk? The rack may also be lowered using the lever so you can access the back.

The Thule T2 Pro XT excels in secure storage, which is a great attribute for a bike rack. There is no way the wheels could come out of the deep, broad wheel wells on the front tyres.

4. Kuat Transfer v2 2

Platform-style racks of high quality are unavoidably pricey, but those seeking to cut costs could consider Kuat’s Transfer v2. This design is similar to the Thule T2 in that it has a few basic characteristics including an attachment mechanism that prevents frame contact and a tilting feature that makes it possible to access the back of your car.

The most recent Transfer model is also adaptable enough to fit a variety of wheel sizes and bike types, including a fat bike with an adaptor (sold separately). Additionally, a 1-Bike Add-On is offered for a fair $159 to provide even more carrying capacity.

5. Swagman XC2

Although British Columbia-based Swagman doesn’t have the same name recognition as Thule or Yakima, its XC2 model is a wise pick for budget-conscious recreational riders. The Swagman XC2 comes equipped with a highly adjustable tray system, strong and secure ratcheting arms, and a threaded hitch pin that minimises rack movement for a bargain-basement $120 (on Amazon at the time of posting).

The fact that it weighs only 32 pounds, is simple to install, and has a modest footprint when not attached to a car may be its best feature. The more expensive choices above and below have more bells and whistles than this rack, but it will still safely transport your bikes from place A to point B.

6. 1UP Equip-D Single

The 1Up-USA Equip D ($499), which was released in the fall of 2020, is quickly becoming one of our top racks on the market. One of our testers utilised the Equip-previous D’s generation for more than ten years and 100,000 miles without ever replacing a single component.

We were eager to test out the new model after having such a positive experience with the previous one. And thus far, it has more than met our high standards.

With this 1Up rack, durability is the word of the game. It has almost no plastic and all stainless steel hardware. The rack is designed to last forever and has relatively few breakable elements. Literally.

7. Yakima RidgeBack 4

Although high-capacity hanging models are undoubtedly the best in terms of value, we favour the platform style because it is simpler to load and has greater all-around stability. Yakima’s RidgeBack is one of the most popular alternatives on the market because of its sturdy construction, affordable price, and anti-sway design, which reduces bike movement when travelling.

We also believe that Yakima’s cradle system, which includes ratchet-style straps to firmly fasten the bike’s top tube to the rack, is the best. The RidgeBack offers twice the capacity of the Thule T2 Pro above at slightly over half the cost for a modest $399 for the four-bike version.

8. Allen Sports 3-Bike Hitch Racks

One of the best in the market, the Allen three-bike mount, fits vehicles with either a 1.25-inch or 2-inch trailer hitch. The design incorporates Allen’s proprietary tie-down system, which uses 16-inch carry arms to individually fasten each bicycle to the rack. Your time from garage to trail is shortened by the rack’s quick setup, and when it’s not in use, the carry arms slide out of the way.

In case you require a little bit more or a little less space, it is also available in two- and four-bike versions.

9. Kuat NV Base 2.0Kuat NV Base 2.0

The NV Base 2.0 hitch rack from market leader Kuat is a workhorse. It is the outcome of a procedure that deleted the Trail Doc and kept only the useful necessities from Kuat’s NV 2.0 concept. This rack has a practical foot-assisted pivot design that makes it easy to lower the rack by depressing a lever with your foot.

This feature makes it simpler to enter the back of an SUV and is useful when loading your bike onto the rack. The 1.25-inch or 2-inch hitch receiver on the NV Base 2.0 is compatible with two bikes each weighing up to 60 pounds. By purchasing an additional adaptor, this design may accommodate two more bikes.

10. Kuat NV 2.0

In order to prevent bikes’ frames from touching one another on the road, this platform-style Kuat holds them by their tyres. Easy rear cargo access is made possible by a cleverly designed rack; you can flip it up to transport bikes or tilt it down 45 degrees to enter a car or truck bed with ease.

Additionally, it has an integrated repair stand that makes it simple to check your bike and make any minor repairs before hitting the trail. This is the closest thing to wobble-free we’ve seen thanks to the same design gurus.

11. RockyMounts BackStage

The RockyMounts BackStage rack generated a lot of buzz when it was first introduced to the market. One of the first platform racks with a side-swinging mechanism included in the design was this one (think of an arm that swings away from your vehicle to allow for total access to the rear of your car).

It’s also important to note that major players like Yakima and Thule still don’t offer this feature. The BackStage also includes several features you’d anticipate from a high-end hitch rack, including a cable lock (though it is not incorporated), the capacity to hold different bike types and wheel sizes, strong ratcheting arms, and high-quality materials and craftsmanship all around.

12. Thule EasyFold XT 2

Thule introduced the EasyFold XT 2 to address the rising demand for huge fat bikes and hefty e-bikes. The good news is that there are ramps built in, so you can push your bikes up onto the platforms rather than lifting them. The ramps are easy to store on the rack while travelling, quick to deploy, and perform an excellent job of guiding the bikes up and down.

The EasyFold is also one of the simplest to store because the platform’s sides fold upward and in half, and the rack can be carried short distances with one hand thanks to an inbuilt handle. The EasyFold meets all the requirements for a heavy carrier with a load capacity of 130 pounds (between two bikes).

13. Yakima OnRamp

Electric bikes are excellent for sharing the weight when a journey becomes difficult or if you simply want to get outside without necessarily wanting to exercise that day. Unfortunately, adding it to a hitch rack requires a mini-weightlifting workout due to the extra weight. Yakima, one of the most reputable rack manufacturers on the market, had this in mind when creating the OnRamp ($699).

In addition to having the highest carry rating we’ve seen—66 pounds per bike—it also has a useful roll-on feature. You can roll your bike up into the cradle and into place because it tilts down to the ground.

14. Retrospec Bike Hitch Mount Rack

It would be difficult to find a nicer hitch mount bike rack for people on a budget than Retrospec’s ($70). This gives up a few conveniences but costs less than a quarter of what you’d pay for the higher-end racks and will still transport your bikes where they need to go.

The frame is made of alloy steel and has an adaptor to fit various hitch sizes with the least amount of wobbling while being transported. The carry arm spacing separates and supports a variety of bikes weighing up to 35 pounds each.

The cradle pads and soft rubber straps keep your frame from getting scratched while the tie-down cradles and straps work with a wide range of frame sizes to lock them in. The rack’s tip-down function offers access from the back.

15. Thule Apex XT

The easiest bike racks to use are those that hang. However, they have several drawbacks, most notably the potential to harm your bike frames and the possibility of swinging tyres colliding with other bikes or cars.

When creating the Apex XT 4 ($450), the designers at Thule clearly took the most serious of these problems into account. The well-padded frame cradles minimise friction.

Additionally, each set of cradles has an additional attachment that secures the down tube (usually racks of this type only attach at the top tube), which aids in reducing side-to-side swing while driving. The cradles can also be adjusted so that there can be up to 7 inches between the bikes.

16. RockyMounts WestSlope 3

Trying to wrestle the handlebars out of the way while racking several bikes is one of the most difficult tasks. We started an otherwise fantastic riding day with a bad taste in our mouths as we tried to manoeuvre them in and out of the other bikes.

It seems that the people at RockyMounts sympathise with us. A “why didn’t I think of it” feature of the company’s WestSlope rack ($440) is a tiered system of cradles that maintains the handlebars at various levels between bikes, keeping them out of the way of the other bikes. Brilliant.

The bike that is closest to the car starts on the lowest tier, and the subsequent bikes all rise somewhat higher than the previous one.

17. INNO Tire Hold Bike Hitch 4

The low-profile Tire Hold Bike Hitch 4 from INNO, which costs $1,199, can tow up to four bikes weighing up to 60 pounds each. However, despite its enormous size, it cannot be used to tow an ATV. Although the aluminium design is sturdy, it also helps to reduce the rack’s overall weight. Additionally, when the rack is not in use, it is simple to fold it up against the car thanks to the pull handle at the end of the rack.

The Tire Hold’s entirely frameless securing system is the most remarkable feature, aside from its menacing presence. The rack secures the bikes and prevents them from colliding during transport by combining a full-length cradle with locking arm mounts on both tyres.

18. Yakima HangOver 6

The low-profile Tire Hold Bike Hitch 4 from INNO, which costs $1,199, can tow up to four bikes weighing up to 60 pounds each. However, despite its enormous size, it cannot be used to tow an ATV. Although the aluminium design is sturdy, it also helps to reduce the rack’s overall weight. Additionally, when the rack is not in use, it is simple to fold it up against the car thanks to the pull handle at the end of the rack.

The Tire Hold’s entirely frameless securing system is the most remarkable feature, aside from its menacing presence. The rack secures the bikes and prevents them from colliding during transport by combining a full-length cradle with locking arm mounts on both tyres.

19. Saris SuperClamp EX 4

The SuperClamp from Saris ($1,000) is a sturdy platform hitch rack with a weight of 63 pounds, which is about half that of other platform bike racks on the market.

Bicycles up to 35 pounds, wheelbases up to 50 inches, and tyres up to 4 inches can all be supported by dual wheel hooks that secure the bikes into the cradles without any frame contact (adapters for fat tyre bikes are available as add-ons).

From road bikes and mountain bikes to bikes with fenders and lighter e-bikes, the hooks and cradle are customizable to fit practically every type of bike.

20. Thule Helium Platform

The last on our list of best Hitch Bike Racks is Thule Helium Platform. The high-end Helium is the newest platform hitch model from Thule. The well-thought-out design is lightweight enough to easily move in and out of a garage and compatible with both 1.25- and 2-inch receivers (a big plus for switching between vehicles). It is also extremely secure with arms that quickly lock over the tyres.

Hitch Bike Racks

The Helium’s durable and solid construction has also surprised us; even while loaded with two mountain bikes weighing more than 30 pounds and travelling through highly uneven forest service roads, the rack and bikes remained in place with barely minor movement. Finally, the Thule offers a premium appearance and feel throughout, from the tilt lever’s ease of use to the metal trays and built-in cable locks.

Bike Capacity

Platform-style racks can often hold one to four bikes (if you purchase an extension), whereas hanging-style racks can hold two to five bikes in total. However, there are some significant exceptions, such as the ground-breaking 1UP Recon Rack 6, which can hold six bikes vertically.

Most riders continue to use the two-bike configuration, but families or people who plan to transport bikes for group rides may want to start out with a bigger capacity hanging model or one of the platform add-ons.

Bike Weight Capacity

Verify the bike weight capacity of a particular rack if you intend to transport bigger cruiser models, e-bikes, fat bikes, or downhill mountain bike types. The maximum carrying capacity per bike will be stated in the listings for each design.

It’s not worth the risk of breaking your rack while driving or voiding your warranty if you’re going to be near to or slightly over the maximum weight limit.

Tilting Feature

Get a hitch rack with a tilt option if, like the majority of bikers, you intend to leave your rack on your car for an extended amount of time or just want to keep access to your back cargo space. And almost all hitch-mounted bike racks feature this functionality, with the exception of a few incredibly cheap versions.

Tilting racks, as their name suggests, can be leaned over by pressing a lever that lowers the rack far enough for you to open the tailgate or rear door of your car. Both platform-style and hanging racks include the tilting feature.

Swing-Away Racks

Most SUVs, hatchbacks, and trucks have tilting racks that let you open the cargo door, but swing-away variants provide even greater access. In other words, they open like an arm when a pin is released, allowing the entire rack to pivot to the side of the car.

You can access the back cargo compartment in this way without having to unload your bikes. The additional materials and design complexity do increase weight and expense.

Wheel Size and Tire Width Compatibility

Wheel and tyre dimensions aren’t important factors to take into account when picking a hanging rack, but platform-style buyers should make sure their bikes will fit in the provided trays.

The good news is that most road and mountain bikers won’t have any issues at all because every platform rack on our list can accommodate wheels that are 26 to 29 inches in diameter and tyres that are 3 inches and smaller. Problems can arise when you use fat bikes with 4- to 5-inch tyres or 12- to 24-inch kids’ bikes, which are at the extreme ends of the scale.

Bike Frame Compatibility

The design and style of your bike’s frame is connected to the last potential issue with bike compatibility. First off, because they only make contact with the bike’s wheels or tyres, platform racks like the Kuat NV 2.0, Thule T2, Yakima Dr.Tray, and 1Up are unaffected by this. However, if you’re thinking of using a hanging rack, pay special attention to how your bike’s top tube is shaped.

RELATED: 20 Best Bike Racks For SUV That You Should Have In 2022

Choosing a Hitch Rack for Carbon Fiber Bikes

It’s not surprising that one of the most often asked questions is how to carry carbon fibre bikes safely given that they are expensive and many riders’ ultimate fantasy machines. The most crucial step in protecting the material is to choose a style that prevents any frame contact. Since types like the Yakima Ridgeback secure the bike with straps directly over the top tube, you should avoid the traditional hanging rack category.

The high cost of these suitable racks is their thing in common, but it’s well worth it to prevent any needless harm to your carbon rig.

These are a few factors to take into account when selecting a hitch rack for carbon fibre bikes.

Vehicle Clearance

The distance between the rack, your bikes, and the car is one of the hitch rack puzzle’s more complicated technical elements. If this isn’t checked, it could cause a variety of problems, such as your van’s back doors being unable to open more than a few inches because of how close the rack is, your bike’s handlebars bumping up against the back of an SUV when other bikes are loaded, or a pickup’s tailgate being unable to be lowered. It goes without saying that it is worthwhile to check your clearance.

Weight

The weights of hitch-mounted bike racks range greatly, from the lightweight 14-pound Kuat Beta to the substantial 63-pound RockyMounts BackStage. Our preferred platform-style versions weigh between 45 and 52 pounds, which makes installing and removing them difficult. But the advantages of a stronger design that carries bikes more securely and lasts longer outweigh the increased weight, in our opinion.

Weight-saving variants like the Yakima Dr.Tray and Kuat Sherpa 2.0 have proven to have some drawbacks in terms of carrying capacity and durability in our tests. However, a lightweight design like the Beta is a perfectly acceptable option if you won’t be utilising your rack very frequently or will need to remove it by yourself on a regular basis.

Bike and Receiver Hitch Locks

The feature sets of bike racks are often relatively similar, and locks are a typical addition seen on mid-range and premium models. These adaptable cables, which work with bike locks, let you lock the bike’s wheel or frame to the rack.

Although they aren’t a perfect deterrent because a good set of bolt cutters can quickly chop them down, they can offer some level of security when you’re parking your car (we like to back them up with a sturdier U-lock as well). Our preferred bike locks are those that are built into the rack, as doing so makes it very simple to rapidly use them when necessary.

Hitch Mount vs. Other Bike Rack Styles

This article has made it quite evident that platform versions with hitch-mounted racks are our preferred choice. There isn’t a type that provides as much ease, capacity, or compatibility with such a wide range of vehicles when compared to conventional bike-carrying options (provided you have a receiver hitch).

Rooftop racks are more difficult to load and unload, have a smaller maximum capacity (often two bikes), and might reduce gas mileage or make a whistling noise on the highway. Trunk-mounted racks are less expensive, but if you don’t take special care, they could harm your car’s paint.

CONCLUSION

In the conclusion, we hope that our guide on Hitch Bike Racks will help you choose your buy with more knowledge. The hitch bike racks mentioned above are of the highest quality and are made to provide the finest experience for users.

You won’t regret your purchase if you give any of these items more thought. Despite the abundance of items, one might better suit your needs than the others. This is why we advise readers to learn more about each option before deciding which one is best for them. This article about the top ten hitch bike racks is one we hope you’ve enjoyed reading.

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