Best 4 Bike Hitch Racks for 2021 – Buyer’s Guide

Anthony
| Last Updated: June 29, 2021

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If you have bikes that need transportation, you should consider investing in a hitch rack. 

In order to carry your friends’ and family’s bikes anywhere on the road, hitch racks are the ideal items. 

If you’re also looking for the best one, continue reading our top picks and how you can also choose the correct one. 

Comparison of the Best 4 Bike Hitch Racks

IMAGEPRODUCT
  • Will hold up to 4 bikes on the rack
  • Can set it up and install in under 5 minutes
  • Rack is made from strong and durable materials
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  • Best for the Money
  • Can be used with all dual-arm types of bikes
  • Safety straps include to keep bikes safe and secure
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  • Best 4 Bike Platform Hitch Rack
  • Anti-wobble system included for safe and sturdy transport
  • Will easily support up to 60 pounds bikes
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  • Best Thule 4 Bike Hitch Rack
  • Equipped with anti-sway cradles for improved stability
  • Included is a ratchet cradle strap for quick bike attachment
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  • Best Yakima 4 Bike Hitch Rack
  • Compatible with most frame design bikes
  • Folds out of the way when loaded to keep bikes safe from damage
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Can You Really Find a Quality 4 Bike Hitch Rack That’s Affordable?

You can find a hitch rack for your bike without breaking the bank, but it all depends on the features that you’re willing to let go of by paying a little less. For a budget of $150 or below, it is a bit difficult to get a hitch rack that has a lot of value and features. In this range, you can expect to get a model with the capacity of carrying four to five bikes.

As your budget increases, so does the quality of the hitch rack. A model in the range of $150-$300 comes with many features and excellent durability to last a long time. A folding frame facility is also available in such racks. Expensive models that cost above $300 have innovative and high-quality features, such as wheel clamps, extra straps, and folding frames for added convenience. 

Characteristics of Our Favorite 4 Bike Hitch Racks

After thorough research, we have narrowed down the three best features that you should consider before purchasing a four-bike hitch rack. These will help your bike stay in place and secure no matter where you transport them. Here are some of the most important ones that you should look for:

Clamps

An ideal bike hitch rack comes with a clamp that prevents the bike from slipping or sliding when being transported. The clamp secures the bike and keeps it from tipping over when there’s a curb or acceleration in the car. Anti-sway clamps are the most common ones found on bike hitches.

Straps

Sometimes, a cradle or clamp might not be enough to secure the bike, especially if it’s a heavy-duty one. For this reason, you must invest in a bike hitch rack that comes with straps so that you can secure the wheel to the rack or cradle and provide extra support to the bike.

Cradle

To ensure the bike is kept on the rack, investing in a hitch that comes with a cradle is necessary. In most hitch racks, the cradle is found at the back where the front wheels stay at the bottom and provide security to the bike, so it’s tight. 

Review of the Best 4 Bike Hitch Racks

Let’s now review some of the best four-bike hitch racks that you can find in the market today:

Best Overall:
Allen Sports 4-Bike Hitch Racks

Allen Sports 4-Bike Hitch Racks for 2 in. Hitch

pros

  • Rear vehicle-access inclusive
  • Easy installation in under 5 minutes
  • No-wobble bolt included for added security
  • Individual tie-down system equipped to protect bicycles
  • Folding carry arms included as well for greater flexibility

cons

  • Installation must be done by a professional
  • Fits with vehicles with a 2-inch trailer hitch only

What Recent Buyers Report

Along with its budget-friendly price tag, this unit contains most of the features that you would expect from a high-end, expensive bike hitch rack. It offers ample security for your bikes, which is what most users found impressive, and it comes from a well-reputed brand that has gained customers’ loyalty.

Why it Stands Out to Us

This is a very straightforward hitch rack that comes with built-in cradles for convenience and ease of use. It also comes with a tension bolt to reduce the amount of vibration during transportation and decrease the number of rattles as well.

Furthermore, despite its low price tag, the rack offers considerable security and sturdiness when taking your bikes along during a road trip. It also comes with simple straps to easily secure the bike to the rack and make sure it doesn’t move a lot during travel. The installation is also very quickly done. 

Bottom Line

For an all-in-one quality hitch rack for your bikes, this is the best model for you out there. Combining physical and financial feasibility, this rack is all that you need for your next road trip. 

Runner-up:
Tyger Auto TG-RK4B102B Deluxe

Tyger Auto TG-RK4B102B Deluxe 4-Bike Carrier Rack Compatible with Both 1-1/4'' and 2'' Hitch Receiver | with Hitch Pin Lock & Cable Lock | Soft Cushion Protector

pros

  • Quick and easy installation
  • Safety straps included for stabilization
  • Cable and hitch lock included in the package
  • Foldable carry arms included with a tilt-down feature
  • Instruction guide for DIY installation included in the kit

cons

  • Users found that the straps break in colder weather

What Recent Buyers Report

According to many users, this rack is rock solid and highly durable. The clasps on it hold the bike tightly in place and make sure it doesn’t wobble or move. The extra safety straps included are also easily adjustable and are quite convenient for traveling purposes.

Why it Stands Out to Us

The Tyger Auto Deluxe bike hitch rack is fit for all types of dual-arm bikes, with a 1.25-2-inch hitch receiver included in the package. It is also capable of holding four bikes with absolute security because of its durable and sturdy construction. There is a security strap included, and the hitch rack is coated for rust prevention. 

Along with that, the unit is super budget-friendly, and with all the features you get in this model, it is definitely a bang for your buck. The installation is also super easy and can be done in under five minutes. 

Bottom Line

There’s no doubt that you can get more value for your money by investing in this model. It will be your best option as it comes with all the high-end features and supreme quality design at quite a low price. 

Best 4 Bike Platform Hitch Rack:
KAC Overdrive Sports K4

KAC Overdrive Sports K4 2” Hitch Mounted Rack 4-Bike Platform Style Carrier for Standard, Fat Tire, and Electric Bicycles – 60 lbs/Bike Heavy Weight Capacity - Smart Tilting – RV Use Prohibited

pros

  • Includes a limited lifetime warranty
  • Comes with a quick-release tilt design
  • Anti-wobble system equipped for stability
  • Super easy to install and quite adjustable
  • Can support four bikes, weighing 60 pounds each

cons

  • Cannot be used on RVs

What Recent Buyers Report

The solid construction of this hitch rack impressed many users. Its high-quality design and ease of installation make this one of the best four-bike platform hitch racks to purchase. It is also highly customizable, according to the different heights and sizes of the bikes. 

Why it Stands Out to Us

For easy assembly and installation, this is the perfect hitch rack to buy. It is strong, sturdy, and can carry a lot of weight, which makes it the ideal partner for your long road trips. Moreover, this unit is customizable according to the size of your bike, which makes it even more impressive.

When it comes to the features, this bike rack has an innovative design with an easy adjustment that can be tilted when it is not in use. The installation hardware is also included, with an instruction manual given to save time and hassle. 

Bottom Line

For the sake of carrying four heavy-duty bikes with ease, you should consider purchasing this hitch rack. The design, quality, and durability of this hitch rack make this one of the best models you can buy. 

Best Thule 4 Bike Hitch Rack:
Thule Apex XT Bike Hitch Rack

Thule Apex XT Bike Hitch Rack

pros

  • Swing-away design for easy convenience
  • Bike arms fold when not in use, saving space
  • Bike stability with anti-sway cradles included
  • Ideal for most kinds of bikes and frame styles
  • Comes with an integrated cable lock to keep the bike secure

cons

  • Not suitable for RVs
  • Takes longer to load and unload on the Yakima Holdup

What Recent Buyers Report

The installation guide included with this hitch rack is very easy to follow and understand, making the installation super easy and convenient. It also comes with two replaceable locks and keys, which is also an excellent feature that many users loved. Lastly, it’s lightweight but sturdy in quality. 

Why it Stands Out to Us

This is a premium hitch rack from Thule that can carry four bikes with ease. It has a sturdy and high-quality design, which makes it one of the best models you can find. The swing-away design allows for added convenience when the hitch rack is not in use. 

Moreover, the cradle strap allows the bikes to be quickly attached and strongly secures them, ensuring that they don't wobble or get damaged. The anti-sway cradles also ensure that the bike stays put during road trips or traveling. It is definitely worth the money due to its high quality and design. 

Bottom Line

A hanging hitch bike rack can save a lot of space and is very convenient to use. This model by Thule is known to be one of the sturdiest and dependable ones that can stabilize your bikes and transport them without damaging them.

Best Yakima 4 Bike Hitch Rack:
YAKIMA FourTimer Hitch Mount Tray Bike Rack

YAKIMA - FourTimer Hitch Mount Tray Bike Rack, 4 Bike Capacity

pros

  • Adaptable design for carrying needs
  • Folds down easily with the bikes loaded
  • Hitch lock included protecting the bikes
  • Easy to use because of its low tray height 
  • Carries any kind of bike, no matter the frame style or design

cons

  • Red lever is difficult to pull out

What Recent Buyers Report

What users deem to be the most impressive thing about this hitch rack is its user-friendly installation and ease of use. It can carry two to four bikes without any problems, with each bike weighing 45 pounds. Overall, it has a lot of features that make this rack one of a kind.

Why it Stands Out to Us

This is quite a convenient hitch rack that comes with a super adaptable design and excellent features for ease of use. It fits any frame design, wheel size, and suspension, making it ideal for traveling and carrying athletic or kids’ bikes. 

Furthermore, it offers exceptional security and safety when being used on the road, and the brand is known to provide the highest quality and reliable products. It can be used to carry two bikes and can also be converted to a four-bike hitch rack in minutes.  

Bottom Line

Looking for an easy-to-use and convertible bike rack? Do check this model out, as it is quite popular and loved by many people. It is also designed with high-quality materials and is super easy to install. 

6. Hollywood Racks HR1400

Hollywood Racks HR1400 Sport Rider SE 4-Bike Platform Style Hitch Mount Rack (2-Inch Receiver)

pros

  • Carries bikes up to 5-inches wide
  • Locking hitch pin included with the rack
  • Includes bike frame hooks for added security
  • Folds vertically to easily carry and store it in a vehicle
  • ‘No-wobble, no tools’ hitch tightening system equipped

cons

  • Cannot be used on any trailer, towed vehicle, or fifth wheel

What Recent Buyers Report

This is a well-built rack with many impressive features, such as the locking hitch pin and frame hooks. It is very sturdy and is easily adjustable so that the bikes stay in place, depending on where you need them. It is also easy to load four bikes in less time and is highly convenient for travel.

Why it Stands Out to Us

With its easy-to-use and convenient design, this hitch rack has slowly climbed on every biker’s list of must-haves. The ‘No-Wobble, No-Tools’ hitch tightening system helps the bikes stay in place for a long amount of time, making them more durable and sturdy.

Moreover, the hitch rack folds flat when it’s not in use and also tilts down so that there is easy cargo door access. The hitch rack also uses bike frame hooks in order to secure the bikes more tightly and ensure that they do not wiggle or move about when on the road. 

Bottom Line

On the hunt for a convenient, easy-to-use, and impressive hitch rack? You should consider investing your money in this model by Hollywood Racks. Its high-quality design and numerous features will not let you down!

What Do I Need to Know Before Buying a 4 Bike Hitch Rack? 

Before you invest in a four-bike hitch rack, there are some things that you should know. Below are a few tips that can help you make a better decision and help you get the best-quality hitch rack for your biking needs.

Compatibility

You must always check whether the bike you are going to attach to the rack is compatible with it or not. If you end up buying a rack without checking its compatibility, chances are it wouldn’t fit, and your purchase will become a waste.

Securing Pin

Ensure that you have a securing pin for the hitch receiver. The pin will help keep the rack in place and avoid it from sliding as you drive. This will also ensure that the bikes stay in place and do not get damaged during transport.

Straps and Tie-Downs

If you have a very expensive or heavy bike that needs more precautions or safety measures, find a hitch rack with additional straps and tie-downs for the bikes to be more secure and tight during travel. Straps are also handy for longer trips where the rack may become loose. 

Tyger Auto TG-RK4B102B Deluxe

What Type of 4 Bike Hitch Rack Do I Need?

In order to understand which bike hitch rack is best suited for your needs, you need to know the different types you can find on the market. There are three types of bike hitch racks: platform, roof-mounted, and hanging racks. Let’s look at them in greater detail. 

Hanging Racks

Hanging racks are used to support the bikes from the top lube and then let them loose from the bottom. This ensures that the bike's tires or wheels are safe from any damage or obstruction, and they are not damaged during transport.

Platform Racks

These bike racks support the bike from the wheels. Some of the models may attach to the wheel or the frame of the bike, while most of them hold the bike with tires, straps, or clamps. 

Roof-Mounted Racks

Roof-mounted carriers attach the bikes to the existing crossbars on SUVs or wagons. This type is more money-saving for vehicles that already have crossbars fitted on their roofs, as you just have to mount the bike on top of it with the help of mounting feet and clips.

Comparison Overview 

Let’s take a look at how different brands and types of bike hitch racks compare with each other:

Thule vs Yakima Bike Rack

Both these brands lead the hitch rack industry, and they both have very loyal customers. They also offer similar features and capabilities in their products, and that makes it harder to pick which brand to buy. It all comes down to the budget, the exact features, and the type of hitch rack you need.

Thule has a better reputation as its products are highly durable and last for a long time. Their sturdiness and high-quality materials make them one of the most sought after and reliable bike hitch racks. Yakima bike racks are also great in quality, available at a lesser price, and are equally as popular.

Thule Apex vs Vertex

Thule’s Apex model is a new premium and high-quality hitch rack with security, comfort, and innovative design, making it one of the most impressive models on the market. The bike locks to the carrier and comes with an integrated auto pin to protect the bike during transport and transit.

The Vertex model is an ideal rack for regular bike riders who require stability and security of the hitch receiver. The improved hitch switch helps unload the carrier and provide maximum bike security. The arched mast and the bike arm design allows for easier bike loading and off-loading.

Roof Rack vs Hitch Rack

A roof rack is more versatile and can be used to stack different kinds of bikes with ease and comfort. However, it isn’t as accessible as a hitch rack, as it only requires you to go to the mount and retrieve the bikes. 

Roof racks require you to mount all the bikes over your head, and considering the weight and number of bikes you load, it can be dangerous. To safely mount and off-load the bikes, a hitch rack is a better option as it is safer and much more easily accessible, making it convenient. 

How to Load a 4 Bike Hitch Rack

If you need a complete guideline on how to load a four-bike hitch rack, you should look at this section. Here, we will provide you with a step-by-step guide on how to load one with ease.

  1. If your bike has a full suspension setup on it, chances are the rear suspension will be in the way of installing it on a bicycle rack. 

  2. You’re going to need a bike adapter bar, which is a span that goes between the handlebars and the seat. This gives you a place for your bicycle to attach and hold on to.

  3. It’s a good idea to start with the heaviest bike closest to the car and then work your way out back. 

  4. Next, attach the bike to the cradles, and make sure you set the front wheel more to the outside than the back.

  5. Make sure you maintain some distance between the two bikes to eliminate interference and avoid the pedals touching each other. Do this with all four bikes, and adjust the straps accordingly.

  6. The last thing you need is a safety strap. Loop it around all the bicycles and make sure they’re secure and tight.

You can also watch the video given below to get a better visual depiction of the installation process:

Conclusion 

Hopefully, this article helped decide which bike rack to buy for your next trip. Getting a rack can be difficult, especially if you don’t know which features to look for. With this guide, you can be sure to pick the right model for your road trips.

People Also Ask

For more information and answers to your queries, you can take a look at this portion. It will give you a clearer idea about hitch racks in general and how to take care of them when you need to go somewhere. 

Why Can't You Use a 4 Bike Rack on a Class 1 Trailer Hitch?

While the gross weight on the Class I hitch is about 2000 pounds, the tongue weight is only 200 pounds. The difference between these two weights is that the former refers to the heaviness of the trailer towing, while the latter is the vertical weight you can put on the hitch. This is why you cannot carry more than two bikes on a Class I trailer hitch. 

Thule Apex XT Bike Hitch Rack

How to Put a Female Bike on Rack

These are the steps you should follow in order to put a female bike on the rack:

  1. Open up the rack and attach it carefully to your vehicle.

  2. Make sure you protect the delicate parts of the bike, such as the pedals and the wheels.

  3. Use the safety straps for added protection.

  4. Ensure that the rack is in an arc shape.

  5. Attach the clips onto the bike and tighten the straps.

  6. Make sure that the rack is sturdy and doesn’t move. 

How Do I Keep My Bikes From Getting Stolen Off My Rack?

Make sure that you lock your bike to the car when you’re not using it. Personalize your bike and invest in good-quality locks so that no one picks at them. There are several kinds of anti-theft locks and devices that you can find on the market, so make sure you get a good quality one for your bike.

Can I Go Through a Carwash With a Mounted Hitch Rack?

No, you cannot go to the carwash and get your vehicle washed while having a mounted hitch rack. This is because the parts or steps in the car wash can cause permanent damage to the delicate parts of the rack. You should use a mild detergent without any solvents to ensure the safety and durability of the rack. 

Hollywood Racks HR1400

How Do I Maintain My Bike Rack?

Use soap and water to clean your bike rack regularly, even though a water-soluble solution can also work well. Make sure you keep the moving parts moving as they should not be damaged during the cleaning. This includes locking mechanisms and lock cables.

How Do I Load Different Sized Bikes Onto My Hitch Rack?

With the help of adjustable frames and hitch tubes, you can fit in any kind of bike on the hitch rack. You must use a bike adapter bar, cradles, and straps to ensure the safety of the bikes. Keeping some distance when latching the bikes on the hitch rack is also necessary to reduce friction in different-sized bikes.

How Much is a Bike Rack?

Bike racks can cost anywhere between below $150 and $300 and above. This mainly depends on the quality and design of the models and the features that they offer. The more features the model offers and the sturdy the rack is, the higher the price tag will be.

Anthony

"I'm Linda's husband. We got married in 2018 and are loving life together. We met in one of my many competitive races and hit it off right away. Our best dates are when we're riding down a trail enjoying each other’s company in the beautiful Colorado weather. I enjoy writing about everything pertaining to bikes. "