Best 5 Bike Hitch Racks – 2020 Top Picks

Anthony
| Last Updated: February 23, 2021

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Hitch mount bike racks are quite the craze among biking enthusiasts and eco-activist consumers these days. Just like manufacturers are targeting different types of bike racks for different kinds of bikes, they’re also coming up with racks that now handle more than one bike at the back of your vehicle; five to be precise!

And while finding the ideal five-bike hitch rack may sound like a simple objective, it’s really not. It requires a good deal of research, evaluation, and comparison analysis. Lucky for you, we’ve done all that work for you.

All you have to do now is read ahead and pick what fits your needs best.

Our Top Picks for Best 5 Bike Hitch Racks

  • Safe, secure
  • Keeps bikes in place
  • Versatile rack
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  • Lots of space
  • Easy to use
  • High maximum load
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  • Best for the Money
  • Versatile rack
  • Highly visible
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Comparison of the Best 5 Bike Hitch Racks

IMAGEPRODUCT
  • Quick installation hitch with secured tightening of racks
  • Bikes protected with individual tie-downs
  • Will accommodate a wide range of bike frames
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  • Will easily hold up to 5 bikes on the rack
  • Rack tilts for easy cargo door access
  • Holds up to 35 pounds bikes easily
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  • Best for the Money
  • Easily holds large and small frame bikes secured
  • Reflectors attached to the rack for better visibility
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  • Best Thule 5 Bike Hitch Rack
  • Hold quite a large load on the rack
  • Folds down and out of the way when not in use
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  • Best 5 Bike Hitch Rack Swing Away
  • Comes with an anti-rattle hitch for security
  • A stable anti-sway capability to prevent scratching
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Are All 5 Bike Hitch Racks The Same? 

All five-bike hitch racks mentioned in the review are similar in the broader sense. They feature a similar kind of durability, built, stability mechanisms, and scratch-preventive cover because they are all built to carry identical loads. 

Some products in the catalog, like the Allen Sports five-bike hitch rack, offer product variations including deluxe, deluxe locking, premier, and premier locking. Some other types offer racks for bikes ranging from one to five. 

How Do I Choose a 5 Bike Hitch Rack? 

What’s so great about five-bike hitch racks is that essentially, they use what weaknesses other racks may have to their advantage. So, they bring forth a product that showcases extreme versatility and optimal functioning. So when choosing one for yourself, make sure to keep the following in mind:

Stability and Durability

The most paramount feature you should be looking for in a five-bike hitch is stability and durability. Your bike rack should have the ability to handle enough weight associated with five bikes, i.e., around 175-225 lbs. Moreover, it should incorporate special mechanisms to prevent the rack from swaying and keeping the bikes tight and secure. 

SportRack Ridge Hitch-Mount Bike Rack

Folding Option

A good-enough feature to have around in your bike rack is folding arms. This helps in easy and compact storage of your bike rack during the off-season or just when it’s not in use. 

Soft Rubber Cradle

The cradle of the bike rack should be constructed from soft rubber or any other soft material. This is to protect the frame of your bike from any kind of scratches and damages to the paint while brushing up against the rack during the ride. 

Warranty

Last but certainly not least, always look for an option that offers some kind of warranty. With the nature of these products, it’s not unlikely that excess weight from the bikes might damage the body of the rack. So, you need to invest in a product that can guarantee that it won’t go to waste as a result of minor or even major faults. 

Quick Take - Best 5 Bike Hitch Racks

Skip the review - here's a snapshot of the best 5 bike hitch racks:

  1. Allen Sports 5-Bike Hitch Racks
  2. Hollywood Racks Traveler 5-Bike Hitch Mount Rack
  3. CURT Premium Trailer Hitch Bike Rack Mount

Review of the Best 5 Bike Hitch Racks

Let us now jump into the actual reviews of some of the top bike hitch racks available in the market. Our detailed reviews can help you pick the right model for yourself.  

Allen Sports 5-Bike Hitch Racks for 2 in. Hitch

pros

  • Well-built steel body which is sturdy and durable
  • Can still easily access the car trunk even when installed
  • Comes almost fully assembled, making it quite easy to install and use
  • No damage to the bikes or the car as there is ample spacing in between 
  • 28-inch-long carry arms securely hold the bikes in place with Allen Sport’s patented tie-down system

cons

  • Some users reported that it rattles and wobbles a bit when in the down position and not in use

What Recent Buyers Report

Most customers have left raving reviews about Allen Sports 5-Bike Hitch Rack. The quality and functionality of this product have met all expectations and exceeded them in some cases. Users reported that it securely holds five bikes in place without any wobbling. Almost everyone who has bought this hitch rack has seemed to be extremely satisfied and has further recommended it.

Why it Stands Out to Us

The Allen Sports 5-Bike Hitch Rack is one of the best hitch racks available on the market right now. It is extremely quick to assemble and easy to install without the need for any tools. 

It is compatible with a wide range of bicycles due to the UV-resistant and durable rubber straps. The straps can be adjusted to hold a number of different tube sizes. It also provides soft bedding to further protect your bike.

This rack features patented quick fold carry arms through which racks can easily be dropped out of the way by the two red release buttons. Furthermore, you get more accessibility through the rapid tilt-away mast feature. This enables you to single-handedly tilt away from the rack when it’s not in use to get inside the car.

Bottom Line

This is one of the best-built hitch racks you can buy. And with the lifetime warranty, you know that all the features and claims are backed with solid results. All in all, we see no reason why you shouldn’t just get this amazing product. We, like most users, highly recommend this.

Hollywood Racks HR9200 Traveler 5-Bike Hitch Mount Rack (2-Inch Receiver)

pros

  • Arms can be folded down when not in use
  • Tilts to the side for easy cargo accessibility
  • Heavy-duty construction for durability and strength 
  • Integrated anti-sway cradle constructed from soft rubber 
  • Features a "no-wobble" threaded hitch pin to prevent the rack from swaying

cons

  • Heavier to maneuver on your own 

What Recent Buyers Report

Buyers seem to approve of this product because it’s sturdy and holds the bikes securely. They were able to carry every kind of bike they own on it without any kind of hassle. The tilting feature was easy to implement. Lastly, users claimed that this rack offers the most hitch-to-rack clearance distance than similarly priced models, giving you more space for the fifth bike. 

Why it Stands Out to Us

The Hollywood Racks Traveler 5-bike hitch mount rack is a prime example of a solidly built rack. It’s a great tool that aids in having your bikes around as you travel quickly and most economically.

It features solid construction and a durable rubber cradle that incorporates an anti-sway mechanism for keeping your bikes stabilized. It further features a threaded hitch pin in order to keep the rack steady and secure. 

If you don’t want to put your bike rack to use, you can easily fold the arms for easy tuck-in. You can even tilt the rack if you want to access the cargo from your car, which is a great feature to have. The bike is compatible with 2” hitch receivers only.

Bottom Line

This heavy-duty bike mounts five bikes and mounts on a 2” hitch. The durable rubber cradles, coupled with the anti-sway stabilizers, make for a great product to keep your bikes safe and secure throughout the ride. 

CURT 18065 Premium Trailer Hitch Bike Rack Mount, Fits 2-Inch Receiver, 5 Bicycles, Black

pros

  • Comes with an anti-rattle hitch pin
  • Features integrated reflectors to enhance safety
  • Tapered arms provide a versatile fit for both smaller and larger frames
  • Rubber cradle ensures fit with multiple bikes without scratching the frame
  • Rack incorporates a durable black powder coat finish to protect the bike from rain, dirt, and other corrosion threats

cons

  • Some users found it difficult to mount their bikes on the rack

What Recent Buyers Report

Purchasers of this rack seemed extremely happy and reported that it took them less than ten minutes to assemble together. They were happy with its solid build and tilting feature that gave them access to their trunk or liftgate. Reflectors on the ends of the bar were a nice touch, and they think that for the quality, this rack is cheaper than other comparable models.

Why it Stands Out to Us

CURT hitch mount bike racks are extremely easy to use and do a great job of keeping your bikes stable and secure. They can be installed to your trailer hitch receiver in a breeze.

The versatility of this bike rack is better if we compare it with other models. That is to say; it can accommodate 1¼-inch and two-inch shank options. 

Talking about the construction, Curt offers tray-style cradles incorporating two horizontal cradles and a vertical arm. These three assemblies offer a three-point contact for each bike that is mounted, which ensures premium support. Furthermore, the vertical arms are covered by a soft rubber padding to lock down the bike frames without scratching or damaging the paint. 

The rack also has anti-wobble shanks in order to prevent the bikes from swaying during travel. Lastly, the rack features folding sides for easy and compact storage. 

Bottom Line

The greater versatility and anti-wobble shanks of the Curt bike rack are what seal the deal for us. These, when combined with the three-point contact system, deliver what we call extreme support and stability. The numerous reasons mentioned above are why we think this product is a great value for the buck. 

Best Thule 5 Bike Hitch Rack:
Thule Apex XT Bike Hitch Rack

Thule Apex XT Bike Hitch Rack

pros

  • Quick assembly and easy installation to your car
  • Provides a safe 5.5-inch space between each bike
  • Anti-sway contact helps with bike-to-bike and car-to-bike protection
  • Easy access to the vehicle’s rear even when the hitch rack is installed
  • Can support a wide range of bikes, including some children’s bikes as well without wobbling

cons

  • Some children’s and women’s bike might need a top tube adapter to be held securely 

What Recent Buyers Report

Customers pointed out how well-built the entire rack was. Most users who praised the quality also praised how sturdy and secure this product was. It did not have any rattling or wobbling in any position. All in all, it was said to be well worth the investment as you are paying a premium for the top-notch quality.

Why it Stands Out to Us

The Thule Apex XT Bike Hitch Rack is built with quality, durability, and aesthetics in mind. It will provide protection for not just your bike but your entire family’s bikes and the car altogether. The rack will provide enhanced stability with its anti-sway cradle that helps with bike-to-bike contact. 

It also features heavy-duty integrated cable locks that will help securely hold the bikes on the rack. Like the anti-sway cradle, this will also “disappear” when not in use. The rack has dual folding arms that allow you to easily fold the rack down when not in use.

Lastly, the SnugTite Stinger allows you to easily assemble and install the rack onto your car without the use of any tools at all.

Bottom Line

This rack is one of the most functional racks you can buy on the market right now because it has the best features that you would want on any hitch rack. With some ease and accessibility, you can even keep the rack installed when not in use. All in all, we recommend this premium product to every biker.

Best 5 Bike Hitch Rack Swing Away:
SportRack Ridge Hitch-Mount Bike Rack

SportRack Ridge Hitch-Mount Bike Rack

pros

  • Compatible with a wide range of bike frames and sizes
  • Features anti-rattle hitch pin to securely hold the rack to your car
  • You can still access the rear side of the vehicle with the rack installed
  • Offers a load capacity of 200 lbs total with a weight of 35.2 lbs for each bike 
  • Anti-sway cradle helps provide bike-to-car and bike-to-bike contact protection

cons

  • Straps that hold the bike on to the rack are quite hard to work with, as reported by some users

What Recent Buyers Report

Most buyers seem to be very satisfied with their purchase of this rack. It was stated as a “win” and well worth the price tag. Many users appreciated the quality and stability of this hitch rack. All in all, they seemed to dislike almost nothing about this product.

Why it Stands Out to Us

The SportRack Ridge Hitch-Mount Bike Rack is a hanging hitch bike rack, which is another great alternative. It can securely hold a wide variety of bike frames and sizes. It features a no-wobble hitch pin to further increase the stability of the rack when attached to the hitch receiver.

The anti-sway design implementation provides bike-to-bike and bike-to-car protection. This means that you won’t have to worry about scratches, dents, or paint damage when the bikes are locked. The rack is very easy to tilt down to access the rear side of your vehicle.

Moreover, when you aren’t using this rack, you can fold down the dual carry arms for compact storage.

Bottom Line

This particular model is a great option for its price point. It will be a great addition to your bike accessory arsenal for your adventures with friends and family. The rack is well-built and offers some of the best features you will find in premium racks. We highly approve of this amazing hitch rack.

Aspects to Consider Before Buying 

Getting the right bike hitch rack is essential if you want it to last a long time. There are a number of factors to consider before you make your purchase. A few of the most important ones include:

Budget and Price 

The first thing you would need to consider would be your wallet. Bike racks come in a variety of price ranges. These can be due to branding, features, quality, and a myriad of other reasons. This factor would define other aspects to a large degree.

Type of Bike and Vehicle

The type of bikes you have can also change your options drastically sometimes. Some racks may not be able to fit some women’s and children’s bikes. Some other types of bikes may need tube adapters for a secure hold. 

The type of car you have will have the same effect as some racks are made for hatchbacks while others are for sedans and SUVs, etc. You need to see if the rack you're getting is compatible with your car or whether it’s universal.

Material and Build Quality

While buying the best bike rack for your needs, you need to consider the material and build quality. It's important to get one made from premium materials corroborating robustness and resilience to withstand the bike weight you will be putting on it. 

If the build quality is sub-standard, you won’t be able to mount the five bikes you intend to. Go through customer reviews and look for heavy-duty designs. All the products mentioned in our catalog ensure extreme solidity. 

Safety Considerations for 5 Bike Hitch Racks

Here are a few safety considerations to keep in mind when using bike hitch racks.

Check the Instructions Manual Carefully

Like all products that are to be installed on your car, a bike hitch rack needs to be studied thoroughly. Carefully read through the instructions to determine the tools you’ll need and how to go about the process. Furthermore, you will be informed about some safety and recommendation tips from the manufacturer on how to care for and maintain your bike that will, in turn, ensure longevity. 

Allen Sports 5-Bike Hitch Racks

Stability and Security

A well-built rack would not wobble or rattle in any position. Whether it’s in use or not, it should be as stable and sturdy as possible. This is especially important when you are mounting five bikes as a loose lock could lead to damage to not only your bikes but also your car.

You should also make sure that the rack doesn’t hinder visibility, such as your rear-view mirrors, as this will make driving extremely dangerous.

Legality 

Other than visibility, it is also important that your bike hitch rack doesn’t hide your number plates. High-boot mounted bike racks overcome this problem since they are mounted on the roof.

But if you are getting one that is installed on the rear, you need to be considerate of the factor mentioned above.

Comparison Overview 

Comparing a bike hitch rack with some other variations will give you a clearer idea of what to buy and why it is good to invest in it. Have a look:

Platform vs Hanging Bike Rack

Platform racks sit lower to the ground for easier access while hanging racks, as the name suggests, hang on the back of your vehicle trunk. So, you have to lift the bikes a little higher for mounting. Other differences include:

Compatibility

As compared to hanging bike racks, platform racks are compatible with a lot more bike styles. 

Installation

In terms of installation, hanging bike racks are easier to install and uninstall on a hitch receiver. Platform racks, due to their larger size, can be difficult to install and uninstall. 

Build

Platform racks tend to be heavier and chunkier while hanging racks are more lightweight and compact.

Storage

Due to the folding up feature, hanging bike racks are easier to store. On the other hand, platform racks are bulkier and hence, are relatively harder to store during the off-season or when not in use. 

Usability

Loading and unloading a platform rack is a lot easier than doing the same activity with a hanging bike rack. Furthermore, once mounted on the rack, bikes tend to be extremely secured at both wheels and the frame. 

On the contrary, loading and unloading might be harder on hanging bike racks, and it’s also impossible to load all the bikes without them touching. This doesn't happen in platform racks. 

Thule Apex XT Bike Hitch Rack

Roof Rack vs Hitch Rack

When comparing a roof rack with a hitch rack, some differences to highlight are:

Cargo

The biggest difference between roof and hitch racks is the amount of cargo each one can handle. Hitch bike racks are able to carry up to five bikes. On the other hand, roof racks are the ideal choice if you want to transport a lot of gear and bulky outdoor equipment. 

Accessibility

Accessibility and versatility are trade-offs, so if one bike has accessibility, it won’t feature versatility and vice versa. To be more specific, hitch bike racks are easily accessible since they’re lower to the ground, but in comparison, they're not versatile. 

Meanwhile, roof racks are versatile as you can even carry bulky equipment, but they’re not easily accessible (as they are on the roof). So, it’s difficult to load and unload cargo on a roof rack as compared to a hitch rack.

Access to Car Trunk

We can also look at accessibility in terms of your vehicle's trunk. If you're someone who wants to access your trunk quite frequently, you should opt for a roof rack because it's easier to handle. This is because they’re on the roof and not in the way! Even though some designs come with a tilting option that allows you to access the trunk of your car, it’s just more hassle if we compare it to roof racks. 

Thule Apex XT Bike Hitch Rack

How to Mount Bike Rack 

To make sure you don’t damage your car or bike, you must know how to put the rack on the rear of your vehicle. Just follow these simple steps:

  1. The first step is to determine the type of receiver you have. Usually, a two-inch receiver is common.

  2. Next, you need to insert the bike rack into your car's receiver, pushing it in far enough to make sure that the hole of the rack lines up with the hole in the receiver.

  3. Once the holes are lined up, it's time to insert the bolt.

  4. Make sure you have a lock washer on just below the bolt head, followed by the flat washer.

  5. Take the bolt and thread it all the way in. 

  6. Now, after you’ve inserted the bolt all the way in, tighten it with the help of the wrench provided.

  7. For the final step, fit the cotter pin through the hole at the end of the bolt.

  8. Now you can go ahead and store as many bikes as you like on the rack.

  9. Go ahead and remove the top pin from the rack, raise the upper bar, and reinstall the pin.

  10. For mounting the bike, open the Velcro straps and mount the bike using the top tube.

  11. Place the bike onto the holder and refasten the Velcro straps.

For a more in-depth explanation and visual display of this entire process, refer to the video below:

How to Install a Bike Rack on a Hatchback

Here’s how you can install your bike hitch rack effectively on a hatchback. 

  1. When you’re putting the bike rack on the vehicle, you want the body to imitate the shape of an arch so that it can support the weight of more than one bike. 

  2. Mount the feet of the rack to the back of the car and not the bumper.

  3. Look at straps and see the indentation on them. Attach the ones that say upper to the roof.

  4. Adjust and raise the level of the rack.

  5. Next, attach the side straps securely.

  6. Fully tighten all the straps and test their stability.

  7. Next, you need to get the arms in place that hold the bicycle. When setting these up, you want the place for the second bike higher than the place for the first bike. 

  8. Check and see if the trunk opens up after setting up the arms.

  9. Now, check if the bike can fit. 

  10. You want to make sure that the direction of the bike is in such a way that the seat tube of the bike is lined up with a safety strap in order to hold it in place. 

  11. Mount the bike and use the safety clamps to secure it.

  12. For the last trick, secure the front wheel, so it doesn't bang against the car or another bike.

Thule Apex XT Bike Hitch Rack

Conclusion 

Bike hitch racks are an incredibly useful accessory that you could add to your biking arsenal. They will enable you to haul a number of bikes safely and securely to any of your adventures.

We have discussed a number of great products and factors you should be considerate of, such as the load capacity, etc. So, make sure you get a bike rack that makes your life easier rather than making it an effort to load, unload, mount, and unmount.

We hope this article helped answer your biking concerns, and now you are able to make a much more informed decision. Good luck on your future rides.

People Also Ask

Last but not least, be sure to check the following Q&A guide that’s specially formulated using the most frequently asked questions from potential buyers. 

How Much is a Bike Rack?

Like everything else, the prices of bike racks vary a lot. A well-built and good-quality bike rack can range from $150 to around $850. This can be due to the brand, material used, or features available.

How to Lock Bike on Car Bike Rack

In order to lock your bike onto the bike rack, simply mount the bike onto the rack using the top tube. Next, fasten the straps to secure the bike in place. Additionally, lock the front wheel using the strap in order to prevent it from hitting the car or other bikes.

How to Mount Women's Bike on a Bike Rack

The tube on women’s bikes is relatively thin, so it can be somewhat difficult to lock the bike in place on the rack. Hence, you can use a tube adapter to increase the bike tube's thickness or accommodate bicycles that don’t have a top bar. Then, here’s what you need to do:

  1. Carefully place the bike on the bike rack arms. Be careful so as to avoid any damage to your car or your bike.

  2. Do your best to evenly distribute the weight of the bike.

  3. Clamp the arms down on the bike frame to lock it in place. Whether it's a clamp or a strap depending upon the model, the main goal is to use it to fasten the bike in place. 

  4. Double-check to see if it’s fully secure.

How to Put a Beach Cruiser on a Bike Rack

For the following task, refer to the following steps

  1. Test the strength of the bike rack.

  2. Pull the arms of the bike up and lock them in place.

  3. Place the bike on the rack arms.

  4. Tighten the bike in place using straps or clamps.

What Order Do I Put My Bikes Into My Rack?

Ideally, it should not matter which order you mount your bikes on the rack, that is if it’s a well-built and secure rack. But you should start off with the biggest and the heaviest bike while ending with the smallest or lightest bike on the outermost position. What’s most important is you securely lock all the bikes into the proper positions. They should not wobble or rattle at all.

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. "