Best Trailer Hitch Bike Racks – 2021 Guide

Anthony
| Last Updated: June 29, 2021

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If you have ever tried to carry your bike over a long distance, you know the risks associated with such a task. There is a real possibility of you breaking some of the parts or getting into an accident. Cramming your bike into the backseat of your car may seem like a huge problem, but it doesn't have to be. You can easily transport your bike from one place to the other and hop onto them without much hassle. All you need is a trailer hitch bike rack.

These rack mounts are placed on the trailer hitch at the rear and allow you to easily take your bikes anywhere you want. They are also very simple to install and easy to use. Moreover, they extend in length to make maneuvering easy.

They also make for an excellent towing accessory and enhance the safety features for the rider. You will also be able to carry the bike in your SUV, truck, or even your car without having to dismantle it into smaller parts.

Comparison of the Best Trailer Hitch Bike Racks

IMAGEPRODUCT
  • Features 22 inch long carry arms
  • Very easy to set up and install
  • Includes no-wobble bolts for stability
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  • Can transport up to 4 bikes
  • Made from rigid steel
  • Has a swing-down feature for convenience
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  • Best for the Money
  • Very easy to assemble and use
  • Keeps your bikes stable
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  • Best Thule Trailer Hitch Bike Rack
  • Tool-free auto attach system
  • Has a swing-down feature for convenience
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  • Best Trailer Hitch Dirt Bike Rack
  • Durable and very easy to use
  • Designed for bikes with wide wheels
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  • Best Yakima Trailer Hitch Bike Rack
  • Quick and easy to assemble
  • Can be locked for security
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  • Best Trailer Hitch 4 Bike Rack
  • Ridged all-steel construction
  • Swing-down feature for convenience
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What Size Trailer Hitch Do I Need For a Bike Rack?

The hitch's size will decide whether you carry your bikes with ease or with a lot of hassle. This is why you need to buy the most appropriately sized hitch rack for your bike. Most of these come in either a 2 x 2-inch size or a 1-1/4 x 1-1/4 receiver opening. If the vehicle's hitch opening is approximately 2 x 2 inches, you can use any bike rack with the same opening with it.

However, if your hitch is around 1-1/4 x 1-1/4 inch, then you can’t just use any rack. You will first need to know the class of the rack to see whether the two are compatible. Failure to do so will result in a loose attachment, which then increases your chances of damaging the bike.

Allen Sports 4-Bike Hitch Racks

How to Choose a Bike Rack For a Trailer Hitch

A bike rack will come in handy in more than one instance. This is why it is extremely important for you to make the right decision. There are a plethora of options in the market that you can choose from. But in order to enjoy all the perks of such an item, you need to look out for certain features. Here is how you can accurately choose a bike rack.

Vehicle Clearance

Before you consider any other feature, you need to look out for vehicle clearance. One of the most technical considerations of the hitch rack is the clearance between the bike, the vehicle, and the rack.

You need to ensure that the doors of your SUV or your trailer can open properly and not get stuck during transportation. You need to also ensure that the bike handlebars don’t come into contact with the doors of the SUV. So before anything else, make sure you do a test fit for vehicle clearance. 

Material

It goes without saying that the material and the build quality of your rack should be top-notch. If you are thinking of using your product for the longest time possible, you need to ensure it is both durable and strong enough to sustain your bike's weight. 

Plastic models are often considered cheap and not worth buying. Moreover, you should stay wary of companies and brands that use thin metal that is more prone to rusting and decay.

Weight

Another important aspect that you need to consider is the weight of the rack. The usual ranges of weights are between 13 and 85 pounds, depending on the load capacity and build quality of the model.

The ideal range is between 45 and 52 pounds because this weight allows for a sturdy construction while also ensuring ease of maneuverability of the vehicles. You shouldn't compromise too much on the weight because lightweight models tend to break easily and hence don't provide good longevity.

Thule T2 Pro XT 2 Bike Rack

Review of the Best Bike Racks For a Trailer Hitch

If you are looking to keep your bikes safe and secure and are in a dilemma as to which bike rack to buy, then we have you covered. Here are some of the best models in the market for you.

We have compared them against their pros and cons to give you an accurate picture.

Best Overall:
Allen Sports 4-Bike Hitch Racks

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

pros

  • Setup and installation of the rack only take around 5 minutes
  • Rugged design is suitable for all harsh climates and environments
  • Carry arm can accommodate a wide range of frame designs and sizes
  • Smooth and durable bolt secures the rack and ensures that there is no wobbling
  • Long 22-inch carry arms can individually secure the bicycles for greater protection

cons

  • Only fits vehicle that comes with a 2-inch trailer hitch

What Recent Buyers Report 

Buyers are absolutely in love with the construction of the model. This is because it comes with a tilt-away main mast that has the ability to tilt back and hence allow easy access to the rear gates. Moreover, buyers have praised the no-wobble hitch installation that ensures greater stability of bikes.

Why it Stands Out to Us

Of all the models we have reviewed here, this one is probably the easiest one to use and maneuver. It offers a rugged and very durable design that ensures easy and safe transportation of your bikes. It is most popular because it comes with folding carry arms that can be easily folded down out of the way when you are not using them. This not only allows for greater flexibility but also makes the whole installation process very easy.

Another feature that makes the model stand out is the individual tie-down system. This unique system will not only secure your bike but will also offer unmatched protection. The tie-down is also fixed in position but can only rotate; thus, it has a firm grip on almost the entire bike frame. This makes the model suitable to be used with a variety of bike types. 

Bottom Line

This model stands in the number one position because it offers both efficiency and excellent durability. You will love the long arms that can easily secure the bikes and provide them with greater protection. Moreover, the rugged design is very suitable for many harsher environments. All this helps ensure you get the most out of your investment.

Runner-up:
MaxxHaul 70210

MaxxHaul (70210) 4-Bike Deluxe Hitch Mount Rack , Black

pros

  • Can easily fit 2-inch receivers
  • Comes with adjustable bike cradle and hook and loop straps
  • Al- steel construction allows for greater rigidity and durability
  • Can easily carry four bikes at once, thus ensuring convenience
  • Swing-down feature will allow easy access to the rear of the vehicle

cons

  • Cannot be used with RVs, campers, or any fifth wheels

What Recent Buyers Report 

Buyers were thrilled to get their hands on this unique and stable model. They loved its ability to carry up to four bikes at once, thus ensuring convenience. Moreover, they praised the delicate swing-down feature that allows greater access to the vehicle's rear side. Lastly, the steel construction was also complimented by almost all recent buyers. 

Why it Stands Out to Us

There are some models that offer durability at the cost of weight, but this is surely not one of those. It is a bike rack that is well-made and gives off a very solid and smooth feel. It stands out for a number of reasons, but one feature that really stands out is the rack’s ability to fold down easily. it can easily tilt to allow for easy opening of the trunk.

It also comes with heavy-duty construction that not only adds to durability but also ensures you make the most out of your trip. You will have to assemble the unit, but the whole process is extremely easy and hardly takes any time. On top of that, you won’t have to tighten the bolts or straps again and again. 

Bottom Line

It is not only important for a bike rack to appear smooth and durable; it also has to feel that way. This MaxxHaul unit is known in the market because it is not only very affordable but also comes with amazing features like long arms and an easy-to-tilt design. So if you don’t want to unnecessarily spend too much on racks, this is the best unit for you.

Best for the Money:
Swagman XC2 Hitch Mount Bike Rack

Swagman XC2 Hitch Mount Bike Rack , Black, 2-Inch Receiver

pros

  • Anti-wobble hitch is built-in and helps keep the bike in place
  • Folds easily and is lightweight hence saves ample storage space
  • Sturdy and durable design will help keep your bike stable at all times
  • Offers good compatibility with different accessories that are sold separately
  • Only takes a few minutes to properly assemble and appear in an upright position

cons

  • Cannot accommodate bike frames that are longer than 59 cm

What Recent Buyers Report 

There aren't many buyers who don't love this excellent hitch bike rack. But there is one feature that they absolutely adore; the model's ability to assemble and disassemble in a few minutes. Buyers state that this feature allows them to save precious time and energy. Moreover, they like the hitch rack's ability to enhance the stability of the bikes.

Why it Stands Out to Us

For a model to stand out, it needs to offer a good amount of unique features without being too expensive. This model does exactly that by ensuring comfort and convenience without compromising on the build and quality. For starters, it comes with an anti-wobble hitch that is built-in and hence keeps your bike stable for the longest time possible. There is also an upright ratchet arm that comes with soft and frame-friendly coatings to ensure better protection of the bike.

Moreover, the frame's grip arms have been improved, and the center arm can easily fold down, allowing easy access to the trunk. You can also look inside the vehicle without having to remove the rack each time. There is also a locking hitch pin and a security cable sold separately that can be added to enhance efficiency.

Bottom Line

The bottom line on this one is pretty simple; invest in this model if you are looking to save cost while also getting something worth your while. The model comes with cushioned hooks that are easily adjustable and allow for a perfect fit. Moreover, it allows for excellent compatibility with a range of different frame designs and styles.

Best Thule Trailer Hitch Bike Rack:
Thule T2 Pro XT 2 Bike Rack

Thule T2 Pro XT 2 Hitch Bike Rack (1.25'), Black

pros

  • Easily folds down to allow for easy storage
  • Tilts down for easy access to the vehicle’s rear side
  • Ideal for almost all kinds of bikes, including carbon bikes
  • Provides an excellent load capacity of up to 120 pounds in total
  • Can secure bikes quickly without any frame contact with the help of a ratcheting arm

cons

  • The locking system is not very efficient

What Recent Buyers Report 

Before buying any model, it is important that you first know what recent buyers are saying. When it comes to this Thule unit, buyers are all praise for it. They love the tool-free attachment that it provides. This not only makes it very easy to install but also allows you to dismantle the unit easily. On top of that, the model includes a built-in lock cylinder that provides better protection. 

Why it Stands Out to Us

There are a lot of reasons why this particular model stands out in the market. The most appealing feature is that it offers good vehicle clearance by ensuring there is generous space between the bikes. This not only prevents accidents but also allows you to easily adjust the bike mounts from side to side with minimal interference. There is also a ratcheting arm to secure the bike quickly without any frame contact.

Another feature that is worth noting is the excellent locks situated on the rack. There is a 24-inch integrated cable lock that will attach the rack to the bike. It also has the ability to retract back into an arm when it’s not in use. Lastly, the model allows you to carry up to two bikes at the same time.

Bottom Line

The best thing about this trailer hitch bike rack is that it allows for excellent compatibility. It is not only ideal for carbon frames but also accommodates mountain and downhill frames easily. It comes with a load capacity of 120 pounds, which is more than enough to easily carry up to two bikes. On top of that, the dimensions allow for a good amount of distance between the bikes.

Best Trailer Hitch Dirt Bike Rack:
Black Widow Hitch-Mounted Motorcycle Carrier

Black Widow Hitch-Mounted Aluminum Motorcycle Carrier - 400 lb. Capacity

pros

  • Allows for easy loading and unloading of the bike
  • Includes an anti-rattle device and an extra spacer bar adapter
  • Self-storing ramp can install on either side with the help of a roll-on
  • Hitch-mounted design is suitable for both motorcycles and dirt bikes
  • Made with lightweight aluminum but allows for an excellent 400-pound capacity 

cons

  • Can only be used with class 3 or 4 hitch types

What Recent Buyers Report 

When it comes to this product, buyers have been very open with their praise. They love the durability and flexibility that the model offers along with its compact design. Moreover, they have complimented the self-storing ramp that can be installed on either side. This allows for easy loading and reloading of the items on the rack.

Why it Stands Out to Us

If you are looking to invest in a very strong yet lightweight design, this model is definitely the one for you. It includes a built-in aluminum structure that weighs only 36.6 pounds. This makes it very easy to install and remove the rack. Its compact size also helps in easy storage. Moreover, the excellent construction ensures that there is no rusting, even after long-term use. 

In addition, the loading ramp can be set up on either the right or the left side of the carrier to allow for greater diversity. This also allows you to load from either direction without any extra effort. All this makes the model great for accommodating parking lot traffic and other natural hazards. 

Bottom Line

You won’t find many good models on the internet that can provide excellent durability without being too heavy. This is definitely one such model. It is made with lightweight aluminum that comes in handy for easy storage. It also enhances the load capacity and allows the rack to carry a good amount of load easily.

Best Yakima Trailer Hitch Bike Rack:
YAKIMA HoldUp Hitch Mount Tray Bike Rack

YAKIMA, HoldUp Hitch Mount Tray Bike Rack, 1-1/4'

pros

  • Easily accommodates carbon road bikes 
  • Ensures zero contact between the bike frames
  • Allows for a quick and easy assembly that saves time
  • StrongArm design will allow you to load the bike instantly without any hassle
  • Can lock the bike to the rack and then the rack to the vehicle for extra stability

cons

  • Does not accommodate diverse hitch sizes

What Recent Buyers Report 

There is a reason why this particular model is so popular among buyers. It is undoubtedly Yakima’s fastest and easiest way of carrying bikes and instantly hit the trails. Buyers have praised the beefed-up arm pivots that make the model appear more durable than most other models in the market. Its load capacity is also often complimented.

Why it Stands Out to Us

There are so many features that make this product stand out. This Yakima rack is one of the most durable models in the market, but that is not the only reason we love it. It comes with a minimalistic yet strong design that hardly takes minutes to assemble and become upright. It also comes with a fully integrated security system that not only secures your bikes properly but also ensures they don’t break or fall easily.

Moreover, the strongArm design will enable you to load your bike quickly with the help of only a few tools. It also ensures that there is almost zero contact between the bikes. This feature also comes in handy when you have to carry carbon road bikes that come with complex bodies.

Bottom Line

There are some models that appear durable, but in reality, they lack sturdy construction. But luckily for you, this unit by Yakima is both smooth and very strong. It allows for a quick and easy assembly that saves your time and energy and can accommodate almost all kinds of carbon road bikes.

Best Trailer Hitch 4 Bike Rack:
IKURAM 4 Bike Hitch Carrier Racks

IKURAM R 4 Bike Rack Bicycle Carrier Racks Hitch Mount Double Foldable Rack for Cars, Trucks, SUV's and minivans with a 2' Hitch Receiver

pros

  • Easy fold-down arms can be folded quickly when not in use
  • Tilt-down feature allows easier access to the rear of the vehicle
  • Offers a dual-arm mounting design that accommodates up to 4 bikes at once
  • Swing-down design allows users to access rear gates without removing the hitch rack
  • All-steel construction comes with a protective powder paint coating for a smoother finish

cons

  • Locks aren’t very durable

What Recent Buyers Report 

One feature that almost all buyers have praised and lauded is that the rack comes with an anti-rattle hitch tightener that you can use to solidify the connection between the rack and the bike. It not only stops rocking, banging, or clanking of the bikes but also prevents any wobbling that may damage the exterior of your vehicle. Buyers also love the dual-arm mounting design that accommodates up to four bikes at once.

Why it Stands Out to Us

The most attractive feature of this model is the secure straps that come with the model. These are not only extremely durable but are also made with a UV-resistant rubber material that ensures longevity. The tie-downs also add to the function and ensure the rubber straps can be used with a plethora of tube sizes.

You will also appreciate the swing-down design that allows you to access the vehicle’s rear and ensures that the rack comes to its original position after every use. Moreover, the easy fold-down design allows for folding carry arms that can be moved out of the way anytime the rack is not being used. This makes storing the rack extremely easy. 

Bottom Line

If you and your friends like to carry your bikes to your vacation spots, then you definitely need to invest in this model. It is not only recommended because it carries four bikes at once, but it also comes with a swing-down backward design that lets you open the rear gates without any hassle. Moreover, the rack is easily foldable and hence allows for easy storage.

Best 5 Bike Rack for Trailer Hitch:
Allen Sports 5-Bike Hitch Racks

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

pros

  • Comes with a lifetime warranty
  • Can carry up to 5 bikes at the same time
  • Sturdy steel construction allows for excellent durability
  • Carry arms are extremely long to properly secure the bicycles
  • Arms can quickly drop out of the way to allow access to the trunk

cons

  • Can only carry bikes with a 2-inch trailer hitch only

What Recent Buyers Report

There are a plethora of reasons why buyers chose this model by Allen Sports and not any other. For starters, buyers who had to carry numerous bikes at the same time loved the design of the rack that allowed greater space and compatibility. They also praised the extremely long arms that allowed them to carry the bikes and prevented any contact between the vehicle and the rack.

Why it Stands Out to Us

This Allen Sports model offers quick assembly and installation, but that’s only the tip of the iceberg. The model stands out because it can fit up to five different bikes, all at the same time. It comes with a 28-inch long carry arm that secures the bicycles and keeps them protected during transportation.

The carry arms can also accommodate a wide range of frame designs and sizes and allow you to easily carry different types of bikes. Moreover, you won’t have to remove your bikes every time you want to access the back of your SUV or truck. The rack can easily tilt back and allow for easy access. This not only adds to convenience but also saves a lot of time.

Bottom Line

Convenience, durability, and efficiency can be best used to describe this model. It is most definitely one of the largest and sturdiest racks in the market. It comes with long and smooth arms that have the ability to tilt down to allow easy access to the trunk. So if you have many bikes and want to transport them all, this is definitely the right model for you.

Best 1 1/4 Inch Trailer Hitch Bike Rack:
Allen Sports 3-Bike Hitch Racks

Allen Sports 3-Bike Hitch Racks for 1 1/4 in. and 2 in. Hitch

pros

  • Offers a lifetime warranty
  • Can be set up and installed in less than 5 minutes
  • Sturdy steel construction comes with a black powder coat finish
  • Folding carry arms quickly drop out of the way when they are not in use
  • Easily fits vehicles that come with either a 2-inch or 1.25-inch trailer hitch

cons

  • Bike bounces around sometimes

What Recent Buyers Report 

Of all the features buyers like, the inclusion of the no-wobble bolt is the top one. Buyers love this feature because it helps tighten the straps and prevents the bike or rack from wobbling. Among other things, this keeps your bike in position and prevents it from getting damaged during the journey. 

Why it Stands Out to Us

This is yet another excellent model that comes with a lot of impressive features like folding carry arms and an individual tie-down system that makes transportation very easy and convenient. However, what really impressed us was the tilt-away main mast. This allows for an easy tilting function that hence allows you to easily access the trunk anytime you want. 

Another amazing feature is the no-wobble hitch installation that you can use. The Allen Deluxe Hitch rack comes with hardware that allows you to install the rack on to the receiver hitch. Not just that, but you can also use the no-wobble bolt to tighten the rack in place and keep the bikes in an upright position.  

Bottom Line

Anything that comes with a lifetime warranty is bound to appeal to a large number of people. This hitch rack is known for its sturdy design and smooth construction that is further enhanced with a black powder coat finish. This not only enhances efficiency but also allows the rack to be installed and set up in less than five minutes.

Best Trailer Hitch 2 Bike Rack:
Saris Freedom Bike Rack and Spare Tire Compatible Rack

Saris Freedom Bike Hitch Car Rack, 2-Bicycle Carrier, Black

pros

  • Can carry up to two bikes easily
  • Wheel holders enhance stability
  • Ratcheting straps keep bikes of all sizes secure
  • Made in the USA and offers a lifetime warranty
  • Adjusts to fit a range of different bike frames of sixty pounds each

cons

  • May require additional accessories to be bought separately

What Recent Buyers Report 

Buyers didn't have to think twice before they finally decided to invest in this excellent model. This hitch rack by Saris has been praised for its excellent design and appeal. It can not only adjust easily but also allows you to fit a range of different bikes. Buyers also find the model to be relatively more affordable than most other models.

Why it Stands Out to Us

This may be the last model on our list, but it certainly doesn’t lack in functionality or design. For starters, this unit can conveniently carry two bikes at once. It can also be adjusted easily to fit all bike frames of different sizes and designs. This makes it able to accommodate up to 60 pounds of frame sizes on each end.

There are also ratcheting straps that will keep your bikes secure and well-protected at all times. The universal fit also allows you to carry a plethora of different bike types easily. Lastly, the model comes with wheel holders that keep your bikes stable during traveling.

Bottom Line 

If you are looking to use the same rack for many years to come, you should definitely consider investing in this one. This hitch-mounted rack does not only come with ratcheting straps that keep the bikes secure, but it also comes with additional wheel holders that enhance stability.

Trailer Hitch Bike Rack Travel Tips

If you are looking to maximize the benefits of a trailer hitch bike rack, you need to keep a couple of travel tips in mind. Here are some tips that will make your task seem a lot easier than before.

Carrying Capacity

Most models allow you to carry two bikes at once; however, that is surely not the limit. There are also many options in the market that can carry up to four bikes at once. When buying a model, make sure you keep your traveling needs in mind, and if you are a group of three to four friends, we recommend you buy a rack that carries four bikes at once. 

IKURAM 4 Bike Hitch Carrier Racks

Be Wary of Loose Straps

Many types of bike racks will require you to use straps to secure the vehicle to the rack; however, these straps can become loose during transportation and hence seriously damage your bike. So make sure you get durable and strong straps that don't break or loosen up easily. A loose or damaged strap can not only destroy your bike but can also create an imbalanced trailer that will result in accidents.

Vehicle Clearance

Before anything else, you need to keep your vehicle clearance in check. Roof racks allow you to carry up to two bikes at once. However, they also require you to keep the items in an upright position. This will add a considerable length to the top of your vehicle. Hence, you need to pay special attention to your vehicle clearance, especially when you are moving through restaurant drive-thrus.

Bike Rack For Car Trailer Hitch Types

While scouring the internet for models, you will come across a lot of different types of bike racks. You will be intrigued to check out the different options. However, not every type will suit your needs equally. Here is a short overview of all the types in the market and a brief description of why you should prefer one over the other.

Roof-Mounted Racks

This is one of the most common types of bike racks that exist in the market. This is a popular option for many people; however, such racks aren't the easiest to handle. For starters, you will need a base roof rack already installed in your trailer. You may need to remove certain parts of your bike to make transportation easier. Another major disadvantage is that this type adds to drag and hence requires more effort to carry.

However, the biggest advantage is that with roof-mounted racks, you don't have to worry about the rack obscuring your visibility. It also allows you to carry several bikes at the same time.

Trunk-Mounted Racks

A truck-mounted rack will typically come with a rack that clamps onto the trunk with the help of metal hooks. These are usually coated in rubber to ensure better efficiency. They may also be covered in foam in some models. You can choose this type if you don't want to spend too much on the purchase. Another advantage is that trunk-mounted racks can be removed and added easily and hence ensure ease of usage.

However, a major con is that such racks come with a lot of contact points with the vehicle, and if you aren’t careful, you could end up with a lot of scratches. 

Spare Tire-Mounted Bike Racks

If you have visited some shops recently, you must have also come across this one. Spare tire-mounted bike racks aren't very popular because they can only be used with vehicles that have a tire mounted on the backside. These racks tend to be very easy to install and are relatively affordable than most other options. 

However, a major downside to them is that they only allow two bikes to be carried at once. You will also need to remove the tire if you want to use them. 

Trailer Hitch Bike Rack Comparisons

In order to make the best possible decision, it is important for users to assess all their options. There are many variants of bike racks in the market to choose from. We have compared the most popular types against each other to give readers a clear idea. 

Roof Top vs Trailer Hitch Bike Rack

Both these bike racks are really popular choices, and we often see buyers getting confused between the two. Putting your bike on the roof will definitely make it more secure and allow you to keep a good balance but using rooftop racks also comes with its fair share of cons. For starters, you have to lift the bike onto the roof, which requires a good amount of effort. You may also have to dismantle the bike in some cases.

A hitch bike rack is much easier to use and allows for easy mounting of your bike. However, these aren’t always very secure, and you often need to pay special attention to the loose straps. A major advantage of using this option is that it offers a lot of diversity and doesn’t require you to dismantle your bike. 

Thule T2 Pro XT 2 Bike Rack

Thule vs Yakima Bike Rack

It is always difficult to choose a product when there are two equally good brands in front of you. Thule bike racks use a HitchSwitch lever that allows for easy installation and an even easier setup. They also fold up easily and save both time and effort. Thule also offers a very durable design when it comes to its bike racks. This is why it is often the first choice for people preferring longevity. 

On the other hand, Yakima comes with a spring-loaded pin that also works in a similar fashion. With this hitch rack, bikes can easily be loaded and then secured with the help of a ratcheting wheel strap. Yakima racks can fit numerous bikes of varying lengths easily.

Platform vs Hanging Bike Rack

There are some solid differences between the two types, and anyone looking to find the best model needs to know how the two compare. A platform rack is a special rack that allows the wheels of your bike to rest comfortably. On the other hand, a hanging rack will easily allow the frame of your back to rest on the surface. 

The former is preferred because it allows for an overall quicker and easier function and the simplistic design makes it very easy to use. It is also very secure and reduces the chances of you getting into any accidents. Another major advantage of using a platform rack is that it prevents the bike from swinging or banging together or banging against the exterior of the vehicle. This enhances safety for everyone involved in the installation process.

Allen Sports 4-Bike Hitch Racks

How to Install a Trailer Hitch Bike Rack

If you don't learn how to accurately install the trailer hitch bike rack, you won’t be able to properly carry your bikes anywhere. The working and functionality of a hitch bike rack depend on the right installation, which is why it’s important that you get it right. Here are a few steps that you need to follow in order to install the rack:

  1. The first step is always to keep the instruction manual in front of you. It not only helps you understand the design but also ensures you follow the safety procedures during installation.

  2. Take up the rack and insert it into the hitch. Then open up the latch and carefully slide it the rest of the way in.

  3. Do this until the latch snaps back into the tiny hole situated below the vehicle.

  4. Now that your swing arm hitch pin is latched into place, you can snug up the rest of the clamp inside the hitch by turning the side knob in the clockwise direction.

  5. You can now lift up the arms so you can store the bikes properly on the racks.

  6. Then lift up the latch as you lift up the arms. The action needs to occur simultaneously for it to be accurate. This will lock the latch into place.

  7. Lay the top tube across the arms of the rack to place the bikes on the unit and then place the straps on top and tighten them.

  8. Once your bikes are placed on the rack, you can pull out a lock from the back of the unit and secure the bikes.
     
  9. Use your keys to lock the bikes.

If you are still unclear about some steps, you can look at the video given below.

Conclusion

For many people, carrying their bikes to vacation spots or work is very important. However, doing so always seems a bit of a hassle for people who don't have a hitch bike rack. These small carriers not only help you carry your bikes easily but also ensure you and your vehicle remain safe during the entire process. While deciding on the best model, you need to ensure that you choose a rack that offers the least amount of contact with your trailer.

You also need to look out for the model's design, durability, price, and weight capacity. Once you have chosen the right model, you need to carefully follow the installation steps and ensure you are taking care of your safety too. Once you do all this, you will have an easy way to transport your bikes!

People Also Ask

People love their bikes and want to ensure that they remain well protected during transportation. They are also intrigued by the idea of using bike racks, but many people still have questions regarding the usage. This question asks some of the most frequently asked questions on the internet. 

What Size Trailer Hitch Drop Do I Need to Have a Bike Rack on the Back of My Car?

For this, you will have to measure the distance from the top of the inside of your bike hitch receiver to the ground. Then you have to subtract this distance from the distance between the bottom of the trailer coupler to the ground. If we assume the first figure to be ‘A’ and the second figure to be ‘B,’ then you can assess the hitch drop by subtracting B from A. 

Black Widow Hitch-Mounted Motorcycle Carrier

How Much Does a Trailer Hitch For Bike Racks Cost?

The actual price of a trailer hitch depends on the model you buy. There are very expensive brands that only have options ranging from $500 and above. However, you can also purchase good and reputable hitch racks for under $100. The price range is usually between $75 and $900.

Which Class of Trailer Hitch Bike Rack?

In most cases, class 1 and class 2 hitch racks can only carry either two, or in some rare cases, three bikes at once. If you want to carry more than that, you will either have to opt for class 3 hitch racks or higher. If you want to have the ability to swing the rack to the sides, you will still need to opt for a class 3 model.

How Can I Stop My Bike Rack From Wobbling in the Trailer Hitch?

There are some hitch receivers in the market that are slightly oversized and hence result in some level of wobbling. You can either opt for a well-engineered model or if you have already purchased the model, you can eliminate wobbling by tightening the hitch bolt. This will result in a reduction in side-to-side play. 

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

The answer to this question is pretty simple. A class 1 trailer hitch comes with a lower capacity that is unable to handle the additional weight that is so far away from the hitch. If you still want to carry four bikes, you can carry two of them on a roof-mounted bike rack and the other two on a hitch-mounted bike rack.

Is a Trailer Hitch Bike Rack Safe For Carbon Fiber Bikes?

This is one of the most common questions. However, unless you plan to carry your bike over an extremely long distance, using a hitch bike rack for carbon fiber bikes should not be an issue at all. You can carry your bike using a trunk-mounted bike rack easily.

How to Use a Trailer Hitch Bike Rack

Using the trailer hitch bike rack is not as hard as people think it is. You need to first place the rack on your trailer and then place the bikes on top. Once the bikes are in an upright position, you can use the straps to secure them. Some models also come with additional locks for added protection.

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. "