June 15, 2024

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The Five Best Hitch-Mounted Bike Racks

8 min read

Hitch-mounted bicycle racks are uncomplicated to load, because there is no have to have to hoist your journey onto your car’s roof, and they carry bikes by the wheels (not the frame), reducing likely for injury in transit. There’s loads of components to consider when buying from the very best selections offered for transporting your wheels with relieve. Here’s 5 of the very best new hitch-mounted bicycle racks on the market place.

Thule Helium

What It Is: A 1- or two-bike rack that holds your bike(s) by the tires and does not touch the bike’s body. The rack sits higher than some other hitch racks. To safe a bicycle, aluminum arms fold in from either side and press down onto tire rubber. A button on the cope with of each and every arm releases that facet of the rack when you’re all set to unload. Every bicycle mount has an integrated theft-deterring cable lock. And, the rack is speedy and simple to mount to the auto.

Thule Helium Platform hitch bike rackWhy We Appreciate It: Bikes are high priced, making a platform rack that doesn’t contact the body desirable. Also, because the rack closes from both sides, it will make offsetting bikes a lot easier than on other racks. It folds down just one-handed for straightforward trunk entry. At 43 kilos, it is also just one of the lighter hitch racks offered, although nonetheless sturdy and suited for tough road driving. And, it’s simple to assemble with incorporated instruments.

Thule Helium platformDisadvantages: This rack matches restricted to the motor vehicle, and in some scenarios, that in shape may well was also tight with no a hitch extender. Thule has a web page web site devoted to assist determine if the rack will healthy your car. I was not equipped to set up it on a Toyota Sienna minivan without an extender, but it did fit on a Toyota RAV4 with the mounts restricted to the bumper. The rack carries two bikes, max—there’s not now an solution to broaden it to 3 or 4 bikes. The rack simply cannot carry bikes with wheels smaller sized than 26 inches. It is also not rated for e-bikes. Max encouraged body weight per bike is 37.5 lbs.

Extras: Compatible with Thule’s Accessibility swingarm, which rotates the rack absent from the trunk making accessibility even less difficult. Also offered in a solitary bike model.

[$699 (two-bike rack), thule.com]

Dovetail Ferst

What It Is: Manufactured by an skilled in lean manufacturing, this 12-pound (one bike) to 14-pound (double) rack is the lightest hitch rack you can obtain. The rack holds bikes by the crank—a bike carry program preferred with tour operators. A plastic assistance at the leading of the crank boot flips to seat correctly in between the non-driveside crank and the frame. And a plastic sleeve inside the boot shields carbon cranks as well as aluminum kinds from scratches. With the crank within the boot, a twist knob secures the bike. And a Velcro strap wraps the entrance wheel to a fifty percent-tray for harmony.

Dovetail Ferst Rack
courtesy Dovetail

Why We Adore It: 1 of the largest barriers to applying a hitch rack is the fat. This rack can be taken off the car or truck in considerably less than a minute with the provided applications, then picked up just one-handed and stashed on a shelf, in your trunk, or any where else. Simply because Dovetail Ferst holds bikes by the cranks, it’s virtually common. Set up was fast and easy due to the fact there had been handful of elements. And while it does not fold, in many months of use, that wasn’t a hardship. With the rack mounted on a swing arm, I had comprehensive trunk accessibility.

Dovetail ferst road bike hitch mounted rackDrawbacks: Dovetail Ferst’s site is in progress, and it doesn’t at this time have the complete selection of goods, so simply call the enterprise with queries, together with which bottom bracket assist (or supports) you need to have. The aid that came with the rack was terrific for mountain bikes, but I desired a different help for gravel bikes. Revenue are direct-to-purchaser only, so you can’t wait in a shop and examine out this rack. No lock included, however a Masterlock Python will both equally secure rack to hitch, and bikes to rack.

Extras: Coming soon—Dovetail’s maintenance kit that allows you harmony your bike by its base bracket with the entrance wheel secured for on-the-street bike cleaning and servicing. Also coming before long, trays for excess fat tire bikes, and Voile-fashion straps for people who really don’t have faith in Velcro.

[$375 (two-bike rack), dovetailferst.com]


Kuat NV 2.

What It Is: An eye-catching, fashionable one- or two-bicycle rack that converts to a three- or four-bike rack with the addition of additional mounts. Every mount can guidance a 60-pound bicycle, and the rack performs for bicycle wheels from 20 to 29 inches (20- and 24-inch bikes call for an adapter). Moreover, Kuat has a well thought-out assortment of extras to make working with and storing this rack person-pleasant.

Kuat NV 2.0 fold-down hitch-mounted bike rackWhy We Like It: A ton of racks variety of search the similar. This just one is unique and right away recognizable. Since bike wheels relaxation on supports, not in trays, there is no have to have to swap trays if you make your mind up to have a excess fat bike rather of a highway bike. The rack feels properly sized for just about every bicycle. And it will come in two shades, some thing other racks really do not offer. The wheel supports are adjustable, so you can established it up to make absolutely sure bikes nest very well. Built-in locks are strong ample we had self esteem leaving an high priced bicycle secured only with the rack’s cable. A foot/hand lever lets you fold or reduce the rack a single-handed. We value the life span warranty, far too.

Kuat NV 2.0 add-onDisadvantages:  You either start off with a two-bicycle rack and add a person further mount or two. There is no base device that lets you insert 1 to four mounts, indicating there is no solitary bicycle alternative. The NV 2. is a beast at 56 lbs for the two-bicycle rack and 91 pounds for the four bike rack. Repositioning bicycle supports usually takes fiddling to get bikes to nest. The rack suits 2-inch receivers only.

Extras: This rack comes with two mounts that can be expanded to three or four. The rack is out there with or devoid of an built-in bike stand. Kuat also sells the RackDock, a wall-mounted receiver that holds your rack for storage. Kuat’s HiLow Professional has an up-to-date hitch cam and redesigned lock. And Kuat’s swing away is yet another way to get you space to get into your trunk.

[$689 (two-bike rack), kuatracks.com]

Yakima HangOver

What It Is: A vertical hitch rack that hangs up to 6 bikes in about the same room that a two bike tray rack will take up on your bumper. The rack arrives in four- and 6-bike configurations. Bikes cling by the crown of their suspension forks. They are secured with a strap at the top and a strap all-around the back wheel

Yakima's vertical HangOver hitch rack bike racks
Yakima’s vertical HangOver hitch rack retains up to 6 bikes. courtesy Yakima

Why We Really like It: Huge households and good friends who like to shuttle will value this rack. A foot-tilt lever lets you angle it away from the car for loading and for trunk access. The rack has two mast heights, permitting you to alter it so the rear tires of the bikes on the rack continue to be distinct the floor, which is frequently an situation with this style of rack. Handful of racks have six bikes. So, if you are touring with a larger crew, this rack is a person of the finest alternatives out there. A hitch lock is incorporated. The fork cradle is padded so it won’t scratch mountain bicycle stanchions. And the rack can tackle suspension bikes of most any wheelbase.

Yakima HangOverDisadvantages: We found it difficult to load, even with the rack reduced. It is a cumbersome 77.65 lbs, so hard to manage off the motor vehicle. The HangOver is for suspension fork bikes only. The four bike rack can not be expanded to maintain 6 bikes. No cable locks are bundled.

Extras: Yakima can make loads of rack equipment. The 4 bike HangOver is suitable with the company’s BackSwing.

[$599 (four-bike rack), yakima.com]


Lolo Racks Lolo Rack

What It Is: A major-responsibility, vertical rack that matches just about any automobile with a 2-inch hitch receiver, this Portland, OR-built rack retains bikes by their handlebars. It carried up to 220 kilos of bikes like 6 mountain bikes, four highway bikes, young ones bikes and additional. And, it is so burly, it feels like it’ll final a lifetime. The handlebar-keeping hooks are quick to move with a ratchet and a wrench, so altering the configuration as necessary is a no-brainer.

Lolo Racks
courtesy Lolo Racks / Nathan Holstedt (@fullfroth)

Why We Really like It: If you are the person who often volunteers to generate your buddies to the trailhead, or who shuttles your crew to a descent, this rack is for you. It’s speedy to load, and it holds up to 250 kilos of bikes securely. Also, if you’re the dude who feels like other racks are flimsy, you have satisfied your new bike carrier. Handlebars relaxation on angled, overbuilt hook mounts, then secure at the bar and at the again wheel with oversized bungies. Lolo Rack is manufactured from major-responsibility metal, and it felt far more steady than any other rack we analyzed. With the rack on your car, there are many selections for how you situation it, so this rack healthy cars that other racks didn’t. We analyzed it on a Toyota Sienna minivan, a Toyota RAV4 SUV, and on a F-350 truck with a camper in the bed. Repositioning the rack to tilt even further absent from, or closer to, the auto needs relocating a one bolt. And, even with bikes loaded, the rack folded down and out of the way for trunk obtain. With a ratchet and a drill, it usually takes seconds to shift handlebar mounts to accommodate bikes effectively. Lolo Racks are created and built by Oregon riders. And they do an remarkable position boxing the rack compactly for shipping and delivery.

Lolo Racks
courtesy Lolo Racks / Nathan Holstedt (@fullfroth)

Downsides: It was far more intricate to assemble this rack than others we examined, and assembly needed a multitude of instruments. It fits a 2-inch hitch receiver only. A 1.25-inch receiver can’t deal with the load. And if your car rides reduced, a vertical rack may well not be the ideal choice—bike wheels can occasionally bump the ground.

Extras: As an alternative of awkwardly storing this rack for winter season, use it to haul skis and extra fat bikes at the similar time. Most ski racks can mount to the bottom of this rack to have skis vertically. If you do not bicycle or ski in wintertime, contemplate mounting this rack to your garage wall and storing bikes on the rack to lessen garage litter. Lolo Rack sells DH-specific handlebar hooks for transporting dual crown fork bikes.

[$740, loloracks.com]

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