We’ve chosen the top hitch bike racks best for the year 2022, ranging from elegant platform designs to high-capacity hanging variants.
Hitch-mounted bike racks are the way to go if you’re looking for the most efficient way to carry your bikes. They offer unrivaled versatility and convenience of use by securely connecting to your vehicle’s receiver hitch bike racks best.
There are many possibilities, but hitch bike racks may be divided into two types: platform versions, which are the most expensive but provide outstanding stability and convenience, and hanging racks, which optimize carrying capacity in a small package.
Overall Hitch Bike Racks Best
1. Thule T2 Pro XTR
Thule just revised their famous T2 Pro, but the most recent model keeps its position as our best all-around hitch-mounted rack due to its comprehensive feature set and excellent construction. The XTR, which replaces the best-selling XT, adds a set of wheels to the base for easy transportation to and from a garage, but the remainder of the design stays unchanged (which is a good thing). The T2 Pro’s user-friendly tilt function is best-in-class, allowing quick and easy access to the back of the vehicle, and its adaptable carrying system fits anything from fat bikes to 20-inch kids’ bikes.
Although hitch bike racks best in a competitive market, the T2 Pro XTR stands out due to its superior material quality and extensive function set. Simply said, this rack is a one-stop shop. Its expanding wedge attachment technique ensures a secure connection, and the 60-pound weight capacity means you can transport practically any bike design (including many electric ones) with ease. You also have plenty of space between your car and your bikes. Plus, for an additional $500, the 2-Bike Add-On doubles the capacity. And, as previously said, the Thule’s components are all quite well-made, making the purchase worthwhile over time. Our original T2 Pro XT, for example, is still in excellent condition after nearly three years of heavy use.
+ It’s packed with features.
+ Simple to use
– A little heavy
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2. Kuat Transfer v2 2
There’s no denying that high-quality platform-style racks are pricey, but those on a budget might look at Kuat’s Transfer v2. This model contains a number of common characteristics with the Thule T2, such as a frame-free mounting mechanism and a tilting function that gives access to the back of your car. The current version of the Transfer is also adaptable to fit a broad range of hitch bike types and wheel sizes, and with an adapter, it can even accept a fat bike (sold separately).
What do you give up by using the Kuat to save? The materials and construction quality are inferior to the Thule T2 and Kuat’s own NV 2.0 below. While the Transfer 2 has a steel frame and the hitch bike racks best design has been modified in the v2 model, the rack is still more prone to movement on uneven roads. There’s also the less side-to-side adjustment to prevent hitch bike frames from colliding. In the end, serious riders will get more bang for their dollars with the higher-end Thule, but if you’re ready to make a few concessions, the Kuat gives a lot of bang for your buck.
+ Affordable Price
+ Versatile platform-style rack.
– The design is a little flimsy.
– Premium options are more feature-rich.
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3. Swagman XC2
Swagman, based in British Columbia, may not have the same name recognition as Thule or Yakima, but their XC2 model is a good option for recreational riders on a budget. The Swagman XC2 has a highly adjustable tray system, durable and secure ratcheting arms, and a threaded hitch pin that limits rack movement to a minimum of $145 (on Amazon at the time of posting). The low 32-pound weight makes it simple to remove and install, and the tiny footprint takes up little room when removed from your car. This rack may lack the bells and whistles of the more expensive alternatives above and below, but it will transport your hitch bikes rack safely from point A to point B.
When compared to other racks on our list, loading the bike closest to the car is more difficult, the ratcheting arm release mechanism is harder to use, and there are no locks included with your purchase. The cushioned frame cradles managed to totally remove the paint from one of our bikes after around 500 miles of use, which included many miles on sandy gravel roads.
+ It’s a cheap and surprisingly dependable way to transport two bikes.
– The design isn’t the most user-friendly.
– Bike frames are scratched by the ratcheting arms.
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4. Yakima RidgeBack 4
Overall, we like the platform type because of its ease of loading and overall stability, although high-capacity hanging versions are the obvious value leaders. Yakima’s RidgeBack is a long-time favorite among the alternatives on the market: it has a solid build, a fair price, and an anti-sway design that prevents bike movement while on the road. Furthermore, we believe Yakima offers the greatest cradle system, with ratchet-style straps that lock the bike’s top tube to the rack.
What’s not to enjoy about the RidgeBack 4’s changing style? Carrying full-suspension mountain bikes, step-through cycles, or smaller kids’ versions requires an adapter, which adds a substantial amount to the entire cost (top tube adapters cost over $50 apiece). Furthermore, when the motorcycles are loaded, there is very little space between them, which can cause friction and paint damage. The RidgeBack’s track record of dependable performance, on the other hand, makes it our top-hanging hitch bike racks best.
+ A cost-effective technique to transport four bicycles
– To transport step-through bikes, you’ll need an adaptor.
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5. RockyMounts BackStage
The RockyMounts BackStage rack caused quite a sensation when it was first debuted. It was one of the earliest platform rack designs that use a side-swinging mechanism (think of an arm that swings away from your vehicle to allow for total access to the rear of your car). It’s also worth mentioning that major players like Yakima and Thule still don’t provide this feature. The BackStage also has many of the features you’d expect from high-end hitch bike racks
best, like a cable lock (though it’s not integrated), the flexibility to hold a variety of bikes and wheel sizes, durable ratcheting arms, and overall high-quality materials and construction.
Adding the swing-away capability to a hitch-mounted rack comes with trade-offs. Because the RockyMounts BackStage is 10 to 20 pounds heavier than most other platform-style racks, you won’t want to take it off your car too often (or without help). Another issue we have is that the lock isn’t built into the rack, which is a feature we like on the Thule T2 Pro above and the Yakima Dr.Tray below. BackStage, on the other hand, should be at the top of your list if you want the best back cargo access.
+ Easy access to the back of your car is provided by the built-in swing function.
– On this list, it’s the heaviest two-bike rack.
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6. Thule EasyFold XT 2
Thule launched the EasyFold XT 2 in response to the increased popularity of heavy e-bikes and huge fat bikes. The supplied ramps allow you to put your bikes onto the platforms rather than having to lift them off the ground, which is a great plus.
The ramps are simple to set up, perform a good job of guiding the bikes up and down and can be stored on the rack while traveling. Furthermore, the Easy Fold is one of the easiest to store: the platform’s sides fold in half, and an incorporated handle allows you to carry the rack short distances with just one hand. The EasyFold checks all the boxes for a heavy carrier, with a load capacity of 130 pounds (between two bikes).
What are the design tradeoffs with the EasyFold? To begin with, it’s undoubtedly one of the most costly methods to transport two bikes, so it’s not a good deal unless you want or desire the ramps. Furthermore, the XT 2 does not have the option of adding an extension, so you’ll have to buy another rack if you want to transport more than two bikes.
The Thule EasyFold XT 2 is the finest choice available for e-bike owners who want an integrated and deployable ramp—and others who don’t want to pull heavy bikes on and off their racks.
+ Loading ramps with integrated ramps
+ E-bikes being unloaded
– Very Expensive
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7. 1UP Recon Rack 6
1UP’s Recon Rack 6 is worth considering for group rides, shuttles, tour organizations, or simply to increase your carrying capacity. This one-of-a-kind hitch bike racks best-mounted rack takes a new approach to bike transport: its “baskets” keep the front tire elevated while the rest of the bike hangs below. The rack can support 20-inch kids’ bikes and fat bikes with various modifications, and the normal baskets can carry 24- to 29-inch-wheeled bikes (sold separately). The Recon’s major benefit is that it can carry up to six motorcycles at once, and the vertical hanging position keeps them relatively stable and close to the rear of the truck.
Furthermore, the Recon’s bulky construction is exceedingly heavy (the two boxes you receive weigh more than 100 pounds combined), making it difficult to put up and take down. Despite the fact that there are an increasing number of rivals in this category, such as Yakima’s HangOver and North Shore Racks’ NSR (seen below), the 1UP’s combination of construction quality, ease of use, and compatibility with a broad range of bike designs makes it our favorite vertical hanging rack.
+ Most Secure
+ The easiest way to pick 6 bikes
– Most Expensive
– Very Heavy
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TYPES OF HITCH BIKE RACKS BEST
This round-up is dominated by platform racks, which are, in our opinion, the ideal method to carry your bikes. Platform designs, as opposed to hanging racks, are suitable with a considerably larger range of bike types, lie lower to the ground for better access, and are quite stable.
The majority of them feature two points of attachment: a ratcheting arm that attaches the front wheel and a strap that secures the back wheel.
This simple and effective technique makes loading and unloading your bike a breeze, and it reduces any wobble or side-to-side movement when driving. Furthermore, because they only come into touch with the tire or wheel, these racks are the gentlest on bikes (and not the painted frame).
Hanging hitch bike racks best are a popular technique to carry road or light bikes without having to raise them overhead and onto your vehicle’s top.
While not cheap, a quality hanging rack such as the Yakima RidgeBack 2 costs roughly half as much as a platform type with the same capacity.
Hanging racks are significantly lighter and smaller, which is advantageous for individuals who want to remove the rack on a frequent basis. The Kuat Beta, for example, weighs only 14 pounds and can easily be stowed away in the corner of your garage when not in use.