Cycling is one of the best forms of exercise out there. Not only does it offer the perfect cardio workout, but it also allows you to spend more time in the great outdoors. So many people purchase a bike without even considering investing in a hitch bike rack. But by doing this, they’re limiting themselves on potential cycling adventures.

With a high-quality hitch bike rack, you no longer have to stress about safely moving your bike from point A to point B. Better yet, you’ll open so many doors to new and exciting cycling routes. Whether you’re transiting with 1, 2, or 6 bikes, there’s a hitch bike rack out there that can get the job done. We’ve covered all the best hitch bike racks for cars and SUVs for anyone looking for a bike transit solution.


Preview

Model

Bike Capacity

Max Load Capacity

Check Price

Kuat NV 2.0 Bike Rack, Gray Metallic, 2'...

Kuat Racks NV22G-Parent

2 (option for add-on)

120 lbs

RockyMounts MonoRail Solo 1-Bike (2' &1.25')...

RockyMounts Monorail 10007

1 (option for add-on)

60 lbs

Hollywood Racks - 2-Bike Hitch Mounted Rack,...

Hollywood Racks HR200Z

2

90 lbs

Thule 9043 Helium Aero 3 Bike Hitch Carrier

Thule Helium Aero 9043

3

110 lbs

Hollywood Racks HR1400 Sport Rider SE 4-Bike...

Hollywood Racks HR1400Z

4

200 lbs

Allen Sports Premier Hitch Mounted 5-Bike...

Allen Sports S-555

5

175 lbs

YAKIMA - Hangover 6, Vertical Hitch 6-Bike...

Yakima Hangover 6

6

210 lbs

Swagman XC2 Sturdy Hitch Bike Rack for Car...

Swagman XC2

2

70 lbs

YAKIMA - HoldUp Hitch Mounted Bike Rack, 2'

Yakima 8002443-P

2 (option for add-on)

120 lbs

Tyger Auto TG-RK3B101S 3-Bike Hitch Mount...

Tyger Auto TG-RK3B101S

3 (option for 4 with add-on)

100 lbs

Saris Superclamp 2-Bike Hitch Car Rack

Saris Superclamp

2

120 lbs


How Do Bike Racks Work & Their Benefits?

There are several types of hitch bike racks to choose from (we’ll cover these next), but they all serve the same purpose. The rack attaches to the trailer hitch of a vehicle and is capable of holding anywhere from 1 to 6 bikes at a time. To attach the bike rack, all you need to do is remove the ball and hitch and follow the instructions to secure the rack into the receiver.

In most cases, the rack is secured into place with nuts and bolts, as well as safety chains. The number of bikes it can hold depends on its design, and some are much more basic than others. More basic models typically block the trunk from opening, but this isn't always the case with more advanced racks.

So what are the benefits of using a top-rated bike rack hitch? There are many, but the most significant is that you'll be able to transport multiple bikes at a time safely. If the entire family is heading out on a cycling adventure, you'll be able to accommodate every bike when you choose the right rack. Here a few more benefits of using a hitch bike rack:

  • No longer need to break down bikes to transport them.
  • Maximizes space within your vehicle’s interior.
  • No need to alter your vehicle’s clearance with a roof rack.
  • More straightforward to install than other types of bike racks.
  • Heavier carrying capacity than other rack types (can carry more bikes).

Types of Hitch Mounted Bike Racks

Deciding on the type of rack that suits your needs is the first step in choosing a bike rack. The two main types of hitch mounted bike racks are hanging and platform, but there are also unique hitch bike racks that are designed for specialty bikes.

Hanging

In a comprehensive guide on how to choose a bike rack, REI says that hanging “racks have a mast with arms that support bikes by the frame. They’re compact and tend to be cheaper than platform bike racks. Some can haul multiple bikes, even four to five at a time.” The downside to hanging racks is that they aren’t ideal for transporting multiple bike sizes (like kids’ bikes) or unusually-shaped bikes (like mountain bikes).

There are three types of hanging racks: a single-arm, dual-arm, and wheel-only mount. A single-arm rack uses a single cradle arm for support, while a dual-arm model has two cradle arms. Dual-arm racks offer more stability, but depending on the arm spacing, they aren't always capable of holding smaller bikes. Wheel-only-mount racks are V-shaped and secure bikes by the wheels only. This is best for suspension bikes (it won't compress the suspension).

Platform

With a platform hitch bike rack, the bikes are clamped down into place. By securely anchoring the bikes down (up to 4 at a time with large platforms), there is very little swaying motion and minimal risk of damage. Another perk of choosing the platform style is that they are better for transporting mixed and matched bike shapes and sizes. The downside is the higher price tag compared to hanging racks.

There are two types of platform racks: frame clamp and wheel clamp. Frame-style clamps hold bikes in place by their frames. These are very stable and minimize the risk of damage (to both your bike and your car). If you’re not in love with the idea of the rack coming in contact with your bike’s frame, the other option is a rack with wheel-clamping mechanisms.

Racks for Specialty Bikes

Specialty bikes often require specialty racks. If you're using a specialty bike - like recumbent, tandem, fat, or electric - then you MUST be extra careful at reading the rack's specifications. Most hanging and platform hitch bike racks are designed to fit standard bike sizes, so if your bike isn't considered the standard, you'll most likely need a specialty rack.


Factors to Consider When Choosing Hitch Bike Racks

Usage/Purpose

Wondering what the best trailer hitch bike rack is? Unfortunately, there's no definitive answer since it depends on your specific usage requirements. You plan on using it to transport your bikes, but think about your bike types and how many. The very first question you should be asking yourself is how many bicycles you'll be transporting. Deciding on the size of your rack will significantly narrow down your search.

Material & Build Quality

You get what you pay for definitely applies to the bike rack buying process. High-quality, durable racks with cost more, but they’ll also last much longer than cheaper models. More importantly, they’ll keep your bikes and your car free from damage. Don’t hesitate to pay for a premium rack that goes above and beyond in terms of build quality.

Hitch Size

Checking that a hitch bike rack is compatible with your vehicle may sound like a no-brainer, but you’d be surprised by how many cyclists fail to do this - and end up with an unpleasant surprise during installation.

According to Towing 101 from the Curt Group, “receiver hitches are divided into five classes, depending on their towing capacity and receiver tube size. The higher the class number, the higher the capacity and the larger the receiver tube is.”

Most hitch bike racks are compatible with a one (1.25") or two (2") receiver hitch. If your vehicle has a larger receiver than the bike rack requires, that doesn't completely rule out the possibility of purchasing that rack. You can invest in a hitch adapter for bike rack, but in most cases, it is easier to choose a rack that's compatible with your car or SUV's trailer hitch.

Type & Style

If you have one or two standard-sized adult bikes, you’ll do just fine with a lower-cost hanging rack. But if you have bikes in shapes and sizes - some for kids, some for adults - a platform rack is the better choice. If you prefer the rack not to clamp onto the bike’s frame, you’ll have to go with a wheel-only rack. There are several factors to consider when deciding on rack style, but it mainly has to do with the number and types of bikes you’ll be transporting.

Folding & Storage

It's very unlikely that you'll be driving around with a bike rack attached to your trailer hitch at all times. When the rack is not being used, you'll keep it in storage, so try to find a rack that can fold up and pack away easily. Folding design is a handy feature, not just for rack storage, but also while the rack is being used. If you want access to your trunk or tailgate, look for a rack that folds out of the way.

Ease Of Assembly/Use

A hitch bike rack's weight is a significant factor for how easy it will be to assemble and install. The best hitch bike racks range in weight, anywhere from 10 to 100 pounds. A heavier rack will be more challenging to install and remove. A lot of people assume that a heavy design means better quality, but this doesn't always have to be the case. It's possible to find the best lightweight hitch bike rack that's also high in quality.

Weight isn't the only thing to think about when it comes to ease of use and assembly. Consider the everyday ease of use, because, the easier your rack is to use, then more often you'll use it. Find a model that won't have you wasting time assembling/disassembling and loading/unloading bikes.

Additional Features

Whether you're looking for a single bike hitch rack or the best hitch bike rack for 5 bikes, you've got plenty of options for extra features. One of our favorites is the tilting function, which lets the rack tilt outwards from the vehicle so that you can gain access to your trunk. The swing-away function is another cool feature, allowing the rack to swing away from the car or SUV entirely. This is a great choice for versatile hatchbacks or SUVs with a cargo door instead of the typical trunk.

Wheel Size & Tire Width Compatibility

If you opt for the best hitch hanging bike rack that clamps on to a bike's frame, you can go ahead and skip this next consideration. But if you're planning on buying a platform rack, you'll need to make sure that your bike's wheels are compatible with the trays on the platform.

In most cases, this won’t be a problem; platform trays typically accommodate wheel sizes that range from 26 to 29 inches and tire width of 3 inches. That said, it’s still a good idea to compare the specs of the tow hitch bike rack with the bike wheel size and tire width - especially for kids’ bikes or specialty bikes with fat tires.

Price & Warranty

Just as the best hitch bike racks range drastically in features like bike capacity and design, the same goes for the price. Set your budget ahead of time, but try to remember that this is a long-term investment. And just as you should check for warranty coverage with any long-term investment, the same goes for purchasing a hitch bike rack. All of the best models come with limited lifetime warranty coverage.


11 Best Hitch Bike Racks Reviewed

1. Kuat Racks NV22G-Parent

Our Top Pick!

Bike Capacity

2 (option for add-on)

Max Load Capacity

120 lbs

Wheelbase Compatibility

Up to 48”

Hitch Receiver Size

1.25” & 2”

Hitch Style

Platform

Warranty

Limited Lifetime

Our top pick for the best bike rack hitch is the Kuat Racks NV22G-Parent. It’s strong enough for any bike with an expandable design that was built for long-haul travels. All bike racks on the market are compared to this one, and it’s not just because of its durable design. Cyclists everywhere love all the key features of the NV22G-Parent, mainly the adjustable front tire cradle system.

With adjustable tire cradles, you no longer have to worry about whether or not your bike is compatible with the rack. There are 3 unique positions to choose from, making it so that handlebar and seat post-clearance is never an issue. The rack can hold up to 2 60-pound bikes at a time and is compatible with wheels ranging from 20 to 29 inches. If you need more space for additional bikes, you can quickly transform this from a 2 bike hitch rack to the best 4 bike hitch rack with the NV Add-On

Here’s what the company has to say about its beloved product: “With the NV 2.0, we didn’t want to make a rack. We wanted to make THE rack. The rack that makes your jaw unwillingly drop when you take in every feature and how they’re all seamlessly integrated to create a rack with uncompromisingly awesome style, security, and ease.”

Another loved feature of the NV22G is the foot-assisted pivot system. This allows you to easily change the position of the rack, by merely pushing a foot pedal. The price is high, but with added features like integrated cable locks and adjustable tire cradles, it’s worth every penny. Don’t just take the word of thousands of Kuat Racks hitch bike rack reviews, see for yourself how outstanding this bike rack truly is.

Pros

  • Foot-assisted pivot system
  • Locking bike rack hitch
  • Adjustable tire cradles
  • Option for add-on
  • Wide range of tire sizes

Cons

  • Assembly can be challenging
  • High cost

2. RockyMounts Monorail 10007

Best Single Bike Hitch Rack

Bike Capacity

1 (option for add-on)

Max Load Capacity

60 lbs

Wheelbase Compatibility

34-49”

Hitch Receiver Size

1.25” & 2”

Hitch Style

Platform

Warranty

Limited Lifetime

The best hitch mount bike rack for transporting a single bike is the RockyMounts Monorail 10007. This rack can carry 1 bike and holds up to 60 pounds, but with an add-on, it can be expanded to hold 2 bikes up to 105 pounds in total. The 10007 secures the bicycle(s) by the front wheel, and it doesn't come in contact with the frame at all. This is a big deal for cyclists who are trying to protect the finish of most prized possession. Similar to the Kuat Racks, this trailer hitch bike rack is compatible with wheels ranging from 20 to 29 inches.

 This hitch mount platform bike rack also works with fat tires up to 5 inches wide, and it's compatible with wheelbases from 34 to 49 inches. Unless you have a bike that is out-of-the-norm, you shouldn't have any trouble making this bike rack work with your needs - the company even says so:

"The MonoRail is the most versatile rack in the RockyMounts line up. It has the capacity for all styles of bikes; from skinny tire road machines, up to heavy fat tire E-bikes, this rack has you covered.”

The RockyMounts rack folds flat against the vehicle (some customers feel that it sits a bit too close), but it also comes with a tilting function, allowing you easy access to the trunk of your car or SUV. Included with the rack are a locking hitch pin, a cable lock, and standard lock pads. Even if you only plan on needing a rack for 1 bike, we suggest that you invest in the add-on for an additional bike - you never know if you'll befriend a fellow cyclist.

Pros

  • Compatible with all bike styles
  • Reasonably priced
  • Solid construction
  • Tilting function
  • Bike rack hitch lock included

Cons

  • Sits close to the vehicle
  • Difficult assembly

3. Hollywood Racks HR200Z

Best 2 Bike Hitch Rack

Bike Capacity

2

Max Load Capacity

90 lbs

Wheelbase Compatibility

Up to 60”

Hitch Receiver Size

1.25” & 2”

Hitch Style

Platform

Warranty

Limited Lifetime

Many people feel that investing in a 2-bike rack is the ideal choice. The best 2 bike hitch rack is easy to set up, no matter if you’re planning on solo biking or bringing a loved one along for the ride. The best trailer hitch bike rack that can hold 2 bikes is the Hollywood Racks HR200Z. It has a max capacity of 45 pounds per bike, which makes it a great choice for female cyclists with smaller bikes than the average male’s.

This hitch mount bike rack was recently upgraded in 2019, and we love the new improvements. It uses a new lockable ratchet frame hook and adjustable wheel holders, making it compatible with a variety of bike sizes. It can carry up to a 60" wheelbase thanks to the adjustable wheel holders. Similar to most products we'll cover on this list of best hitch bike racks reviewed, the HR200Z is compatible with 1.25 and 2" hitches.

One happy HR200Z reviewer says that this is "everything that you could possibly ask for in a rack and it's well-executed. Nothing is flimsy. The materials and finishes are high quality… It is very easy to use and we love the locking, padding and tilting features."

Another popular feature is the foldable design, which gives the rack a think profile for easy storage.

There is one thing that might be a deal-breaker for you; the HR200Z doesn’t allow access to the trunk or cargo door when installed. If you need to get into the back of your vehicle, you’ll have to remove the bikes altogether for access. Bike racks that allow access to the trunk come with a much higher price tag, so this explains why the HR200Z is one of the most budget-friendly products we’ve come across.

Pros

  • Lightweight yet rugged
  • Adjustable wheel holders
  • Easy storage
  • Prevented rack sway
  • Great for small bikes

Cons

  • No trunk access
  • Not ideal for large bikes

4. Thule Helium Aero 9043

Best 3 Bike Hitch Rack

Bike Capacity

3

Max Load Capacity

110 lbs

Wheelbase Compatibility

N/A

Hitch Receiver Size

1.25” & 2”

Hitch Style

Hanging

Warranty

Limited Lifetime

Planning on biking with 2 of your closest friends or family members? You'll want to check out the Thule Helium Aero 9043, the best hitch bike rack for 3 bikes. This 3 bike hitch rack is constructed from ultra-light aluminum, so it's about half the weight of most hitch racks. This makes it much easier to handle, install, and remove. But that's not the main reason we're loving the Helium Aero 9043.

The main thing we love about this receiver hitch bike rack is that it takes extra measures to protect bikes from road damage. The hold-fast cradles are designed with road dampening technology, which better secures each bike to the rack and minimizes vibrations by absorbing road shock. With your bikes attached to this hanging rack, you can rest easy knowing they’re in good hands. Alongside the road dampening technology is an anti-sway design.

The Aero 9043 has "superior bike stability and fit with integrated anti-sway that prevent bike to bike contact and 'disappears' when not needed."

There are about 7 inches of space between each bike, which is very uncommon for a 3-bike rack - usually, you're lucky if there are 4 or 5 inches between bikes. Another thing we love about the Aero 9043 is its easy installation process.

 

Part of the reason for this is the bike rack’s lightweight design, but even if it were a few pounds heavier, the tool-free installation is quick and easy.  The main negativity is that this rack isn’t as compatible with a wide range of bike shapes and sizes as some of the others on this list. For example, an extra adapter is needed for transporting women’s and kids’ bikes.

Pros

  • More bike stability
  • Integrated cable lock
  • Shock absorbing cradles
  • Tool-free installation
  • Allows rear vehicle access

Cons

  • Extra adapter for small bikes
  • Cheap built-in lock

5. Hollywood Racks HR1400Z

Best 4 Bike Hitch Rack

Bike Capacity

4

Max Load Capacity

200 lbs

Wheelbase Compatibility

Up to 60”

Hitch Receiver Size

2”

Hitch Style

Platform

Warranty

Limited Lifetime

The first Hollywood Racks was suitable for 2 bikes, but the company has plenty of hitch racks available, especially if you’re looking for the best hitch bike rack for 4 bikes. The HR1400Z is the optimal choice if you plan on transporting 4 bikes at a time. It comes out of the box as a 2-bike hitch, but it can quickly be transformed into a high-quality 4 bike hitch rack.

As the best bike rack for hitch 4 bikes, you can count on this rack carrying up to 200 pounds (50 pounds per bike). One of the sayings behind the HR1400Z is "no wobble, no tools"; even with tool-free installation, you are guaranteed a wobble-free car/SUV bike rack hitch. It's got a patented hitch tightening system that helps to keep the rack (and your bikes) safe and secure.

“We have 4 riders in the family, and this rack can hold all the bikes, or easily switch down to 2,” says one reviewer on the Hollywood Racks product page. “It’s incredibly easy to use and comes with all the components you’ll need except a hitch on your car…”

There is one thing you should know about this best-rated 4 bike hitch rack; it's compatible with 2" hitches ONLY. This means if you have a 1.25" hitch, which many people do, you won't be able to install this bike rack 2-inch hitch without some sort of adapter. Purchasing a hitch adapter not only requires extra work, but additional costs, so this is something to think about before buying the HR1400Z.

Pros

  • Option for 2 or 4 bikes
  • Easy cargo/trunk access
  • Built to last
  • “No Wobble-No Tools”
  • Great for family riders

Cons

  • 2” receivers only
  • Heavy design

6. Allen Sports S-555

Best 5 Bike Hitch Rack

Bike Capacity

5

Max Load Capacity

175 lbs

Wheelbase Compatibility

N/A

Hitch Receiver Size

2”

Hitch Style

Hanging

Warranty

Limited Lifetime

Choosing a 5 bike hitch rack is the perfect solution for families who prefer to bond through cycling. The Allen Sports S-555 is the best 5 bike hitch rack, mainly because it can hold up to 5 bikes at a time, but also because of its affordable price. It’s rare to find a 5-bike hitch rack at such a low cost, especially one that's as durable and secure as this one.

The Allen Sports rack is relatively basic - it doesn't come with all the cool added features of the Kuat Racks. But many cyclists prefer it this way. Although it's basic, the S-555 does precisely what it's supposed to do: securely hold the cargo in place while preventing damage to the car and bikes. If you need to access the trunk, you can do so since the "arms fold out of the way when not in use and rack tilts back when needed."

The bikes are secured and protected with the patented tie-down cradles and quick set-up straps. It accommodates a wide range of bicycle designs, but unfortunately, it is only compatible with 2" receiver hitches. This is standard for racks that can hold a more massive load, but it means that drivers with 1.25" hitches either need to move on or consider an adapter. There are several models of Allen Sports 5-bike racks to choose from, but the Premier Locking model is our favorite.

Pros

  • Low-cost rack
  • Quick install locking hitch
  • Tilt-away mast
  • Quick fold carry arms
  • Reputable Allen brand

Cons

  • 2” receivers only
  • Low weight capacity for 5-bike rack

7. Yakima Hangover 6

Best 6 Bike Hitch Rack

Bike Capacity

6

Max Load Capacity

210 lbs

Wheelbase Compatibility

Various

Hitch Receiver Size

2”

Hitch Style

Vertical Hanging

Warranty

Limited Lifetime

The Yakima 6 bike hitch rack is very similar in style to the Allen Sports equipment, with one significant difference. Instead of holding the bikes horizontally, this one secures the bikes into place vertically. This vertical bike rack hitch transports up to 6 bikes at a time with the help of suspension forks. A lot of cyclists feel that a rack with vertical orientation is the better choice for transporting 5+ bikes because it provides better ground clearance.

The Yakima Hangover 6 is all about allowing for more bikes while taking up less space. This makes it an excellent choice for tour operators, group riders, and family cyclists. It comes with a convenient foot-operated tilt that alters the rack position for easy loading and unloading. This feature doesn’t just help with unloading the bikes, but it also makes it easy to access the rear of your vehicle.

Yakima says that the Hangover 6 “securely supports bikes and fat bikes by the fork crown (required for use); Soft padding protects the fork's finish; Rotating wheel cup accommodates bikes with various wheelbases.”

It’s important to note that suspension forks are required for use - no other bike types are compatible, so if you don’t have a suspension bike, you’ll have to look elsewhere.

Pros

  • Heavy-duty steel
  • Added protection with vertical design
  • More bikes, less space
  • Tilting mechanism
  • Various wheelbases

Cons

  • High cost
  • Suspension forks only

8. Swagman XC2

Best Hitch Rack For Mountain Bikes

Bike Capacity

2

Max Load Capacity

70 lbs

Wheelbase Compatibility

Up to 48”

Hitch Receiver Size

1.25” & 2”

Hitch Style

Platform

Warranty

Limited Lifetime

The Swagman XC2 is the best choice for those who are looking for a mountain bike or dirt bike hitch rack. It’s compatible with both 1.25 and 2” receivers and can hold up to 2 bikes at a time. The reason we’ve chosen this as the best hitch rack for mountain bikes is the rack’s adjustability features. Most mountain bikes come in one of two tire sizes, 27.5 and 29-inch, and the Swagman XC2 is compatible with both.

Most free ride bikes come with 26" tires, and this rack is compatible with those, too. This is not only the best hitch mount bike rack for 29-inch bikes and 650b bikes (27.5"), but it works with all tire sizes ranging from 20 to 29 inches. It has a max capacity of 35 pounds per bike, which is no problem at all since the average mountain bike weighs about 28 pounds.

The sturdy design of the XC2 includes a built-in anti-hitch wobble device to keep bikes in place and minimize swaying. When you're done using the XC2, you can easily store it by folding the rack into a compact model. While in use, the upright ratchet arms can be adjusted to accommodate a variety of bike frames (up to 23.2").

Many people also refer to the Swagman XC2 as the best hitch rack for electric bikes, but keep in mind that electric bikes weigh more. If you use an electric bike, you'll only be able to transport one (rather than two) to stay within the rack's weight capacity. All in all, the XC2 is the ultimate pick for mountain biking fanatics.

Pros

  • Great value
  • Most versatile
  • Sturdy design
  • Easily stored
  • Adjustable ratchet arms

Cons

  • Clamps contact bike frames
  • No tilting feature

9. Yakima 8002443-P

Best Hitch Bike Rack For Carbon Frame

Bike Capacity

2 (option for add-on)

Max Load Capacity

120 lbs

Wheelbase Compatibility

Various

Hitch Receiver Size

1.25” & 2”

Hitch Style

Platform

Warranty

Limited Lifetime

Bike frames are constructed from a variety of materials. When choosing bike frame materials, Bicycling.com says that carbon fiber is “the most commonly used frame material for higher-end mountain and road bikes… Carbon fiber is a composite of carbon sheets that are bonded together in a mold using resin. The primary advantage of the material is that at a given stiffness, carbon fiber is significantly lighter than aluminum, steel, or titanium.”

The disadvantage of choosing a carbon frame is that it’s more prone to fracture and cracking, so choosing the best hitch bike rack for a carbon frame is a must. The Yakima HoldUp tray hitch bike rack accommodates carbon bikes by not coming in contact with the bike frames. It can hold up to 2 bikes but has the option for a 2+ bike extension to hold up to 4 at a time. 

Since it comes in zero contact with the bike frames, this rack is also great for riders with disc brakes, thru-axles, and full suspension bikes. Loading the bikes is fast and easy, and the same goes for installing the rack to your vehicle's hitch. Whether you've got a bike with a 20" wheel or you're riding a 29er, you'll be able to load and unload in a matter of seconds.

The main negativity regarding the Yakima has to do with its build quality. Like most bike racks, plastic pieces are intermixed throughout the stainless steel parts, but the use of plastic could have been executed much more effectively. But the good news is that the Yakima is covered under a lifetime warranty, and the company is quick to send replacement parts and pieces when needed.

Pros

  • Easy loading/unloading
  • Zero contact with bike frames
  • Fully integrated security
  • Tilting function

Cons

  • Too many plastic components
  • Short locking cable

10. Tyger Auto TG-RK3B101S

Best Hitch Bike Rack For The Money

Bike Capacity

3 (option for 4 with add-on)

Max Load Capacity

100 lbs

Wheelbase Compatibility

N/A

Hitch Receiver Size

1.25” & 2”

Hitch Style

Hanging

Warranty

Limited Lifetime

So you’ve spent all your money on a world-class bicycle, and you’re left with barely any cash to invest in a bike rack. Luckily, it’s possible to purchase the best cheap bike rack hitch for less than $100. Not only does the Tyger Auto TG-RK3B101S cost less than 100 bucks, but it can carry up to 3 (or 4) bikes at a time. This is by far the best hitch bike rack for the money.

As the best budget hitch bike rack, you’re probably not expecting lots of cool features from the Tyger rack. That’s a fair assumption, and to be completely honest, it’s not far off track. That being said, the Tyger does all that it’s supposed to do, plus a little bit more. It comes with sturdy construction, it’s easy to use, and it conveniently offers access to the rear of your vehicle.

Tyger Auto says that this rack "fits all types of dual-arm bikes on vehicles equipped with either a 1.25 or a 2-inch hitch receiver."

It comes with an included cable lock and hitch lock for added security, as well as a security strap. Installation can be done in a matter of minutes, allowing you to get on the road with your bikes in tow as fast as possible. 

There have been a few complaints about the rack's performance in cold weather, particularly in terms of strap durability. The straps aren't designed to withstand cold temperatures, but if you're like most cyclists and prefer riding in moderate/warm weather, this won’t be an issue.

Pros

  • Fits a variety of bikes
  • Low cost but great value
  • Rust-resistant coating
  • 5-minute DIY installation
  • Included cable lock

Cons

  • Not ideal for cold weather
  • Not compatible with Toyota Tacoma

11. Saris Superclamp

Best Hitch Bike Rack For SUV

Bike Capacity

2

Max Load Capacity

120 lbs

Wheelbase Compatibility

Up to 48”

Hitch Receiver Size

2”

Hitch Style

Platform

Warranty

Limited Lifetime

The perfect bike rack for SUV hitch is the Saris Superclamp. This rack is designed to carry multiple bikes on a single bar. The platform style is lightweight yet mighty, perfect for carrying two bikes, no matter if you’re riding eBikes, mountain bikes, or TT rigs. Rigging this rack to your large SUV is easy, allowing you to hit the road at a moment’s notice with your bikes in tow.

Many hitch racks have a maximum bike weight limit of 35 pounds, but not the Saris. This rack can hold 2 bikes that weigh up to 60 pounds each, so it’s perfect for heavy electric bikes and mountain bikes.

Saris says that “thanks to the SuperClamp’s tilting feature, no more unloading bikes to let the dog out of the back. Simply tilt down and release the hounds."

Another thing we love about the Superclamp is the durable integrated locking system. Although many racks come with locking mechanisms, most of them don’t stand up to the unbreakable Saris locks. The Superclamp doesn't come without some cool extra features.

This rack comes with a built-in bottle opener, because who doesn't love to enjoy an ice-cold beer after a long ride (or even a short one!). Since this is mainly for use on SUVs, the Superclamp is only compatible with 2" hitch receivers. Because of this, the Saris rack isn't a suitable choice for small cars and hatchbacks.

Pros

  • Great for large bikes
  • Integrated locks
  • Reflectors for night-time driving
  • Titling feature

Cons

  • 2” receivers only
  • Only holds 2 bikes

Roof Bike Rack vs. Hitch Bike Rack

The first struggle for any cyclist shopping for a bike rack is deciding between a roof vs. hitch rack. When choosing a rack for your car, SUV, or truck, there are 3 questions you should ask yourself:

  1. 1
    What do I need to carry?
  2. 2
    What’s the make, model, and year of my vehicle?
  3. 3
    Does my vehicle come with roof crossbars, a trailer hitch receiver, both, or neither?

If you answered neither to that last question, you’ll have to make an additional investment in installing either a trailer hitch or roof crossbars. But first, let’s cover the pros and cons of each rack type. A roof rack is the most versatile of the rack types; it allows a user to transport just about anything, including kayaks, snowboards, surfboards, and most importantly, bikes. But roof racks come with a lot of drawbacks.

The first is the high cost, and the second is that these are difficult to install since they require some heavy lifting. Although hitch racks are less versatile since they’re specifically designed for transporting bikes, these are the better choice for avid cyclists. They’re easier to install, less expensive, and won’t affect roof clearance space.


Hitch Bike Rack Installation

Thanks to the fact that these racks are located close to the ground, installing a hitch-mounted bike rack is much easier than installing roof racks. As long as your car, SUV, or truck is equipped with a hitch receiver, it’s possible to install a hitch bike rack in just a few simple steps. The most challenging part is deciding on a rack since you have to determine your vehicle’s hitch class (from 1 to 5) and maximum capacity.

The first step of the installation is to slide the rack arm into the hitch mount. According to Trucks.com, you need to "line up the hole in the receiver with the hole in the hitch mount. Then take the bolt and make sure it has a lock washer sitting before the bolt head, followed by the flat washer." After that, screw the bolt securely and attach the hitch mount to the receiver with a wrench. The final step is to insert the pin into the bolt and lock it in place.


Additional Tips When Buying Bike Racks

We’ve already provided you with a thorough buying guide for purchasing a new bike rack, but there are a few more helpful tips we'd like to offer. Before you go out and make a purchase, it's essential to understand the basics of your vehicle's tongue weight.

According to a cargo carrier company called StowAway2, tongue weight (or TW) is an essential aspect of trailer hitch basics. “Tongue weight capacity refers to the maximum vertical weight that a vehicle's hitch can support under normal driving conditions,” says StowAway2. You should be able to find info on your vehicle’s TW in the owner’s manual.

After you've figured out TW, subtract that value from the weight of the bike rack to figure out how much weight you can safely carry on the rack. So if your vehicle has a TW of 150 (this is fairly standard) and the bike rack weighs 30 pounds, you can safely carry a load of 120 pounds.


People Also Ask (FAQs)

Can I put a bike rack on my car?

Absolutely. Many people assume that bike racks are only appropriate for large vehicles like SUVs and trucks, but this isn't the case. Many of the best hitch bike racks are designed with Class I hitches, which is typical for small and medium-sized cars. Consumer Reports says that "Class I hitches with 1.25-inch openings are designed for most cars and small car-based SUVs."

Can you open the trunk with a bike rack?

This depends on the specific bike rack you’ve purchased. Low-end bike racks with basic features won't allow you to open your trunk or cargo door, but more advanced hitch bike racks typically will. If accessing your trunk with the bike rack in place is crucial to you, look for racks with the tilting or swing-away function.

Can I use a hitch bike rack without a trailer hitch?

Technically no, but if your vehicle isn’t equipped with a hitch, it’s easy to get one installed. Angie’s List says that prices for hitch installation “can range from $150 to $800. Gooseneck hitches’ costs average about $400 to $800, and fifth wheel hitches can run from $500 to $2,500.”

How do I know what class my vehicle’s hitch is? Can I use a Class I hitch?

In most cases, you can use a Class I hitch for your bike rack. Most vehicles have either a Class I or Class II hitch receiver, and a Class I bike rack will work with either of these. However, you MUST check your vehicle’s hitch class beforehand, which can be found in the owner’s manual.

Will the bikes block my brake lights or license plate?

It is doubtful that a bike rack will block a vehicle's brake lights when properly installed, but it's fairly common for a rack to block the rear license plate. Technically, it's never legal to have your plates blocked, but many cyclists say that they have never had any trouble with the law. Even so, it's still suggested that you fix a plate on the outer portion of the rack so that it's visible.

How do you store/maintain a hitch bike rack?

All car-related equipment requires maintenance, and hitch bike racks are no exception to this rule.  Keep your rack clean by washing it with a mild soap every time you remove it from your vehicle. Check for damage regularly, especially around the straps, hooks, and other small components. For storage, keep your rack in a dry, safe place when it’s not in use.

What are important hitch bike rack accessories?

Investing in spare parts is always a good idea. For added protection of your precious bikes, consider buying anti-rattle and anti-sway parts as well as bike pads and a bike frame protector.

What are the best brands of bike hitch racks?

We’ve covered some of the best brands in this list of hitch bike racks reviews, including Kuat Racks, RockyMounts, Hollywood Racks, and Allen Sports. Our all-time favorite is the Kuat Racks model, but there are plenty of brands to choose from.


Conclusion

We’ve covered a lot of great choices here, everything from single bike racks to 6-bike models. With all of its added features, like the adjustable tire cradles and foot-pivot tilting system, no hitch bike rack compares to the NV 2.0 by Kuat Racks. It can hold either 2 or 4 bikes, but if you’re looking for a greater carrying capacity, you'll want to go with the Yakima Hangover 6.

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