Best Hitch Bike Racks: Take Your Bike With You Wherever You Go

Last updated: April 17, 2020
Best Overall
Durable, Convenient and Functional
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Best Budget
Sturdy, Compact, Secure and Versatile
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Best 4-Bike
Well-Built, Foldable, Adjustable and Convenient
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Best 2-Bike
Strong, Innovative and Feature-Rich
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Best for SUV
Strong, Anti-Wobble, Foldable and User-Friendly
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Your guide

Even though the fundamental design principle of all hitch bike racks is the same, i.e., they all slide into the receiver hitch of a vehicle to attach themselves to the back of a car or truck, yet not all hitch racks for cars or trucks are made equal. With variations available in shape, design, feature, capacity, and price point, your choices are literally endless.

The best hitch bike rack for you will depend on a host of factors such as the type and quantity of bikes that you want to transport, the frequency of use, your bike’s tire size, the size of your vehicle’s receiver hitch, and your budget.

Top 5 Hitch Bike Racks

If you are passionate about biking and regularly undertake cycling adventures to enjoy new views and explore the great outdoors, it’s not surprising that you want to carry your bike with you at every given opportunity, no matter what the destination (city or countryside) or the purpose of travel – a family vacation, a road trip with friends or a solo camping excursion.

Also, if you are one of the kinds who cycle to boost fitness, and your idea of a perfect break is equal parts leisure, exercise, and adventure, traveling with your two-wheeled vehicle would be ideal for a little R&R combined with health benefits.

hitch bike rack carrying 2 bikes

A popular and convenient option for the occasional cyclists as well as those who frequently travel with their bikes, a hitch-mounted bike rack offers an effortless means to transport two to five bikes from point A to point B.

Discerning the best hitch bike rack is easier said than done. With so many makes and models to choose from, the selection process can be both daunting and time-consuming.

Thankfully, you don’t have to spend hours sifting through numerous websites and perusing scores of product reviews to zero in on the right product.

We are here to help you to make informed choices with our concise but comprehensive buying guide, compiled after extensive reviewing and testing of numerous bike racks to narrow down our selection to five best hitch-mount bike racks across the categories of Best Overall, Best Budget, Best 4-Bike, Best 2-Bike and Best for SUV. Keen to know more about our top picks? Let’s reveal our faves to you.

1. Best Overall - Allen Sports

Specifications:

  • Dimensions: 26 x 3.5 x 14 inches
  • Weight: 22lbs
  • Receiver Hitch Size: 2 inches
  • Max. Weight Capacity: 140lbs

Key Features:

  • Quick install locking hitch insert and wobble-free installation
  • Folding carry arms for greater flexibility in use
  • Rapid tilt-away mast for easy lift-gate access
  • Patented, rotatable, padded tie-downs to prevent bikes from falling off

Allen Sports 4-Bike Hitch Rack Review

Topping our list in the category of “Best Overall” is a versatile bike hitch rack from a name that has been doing the rounds for over 50 years – Allen Sports.

As a brand, Allen Sports enjoys distinction for producing high-quality bike racks and bicycle-related products. This affordably priced bike carrier is no exception.

For less than $150, the wallet-friendly rig makes for an economical solution for budget-conscious buyers. It comes with ample room to accommodate up to four bicycles at a time, which makes this hitch-mounted bike rack perfect for those camping excursions with the family or road trips with a small group of friends.

And with generous storage space at your disposal, you have the advantage of extra room to space out the bikes when using the rack for the transport of two bicycles only.

The Allen Sports 4-bike hitch rack sports a functional design that complements bicycle frames in different sizes and styles, and the simplicity of the design makes this rack easy to install and operate.

Minor assembly is needed after delivery and can be accomplished swiftly, thanks to a quick-install locking hitch insert that ensures a wobble-free installation of the rack onto your vehicle. And you don’t have to be a tool expert to secure the bike holder to the back of your four-wheeler.

This product comes with two keys that allow you to tighten the rack into a receiver hitch of two inches, without using any tools. For added security, there is the provision to keep the rack locked in place.

The main mast quickly tilts back when needed, even when the rack is fully loaded, thereby enabling easy lift-gate access, and flexible carry arms fold out of the way to save space when the rack is not in use.

And if you are wondering whether this bike carrier can hold up to the weight of your bicycles, worry not as the product is sturdily built and has a weight capacity of 140lbs, which makes it suitable for the carriage of up to four bikes. Patented individual tie-down cradles swivel 360 degrees and further help secure a wide range of bicycle frames in transit.

Last but not least, a lifetime warranty against any defect in workmanship or material gives you peace of mind knowing that you are in safe hands, in the event of any after-sale issue.

To sum up, despite a few limitations, such as the unsuitability of this bike holder for use on trailers or the anti-rattle nut and bolt mounting system that requires loosening each time you want to take the rack off, the Allen Sports 4-slot bike hitch rack is a great-value investment when looking for a well-made, dependable and inexpensive family bike rack to complement your and your family’s bike-friendly lifestyle.

Pros
  • Heavy-duty construction
  • User-friendly design
  • Easy set-up and operation
  • Foldable and safe
  • Can accommodate bikes of different frame designs
Cons
  • Not suitable for use on trailers
  • Some reviewers did not find the anti-rattle tension bolt convenient enough

2. Best Budget - Swagman XC2

Specifications:

  • Dimensions: 5 x 34 x 11 inches
  • Weight: 32lbs
  • Receiver Hitch Size: 1-1/4 inches and 2 inches
  • Max. Weight Capacity: 35lbs per bike

Key Features:

  • Adjustable, push-button, upright ratchet arms
  • Built-in anti-wobble hitch device
  • Compatible with both 1-1/4-inch and 2-inch receiver hitches
  • Equipped with sliding wheel hoops that fit 20 – 29-inch wheel sizes

Swagman XC2 Review

If you are on a tight budget and looking for an inexpensive means to transport adult and children’s bicycles, downhill bikes, cruiser bikes, full-suspension bikes, BMX bikes and the like, the Swagman XC2 – our choice for the best budget hitch bike rack – is the way to go.

Currently available under $125, this entry-level hitch-mount platform rack is a capable pick for weekend explorers and occasional cyclists who need a sturdy bike carrier for their impromptu escapes to the outdoors and planned cycling adventures but don’t have a lavish budget at their disposal to splurge on a high-end model.

The well-known bike rack manufacturer, Swagman boasts a rack for every bicycle, and this compact platform bike rack is an affordable offering from the brand’s line-up of versatile hitch-style bike carriers.

The user-friendly bike holder is compatible with both 1/4-inch and 2-inch receiver hitches, and it includes push-button ratchet arms that enable seamless loading and unloading of bikes and fit bike frames of up to 23.2 inches.

Additionally, it is equipped with sliding wheel hoops that can adapt to diverse wheel sizes, ranging from 20 to 29 inches, plus adjustable cushioned hooks that can ratchet down for a tight fit.

Despite being made of steel, the Swagman XC2 exhibits a lightweight build. And yet it is durable enough to hold up to two bikes with a maximum load capacity of 35lbs per bike.

The center arm folds down to give you easy access to your automobile’s rear cargo area, even when the rack is mounted to the vehicle. While this feature is advantageous, it also implies that you have to unload the bicycles from the carrier to be able to fold down the upright bar.

According to the manufacturer, assembling this product takes no more than a few minutes, and both the wheel tray bars conveniently fold up into a vertically compact unit to help you save on storage space when you are done using the rack.

And if you need to transport your fat bike or require added safety for your cycles, you can fulfill your need with optional accessories such as fat bike tire trays, locking hitch pins and 10mm security cables.

Other notable features include a built-in anti-wobble hitch device for stable rides on bumpy drives and grip arms with an improved soft frame-friendly coating to prevent scratches to your bike’s finish.

Any downsides? Barring the documentation that did not impress a few reviewers with its small print and some unclear assembly instructions, no outstanding weaknesses here.

All in all, if you are after a versatile, space-saving and budget-friendly hitch-mount rack for the safe and easy transportation of a variety of bikes, the Swagman XC Cross-Country can be the answer to your need to ride, paddle and explore, no matter where you are or where you intend to be.

Pros
  • Compact and sturdy
  • Foldable, space-saving design
  • Easy to assemble and use
  • Can transport up to two bikes
  • Fits bikes of different frame sizes
Cons
  • Assembly instructions can be clearer
  • Bikes have to be removed from the rack for rear hatch access

3. Best 4-Bike - Hollywood Racks

Specifications:

  • Dimensions: 27 x 36 x 10 inches
  • Weight: 85lbs
  • Receiver Hitch Size: 2 inches
  • Max. Weight Capacity: 50lbs per bike

Key Features:

  • Platform-style hitch rack for use with 2-inch hitch receivers
  • Patented “No Wobble-No Tools” hitch tightening system
  • Can accommodate bikes with up to 60-inch wheelbase and 3-inch tire width
  • Shipped with a keyed-alike locking hitch pin, 8′ security cable and locking frame hooks

Hollywood Racks Sport Rider SE4 Review

Boast a household of bike-loving adults and kids and looking for the best 4-bike hitch rack for the transfer of multiple bikes? Rest your search for the ultimate family bike rack with the Hollywood Racks HR1400 Sport Rider SE4 – our top pick for the best 4-bike rack.

This multifaceted hitch bike rack comes pre-assembled as a 2-bike base unit, and it includes a 2-bike add-on kit for hassle-free switching between 2 and 4-bike set-ups.

So, whether you are a group of four riders or just you and your cycling enthusiastic spouse/partner, this single unit will serve your needs. Furthermore, you can make use of a trike adapter kit to render this rack suitable for carrying an adult trike and an adult bike.

No matter what your specific bike type – MTB, road bike, cruiser, ladies’ cycle, or kids’ bike – trust this heavy-duty bike carrier to accommodate them all. And while this rack is meant for bicycles with a maximum tire width of 3 inches, you can leverage the available fat tire kit to carry bikes with tires up to 5 inches wide.

A cargo basket is also available, which plugs into the base rack and makes it convenient for users to carry two bikes and up to 100lbs of gear.

The Sport Rider SE4 is compatible with 2-inch hitch receivers and has a maximum weight capacity of 50lbs per bike. It comes with robust and adjustable Velcro wheel holders that help ensure the bikes are held firm.

And if you are worried about your bicycles wobbling and shaking while you tote them around, fret not as a patented “No Wobble Hitch System” eliminates slack between the receiver and the rack and keeps rattling at bay without the use of tools.

Plus, there is a keyed-alike locking hitch pin with 8′ security cable to prevent rack sway during travel. And thanks to the included locking bike frame hooks, you know your bicycles will be safe and secure throughout the journey.

This Hollywood Racks bike rack for 4 bikes can fold up vertically when not in use, and it also tilts down to enable convenient access to luggage, provisions, etc., without the need to detach and remount the carrier.

The clamps are adequately padded to prevent them from scratching the bikes, and the highly rated product is backed up with the company’s limited lifetime warranty for complete peace of mind.

Our biggest gripe with the Sport Rider SE4 is the weight, courtesy of the sturdy construction. Also, at just under $500, this 4-bike carrier is relatively expensive.

All told, if you fancy a well-engineered bike rack that is built to last and you don’t mind loosening the purse strings to get hold of one, you are more than likely to be satisfied with the Hollywood Racks Sport Rider SE4.

For sure it is not cheap, but it still costs way lesser than many other high-end racks with comparable features and that too without compromising on the build quality or other key aspects such as ease of use, convenience, functionality, versatility, or safety.

Pros
  • Heavy-duty construction
  • Foldable, compact design
  • Easily convertible from a 2-bike to a 4-bike hitch rack
  • Tilting feature for easy access to the cargo door
  • Versatile and fits most bike types
Cons
  • Relatively heavy
  • Not meant for use with trailers, fifth wheels or towed vehicles

4. Best 2-Bike - Thule T2 Pro XT

Specifications:

  • Dimensions: 55 x 15 x 13 inches
  • Weight: 52lbs
  • Receiver Hitch Size: 2 inches
  • Max. Weight Capacity: 120lbs

Key Features:

  • Frame-free ratcheting arms
  • Tool-free AutoAttach knob
  • Easily accessible HitchSwitch lever
  • Integrated cable lock and lock knob

Thule T2 Pro XT Review

When it comes to the best bike rack for two bikes, the innovatively designed Thule T2 Pro XT makes for an assured pick if aspects such as quality of build, secure transport, and ease of use are of paramount importance to you.

Although this platform hitch bike rack is designed for the transfer of two bikes, yet it has the capacity to carry up to four bicycles when paired with Thule’s T2 Pro XT Add-On (sold separately).

The premium T2 Pro XT exhibits quality construction, is easy to install, and boasts a low loading height that enables bikes to mount easily and quickly. A universal fit type means you can use this well-engineered carrier to haul around a broad range of bike types, including mountain and downhill bikes, carbon rigs, and fat bikes.

An impressive feature of the T2 Pro XT is the frame-free ratcheting arm that firmly secures bikes in place without any frame contact. The versatile arm fits bikes with wheel sizes ranging between 20 – 29 inches and up to 5-inch tires without adapters.

A tool-free AutoAttach knob, with a built-in lock cylinder, ensures hassle-free installation and removal of the rack, and a HitchSwitch lever makes for easy rear access and compact storage by allowing the bike carrier to tilt down when needed and fold up when one is done using it.

The flexible design of this rack lets you adjust the bike mounts side to side to minimize bike interference by creating generous spacing between bikes.

Additionally, a lock knob helps secure the platform bike rack to the receiver, and an integrated 24-inch cable lock keeps your two-wheelers firmly attached to this Thule hitch bike rack, without adding bulk. And the cable lock is retractable, meaning it draws back into the ratcheting arm when not in use.

What with the T2 Pro XT ticking all the right boxes with regards to aspects such as ergonomics and functionality, it is unsurprising that it emerges a clear winner in the category of the best hitch mount bike rack for two bikes. That said, there are a few drawbacks, such as the price and the weight.

However, none of these are deal-breakers, especially when you are looking to transport premium bikes, and they don’t take away from the fact that this rack is a solid investment for anyone seeking a durable, convenient and dependable bike holder for getting a range of bicycles safely from one destination to another.

Pros
  • Robust and user-friendly design
  • Tilts up for ease of storage
  • Universal fit type; can carry carbon frames, MTBs, downhill bikes, e-bikes, and fat bikes
  • Can accommodate up to 4 bikes with the Thule Pro XT Add-On
  • Adjustable mounts for bike clearance
Cons
  • Expensive
  • Relatively heavy
  • Not suitable for use with front fenders

5. Best for SUV - BV 2-Bike

Specifications:

  • Dimensions: 31 x 15 x 8 inches
  • Weight: 39.6lbs
  • Receiver Hitch Size: 1 1/4 inches and 2 inches
  • Max. Weight Capacity: 35lbs per bike

Key Features:

  • Fold-up and tilt-back design
  • Tray-styled loops and padded arms
  • Patented 2-way anti-wobble system
  • Three-point connection system to prevent bikes from swaying

BV 2-Bike Hitch Mount Rack Carrier Review

When your family is enthusiastic about cycling and a fulfilling weekend escape means the whole family taking to their bikes to discover the best of what nature has to offer in the countryside, an SUV bike rack can be the perfect accompaniment to the outdoor pursuits of an active household.

After reviewing many models, we found the BV bike rack to be an efficient and effortless way to transport bicycles on the back of an SUV.

Our best hitch bike rack for SUV is also serviceable for cars and trucks, and while this particular model is a 2-bike carrier with a capacity of up to 35lbs per bike, there is also a 4-bike variant to cater to the needs of the whole family.

Priced at $149.99, this bike holder with tray-styled loops comes with a hitch tube that is compatible with both 1.25-inch and 2-inch hitch receivers, and it also includes an adaptor for the 2-inch hitch receiver.

What is striking about this SUV bike carrier is that despite its modest weight, it feels very solid. And with an innovative three-point connection system at play to prevent swaying, each bike is secured by two tray-style arms on the bottom and one vertical arm on top.

The arms are padded to keep the bikes safe during travel, and a patented 2-way anti-wobble system is instrumental in ensuring a jiggle-free connection between the rack and the hitch.

Other thoughtful features include a smart tilt-back design – especially handy for those long road trips. No need to unload the mounted cycles or detach and reattach the hitch rack, each time you need to get into the rear of your car or SUV. Enjoy seamless access to the rear gates with the whole rack arm tilting back when required.

This tray-style bike rack is designed to save space and folds up when not in use. And that’s not all. It also comes with a unique rear safety reflector that ensures visibility of the rack in the dark, plus driving safety at night.

Any limitations? Some minor downsides exist, such as the unsuitability of the rack for fat tire bikes or bikes with a tire width exceeding 3 inches. The upside is that it does a great job of getting compatible bikes to their destination, and surprisingly it does not break the bank while doing that.

Pros
  • Rugged build
  • Affordably priced
  • Versatile and can carry up to 2 bikes on a car, SUV, or truck
  • Saves space and offers easy access to the rear gates
  • Equipped with rear safety reflector for enhanced visibility at night
Cons
  • Not suitable for carrying fat tire bikes

Hitch Bike Racks: Frequently Asked Questions

What Is the Best 2-Bike Hitch Rack?

According to us, the best 2-bike hitch rack is the Thule T2 Pro XT 2. It is easy to install and remove, allows quick securing of bikes without frame contact, and can be easily converted into a 4-bike rack for car. Other notable mentions include the Allen Sports 2-Bike Hitch Rack, Swagman XC2, Swagman CHINOOK, and the BV 2-Bike Bicycle Hitch Mount Rack Carrier.

What Is the Best 4-Bike Rack for SUVs?

While there are several SUV bike racks available in the market, the Allen Sports 4-Bike Hitch Rack, YAKIMA FullSwing, Tyger Auto TG-RK4B102B Deluxe 4-Bike Carrier Rack, Hollywood Racks HR1400 Sport Rider SE4, and the BV 4-Bike Bicycle Hitch Mount Rack Carrier are our top picks when it comes to the best 4-bike rack for SUVs.

Are Hitch Bike Racks Safe?

Hitch bike racks are one of the sturdiest, safest, and most convenient ways to transport bikes to a particular destination. They easily attach themselves to the receiver of a trailer hitch on a car, SUV, or truck, and are designed such that loading/unloading of bikes is a breeze compared to roof racks.

Modern hitch-mount bike racks come equipped with padded arms to provide the ultimate protection to bikes from abrasions and related damages. Furthermore, most newer models feature innovative technologies and designs, such as fold-up frames, tilt-back or fold-down arms, anti-wobble hitch tightening systems, locking knobs, integrated cable locks, etc., to save space, provide easy cargo door access, prevent theft, and ensure smooth, secure carriage of a variety of bike types from one place to another.

Best Hitch Bike Racks: Take Your Bike With You Wherever You Go — Bike Hacks