Getting your bike from trail to trail can be a chore. Not everyone has a big trailer or an all-terrain vehicle that allows you to put your bike inside. The easiest way to get your bike from place to place around the country is to invest in the best trailer hitch for a bike rack. Most allow you to transport more than one bike and they keep your prized mountain bikes in great, upright condition as you make your way around the country.
But just like anything bike or riding-related, they can be a little bit of an investment! So before you put money where your ideas are, check out our list of the best trailer hitch bike racks to help you narrow down your choices!
In a hurry? My favorite is this Thule T2 Pro XT. See it at Amazon.
|OKLEAD 400 Lbs Hitch Mount Cargo Carrier |
|- Use for: Passenger Car, SUV|
- Material: Alloy Steel
- Brand: OKLEAD
- Folding: Yes
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|Thule T2 Pro XT|
- Tool-free attachment
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- User-friendly design
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|Yakima Dr. Tray|
- Tool-free adjustments
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|North Shore NSR-6|
|- Huge carrying capacity|
- Great ground clearance
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|RockyMounts BackStage Swing Away Platform|
|- Swing-arm design|
- Tilt mechanism
- Tray adjustment
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Top 5 Best Trailer Hitch Bike Racks in 2022
OKLEAD 400 Lbs Heavy Duty Hitch Mount Cargo Carrier
OKLEAD Hitch Mount Cargo Carrier is a highly durable product capable of carrying a distributed weight of up to 400 Lbs. It has a heavy-duty 1-piece construction that is easy to mount and load.
The 14.4″ raised tubular side rails protect your cargo from falling over. This carrier also has 2 red reflectors for safety at night or rainy days when visibility is low.
• Heavy-duty carrier
• 400 Lbs capacity
• 1-piece sturdy construction
• Easy to mount
• 14.4″ raised tubular side rails
• The product may not work well if the weight is not distributed evenly.
Thule T2 Pro XT
Using your trailer hitch bike rack should be easy and should work for you rather than stress you out. This bike rack does just that offering up high levels of versatility and user-friendliness every time! No matter the size or type of bike, this rack will help you haul hassle-free and safely.
With the add-on, you can carry up to 4 bikes with this hitch rack. The ergonomics are great and offer a low loading height and ratcheting wheel clamp arms that adjust by using just one hand. There are great design features everywhere with this rack including wide wheel trays that will allow you to haul fat bikes and more!
Thule has made this hitch, even more, user-friendly with a tilt-release mechanism at the end of the main support arm that allows you easy access to the rear of your vehicle. The cost on this rack can get steeper and since it’s heavy-duty, it also makes it heavier overall. But for the ability to use this rack, you’ll find it performs well!
• Heavy-duty construction
• Lots of space between trays
• Tool-free attachment and removal
Purchasing any equipment for your outdoor adventures is a balancing act between cost-effectiveness and top-of-the-line products.
Finding a great product that fits your budget is hitting the sweet spot for every adventurer and this bike rack takes the cake! This RockyMounts product gives you a great budget-friendly price without compromising the level of versatility offered.
This is a platform rack that holds the bike by the wheels so frames aren’t damaged in transition and each wheel tray is well-designed to cradle the bike while you’re on the road. There are ladder strap extenders that can handle skinny road tires to the fat bike 5-inches that you’ll take out on the trails.
Overall, this is a hugely user-friendly product with one-handed tilt release mechanisms at the end of the main support arm.
The frame and rack are made from metal for the most part with plastic included in the overall construction that can become damaged if not watched carefully. But regardless of a few plastic parts that can become damaged if used carelessly, this is a great product for the price!
• User-friendly overall
• Requires some assembly
• Less clearance from the vehicle
Yakima Dr. Tray
This well-known brand is turning out great hitch mounts that regularly meet and exceed the expectations of customers. This hitch rack is a new design that has great innovative features that make it an attractive option for any biking adventurer!
The trays on this rack are adjustable with tool-free clamps which allow for adjustments to be made without letting bikes bump into each other or the rack itself. There’s great versatility offered on this rack with it also being lightweight and easy to use.
This rack can carry up to 3 bikes which are more than many others on the market and it remains user-friendly while also being versatile!
• Innovative tray design
• Tool-free adjustments
• The cable lock system is not designed well
North Shore NSR-6
When you’ve got a whole family’s worth of bikes to haul around, this is the bike rack for you! This one can haul up to 6 bikes around using a vertical or hanging orientation to fit them all in. For the most part, this works best with SUVs or pickups.
This product is well designed and keeps the bikes from bumping into each other when you’re out on the road. The ground clearance for each bike is great, keeping them safe as you bump down a dusty highway.
The whole thing is made of metal and it’s built to last and can accommodate up to 360 pounds of bikes.
For the most part, this is built for gravity mountain bikes so anyone with any other type of bike might be out of luck. It stands pretty tall too, so if you’re shorter, like me, it may be hard to get all of your bikes loaded without some help!
• Massive carrying capacity
• Good ground clearance
• No interference
• Not as versatile as others
• Can be more expensive
RockyMounts BackStage Swing Away Platform
When you want to make the most use of the space you have whether it’s in a “van-life” van or just your SUV or truck, hauling your bikes and still being able to access the rest of your vehicle is essential.
This bike rack has bypassed the interference that’s most common to trailer hitch bike racks and made a swing rack that will give you great access!
After attaching this bike rack to your vehicle, you can access the back of your car or van by swinging the arm out and away from the car. Your bikes will stay safe and well-protected but you’ll still be able to get into your car.
Bigger bikes need to be put on the outside tray but for the most part, every type of bike fits on this rack. It is heavy and can be hard to work or control at first but it works well and will allow you to have complete access to the back of your van or vehicle.
• Swing-arm design
• Tray adjustment
• Tools needed to install or remove
How to Get the Right Trailer Hitch for Bike Racks?
Here are a few essential tips to help you find the right hitch for a bike rack.
You need to start by checking what material is used in the bike rack. Bike racks are used in rough terrains, so it is important that the rack is made up of highly durable material. That can withstand the weight of the bikes for long hours of drive on uneven terrain.
The rack you get must be able to hold up the number of bikes you want to carry. Always check the capacity of the rack before you buy, or else you will end up with a rack that cannot carry all your bikes. There are racks that can hold up to 6 bikes at a time, so you can find the right option if you look carefully.
Different Hitch racks have different fastening mechanisms to hold the bikes. Some have a Tilt-mechanism, while some have a tray design. So, you must always check the fastening mechanism and choose the type that suits your bikes. The bikes shouldn’t bump into each other or hit your windscreen while in transit.
Frequently Asked Questions
Traveling can be stressful and keeping track and care of your equipment like bikes and bike racks can be a drain on your finances and soul. Choosing the one that works best for you and your family can take a little research but we’re here to help! Let’s ask some questions to help you narrow down what you need to get your equipment from trail to trail across the country!
What type of car rack do I need?
There are three main types of racks that work for almost every vehicle: hitch racks, roof racks, and trunk racks. Hitch racks are common and work great for anyone wanting to keep their bikes from hitting the ground or not clearing other objects. They can be heavy however and may obstruct the end of your vehicle. They work great for almost any vehicle and can be fitted to a hitch on cars, trucks, or crossovers.
How do I attach my hitch rack?
Each hitch rack is different but many don’t require any tools to get hooked up. The bike rack slides into the hitch and is secured with a bolt or other pin. This makes it easy to attach and remove each time.
Will any hitch-mounted bike rack fit my vehicle?
First things first, you’ll need to have a hitch! If your car, van, truck, or crossover doesn’t have one, you can get one attached. There are other options though for anyone who’s dealing with a car or smaller crossover like trunk racks or overhead ones that will allow you to transport your bikes without worrying about adding a hitch.
Let’s hit the trails!
Your bike is an investment and transporting it from place to place can be time-consuming and tricky. Working with a hitch-mounted bike rack can save you time, dings on your bike, and effort when you’re moving your precious cargo from trailhead to trailhead. Hitch bike racks are easy to attach and remove and keep your bikes, up to 6 of them in some cases, safe as you head down the road.
The winner of our countdown is RockyMounts MonoRail! This is a great, user-friendly device that goes easy on your budget as well. It’ll keep your bikes safe when you’re out on the road and is easy to attach and remove from the hitch. You want to protect your investment and by doing so with a great bike rack like this, you’ll give yourself even more time out on the trails! Let’s hit the road!