The Best Hitch Bike Racks of 2024 (2024)

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We tested the best hitch bike racks available in 2024 to help you find the model that best suits your needs. Whether you’re looking for a tray rack, vertical carry rack, or something to transport heavy e-bikes, we’ve got recommendations and information to help you make your purchase decision.

Written by Jeremy Benson and Michaela Lawlor

The Best Hitch Bike Racks of 2024 (1)

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There are various ways to transport bikes with your vehicle, but hitch bike racks are arguably the best. With so many models and styles to choose from, however, finding the perfect hitch rack for your needs and budget can be a challenge. At Bikerumor, we’ve tested dozens of the best hitch racks on the market to find the best ways to conveniently and safely transport your precious bikes wherever you go.

Whether you’re doing mountain bike shuttles with a big crew, heading out on a casual ride or to a race, or loading up the family for a weekend vacation, we’ve found the best options available in 2024. Our team assessed each model’s ease of use, weight limits, versatility, security features, and assembly, to provide you with the details you need to make a more informed purchase decision.

Here you’ll find our top recommendations followed by the best of the rest which are all also great products worthy of consideration. If you’d like to compare product specs be sure to check out our comparison chart and refer to our comprehensive buyer’s guide and FAQ to help answer any questions.

Editor’s Note: This review was updated on March 21, 2024, to reflect a number of price changes and ensure that our product selection and all of the information provided are as up-to-date as possible.

The Best Hitch Bike Racks of 2024

Best Overall Hitch Bike Rack

Thule T2 Pro XTR


  • MSRP$750
  • Number of Bikes2 (up to 4 with add-on, 2” version only)
  • Receiver Sizes1.25” and 2”
  • Rack Weight52 lbs
  • Per Bike Weight Capacity60lbs
  • Max Wheelbase50” or 1,270mm
  • Max Tire Width5”
  • Wheel Size Compatibility20” to 29”
  • SecurityIntegrated locking hitch knob and cable locks


  • Easy to install and remove
  • Easy to load bike
  • User friendly tilt release
  • Included locks for rack and bikes
  • Transport wheels to roll rack


  • Moderately expensive
  • Bulky – takes up a lot of storage space

Jeremy Benson

Thule has been making T2 models for many years and the T2 Pro XTR is the latest iteration that sits near the top of their line of hitch mount tray racks. This model has been around for years and recently has only seen minor updates to its tried and true design to enhance its user-friendliness. While the Kuat Piston Pro X might be our new favorite, that rack costs several hundred dollars more which decreases its appeal to the masses.

With a rock-solid tool-free mounting system that locks the rack onto your hitch and prevents it from wobbling, installing and removing it is quick and easy. Bonus points for the built-in wheels to help you roll it in and out of your garage when not in use, as it is fairly heavy. The tilt-release handle is large and easy to reach so you can fold the rack up or down easily with one hand while you balance a bike in the other. Loading bikes is quick and easy with large front tire trays with front wheel hooks and a ratcheting strap for the rear wheel, plus it holds them in place securely without any frame contact. Features like tooled side-to-side tray adjustments, extra space between bikes, 5″ tire capacity, 20-29″ wheel compatibility, a 50″ max wheelbase length, and a generous (e-bike friendly) 60 lb bike weight limit mean it will work with almost anything you ride.

The tool-free AutoAttach knob that makes installation and removal so easy also locks the rack to the vehicle. Integrated cable locks slide out of the front wheel clamps and can be looped around the bike frame to deter theft of your precious bicycles. It comes in both 2” and 1.25” receiver sizes, and a T2 Pro XT 2-bike add-on ($500) can increase your carrying capacity to 4 bikes.

Our biggest gripe with this rack is one that it shares with most other hitch mount tray racks. Its bulky size makes it a little burdensome to store when not in use. The integrated bike locks work well enough, but that’s one area that could use a little improvement, and we’d always add an additional lock if leaving bikes unattended or out of sight for an extended period (as we would with any other rack). Otherwise, we feel you can’t go wrong with the durable, versatile, and user-friendly Thule T2 Pro XTR.

Best Budget Hitch Bike Rack

Rocky Mounts MonoRail


  • MSRP$500
  • Number of Bikes2 (Up to 3 with add-on, 2” receiver only)
  • Receiver sizes1.25” and 2”
  • Rack Weight45 lbs
  • Per bike weight capacity60 lbs
  • Max wheelbase36” up to 50” or 1,270mm
  • Max tire width5”
  • Wheel size compatibility20” to 29”
  • SecurityLocking hitch pin and cable lock included


  • Reasonable price
  • Versatile bike fit
  • 60 lbs weight limit
  • Easy to use


  • Included lock pods are plastic
  • Sits close to vehicle, hitch extension may be needed with certain vehicles
  • May not work with all muffler designs

Jeremy Benson

In our opinion, the Rocky Mounts MonoRail is among the best values you find for a tray hitch rack. This model performs alongside the more expensive competition despite costing several hundred dollars less. Yes, it still costs $500, and sure, you could pay a little less for a different model, but we think the MonoRail outperforms the less expensive models we tested. It’s impressively easy to use, highly versatile, and our experience has shown it to be very durable as well.

The MonoRail uses folding front wheel trays with hook-shaped clamp arms that fit everything from 5-inch wide fat tires to narrow road treads and wheel sizes between 20 and 29 inches. The rear wheel is secured with a ladder strap and it even comes with extenders to fit those fat bike tires. It has a 60 lb per-bike weight limit and the trays are intended to fit wheelbases between 36 and 50 inches (1,270mm), so it should be able to handle all but the smallest kid’s bikes or some extra-long mountain bikes.The trays are laterally adjustable as well, so you should be able to avoid bike-on-bike interference, even with drop-bar bikes.

The remote tilt release handle is easy to access to fold the rack up or tilt it down, even with bikes loaded. An included hitch pin lock and cable lock are nice touches to help deter opportunistic bike thieves with lock pods that are keyed alike for convenience. One of our staff has been using this rack for over five years (it has been converted to a BackStage Swing Away), and it is still going strong with only a little rust starting to show.Should you need to expand capacity, Rocky Mounts sells a 1-bike add-on (2-inch receiver size only) that can bump you up to three bikes.

Given the comparatively lower price of the MonoRail, our complaints about it are surprisingly few. One thing worth mentioning is the lock pods that come for the hitch and cable lock have plastic bodies that can be easily broken. We’d suggest upgrading to something more robust and maybe consider adding a burly chain lock to keep the bikes extra secure. It also sits pretty close to the rear of the vehicle and may require the use of a hitch extension to avoid handlebar contact on certain styles of vehicles. A select few vehicles with rearward-facing mufflers may also be incompatible due to the potential to melt the plastic with hot exhaust. Thankfully, this issue seems relatively limited.

Beyond that, we feel the Rocky Mounts MonoRail is a great rack that performs above the asking price. Want easy access to the rear of your vehicle? The Rocky Mounts BackStage is essentially the same rack directly mounted to a swing-away arm.

Best Premium Hitch Bike Rack

Kuat Piston Pro X


  • MSRP$1,389
  • Number of Bikes2 (up to 4 with add-ons)
  • Receiver sizes1.25” and 2”
  • Rack Weight63 lbs
  • Per bike weight capacity2” receiver: 67 lbs, 1.25” receiver: 60 lbs
  • Max wheelbase53” or 1,346mm
  • Max tire width5”
  • Wheel size compatibility18” to 29” (fender kit available)
  • SecurityHitch pin lock and 12mm steel cable lock included


  • Sleek design
  • LED brake lights
  • One touch hydraulic clamp arms
  • Robust security features
  • Highly versatile
  • No frame or rim contact


  • Very expensive

Jeremy Benson

Kuat’s latest hitch rack model pulls no punches when it comes to design or price. Yes, it is very expensive, but that price is backed up with top-of-the-line performance and unique features that make it the best tray-style rack we’ve used. The Kuat Piston Pro X secures the bikes by the tires only so there is no frame or even wheel contact on your expensive bikes. The opposing clamp arms are incredibly easy to operate with One Touch hydraulic pistons that make loading and unloading bikes more user-friendly than other similar models. It also has Kuat’s signature tilt-release pedal that can be operated with your foot or hand to fold the rack up or down.

The Piston Pro X is also incredibly versatile as the clamp arms are easily adjustable without tools to fit wheel sizes between 18 and 29 inches and everything from skinny road tires up to 5-inch wide fat bike treads. It can even handle bikes with fenders when used with the optional fender kit. A maximum wheelbase of 53 inches, or 1,346mm, works with the longest of mountain bikes, and the 67 pounds per-bike weight limit (60 lbs for 1.25″ receiver version, 42 lbs off-road) means that it’s capable of carrying heavy electric bikes. Kuat even sells an optional loading ramp so you can roll them into place instead of straining to lift them. One or two bike add-ons are also available, and just as expensive, to increase your carrying capacity to 3 or 4 bikes.

If you get the Piston Pro X delivered to your home, assembly is quite easy. It also comes with some robust security features including a beefy metal hitch pin lock and a thick, 12mm cable that’s long enough to loop through both the frames and the wheels of two bikes. As an additional safety measure, the anti-wobble cam in the hitch itself requires a security allen key that is housed securely at the end of the rack so it’s always there when you need it. Integrated LED lights function as both brake lights and turn signals and are impressively bright. Kashima-coated pistons add a touch of bling, the powder-coated finish looks good, and the almost entirely metal construction should help ensure you get your money’s worth. Kuat also sells a license plate mount kit should you wish to add one.

Like most tray-style hitch racks, it is fairly heavy at 63 pounds, it is also quite wide and bulky, and it takes up a bit of storage space when not in use. The cost of this rack is undoubtedly the most significant barrier to entry, but for those who are willing and able to spring for the Kuat Piston Pro X, we doubt you’ll be disappointed. Don’t need lights or Kashima-coated Pistons? The Piston Pro is essentially the same exact rack without lights and a black coating on the pistons that’ll save you $300.

For a more in-depth look, read our full review of the Kuat Piston Pro X.

Best Hitch Bike Rack For Durability

1Up USA 2″ Heavy Duty Double


  • MSRP$650 (silver) or $700 (black)
  • Number of Bikes2 (up to 4 with add-ons)
  • Receiver sizes2”
  • Rack Weight46 lbs
  • Per bike weight capacity50 lbs
  • Max wheelbase54” or 1,371mm
  • Max tire width3.1” (up to 5” with spacer kit)
  • Wheel size compatibility16” to 29”
  • SecurityHitch lock included


  • Super durable all metal construction
  • Trays fold when not in use for easier storage
  • Moderate rack weight
  • Versatile bike fit
  • No frame or rim contact
  • Rated for RV, travel trailer, and off-road use


  • Wheel size adjustments require tools
  • Loading bikes can be slightly less user friendly than some similar racks
  • Tilt release can be hard to reach

Jeremy Benson

The 1UP USA 2″ Heavy Duty Double Rack is a super popular tray rack option and the brand has a devoted following. Known for their durability, these racks often outlast the vehicles that carry them and are well worth the investment. Crafted entirely from steel and aluminum with replaceable metal hardware, there are no plastic parts to break and it won’t rust or corrode over time the way most other racks eventually do.

In addition to its legendary durability, the Heavy Duty Double is also impressively versatile. It can handle bikes up to 50 pounds each, fits 16” – 29” wheel sizes, and any tires up to 3.1” wide (and you can use their spacer kit for tires up to 5”). You can add on additional trays to extend the rack’s capacity to 3 or 4 bikes, too. It uses opposing ratcheting arms that sandwich the bike from the front and rear and touch only the tires, so there is no risk of damaging your frame’s paint or the finish of your rims. Also, the trays do not have a designated direction, so you can place your bike in the rack either way and adjust the bikes laterally to avoid bike-on-bike contact.

The “tire hold” design and opposing ratcheting arms fold down to a very compact package when not in use, and when folded up, it sits close to the vehicle and is less obtrusive than many other options. It weighs a moderate 46 lbs, so carrying it isn’t too difficult, plus the trays fold in the middle making it one of the most compact and user-friendly tray racks to store when not in use. It also comes fully assembled, so all you have to do is remove it from the packaging and unfold it to prepare it for use.

The Heavy Duty Double is also rated for use with RVs and travel trailers, as well as off-road use. The trays are also tiered slightly, providing a little more clearance for driving over water bars and the like. Have heavier bikes? The 2” Super Duty Double is essentially the same rack that can handle bikes up to 75 pounds. Have a 1.25” receiver? The Equip-D Double comes in both 1.25” and 2” sizes with similar functionality and a more convenient tilt-release handle.1Up also sells a V Style Ramp accessory ($122) to make loading heavy bikes easier. In addition to accessories like light kits and locks, 1Up sells replacements for virtually every part of their racks.

There’s little not to like about the 1Up USA 2” Heavy Duty Double, but we found that the ratcheting clamp arms are not as user-friendly as some other models we tested, requiring two hands to open from their stowed position. The tilt-release mechanism is also more difficult to access, making it slightly more cumbersome to fold up when not in use (1Up sells the EZ Pull accessory to address this problem). It has an anti-wobble cam that requires a security allen key and comes with a hitch bar lock, but you’ll need to supply your own cable or chain lock to secure the bikes (something you probably want to do with other racks too).

Best Swing-Away Hitch Bike Rack

Rocky Mounts BackStage Swing Away


  • MSRP$770
  • Number of Bikes2
  • Receiver sizes2”
  • Rack Weight62.4 lbs
  • Per bike weight capacity60 lbs
  • Max wheelbase50” or 1,270mm
  • Max tire width5”
  • Wheel size compatibility20” to 29”
  • SecurityHitch pin lock and cable lock included


  • Pivots 180 degrees to allow access to back of vehicle
  • Lighter weight and more affordable than other racks plus swing away extension
  • User friendly
  • Versatile bike fit


  • Only available in a 2” receiver size
  • Sits close enough to the vehicle that a hitch extension may be required for handlebar clearance on some vehicles
  • Not compatible with add-ons

Jeremy Benson

If you’ve got a camper van or simply want wide open access to the back of your vehicle, we recommend the Rocky Mounts BackStage Swing-Away. While most brands offer pivoting swing-away attachments that can be added to your already expensive rack, Rocky Mounts integrated this awesome feature directly into the design of the BackStage. Not only does this weigh less than a rack plus a pivoting attachment, but it also costs significantly less than most rack plus attachment combinations. This rack uses the same design as their popular, affordable, and versatile MonoRail tray rack mounted directly to the swing-away arm and it keeps your bikes much closer to the vehicle.

Loading bikes is easy and intuitive with folding front wheel cradles and clamp arms to secure everything from 5-inch wide fat bike treads down to skinny road bike tires and ladder straps for the rear wheel. It will work with everything from 20 to 29-inch wheel sizes and the 50-inch, 1,270mm max wheelbase means it works with all but the longest of mountain bikes. A 60 lbs per-bike weight limit makes it capable of transporting your heavy e-bikes as well. The well-positioned tilt-release handle makes folding the rack up when not in use or tilting it down a breeze. An included hitch pin lock and cable lock add some peace of mind and security for the rack and bikes it carries.

Swinging the rack out involves loosening a large blue handle and releasing a pin before pushing it off to the side, and it can be done with or without bikes on the rack. Closing it is just as easy and it feels very secure and wobble-free. Our experience has also shown this rack to be quite durable, as one of our testers has been using the Backstage heavily for the past 5 years and it is only now showing some signs of rust and corrosion, though it still works perfectly.

We found little not to like about the Rocky Mounts BackStage, but it should be noted that it does sit quite close to the vehicle. Those with Sprinter vans or cabover campers (this isn’t generally an issue for vehicles with sloping rear doors) may find that wide handlebars conflict with the rear of the vehicle and may need to purchase a hitch extension or turn the handlebar of the inner bike when in transit. At 59 pounds it’s still fairly heavy and bulky, and it isn’t the easiest to move around or store when not in use. Beyond those concerns, we feel the Backstage is a fantastic option for just about anyone, but especially those seeking easy access to the rear of their vehicle.

Best Hitch Bike Rack for Storability and e-Bikes

Thule Epos


  • MSRP2-bikes w/ lights: $1,250, 2-bike w/o lights: $1,000
  • Number of Bikes2 (3 bike version available)
  • Receiver sizes1.25” and 2”
  • Rack Weight38 lbs
  • Per bike weight capacity75 lbs (140 lbs total)
  • Max wheelbase53” or 1,350mm
  • Max tire width3” (up to 4.7” with XXL Fatbike Wheel Straps)
  • Wheel size compatibility16” to 29”
  • SecurityLocking hitch knob, locking steel reinforced ladder straps on telescoping arms


  • 75 pound bike weight limit (up to 140 lbs total)
  • Folds in half, very small footprint and size for storage
  • Wheels and handles make it very easy to move around when not in use
  • Works with virtually any bike
  • Optional lights and license plate kit, loading ramp, high grade lock, and storage cover
  • Comes in 2 and 3 bike versions


  • Expensive
  • Bike attachment is somewhat fiddly
  • Lots of plastic parts

Jeremy Benson

We got our hands on Thule’s latest bike rack, the Epos, for some testing shortly after it was launched. Essentially an updated and improved version of the EasyFold XT, the Epos aims to carry just about any bike you could own with a high weight limit and unique attachment system while still being exceptionally lightweight and storable thanks to its folding design.The 2-bike version is sold with ($1,250) and without lights ($1,000), and it also comes in a 3-bike version without lights ($1,100).

One of the highlights of the Epos is its impressively lightweight and compact folded dimensions. At a mere 38 pounds (39.4 with lights, license plate holder, and ABUS lock installed) with a folding design, moving it around is quite easy with a carry handle at the top and integrated wheels to roll it. You can carry it like a suitcase and it takes up very little storage space. An optional rack cover is also available for the tidiest storage experience.

Installing and removing the Epos is quick and easy with Thule’s stinger pin and locking anti-wobble knob design. The adjustable hitch switches between 2 and 1.25-inch sizes should you need to use it with different size receivers. On the vehicle, the trays fold down and are ready to carry bikes. An optional loading ramp can be purchased for rolling heavyweight e-bikes up into position. It also has a tilt feature for easy access to the rear of the vehicle.

The Epos has a unique telescoping arm design that can clamp your bike on the frame or the rear wheel for no frame contact. The swiveling heads can be aligned perfectly to the clamping surface with long, steel-reinforced, locking, ratcheting ladder straps. Ladder straps on the trays secure the front and rear wheels for three attachment points and a secure hold in transport. An optional High-Grade cable lock made in cooperation with ABUS integrates into the rack for a second layer of bike protection.

Versatility is another highlight with a high weight limit and huge range of bike fit. 75 pounds per bike (140 lbs total) means it should handle even the heaviest of e-bikes, and the telescoping arms and long straps can fit just about any frame or bike style (including bikes with fenders). It works with tires up to 3 inches wide (up to 4.7 inches with XXL Fat Bike straps), wheel sizes between 16 and 29 inches, and the 53-inch (1,350mm) max wheelbase length is more than enough for all but some seriously long outliers.

Our main complaint about the Thule Epos is that the loading and bike attachment process is a little more involved than other models with three ratcheting straps and a telescoping arm. The rack is also made with a lot of plastic parts, which may present some durability issues if handled or treated carelessly. It’s also quite expensive, and optional features like lights, the license plate holder, and the high-grade lock only add to the cost. That said, if storability, a versatile bike fit, and the ability to carry heavy e-bikes are on your list of priorities, it may well be worth the asking price.

Best Vertical Carry Hitch Bike Rack

1Up USA Recon Rack


  • MSRPRecon 5: $1,200, Recon 6: $1,400
  • Rack Weight92 lbs
  • Number of Bikes5 or 6 (depending on model)
  • Receiver sizes2” only
  • Per bike weight capacity45 lbs (225 lbs total for Recon 5, 270 lbs total for Recon 6)
  • Bike attachment styleVertical hang, front wheel cradle, rear wheel strap
  • Max wheelbasen/a
  • Max tire width3” (Fat Bike Baskets fit up to 5.1”)
  • Wheel size compatibility20” to 29” (choose baskets at checkout)
  • SecurityLocking hitch pin included, welded lock loop, works with Recon cable lock (sold separately)


  • All metal construction
  • More versatile and easier to load than fork hang racks
  • Choose preferred wheel baskets at checkout
  • Tilts down for vehicle access
  • No frame or fork contact
  • Rated for off-road use
  • Lifetime warranty
  • Shipping included in purchase price


  • Very Expensive
  • Rear wheel strap design is super secure but a little fiddlier than other systems
  • 45 lbs per bike weight limit doesn’t work with most full-power e-bikes
  • Need to keep track of rear wheel straps

Jeremy Benson

When 1Up USA acquired Recon Racks it was only a matter of time before the brand started producing their own vertical carry model, known simply as the 1Up Recon. This well-designed rack comes in both 5 and 6-bike versions, is made in the USA with an all-metal construction, and is backed by a lifetime warranty.

Loading this rack is as easy as lifting your bike, placing your front wheel in the basket, and then looping the webbing cam strap through the rear wheel and over the pedal to secure it in place. The webbing strap holds the rear wheel against the lower crossbar while simultaneously keeping downward tension on the bike to prevent it from bouncing out of the rack on rough roads and keeping the pedals/cranks from turning and potentially doing damage to neighboring bikes. The Recon carries your bikes with no frame or fork contact.

The standard baskets can fit tires up to 3 inches wide and wheel sizes between 24 and 29 inches, so you can load mountain, gravel, or road bikes with no compatibility concerns. You also have the option to select Fat Bike (tires up to 5.1 inches wide) or Kids (wheel sizes 20 to 24 inches) baskets when purchasing, or you can buy them after the fact for $149 each. The 45 lbs per bike weight limit easily handles non-electric bikes and lightweight eMTBs, but many full-power electric bikes may be too heavy.

The entire Recon rack is made from steel and it has a durable, black powder coat finish, and it is burly and exceptionally well-made. Beefy locking hardware holds everything together, and the massive pivot is overbuilt for stability, longevity, and smooth tilt operation, plus it comes with an anti-wobble hitch bar insert and a locking hitch pin. With bikes off the rack, the whole thing can be tilted down for easy access to the rear of your vehicle. It’s rated for off-road use and the vertical support is height adjustable so you can dial it in to your specific clearance needs.

Like other vertical racks, the Recon is heavy (92 lbs) and it is big. Moving it around and storing it when not in use is challenging without something like the 1Up Rack Stand ($309) which holds it upright and can be used to roll it as well. It also doesn’t come with any locks for the bikes, but 1Up sells a beefy, 9-foot, Recon-specific cable lock ($52), and a welded lock loop can be used with any aftermarket lock you choose.

At $1,200, the Recon 5 is very expensive but it still costs less than many tray racks with add-ons needed to carry four bikes. But, with legendary 1Up durability and a lifetime warranty, we feel the 1Up Recon Rack is an investment that’s sure to pay itself off over time. You can learn more in our full review of the 1Up Recon Rack.

Best Value Vertical Carry Hitch Bike Rack



  • MSRP$885 (5-bikes), 3, 4, 5, 6, 7-bike versions
  • Number of Bikes5
  • Receiver sizes2” only
  • Rack Weight89 lbs (5-bike)
  • Per bike weight capacity55 lbs
  • Max wheelbasen/a
  • Max tire width3” (up to 5” with Fat Bike Tire Baskets)
  • Wheel size compatibility20” to 29”
  • SecurityLocking hitch pin included, compatible with “Integrated Locking System” (sold separately)


  • No frame contact
  • Easy to load and unload bikes
  • Hydraulic damper assist to lower rack, even with bikes loaded
  • Comes in multiple versions to suit your carrying needs
  • Comes with wall mount to support rack when not in use (can be used to store bikes on wall mount)


  • Expensive
  • Very large and heavy

Jeremy Benson

VelociRAX brings the most bikes with 3, 4, 5, 6, and 7-bike versions of their vertical hitch bike rack. What sets this brand apart is their easy “roll in” design. Simply tilt the rack down and the tire trays get low enough that you can simply roll most full-size mountain bikes into place. Then just lift the rack and strap down the wheels and you’re ready to roll. When it’s time to remove the bikes, a “hinge assist damper” helps lower the weight of your loaded rack under control. Then just roll the bikes out as easily as you rolled them in.

The wheel cradles support the bikes by the front wheel with no frame or fork contact, making it compatible with your road, gravel, and mountain bikes. Out of the box, it’ll fit anything from 700c road tires up to 29″ x 3.0″ mountain bike tires. They sell wider fat bike tire cradles separately to fit up to 5.0″ tires. Both the front and rear wheels get strapped down for security in transit. The standard racks have 10-inch spacing between bikes, while the X versions (available in 3 and 5 bike sizes) have 15-inch spacing that is more easily compatible with drop bar bikes.

The 55 lbs per bike weight limit (230 lbs max) means it can handle most full-power e-MTBs. They come with a 2-year warranty, and wear parts like wheel straps are available as well as accessories like lights and locks. VelociRAX also happen to be some of the most affordable vertical hanging racks on the market, and the price includes a garage mount, so you can safely stow it upright when not needed on the car

and use it to store your bikes in a compact space!

Best Top Tube Hanging Hitch Bike Rack

Yakima FullSwing


  • MSRP$649
  • Number of Bikes4
  • Receiver Sizes2" only
  • Rack Weight56 lbs
  • Per Bike Weight Capacity40 lbs (150 lbs max)
  • Max WheelbaseN/A
  • Max Tire WidthN/A
  • Wheel Size CompatibilityN/A
  • SecurityLocking SpeedKnob and integrated cable lock


  • Swing-away feature
  • Carries up to 4 bikes
  • Padded bike cradles
  • Zip strips are user-friendly
  • Tool-free installation and removal


  • Holds bike by the frame
  • Bike on bike contact is difficult to avoid
  • Design is inherently less stable than other styles of hitch racks
  • 40 lbs per bike weight limit

Jeremy Benson

Top tube hanging racks like the Yakima FullSwing aren’t our first choice for transporting our bikes, but they do make sense for many users. Sure, they have inherent limitations due to their design, but they are a relatively cost-effective way to transport 4 bikes for those that don’t obsess over the paint on their frames. These types of racks are geared towards families loading up for weekend trips, not for racers loading up carbon bikes.

The FullSwing can carry up to 4 bikes and it holds them by the top tube of the frame on its support arms with padded cradles. Curved ladder straps called Zip Strips secure the bikes over the top tube, and each bike position also has an anti-sway attachment for the seat tube. This attachment style is user-friendly, and we found it to be quite secure. One very nice feature of the FullSwing is that the entire rack can pivot out and away from the back of the vehicle for easy access, even with bikes loaded. The support arms can be folded down when not in use, and it takes up less space than tray or vertical hang racks.

It has a 40 lbs per bike weight limit and a max weight capacity of 150 lbs. It won’t carry your heavy e-bikes, but it should be able to handle most standard non-electric bikes that have traditional frame shapes. Bikes with curved top tubes or full suspension bikes with complex designs can also fit but may require the use of the Yakima TopTube adapter ($49). The rack can be installed and removed without tools and the locking SpeedKnob secures the rack to the vehicle, while a thin cable lock extends out of the mast to lock the bikes.

Due to the fact that this rack secures the bike by the frame, it could possibly damage your frame’s paint. It is very difficult to avoid bike-on-bike contact with multiple bikes loaded, and it can also be fairly puzzling, but totally doable, to load 4 bikes onto the rack. The top tube hang design is inherently less stable, and the bikes tend to bounce and sway more than other styles of hitch racks.

Limitations of top tube hanging racks aside, the Yakima FullSwing is a solid option for families, less frequent rack users, and those less concerned with the finish of their bikes. The swing-away feature adds a high level of convenience and easy vehicle access. Don’t need the swing-away feature? The Yakima FullTilt 5 ($499) is essentially the same rack with a tilt feature and 5-bike capacity, and it’ll save you a couple hundred bucks.

Best of the Rest

Another Great Value

Kuat Transfer V2 2-bike


  • MSRP2-bike: $489
  • Number of Bikes2 (up to 4 with add-ons)
  • Receiver sizes1.25” and 2”
  • Rack Weight37 lbs (2” version)
  • Per bike weight capacity2” receiver: 60 lbs, 1.25” receiver: 40 lbs
  • Max wheelbase50” or 1,270mm
  • Max tire widthUp to 5” with Phat Bike Kit ($15)
  • Wheel size compatibility18” to 29”
  • SecurityTamper-resistant hitch cam and semi-integrated cable lock included


  • Light weight
  • Reasonable price
  • Versatile bike fit
  • 60 lbs per bike weight limit
  • Included security features


  • Tilt-release lever can be awkward to operate with bikes loaded
  • Less refined than more expensive competition
  • More involved assembly
  • No lateral bike adjustability

Jeremy Benson

Coming at half the price, or less than half, of our top-rated models, the Kuat Transfer V2 2-Bike is a more affordable way to transport your bikes. Using a simpler design and overall construction, this rack saves you money while still handling virtually any type of bike you could own. It may not be quite as elegant or refined as more expensive options, but it performs similarly and holds bikes securely with no frame contact. The front wheel clamp only makes contact with the front tire and accommodates wheel sizes between 18 and 29 inches and tires up to 5 inches wide (with the optional Phat Bike Kit), while the rear wheel is secured with a simple ladder strap. It can handle wheelbases up to 50 inches, or 1,270mm, so it’ll fit most bikes except super long mountain bikes.

Weighing in at a diminutive 37 pounds, the Transfer is lighter than most other tray-style racks, making it easier to install, remove, and move around when not in use. Still, it has an impressive 60 lbs per bike weight limit. The 2-inch receiver size can also be chassis mounted to an RV, although the weight rating drops to 40 pounds per bike (2-bike version only, no add-ons). It also comes with a cable lock to secure your bikes to the rack, as well as an anti-wobble cam that requires a security allen key to adjust. These security features may not be infallible, but they certainly do a lot to deter theft of both the rack and the bicycles you carry.

Our complaints about the Kuat Transfer are surprisingly few. Given its lighter weight, less robust build, and some plastic parts, it doesn’t strike as the most durable rack around, yet we have seen them last for several years of regular use. The location of the tilt release foot lever can also be a little awkward to operate, especially with bikes loaded. You can’t adjust the bikes laterally, so some bike-on-bike interference may be an issue, especially with drop-bar bikes. It also has a bit more involved assembly process than many other models we tested, but thankfully you only have to do it once (or not at all if you buy it pre-assembled from a shop).

We tested the Transfer V2 2-bike, but it is also available in one-bike ($389) and three-bike ($589) versions. Add the Transfer 1-bike extension ($189) to any of them and you can get up to four bikes on this model for about the same price as many 2-bike models listed here. Just make sure you buy the 2″ hitch version if you plan on adding the extension.

High Weight Capacity

Yakima StageTwo


  • MSRP$799
  • Number of Bikes2 (up to 4 with add-on)
  • Receiver sizes1.25” and 2”
  • Rack Weight66 lbs
  • Per bike weight capacity70 lbs
  • Max wheelbase52” or 1,320mm
  • Max tire width3.25” (up to 5” with Fat Bike Kit)
  • Wheel size compatibility20” to 29”
  • SecurityLocking SpeedKnob, integrated cable locks, welded lock loop on rack


  • Tough, overbuilt feel
  • 70 pound weight limit
  • Versatile bike fit
  • Optional loading ramp for heavy bikes
  • User-friendly features like remote tilt-release handle and SpeedKnob
  • Two color options


  • Fairly expensive
  • Large, bulky size
  • Heavy weight
  • Tilt release handle can stick sometimes

Jeremy Benson

The Yakima StageTwo is one of the brand’s newest hitch rack models and it is the best that we’ve ever tested from the brand. This burly rack is not only easy to use and highly versatile, but it has an impressive 70 lbs per-bike weight limit. This rack can handle just about any bike you own, including most heavy e-bikes, and the optional RampUp loading ramp ($99) makes it easy to load them onto the rack. It’s also RV-rated up to 60 lbs per-bike and off-road rated to 42 lbs per tray.

While it is relatively heavy at 66 pounds, installing and removing the rack is otherwise very easy thanks to the tool-free SpeedKnob design that tightens the receiver arm in the receiver to eliminate wobbles and lock the rack to the vehicle. The tilt release handle at the end of the main support arm makes folding the rack up and down a snap and it can be tilted down and away for access to the back of the vehicle, even with bikes loaded.

The large StrongArm hooks clamp down securely over the front wheel and accommodate wheel sizes between 20 and 29 inches and tires up to 3.25 inches wide, and the Fat Bike Kit makes it possible to carry bikes with tires up to 5 inches in width. The trays are designed to work with wheelbases up to 52 inches, or 1,320mm, with sliding rear tire cradles and ladder straps.For added visibility, Yakima also sells the SafetyMate ($219), a light and license plate kit to add to the StageTwo. We tested it, and it’s fairly easy to install and works quite well.

Not only does the SpeedKnob lock the rack to your vehicle, but the StageTwo also comes with cable locks that extend out of the clamp arms to loop through the frame or fork. Yakima also added a clever welded steel loop to the main support arm so you can attach an additional lock for added security. The trays are tiered slightly for ground and bike clearance, and the trays can be shifted laterally to try to avoid bike-on-bike interference, although this does require tools and a little time. Need to transport more than 2 bikes? The StageTwo 2-bike add-on ($599) can increase your carrying capacity to 4 bikes (2-inch receiver version only).

The StageTwo’s robust design and high weight capacity result in a rack that is undeniably big and bulky. This rack is not only relatively heavy, but it is also quite wide and will not disappear in your storage space. It’s also fairly expensive and extras like the RampUp loading ramp and Fat Bike Kit add to the price. That said, if you’re looking for a rack to transport your heavy e-bikes, or you simply want a tough and durable rack for everyday use, the StageTwo is the best Yakima rack we’ve tested.

Rocky Mounts GuideRail


  • MSRP$849.95
  • Number of Bikes2 (Up to 3 with add-on, 2” receiver size only)
  • Receiver sizes1.25” and 2”
  • Rack Weight49 lbs
  • Per bike weight capacity60 lbs
  • Max wheelbase36” up to 55” or 1,397mm
  • Max tire width3”
  • Wheel size compatibility20” to 29”
  • SecurityLocking hitch pin and 10mm square link chain included


  • Holds bikes by tires only, no frame or wheel contact
  • Great security features
  • Easier to load than some similar racks
  • Easily accessible tilt-release handle
  • Mostly metal construction


  • Sits close to the vehicle, some may need to use a hitch extension
  • Fairly expensive

Jeremy Benson

The GuideRail is a newer model from Rocky Mounts and a departure from the tray racks the brand has been making for years. Similar to the 1Up or Kuat Piston Pro X, this rack secures the bike between two opposing wheel clamps and only makes contact with the tires. It won’t rub on the paint of your frame or fork, or even affect the finish of your rims. It also looks great with a nice black finish and anodized blue touch points, and the almost completely metal construction feels tough and durable. It can carry bikes up to 60 lbs each and a reasonably priced GuideRail 1-bike add-on ($280) can make it a 3-bike rack (2” receiver only), although the per-bike weight limit drops to 45 lbs each.

This well-designed rack is super easy to use with some slick design elements and security features that set it apart from similar models. The remote tilt release handle is easy to access to fold the rack up, down, or tilt it away from the vehicle. The wheel clamps are easy to operate with large release levers that allow for one-handed adjustment of the arms for easy loading. The clamp arms can fit everything between 19mm road tires up to 3” and wheels between 20” and 29” diameters. The tiered trays have space for bikes with wheelbases up to 55”, 1,397mm, which means they can fit just about any bike and there’s plenty of room to offset them laterally to avoid bike on bike contact.

Not only is the GuideRail easy to use, but it comes with robust security features to keep your rack and bikes safe. It comes with a locking hitch pin as well as a burly 10mm square link chain that can be looped around your bike frames and locked into the main support arm of the rack. This chain lock is much more substantial than most included locks and feels like more than just a theft deterrent.

We have a couple of nit-picky complaints about the GuideRail. While the clamp arms are adjustable for different wheel sizes, it does require tools (included) to do so. It also sits quite close to the rear of the vehicle and may require a hitch extension to keep handlebars from making contact with the back of certain vehicles like camper vans. It’s competitively priced among similar racks, though at $849.95, it still isn’t exactly inexpensive. Still, the Rocky Mounts GuideRail is a great option that holds bikes securely while making contact with the tires only, and we’d happily recommend it to anyone. Interested in this rack and want a swing-away feature? Check out the Rocky Mounts AfterParty.

Check out our full review of the Rocky Mounts GuideRail.

Kuat NV 2.0


  • MSRP$898 ($798 for the NV Base 2.0)
  • Number of Bikes2 (up to 4 with add-ons, 2” receiver size only)
  • Receiver sizes1.25” and 2”
  • Rack Weight56 lbs
  • Per bike weight capacity60 lbs
  • Max wheelbase50” or 1,270mm
  • Max tire widthUp to 5” with Phat Bike Kit
  • Wheel size compatibility20” to 29”
  • SecurityLocking hitch pin and integrated cable locks included


  • Trail Doc included
  • Slick looks and durable powder coat finish
  • Loading ramp accessory available
  • 60 lbs per bike weight limit
  • Comes in 2 color options


  • No lateral tray adjustment (front wheel cradles adjust)
  • Relatively expensive
  • Tilt release lever can be hard to reach with bikes loaded

Jeremy Benson

The Kuat NV 2.0 set a high bar for both its appearance and performance when it hit the market several years back. The slick design and gloss metallic powder coat finish really helped it stand out from the crowd with looks that turned heads. It’s been a mainstay in the Kuat lineup ever since, but it has recently been bumped from the top-of-the-line position by the Piston Pro X and Piston Pro.

Like most quality tray racks, the NV 2.0 is highly versatile and can handle just about any bike you have up to 60 lbs each. The NV 2.0 carries 2 bikes, and 1-bike and 2-bike add-ons are available to expand capacity up to 3 or 4 (2” receiver size only), although this decreases the per-bike weight limit. The front wheel cradles and hook-shaped front wheel clamps can accommodate any tire size up to 5 inches and wheel sizes between 20 and 29 inches in diameter. The rear wheel strap slides along the tray to fit wheelbases up to 50 inches, or 1,270mm, and they will fit most tires (fat tires require the Phat Bike Kit). If you’ve got heavyweight e-bikes, an optional Access Bike Ramp ($98) is available to roll bikes up into position on the trays.

The rack is fairly heavy at 56 lbs, but it’s easy to install and remove with a knob to add tension to the anti-wobble hitch cam. A locking hitch pin keeps the rack itself secure, while integrated cable locks extend out of the trays and help deter theft of your bikes. The tilt release lever can be operated with your hands or feet and makes folding the empty rack up or down pretty user-friendly. The NV 2.0 (not the Base version) also comes with the Trail Doc, a mini repair stand that extends out of the rack. This makes maintenance and repairs on a road trip or at the trailhead quick and easy without having to bring along a separate work stand.

Like similar racks, the NV 2.0 is fairly heavy and bulky, making it somewhat inconvenient to store when not in use. The trays are also fixed in position and don’t allow for any lateral adjustment to avoid bike-on-bike interference. The front wheel cradles do adjust slightly to compensate, but some bike combinations may conflict. The NV 2.0’s price is in line with many other high-end racks, but it’s certainly not inexpensive. If you want to save a hundred bucks, the NV Base 2.0 is essentially the same rack with a matte finish minus the Trail Doc.

For a deeper dive, check out our full review of the Kuat NV 2.0.

Yakima OnRamp


  • MSRP$699
  • Number of Bikes2
  • Receiver sizes1.25” and 2”
  • Rack Weight43 lbs
  • Per bike weight capacity66 lbs
  • Max wheelbase50” or 1,270mm
  • Max tire width29” x 3.25” (up to 27.5” x 4.5” with FatStrap Kit)
  • Wheel size compatibility20” to 29”
  • SecurityCable lock – locks bikes and hitch pin


  • Can carry heavy e-bikes
  • Loading ramp included
  • Moderate 43 lbs rack weight
  • Designed to work with a huge range of bike frame styles
  • Less expensive than other e-bike racks


  • Bike loading process is a little clunky
  • Tilt release is tough to reach and requires 2 people with bikes loaded
  • Holds bike by frame

Jeremy Benson

Heavyweight e-bikes are more and more common these days and the market has demanded that racks make them easier to transport. Yakima’s solution is the OnRamp, a hitch rack designed and marketed specifically for use with electric bikes. This model can carry two bikes, has a 66 lbs per bike weight limit (40 lbs RV and off-road), comes with a loading ramp, and has an attachment system that should work with most frame designs and bikes with fenders.

Lifting heavy e-bikes onto the tray of a rack can be a challenge for many, so the OnRamp comes with a loading ramp that’s conveniently stored on the rack itself (you don’t need to stash it in your vehicle). This ramp fits into a slot on either end of the trays, so you can easily roll your bike on or off the rack. A center mast between the two trays has two swiveling clamps that hold the bikes by the top tube or seat tube of the frame. These clamps are height and angle adjustable and should work with most, but possibly not all, frame shapes. Long ratcheting ladder straps secure the front and rear wheels to the trays.

The high weight capacity and roll-on convenience of the OnRamp are certainly highlights, but it’s also fairly lightweight at just 43 lbs. Since it holds bikes by the frame, it works with bikes with fenders and a range of wheel and tire sizes up to 3.25 inches. A FatStrap Kit ($20) can also be added to fit tires up to 27.5 x 4.5 inches.

While the OnRamp is a solid option for transporting e-bikes, it has a few downsides. The loading process is a bit clunky and awkward compared to many other models we’ve tested. Keeping bikes stable while securing them on the rack can be a challenge until you get used to the process, and having the help of a second person isn’t a bad idea. Likewise, the tilt release mechanism is tough to reach and definitely requires two people to tilt the rack with bikes loaded. Since it holds bikes by the frame, there’s absolutely no avoiding frame contact, and the frame clamps might not fit tight enough on thin tubed frames or around super bulbous frames.

Still, once you get the hang of using it, the Yakima OnRamp is a solid solution for transporting heavy bikes, and it costs less than other e-bike-specific racks.

North Shore Racks


  • MSRP6-bike: $900, 4-bike: $750, 2-bike: $600
  • Number of Bikes2, 4, and 6 bike versions available
  • Receiver sizes2” (2-bike version comes in 1.25” and 2”)
  • Rack Weight6-bike: 72 lbs
  • Per bike weight capacity60 lbs
  • Max wheelbasen/a
  • Max tire widthn/a
  • Wheel size compatibilityn/a
  • SecurityNone (hitch pin compatible with 1/4" padlocks)


  • Higher weight capacity than similar models
  • Can carry up to 6 bikes at a time
  • Adjustable height, angle, and setback
  • Folds in half for storage
  • Durable all metal construction


  • Only works with bikes with suspension forks
  • Fork cradles can damage paint over time
  • Heavy

Jeremy Benson

North Shore Racks is one of the originators of the vertical hanging category and has been trusted by a lot of mountain bikers for many years. Their burly racks have been around for a while now and are a common sight on shuttle vehicles. The rack currently comes in 2, 4, and 6-bike versions and is the only one with a folding design to save space when not in use. It’s also height, angle, and setback adjustable, so you can fine-tune the position to work with your vehicle and the bikes you’re carrying.

The North Shore Rack uses a fork cradle rather than a wheel tray, meaning they are designed to work with mountain bikes that have suspension forks. The crown of the fork slots down into the padded cradles while the rear wheel gets attached to a horizontal bar with a short length of rope. More recently, they have developed a road bike adapter ($75 each) that allows you to hang both road and gravel bikes from the cradles with the front wheel removed.

The North Shore’s weight limit of 60 lbs per bike gives it the highest weight rating of all the vertical hanging racks we’ve tried and makes it capable of carrying heavy full-power electric mountain bikes. Once you get the loading process figured out, always load from left to right, it’s quick and easy to get bikes on the rack for another shuttle lap. Replacements are also available for the wear parts, so it’s easy to keep your rack fresh for its lifespan.

While the North Shore Rack is a great option for transporting lots of bikes, it’s not without its faults. Over time, the fork cradles have been known to wear the paint off of fork crowns and leave unsightly abrasion marks. The front wheels need to be secured with a bungee or rope or they will spin freely while you drive down the highway. It also lacks any security features like a hitch pin lock or cable lock, so you’ll need to add that yourself to keep your bikes and rack secure.

Kuat Sherpa 2.0


  • MSRP$689
  • Number of Bikes2
  • Receiver sizes1.25” and 2”
  • Rack Weight32 lbs
  • Per bike weight capacity40 lbs
  • Max wheelbase47” or 1,194mm
  • Max tire width3”
  • Wheel size compatibility20” to 29” (20” to 24” require adapter)
  • SecurityHitch pin lock and cable lock included


  • Lightweight
  • Sleek design and looks
  • Available in 3 color options
  • Comparatively smaller overall size


  • Lower per bike weight limit
  • Limited wheelbase length
  • No lateral tray adjustability

Jeremy Benson

Kuat has made a name for themselves with slick-looking racks that seem more appropriate on luxury automobiles than most other brands. The Sherpa 2.0 is one such model that boasts a beautiful and durable powder coat finish and comes in three color options to match your ride. Additionally, its compact design makes it less obtrusive than other tray-style models with stealthy, fold-out front tire trays and a smaller overall size.

At just 32 pounds, the Sherpa 2.0 is one of the lightest tray racks on the market, so installing and removing it is a breeze compared to heavier models. Still, it can support two bikes up to 40 pounds each and is compatible with wheel sizes between 20 and 29 inches (20-24 inch wheels require using the included adapter) and tires up to 3 inches wide. Loading bikes is quick and easy with intuitive front wheel clamps and a ladder strap for the rear wheel. Included security features like a locking hitch pin and a long cable lock help to deter theft of both the rack and your precious rides.

The Sherpa 2.0 does have some limitations, most notably the 40 lbs per bike weight limit that won’t support heavier electric bikes. Kuat also claims it is limited to bikes with wheelbases 47 inches, or 1,194mm, meaning that many of today’s modern mountain bikes will be too long. The trays are not adjustable laterally, so some bike-on-bike interference may be hard to avoid, especially with drop-bar bikes. Additionally, the rack’s tilt release lever position requires you to reach under the bikes to tilt it down when bikes are loaded.

Regardless, we feel the Sherpa 2.0 is an especially attractive option for those who install and remove their rack frequently given its impressively low weight. If you transport lighter weight and smaller bikes primarily and don’t need to carry more than 2 at a time, the Kuat Sherpa 2.0 is a user-friendly and reliable rack that not only works well but looks good doing it.

Yakima HangOver


  • MSRP6-bike: $999, 4-bike: $799,
  • Number of Bikes4 and 6 bike versions available
  • Receiver sizes2” only
  • Rack Weight6-bike: 73 lbs, 4-bike: 65 lbs
  • Per bike weight capacity37.5 lbs
  • Max wheelbasen/a
  • Max tire widthn/a
  • Wheel size compatibilityn/a
  • SecurityLocking hitch pin and welded lock loop


  • Can carry up to 4 or 6 bikes
  • Tilt function for rear of vehicle access
  • Widely available
  • Adjustable mast height and tilt angle


  • 37.5 lbs weight limit
  • Only works with mountain bikes with suspension forks
  • Heavy and bulky – difficult to store

Jeremy Benson

Yakima was the first of the big-name rack manufacturers to offer a vertical carry rack with the Hangover. This model comes in both 4-bike and 6-bike versions, and, similar to the North Shore Rack, is designed for mountain bikes with suspension forks. It holds the bikes by the suspension fork’s crown, secures them with rubber straps, and captures the rear wheels with ratcheting straps to keep everything tight.

The Hangover has a tilt feature with a foot pedal to provide access to the rear of the vehicle as well as two mast angles to avoid tire-vehicle contact when in transit. The mast height can also be adjusted slightly for ground clearance. It comes with a locking hitch pin as well as a welded metal loop to run your own cable lock through the bikes.

Unlike most other vertical hanging models, the Yakima Hangover is more widely available and carried by many bike shops and major online retailers, so it is easier to find. The downsides are that it holds the bikes by the fork crown and can do damage to the paint over time. It also won’t carry your road or gravel bikes, or your eMTBs…max bike weight is just 37.5 lbs.

Hitch Bike Racks Comparison Chart

Hitch Bike RackMSRPNumber of BikesRack WeightPer Bike Weight CapacityHitch Size OptionsSecurity Features
Thule T2 Pro XTR$7502 (up to 4 with add-ons)52 lbs60 lbs1.25″ and 2″Locking hitch knob and integrated cable locks
Rocky Mounts MonoRail$5002 (up to 3 with add-ons)45 lbs60 lbs1.25″ and 2″Hitch pin lock and cable lock
Kuat Piston Pro X$1,3892 (up to 4 with add-ons)63 lbs67 lbs1.25″ and 2″Hitch pin lock and 12mm steel cable lock
1Up USA 2″ Heavy Duty Double$6502 (up to 4 with add-ons)46 lbs50 lbs2″Hitch pin lock
Rocky Mounts BackStage$770262.4 lbs60 lbs2″Hitch pin lock and cable lock
Thule Epos$1,000-$1,250238 lbs75 lbs (140 lbs max)1.25″ and 2″Locking hitch knob and locking straps
1Up Recon 5$1,2005 (also comes in 6-bike)92 lbs45 lbs2″Hitch pin lock and welded steel lock loop
VelociRAX$885 (5-bike)5 (also 3, 4, 6, and 7 bikes)89 lbs55 lbs (230 lbs max)2″Hitch pin lock
Yakima FullSwing$649456 lbs40 lbs (150 lbs max)2″Locking SpeedKnob and integrated cable lock
Kuat Transfer V2$4892 (up to 4 with add-ons)37 lbs60 lbs1.25″ and 2″Tamper-resistant hitch tightener and cable lock
Yakima StageTwo$7992 (up to 4 with add-ons)66 lbs70 lbs1.25″ and 2″Locking SpeedKnob and integrated cable locks
Rocky Mounts GuideRail$8502 (up to 3 with add-ons)49 lbs60 lbs1.25″ and 2″Hitch pin lock and 10mm square link chain
Kuat NV 2.0$8982 (up to 4 with add-ons)56 lbs60 lbs1.25″ and 2″Hitch pin lock and integrated cable locks
Yakima OnRamp$699243 lbs66 lbs1.25″ and 2″Cable lock
North Shore Racks$900 (6-bike)6 (also 2 and 4 bikes)72 lbs60 lbs (300 lbs max – 6-bike)2″None
Kuat Sherpa 2.0
232 lbs40 lbs1.25″ and 2″Hitch pin lock and cable lock
Yakima HangOver$999 (6-bike)6 (also 4-bike version)73 lbs37.5 lbs2″Hitch pin lock

Why Should You Trust Bikerumor?

The team at Bikerumor is obsessed with all things cycling. We ride for work, fun, fitness, training, racing, and commuting. We don’t just write about bikes, they are a driving force in our everyday lives. Like you, we often use our vehicles to transport ourselves and our precious bicycles, and hitch-mounted bike racks are our preferred way to do so.

For over a decade, we’ve been testing the latest bikes, technologies, components, and accessories, including bike racks. In that time, we’ve gotten our hands on virtually every bike rack on the market whether for testing and review or personal use. We’re always searching for the best, safest, and most secure way to transport our bikes to the trailhead, for a weekend getaway, or to the next race. In line with keeping bikes safe and secure, we’ve also thoroughly tested and reviewed the best bike locks. We also value our personal safety, which is why we’ve tested the best mountain bike helmets and the best road bike helmets too.

Our editors have been testing cycling gear for years and have developed a keen sense of what makes a great product. Each rack featured here has been thoroughly used and tested by one, or several members, of our staff to tease out the often subtle performance differences that separate the good from the best. In fact, many of these models are our personal racks that have seen several years of heavy use and abuse. Rest assured, we have our fingers on the pulse, and as new models hit the market, we’ll test those too, and keep this review as up-to-date as possible. We’re committed to helping you find the perfect rack to meet your needs and budget.

Buying Advice: How to Choose a Hitch Bike Rack

There are many styles of bike racks on the market, but we feel that hitch-mount racks are the best way to transport your bikes. Hitch racks come in several styles, however, so you’ll need to determine which is the best option for the bikes you own and the vehicle you will use it on. Here we break down the main differences between tray racks, vertical carry racks, and top tube hanging racks, as well as other important things to consider when purchasing a hitch rack.

Types of Hitch Mount Bike Racks

There are advantages and disadvantages to each type of rack. Here we’ll explain the differences along with the pros and cons associated with each style.

The Best Hitch Bike Racks of 2024 (31)

Tray or Platform Hitch Bike Racks

More often than not, we choose the tray or platform style rack over the others due to their ease of use and bike attachment methods. The bike’s tires rest on a tray or platform with arms that typically clamp down on the front wheel while the rear wheel is strapped into place. Some models use arms to capture both the front and rear wheels. Tray racks are the most stable and secure. Some models allow for left-right adjustments so you can avoid handlebar-to-seat interference between bikes. Serious cyclists typically choose tray racks because most designs hold the bike without any frame contact, helping to keep your ride in pristine condition.

PROS: Good tray racks typically hold bikes with no frame contact so they won’t scratch or rub on the paint. They also tend to have more space between bikes, making it easier to load bigger bikes and fatter tires. They are very versatile and most can hold a wide range of wheel sizes, tire widths, and types of bikes. Some have high weight limits making them suitable for transporting heavy e-bikes. Low loading heights mean you don’t have to lift your bikes that high to get them on the rack.

CONS: Most tray racks can only fit 2 bikes (some can max out at 4 with add-ons). They are often quite expensive, and adding a 2-bike extension to a 2-bike rack increases the cost even more. Tray racks are often large and heavy, making storage harder if you don’t just leave them on your vehicle.

Vertical Carry Hitch Bike Racks

What was once a very niche style of rack is becoming more common as more brands have started making racks that hang the bikes vertically. Traditionally, vertical carry hitch racks were commonly used for shuttling mountain bikes. Earlier models held bikes by the crown of a suspension fork. More recently, this style of rack has become more versatile. Some new models feature angled wheel baskets/trays that capture the front wheel while others support them by the handlebar. Vertical carry racks can be some of the easiest to load, although it must be done in a specific order. Most models are offered in several versions with carrying capacities typically varying between 4 to 6 bikes.

PROS: Capable of carrying lots of bikes. Relatively quick and easy to load bikes. Typically no frame contact.

CONS: Bulky and very heavy. Difficult to move around and store when not in use. Bikes need to be loaded and unloaded in order. Some designs are only capable of carrying mountain bikes with suspension forks. Most only come in a 2” receiver size.

The Best Hitch Bike Racks of 2024 (33)

Top Tube Hanging Hitch Bike Racks

Top tube hanging bike racks typically hold your bike’s frame by hanging the top tube across two arms that extend out from its support beam. You simply slide your bike over those arms, rest it on them, then strap it into place. Better models have cradles and rubber or ratcheting ladder straps as well as some method of preventing your bikes from swaying back and forth. These racks come in various sizes with carrying capacities ranging between 2 and 5 bikes. At Bikerumor, we own and ride bikes that we care about, so this is our least favorite way to transport bikes due to the inherent downsides of the top tube hang design.

PROS: Less expensive, easier to store (especially if the arms fold down), lighter weight.

CONS: Supports the bikes by the frame and can damage the paint. Bikes often make contact with each other. Non-traditional frame shapes (like step-through frames), really small (kid’s) bikes, or full suspension mountain bikes can be hard to fit, properly secure, or require an adapter. Hanging racks are nowhere near as stable or secure as tray racks. Lower weight limits.

Product Considerations

Tray vs. Vertical Carry vs. Top Tube Hang: Which is the best?

Choosing the right style of rack will depend on several factors including how many and what type of bikes you need to carry, how often you intend to use it, and how much you’re willing to spend. More often than not, we opt for tray racks or vertical hanging racks as they are the easiest to load, most stable and secure, and are less likely to damage the paint on your frame. These tend to be the most expensive options, however, so they may not make financial sense for those on a budget or less frequent rack users. Top tube hanging racks might be a better option for those who only use a bike rack occasionally or are less concerned with the appearance of their bike’s frame.

How Many Bikes Do You Need To Carry?

It may seem obvious, but the number of bikes you intend to carry when shopping for a bike rack. Many racks can be purchased in varying sizes/carrying capacities or extensions can be added on to handle more bikes.

Most tray racks come with space for two bikes, although some are offered in single or three-bike configurations. Many manufacturers offer add-ons for tray racks (depending on the model) that can expand capacity by one or two bikes. Tray rack add-ons can add significantly to the cost of your rack system.

Vertical hanging racks are typically offered in several sizes, usually between 4 and 6 bikes. While the upfront cost of vertical hanging racks is substantial, it ends up being one of the most cost-effective ways to transport 4 to 6 bikes (some brands go up to 7) other than a tailgate pad.

Top tube hanging racks are offered in various sizes ranging between 2 and 5 bikes.

How Much Do Your Bikes Weigh?

The advent of and proliferation of electric bikes has made weight capacity a common concern for those looking into a new bike rack purchase. Not all racks are created equal in this regard, so weight limits should be considered based on the bikes you intend to carry. With many e-MTBs and electric bikes weighing in the neighborhood of 50 to 60 lbs, and sometimes more, rack manufacturers have been designing racks to handle this new breed of bicycles. If you are planning to transport heavy e-bikes, it is important to get a rack that meets or exceeds the weight of your bikes for safety. The Thule Epos has the highest weight per bike capacity of all the models we tested at 75 lbs, followed closely by the Yakima StageTwo at 70 lbs. It should be noted that some racks are rated for RV and off-road use, although the weight limits typically drop down slightly in those applications.

Loading Heavy Bikes

Heavyweight electric bikes are more difficult to load, so some manufacturers have responded with rack designs and accessories to help make it easier. Lifting a 60 lb bike up and into position on a tray rack is awkward and may even be impossible for those with limited strength or mobility. Many brands now offer loading ramps that can be purchased to allow users to roll bikes up onto the trays of certain racks. A select few racks even come with this accessory included, like the Yakima OnRamp. Other racks, like the Thule Epos, Yakima StageTwo, and the Kuat Piston Pro X, are compatible with aftermarket ramps, and the racks themselves have high weight limits to handle those heavyweight rigs.

Bike Attachment Considerations

Depending on the type of bikes you have and how much you care about your frame’s finish, the way a rack secures the bike may be an important consideration. Modern carbon fiber and aluminum bikes can be very expensive, so the last thing most people want to do is damage the paint or frame material while transporting their precious rides. For this reason, top tube hanging racks should generally be avoided by those with expensive carbon bikes since they carry bikes by the frame. Limited space between bikes also makes bike-on-bike contact difficult to avoid.

Tray Racks

Most tray racks, but not all, avoid frame contact by securing the bike with either a front wheel clamp and rear wheel ladder strap, or with dual clamp arms that sandwich the bike from both ends. Front wheel clamping models such as the Thule T2 Pro XTR, Rocky Mounts MonoRail, Kuat NV 2.0, and Yakima StageTwo have hook-shaped ratcheting arms that lock the front wheel down and a strap that holds the rear wheel tight against the tray. These models avoid frame contact, but it should be noted that the front wheel hook can potentially make contact with the fork and leave abrasion marks over time, and the rear wheel strap can leave some minor scuffing on your rear rim. Dual clamp models like the 1Up-USA Heavy Duty Double, Kuat Piston Pro X, and Rocky Mounts GuideRail, hold bikes by the tires, making it easy to avoid any unwanted frame, fork, or even rim contact.

Vertical Carry Racks

Vertical carry racks vary in the way they hold bikes, with options that support bikes by the fork’s crown, front wheel, or handlebar. Models with front wheel baskets/cradles, like the VelociRAX and the 1Up Recon, make the least amount of contact with the bike as they generally only contact the front tire and have straps that hold the rear wheels in place. Racks that carry bikes by the fork crown, like the North Shore Racks and Yakima HangOver, have padded cradles that make direct contact with both the crown of your suspension fork and the bottom of the head tube and have the potential to cause abrasion marks in those areas. Vertical racks that support bikes by the handlebar are a little more versatile than the fork-carry models, but they also have the potential to cause minor abrasion damage to your handlebar’s finish.

What Kind of Bikes Do You Have?

Along with the number and weight of the bikes you need to transport is the types of bikes you have. While hitch racks are highly versatile in terms of bike fit, not all will work with every bike. Some racks are designed to work with virtually any bike out there and can support a huge range of wheel sizes, tire widths, and wheelbase lengths, while others are more limited. It is important to consider these factors when searching for the rack that best suits your needs and the bikes you’ll be transporting.

The nature of tray rack designs means they are among the most versatile in terms of bike fit. Most work with varying wheel sizes and tires ranging from skinny road bikes to mountain bike treads. Many models can fit up to 5-inch wide fatties, although some require fat bike kits. A limiting factor for some tray racks is wheelbase length, so choose wisely if you have a super long downhill or enduro bikes.

Vertical carry racks vary in their versatility depending on how they support the bike. Some models hold the bike by the crown of the fork and only work with mountain bikes with suspension forks. Models that use front wheel baskets or hang the bike by the handlebars work with a greater variety of bikes, including those with rigid forks or drop handlebars.

Top tube hanging racks are the least versatile due to the way in which they support the bikes. Adult-size frames with straight top tubes work the best. Curved tubes, small frames, or full suspension bikes may be difficult or impossible to position properly over the support arms. Most brands make adapters to carry non-compatible frames.

What Size Is Your Hitch Receiver?

When ordering a bike rack, it is critical to get one that matches the size of the receiver on your vehicle. Many vehicles, but certainly not all, come with hitch receivers installed, so be sure to double-check the size. It will be either the larger 2” or the smaller 1.25”. Can’t tell just by looking? Simply measure the width of the receiver opening to find the size. If you don’t already have one, it is possible to get one installed on most vehicles. Local auto shops or U-haul locations can typically take care of it for you. In many cases, it is also possible to do it yourself, and trailer hitch kits can typically be found online to fit your year, make, and model of vehicle.

If getting a trailer hitch installed, the 2” size is our recommendation as it is generally stronger and can support more weight. This makes it better for transporting tray racks with add-ons, racks with swing-away attachments, or vertical hanging racks. The 1.25” size also works well enough, but the weight rating is generally a little lower and some racks are only offered in the 2” size. Adapters are available to go between the two sizes, and some racks even come with adjustable receiver ends that can be switched between them.

The Best Hitch Bike Racks of 2024 (39)

Swing Away and Tilt Features

Most quality tray racks have a tilt function so you can fold it up when not in use, flat for transporting bikes, and tilt it down and away to access the rear of the vehicle. Some racks have convenient tilt-release handles or foot pedals and can be tilted down even with bikes on the rack. Others have less user-friendly release mechanisms that require you to reach under or around loaded bikes to tilt the rack. Most vertical and top tube hanging racks also have tilt features for easier access to the rear of the vehicle.

People who have camper vans, cabover campers, or simply want wide open access to the back of the vehicle should consider racks that swing away or adding a swing away/pivoting attachment to the rack of your choice. This allows the entire rack to pivot out and to the side, making it easier to open large doors or simply enjoy unrestricted access to your trunk (boot), truck bed, or camper. A select few racks come with this feature built into the design, like the Rocky Mounts Backstage, but most major manufacturers also make swing-away attachments. These attachments are typically only available in the 2” receiver size for racks that also have 2” receiver ends, and they add significantly to the weight and cost of your rack system.

The Best Hitch Bike Racks of 2024 (40)

Vehicle Clearance

The clearance between the rack, bikes, and your vehicle is worthy of consideration. Nobody wants to have their rear window broken by their handlebar while in transit or need to loosen and turn their handlebar every time they load a bike on the inside tray. Some trailer hitches are mounted further underneath the vehicle, making the rack itself sit closer to the rear bumper. Additional factors like the style of vehicle and the design of the bumper and rear door also play a role. Some racks play nice with just about any vehicle while others can have a tighter fit that can cause contact between handlebars and rear windows or doors. This is most common with tray racks and vehicles with vertical rear doors like campervans that can be more problematic in this regard compared to those with sloping rear ends like station wagons and hatchbacks.

Most rack manufacturers provide technical specs or fit guides on their websites for reference. This link to Kuat’s Piston Pro X Fit Guide is a good example that gives you all the measurements you need for that specific rack. Comparing your measurements to the rack’s specs should give you an idea of whether or not a rack will fit. Still, that doesn’t always solve the handlebar clearance issue, although that is generally most prevalent with vertical rear doors. In some cases, it may be necessary to get a hitch extension to achieve the proper clearance for your vehicle. Fortunately, most brands offer hitch extensions as an aftermarket accessory, some of which also raise and lower the height of the rack. Vertical hanging racks usually have fewer clearance issues as they typically have an angle adjustment to position it properly to avoid any interference with the rear of the vehicle.


Bikes can be very expensive, so keeping them safe is a priority for most users. The last thing anyone wants is to stop for a quick errand and find their bike(s) stolen when they return. Many racks, but not all, come with included security features like cable locks integrated or semi-integrated into their design. While these features are undoubtedly much better than nothing, they are typically little more than a theft deterrent. We always recommend adding a beefy aftermarket lock to your rack for an added layer of security and peace of mind. You can learn more in our review of the best bike locks.

Racks are also fairly expensive, so keeping them safe and secure is also very important. Fortunately, most hitch racks come with hitch pin locks or locking knobs to secure them to the vehicle. Some require the use of special security allen keys to tighten or loosen them on the hitch. Hitch pin locks are fairly inexpensive, and a great addition to any rack that doesn’t already come with one.


When you purchase a hitch bike rack from a brick-and-mortar retailer, they will typically assemble the rack for you and potentially even help you install it on your vehicle. When you purchase a rack online, it usually arrives at your home in a large box with some assembly required to prepare it for use. The assembly process varies between models and some are more involved than others, but generally, it isn’t too difficult. Most models come with detailed instructions and the tools needed to complete the steps in the process. Often you can find an instructional assembly video (or scan a QR code) if you prefer to see it done. We recommend following the instructions exactly for the easiest and most streamlined assembly.


While many people will choose to leave their hitch rack on their vehicles at all times, most people will take it off seasonally or when they aren’t planning to use it for an extended period. You’ll need somewhere to keep it, and most hitch racks are fairly bulky and take up a fair amount of space in your garage, shed, or storage location. This is especially true of most vertical hanging and tray models, although a few collapse to a smaller size to make storing them more convenient. Some companies make wall-mountable hitch docks that can hold your rack up off the ground to keep things tidier. Top tube hanging racks tend to be the easiest to store given their narrower collapsed dimensions.


There’s no denying that hitch bike racks are expensive. Prices have been steadily increasing and the highest-end models now top $1,000. Unless you’re rolling in disposable income, that’s a tough pill to swallow for most people. Sure, more expensive racks typically have fancy features and high-end finishes, but most people don’t need to spend that much to get a rack that gets the job done.

Realistically, the least expensive models we tested work nearly as well as the high-priced options. All of them work better than no rack at all. Of course, the price of some racks goes way up when you need to add capacity. Tray racks get much more expensive when you factor add-ons into the equation. Those needing to carry many bikes at once would be wise to check out the vertical hanging options. While the upfront cost is fairly high, they cost less than some racks with add-ons for carrying 4 or more bikes at a time.

Frequently Asked Questions About Hitch Bike Racks

Why should I choose a hitch rack over a trunk or roof rack?

There are a number of reasons to choose a hitch rack over a trunk or roof rack. First, other than touching the hitch receiver, the rack itself doesn’t make contact with your vehicle (unless used incorrectly). Trunk racks can cause damage to your vehicle’s paint while roof racks need to be attached to your factory roof bars or require aftermarket bars attached to the vehicle.

Hitch racks also have a low loading height and simpler loading process that makes them more user-friendly. For tray racks, you only need to lift the bike wheels as high as the tray. Roof racks require you to lift your bike to the height of the roof and loading them can be awkward. Trunk racks require you to lift the bikes to the height of the support arms.

Hitch racks are versatile in terms of bike fit, and most can handle a wide variety of wheel sizes, tire widths, frame shapes, and wheelbase lengths.Hitch racks are better for your bikes as they typically keep them from contacting one another or your vehicle when in transit. You also won’t run the risk of accidentally driving into the garage with your bike on the roof of your vehicle and potentially damaging your bike, vehicle, and home all at the same time.

There are a lot of choices up there, which one is the best?

It really depends on your needs. The best rack will be the one that carries the number and type of bikes that you have, fits your vehicle, and fits your budget. Doing lots of mountain bike shuttles or need to transport more than 4 bikes? Look into the vertical carry models. Only carrying one or two bikes at a time? The tray racks are your best bet. Need to haul heavy e-bikes? Check out the racks with a high weight capacity and compatibility with a loading ramp (and get the loading ramp). If you’re short on storage space, pick one that folds down small or isn’t too heavy. There are enough options that you should be able to find one that suits your needs.

Why are hitch bike racks so expensive?

Because of all that testing, plus premium materials, legitimate engineering and design, and more. Here’s the deal: We’ve tested some pre-production racks before and found issues, so these name-brand brands push back the release date and fix the problems. If brands that are experienced in making hitch racks don’t always get it right on the first try, would you trust that no-name online-only brands will? We wouldn’t.

Why should I get a name-brand hitch bike rack?

Do you want your bikes to arrive safely at the same destination as you? If yes, then know that all of the brands listed here extensively test their racks for strength, durability, and longevity. They test the coatings and hardware against road salt and other corrosive elements. They go through rigorous tests in the lab and out in the wild. We’ve toured some of their headquarters and seen the testing firsthand. It’s unlikely you’ll put these racks through the same torture, but it’s good to know they can take it.

Can I just leave it on my car all the time?

Of course, you can leave your hitch rack on your car all the time but it depends where you live and how much you use it. Some of us leave our racks on the car year-round without issue. These racks see a lot of rain, cross-country road trips, and bake in the sun, and they’re fine. That said, if you live somewhere it snows a lot in the winter or you’re not using it for months at a time, it’s probably better to take it off and keep it clean and dry rather than subject it to unnecessary abuse.

Most of these racks use an aluminum frame, but the hardware and hitch beam are usually steel. So, use your judgment. If everything else metal is rusting around you from salt air or road spray, you should probably hose it off and store it somewhere dry when not in use.

Which size trailer hitch should I get?

If you don’t already have a trailer hitch on your car, we recommend going with a 2″ size if possible. Some smaller cars will only find 1-1/4″ hitches available because manufacturers assume you won’t be towing bigger, heavier loads, so they don’t offer 2″ hitches for many compact cars.

If you plan on adding any extensions to your rack and carrying more than two bikes, you’ll need a 2″ hitch to handle that weight. You’ll also need a 2″ hitch if you plan on adding a swing-away adapter or anything else that extends or expands your carrying capacity.

I don’t have a hitch receiver, where do I get one installed?

In North America, U-Haul is one of the main places that people go to get a trailer hitch installed. They can do the wiring harness too if you need it. Otherwise, you can probably find a local mechanic who will happily install one for you. If you’re the DIY type, kits are available online for nearly every make and model of vehicle that you can install yourself.

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The Best Hitch Bike Racks of 2024 (2024)


What is the difference between Class 1 and Class 2 hitch bike racks? ›

With Bike Racks, all the load is on the hitch. The big difference is "Tongue Weight". Typically a Class I has a rating of 200 lbs, and a Class II 350 pounds. Class I hitches are usually compromised in their ability to bolt to the frame of the car (not enough space or components that interefer).

Why are Thule bike racks so expensive? ›

Although Thule bike racks may come with a higher price tag compared to some other brands, their exceptional quality, versatility, and user-friendly features make them worth every penny.

Where is Kuat manufactured? ›

Kuat Racks is headquartered in Springfield, Missouri, however, manufacturing takes place overseas in China and Taiwan.

How to choose a hitch bike rack? ›

Each bike rack has its own specifications regarding how much weight it can carry, how many bikes, tire and wheel size and the hitch receiver size. Make note of your bike's wheel and weight specs and your hitch receiver size before you begin shopping for a bike rack so you don't end up with a poor fit.

What class hitch is the best? ›

Best car hitch

The best tow hitch for a car is a class 1 or 2 receiver hitch. Some cars are able to tow a trailer, but many are not. More often, car hitches are used to attach a cargo carrier or bike rack to increase cargo capacity.

Can I carry 4 bikes on a Class 1 hitch? ›

Trailer Hitch Classes (Sizes)

For the most part, class I and class II hitches can only carry two, sometimes three, bikes. If you want to carry 4+ bikes or have the ability to swing the rack to the side, you're going to need a class III or higher hitch.

Is Rhino Rack as good as Thule? ›

Both systems are designed to work on vehicle's that have the flush mounted rail system and both systems will be about the same in terms of effort for installing and removing. They have similar crossbar designs and features but Rhino-Rack has crossbars that are 7" longer at 54" versus the 47" for the Thule system.

How fast can you drive with a Thule bike rack? ›

With a load on the roof, the vehicle's driving characteristics, its braking performance and its sensitivity to side-winds may change. Care should be taken in all driving conditions to maintain control at a safe speed, but must, under no circ*mstances, exceed 130 km/h.

What is the easiest bike rack to load? ›

Kuat Piston Pro. The Piston Pro and Kuat Piston Pro X are the best bike racks on the market. Everything about these racks is delightful; they're easy to assemble, easy to load, and even easier on your bikes. By contacting only your tires, there's no chance of fouling your paint or scratching your rims.

Who is the owner of Küat? ›

Luke Kuschmeader, Brian ATkinson, and Guy Mace are the founders of Kuat.

Where is Yakima racks made? ›

Our products are made in several locations. We have company owned factories in Taiwan and mainland China. We also build our cargo boxes, and do final fitting on a number of products at our facility in Southern California.

Why are bike hitch racks so expensive? ›

As reliable as hitch bike racks are, they tend to be the most expensive. For one, they're more advanced in design than all other types. Second, they require that you have a hitch on your vehicle, which can add to the expense.

Should a hitch bike rack wobble? ›

A small amount of horizontal movement may be possible, depending on the style and wear on the vehicle's tow hitch, but the rack should be mostly stationary in that direction. Some troubleshooting may help in ensuring a secure attachment between the hitch and bike rack.

What are the disadvantages of bike racks? ›

Bikes do not move or sway easily. Cons: Lifting and reaching are required to secure bikes, so this might not always be a great option for taller vehicles or people who have difficulty with heavy lifting. Racks are not as easily removed as the hitch- or trunk-mounted systems and often require some tools.

How do I know if I have a Class 1 or Class 2 hitch? ›

Class 1 hitches have 1-1/4-inch receiver sizes, and have a GTW capacity of up to 2,000 lbs. and a TW capacity of up to 200 lbs. Class 2: If you drive a minivan or have a car or crossover that is on the bigger or more heavy-duty side, you likely have a Class 2 hitch.

What is the difference between hitch Class 1 and 2 and 3? ›

Tow Hitch Receiver Sizes and Classes

The difference between the two is that Class 1 receivers can tow a maximum of 2,000 lbs. whereas the Class 2 receiver can tow up to 3,500 lbs. CLASS 3 & CLASS 4: Class 3 and Class 4 receivers are the most common receivers out there.

Can a Class 2 hitch pull a trailer? ›

Class II hitches are weight carrying (WC) hitches rated up to 3500 lbs. gross trailer weight (GTW) with a maximum trailer tongue weight (TW) of 300 lbs. A Class II hitch usually has a 1-1/4″ square receiver opening. A higher class drawbar does not increase the towing capacity of the hitch.

What are the different types of bike racks? ›

There are four primary types of bike rack mounting systems: trunk mount, roof mount, hitch mount and spare tire mount.

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