Hitch-mounted bike racks are straightforward to load, as a result of there’s no have to hoist your experience onto your automobile’s roof, they usually carry bikes by the wheels (not the body), minimizing potential for harm in transit. There’s loads of elements to think about when selecting from one of the best choices out there for transporting your wheels with ease. Right here’s 5 of one of the best new hitch-mounted bike racks in the marketplace.

Thule Helium

What It Is: A one- or two-bike rack that holds your bike(s) by the tires and doesn’t contact the bike’s body. The rack sits greater than another hitch racks. To safe a motorbike, aluminum arms fold in from both aspect and press down onto tire rubber. A button on the deal with of every arm releases that aspect of the rack once you’re able to unload. Every bike mount has an built-in theft-deterring cable lock. And, the rack is fast and simple to mount to the automobile.

Thule Helium Platform hitch bike rackWhy We Love It: Bikes are costly, making a platform rack that doesn’t contact the body engaging. Additionally, as a result of the rack closes from either side, it makes offsetting bikes simpler than on different racks. It folds down one-handed for simple trunk entry. At 43 kilos, it’s additionally one of many lighter hitch racks out there, although nonetheless sturdy and fitted to tough street driving. And, it’s straightforward to assemble with included instruments.

Thule Helium platformCons: This rack suits tight to the automobile, and in some circumstances, that match may was too tight and not using a hitch extender. Thule has a web site web page devoted to assist decide if the rack will suit your automobile. I wasn’t capable of set up it on a Toyota Sienna minivan with out an extender, however it did match on a Toyota RAV4 with the mounts tight to the bumper. The rack carries two bikes, max—there’s not at present an choice to broaden it to a few or 4 bikes. The rack can’t carry bikes with wheels smaller than 26 inches. It’s additionally not rated for e-bikes. Max advisable weight per bike is 37.5 kilos.

Extras: Appropriate with Thule’s Entry swingarm, which rotates the rack away from the trunk making entry even simpler. Additionally out there in a single bike model.

[$699 (two-bike rack), thule.com]

Dovetail Ferst

What It Is: Made by an knowledgeable in lean manufacturing, this 12-pound (one bike) to 14-pound (double) rack is the lightest hitch rack you should buy. The rack holds bikes by the crank—a motorbike carry system well-liked with tour operators. A plastic assist on the high of the crank boot flips to seat completely between the non-driveside crank and the body. And a plastic sleeve contained in the boot protects carbon cranks in addition to aluminum ones from scratches. With the crank contained in the boot, a twist knob secures the bike. And a Velcro strap wraps the entrance wheel to a half-tray for stability.

Dovetail Ferst Rack
courtesy Dovetail

Why We Love It: One of many largest boundaries to utilizing a hitch rack is the load. This rack may be taken off the automobile in lower than a minute with the included instruments, then picked up one-handed and stashed on a shelf, in your trunk, or wherever else. As a result of Dovetail Ferst holds bikes by the cranks, it’s practically common. Setup was quick and easy as a result of there have been few components. And whereas it doesn’t fold, in a number of months of use, that wasn’t a hardship. With the rack mounted on a swing arm, I had full trunk entry.

Dovetail ferst road bike hitch mounted rackCons: Dovetail Ferst’s web site is in growth, and it doesn’t at present have the complete vary of merchandise, so name the corporate with questions, together with which backside bracket assist (or helps) you want. The assist that got here with the rack was nice for mountain bikes, however I wanted a special assist for gravel bikes. Gross sales are direct-to-consumer solely, so you may’t wait in a store and take a look at this rack. No lock included, although a Masterlock Python will each safe rack to hitch, and bikes to rack.

Extras: Coming quickly—Dovetail’s upkeep equipment that allows you to stability your bike by its backside bracket with the entrance wheel secured for on-the-road bike cleansing and upkeep. Additionally coming quickly, trays for fats tire bikes, and Voile-style straps for many who don’t belief Velcro.

[$375 (two-bike rack), dovetailferst.com]


Kuat NV 2.0

What It Is: An eye catching, trendy one- or two-bike rack that converts to a three- or four-bike rack with the addition of additional mounts. Every mount can assist a 60-pound bike, and the rack works for bike wheels from 20 to 29 inches (20- and 24-inch bikes require an adapter). Plus, Kuat has a nicely thought-out vary of equipment to make utilizing and storing this rack user-friendly.

Kuat NV 2.0 fold-down hitch-mounted bike rackWhy We Love It: Numerous racks form of look the identical. This one is distinctive and instantly recognizable. As a result of bike wheels relaxation on helps, not in trays, there’s no have to swap trays when you resolve to hold a fats bike as a substitute of a street bike. The rack feels completely sized for each bike. And it is available in two colours, one thing different racks don’t provide. The wheel helps are adjustable, so you may set it up to verify bikes nest nicely. Built-in locks are sturdy sufficient we had confidence leaving an costly bike secured solely with the rack’s cable. A foot/hand lever allows you to fold or decrease the rack one-handed. We respect the lifetime guarantee, too.

Kuat NV 2.0 add-onCons:  You both begin with a two-bike rack and add one further mount or two. There isn’t a base unit that allows you to add one to 4 mounts, which means there’s no single bike choice. The NV 2.0 is a beast at 56 kilos for the two-bike rack and 91 kilos for the 4 bike rack. Repositioning bike helps takes fiddling to get bikes to nest. The rack suits 2-inch receivers solely.

Extras: This rack comes with two mounts that may be expanded to a few or 4. The rack is offered with or with out an built-in bike stand. Kuat additionally sells the RackDock, a wall-mounted receiver that holds your rack for storage. Kuat’s HiLow Professional has an up to date hitch cam and redesigned lock. And Kuat’s swing away is one other approach to get your self house to get into your trunk.

[$689 (two-bike rack), kuatracks.com]

Yakima HangOver

What It Is: A vertical hitch rack that hangs as much as six bikes in about the identical house {that a} two bike tray rack takes up in your bumper. The rack is available in four- and six-bike configurations. Bikes dangle by the crown of their suspension forks. They’re secured with a strap on the high and a strap across the again wheel

Yakima's vertical HangOver hitch rack bike racks
Yakima’s vertical HangOver hitch rack holds as much as six bikes. courtesy Yakima

Why We Love It: Massive households and buddies who wish to shuttle will respect this rack. A foot-tilt lever allows you to angle it away from the automobile for loading and for trunk entry. The rack has two mast heights, permitting you to regulate it so the rear tires of the bikes on the rack keep clear the bottom, which is usually a problem with this model of rack. Few racks carry six bikes. So, when you’re touring with a much bigger crew, this rack is without doubt one of the finest choices on the market. A hitch lock is included. The fork cradle is padded so it received’t scratch mountain bike stanchions. And the rack can deal with suspension bikes of most any wheelbase.

Yakima HangOverCons: We discovered it tough to load, even with the rack lowered. It’s a cumbersome 77.65 kilos, so exhausting to handle off the automobile. The HangOver is for suspension fork bikes solely. The 4 bike rack can’t be expanded to carry six bikes. No cable locks are included.

Extras: Yakima makes a great deal of rack equipment. The 4 bike HangOver is suitable with the corporate’s BackSwing.

[$599 (four-bike rack), yakima.com]


Lolo Racks Lolo Rack

What It Is: A heavy-duty, vertical rack that matches practically any car with a 2-inch hitch receiver, this Portland, OR-made rack holds bikes by their handlebars. It carried as much as 220 kilos of bikes together with six mountain bikes, 4 street bikes, youngsters bikes and extra. And, it’s so burly, it feels prefer it’ll final a lifetime. The handlebar-holding hooks are straightforward to maneuver with a ratchet and a wrench, so altering the configuration as wanted is a no brainer.

Lolo Racks
courtesy Lolo Racks / Nathan Holstedt (@fullfroth)

Why We Love It: If you happen to’re the man who all the time volunteers to drive your mates to the trailhead, or who shuttles your crew to a descent, this rack is for you. It’s quick to load, and it holds as much as 250 kilos of bikes securely. Additionally, when you’re the man who looks like different racks are flimsy, you’ve met your new bike provider. Handlebars relaxation on angled, overbuilt hook mounts, then safe on the bar and on the again wheel with outsized bungies. Lolo Rack is manufactured from heavy-duty metal, and it felt extra steady than every other rack we examined. With the rack in your car, there are a number of choices for the way you place it, so this rack match automobiles that different racks didn’t. We examined it on a Toyota Sienna minivan, a Toyota RAV4 SUV, and on a F-350 truck with a camper within the mattress. Repositioning the rack to tilt additional away from, or nearer to, the automobile requires transferring a single bolt. And, even with bikes loaded, the rack folded down and out of the best way for trunk entry. With a ratchet and a drill, it takes seconds to maneuver handlebar mounts to accommodate bikes effectively. Lolo Racks are designed and made by Oregon riders. And so they do a powerful job boxing the rack compactly for delivery.

Lolo Racks
courtesy Lolo Racks / Nathan Holstedt (@fullfroth)

Cons: It was extra difficult to assemble this rack than others we examined, and meeting required a mess of instruments. It suits a 2-inch hitch receiver solely. A 1.25-inch receiver can’t deal with the load. And in case your automobile rides low, a vertical rack will not be the only option—bike wheels can generally bump the bottom.

Extras: As a substitute of awkwardly storing this rack for winter, use it to haul skis and fats bikes on the identical time. Most ski racks can mount to the bottom of this rack to hold skis vertically. If you happen to don’t bike or ski in winter, take into account mounting this rack to your storage wall and storing bikes on the rack to scale back storage muddle. Lolo Rack sells DH-specific handlebar hooks for transporting twin crown fork bikes.

[$740, loloracks.com]

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