Capacity of Hitch and Bike Rack for 2014 Mazda CX-5


I am looking to carry bikes for a family of 4 safely on my cx5. I used to use a strap-on bike rack on my old Cherokee but now that I have a new cx5 I didnt want to use that anymore in fear of messing up the car. I thought a hitch style might be the way to go. However after reading some of the advice and questions I am not sure it can be done properly. I watched the video on the 87623 hidden hitch class 3 which looks good but the mazda owners manual seems to indicate a 2000 lb max weight and a 200 lb tongue weight max. Sounds like the vehicle just might not be up for the task that this hitch could handle. Am I missing something ? Or is there a better way to go ? Thanks


Expert Reply:

One of the main advantages of a hitch mount rack is the higher possible capacity (trunk mount racks carry a maximum of 3 bikes) while hitch mount racks can accommodate up to 5 bikes. You already touched on the other advantage, the hitch mount rack does not come into contact with the painted finish of the vehicle, therefore the rack cannot dent or otherwise mar the finish.

Although the Draw-Tite Class III hitch you referenced, part # 76138 has a 675 lb tongue weight capacity, you will be limited by the 200 lb tongue weight capacity of the vehicle itself. This means that the bike rack, plus the bikes placed upon it could weigh no more than 200 lbs. Since the average bike weighs 30-35 lbs, and most 4 bike racks weigh around 40 lbs or so, you should have no problem coming in under that 200 lb figure.

If you look at the provided link, you can see the top 20 most popular bike racks among Mazda CX-5 owners.

My personal favorite, the Swagman Trailhead # S63365 is a good mid-priced option. This is one of the least expensive racks that provides what I consider to be crucial features such as sturdy rubber cradles with rubber retaining straps and anti-sway cradles that prevent the bikes from swaying back and forth. An anti-rattle hitch bolt is included, but a locking hitch pin/cable lock is sold separately as part # S64031. The rack can tilt away from the vehicle once the bikes are removed, allowing access to the cargo area of the vehicle.

To carry womens bikes or bikes with sharply angled top tubes or step-through frames, using a frame adapter like part # 64005 is recommended. The adapter spans the distance between the seat post and the handle bar gooseneck, and provides a level attachment point to the bike rack so the bike has greater ground clearance and is not carried at an angle.

I have linked you to a product demonstration video of the rack I mentioned.

expert reply by:
Mike L

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