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Best Hitch Bike Rack Options

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Best Hitch Bike Rack Options

You've decided to invest in a bike rack Today, we're going to show you the two main types of hitch-mounted bike racks to help you make a more informed decision. In general, hitch-mounted bike racks offer some advantages over their roof mounted counterparts. With hitch-mounted racks, you're able to carry more bikes with a single rack. Your vehicle can still access low clearance areas, like garages and car parks. You could also keep your roof rack free for cargo boxes, water sport or ski racks. Keep in mind, however, with most hitch-mounted bike racks, your vehicle won't be free for towing.

Some may obstruct your rear view. In particular, hanging bike racks, like the Thule Hitching Post Pro, hold bikes by their frame and keep them in place by rubber or hook and loop straps. Platform racks, like the Swagman XTC-2, cradle the bike at its tires and hold them in place with down pressure on the top tube. With the appropriate hitch, some models of hanging style bike racks allow you to carry up to five bikes. Whereas, platform style bike racks generally top out at a capacity of four bikes. Hanging bike racks offer you a chest level load height, saving you the trouble of having to load a bike on your roof.

Platform racks have an even lower load height, making it quick and easy to load and unload your bike. Hanging racks keep your bikes pretty close together. Keep in mind that they may make contact with one another. Some bike styles may require the need for a bike adaptor bar. Platform racks have a center mast and separated cradles that keep bike to bike contact to a minimum. The frame hooks allow them to accommodate a wide variety of bike styles without the need for a bike adaptor bar.

Keep in mind that platform style racks tend to be bulkier and heavier than hanging style racks. Particularly, with four bike models, they can add quite a bit of length to the end of your vehicle. Both styles offer models that will fold, tilt, or pivot to allow access to your cargo. Whichever style you decide to go with, we have many choices right here at Like always, if you have any questions, our expert staff are always willing to help.

Questions and Comments about this Video

Debbie L.
Will your bike carrier hold a tandem bike? (Bicycle built for 2)
Etrailer Expert
Reply from Jon G.

As long as the wheelbase on your tandem bike doesn't exceed 74" then the Hollywood Racks Sport Rider SE # HR1450Z-R will be a great option for you.

Rad R.
I am looking for a rack that will hold my Rad Bike that weighs about 60 pounds
Etrailer Expert
Reply from Rachael H.

I have included a link to the electric compatible bike racks we currently offer. Most will accommodate a bike up to 60 pounds. By far the most popular electric bike rack that we currently offer is the Thule Easy fold # TH903202 that has an integrated ramp and has a weight capacity of up to 75 pounds. There are other bike racks out there that may suit your needs, depending on what features you are looking for.