If you are a biker, you know the importance of a good bike rack. Riding a bike is fun and great exercise, but you can’t ride it everywhere. And even if you could, there are times when you wouldn’t want to. When it’s pouring down outside, it’s nice to have a roof over your head. That’s what the bike rack is for, so you can load up your bike and drive it to the perfect starting point for your next ride.
Anyone who cares about their bike should invest in a quality bike rack. You don’t want to risk your bike getting thrown off your car as you are driving down the highway. That’s dangerous for your bike and other riders. With that in mind, we have compiled a review guide to choosing the best hitch bike rack for the money in 2018 on the market and discovered the top options. With any of these racks, you can hit the road confident in your bike’s safety.
1. Allen Sports Deluxe 4-Bike Hitch Mount Rack with 2-Inch Receiver
If you’ve got four bikes and a 2-inch trailer hitch on your vehicle, then this rack from Allen Sports is a great purchase. This rack is designed to as easy and safe to use as possible. If you read the instructions, you can install the rack in as little as five minutes. Once it’s in place, it can be placed in up or down positions depending on your current needs. There’s no need to have metal bars trailing your vehicle and threatening other drivers when you aren’t carrying any bikes.
The rack is made of 22.6 pounds of steel, spread between the main tower and the two 22-inch arms. These arms offer extra security when compared to single arm models. Each arm has four tie-down cradles complete with rubber padding to protect your bike and adjustable ties to ensure a secure hold on any model of bike. This 4-bike rack is designed to latch onto any vehicle with a 2-inch trailer hitch. This is important to note; a quality bike rack will be designed to perfectly fit a limited range of hitches. Make sure you get a rack that fits your vehicle.
Allen Sports is so confident in the quality of their product that they offer a lifetime warranty. That’s one of the reasons we are giving it the top spot on our list; you deserve a bike rack that is backed up by more than just words.
2. Pro-Series 63124 Eclipse Black 2-Inch Sq. 4 Bike Carrier
The sleek and minimal design of the Eclipse from Pro-Series makes it an attractive option as one of the best hitch bike rack for the money. It’s a center tower design that can fit up to four bikes on the single mounting arm. All together the rack can hold 120 pounds, or roughly 30 pounds per bike. The Eclipse itself is 31 pounds. The arm moves up and down for easy access to the trunk even when the rack is loaded up with bikes.
When looking at racks you want a model that will hold your bikes securely without damaging them. That is what the Eclipse is designed for. The hook and loop design allows you to quickly and securely strap up your bike while the rack itself has strategically placed rubber cradles that hold the bike’s frame securely in place without damaging it. One thing you can say for Pro-Series is that they think of everything, including the safety of your vehicle and bikes. That’s why their rack has a built in rear reflector. This way when you’re driving at night any vehicle coming up from behind you will see how far back your rack goes.
Finally, new Eclipse mounts come with a limited one-year warranty from Pro-Series, so that anyone interested can buy confidently. Please note that this is a rack for 2-inch receivers. If you have a different size hitch receiver on your vehicle, you might want to consider our next rack.
3. Swagman XC Cross-Country 2-Bike Hitch Mount Rack
Swagman Bicycle Carriers produces a full range of bike racks, and the Swagman XC is their most affordable option. This rack allows cyclists to mount up to two bikes on their vehicle quickly and affordably. The design is minimal, the steel frame is only 32 pounds and it is built to swing up and down for when your bike is loaded and unloaded.
This rack is designed to suit the needs of most bikers. The ratcheting arms are made to adjust so you can secure just about any bike in, no matter the frame size. With the adjustable and cushioned hooks, you can fit bikes with 20 – 29 inch wheels securely in just moments. The main limit is weight. The rack has a maximum load of 35 pounds per bike, more than enough for the average cyclist’s needs. Unless you have an abnormally heavy or oddly designed bike then you can bet your bike will fit securely into the Swagman XC.
One great thing about this rack is the fact that it is designed with a universal fit. It can fit both 1-1/4 and 2-inch hitch receivers. If for any reason, you aren’t sure what size of hitch receiver is on your vehicle then this is your best bet. Still, if at all possible you should try and make sure you know what size hitch you have just to be sure.
Please note that this rack does not come with a hitch pin or a security cable. Make sure to budget for these items if you decide to purchase this rack. We will say that it is well worth the investment, especially given the guarantee offered by Swagman. This bike is covered by a limited lifetime warranty, which is one of the best signs of quality you can find.
Some Advice – Double Check Your Vehicle
There are some car accessories that work with just about any vehicle, like air fresheners. Then there are accessories like these bike racks. You can’t blindly pick a bike rack and assume it will work on your vehicle. Each of the bike racks on our list is made to hook up to different hitches. The Allen Sports Deluxe 4-Bike Hitch Mount Rack is for 2-inch Class III or IV hitches. The Pro-Series 63124 Eclipse is also for 2-inch hitches. Finally, the Swagman XC works with both 1-1/4 and 2-inch hitch receivers. Take a look at your hitch to make sure you know what size it is and that it’s in good condition.
Once you know what sort of hitch you have, you can buy your new bike rack with confidence. A quality bike rack should give you piece of mind, not troubles. Without a doubt, one of these three models reviewed above fall under the category of the best hitch bike racks in the market and will make your next bike trip a breeze.