Best Affordable Hitch Bike Rack Of 2023: Great Picks & Buying Guide

Scott Nelson By, Scott Nelson
Updated
Allen Sports 4-Bike Hitch Racks for 2 in. Hitch
Image credit: Amazon.com

The Rundown

1. Best Overall: Allen Sports 4-Bike Hitch Racks for 2 in. Hitch

The Allen Sports Deluxe Locking Quick Release 4-Bike Carrier makes bike carrying easier. Made from high-quality materials, this lightweight carrier has arms that fold out of the way when not in use and a rack that tilts back when needed. Read Review

2. Best For The Price: IKURAM R 4 Bike Rack Bicycle Carrier Racks Hitch Mount Double Foldable

The IKURAM R 4 Bike Carrier Rack is the perfect way to transport your two or four bikes safely while they're in storage. The rack is designed to accommodate bicycles of a wide range of frame sizes and designs, and the spacing accommodates up to 4 bikes. Read Review

3. Best Choice: Swagman XC2 Hitch Mount Bike Rack , Black, 2-Inch Receiver

Swagman's hitch-mounted bike racks are a great way to transport your bike with quick and easy ease. The XC2 2-inch receiver will accommodate frames up to 23.22 inches and the arms adjust for different frame sizes. There is also a maximum weight capacity of 35lbs per bike and fits tires up to 20 inches in diameter. Read Review

4. Best Convenient: MaxxHaul 50027 Hitch Mount Bike Rack Platform Style 2-Bike Rack

The MaxxHaul 50027 Hitch Mount Bike Rack Platform Style 2-Bike Rack is a sturdy and easy to use bike rack. The rack has an adjustable hook design that accommodates bikes with different frame sizes, so your bike is safe and reliable while in transport. It also has a patented platform design that will hold up to 80 pounds of weight, or up to 40 pounds per bike. Read Review

If you own a car, chances are you have some space in your trunk that isn’t being used. Hitch your bike to the back of your car and use that empty space for extra storage! If you drive an SUV or minivan, this is an even better solution. These vehicles often don’t come with a spare tire so you’ll need to get creative about storage solutions.

A hitch bike rack lets you carry two bikes on the roof of your vehicle without taking up any valuable trunk space! Check out our top picks for the best affordable hitch bike rack on the market today.

Our experts have determined the models that would be the greatest fit for your requirements, specifically Allen Sports 4-Bike Hitch Racks for 2 in. Hitch, after doing extensive study and analysis over a considerable time. Consider IKURAM R 4 Bike Rack Bicycle Carrier Racks Hitch Mount Double Foldable as an alternative if you're still undecided. Other suggestions on this list are definitely worth considering, and we've put up a useful shopping guide to help you decide!

Our Top Picks

TOP Choice #1 Allen Sports 4-Bike Hitch Racks for 2 in. Hitch
Our Score:
9.8
Allen Sports
  • Arms fold out of the way when not in use and rack tilts back when needed
  • Hitch insert fits either 1 1/4 or 2 inch receiver hitches (2 and 3 bike models) or 2 inch receiver hitches (4 and 5 bike models)
  • Allen's warranty does not cover items purchased through third-party sellers
  • 🎄Rigid All Steel Constructed Bike Hitch Rack: Long-lasting and durable all steel construction with protective powder paint finish
  • 🎄Backed by IKURAM Lifetime Warranty: All IKURAM bike carrier racks are backed by professional consulting services and warranty. Please visit the IKURAM web site for full details.
  • EASY TO ASSEMBLE & USE: Only takes a few minutes to assemble and the upright ratchet arms easily adjusts to different bike frame sizes, will accommodate bike frames up to 59 cm (23.2")
  • SAVES YOU STORAGE SPACE: Rack folds easily in to compact mode so that you can conveniently store when done using it
  • ACCESSORIES SOLD SEPARATELY: Fat tire wheel trays (64674), 1/2" Locking Hitch Pin (64029) or 1/2" Locking Hitch Pin and Security Cable (64031)
  • Fit Type: Universal Fit.Patent Pending.PLEASE SCROLL DOWN AND BROWSE OUR A+ PAGES FOR MORE PRODUCT INFORMATION..Unique hook design adjustments using quick hitch pins assist in accommodating different size bike frame for safe and reliable transport.
  • Bike tire cradles can be adjusted along horizontal bars using quick knobs for convenience and includes rubber straps for added stability.Material:Steel
  • Quick install hitch secures and tightens rack inside of receiver hitch; includes 2 keys
  • Individual tie downs secure and protect bicycles
  • Accommodates a wide range of bicycle frame designs
  • 🎄Dual-Arm Mounting Design: Optimized dual-arm bike carrier rack which spacing accommodates bicycles of a wide range of frame sizes and designs, more stable and easily accommodates up to 2 bikes.
  • 🎄Rigid All Steel Constructed Bike Hitch Rack: Long-lasting and durable all steel construction with protective powder paint finish
  • 🎄Backed by IKURAM's Lifetime Warranty: All IKURAM bike carrier racks are backed by professional consulting services and warranty. Please visit the IKURAM web site for full details.
  • Folds up for convenient on vehicle or in-garage storage
  • Fits wide range of bicycle styles and sizes (up to 35 lb per bicycle)
8 Swagman XTC2 Hitch Mount Bike Rack
Our Score:
8.7
Swagman
  • VERSATILE: Easily transports up to 2 bikes and is compatible with a Class 2 or higher, 1- 1/4" and 2" hitch receiver. Fits most frame sizes, shapes and style (fits 12" to 29" tire sizes). Maximum weight capacity of 35Ibs. per bike
  • EASY TO ASSEMBLE: The XTC2 hitch mount bike rack only takes a few minutes to assemble following the instructions. Once installed, simply place your bikes on the rack and start cruising to your destination
  • SAVES YOU STORAGE SPACE: Rack folds easily so that you can conveniently store when you are done using it
  • This hanging rack allows you to carry any type of bike with traditional frame geometry; Bikes with slanted top tubes require the TubeTop adapter (sold separately)
  • The SwitchBlade anti-sway cradle eliminates bike-to-bike contact, preventing interference and scratches; Durable powder coat finish stands up to adventure
  • Protect your gear by adding a DeadLock (sold separately) to lock your bikes to your hitch mount and the hitch mount to your vehicle
  • CONVENIENT: Bike rack tilts down to allow access to rear of vehicle effortlessly. Saves you time and energy for more biking :)
  • STURDY: Sturdy design with soft, frame friendly grip arms which hold bike in place so you have peace of mind knowing your bike will stay put!
  • EASY TO ASSEMBLE: The XTC2 TILT hitch mount bike rack is light weight and only takes a few minutes to assemble following the instructions. Once assembled, simply load your bikes and you are on your way!
Product Images, Product Titles, Product Highlights from Amazon Product Advertising API

What Factors Should You Consider While Choosing best affordable hitch bike rack?

Getting to the best decision for a product purchase may take a bit of time. In a nutshell, we're available to serve you with your product problems at all hours of the day and night!

You can rest assured if you consider the following points before selecting best affordable hitch bike rack:

Bike Frame Compatibility

The shape of your top tube is important when hanging bicycle racks. To hang your bike, you'll need to have a triangular-shaped bike frame. This is the case for both traditional mountain bikes and hardtails.
Hanging racks may not work well if your bike is a mountain bike or step-through, as well as a smaller child's bike.

Security

Two main vulnerabilities of bike racks are theft. The bikes can be taken off the rack and the rack can be taken down. It doesn't matter if the bikes are there; racks can also be valuable items to potential thieves.
It only takes seconds for someone to steal your bicycle from the rack, whether you are going to a shop or just to get you home at night.
Your entire rack can be taken if someone is equipped with the right tools. If you don’t own a garage, this can pose a problem.

Wheel Size And Tire Width Compatibility

While tire size and wheel width don't matter when selecting a hang rack, those who choose the platform design will need to ensure that their bikes fit into the provided trays. The good news? Most road or mountain bikers will not have any problems. Every platform rack in our collection can accommodate 26-to-29-inch wheels, and 3 to 4 inches under tires. Problems can arise when you go to extremes with fat bikes and kids bikes that are 12- to 24 inches in diameter or have 4- to 5-inch tires.

Durability

Hitching racks are very durable. As they transport loads on rough roads, the single attachment point places a great deal of stress on racks. They are usually made of sturdy materials like steel so breaks rarely happen at their attachment point.

Tilting Feature

A tilt-feature hitch rack is a good choice if you are like many cyclists and plan on keeping your rack attached to your car for extended time periods or want access to your rear cargo space. With the exception of a few very inexpensive options, almost all bike racks with a hitch mount have this feature. Tilting racks are able to be tilted over using a lever. This allows you to lift the rear hatch of the vehicle or open its tailgate. Tilting is possible on platform and hanging racks. However, platform racks can be tilted with bikes loaded. Hanging racks must first unload bikes. It's another reason why we like the platform rack design.

Mounting Systems

Two ways can you lock your bike on a mounting system are available. First and foremost is the strap system. The strap system is usually composed of an elastic or ratcheting strap that covers a portion of your bicycle. It's usually the frame in hanging racks, but it can also be used for platform racks to hold the wheels.
This is most commonly used in platform racks. It is an arm that extends from the platform to ratchet down on your bike's tires. They secure the bike to the platform. They are often reinforced with straps that run around the wheel's bottom to increase security.
The strap system is used in every hanging rack that we have seen. It's strong and reliable, but it can be damaged or broken by users. Many straps secure bikes with at least two straps at every attachment point. Your bike could fall off if the shepherd's hook is broken (which happens very rarely).

Hitch Receiver Size

Most hitches come in a 1.25-inch or 2-inch size. Before purchasing a bicycle rack, it is important to verify the size of your vehicle.
If you intend to transport several heavy ebikes, the 2-inch larger hitch will be able to hold heavier loads. You'll also find adapters for most racks to accommodate both sizes.

Bike Capacity

Generally speaking, platform racks are capable of holding anywhere between one and four bikes (if an extension is purchased), while hanging racks hold up to five bikes. The 1UP Recon Rack 6 can hold six bikes vertically and is a notable exception. Most riders prefer the 2-bike model, however families and those who plan to take their bikes on group rides may want to consider a hanging model with a larger capacity or one of these platform add-ons.

Bike Wheelbase Compatibility

The wheelbases of mountain bikes are getting longer, with longer design trends. There may be compatibility problems with certain platforms racks. This won't affect most people, but it will be of concern to larger downhill riders who use large, uphill-oriented mountain bikes. You can check your bike online by searching for a diagram. Bike manufacturers almost always include the wheelbase. You can also measure the distance between the rear and front axles to check your bike's wheelbase. This number can be used to compare your bike's wheelbase with the maximum spec of the rack that you are interested in buying.

Ease Of Use

You've likely had to lift a mountain bike with full suspension onto a hanger rack. Or, if you have tried to Tetris on four bikes from a rack that was poorly made, then you understand the importance of ease-of-use.
Hanging racks are a great option for a common bicycle, the diamond-frame. You can lift the bike and slide it on the rack. Once it is secured, you can bungee it to the front wheel. It also gives you the opportunity to do some bicep curls before going on your ride.
A platform rack is a better choice for bikes with heavier frames or unique designs. It is easier to transport the bike because it has a lower frame. Once you get it on you won't need to move it around to make adjustments. It can be difficult to hang a bike on a rack.
The ramp is often the most cost-effective option, but it's also the most convenient. You can simply place your bike on the platform rack using this feature. This feature is great for riders with heavy bikes such as e-bikes and cruisers.

Bike Weight

Maximum bike capacity
Maximum weight capacity for a bike
If you plan on transporting heavy downhill mountain bikes or e-bikes, fat, and/or cruiser bikes, make sure to check the rack's weight limit. Each design listing will indicate the bike's maximum weight. This amount may vary greatly. For comparison, standard road and mountain bikes weigh less than 35 pounds. E-bikes, however, can be up to 50 pounds. We recommend that you upgrade to a more robust model if your weight is close to or above the max. It's worth it to avoid breaking the rack or invalidating your warranty.

FAQs

Do Bike Racks Damage Your Car?

A hitch-mounted rack has a greater chance of being preferred to a trunk-mounted one. This is because the hitch does not have contact with the vehicle's body. It reduces rubbing on the paint. This keeps the rack from contacting any parts of the body where it could damage or dent.
No matter how careful a company takes when creating a rack system, human error is always possible. If the rack is not on the car, opening the hatchback can cause the rack to be lifted off the vehicle.
It can damage the rack and cause scratching. When you reach the back of your car, make sure that the rack is not in the way.
If you aren't careful, bikes can contact your car. Sometimes platform racks are used to transport the bike near a car's rear window. If the road is particularly bumpy, this can make it more likely that the handlebar will pass through the window.
This can be solved by moving the cradles closer to the windows. The front tire can hang unsupported, which could lead to it bumping into your car.
Although it's not as serious as breaking windows, the damage to the finish can be severe over time. This is a simple fix. To solve the problem, secure the wheel using a strap and bungee rope.

Do All Bike Racks Fill All Cars?

Although most bikes racks can be adjusted, they are not universally compatible. There are simply too many shapes and sizes of bikes to make this possible.
You need to know the dimensions of your rear bumper if you are thinking of buying one. There are different rear racks that work well with various cars, such as saloons and hatchbacks. You can find the manufacturer's website to check which racks will fit your vehicle.
A roof rack that is not compatible with the current roof bars may also be incompatible. There are two types: the traditional square-profile or more modern, oval aero bars. Oval bars cut through air and reduce drag. They also produce less wind noise. Make sure your roof rack will fit with any shape of roof bar you choose.

Which Car Bike Rack Is Best?

Each person will have their own opinion on the best bike rack for them. It's almost impossible to pick the right bike rack for each situation because there are so many factors.
It is best to determine your requirements and then choose the rack that best suits you. A good hang rack will allow you to easily transport your bicycle around the house.
A platform rack can be a great choice if you are concerned about keeping your bike clean and safe. People who have difficulty lifting their bikes from the platform rack are also able to use it.
You get more features the higher your price. Racks with high-end features include security levers and buttons, which makes them more user-friendly. You can also access the trunk with these racks without having to remove your bikes.
Consider the things you can live without, and what you really need. You'll be able to find the right rack by balancing your needs and spending budget.

How Do You Transport A Bike Without A Rack?

Some bikes can be put in the trunk, back or under the vehicle. However, it may not work if the front wheel is removed. You may not be able to accommodate some bikes in your vehicle. A friend who has a van can help you to transport your bicycle.

What Is The Best Bike Rack For Four Bikes?

There are versions of both platform and hanging racks that can accommodate four bikes. The hanging racks are more difficult to protect your bikes as they attach from the top. The bikes can swing or hit each other while traveling thanks to this.
It is possible to space out fewer bikes, which reduces risk. Space is constrained with only four bikes. Make sure that your cradles are sufficiently spaced so the bikes don't collide, even with minimal swings.
Platform racks make this less problematic as bikes can be locked in place by both wheels. This adds stability and strength. Because the platform racks are lower, it's easier to place the bikes onto them.

Are Hitch Bike Racks Better?

Hitch racks can be a good option if your car has that capability. Mounts that attach to the hitch receiver are better than trunk racks and roof racks. They also protect your vehicle's finish.
These racks are also easier to set up than any other option. This is great news for those who don't need a rack in their car all day. It's attached with a steel pin so it takes only one step to attach it to a trailer hitch and then one to take it off when it's time to go.

Can You Put A Bike Rack On Any Car?

You should find the right bike rack for your vehicle amongst many options. For some styles, you will need to attach a hitch or crossbars/tracks to the roof. Before you make a purchase, be sure to check the specifications on the rack.

What Is The Easiest Bike Rack To Use?

Each type of rack has its advantages. Hanging racks can be used if you don't have to lift your bike. You can secure your bike by placing it on the arms. Then tie the straps and bungee your front wheel.
The platform racks are easier to use than the cradles, but they require less muscle. They do require a little more effort to secure the bike. Swing-away racks make it easy to reach the rear of your bike. If you have a lot to carry (for example, camping trips), one of these racks might be a good choice. ).

Why Are Bike Racks So Expensive?

A high-quality bike rack is essential if you are to keep your bicycle safe. Racks made of durable materials will last for years, protecting your investment. A cheap rack will cause damage to your bike or vehicle.

In general, product information and news are now available to users. In addition, as previously said, the Internet is constantly updated with new technology. Thus, customers will need to be informed so please subscribe to our newsletter or visit our website frequently to check the latest information.

Do you have any product-related questions or concerns you'd like to share? As a result of your efforts, we will attempt to ensure even greater standards of excellence!


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About Scott Nelson

Scott Nelson

Scott Nelson is a freelance writer who specializes in camping and wildlife topics for CampFireUSA. He has written for several outdoor magazines and websites, and he enjoys nothing more than spending a weekend in the woods with his family. Scott is an experienced camper and backpacker, and he has also spent considerable time studying the behavior of bears and other large mammals.

Read Scott's full bio