Thank you for thinking outside the box and building a great rack system. The aim is to keep thieves from removing the entire rack from your car. This affordable bike rack can hold two bikes and carries a maximum weight of 70 pounds. Wisconsin-based 1Up may not be a household name like Thule or Yakima, but the company has a dedicated following among hardcore cyclists. The extra design complexity and materials do add weight and cost—RockyMounts BackStage is 10 to 20 pounds heavier than a non-swing-away alternative—but are worth it for those that prioritize the feature. If, however, you’re considering a hanging rack, take a close look at the shape of the top tube of your bike’s frame. In short, it can't match the sheer number of useful features included with the Thule T2 Pro above. Dr.Tray. I agree that 4 bikes on a tray rack sticks out too far, and that's when you want a rack that hangs them. The Yakups bike Racks we manufacture can be ordered as a customized bike rack. While not necessarily inexpensive, a quality hanging rack like the Yakima RidgeBack 2 comes in at about half the price of a platform model with the same capacity. And we’re happy to see that the Beta hasn’t skimped on too many features: the rack tilts for rear vehicle access, its arms fold down when not in use, and it has same wobble-free hitch attachment mechanism that’s found on Kuat’s premium offerings. LEARN MORESHOP NOW. Reflecting the growing popularity of heavy e-bikes and large fat bikes, Thule released the EasyFold XT 2. The Swagman XC2 makes taking multiple bikes on the go stress-free. At $49 and $50 for the Yakima and Thule adapters, these are not cheap accessories and should be taken into account as you’re choosing a rack style. We use the rack almost daily, and the ease of use (my 6 and 7 year old can buckle and unbuckle the straps! Type: PlatformWeight: 34 lbs.Number of bikes: 2 (3 with EZ+1 add-on)Weight capacity per bike: 40 lbs.What we like: Pretty light and the ability to carry three bikes with the add-on.What we don’t: Doesn’t feel as durable or stout as other racks. In addition, the two-bike add-ons that are offered on some platform racks are only compatible with a 2-inch receiver. British Columbia-based North Shore Racks is known for being one of the original companies to offer high-capacity hanging models that are worthy of shuttle days and rough roads. Type: PlatformWeight: 32 lbs.Number of bikes: 2Weight capacity per bike: 35 lbs.What we like: An inexpensive yet surprisingly reliable way to carry two bikes.What we don’t: Not the most user-friendly design and the ratcheting arms scuff bike frames. When the RockyMounts BackStage was released, the rack created quite a stir in the industry. Manufacturers oftentimes have a technical drawing available of the rack in question, and you can use the measurements for assessing whether or not you’ll run into any fitment issues. Next. Tack on a maximum weight capacity per bike of 60 pounds, and you get an impressively versatile, premium rack. Featuring moveable tray platforms, an easy-to-use tilt-down lever that resembles the one on Thule’s T2 Pro above, and a total weight that undercuts our top picks by 10 to 15 pounds, the rack has a lot going for it. In getting the Dr.Tray’s weight down to a class-leading 34 pounds, Yakima did unfortunately have to compromise the stout feeling typically associated with platform racks. As with the Dr.Tray above, Kuat’s Sherpa 2.0 is a lightweight alternative in the heavy platform rack world. Second, the cradles make direct contact with your bike’s fork crown–this leads to major scuffing and loss of paint over time. After a summer of shop shuttles, long haul road trips and rallying it on the back of a Ford Raptor at speeds not to be disclosed, we can now report the rack as thoroughly tested.”. The Thule T2 Pro XT is, by far, our favorite hitch-mounted bike rack. It’s worth noting that if the rack you’re purchasing doesn’t include a receiver lock, every manufacturer on our list above offers one as an accessory. And it’s worth noting that this functionality still isn’t available from big hitters like Yakima or Thule. Moreover, there is very little space between the bikes when they’re loaded, which can lead to rubbing and damage to the paint. ... Vertical post can be quickly removed for compact storage; Mountain bikes have been trending towards longer designs, which has impacted the length of their wheelbases. The rack comes in four- and six-bike configurations. Make sure to pick the proper hitch receiver size, and make sure your hitch can support the weight of all the bikes you want to carry. I'd score it a 10 out of 10! Finally, the focus on trimming weight means the rack has more of a tendency to wobble on bumpy roads, although the bike attachment system is reliable in general. While not a perfect deterrent—a solid set of bolt cutters will make quick work of them—they do provide a degree of security while parking your car (we like to back them up with a sturdier U-lock as well). Most notable is the tilt lever, which is located at the base of the rack instead of the end, making the tilting process much more difficult. $65.99 $ 65. For years, 1Up stood out in the platform market with its innovative dual ratcheting arms that only secured over a bike’s tires (with zero chance of frame contact). But rapidly changing technology and the sheer number of available models makes choosing the best ride... Not long ago, mountain bikers didn’t have a choice when it came to wheel sizes—26 inches was the only option. Like the RockyMounts BackStage above, the rack’s calling card is its swing-away feature that provides easy access to the vehicle. As part of their 2019 HD Truck Rack collection, Yakima has their first vertical bike rack setup, plus a solid rooftop tent, and a tidy cargo basket, among other hauling solutions. Our biggest complaint with the Beta is that Kuat doesn’t offer a higher-capacity version. If you’re going to be close to the maximum weight or a little over, we recommend upgrading to a sturdier model—it’s not worth the risk of breaking your rack while driving or voiding your warranty. This is shipped with two or more cartons … Yes, that's a big deal, especially in crowded trailhead parking areas. The good news is that Kuat provided a replacement with their excellent warranty, but this experience leads us to think it’s worth upgrading to the burlier NV 2.0 if you’ll be leaving the rack on the back of your car most of the year.See the Kuat Sherpa 2.0. The user-friendly tilt feature is best in class, providing quick and easy access to the rear of the vehicle, and its versatile carrying system accommodates everything from fat bikes to 20-inch kids’ models. Rooftop racks have a lower maximum capacity (usually two bikes), are more of a pain to load and unload, and can impact gas mileage or create a whistling sound on the highway. Ranging from three to six bikes (with many optional extras), like its name implies it’s intended to hold … Where the Yakima has the edge is in its proven durability. I can't get one in my 1-Up without buying the adaptor. At the very top of Yakima's expansive hitch rack line-up is the Dr.Tray. Vertical Hanging Mountain Bike Rack. In cutting weight, however, you lose out on the long-term durability found on other racks. *Editor's Note: "Capacity" refers to weight capacity per bike. I am a physician on the front lines of COVID-19 so your rack offers a welcome respite for my family and me when we want go get away from it all :)". Type: HangingWeight: 50 lbs.Number of bikes: 4 (available in 2- and 6-bike versions)Weight capacity per bike: 60 lbs.What we like: Relatively compact and easy way to transport mountain bikes.What we don’t: Outdated and less versatile compared with the Recon Racks above. Our patented design is time-tested, carries bikes quickly, easily and contact free, in the least amount of space possible, all while keeping the vehicle tail lights free. Platform racks are big, bulky, and generally quite heavy. Tack on a $129 difference in price, and despite the NV’s smooth styling and extras like the aforementioned repair stand, the T2 Pro gets the slight edge... Read in-depth reviewSee the Kuat NV 2.0 Rack. Sitting atop Kuat’s hitch rack collection is their top-end NV 2.0. Height (from tow bar) All racks: Unloaded 1380mm Loaded 1800mm Check Price. Sliding anti-wobble threaded insert and 5/8" hitch bolt included. At $620, the T2 Pro certainly isn’t cheap, nor is it particularly light at over 50 pounds, but its sturdy, long-lasting design is ideal for committed riders. Skip that extra bit of carbon instead. The final potential bike compatibility pitfall is related to the shape and style of your bike’s frame. Adding the swing-away functionality to a hitch-mounted rack does come with compromises. Without a doubt, their Heavy Duty Double's sleek aluminum build and attention to detail are a cut above the rest. Compared to the Thule T2, the materials and build quality are inferior and you miss out on some useful features. The bike rack is working beautifully. "The Lolo Rack is the solution we've been looking for. Another method is to contact the manufacturer directly, and we’ve had good luck in getting reliable recommendations as to whether or not the rack we’re looking at will fit our vehicle. Furthermore, it undercuts the similarly designed Recon Racks GEN2 R4 by $175. This rack certainly doesn’t have all the bells and whistles of the more premium options above and below, but it will reliably transport your bikes from point A to point B. The good news is that the majority of road and mountain bikers won’t have a problem at all—every platform rack on our list can fit 26- to 29-inch wheels and 3-inch and under tires. One of the more technical considerations of the hitch rack puzzle is the clearance between the rack, your bikes, and the vehicle. This rack is made by Cycle Simplex and allows you to carry the bike on the back of your vehicle with both of the wheels attached. We designed and tested it in the lab and on the road to meet our demanding Yakima standards. At the risk of sounding like a broken record, it’s yet another reason we prefer the platform rack style. This gives you uninterrupted access to the rear cargo area—all without having to unload your bikes. RockyMounts’ WestSlope 3 combines a user-friendly tray design and generous three-bike capacity at a reasonable cost. There’s no getting around the fact that quality platform-style racks are expensive, but those looking to save should check out Kuat’s Transfer. As long as you’re hauling regular road or mountain bikes (the rack maxes out at 40 pounds per bike and 3-inch-wide tires), the Sherpa 2.0 has a lot going for it. What a relief it is, not having to struggle putting my bike on a rack; and with the style of my frame, it was always a struggle. As with any product, there are bound to be compromises. It’s simple to operate, and the rack feels almost weightless even with heavy bikes on the trays. Securely attaching to the receiver hitch of your vehicle, they offer unmatched versatility and ease of use. Whats the difference in vertical hitch bike racks. As stated above, these wheel size and tire width issues won’t be a problem for a lot of riders—it’s often easier to store a small kids’ bike inside the vehicle, for example—but it’s a good thing to have in mind as you’re narrowing your rack search. This premium design checks all the right boxes: its materials have a high-quality feel, the rack stays solidly in place even on bumpy forest service roads, and the adjustable wheel cradles make it easy to avoid bike-to-bike contact. As with any hanging-style hitch rack, there’s no avoiding the fact that the FullSwing 4 makes direct contact with your bike’s frame. One design that does a great job of balancing metal construction and strategic use of tough plastic is our top-rated Thule T2 Pro XT. That said, just because a rack is made up of a lot of plastic doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s not durable. What are the downsides of the Recon Gen2? In addition, the platform trays on this rack are highly adjustable, making any bike-to-bike clearance issues almost non-existent. Type: PlatformWeight: 43 lbs.Number of bikes: 3 (available in a 2-bike version)Weight capacity per bike: 40 lbs.What we like: Great price for a solid three-bike tray design.What we don’t: Low on features. You’ll mostly find swing-away racks in the hanging category, including Yakima’s FullSwing 4 above, but the aforementioned RockyMounts BackStage platform rack is one notable exception. Both the T2 and NV 2.0 are very user-friendly and have long-lasting builds, although we have found the Thule is a little more versatile. The … Horizontal Rack. There are the horizontal type and the vertical type. Constructed of heavy-duty steel, our first-ever vertical bike rack safely hauls up to six mountain bikes to the trailhead. A final scenario is where a specific rack simply can’t fit a certain wheel or tire size. Hitch Mounted Bike Racks are the easiest way to get multiple bicycles on your vehicle. The design includes two independent folding arms that contact only the tires, leaving the rest of the bike completely untouched—a task that other racks struggle to accomplish. Type: PlatformWeight: 37 lbs.Number of bikes: 2 (available in 1- and 3-bike versions)Weight capacity per bike: 40 lbs.What we like: Great price for a versatile platform-style rack.What we don’t: Simplified design lacks some useful features. Given that the Camber is a fairly new model from Thule, we simply don’t know how it will stand up over time. In the end, all have their merits, but no other bike rack type can match the versatility of a hitch mount.Back to Our Top Hitch Bike Rack Picks Back to Our Hitch Bike Rack Comparison Table. The release buttons allow each hook to slide up the ratcheting arm for bike removal. It does have padded arms, but those only help so much, and frame scuffs are inevitable. "I LOVE your rack! Two sets of arms secure over the tires (no concerns about frame contact), and wheel straps serve as backup for hauling heavier e-bikes, models with fenders, or if you have bikes with very different wheelbases. To check, you can look your bike up online and search for a geometry chart, as bike manufacturers almost always call out the wheelbase. Both have a four-bike capacity, anti-sway strap systems, and a tilt mechanism to get the rack out of the way when loading or unloading your car (both require you to remove the bikes to tilt, however). We also like the EZ+1 extension, which allows you to expand its carrying capacity to three bikes with only a 9-pound weight penalty (for an additional $259). Their ability to safely carry up to six mountain bikes, while still offering enough ground clearance for waterbars, made them an instant favorite among downhill-oriented riders. vertical hitch mountain bike rack Perfect for tour operators, group rides, and big families. And that amount can vary widely: burly platform racks have the highest ratings, including Thule’s e-bike-ready EasyFold XT 2 that can haul up to 65-pound bikes. To start, platform racks like the Kuat NV 2.0, Thule T2, Yakima Dr.Tray, and 1Up are not impacted by this because they only come in contact with the bike’s tires or wheels. It has been fully tested by adventurers like … It’s true, mountain bike helmet prices are creeping up... A quality mountain bike shoe plays a number of important roles. In many ways, the Camber 4 is a direct competitor to Yakima’s RidgeBack above. Priced at a reasonable $349 for the four-bike version, the RidgeBack offers double the capacity of the Thule T2 Pro above at just over half the cost. If, like most cyclists, you plan to keep your rack on your vehicle for extended periods of time or just want to retain access to your rear cargo area, you’ll want to get a hitch rack with a tilt feature. This means you’ll want to avoid the standard hanging rack category, as models like the Yakima Ridgeback secure the bike with straps directly over the top tube. 29ers... Yakima has been a key player in the bike rack market since 1979, and the Dr.Tray currently sits at the top of their platform hitch offerings. Type: PlatformWeight: 35 lbs.Number of bikes: 2 (available in a 4-bike version)Weight capacity per bike: 60 lbs.What we like: Compact and lightweight design.What we don’t: Concerns with bike-to-bike clearance and has a tendency to wobble. We’ve put this rack through its paces over nearly two years of testing—logging more than 20,000 miles in the process—and have come away thoroughly impressed. Similar to the Kuat Transfer above, the rack is reasonably light, loads quickly and easily with ratcheting arms that secure over the front tire, and includes a tilt function to allow access your vehicle’s rear hatch. At 32 pounds, it’s a whopping 20 pounds less than the Kuat NV 2.0 above, which makes it a whole lot easier to install and remove from your vehicle. Available in 4, 5 and 6 bike capacities, 2" receivers only. That said, if you won’t be using your rack all that often or will need to remove it by yourself with some regularity, a lightweight design like the Beta is a perfectly reasonable choice. Below we break down our top picks for 2021, from high-end, exquisitely manufactured designs like 1Up’s Heavy Duty Double to Kuat’s budget-oriented and weight-conscious Beta. The listings for each design will specify the maximum carrying capability per bike. For group rides, tour companies, or if you simply want to maximize your carrying capacity, Recon’s Gen2 R6 is worth a serious look. A hitch bike rack from Thule is easy to install and use, and carries 1 to 5 bikes safely and securely. 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