The Best 4 Bike Hitch Rack

Finding a new cycling destination or route can be exciting, especially when you can go in a fun group of like-minded individuals or family members. However, nothing can spoil the fun as quickly as trying to fit all the bikes and riders into one vehicle.

Which begs the question of how big must my bike rack be? As most cars can fit four adults and most families consist of four members, the four bike hitch rack would be one of the best options for you.

It can become overwhelming when shopping for the right hitch rack, especially if you want to accommodate multiple bikes of different sizes. Luckily we have provided you with a handy list of the best four bike hitch racks available on the market. To ensure you invest and don’t waste those hard-earned bucks, we have provided a detailed buyer’s guide of things you need to consider before purchasing as well.

Allen Sports 4-Bike Hitch

Allen Sports Deluxe

The Deluxe is a trendy and affordable mast style rack that is designed with a 22-inch dual-arm mounting system and only weighs 23 pounds.

Best 4-Bike Hitch Rack Overall

Allen Sports is known for its quality products, and Deluxe is no exception. The Deluxe is a trendy and affordable mast style rack that is designed with a 22-inch dual-arm mounting system and only weighs 23 pounds.

Best Hanging Style Rack

The Maxxhaul is a simply designed mast-style rack ideal for trucks, vans, and SUVs with a Class III or IV two-inch hitch receiver. Although the rack only features one mounting arm, this rack can still carry four bikes with an impressive total weight of 150 pounds, which is more capable than most dual-arm mounting systems. 

Best Platform Style Rack

The Trimax rack can is an extremely adaptable platform bike rack that can adjust the wheel trays into three different widths apart. This would mean that it can conveniently carry a range of bike sizes that weigh up to 33 pounds each.

Most Versatile 4-Bike Rack

The Thule Apex XT provides you with superior bike stability and security by using a combination of both cradle ratchet straps and anti-sway cradle straps. The four ratcheting cradles straps on each of the mounting arms are deliberately spaced 7 inches apart to ensure you can use any bike size or design on the rack. 

The Main Two Types Of Hitch-Bike Racks

There are essentially two different types of hitch bike racks. These are the platform-style hitch rack and the hanging-style hitch rack. Knowing the difference will help you make an informed decision, ensuring you have the right rack for your situation.

Platform Style

The platform-style hitch rack comes in two different designs. One design provides you with a complete tray base, and the other is designed with molded cradles that support the wheels of your bike. Although there are two different designs of platform hitch racks, most of them function in the same way. For instance, all platform racks transport the bikes upright, and all bikes on the platform racks are mounted by their wheels using ratchet straps or a shepherd’s hook.

A ratchet strap is not as durable as a shepherd’s hook due to the potential degradation of the material through wear and tear; however, it is an affordable option. Ratchet straps are highly adjustable, which is advantageous when mounting different wheel sizes.

A shepherd’s hook mount is a cradle-like arm that clamps over the top of your bike wheel. The arm is usually made of coated steel or aluminum, providing extra strength and durability, which means that the shepherd’s hook would not need regular replacement like the ratchet strap. However, keep in mind that the shepherd’s hook does not provide you with the same versatility as ratchet straps.

The main advantage of a platform hitch rack is the limited contact made between the bike frame and rack. This is especially beneficial for those who have carbon bikes or those simply conscious of their bike frame. A platform-hitch-rack is generally more expensive than hanging style hitch racks.

Hanging Style Bike Rack

A hanging style hitch rack, also known as the mast style hitch rack, mounts to your bike’s frame and carries your bikes in a hanging position, unlike the platform rack that supports your bikes from below. The mast-style hitch rack consists of three main parts, the mainmast, arm, and clamp.

The mainmast is the part of the rack that mounts to your hitch and holds most of the weight. The arms protruding from the mainmast provide you with an area to hook and hang your bike by the top tube. Lastly, the rack arms are equipped with clamps or ratchet straps to tie around your bike frame for security and sturdiness.

Some hanging style racks come with a single-arm carrier, and others with a dual-arm carrier. The dual-arm carrier means that more than one arm protrudes out of the mainmast and that you secure your bike frame to the rack at more than one point.
The hanging style hitch rack is not recommended for cyclists who are particularly conscious about their bike frame as this style only works by holding onto your frame. However, most modern mast-style hitch racks have padded cradles that protect your bike frame. Therefore, if you would like a hanging style but are worried about your bike frame’s state, opt for a bike rack with padded cradles on the arms.

A mast-style hitch rack is affordable and can accommodate different bike sizes, making this rack extremely versatile and advantageous for families.

The Best 4-Bike Hitch Rack

This list of the best4-bike hitch racks is split into two categories, the hanging style hitch racks, and the platform style-hitch-rack.

Hanging-Style Hitch Bike Rack

1. Allen Sports Deluxe Hitch Rack

Allen Sports 4-Bike Hitch
  • Total Capacity:
    140 lbs
  • Hitch Compatibility:
    Class III and IV
  • Hitch Receiver Size:
    2 inch

star45

Allen Sports is known for its quality products, and Deluxe is no exception. The Deluxe is a trendy and affordable mast style rack constructed from alloy steel and finished with a coat of black powder for aesthetics and rust prevention. This versatile rack is made to carry all types of bikes ranging from adult fat bikes to kids bikes.

This rack is designed with a 22-inch dual-arm mounting system. Each arm is equipped with four individual patented cradle straps that are fixed in place but can still adjust to the size of your bike frame. The dual-arm mounting allows you to secure your bike frame at two points, providing extra security while on the road. The Deluxe is a lightweight rack that only weighs 23 pounds.

The Allen Sports rack is designed with a tilt-away feature to allow full access to your trunk, regardless of bikes are mounted on the rack or not. To access your trunk, simply activate the tilt-away feature by removing the pull-pin from the mainmast.

Once you are done with your trunk, simply push the rack up and put the pin back into place. Please note that although the rack weighs only 23 pounds, it is expected to carry up to a total weight of 140 pounds, making the rack too heavy to lift when fully packed.

When the rack is not in use, you can remove the pull pin under the arms and fold the mounting arms down until flat against the mainmast. This will allow you to store the rack away using minimal space easily.

To install the rack on your car, you need a Class III and IV two-inch hitch receiver and the provided mounting hardware. The process will not take you any longer than a few minutes.

Allen sports also supplies you with a complimentary anti-wobble bolt to prevent instability, wobbles, or bumps. You will receive the Deluxe rack in three parts which would require you to assemble them using the bolts provided. When purchasing the Allen Sports Deluxe, you will also receive a limited lifetime warranty.

Why Should You Buy the Allen Sports Deluxe

  • A quality rack filled with features at an affordable price.
  • Convenient pull-pin mainmast tilt function for trunk access.
  • Capable of carrying a range of different bike sizes.

2. IKURAM 4 Bike Rack

IKURAM 4 Bike Rack
  • Total Capacity:
    140 lbs
  • Hitch Compatibility:
    Class III and IV
  • Hitch Receiver Size:
    2 inch

star45

The Ikuram is a highly functional hitch rack perfect for those family trips or group adventures. It is suitable for minivans, SUVs, and trucks with a standard Class III or IV two-inch hitch receiver. The rack is constructed of heavy-duty steel and finished with a thick powder coat that prevents rust and increases durability. It can hold up to four bikes at once with a total weight of 140 pounds, making each bike weigh approximately 35 pounds.

This rack is equipped with a dual-arm mounting system that protrudes 24.8 inches out of the mainmast and allows you to secure your bike frame to the rack at more than one point. On each of these two arms are four soft cradle beds to protect your bike from scratches and four cradle straps that are UV resistant, easy to use, and adjustable to accommodate different bike frame sizes or designs. Although the cradle straps are adaptable and quick to use, remember that the straps can snap and need replacement after a certain period.

The swing-down feature provides you with full access to your trunk within minutes, regardless of whether your bikes are mounted or not. To enable the swing down feature, simply remove the pivot pin in the main mast and tilt the rack down. Once you’re done accessing the trunk, the rack pops back into the original position with the locking pin. However, please note that many users with a 2015 Ford 150 car have trouble opening their tailgate fully as the rack does not tilt down far enough.

It can be a hassle to remove and store when the rack is not in use. To make this process easier, Ikuram allows you to fold the mounting arms inward, providing you with compact storage and keeping it on without the necessary extra length on the car.

Ikuram includes a free anti-rattle hitch tightener for extra value with each purchase. This will ensure your hitch is mounted onto your car correctly and prevents any excess rattle, wobble or shake while on the road. Lastly, the rack does require assembly when delivered, but it is under a lifetime warranty from Ikuram.

Why Should I Buy the Ikuram 4-Bike Hitch-Rack?

  • Ikuram provides a complimentary anti-rattle hitch tightener for extra security.
  • The rack can withstand up to 140 pounds of weight.
  • You can easily fold the mainmast down for trunk access or fold the arms of the rack flat when not in use.

3. MaxxHaul (70210) 4-Bike Deluxe

Maxxhaul
  • Total Capacity:
    150 lbs
  • Hitch Compatibility:
    Class III and IV
  • Hitch Receiver Size:
    2 inch

star45

The Maxxhaul is a simply designed mast-style rack ideal for trucks, vans, and SUVs with a Class III or IV two-inch hitch receiver. Although the rack only features one mounting arm, this rack can still carry four bikes with an impressive total weight of 150 pounds, which is more capable than most dual-arm mounting systems.

The rack is entirely steel coated in a black powder finish for rust resistance. Maxxhaul also included a reflector stripe in the front of the rack for increased security and visibility at night.

The single-arm mount on the Maxxhaul is an incredibly versatile mounting system that can fit a range of different bike frames and sizes. The single-arm support features four adjustable padded cradles to protect your bike frame from damage and four adjustable hook and loop straps for securing the bike frame to the rack. Therefore all you would need is to place the frame in the proper cradle and tighten the straps. However, please note that some have found it challenging to try and fit four adult-sized bikes on the arm.

To gain easy access to your trunk during the trip, simply remove the pull-pin in the mainmast. This will allow you to tilt the entire rack back, creating enough clearance to open your trunk door fully. Please remember that this feature is handy for tailgates that open upward instead of tailgates that swing open.
When the rack is not being used, you can remove the pull pin under the rack’s arm and fold the arm-mount down until flat against the mast. This will allow you to store the rack away using minimum space easily.

To install the Maxxhaul rack, you need the appropriate hitch receiver, the provided mounting hardware, and some basic tools. The Maxxhaul also comes with a hitch pin that is easy to use and adds security to your rack. The only concern is that it can be difficult to line the hitch pin with holes.
The Maxxhaul needs to be assembled once it arrives, but the process will only take you a few minutes max.

Why Should You Buy MaxxHaul (70210) 4-Bike Deluxe

  • Can handle up to 150 pounds of weight
  • Maxxhaul offers adjustable padded cradles
  • Allows full access to your trunk.

4. Tyger Auto TG-RK4B102B Deluxe 4-Bike Carrier

Tyger Auto TG-RK4B102B
  • Total Capacity:
    140 lbs
  • Hitch Compatibility:
    Class III and IV
  • Hitch Receiver Size:
    2 inch and 1.25 inch

star45

Tyger Auto is one of the most expensive racks on the list, but it is well worth the rate because of the OE quality standard of the rack and the complimentary rack accessories included.
These accessories would entail a hitch lock to keep your rack safe from wandering hands, a security strap that ensures your bikes are safely secured on the rack, and a cable lock that will keep your bikes safe from any potential theft.

The Tyger Auto rack is compatible with any car hitch receiver with 1.25 inches or 2 inches. However, this rack is not recommended to use on campers, RV motorhomes, and trailers. You can easily mount four bikes on the rack that weigh 33 pounds each. This would add up to a total weight capacity of 132 pounds.

Each of the two arm-mounts on the rack is equipped with four individual padded cradles for preventing any scratches to your frame finish and ratchet buckles to mount your bike to the rack securely. This would mean that the Tyger Auto rack would secure each of your bike frames in two places, giving you double the security while on the road. Make sure to use the provided safety strap with your bikes; otherwise, the warranty would not cover any damages occurring on the road without it.

For added convenience, Tyger auto has included a tilting feature on the rack, providing enough clearance at the back of your car to open your trunk. To activate this feature on the rack, you simply need to remove the locking pin on the mainmast. Once you are done using the rack, you can fold the rack’s arms down by pulling the locking pin under the arm mounts. This will allow you to easily store the rack away using minimum space, or it even allows you to conveniently keep the rack on the car when not in use.

The Tyger Auto rack would need assembly once it is delivered; however, the process is exceptionally straightforward and detailed in the provided instruction manual. The rack does come with a limited lifetime warranty for all US customers.

Why Should You Buy the Tyger Auto?

  • Compatible with any hitch receiver the size of 1.25 inches or 2 inches.
  • The rack comes with a security strap, a hitch lock, and a cable lock.
  • Easy to install and assemble.

5. Retrospec Lenox Bike Rack

Retrospec Lenox Car Hitch
  • Total Capacity:
    140 lbs
  • Hitch Compatibility:
    Class III and IV
  • Hitch Receiver Size:
    2 inch

star45

The Retrospec Lenox is a rigid bike rack that makes your next cycling journey a smooth experience. The Retrospec is compatible with a Class II or IV 2-inch hitch receiver and can carry a total weight of 140 pounds.

Retrospec is equipped with two arm mounts with ratchet straps and padded cradles to make the bike mounting process simple. The ratchet straps will allow you to quickly and easily mount the bikes onto your rack, while the padded cradles protect your bike frame from any damage or scratches.

Retrospec also designed the carrying arms to have enough spacing between them to easily fit a wide range of different bike frame sizes and designs. However, please note that the rack needs an adapter to securely fit a step-thru bike frame such as a women’s bike with no top tube. Retrospect is also not recommended to carry E-bike models.

You can easily access your trunk with the Restrospec rack by simply removing the pull pin on the mainmast and tilting the rack back. Once you have completed your cycling journey, you can simply remove the pull-pin under the arms and fold the mounting arms down. This will decrease the extra length of your car, and it is super helpful for storage.

The Restrospec does require minor assembly when it arrives; however, you would not need any tools as all the hardware is supplied with the rack. Retrospec also included a complimentary adapter to decrease bumps and wobbles and increase the rack’s stability while on the road for an extra bonus.

Once you have purchased the Restrospec bike rack, you have 30 days to report any defects or problems with the product. No matter if the damage was done during shipping or not.

Why Should You Buy the Retrospec Lenox Bike Rack?

  • The rack is easily assembled and mounted without any extra tools
  • You receive a complimentary adapter to reduce the bump and wobble of your hitch on the road.
  • The arms are designed with extra spacing to comfortably accommodate any bike frame size or design.

6. Thule Apex XT Bike Hitch Rack

Thule Apex XT
  • Total Capacity:
    150 lbs
  • Hitch Compatibility:
    Class III and IV
  • Hitch Receiver Size:
    2 inch

star45

Thule is one of the most popular brands of racks in the market today, which is testimony to the premium quality of the Apex. This uniquely designed and feature-packed rack is one of the most expensive racks on our list; however, it is well worth the investment.

The Apex provides you with superior bike stability and security by using a combination of both cradle ratchet straps and anti-sway cradle straps. The four ratcheting cradles straps on each of the mounting arms are deliberately spaced 7 inches apart to ensure you can use any bike size or design on the rack.

To mount your bikes to the rack, simply use the cradle ratchet straps on each of the two mounting arms and tie them around your bike frame. Then simply attach the anti-sway cradles to your mounted bikes. These anti-sway cradles are specially added to prevent your bikes from swinging into each other and causing damage in transit.

One of the coolest features of the Apex is the patented swing-away system. This will allow you to swing the rack to the side to access your trunk instead of tilting the rack down. Do keep in mind that the rack can swing away when fully loaded, but the maximum weight capacity of the rack is 150 pounds. When the rack is not in use, you can simply fold down the two mounting arms to save you space when storing the rack.

With the purchase of the Thule Apex, you will also get an integrated cable lock that sits on the arm-mounts. This provides superior bike security and theft protection while on the road.

You can easily install your rack to a Class II and IV two-inch hitches. It will only take you a few minutes to mount the Apex to your hitch as the process would not need any tools except the provided SnugTite stinger, which allows you to lock the rack to your hitch.

Why Should You Buy the Thule Apex XT?

  • Apex has a unique swing-away design for trunk clearance.
  • The rack comes with four anti-sway buckles, a cable lock for the bikes, and a lock for the hitch.
  • The cradles are designed to be spaced apart by 7 inches to ensure all designs and sizes of bikes can fit.

Platform-Style Hitch Rack

7. KAC Overdrive Sports

KAC Overdrive Sports K4 2”
  • Total Capacity:
    240 lbs
  • Hitch Compatibility:
    Class III and IV
  • Hitch Receiver Size:
    2 inch

star45

The KAC Overdrive is a heavy-duty platform rack perfect for cars, trucks, and SUVs with a 2-inch hitch receiver. However, the rack is not for use on trailers or RV motorhomes, and it is not recommended to use a 1.24 or 2-inch hitch adapter for the rack.

The KAC rack is constructed out of powder-coated steel tubing that can withstand four bikes with a weight of 60 pounds, totaling a weight limit of approximately 240 pounds.

KAC designed the wheelbase to be five inches wide and adjustable to ensure the rack is versatile enough to hold all bikes. This would mean that you can now load fat bikes and even E-bikes without hassle.

To mount and secure the bike to the rack, simply use the wheel straps provided and tie your wheels down to the base. For extra security and protection from theft, KAC also provides you with four padded frame hooks that have locks. This will allow you to secure your wheels to the rack and the bike frame itself without causing any damage to the finish. The only point to note is that low Y-frame bikes will not fit onto the rack properly and would require a KAC Overdrive bike frame adapter.

You can easily gain full access to your trunk, whether your rack is fully loaded or not, by simply twisting the lever on the mainmast. This action will then release the tension of the mainmast and allow you to tilt the rack back, allowing enough clearance to open your trunk door. Please ensure the rack does not fall into tilt position but rather guided when tilting the rack. When tilting the rack with a heavy load, always ensure you have some assistance and practice with caution.

Once you have removed all the bikes off the rack, you can fold the center post and hook arms which compacts the rack into a smaller size. This innovative feature serves as an easy way to store the rack and eliminates the need to constantly remove your bike rack between trips.

The KAC comes in a few pre-assembled parts, which are easily put together in a few minutes. When mounting your rack to your car, all you will need is the mounting hardware and the complimentary hitch locking pin provided by KAC.

With the purchase of this rack, you will receive a limited lifetime warranty that will cover a number of accidents. However, please keep in mind that the warranty has specific terms for use before you can claim. For example, you cant claim the warranty if you have used the rack on a camper or RV.

Why Should You Buy the KAC Overdrive Sports?

  • The KAC can carry up to 240 pounds of weight.
  • The rack has an adjustable large wheel holder that can carry a variety of bikes.
  • The rack comes with a complimentary hitch locking pin and spare keys.

8. Saris Freedom Bike Hitch

  • Total Capacity:
    190 lbs
  • Hitch Compatibility:
    Class III and IV
  • Hitch Receiver Size:
    2 inch

star45

With the Saris Freedom hitch rack, you can easily mount any type of bike you want, ranging from E-bikes to tricycles. To mount the bikes, you would need to keep in mind that the rack can only withstand 190 pounds of weight, including the two bikes on the sides that must not exceed 35 pounds. This will mean that the two inner positioned bikes can weigh up to 60 pounds maximum.

The Saris is equipped with a wheelbase that can fit bike wheels up to 29 inches in size or tires up to 2.5 inches in size. To secure your wheels to the base of the rack, simply make use of the provided straps. If your bike wheel needs a longer wheelbase, you can simply purchase a longer wheelbase bar from Saris.

To ensure the safety and stability of your bike on the rack, don’t just use the wheel straps. Instead, make use of the middle mast equipped with individual rubber cradles and ratchet straps to secure your bike frame to the rack as well.

To have full access to your trunk at any time, simply step on the foot pedal and activate the tilting mechanism on the rack. However, do be careful that the rack does not fall into a tilting position as it could damage the rack or hurt you. Once you are done using the rack, you can simply fold the arms in and the middle masts down for convenient transport and easy storage.

Why Should You Buy the Saris Freedom?

  • The rack can fit onto most car hitch receivers 2 inches big.
  • This rack includes four individual rubber cradles and ratchet straps to ensure the bike is safe during transit.
  • It can carry any type of bike ranging from E-bikes to tricycles.

9. Saris Superclamp EX

Saris Superclamp EX
  • Total Capacity:
    190 lbs
  • Hitch Compatibility:
    Class III and IV
  • Hitch Receiver Size:
    2 inch

star45

The Saris Superclamp is built with your convenience and bike in mind. You can easily carry an assortment of bikes ranging from E-bikes to kid’s bikes. To top it off you can rest easy knowing that Saris has protected your bikes with a hitch locking pin and an integrated locking cable.

Saris designed the bike rack with an adjustable shepherd’s hook system and wheel ratchet straps that safely and reliably secure your bikes to the rack without the need to touch your bike frame.
To make the Saris even more versatile, it can accommodate up to a 50″ long wheelbase and 190 pounds of weight. Please note that the bikes mounted on the putter side of the rack can only weigh a maximum of 35 pounds each.

The Superclamp is relatively more expensive than other racks on this list but it is well worth the investment. The rack is made to last with the lightweight but durable alloy steel construction. The rack is designed to be 40% lighter than other platform bike racks to make the mounting process efficient.

To mount the rack to your vehicle, all you would need is a truck, car, or SUV with a 2-inch hitch receiver.

You can conveniently open your trunk at any time, including the times when the rack is loaded, by simply pulling the lever at the bottom of the rack and tilting it down. To take it even further, the rack can also fold when your bikes are not mounted for compact travel and easy storage.

Why Should You Buy the Saris Superclamp EX?

  • The rack does not have any contact with your bike frame.
  • The Saris can carry any bike with up to a 50” long wheelbase.
  • Security built-in to the hitch rack in the form of a hitch lock and an integrated security chain

10. Trimax Road-MAX Hitch Rack

Trimax Road-MAX
  • Total Capacity:
    190 lbs
  • Hitch Compatibility:
    Class III and IV
  • Hitch Receiver Size:
    2 inch

star45

The Trimax rack can is an extremely adaptable platform bike rack that can adjust the wheel trays into three different widths apart. This would mean that it can conveniently carry a range of bike sizes that weigh up to 33 pounds each.

The trays are equipped with durable plastic wheel straps and a zamack buckle to secure your bike wheels. The Trimax has also added a padded arm that holds your bike frame in place without damaging your bike finishes. The arms are also adjustable to any height.

The Trimax is compatible with any car, truck, or SUV with a hitch receiver of 2 inches. To mount your rack, you need to use the provided screw-in bolt. Once you have tightly secured the bolt, you can lock the hitch, adding extra security to your rack.

The only downside to this rack is the limited access to your trunk because it requires you to unload all the bikes and fold the rack to open your tailgate fully. However, the extensive arm and tray folding system reduces the size of your rack from 42 inches to a surprising 9.5 inches. This makes the rack super easy to transport and store.

Lastly, the rack comes with the main pieces assembled and would only require you to screw in five bolts in the right places.

Why Should You Buy the Trimax Road-MAX Hitch Rack

  • The platform rack allows you to adjust the wheel trays three different widths apart.
  • The rack folds into a compact 9.5 inches for easy transport and storage.
  • Impressive customer service should you have any issues, giving you confidence in your purchase

What is the Best Way to Load Your Bikes?

Hanging Style Hitch Rack

It is always best to start mounting your bikes from the back of the rack and work your way forward with each bike. Oftentimes people find it challenging to try and fit all the bikes on one arm without squishing them together and causing damage to the bike finishes.

This is why we recommend that you rather try alternating the handlebars on the rack, in other words, let each bike face the opposite direction of the one next to it. This will help you fit the bikes together like a jigsaw puzzle instead of a pile. To take it one step further and ensure your bikes are not damaged by rubbing against each other, you can cut a pool noodle in half and wrap it around your frame.

Platform-Style Hitch Rack

Platform-style hitch racks work best if you first load the heaviest and biggest bikes in the center trays of the rack. This will allow you to conveniently secure the bikes into place without the hassle of working around other bikes. The main reason why the heaviest bikes go into the middle trays of the rack is because the rack is stronger in the centre parts.

Lastly, load your lighter bikes onto the side trays of the rack to ensure the integrity of the rack is not compromised and to put less strain on the carry arms.

Things to Consider Before Puschasing a 4-Bike Hitch Rack

Before you rush out to get one of the best four bike hitch bike racks currently available, You should spare a moment to consider the following

What Size is Your Hitch Receiver?

The rack and hitch receiver compatibility is one of the most important specifications to consider. The last thing you want to do is buy a rack and find out that it does not fit. Most racks require a hitch receiver, not a 5th wheel hitch or duck neck hitch. A hitch receiver is divided into 5 classes that categories the different tube size and towing capacity. The classes are namely:

ClassReceiver SizeMaximum Tow Weight
Class 11inch – 1.25inch2000 lbs
Class 21inch – 1.25inch3500 lbs
Class 32inch8000 lbs
Class 42 inch10000 lbs
Class 52.5 inch18500 lbs
Class 5 3 inch21000 lbs

The easiest way to check what size hitch you have is to check your vehicle manual or crack out the measuring tape. To find out what size you have, simply measure the width and length of the square hole. It should measure the same.

Most of the hitch bike racks on the list require a 2″ hitch receiver. You can get an adapter that allows a 2” bike rack to fit into a 1.25” receiver. But, you need to check if the manufacturer allows this.

Another factor to consider is how you secure the rack to your car without any damage or faults occurring during your trip. The two main ways of securing the hitch are by using a locking pull-pin or a twist-in bolt. Most times, the twist in the bolt is more challenging to use than a pull-pin.

Materials and Build

The most durable 4-bikes hitch racks are made from alloy steel or steel that is powder-coated for rust resistance. Steel is chosen because it is strong and difficult to bend, even with the weight of four bikes on the arms. You should avoid any rack that is made of other material. A coating is necessary to protect the steel from moisture and oxygen, which will cause it to rust. The majority of bike racks are powder coated. But, there are other options:

Galvanized

Galvanized racks are dipped into a special liquid after they have been constructed. This gives the metal a rough finish but protects it from the elements. Because the finish is rough, this is not a popular choice for hitch bike racks.

Stainless Steel

Stainless steel is steel made with additional ingredients that make it impervious to rust and corrosion. However, the finish can be damaged by chemicals.

Thermoplastic Coating

This is a form of powder coating. These are applied straight after the rack has been fabricated and use an electrostatic charge to ensure the compound adheres to the meal. Powder coat finishes are usually 5-6mm thick, but the thermoplastic coating is thicker and feels softer.

Vinyl Coating

In this instance, the rack is coated in a liquid plastic which sets to gives it a rubbery feel. It is very effective at protecting the metal in the rack, although you can wear it down over time.

Galvanized racks are generally the cheapest, but their roughness can affect your bike’s finish. Powder coating gives the same level of protection at a fractionally higher cost. It is much less likely to damage your bike, and a powder coating is available in a wide variety of colors.

Many racks have tubular designs rather than square ones because tubular designs are known to withstand more pressure. Most Manufacturers will weld the small parts of the rack together; however, the rack is delivered to you in main parts. This will require you to assemble the rack with the provided bolts.

Vehicle Clearance for Trunk Access

Most modern hitch-mount bike racks are designed to provide you with convenient and full access to your trunk at any time by simply removing a pull-pin on the mainmast or pushing a button. The two main clearance systems for your hitch bike rack is namely the following:

Tilting

This is the most commonly found feature on racks and the most affordable. This mechanism allows the entire rack to tilt back and down towards the ground to provide you with the necessary clearance to open your tailgate.

Please note that it can be tough to push the rack back into the upright position after you have finished with the trunk. This could also cause injury!

Swing

This mechanism entails the rack swinging open onto one side of the vehicle with a hinge. A rack with this feature usually comes at a premium prove however it is made for the ultimate convenience.

The main advantage of the swing mechanism is the ability to move the entire rack out of the way when wanting to access your trunk. It eliminates the possibility of injury because you would not need to lift any weight.

Bike Mounting Systems

Ratchet Straps

Ratchet straps are awesome mounting systems to have on your rack. They are usually made from plastic that is UV resistant and is known to fit a wide variety of bike sizes.
However, the straps are usually prone to snap, which can be inopportune on the road. Ratchet straps are the most affordable option between the two systems; however, replacing the straps in the long-term vision of things could cost more.

Overall, ratchet straps are awesome for more security, but relying on the straps alone is not always practical. You will find ratchet straps are used on most bike racks.

Shepards Hook

A shepherd’s hook is usually found on platform-style hitch racks. These hooks mount your bikes by clamping them over the top of your wheel or onto the top tube of your bike.
Shepard’s hooks are usually steel or plastic and are often set in size. However, modern shepherds’ hooks are adjustable, accommodating a range of different bikes.

The Bikes You Want to Carry.

Before you purchase a bike rack, it is essential to consider what type of bike you will load onto the rack. Some racks cannot safely carry E-bikes, which would make it a criterion for you when searching for the best four bike hitch racks.

On the flip side, if you are a family unit, it is important to consider whether your rack can simultaneously hold kids’ and adult bikes.

Security

Making pit stops along the way to your cycling destination is inevitable, especially when you are traveling with family and kids. When making these stops along the route, you need to ensure that your bikes are secure and safe from theft.

To accomplish complete security for your entire rack, you simply need to make use of a locking hitch pin. This will ensure that you cannot separate your rack from your vehicle without releasing the lock by the hitch receiver.

Cyclers often use the locking cable to keep their bikes safe, whether on a bicycle stand or rack. A locking cable is super easy to use, and it provides extra security to your bikes at an affordable price. Please do note that the locking cable needs to be thick enough to deter thieves from cutting through it.

Some racks come with these security accessories, and others don’t, so you must purchase them separately. Before buying a rack, this could be a factor to consider, as it could cost you more to buy the rack and accessories.

Practicality

If you often use the hitch rack for your bikes and plan on leaving the rack-mounted to your car, it might be worth the investment to buy a rack that has more features. These features would include the ability to open your trunk while the rack is mounted, the ability to fold the rack when not in use for easy transport, and the ability to lock your hitch.

Allen Sports 4-Bike Hitch

Allen Sports Deluxe

The Deluxe is a trendy and affordable mast style rack that is designed with a 22-inch dual-arm mounting system and only weighs 23 pounds.

Join the discussion