If you are a casual or infrequent rider there is usually little reason to splash out on the latest, most expensive bike rack. The Prorack 4-Bike Hitch Carrier is very much a budget offering, but if all you need is something to your bike and those of your friends or family members to wherever it is you want to ride then it fits the bill. Price wise the nearest competitor for this rack would be the Allen Sports Deluxe 4-Bike Hitch Mount Rack, so let’s find out of this is a better investment.
This rack is fairly simple to install and the whole process of assembly and installation probably took me about fifteen minutes. The clear instructions and diagrams that came with the rack were really useful and I think even someone who has never attached a bike rack will be able to get the job done. Since the rack is constructed from solid steel it has a bit of weight to it, but on the upside it also means that it is quite sturdy. I don’t think it is quite as sturdy as the Allen Sports rack though as it has a much lower load capacity and can only transport up to 125 lbs. However, this should be ample for a couple of adult and kids bikes.
The Prorack is quite versatile as it is compatible with both 1-1/4” as well as 2” hitch receivers. I must mention however that in order to work with a 2” receiver you have to use the adapter which is included with the rack. It worked fine for me, but I am a bit concerned that the adapter is constructed from plastic and not metal. The rack features a dual arm design for holding the bikes which means it is able to provide improved stability. The cradles are also adjustable and overall it is very easy to attach or detach bikes from the rack. I was rather disappointed to find that unlike the Allen Sports rack, the arms on this rack cannot fold down when they are not in use. If they really bother you they can be removed as they are only attached with two bolts, but the rack can be tiled to allow access to your trunk.
While taking the rack out for a test drive I found that it has minimal vibration and the anti-sway cradle appears to do its job well. I would still suggest securing the bike pedals and wheels to restrict movement to an absolute minimum, especially when driving long distances. Like most bike racks you are going to need a bike frame adaptor to securely attach ladies bikes or any bikes that feature step through frames unless you want them hanging at odd angles. Security wise the rack attaches to the car via a bolt while the bikes are strapped on to the rack using velcro. For better security you would need to get a locking bolt and cable lock for the bikes.
Prorack 4-Bike Hitch Carrier Pros & Cons
Since this is very much an entry level bike rack I can’t be too critical of it, especially considering the low price tag. The rack doesn’t feel cheap which is very important and during the time I spent testing it I didn’t encounter any major issues. The assembly is very easy thanks to the clear instructions and apart from not being able to fold down the carry arms the rack delivers on everything you would expect from it. Take a look at my list of pros and cons for the Prorack 4-bike Hitch Carrier to see its strengths and weaknesses.
Prorack 4-Bike Hitch Carrier Pros
- Easy to install and comes with clear instructions.
- The rack features a solid steel construction and feels very durable.
- Compatible with both 1-1/4” and 2” receivers.
- Dual arm cradle design provides improved stability.
- Cradles can be adjusted and bikes are easy to secure or detach from the rack.
- The rack can be tilted back to access your trunk without removing it.
- Minimal vibration when in transit.
Prorack 4-Bike Hitch Carrier Cons
- The carry arms on this rack cannot be folded down when not in use.
- Because of the steel construction of the rack it is quite heavy.
- Load capacity is only 125 lbs.
- Uses a plastic adapter to connect to a 2” receiver.
- Bike frame adapter required for transporting ladies bikes.
Despite being a very basic entry level rack, the Prorack 4-bike Hitch Carrier performs quite well. The Allen Sports Deluxe 4-bike Hitch Mount Rack would still be my top pick in this price category as it has slightly more features and a higher loading capacity, but overall the Prorack is worth a second look if money is tight. For an occasional trip down to the park with the kids bikes this rack is ideal, but if you are going to be driving further or loading heavier bikes you might want to look into sturdier racks.