GearJunkie – The Best Hitch Bike Racks of 2022

From GearJunkie By Billy Brown & Austin Beck-Doss

Whether you’re riding solo or bringing along the whole crew, these are the best hitch bike racks to haul your bike to the trailhead.

Besides taking a header over your handlebars, wrestling your bike onto a rack (and compulsively checking your rearview mirror to make sure your bike isn’t cartwheeling down the highway) is probably your least favorite part of cycling.

Luckily, there are a host of options for conveniently and safely getting your bike to where you want to go, especially if you have a tow hitch. With features like ratcheting arms, integrated cable locks, and swing-away arms, it’s easy to find the perfect way to load and unload your bike, securely hold it, and hit the trail without worry.

We looked around for the best hitch bike rack of 2022, and we found some very solid contenders in a wide range of price points.

See some of the picks below and for the full list check out GearJunkie.com.

The Best Hitch Bike Racks of 2022

Best E-Bike Rack: Yakima OnRamp

Electric bikes are great for taking up some of the load when a ride gets tough, or if you just want to get outside but don’t necessarily want a workout that day. Unfortunately, the added weight makes a mini-weightlifting session out of putting it on a hitch rack. As one of the most well-respected rack companies on the market, Yakima had this in mind when designing the OnRamp ($699).

Not only does it have the heaviest carry rating that we’ve seen at 66 pounds per bike, but it also sports a handy roll-on feature. The cradle tilts down to the floor, letting you roll your bike up onto it and into position. As anyone who’s ever had to muscle a heavy bike onto a rack will attest, this is one of those features you’ll wonder how you ever lived without.

It’s not just for e-bikes, either. The wide cradles can handle everything up to and including fat bike tires and wheelbases up to 50 inches. And the expanding and height-adjusting frame attachments allow you to carry everything from e-bikes to BMX bikes to kids’ bikes with equal security. Speaking of security, it sports a hitch lock and integrated cable lock to keep your bikes safe.

Specs:
  • Bonus: The hitch and cable locks use the same key, so you won’t have that annoying trial-and-error process every time you lock and unlock your bikes
  • Weight: 43 lbs.
  • Number of bikes: 2
  • Type: Platform
Pros:
  • Convenient loading system
  • Most versatile rack on this list
Cons:
  • Low for on-ramping systems
  • The $500-plus price may be out of range for some riders

Best 4-Bike Hitch Rack: Yakima RidgeBack 4

We’ve often felt that the best features are the ones you don’t notice, and Yakima’s RidgeBack 4 ($399) is an excellent example of this. It strikes a perfect blend of features and simplicity. It comes assembled right out of the box, and the locking, tool-free SpeedKnob lets you mount it in minutes.

The two arms sport a set of eight anti-sway cradles that prevent your bikes from banging into each other during transport, and the zip strip ratcheting straps are fast, easy to use, and removable.

The rack tilts away from your car via an easy-to-use UpperHand lever, and the whole rack folds flat for easy storage when not in use. All the adjustments on the main joints are via button or lever, which makes adjusting it a breeze.

We also appreciate the add-ons that give the rack a little more versatility and security. You can add a bike frame adapter that will allow it to accommodate kids’ bikes, BMX bikes, and other unconventional bikes (like step-throughs).

Then there’s the Handcuff lock ($49), a proprietary cable lock designed to work specifically with the RidgeBack (as well as Yakima’s SwingDaddy rack).

Specs:
  • Bonus: Yakima’s signature bottle opener on the end of the swing arm is always handy for post-ride celebrations
  • Weight: 35 lbs.
  • Number of bikes: 4
  • Type: Hanging
Pros:
  • Security features
  • Ease of use
  • Bottle opener
Cons:
  • Cable lock and frame adapter are separate purchases

Best of the Rest

Yakima HangOver 6

If you roll deep, the Yakima HangOver 6 ($949) is the best way to haul your crew’s bikes around. Great for big families, group rides, or tour guides, Yakima’s beastly bike rack loads up to six bikes at up to 37.5 pounds each in a very cool vertical carry system. It’s a great SUV bike rack for hauling your bikes and gear.

The bikes are secured by the rear tire and fork base, with the front tire pointing toward the sky. The HangOver manages to carry half a dozen bikes while taking up minimal space.

The vertical tower has two adjustable tilt angles that are operated via a pedal at the base. This allows you to adjust the bikes’ distance from your car (the tires may bump the rear windows of Sprinter vans at the vertical setting) and to access the rear of your vehicle without taking the bikes off the rack.

Soft padding in the cups protects the forks’ finish, keeping them clean until you and your buddies thrash them on the trails, and they’re adjustable enough to accommodate fat bike suspension forks. The hitch lock is included, an integrated lock loop lets you secure your bikes and, of course, the built-in bottle openers are a plus.

Specs:
  • Weight: 73 lbs.
  • Number of bikes: 6
  • Type: Unique rear wheel and rear fork cradle syatem
Pros:
  • Huge carrying capacity
  • Innovative design
Cons:
  • Only works with suspension forks

Yakima HoldUp 2

This lightweight entry from Yakima ($549) is the easiest way to load bikes that doesn’t involve a ramp. A huge front-wheel cradle pairs with a ratcheting security hook, while a smaller cradle for the rear tire locks down the other end. The result is a rack that punches above its weight, providing the security you would expect from a much bigger, more overbuilt rack.

When not in use, the rack is small and unassuming, folding flat against the vehicle. It fits a wide range of bikes, accommodating wheels from 20 to 27.5 inches with tires up to 3 inches wide, and 29ers with tires up to 2.5 inches wide. The hook-and-cradle design also allows you to rack bikes with disc brakes, thru-axles, and full-suspension bikes with no issue.

Side-to-side adjustability ensures a safe distance between bikes so they don’t bump against each other during transit. And the rack can tilt down to allow access to your vehicle’s rear compartment, even fully loaded.

In addition to the model-specific features, the HoldUp also sports the welcome details we’ve come to expect from Yakima — locks included for the hitch and bikes, and an integrated bottle opener, which comes in handy when you need to replace some calories post-ride.

Specs:
  • Weight: 49 lbs.
  • Number of bikes: 2
  • Type: Hook and cradle (zero frame contact)
Pros:
  • No frame contact
  • Very secure hold
Cons:
  • Slight wobbles during highway travel

For the rack buyers guide and other picks check out the full list at GearJunkie.com.

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