I recently bought a new vehicle which has a hitch and I would love to upgrade from my trunk mounted rack to a hitch mounted rack.
Typically, I would carry one or two bikes but there are times when I might like to carry three or four.
I’ve looked at some of the ones from Thule and Yakima where you can buy the two bike tray style model and then buy an add on to make it four. I wonder if it’s better to have a two bike hitch mounted rack and then a roof mounted one? Does it wobble around a lot when it’s all loaded up with more then two bikes?
What is everyone’s experiences? What has worked for you and your pals?
I’m not interested in the hanging style because I’ve had experiences where the bikes rub against one another and wrecked the paint. Fine for myself! but I felt bad when it was a friend’s bike.
First question is what vehicle do you have and hitch size. Then figure out what type of bikes you are transporting now or possibly in the future. Road vs fat bikes make a differnece.
If you are looking at those with add ons then price is pretty steep, but they generally work really well. I have been using 1upusa rack, it is direct to consumer from the states. It was the original tray design that doesn’t touch the frame and its absolutely solidly built. On my old CRV the rack would wobble a little, but the bikes don’t touch and it is super versatile. Best part is no plastic and replaceable parts if for some reason you do damage it. There are plenty of similar designs now but none seem quite as indestructible. Works with lots of bikes from pretty much 20 inch to fat bikes with an adapter.
Yes, I am finding them quite pricey! I may have to just start with a 2 bike one.
I have a 2014 Rav4 and the hitch has a 2" receiver. I’m pretty sure it’s this one: https://www.hitchweb.com/75235/draw-tite-class-3-hitch
Probably I would only be carrying road, gravel, mtb, and some kids bikes.
Then you are generally pretty good. Kids bikes can be a problem with some racks depending on the size.
I dislike trying to put bikes on a roof rack, it destroys the gas mileage and if you aren’t tall enough it is difficult to put them on the top. The tray racks are pretty good at stopping frame rub. usually just watch the brake leavers on a mtb.
Others will have their preferences but the 1up racks although a little more costly are bomb proof, and ridiculously fast to place a bike on them (like 2 seconds). Shipping kind of sucks, in the past I have had them shipped to a us shipping company and picked them up. It saves the 125 Us plus brokerage fees, for what was a pretty reasonable package fee.
You will find all racks bounce a little the big thing is just making sure that there is clearance for bikes not to touch
I’m sure others make comparable racks now.
I’m not a great fan of the newer hang from the front wheel racks that are out there, and I really wouldn’t recommend them on a Rav 4 given the racks weights. They have their place on a full size SUV but aren’t great for road bikes.
I run a Kuat Transfer which is about 10 years olds ant is has been bombproof. A bit lighter than some of the others and actually fits nearly all bike sizes (from fatbikes to smaller kids bikes). I’m not sure it goes to smaller than 20" wheels though would have to check. Rock solid on the car too. Transfer v2 Hitch Rack - Küat Racks | Bike Racks
Grabs the front wheel by the tire so no frame rubbing. We actually drove across the country with 2 gravel bikes on the back with no damage or issues.
You can even get it from Amazon so you could send it back easily if you didn’t like it https://www.amazon.ca/Kuat-Transfer-Hitch-Mount-Bikes/dp/B08L7Z4YWX
Only issue with the Transfer is that it isn’t expandable so you either have to go with the 1, 2 or 3 bike up front and live with it. I have been tempted to get one of the ones with detatchable / extendable parts to add more bike like the NV but they are really pricey. I just run my two bike Transfer most of the time then put one in the trunk if needed (but then we are a three person family).
The V2 of the transfer allows a single add on now! So with the 3 bike version you can get upto 4 bikes
Saris makes a nice rack in the super clamp, probably not as durable as others and not expandable but the 4 bike version is a little more affordable than those listed above.
Those Kuat racks look really good! I just watched a video. Thanks for letting me know about them.