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Biking & Accessories

Best Hitch Bike Rack

There are bike racks for most any vehicle and to fit most any size bike. They are a great way to escape the city and head out to the open road with your bikes in tow. Many manufacturers offer compatibility charts and ways to see what rack will work on your vehicle. This feature is great if you don't have a local dealer that can help you out. Most standard racks will carry up to 4 bikes.

When looking for a hitch mounted rack, you will find models that swing out of the way for easy rear access to your vehicle. The less expensive models are fixed and can make access a bit tougher. There are also models that have a hinge to lower them for limited access to the rear of your vehicle.

The racks on this list were chosen for their quality, ease of use, and versatility.

Saris Freedom 2 Bike Tray Hitch Bicycle Rack

Made in the US and a lifetime warranty, hard to beat that. The Saris Freedom 2 has that and so much more. It is made to fit both 2 inch and 1.25 hitches. It is lightweight, strong, and folds out of the way when not in use. After a long ride the last thing you wand to do is lift your bike, this rack is low enough that you won't feel the pain. It is extremely adjustable and will fit both kids and adult size bikes. Saris also makes a 4-bike version of this rack for family outings or rides with your friends. You might think all that comes with a huge price tag but at $250 for the Freedom 2, you will have a tough time finding a better deal.

Saris Thelma 3-Bike Platform Hitch Rack

This rack looks like a piece of modern art. The curved wheel trays of the Saris Thelma 3 will hold most any size tire. This is a 3 bike rack and another lightweight "made in America" rack with a lifetime warranty. The rack folds up when not in use. The Thelma 3 is designed to never touch the bikes or your vehicle so you won't have any damage to either one from the rack. At less than $400, it is well worth taking a look at the Thelma 3.

Yakima SwingDaddy Bike Rack

Yakima is a household name in sports equipment. The Swing Daddy 4, as the name would imply, holds four bikes and can swing out of the way when you need access to the rear of your vehicle. This rack as an anti-sway feature that prevents the bikes from touching each other. Unlike the Saris, this is strictly made for a 2-inch hitch. It is also much heavier than the number one pick, weighing in at almost 50 pounds The Swing Daddy 4 includes a security cable so you can lock the bikes to the rack. This rack will hold four bikes of up to 30 pounds each and do it well.

Thule Apex Swing 4 Bike Hitch Rack

The Thule Apex Swing 4 is another great option for four bikes and also has the swing away capabilities that the Swing Daddy does. Anti-sway cages prevent bike to bike contact and the hold fast cradles absorb some of the road shock for added bike protection. This rack is designed for a 2-inch hitch. The Apex Swing 4 is comparable in many ways to the Swing Daddy. This rack is easy to use and comes in at a price of $430.

Yakima BigHorn 4 Bike Rack

Another great option from Yakima for four bikes. The Big Horn has many of the same great features as the Swing Daddy 4. I wouldn't put as much weight on this rack, it is a lighter weight rack. If you are hauling heavy mountain bikes I would consider spending more and getting the heavier duty racks. This is a great option for the budget minded shopper looking for a great rack for not too much money. You can purchase an optional adapter if you have less than a 2-inch hitch but it will affect the movement, shouldn't be enough to cause a problem.

I've been a cyclist since I was a child. I've owned as many as 5 bicycles at a time and all served a different purpose. I had a mountain bike for rough trails, a hybrid for on and off rail trails, a light weight racing bike for road riding, a modified mountain bike for longer distance riding, and a touring bike. I currently own the most compact folding bike available on the market. It's great for commuting and travel. I do the basic maintenance on them and I use a bike for travel purposes. I have had the folding bike down the east coast and from California to Maryland. I'm currently a staff writer for a NYC bike shop and enjoy seeing all the new equipment as it hits the store.
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