This review will focus on the best 6-bike hitch racks on the market today.
When even the mighty 4-bike hitch rack falls two whole bikes short, you need the best and most capable bike racks the market has to offer.
There aren’t that many 6-bike hitch racks out there, which made it easier for us to test the few options that do exist. That said, we were just as thorough reviewing these bike racks as we are with any other.
Our testing still favours a robust build and secure bike mount. For this review, high load capacity became an even more essential consideration. Besides that, we used our 10 years plus of experience to our advantage and really pushed each bike rack to its absolute limit.
For our money, the Yakima Hangover Vertical 6-bike hitch rack provides the best balance of utility and performance. It has a unique design and more than enough load capacity.
Keep reading for a more in-depth look at the best 6-bike hitch racks.
Hangover Vertical Hitch Rack for Suspension Fork Bikes, 6 Bike
Yakima’s Hangover 6-bike hitch rack delivers a sturdy yet minimalist design, a unique bike mount system, and one of the highest load capacities we’ve ever encountered.
One thing we should mention is that this bike rack is only compatible with suspension fork bikes, so you won’t be able to carry regular road bikes.
But let’s talk about that build quality. This 6-bike hitch rack continues the trend of Yakima products using high quality materials. High grade alloy steel is used for the entire rack, adding rigidity. The alloy steel is treated with a thick powder coat that holds up better to rust and corrosion.
Another standout feature of this 6-bike hitch rack is its high load capacity. We can attest to the manufacturer claim of 225 lbs. That is plenty for carrying 6 of the largest and heaviest bikes you can get your hands on.
In fact, this bike rack is specifically designed to hold bikes outfitted with suspension forks, which tend to be heavier than regular bikes.
One concern with a bike rack that is designed to hold so much weight is the security of the bike mount itself. Not to mention, with 6 bikes, it might end up being a tight fit. Yakima considered both of these problems and employed a unique solution.
Unlike other high capacity bike racks, this one mounts your two-wheelers vertically. That frees up some space, while also keeping each bike mounted further away from the next. This prevents the bikes from bumping into each other and potentially getting damaged.
As for the bike mount, the rack holds each bike firmly at the fork crown. The fitment is adjustable, allowing us to mount various different sizes and shapes of bike. A rotating wheel cup ensures compatibility with different wheelbases too.
The 2” hitch is perfectly stable and wobble-free at speed. It comes with a HitchLock, which provides security in every sense of the word. On the road, we did not notice this 6-bike hitch rack rattle or shake at all.
We also liked the fact that there are 3 different angles that you can set the rack at so that it does not bang up against the back of your vehicle.
Finally, we have to mention some of this rack’s other features which make it even more attractive. There is a tilting mechanism, controlled by a convenient foot pedal, that allows you to tilt the rack downward for easier cargo access.
The carrying mast can be configured with 3 different levels of ground clearance for any situation you find yourself in. And the integrated bottle opener is a cool add-on that is pretty convenient for camping trips.
- Alloy steel build
- 225 lbs load capacity
- Holds bikes vertically
- 3 mast angles
- 3 mast heights
- No wobbling or shaking at speed
- Holds bike at the fork crown
- Rotating wheel cup
- Can hold various different wheelbase
- Tilts forward for easier cargo access
- Only compatible with suspension fork bikes
Bike rack fully loaded
NSR 6-BIKE STRAIGHT
This North Shore Racks 6-bike rack is another really impressive hunk o’ metal. It is surprisingly compact, especially when you consider the heavy load capacity and how firm the bike mount is.
One area where this rack excels is the build quality. The rack is rigid and flex free, even under the load of 6 large sized bikes. It is an all-metal construction, with nigh a plastic part in sight.
In fact, North Shore Racks claims that this rack is made entirely of ‘North American steel’ (a distant relative of the North American Iron, migrates to the south in winter).
But the fun doesn’t stop there. Load capacity is equally impressive to match the high quality build. We did a double take when we read the 300 lbs rating, and just had to test it out for ourselves. We can report that that number is accurate, and you can carry bikes up to 60 lbs each on this bike rack!
That means it is the perfect 6-bike rack for mounting mountain bikes and carrying e-bikes. Unfortunately, you won’t be able to carry regular road bikes with this bike rack, which is a bit of a bummer.
Moving on to the bike mounts, this 6-bike rack uses a similar system to the Yakima rack. All 6 bikes are held vertically for a more compact overall footprint and a secure fitment. We did not notice any of the bikes shaking or wobbling on the road. In fact, the 2” hitch kept the rack stable, even at highway speeds. The heavy duty anti-rattle hitch pin also deserves credit for this.
The carrying mast itself is also taller, accommodating longer wheelbase bikes easily. We had no issues getting different shapes of mountain bikes to fit on this bike rack.
You will be happy to know that despite the large size, this rack does not block your vehicle’s tail lights, ensuring a safer drive.
The whole rack is height adjustable if you need to have a bit more ground clearance, or if you want to make it easier to load the bikes up.
Finally, we were astounded by how smoothly and easily the rack tilts forward to allow for cargo area or liftgate access. Remember, that’s with 6 large mountain bikes loaded up, for a total of just over 300 lbs of weight!
Closing out this review, we think the NSR 6-bike hitch rack is a seriously capable bike rack. It only carries mountain bikes and e-bikes, and you might need to take out a second mortgage on your house to afford this rack, but if you want nothing but the best, it doesn’t get any better than this North Shore Racks 6-bike hitch rack.
- High quality alloy steel construction
- 300 lbs load capacity
- Holds 6 large mountain bikes
- Can hold most different shaped bikes
- 2” hitch is perfectly stable at speed
- Height adjustable mast
- Does not cover up tail lights
- Can be tilted forward, even when fully loaded up
- Only for use with mountain bikes or e-bikes, doesn’t support regular road bikes
With bike racks, you want to find one that is well built and capable of holding as many bikes as you need it to. This is fine for the usual 2-4 bike rack that you can use for regular bikes. But when you want to carry the heaviest of mountain bikes and e-bikes, and carry 6 of them at once, you need to look into the ‘enthusiast’ bike racks that offer even sturdier construction and a higher load capacity.
With 6-bike hitch racks, you should look for a specialised rack that is designed to only carry mountain bikes or e-bikes. The reason being that most ‘all round’ bike racks that can hold kids bikes, adult road bikes, and even mountain bikes are not equipped to handle the type of bikes and weight you plan on carrying.
But there are a couple tradeoffs with most 6-bike racks. Firstly, it is probable that they won’t be able to carry regular road bikes at all. Furthermore, you will have to pay a pretty penny for these racks. After all, the high quality materials and secure bike mounts aren’t cheap!
Secondly, these racks will mostly be the type that carry your bikes vertically. This is not a bad thing in and of itself. In fact, the only way you can distribute the weight of 6 large bikes evenly over a bike rack is by mounting them vertically.
However, this could pose a serious safety hazard if the bikes hinder your visibility in the rear of your vehicle. The fully loaded rack might even cover your tail lights, which could result in a collision with other cars behind you.
So be sure to pick a 6-bike hitch rack that has a height adjustable mast and doesn’t cover the tail lights.
Finally, you will have to pay a little bit more for most 6-bike hitch racks than you would for their lower capacity counterparts. In fact, we would caution you to stay away from cheap 6-bike hitch racks. If the price seems too good to be true, that’s because it probably is!
When you pay for a premium 6-bike hitch rack, you are paying for the highest quality materials, the sturdy fitment, and best in class bike mounting systems. Cheap racks will probably have cut corners in order to offer the lower price. A lower quality screw here, an over-reported load capacity there.
After ten years of testing vehicle accessories both affordable and premium, we can tell you that some ‘budget-friendly’ options end up costing you a lot more down the line. Which do you think is cheaper? A high quality 6-bike rack, or replacing 6 mountain bikes that fell off a cheap rack because it couldn’t hold up at highway speeds?