Bikes are like beautiful flowers of exercise. What do we mean by that?
Well, they come in all different shapes and sizes! And they smell so good, who doesn’t love taking a whiff of a brand new tire?
And because of different shapes, getting a cross beam will allow your bike frame to sit neatly on your hitch rack.
Let’s take a look at the 4 best bike cross adapter bars:
1. Allen Sports Tension Bar Bicycle Cross-Bar Adaptor, Model 900B
The best selling bike cross bar adapter out right now is this Allen Sports 900 B.
We can see a few clear reasons why, and firstly the price is the lowest of all competitors.
While hitting the low price point, Allen also has a great reputation. They’ve been around for more than 50 years and you might recognize their name from another incredibly popular innovation.
Their trunk mounted bike racks. But back to this product. This has a simple open end to hold on to your frame, kept tight by spring loaded tension. Take a minute before ordering to measure.
If you start at your seatpost and head upwards to your bikes stem(where the handlebars sit through vertically), and it’s between the range of 16 to 27 inches then this will fit! If you’re worried it will scratch your bikes frame, fear not. They have added plastic to add some protection from friction.
Perhaps the best part about Allen’s products is they offer a lifetime warranty. That means for this option, the most affordable we’ve seen, you get a lifetime warranty. And that’s why it’s our number one choice, the overall value can’t be beat.
2. YAKIMA - TubeTop Hitch Mounted Bike Rack
They are generally more expensive than other options. And this holds true with this TubeTop Hitch Adapter. Unlike the Allen unit, this does not have spring loaded tension. But it isn’t a concern. Specifically because both ends completely close.
All remaining models on this guide shut completely, offering some peace of mind. The ends are a rubber/plastic hybrid to help protect your bikes frame. Is this a good value? Most customers are extremely happy with it, but like we’ve mentioned before, it will cost more!
3. Swagman Deluxe Bar Adapter
Swagman makes some very good and affordable hitch racks, and they’ve tried their shot at making adapters.
Their Deluxe Bar Adapter a step below in price for most styles that have a similar design. And most of their products follow that tune.
This is actually adjustable, which is something we had yet to see from an adapter. This telescopes between a width of 19 to 26 inches. The red buttons you see pictures are the release points. Just press them and you’re good to go.
It does have a lower load capacity than most though at 35 lbs. But if your bike is under that limit and you like the design, this is a great value.
4. Saris Beam Bike Tube Adapter
Saris has perhaps made a bike beam adapter that can provide you some entertainment.
Yes, it’s actually a fun experience to put this on. You “cock” back each end and when they lock into place you will hear an audible click.
It feels like you’re loading a nerf gun or something. Maybe we’re just easily entertained?
But the reason we have it down at the bottom of our list, is that those same openings that clasp so nicely have too much play. Your bike frame has room to move a bit, and if you’re driving down the highway that will probably leave you feeling a bit uncomfortable.
Again, this is just our opinion and many people have raving reviews about this rack. Don’t take our word for it! If you like the design just do some further reading. Or check out their product video here.
What types of Bikes is a cross bar adapter for?
Basically this helps any bike that doesn’t have a perfectly horizontal frame sit on your hitch rack neatly. Most commonly those styles of bikes are hybrids, kids, and women’s.
These only work with a hitch rack, right?
Yep! They’re just there to help the mount have a horizontal piece of hardware to secure to.
I’m worried a cross bar will scratch my bikes paint, is that possible?
Well, nearly anything is possible. But most of these manufacturer’s know that this is a big concern to some people and have tried their best to add protection to their product.
If you are still not satisfied with the issue of a potential scratch, we recommend crafting a cheap homemade solution. Fitting a slight piece of fabric between the adapter ends and your bike frame should work. You can secure it with a zip tie.
We hope this article has helped you see some of the more popular cross bar adapter options for your bike. There are plenty of big time brands in this space and they all make good products.
For us, we think that the warranty/price combo of the Allen adapter is something that sets it apart, and that’s why it’s our favorite pick. But, if you choose something else let us know how it works out!
We love hearing from our readers, so come back and give us an update if you’d like. And thank you for stopping by.
I'm the owner of Beast Auto. I live in Phoenix, Arizona. I love anything automotive related, and taking road trips all across my beautiful state.