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Tow-bar mounted bike racks for cars

Best tow-bar mounted bike racks for cars

Tow bar mounted bike racks are bike racks that mount directly onto the tow ball at the vehicle’s rear. The mount goes over the tow ball (which is the anchor), holding the rack firmly in place. These racks that are tow ball mounted are also referred to as hitch mounted.

Towbar mounted racks are sought after as they are sturdy and provide peace of mind as the tow bar is connected to the vehicle’s chassis, so it’s safe to say it’s not going anywhere. Here we have the best towbar mounted bike racks on the market. We weigh up three main components when choosing a rack, these are, Usability, affordability, and durability. Picking a perfect bike rack, we think it’s a perfect blend of these indigents. Here is a list of the best towbar mounted bike racks.

Let's have a look at the best towbar mounted bike racks

Hitch Mount Bike Rack

Best Overall

  • Best all round 

Pros

  • Recreational vehicle approved
  • Fits 2” hitch receiver

Cons

  • cannot access the rear of RV while bikes loaded on rack
4-Bike Premium Carrier with Quick Release Handle

Budget option

  • Cheap
  • Does a great job all round 

Pros

  • Quick release handle
  • Anti-wobble system

Cons

  • Not fit for kids bikes
4-Bike Carrier Rack

Premium option

  • Fits all types of hitches

Pros

  • Cable and hitch lock along with security straps
  • Soft cushion protector

Cons

  • Rack is not foldable and uses space in storage.

This page will clear your concerns and guide you in selecting a bike rack that you can trust to transport your bikes. Let’s first explore the compatibility of different bike racks compared to tow bar bike racks. Bikes with bolt-on carriers can fit on flange-style tow bars, while bikes with clamp-on carriers can go with both flange and swan neck tow bars.

If you need a quick understanding of what these are check out this article. For a brief explanation, it’s simply the different methods connecting the bike rack to the tow ball. If you haven’t installed a bike tow bar yet, the hitch-mounted option is the most versatile and suitable for carrying bike racks.

Hitch Mount Bike Rack

 ‘Ride, paddle, explore: seek your adventure is the motto of bike rack company Swagman based at Okanagan Valley of British Columbia. This two-bike carrier is built for durability and can be mounted on the tow bar of any vehicle.

 This rack is approved for installation on recreational vehicles, trailers, or the fifth wheel. This rack has gone through rigorous testing before its formal launch in the market. 

It has a load capacity of 35 LBS per bike. The rack accommodates bikes of wheelbase up to 52” and maximum width of 3-1/2”. Swagman was among the pioneers in designing hitch-style bike racks in the early 90’s. Hitch racks were designed to make bike transportation smooth and hassle-free. The rack makers still follow their mission to ensure the safe hauling of bikes, and they are still the leaders in the market today.

The design makes it sturdy and lightweight. You can also order a locking hitch pin and security cable for the safety of your bike rack and your bikes. This hitch-mounted rack can be installed in minutes. The black powder coat finish is resistant to rust and corrosion. This rack has ratcheting hooks and an upright arm with a push-button for quick loading and unloading of bikes. Swagman bicycle rack can easily fold when not in use to access the trunk.

Hitch Mounted Rack 4-Bike

This premier heavy-duty bike rack is designed to haul bikes through any terrain. It’s built to endure punishing road conditions and off-road drives. As imagined, it’s extremely popular among mountain bikers as the straps can accommodate a wide range of frame sizes. The straps are stretchy, so when you load bikes onto the rack, ensure you use this stretchiness so that the bikes are held firmly to the rack.

All you need is a 2-inch tow hitch receiver to attach this solidly built rack.
It has a load capacity of 130 LBS or four- bikes. Additionally, this solidly built rack is an ideal fit for trucks, cars, and SUVs. It is made of powder-coated steel to withstand any weather conditions. Its anti-wobble system keeps a firm grip on each bike.

Two-arms with eight ultra-stretchable and UV-resistant rubber straps cushion the load effectively. You also have access to the rear cargo as this rack can fold down. It’s a huge advantage when you are on long trips. Bike riders love the hitch pin locking system and rear reflector on this rack, ensuring safety during traveling. The company extends a performance guarantee, and a wide variety of mishaps are covered in a limited warranty offer.

4-Bike Carrier Rack

This bike rack is similar to the one above; however, it has a few different features that make it worthy of a mention. The obvious similarities are that it is a hitch mount bike rack and can carry 4 bikes. Why it’s different and still considered one of the best is for its extensive range of features.

Both price points are similar, so depending on what features your after should help dictate your choice of rack. Let’s get started, and I’ll explain what I’m referring to.

The tow bar installed bike carrier has a cable lock and hitch lock. For extra stability, it has security straps that minimize the rattling of bikes. It is a rust-resistant rack; it’s got these soft cradles and protection pads designed to secure your bikes and protect each bike frame. The bike carrier is weighs 28.22 lbs. Its installation is simple. A detailed manual is included in the packaging.

TYGER auto offers a no-hassle limited lifetime warranty providing you use both safety straps when installing the bikes and while driving. Or else any accident or damage will not be covered in the warranty. The bike comes with a tilt-down feature which allows easy access to the rear cargo area. The rack has folding carry arms that can be folded down when bikes are not loaded.

Allen Sports 2-Bike Hitch Racks

This bike rack is an excellent option if you enjoy riding and have kids who like to ride. It can hold both kids and adult bikes without needing a frame adaptor. This is achieved by having the carry arms spaced close together, so the frame of the kid’s bike fits over the carry arms. Therefore it has made a spot on our list. It’s a hitch-mounted bike rack that can carry 2 bikes.

The rack has a maximum load capacity of 70 LBS which is adequate to haul most bikes, including mountain bikes. The rack is fit for 1 ¼ and 2-inch receiver hitches; the rack fits on the vehicle’s tow bar. It just needs three bolts to fit the rack, and it’s ready to go. An easy-to-operate tie-down cradle system grips the bikes separately, and it is fully functional. This tie-down mechanism is fixed on the carry arms, and it rotates to accommodate a wide range of frames.

While your sports bike rack is mounted on the tow bar, you can tilt it back to access the rear of the SUV or vehicle. In fact, for easy storage, this rack can be completely folded and stored in the garage. Allen deluxe hitch bike rack is delivered with all required hardware for installation on the hitch receiver. For safe transportation of bikes, this rack has a no-wobble bolt to tighten the rack in place. Allen sports hitch bike rack weighs 21 pounds and comes in two-colour, silver and black. For rust resistance, this rack is colored with a black powder-coated finish.

There are our top hitch mounted bike racks

Tow bar bike racks allow free cabin space. They provide safety for bikes and vehicles. Being the most common type of bike rack on the market, it can be hard deciding what style to go for. Hopefully, this article helps with your decision and clarifies the different features and load capacities of each rack.

Tristan Kavanagh

Tristan is an automotive specialist and the current author at Beast Auto. He has been in the automotive industry for years. He has a passion for sharing his depth of knowledge with his readers.