Every serious amateur cyclist needs a reliable cycle rack. As an avid cyclist for over 30 years with a love of travel and a family of four, I have personally experienced some great bike racks and some not-so-great ones. What I’ve learned is that the best 4-wheel hitch bike racks are designed specifically for your vehicle and use high-quality components in critical areas to handle the weight. My review features some of my favorite rack brands, including Venzo, BV, Saris, Leader Accessories, Retrospec, XCAR, Rage Powersports, Allen Sports, Amazon Basics, and LITE-WAY. These bike rack manufacturers make some of the best 4-bike hitch racks money can buy.
Here are my top 10 picks, based on over 500,000 miles of real-world bike rack usage, testing, and my experience of what works well and where bike racks fail.
- 1 Top 10 Best 4-Bike Racks Reviewed
- 1.1 1. Venzo 4 Bike Bicycle Platform Style Carrier
- 1.2 2. BV 4-Bike Bicycle Hitch Mount Rack Carrier
- 1.3 3. Saris Superclamp Hitch 4-Bike Rack
- 1.4 4. Leader Accessories Hitch Mounted 4 Bike Rack Bicycle Carrier
- 1.5 5. Retrospec Bike Hitch Mount Rack
- 1.6 6. XCAR 4-Bike Bicycle Carrier
- 1.7 7. Rage Powersports Elevate BC-08581-2A-2EXT
- 1.8 8. Allen Sports Deluxe 4-Bike Trunk Mount Rack
- 1.9 9. Amazon Basics 4- Bike Rack for 2-inch Hitch
- 1.10 10. LITE-WAY 4-Bike Bicycle Hitch Mount Carrier Rack
- 2 About Hitch Mounted Bike Racks
- 3 Hitch-Mounted Bike Racks: Pros and Cons
- 4 Benefits of a Hitch-Mount
- 5 Negatives of a Hitch-Mount
- 6 Quality Hitch Mounted Bike Racks
Top 10 Best 4-Bike Racks Reviewed
1. Venzo 4 Bike Bicycle Platform Style Carrier…click image to see more on Amazon
It’s obvious to me that the Venzo is the best hitch-mounted bike rack after examining 10 other bike racks. Like my choice for the runner-up below, the BV 4 Bike Rack, they are both the tray-style bike rack, which I prefer (I discuss bike rack styles later). This rack eliminates the bike and handlebars from swinging and wheels from spinning, which may cause scratches on the car or bike.
I can confidently say after using this rack, the build and quality of this model are superior. The manufacturer says they tested it with 1.5 times of max load weight, and no bending or cracks were observed. I put this rack to my own test. I stood on the main lower support beam and jumped up and down, trying to stress test and break the carrier. That’s 180 pounds of my own weight bouncing on this fashion-forward model. At no time did I feel this rack was going to bend or break.
It is one of the more expensive bike racks, but after 3 to 4 minutes of stress testing the Venzo, I feel it is worth the higher price. They know they have a tuff rack, and I stand behind it.
This bike rack is recommended for riders with standard size bikes. The platform has loops where the bike tires fit, and it is compatible with standard-width tires. If you have a bike with fat tires, this bike rack is not recommended for you. If you have a bike with fat tires, a tree-shaped bike rack may be a better choice. Even if the rack appears to be loose and swaying back and forth, a closer look may reveal that there is actually play in the hitch. This back and forth swaying was solved by using a hitch tensioner.
In addition to the lifetime warranty, Venzo has product liability insurance covering up to 2 million dollars per claim.
This 4 bike rack offers a whopping max load of 45lbs per bike. You can’t go wrong with the Venzo.See more on Amazon…
2. BV 4-Bike Bicycle Hitch Mount Rack Carrier…click image to see more on Amazon
If you want to make a minimal investment and still get a decent bike mount, the BV 4 is a good choice. It has a decent build, and the rearward tilting design allowed me to open the rear door or hatch on most vehicles without disassembling the bike carrier. From what I have experienced, you have a vehicle with a rear hatch. This can save you a lot of frustration.
I like the rear safety reflector as it improves visibility and ensures safe night rides. A great feature of the rack is that it features a patented 2-way anti-wobble system that eliminates wobble between the rack and the hitch. Unlike other racks, like my top pick, the Venzo Bike Rack prevents you from purchasing a separate hitch tightener.
My findings are that this ultra-low price and high functional BV bike carrier are unmatched as bike carriers go.See more on Amazon…
3. Saris Superclamp Hitch 4-Bike Rack…click image to see more on Amazon When you have this hitch mount rack in your hands, you will notice how much lighter it is than other hitch mount racks. Of course, being lightweight has the advantage of being easy to handle and mount. What I don’t like is that the lighter a bike rack is, typically the less high-strength steel it has. Don’t get me wrong, this bike rack seems more than capable and gets the job done. It comes down to what would make the best bike rack for you, a heavy-duty heavyweight bike rack or one that is lightweight and less expensive? If you want to make a minimal investment and still get a decent bike mount, the Saris Superclamp is a good choice.
On the Superclamp, the wheel tray is made of molded polymer plastic. I was initially disappointed to see a plastic wheel tray where a steel wheel tray would normally be. I’m not sure how much weight can be reduced by replacing steel with plastic and still maintain sturdiness, but it seems they figured it out. Their wheel tray is more than sufficient, so it’s not a concern. The integrated locking cable is a little short for my liking, but it’s just long enough. A shorter cable means less material, so less weight and allowing for a lower price point, but just a few more inches would make all the difference.
The rearward tilting design allows the user to open the rear door without disassembling the bike carrier. This rack includes a rear safety reflector to improve visibility and ensure a safer drive at night.
No more clunking noises going down the road. This rack features a patented 2-way anti-wobble system that eliminates movement between the rack and the hitch. As far as bike carriers go, the ultra-low price and high functionality of this BV bike carrier are unmatched.See more on Amazon…
4. Leader Accessories Hitch Mounted 4 Bike Rack Bicycle Carrier…click image to see more on Amazon A very decent quality bike carrier at a meager cost!
I found the assembly and installation of the bike rack quick and easy. I was able to install it in my truck within minutes of it arriving on my doorstep. There is not much rattling when the bike is loaded properly, and it provides easy access to the trunk.
Girl’s bikes can be difficult to put on because of frame geometry, but that tends to be a common problem with bike racks, not just with this product. The elastic locking straps helped keep the bikes from wobbling against the metal arms and each other.
It also features well-padded two-way hooks for the front and rear wheels that prevented scratches on the bikes and a durable steel frame that seems to be quite sturdy for the money. Even without the anti-stabilizer, the bike rack is very rigid. It has never squeaked, even with the bikes loaded, but if the bikes are not secured properly, expect them to slide around and make noise.
This is the fastest loading bike carrier available and one of the few made in the USA.
Customers who have purchased this product have been delighted with it.See more on Amazon…
5. Retrospec Bike Hitch Mount Rack…click image to see more on Amazon
This bike rack is well made, easy to assemble, sturdy, and holds 4 bikes securely in place. It is compatible with most men’s, women’s (may need a frame adapter), and most kid’s bikes. It is foldable, so it’s easy to store if you remove it from the hitch. The two pivot points provide convenience, flexibility, and ease of use.
Compatible with 2″ hitch receivers, it has an easy-to-use tilt function for convenient rear access.
The foldable carrying arm’s design allows the carrier arms to be quickly folded when the bike carrier is not used for compact carrying and easy to store. The optimized double-arm carrier and adjustable mounting saddle provide space for a wide range of bike sizes and frame designs, making it more stable and easily accommodating up to four bikes.
The non-wobble pin eliminates sway movement within the hitch. Having the pivot feature on the clamp increases the likelihood of it working with your bikes. It is about 2.5mm thick and will bring the arm tube to a maximum load of 80lb. The included anti-rattle adapter keeps the bike rack itself from wobbling or making noise.
In the end, it works and looks great. I can fit those 4 bikes on it quickly and easily. The installation and instructions were easy and took about 5 minutes to complete the job. The price is right, and I think it is well worth the money. In fact, I would pay twice the price for it.See more on Amazon…
6. XCAR 4-Bike Bicycle Carrier…click image to see more on Amazon
Rage Powersports entered the bike rack market, and ever since then, they have become well known for their quality of design and workmanship. The Powersports 4 bike rack straightforward design offers a rapid install in under 5 minutes, even by novices.
My concern with any bike rack is meeting or exceeding the weight limit, then traveling down bumpy roads. The instruction manual says a maximum of 150 lbs on this rack. I have found with 4 bikes mounted and traveling down the worst of the worst roads, it is secure, and I’m confident in my bikes will make it to the destination with me. Just make sure you devise a way to lock the bikes together for security.
This model secures 2-4 bicycles for vehicle transport using a 2 Class III/IV hitch receiver. Swings down for rear hatch/tailgate access when unloaded. Adjusts to fit bicycles from 50 to 76 long with tires up to 2.25 wide. Heavy-duty steel construction with a glossy black paint finish helps protect from corrosion. So far, I think I’ve made a good purchase.See more on Amazon…
7. Rage Powersports Elevate BC-08581-2A-2EXT…click image to see more on Amazon Since Rage Powersports entered the bike carrier market, it has become known for its design and workmanship. 2 Class III/IV hitch receivers are used to secure two to four bikes for vehicle transport, which can then be rotated to access the tailgate when unloaded. Heavy-duty steel construction with a glossy black paint finish.See more on Amazon…
8. Allen Sports Deluxe 4-Bike Trunk Mount Rack…click image to see more on Amazon Allen Sports entered the bike carrier market and has since become known for its design and workmanship quality. It fits most sedans, hatchbacks, minivans, and SUVs.
The unique configuration design eliminates headaches during installation and assembly. A patented clamping system secures bikes individually.
The entire assembly is done and installed in seconds. A lifetime of workmanship and material Warranty. Allen’s warranty does not cover items purchased through third parties. Importantly, check the manufacturer’s website for the vehicle’s configuration.See more on Amazon…
9. Amazon Basics 4- Bike Rack for 2-inch Hitch…click image to see more on Amazon The Amazon Basic is designed as a workhorse for transporting bikes.
Designed to accommodate 4 bikes simultaneously, it effectively prevents bikes from bumping into each other in traffic. Designed to accommodate vehicles with 2-inch hitch receivers. Ideal for most bikes, including large and small.
Heavy-duty powder coating and ultra-durable rubber straps to prevent the wear and tear of daily use. The arm can be folded down when not in use, and the shelf can be tilted back when needed. The anti-slip design ensures safe and scratch-free transportation.See more on Amazon…
10. LITE-WAY 4-Bike Bicycle Hitch Mount Carrier Rack…click image to see more on Amazon LITE-WAY is truly something special. This hook-on bike rack is constructed with high-strength powder-coated iron and ultra-durable rubber straps to withstand the wear and tear of daily use. This bike hitch holder is designed to accommodate vehicles with 2-inch hitch receivers and is ideal for most bikes, including big and small ones.
Your bikes will stay safe and without scratches with the built-in heavy-duty shock stabilizer. Thanks to the built-in heavy-duty shock stabilizer, it won’t wobble or move even when riding on bumpy roads. The L-shaped hitch of this bike carrier can be folded up to invite more comfort during daily use.
This bike carrier is designed to accommodate 4 bikes at a time, which is advantageous for cycling enthusiasts and effectively prevents bikes from bumping into each other to prevent them from bumping into each other. LITE-WAY is very hard to argue with.See more on Amazon…
About Hitch Mounted Bike Racks
The hitch-mounted bike rack is installed on the back-end of a vehicle where the hitch is located. Most cars have a hitch on their back-end, but you can get one installed if you do not have one, though it can be pricey. On this hitch, you can install various bike racks thanks to the strength of the hitch and the flexibility of the location.
Arm Supported Hitch Mounts
The first style of hitch-mounted bike rack is the arm supported. Arm-supported hitch mounts operate with a fixed arm that allows you to install several bikes into place. The bicycles are then suspended in the air, latched into place, behind your vehicle.
These are easy to install, heavy-duty, and easy to access. The downside for this style of rack is that they make your vehicle MUCH longer on the back-end, thus making parking or maneuvering into tight spaces a bit of a difficulty.
Hitch-Mounted Tray Racks
This style of hitch-mounted rack is also easy to use and simple enough to install.
The tray-style bike racks are just an inverse installation of the arm-supported mounts. They offer slotted insets where your bikes will set into, and they offer flexibility. Unlike the arm models, if the person with the bike mounted closest to the vehicle wants to ride while everyone else wants to sit it out, you don’t have to remove the other bikes first to get to theirs.
These are typically easier to utilize than the arm mounts, and they run more lightweight, as well.
Hitch-Mounted Bike Racks: Pros and Cons
So we are highlighting the hitch-mounted bike racks for a reason, but it is always good to know both the positives and negatives of a potential piece of equipment. We’ll break these down into two categories for you to help alleviate your decision-making.
Benefits of a Hitch-Mount
The primary benefit of a hitch-mounted rack is that it is easy to install and very durable. Your hitch mount, depending on your car’s weight classification, can handle some heavy poundage — more than anything you can throw at it with bikes.
Tertiary benefits of hitch-mounted racks include the protection that they offer your bicycles and their ease of access. Being carried behind the vehicle allows you to keep your bikes out of the direct line of wind and road debris that would otherwise affect them on the roof. They are easy to access thanks to their placement at chest level rather than being located above your shoulders and onto the roof.
Finally, and most importantly, hitch mounts can be used to carry a large load of bicycles — up to four bikes at a time. This is not possible with the other mounts we lifted above, and it is perhaps one of the most significant selling points involved.
Negatives of a Hitch-Mount
The hitch-mounted bike rack does have downsides, believe it or not. The most considerable downside is that it prevents you from gaining access to your trunk or your vehicle’s back-end by traditional means. With the rack installed, you won’t be digging through the back window or popping the trunk.
The second and most real-world applicable downside is that hitch-mounted bike racks add some serious length to your car. For people who struggle to park in tight spots, this could be an issue. We also suggest taking some time to learn to drive with the rack installed before taking it into traffic. It can be hard to gauge just how far back your bike goes, and it is even harder to apply that as you drive, making split-second decisions.
Quality Hitch Mounted Bike Racks
You can see that there are many reasons to look into getting a hitch-mounted bike rack and a few reasons to be wary. We decided to pull together some of the better quality models on the market and compile them into a nice list for you to peruse. We focused on racks built to handle up to four bikes. These are perfect for families going on a trip, friends pooling for an event, or dedicated cycling enthusiasts.