10 Paramount Bike Racks for Mountain Bikes

You will find:

  • 10 hitch bike carriers that will carry your mountain bikes safely to destination

Your number one priority while transporting mountain bikes on a bike rack is safety and security. Arriving safely with your bikes undamaged and gear in place must have paramount importance. Mountain bikes have their unique challenges: they are heavier than road bikes, not all carriers fit full-suspension and thru-axles, the bike tires are more robust, etc.

Most mountain bike tire widths typically range from 2.0 to 2.4 inches for cross-country bikes while enduro and downhill bikes come around 2.5 to 2.6 inches tire width. Anything beyond that falls into the fat tire range with 4.0 – 5.0 inches. Some of the most common wheel sizes include 26”, 27.5”, 29” and 24”. The bike weight usually depends on frame materials and tire size. The most commonly preferred frame material is an aluminum alloy; however, other options are carbon fiber, titanium, and steel. If you are after buying additional mountain biking gear we recommend rei.com’s checklist.

To help you get through all of the challenges of searching the right mountain bike rack we carefully selected 10 bike carriers that have amazing functionality and quality, giving you what you are looking for.

Top mountain bike racks you should know about

  1. KAC Overdrive (2-inch)
  2. RockyMounts Backstage
  3. Swagman Current
  4. Thule T2 Pro XT
  5. Kuat Racks NV 2.0
  6. Yakima HoldUp
  7. Kuat Transfer
  8. Saris SuperClamp
  9. Yakima FullSwing
  10. Hollywood Racks SportRider

Carrier

Type

Capacity

Bike Weight

Tire Width

Wheel Sizes

Hitch size

KAC Overdrive

Platform-Hitch

4-bike

60 lbs/bike

Up to 5”

20-29”

2”

RockyMounts Backstage

Platform-Hitch

2-bike

60 lbs/bike

Up to 5”

20-29”

2”

Swagman Current

Platform-Hitch

2-bike

60 lbs/bike

Up to 5”

20-29”

1.25 & 2”

Thule T2 Pro XT

Platform-Hitch

2-bike

60 lbs/bike

Up to 5”

20-29”

1.25 & 2”

Kuat NV 2.0

Platform-Hitch

2-bike

60 lbs/bike

Up to 4.8”

20-29”

1.25 & 2”

Yakima HoldUp

Platform-Hitch

2-bike

60 lbs/bike

Up to 3.0”

20-29”

1.25 & 2”

Kuat Transfer

Platform-Hitch

1-3 bikes

45 lbs/bike

Up to 4.5”

20-29”

1.25 & 2”

Saris Superclamp

Platform-Hitch

2-4 bikes

35 lbs/bike

Up to 4.0”

20-29”

2”

Yakima FullSwing

Hanging-Hitch

4-bike

40 lbs/bike

20-29”

2”

Hollywood Racks SportRider

Platform-Hitch

2-bike

50 lbs/bike

Up to 5”

20-29”

2”

Find the newest collection of mountain bike carriers with no effort.

1. KAC Overdrive K4 2” Platform Hitch Mountain Bike Rack

Type: Platform – Hitch
Capacity: 4-bike
Weight capacity per bike: 240 lbs (60 lbs each)
What we like:

  • Keeps your bikes sturdy and safe with a patented Anti-Wobble System
  • Heavy-duty 5” wide wheel holders are adjustable to fit most e-bikes, fat tire, road and mountain bikes
  • Made from powder-coated steel tubing that will hold bikes up to 60 lbs each

KAC K4hitch-mounted bike rack comes with an innovative design that allows easy adjustments to your bicycles. It can be very easily tilted up when not in use and away from vehicle for cargo access. It will fit nearly all bikes – from fat-tire bikes to electric bikes, road and mountain bikes. It has a remarkable 4-bike capacity while holding 60 lbs per bike.

2. RockyMounts Backstage 2” Hitch Mount Mountain Bike Carrier

Type: Platform – Hitch
Capacity: 2-bike
Weight capacity per bike: 120 lbs (60 lbs each)
What we like:

  • Built-in swing feature
  • Robust construction
  • Excellent ground clearance

The RockyMounts Backstage is an adaptable carrier that provides full access to the rear of the vehicle even with the bikes loaded. It can carry a total load of 120 lbs being incredibly easy to use with great ground clearance. The Backstage can tilt downwards at 30 degrees but the most important feature here is the 180-degree twist. It is probably one of the best swing-away bike racks on the market providing a robust mix of materials, high quality, and a very secure attachment system.

3. Swagman Current Platform Hitch Carrier for Mountain Bikes

Type: Platform – Hitch
Capacity: 2-bike
Weight capacity per bike: 120 lbs (60 lbs each)
What we like:

  • Fits 20″ – 29″ bikes and up to 5″ tire width
  • Folds up against the rear of the vehicle when not in use
  • Adjustable hooks secure the bike frame

Swagman Current could be the perfect solution for your mountain bike. It fits 5-inch tire width which is a great carrier for fat bikes, mountain bikes, and electric bikes. It is Swagman’s heavy-duty rack which will accommodate almost any bike. The rack weighs 33 lbs which is making it extremely lightweight while adapts to most frame sizes, shapes, and styles.

4. Thule T2 Pro XT Platform Hitch Carrier

Type: Platform – Hitch
Capacity: 2-bike
Weight capacity per bike: 120 lbs (60 lbs each)
What we like:

  • Best-in-class tilt lever
  • Lots of space between trays
  • 3″ of lateral tray adjustment

Needless to say that Pro XT from Thule is one of the best-rated bike carriers of all times and one of the 5 carriers for electric bikes in our top. It holds your mountain bikes by the wheels, not the frame. Ideal for carbon frames, mountain, downhill, eBikes, and fat bikes as it fits 20 – 29” wheels and up to 5” tires without adapters. The bike carrier easily folds when not in use and tilts away from vehicle for rear access due to the easily accessible HitchSwitch lever. Possible to increase the load capacity from 2 to up to 4 bikes with Thule T2 Pro XT Bike Add-on (sold separately, 2” receiver only). It features a 12.5-inches distance between bikes and a weight of 52 lb.

5. Kuat Racks NV 2.0 for Mountain Bikes

Type: Platform – Hitch
Capacity: 2-bike
Weight capacity per bike: 120 lbs (60 lbs each)
What we like:

  • Durable, versatile, integrated work stand
  • Made of corrosion-resistant aluminum
  • Built-in lock cables, adjustable wheel ramp

The Kuat NV hitch mount grips your mountain bicycles by its front wheels via ratcheting hooks, so the carrier never makes frame contact. The new pivot allows you to gently drop the NV with a tap of the foot so you can get your ride on the rack without lifting a finger. Seamlessly integrated locks—long enough to fit any frame. An integrated repair stand makes field maintenance easy. The super-simple twist-and-push clamp will hold your bike firmly while you give it a little TLC (Trail Love & Care). Bikes not wanting to share space nicely? Easily dial in the fit with adjustable tire scoops. Three positions to choose from so handlebar and seat post-clearance is never an issue. Fits 20″ to 29″ tires (20”-24” wheels will require an adapter). Carrier weighs 52 lbs.

6. Yakima HoldUp Hitch Mountain Bike Carrier

Type: Platform – Hitch
Capacity: 2-bike
Weight capacity per bike: 120 lbs (60 lbs each)
What we like:

  • Easy to load, thanks to the pivoting rear wheel cradles and low height
  • The ratcheting hooks avoid frame contact
  • The side-to-side wheel tray optimizes handlebar clearance

The HoldUp is Yakima’s fastest, easiest way to load bikes. Its beefed-up arm pivot makes it stronger than ever and the side-to-side adjustability reduces the chance for bike-to-bike interference. It’s a road trip companion for life. Fits 20″ – 27.5″ wheel sizes with tires up to 3.0″ wide and 29″ tires up to 2.5″ wide. Accommodates disc brakes, through axles, and full suspension bikes. Tilts down with bikes loaded for rear-of-vehicle access. StrongArm design secures bike at wheels, protecting paint and carbon frames.

7. Kuat Transfer Platform Bike Carrier for Mountain Bikes

Type: Platform – Hitch
Capacity: 1-3 bikes
Weight capacity per bike: 45 lbs each
What we like:

  • Great for flying solo or biking with a group
  • Can be pivoted away to allow access to vehicle
  • No frame contact

No more battles between seatpost and handlebars to wedge bikes into place. Just adjust the tire scoop and you’ll have…wait for it…a perfect fit. Hands full? Not a problem. The new pivot allows you to gently drop the rack with a tap of the foot so you can get your ride on the rack without lifting a finger. With one hand you can release and secure the ratchet arm, providing an intuitively snug, no-wobble fit. 45-degree tilt.

8. Saris SuperClamp 2-4 bikes Platform Mountain Bike Rack

Type: Platform – Hitch
Capacity: 4-bike
Weight capacity per bike: 190 lb in total
What we like:

  • Durable construction
  • Compact design
  • Tilt handle easily accessible

Built ground-up to be the safest, toughest, and lightest 4-bike platform hitch rack on the road. No matter where you go, this car rack is up for the challenge. When it comes to durability, versatility, and carrying capacity, the SuperClamp 4-bike packs a punch in its light, 63 lb package. In fact, the SuperClamp is 40% lighter than similar platform hitch racks, yet is guaranteed to last a lifetime thanks to its tough steel construction. Rock-solid dual hooks provide unmatched security, and never touches the bike’s frame.

9. Yakima FullSwing Platform Hitch Rack

Type: Hanging – Hitch
Capacity: 4-bike
Weight capacity per bike: 40 lbs per bike
What we like:

  • Fully padded arms
  • Swings away with one-touch
  • Tool-free installation with locking SpeedKnob

Designed to fit four bikes, Yakima’s FullSwing will fit mountain bikes, downhill, enduro, cruiser, fat bikes, touring, or family bikes. AutoPin automatically positions and secures rack to the hitch and receiver. Arms fold down when not in use. SKS Locks included; locks racks and bikes. Swings away from the car with bikes loaded to provide easy access to the rear of the vehicle.

10. Hollywood Racks SportRider Tray Style Hitch Bike Rack

Type: Platform – Hitch
Capacity: 2-bike
Weight capacity per bike: 80 lbs per bike
What we like:

  • Folds flat against the car when not in use and tilts down for easy cargo access
  • Locking frame hooks to secure the bikes to the rack
  • Adjustable wheel holders

Heavy-duty platform-style bike rack holds up to 2 bikes (max. 50 lbs per bike); Features patented no wobble-no tools hitch tightening system for fast and secure installation. Locking frame hooks to secure the bikes to the rack; Includes keyed-alike locking hitch pin and security cable. Fits 2″ hitch receivers only; Not to be used with a 1-1/4″-2″ hitch receiver adapter; Not to be used on a trailer or towed vehicle. Adjustable wheel holders allow the bike rack to fit up to a 60″ wheelbase bike; Folds flat against the car when not in use and tilts down for easy cargo access.

What type of carrier do I need for my mountain bike?

The market is loaded with many unique and study forms of mountain bike carriers. Some of the most common options in the market are hitch racks, roof racks, cargo boxes, trunk racks, truck racks and spare tire racks. But when you are planning to move out on SUV, the best idea is to invest on a hitch rack.

There are so many reasons to prefer hitch mounted racks over other options; few of their amazing benefits are listed below:

  • Simple to install
  • Easy to access bikes and convenient loading
  • Good choice for frequent use
  • Compatible with most of the SUV models
  • Some of these racks can haul multiple mountain bikes

 

Conclusion

Now you have gone through all essential details about mountain bike racks. It is the right time to pick the best hitch rack for your expensive bike and plan your tour to the most popular tourist destination. A secure and sturdy hitch rack can promise complete comfort for tough rides while securing your mountain bike perfectly on the back of the SUV.

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