Saris Superclamp EX 4-Bike Hitch Rack Review

Built ground-up to be the safest, toughest and lightest 4-bike platform hitch rack on the road. Fits mountain bikes, electric bikes, kid’s bikes, road bikes.

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Saris Superclamp EX is a lightweight and versatile hitch platform rack. This tough steel construction can support 2 or 4 bikes. The rack is rated for types of bikes including eBikes, mountain bikes, electric bikes, fat bikes and even kid’s bikes. Additionally, it comes with a tilting feature to allow hatch access when in use. For security, there are integrated locks as well as reflectors to ensure visibility during your road trip.

HIGHS (+)

Lightweight

Can hold kids’ bikes- from 20”

Compatible with a wide range of wheel and tire sizes

Support wheelbases of up to 50’’ fat tires of up to 4”

LOWS (-)

Might wobble

Using a wrench, instead of a simple knob, to secure the rack to the hitch

Max. nr of bikes

Hitch size

Load capacity

Max. tire width

Ease of Assembly

Installation of this low-profile rack is quite easy since most of the parts are compact and pre-assembled. Without any load the platform has a total weight of 63 pounds with parts that are light enough for a one-man operation.

In total, it takes around 45 minutes to complete the assembly and all you need is an adjustable spanner, or 19mm and 17 mm fixed spanners, and an 8mm allen wrench (included). Start by installing the hitch receiver and secure it using a pin and lock. Next, secure the front plate with the receiver followed by attaching the outer horizontal bar.

The next step is to slide on the wheel trays with the reflectors facing away. To complete installation, slide open the arms by pushing and holding a button. Once fully assembled, the rack can carry 4 bikes with a total weight of 190 lbs.

Versatility

The Saris Superclamp EX is designed to function as a 2 – 4 platform bike carrier. In the 2-bike configuration, it can carry 120 lb with each bike at 60 lb max. For the 4-bike set up, the heaviest bikes go near the car while the 2 outer trays support up to 35 lbs each.

This hitch platform rack uses wheel trays for clamping down bikes, ensuring that no contact is made with the bikes’ frames. Further the trays and arms can be adjusted to accommodate different sizes of tires and wheelbases. The rack also features a built-in bottle opener. It is this kind of versatility that makes Superclamp EX a truly universal bike rack.

However, the rack is only rated for passenger cars with 2 inch hitches. It is also worth noting that unlike many hitch racks, the Superclamp uses a lockable bolt to attach to the hitch as opposed to just turning a knob with your hand. 

Security

The Superclamp EX hitch rack is designed with the security of your bikes and car in mind. First off, the hitch receiver locks securely using a pin and lock. Secondly, ratcheting arms are held on hardened brackets to ensure bikes do not wobble or scratch each other, or your car during transit. For added grip, there is a locking cable to pin your bikes to the rack. Lastly, wheel trays are secured using straps plus the whole assembly can be folded up when not in use.

Safety

The rack comes with a manual that outlines measures for keeping you and other road users safe. For the rack’s visibility, ensure the reflectors are visible and clean. Keep your speed below 10kph when going over bumps, reduce speed on bends and avoid emergency braking.

As a rule of thumb, never exceed 70kph when the rack is loaded. Also, the Superclamp EX is not rated for off-road use or hitching onto trailers or RVs. Additionally, when on the road, periodically checking the mounting straps for slackness. 

Quality

With a 4.2-star rating on Amazon, the Superclamp EX is one of the high-quality bike racks in the market. The rating is from 299 reviewers with 79% of the score being 4- 5 stars.

Why the Superclamp Ex Bike Rack Is Rated Highly

Versatility, durability, and weight (light) are some of the factors that make this American-made bike rack rank so high. For a 4-bike rack, the Superclamp EX is light weight at only 63 pounds; by industry standards, this is around 40% lighter than its competitors.

The rack also gets high points for its built-in tilt feature that allows you to open the back hatch when in use. Further, it takes a short time to assemble the rack and load bikes. Its dual wheel clamps ensure no contact with the frames or car.

As such, the rack is handy when hauling antique bikes that require extra safety to keep the frames scratch-free. The wheel clamps also make it easy to carry bikes with oversized tanks and fat tires (up to 4’’). And the fact that the clamps and arms are adjustable makes it easier to carry kids’ bikes (from 2’’).

You will also be happy to know that no extra gear is required to secure y-frames or bikes of the step-through variety. However, the Saris Superclamp EX is not designed to carry tandem and recumbent bicycles.

Verdict

The Saris Superclamp EX is arguably the most versatile back rack for a 4-bike setup. It is also a light weight product made from durable alloy steel. This is also the go-to rack for bikes with wheelbases of up to 50 inches. It doesn’t have many moving pieces, making it compact and easy to store away.

That said, the rack has a lesser load capacity compared to similar racks such as the KAC Overdrive Sports K4 that can carry up to 240 lbs. The rack is also only rated for a 2’’ hitch unlike the Superclamp EX 2 bike rack that is adapted for both 1¼” and 2” hitch systems.

Nevertheless, this rack is well suited to carry bikes of varying designs including y-frame and BMX bikes. As a precaution though, ensure that the bike tires are well inflated and secured away from the exhaust pipe. Also, for added security you need sturdy u locks to supplement the provided cable locks, especially when camping in the wild.

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