Well, I have also written an article titled Best 5-Bike Hitch Racks. Nevertheless, I am not making any claim to being an expert on this topic. This is not a “One Solution Fits All” guide, but rather an attempt to review some of the most competent bike racks out there that are capable of carrying a lot of weight.
I am going to review a bunch of products that I have used and researched in the past in this article. These products are very capable of taking the weight of your entire family (their bikes) without any problems. Needless to say, these things are very good at pulling the weight of your entire family (their bikes to be clear).
I have tucked in my own notes at the end of the article as well. These are the waypoints I followed to get the research done to find these products. I want you guys to know everything I do. Given that it has taken me several years to get to this point, I will tell you everything I do.
It is hoped that you will be able to find everything you need in this article.
Top-Rated 5-Bike Hitch Racks to Purchase
Despite the fact that there are many brands that offer hitch bike racks for five bikes, there are very few of them that deliver on what they promise. When sorting your list, you’ll have to consider a bunch of things. Not every rack can meet your needs. At the same time, racks that can… might not be cheap.
The result is that it is difficult to find the right match. Well, that is until you read my guide. In this section, I will take a look at some of the brands and products I have tried and tested over the years. Naturally, I considered several factors while selecting these products. We will discuss the brief reviews of five of these products in the following sections.
1. Allen Sports 5-Bike Hitch Racks
With their wide range of products, Allen has a little something for everyone. Even if you have a car with a two-inch-hitch on it, these guys have designed a bike rack that will fit on it. This rack will be able to accommodate up to five bikes, it will easily get out of the way when necessary, and it will be extremely safe.
A steel body makes this bad boy look great. The Allen Hitch Rack carries a lot of weight. I will give you that. However, I must mention that this piece of furniture is coated in black. The color will fade sooner than later, but I can assure you that it will take a very long time for it to fade.
As much as I liked some of the other features of the bike rack, I preferred the “Tie-Down” system. It is essentially a rotating cradle that allows people like us to find a suitable position for our bikes. Also, one of the features is the wide range of bike sizes that can be accommodated.
You will need to tighten the straps on the bike once it has been fitted into the system. Once you have done so, the bike will be firmly locked into place. Apart from tornadoes, earthquakes, and the end of the world, our bikes are secure with Allen Sports Hitch Racks. Load each bike in an alternate position whenever possible.
There are plenty of racks that have 28-inch carry arms, but I am sure that many of them do. However, I think it would be troublesome if those racks stuck out at the back of our cars/SUVs all the time like sore thumbs. The thought of such a situation hurts me just thinking about it. Allen has a simple solution to that problem!
If the carry arm is not in use, it folds and comes out of the way. When not in use, it stays out of the way, which is a great feature for when one is lifting the hatch at the back to get things out of the car.
I want to make it clear that when we are talking about easy access, the mainmast of our cars also folds up. This is to make it possible for the rear hatch to be opened up without any additional effort.
There are a lot of people who use these racks for the purpose of carrying adult bicycles. However, they forget one or two tricks. For example, this product is perfect for small-size bikes as well. I could fit my niece’s toddler bike on the hitch without having to worry about it being damaged.
I know that when it comes to bike racks, there’s always a lot of work involved in the assembly. Assembling one is not a simple thing to do. But that’s not the case with this little beauty! It can be assembled within “Five” minutes. Yes, even if you have never assembled one before.
If you’re unsure about how to connect the hitch and mast together, then please don’t be alarmed. Allen provides users with bolts that aren’t going to wobble when you tighten them. Of course, you’ll have to use the right wrenches for the job, but don’t worry if it feels strange at first.
In the event that something goes wrong, there will be a manual in place for you to refer to. Just consult it and you will be fine.
I would like to point out that everything isn’t all peaches, when it comes to the bikes. If they are set up too low to the ground, then the handlebars might rattle a bit if you are too low.
In addition, there has been some niggles with the hitch rattling a fair bit when our SUV hits the ground too hard. Quality control should inspect the joints before releasing these goods to consumers.
2. Thule Apex XT 5-Bike Hitch Rack
You may expect Thule Apex XT to be one of those racks which is meant to be used with 2-inch hitches. However, that is not the entirety of the story. This rack is also designed to be used with 1.25-inch hitches as well. Not surprisingly, this thing weighs about 35lbs. Yes, considering how many bikes it can carry, it is actually quite light.
It’s worth mentioning that this rack is designed to make sure that my bikes don’t collide with each other. You see, there’s a 7-inch gap between each of my three bikes. Thanks to the space between them, they don’t have a chance of brushing against each other. I’m sure that those babies haven’t gotten scratched.
What could I do if I were you? Apex XT comes with a cradle that holds our bikes in place, so they won’t sway. The best part is that when you’re not stacking your bikes, they’ll disappear. There is a weight limit of 37 lbs with this Apex XT Hitch Bike Rack, so there will be no problems with it breaking down.
There is still more to be said. People tend to have a cable lock to keep their bikes safe. The space between the bikes is enough for safe transportation. The lock should be called something “Extra.” As with other things… when I take my bikes out for a ride, I can put it away inside the hitch.
This item is referred to as a “Tilt-Away” bike rack. In other words, when you are going to access the rear door or trailer, it moves away from it. Oh, you can attach this with your car, truck, trailer, and similar vehicles with no problem at all. Setting it up is easy and quick, and it takes only a few minutes to do so.
The new Apex XT took very little time to set up. I didn’t need any tools at all to set it up. Moreover, my Apex XT came with the SnugTite Stinger feature. This feature allows Apex XT to lock itself to your vehicle and not shake.
If people aren’t carrying bikes, then this thing is still not a nuisance. It’s both arms fold easily, so you won’t have to worry about colliding with other cars or making a costly repair to your bike rack.
While it is lighter than Yakima HoldUp, if I had to compare both items, I’d say it is a plus, but at the same time, it takes more time to load and unload my bikes than Yakima HoldUp.
There are also two locks and keys included with the kit. One might be able to fit two locks at the same time, depending on the type of lock you’re using. However, watch out for the type of lock you’re using.
As a final thing that made me bitter towards Apex XT, there are only a limited number of bike types that can be paired up with it. If you have a ladies’ bike, you have to buy a separate adapter.
3. YAKIMA – FullTilt Tilting Hitch Rack for 5 Bikes
For those of you who want a bigger weight capacity, this is the right option for you. Yakima FullTilt gives us a 40-pound weight limit for every bike. Multiply this by five and you get a 150-pound total weight limit. This is very beneficial for those of you who have only one or two heavy bikes and the rest of them are just average.
I do believe that this particular model (YAKIMA FullTilt 4) will handle all the bikes that you might throw at it. With a twist, of course. You will need bikes that have traditional geometry. You will need an adapter if your bikes are slanted. Don’t worry, this adapter is easily purchased for a bit of extra money.
In my opinion, this is one of the best 5-bike hitch rack candidates in my list because this bike rack is flexible and easy to install, just like the best 5-bike hitch rack candidates on the market right now.
There isn’t much that needs to be done here. This thing comes ready-to-use right out of the box. The only thing left to do is to fit it to the receiver, but that is a no-brainer since the “AutoPin” can position itself and fit into the receiver in a matter of seconds.
It is important to mention that the arms of this rack wrapped my bike in “Complete” protection and safety. Padding was the key here. Unlike most of the brands, YAKIMA – FullTilt has a large amount of padding. And these things collapse when they are not in use.
It went without saying that I had straps at the ready (which came with the rack) as a backup. ZipStrps (as they are called) are designed to secure bikes on the rack flawlessly. I was not able to detect any sudden movements or unnatural shaking of my two-wheelers. They are durable. Do not expect them to tear any time soon.
It is as smart as any other hitch rack YAKIMA has and I liked the nifty locking system on this one as well. You see… these guys give us SpeedKnob so people can install this thing “Tool-Free.”
You can mount it behind your car and take it into the wilderness without worrying about uneven terrain or ditches, because it comes with an SKS cable lock system. It secures the mounts that hold our racks. I can set it up behind my car and run off into the wilderness without worrying about uneven terrain or ditches.
It is fairly large, about 18 inches tall, and it has a tilt-away hitch. When you open the hatch, the UpperHand will tilt away to make way for the rear part of the car. It also folds down when not in use and will come off once it is unmounted. Storing this is very easy. You just need to find a convenient place to store it.
Nevertheless, I must admit that I do have my fair share of complaints about this product, too. The straps for the security strap, for one, are a bit short for my taste. Also, if you’re a short fellow… this WILL be a problem. The rack sits pretty high even as it is. You’ll have trouble loading and unloading things.
4. Retrospec Lenox Car Hitch Mount Bike Rack for 5 Bikes
I would like to point out to you guys that if you have class III or class IV 2-inch hitches… you are in luck. Retrospec Lenox is tailored to fit you! Especially, Diamond Frame bikes are perfect matches for these babies. Of course, you will also be able to tow other bikes with various frame types.
It carries a maximum weight capacity of 170 lbs, which is quite impressive and makes it my number one choice for a car hitch bike. If you’re willing to put in a little effort, the Lenox Car Hitch Bike is well worth the effort. Don’t worry, you’ve already got the tools you need and you just have to tweak it a little bit.
My favorite thing about the design of this product is that it is compact. In other words… it wont look too big or too small as compared to your car. It’s just the right size. Moreover, it folds away when not needed, so it can be stored in a convenient place.
This thing may be small, but it is pretty secure as well. I noticed a number of safety measures just to ensure that my bikes are safe while being transported. For instance, it has enough space to accommodate five bikes without any problems. Nothing will collide with anything else.
It is important to keep in mind that the spacing on this rack serves another purpose. This allows people to use this rack to carry bikes of different frame sizes with no external support. This is one aspect that I like about Retrospec.
Furthermore, you will have “Tie-Down” straps in place while driving. These straps are used to hold bikes firmly in place, so it does not shake when driving over uneven roads and terrains. The straps are tied to each bike individually, allowing it to accomplish the feat. Truly, a commendable effort.
Quite simply, things didn’t end here! Retrospec Lenox guys threw in a tiny adapter in the mix as well. This tiny thing minimizes the amount of wobble your bike will experience while you are on the long ride.
My experience with this product is that it has remained steady and I did not experience any drag at all. The bikes were just fine. Just to give you an idea of how good it is, I took it on a drive with five bikes at 45 M/G. This product was perfectly stable and did its job efficiently.
The issue I noticed was in the “Hitch Pin.” I noticed that it might turn out to be too small for even the “Standard” sized hitch lock on your vehicle. More than likely, you will have to purchase a spare pin in case the stock one has failed. If you are not an issue, then you’re one lucky person. If it’s not an issue for you, then you’re one lucky person.
In my experience, I have noticed people complaining about the rack being loose when folded. Hey, if you ask me, it is pretty normal. It squeaks as well when folded. Go ahead and buy some “Quieting Brackets” to stiffen this thing up. Yes, they serve a purpose as well.
5. CURT 18065 Premium Trailer Hitch 5-Bike Rack
My fifth pick of the best five-bike hitch racks for your hitch, the CURT 18065, is not a surprise addition to my list of the best five-bike hitch racks for your hitch. I was impressed with the fact that this rack can accommodate children as well as adults’ bikes. This makes it a good choice for the whole family.
There are many reasons why this particular product is able to accommodate both large and small frame sizes. The reason for this is that it comes with tapered arms. These arms can be adjusted to fit both large and small frame sizes. You do not have to buy separate adapters of any kind of any kind.
It will blow your mind with its sheer weight capacity. Curt 18065 can hold 5 bikes, totaling 225lbs of weight. Compared to any other bike rack on my list, this one can handle a lot more weight. There is no secret to this rack. There are a lot of robust components in this thing, so it is built to last.
A strong build means that the CURT 18065 will be heavy. Or at least, it will be heavier than the competition.
In order to further secure your bikes, this rack uses rubber cradles instead of standard ones. These are adjustable, so you will not have to worry about any noises coming from your bikes.
You don’t have to worry about moving, shaking, or your bikes turning while you are on the road. You already know the deal, don’t you?
In addition to cars and SUVs, you can also hook this little device up to trailers. I was able to hook it up to my RV since it has a towable shank that I could attach to it. Yes, it is compatible with a trailer as well. I would like to point out that, like the other products on my list, this one is also compatible with receivers 1-1/4 to 2 inches in diameter.
In case you’re concerned, it comes with a hitch pin that allows it to attach itself to your hitches more efficiently. In addition, the pin is what they call “Anti-Rattle.” So, it doesn’t move or shake at all. As well, when it comes to setting this up, it is rather easy to do. It is also very easy to put it away when you need it the most.
Don’t worry about storing it. It won’t be a problem since CURT 18065 has foldable arms for you. You can fold them when you aren’t using them. This way, you can store it in your cupboard or cabinet without compromising extra space, which is particularly helpful for people who live in small apartments.
When you open your car’s rear hatch, CURT 18065 is a tilt-away bike rack. It means that as soon as you open your car’s rear hatch, the rack will move away so as to avoid any problems. In addition, this will prevent you from damaging your bike rack.
You won’t have to worry about the safety of this rack. It has reflectors that ensure constant monitoring and safety. It also has a support strap, which keeps my bike(s) stable whenever I ride through muddy or rough terrain out there. If not needed, the strap can be detached, just like so many of its components can.
In case you think that I’ve already sung its praises, you’re wrong. There is a black powder coating on CURT 18065 racks. The coating is corrosion-resistant. Furthermore, it forms a protective layer over the rack so that rain does not affect it. Even dirt cannot damage it. It is weather-proof, so it can handle all weather conditions.
It has been a hard learning experience for me to learn two things the hard way. First, you should never pull the straps in an attempt to tighten them when towing your bike. The straps are fine as long as they hold your bikes snugly. They aren’t designed to hold them tightly. If you push them too much, they’ll snap. I’ve had to change a few myself.
It is going to take a little while for you to assemble and install this rack. It’s not going to be as simple as the YAKIMA or THULE installation. You will also need to remove the pin if you want to tilt the rack all the way down.
While choosing these racks for 5 bikes, I kept a few things in mind while making my choice
I had to do my own research to find these bike racks. It is safe to say that I was not able to find these out of thin air. In this section of the article, I will be sharing a few tidbits about my process and giving you a heads up. Let’s get started shall we?
In these 5-Bike Racks, build quality is of utmost importance
This type of bike rack serves a very basic function, which is to carry five bikes at a time and keep them safe while they are being transported. They would have to be sturdy and have the ability to withstand the load. They should remain sturdy while carrying the maximum number of bikes. Find a compatible brand.
There are some front runners in this area that I consider to be YAKIMA and Allen-Sports. These babies don’t need any extra adapters (in most cases) for their bikes to fit into them. Additionally, these things are safe. You can count on them not to give up on you during repeated trips to the countryside or the mountains.
It would be a good idea to check the weight capacity of these things as well
It is crucial that when you are buying a 5 bike rack for your hitch, you make sure that the product is going to last a long time. It should not crumble under too much weight, so the heavier it can be, the better.
I have found a product that allows me to carry bikes of varying weights. This means that people are able to carry road bikes, fat bikes, bikes with heavy frames, as well as adult and kids’ bikes. You don’t have to go too far and scour the Internet for hours to find one of these. I have included one of these right here in this article.
It is recommended that you choose the CURT 18065 rack if you wish to lift heavy objects. It has a combined weight capacity of 225 pounds. Considering all the features and benefits of this rack, I would say that the price is reasonable, to say the least. Also, since it is coated in a black material, it can be used in a wide range of weather conditions.
Your vehicle SHOULD NOT be obstructed in any way by the rack
The trailer bike rack is set up to be attached to the rear of your vehicle at the rear of your vehicle. It is also important that there be a mechanism in place for the racks to move out of the way when we open up the rear hatch of our cars or the doors of our trailers. It would be best if you went for swing-away bike racks or tilt-down bike racks.
The advantage of swing away bike racks is that they will automatically move away from the hatch when you open it. There is no need for you to do anything at all. However, the downside is that they can be a little slow when it comes to loading and unloading bikes when you are in the countryside or up in the mountains.
When you open a car hatch or trailer door, the tilt-down bike rack moves downward. This happens because there is a detection system in place that detects the opening of the door or hatch. The detection system starts to fail over time. Additionally, tilt-down bike racks are better suited to trucks than cars or SUVs.
The short answer to this question is that you cannot pair them with everything.
You should be able to assemble the bike rack in a short amount of time
In spite of the fact that quick assembly is not a must (if you are an expert at putting things together), it helps a lot. It’s especially important if you’re a newbie. I prefer products that come assembled and ready to use out of the box. The YAKIMA Full-Tilt is one of my favorite products just because it does the work for me.
I am aware of products that are feature-rich, but they do not come assembled. They might also require some minor assembly (cue: Retrospec Lenox). However, regardless of what the case may be, I believe that these products should at least have a manual, as well as tools in the package, if applicable.
There are a great number of tools available on the market that help people to put things together in a short period of time. These tools also reduce the cost of visiting a technician. It may not amount to much but consider three or four visits a year and you will start to see the money disappearing quickly.
Make Sure You Get A 5-Bike Rack That Is Secure Enough For Your Bike Collection
In order to keep our bikes safe, we need to get a rack that will ensure that our investment will be protected. This is especially true if we are carrying five bikes at once.
As such, you want to make sure your bike rack comes with a “Good” lock, and the lock has to be easily controlled. Check to see if your rack comes with a strap if it does not.
Despite the fact that you might not think too much of a strap, it is vital to the stability of the rack. A good strap helps in maintaining the balance of the rack and therefore stops it from tilting when it is being used to carry bikes.
If you have a rack like the Yakima Full-Tilt rack, it comes with an adapter, which connects the hitch to the body of the car. It keeps the rack in place when the car is moving around in the street. There is also an aftermarket product that you can purchase if your product does not come with them.
In spite of the fact that it is not often mentioned in blogs, the hitch lock is really important when it comes to security measures. Yes, most of the racks have them of course. However, not all of them will fit well with the pin. So when this happens, your rack will wobble and fall off.
As I mentioned, it is best to always have a spare lock on hand. Just like the straps I mentioned; you can also find aftermarket hitch bike locks, which are quite reasonable in price to say the least.
The rack should be able to accommodate your bicycles perfectly.
The problem here is that we’re looking for something that can hold five bikes at the same time, whether that’s in a car or on a trailer. Without a doubt, they’re designed to be able to carry five mountain bikes, road bikes, or even fat bikes. However, many of the products simply pile the bikes on top of one another.
The CURT 18065 is one of the very few bike racks that comes with a rubber cradle that is tapered. It is also equipped with straps that allow you to tighten the bikes with the handle for further security. Some of the best 5 bike racks for hitch mount allow for a lot more space between the bikes.
Once you have adjusted the straps to fit snugly, you are all ready to go on a long-distance trip with your bikes. You will not experience any rattling, shaking, or drag when you are traveling for a long period of time.
I believe that there is one small glitch to all of this. These racks are a little bit pricey compared to their competitors. But in my opinion, the price that they charge is well worth it.
I would like to put an end to our conversation now.
A bike rack is one of those things that you need to be careful about. No matter how much you pay, you might end up with a fragile product. One year or two down the road, you will find yourself browsing eCommerce sites looking for a new one. That’s why you should get a professional (me) to help you make the right purchase.
It is for these reasons that I have put together a buying guide for my readers as a “Point A to Point B” solution. That means it will be able to help you determine what you need, and which brand provides a better solution to your unique problems. In other words, it will be able to stand by you when you need it most.
On my list of the best 5-bike hitch racks, you will find products that are tried and tested by a huge amount of riders. Now, I do not intend to choose favorites since all of these are great products in their own right. However, if you want a rack with good build quality, you can consider the YAKIMA Full-Tilt.
The Retrospec Lenox is a good choice for the tweakers and DIY enthusiasts as the assembly might need a little bit of work. On the other hand, CURT 18065 is a good choice for those who want everything taken care of and ready to go out of the box.
Do you have a favorite? Is it one of the ones from my list? Is your product something that I haven’t seen before? If so, please let me know in the comments.