The 10 Best Platform Bike Racks (Tray Style) for Car in 2023

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I don’t know about you but I try to get away from this bustling part of Boston and veer off into the wilderness once in a while. My getaway vehicle? The trusty old bike I have at home.

The process is simple! I tuck away my bike behind my SUV and off I go. Well, I do have to arrange a bike rack to hold my transport in place. My choice? A hitch bike rack. I prefer the platform-style ones.

Best platform bike racks come with the added benefits of being abrasion-proof and smooth wheels at the bottom. I’ll go into the topic in detail later.

Tray style bike racks are particularly helpful when you’re dragging your bikes somewhere. Also, you’ll find these things to be more reliable than the swing-away racks I spoke of in another article.

So, which are the ideal products for the interested bunch? This is what my article is all about. I’ve also tucked in a guide detailing my process of finding the top platform hitch bike racks that you’ll see in “Recommendations.” Ready? Let’s get to it then!

Best Platform Bike Racks – Comparison

Top PickAllen Sports 4-Bike Hitch RacksAllenSports Platform
Bike Rack
  • Bike capacity: 2
  • Load capacity: 70 lbs
  • Material: Steel
budget Allen Sports 4-Bike Hitch RacksSwagman XC2
Platform Rack
  • Bike capacity: 2
  • Load capacity: 70 lbs
  • Material: Steel
Allen Sports 4-Bike Hitch RacksMAXXHAUL Platform
Bike Rack
  • Bike capacity: 2
  • Load capacity: 80 lbs
  • Material: Steel
versatileAllen Sports 4-Bike Hitch RacksLeader Accessories
Platform Rack
  • Bike capacity: 2
  • Load capacity: 140 lbs
  • Material: Steel
Heavy LoadAllen Sports 4-Bike Hitch RacksHollywood Platform
Hitch Racks
  • Bike capacity: 4
  • Load capacity: 140 lbs
  • Material: Plastic, Steel
Allen Sports 4-Bike Hitch RacksKAC K2 Platform
  • Bike capacity: 2
  • Load capacity: 120 lbs
  • Material: Alloy Steel

Why a Platform Style and Not a Hanging Hitch Rack?

platform racks and hanging rack
Simply put, platform racks are way quicker, safer, and easier to use.

Simply put, platform racks are way quicker, safer, and easier to use. When you mount your bikes on it, it won’t swing or bang together against the vehicle. But this is a common case with a hitch hanging rack.

Actually, platform racks are the best option to transport your bikes. However, not all hanging racks are compatible with every bike style but platform racks are. They remain close to the ground. As a result, you can access your bikes easily.

Also, being close to the ground they tend to have a low center of gravity. It adds up to their stability. Most platform racks have two attachment points. They are called ratcheting arms and straps. The first one secures the front wheel and the last one holds the rear wheel in place.

This is a no-nonsense, simple but elegant system. It makes your life a lot easier by making it exceptionally quick to load and unload your bike. Platform-style racks also come as a blessing while driving. They don’t sway that much and reduce any sort of wobbling.

Now, hitch-hanging racks are not bad either… They have their perks too. For instance, if you’re planning to frequently unload the whole rack you should go with a hanging rack. They are rather small compared with the platform rack and weigh a lot less too.

But if you intend to unmount the bikes in quick intervals then platform racks are the best option. They are safe, quick, easier to use, and versatile. They don’t affect the driving experience and also keep the bike from coming into contact with your vehicle. This is a common occurrence with hanging racks.

That’s all for now. Hopefully, you’ll learn a great deal about platform racks as the article progress. Also, I have included a detailed buyer’s guide that’ll assist you in finding the dream platform rack that you have been searching for for a long time.

Top 10 Platform Hitch Bike Racks Review

Best Platform Bike Racks

When it’s the platform bike racks… you can’t just hit the market, buy one, come home, install it, and hit the asphalt. It’s not that simple. There are lots of things you need to consider before buying a platform hitch bike rack. To make this job easier for you, I have listed my ten favorite platform-style bike racks that can do the trick for you.

1. Allen Sports Platform Hitch Mount Bike Rack

Best Overall
Allen Sports Platform Bike Rack
Quick Summary:
  • Color: Black
  • Material: Steel
  • Receiver: 1 1/4″ & 2″ hitches
  • Item Weight: 30 lbs
  • Bike Capacity: 2
  • Load Capacity: 70 lbs
  • Brand: Allen Sports
Check Price on Amazon

The XR200 from Allen Sports is an easy load 2-bike carrier for 1 1/4″ or 2″ hitch. This is a rack that’s perfect for carrying two bikes. Weighs less than 30 pounds and has a good-looking metallic body. So, you can well imagine how compact and strong it is. After all, who would trust a rack that’s not strong and sturdy?

This platform bike rack is well equipped with adjustable wheel trays and easy to use frame attachment system. Also, you can stop worrying about whether your bike would fit in or not. Because the XR200 can host a wide range of bicycle styles and sizes.

The weight capacity of XR200 is 70 pounds or 35 pounds per bicycle. Before hitting the market, you just want to measure your bikes’ weight since it’s very important. Because… if the weight goes beyond the capacity of the rack then it can break under pressure.

Installing it is no sweat at all as long as you know how to use a wrench. At first, it will take a little bit longer to install it but with time you’ll get better at it.

Let’s talk about the security and safety that the XR200 provides for your bikes. For example, it uses an adjustable, padded upper frame connector. It aims to secure and protect your bicycles from all sorts of bumps and wobbles.

On top of it, there’s a strap connection that works like a charm on almost every range of tube sizes and shapes. That’s not all. To further ensure the safety of your bikes, Allen Sports added a buckle that’s fully wrapped in a TPR housing.

The XR200 model from Allen Sports is quite versatile when it comes to accommodating different types of bikes. As long as the weight capacity of your bike (35 pounds per bike) doesn’t exceed it will easily fit your bike in.

The wheel trays can hold up to a 3″ wide tire. The trays can be adjusted to house a wide range of bicycle sizes (from a 35″ to a 48″ wheelbase) with wheels from 20″ to 29″ diameter. So, rest assured no matter what type of bike you may have you can easily mount them on it.

Yes, it has more flexibility than you can hope for. The XR200 has a tilting back system that will grant you easy lift-gate access in times of emergency. Almost all the quality bike rack has this tilting quality. So, Allen Sports went a little further with this XR200 model.

On top of the tilting system, they designed it in such a way that you can fold the rack and minimize its profile. This clever feature has many useful aspects. For example, when you’re not using the rack to transport your bikes, you can fold it up against the vehicle for convenient on-vehicle or in-garage storage. This best 2 bike platform hitch rack from Allen Sports is a great option if you’re looking for an extra bit of security and safety for your bikes. It’s packed with ingenious features, super easy to use, doesn’t take long to install, and has a firm structure. So, what do you think? Will you be willing to give it a chance?

2. Swagman XC2 Hitch Mount Platform Bike Rack

Runner Up
Swagman XC2 Platform Rack
Quick Summary:
  • Material: Steel
  • Dimensions: 5″ x 34″ x 11″
  • Receiver: 1 1/4″ & 2″ hitches
  • Item Weight: 28 lbs
  • Bike Capacity: 2
  • Load Capacity: 70 lbs
  • Brand: Swagman
Check Price on Amazon

Swagman is a decent hitch-mount platform rack but this is not what you would call a robust rack. It has a two-bike capacity and highly adjustable. This is, however, a perfect choice for seasonal users but not for the long haul. Part of the reason is; it doesn’t offer security for the bikes as a good bike rack should do in the first place.

Other than that, it still has some good quality features packed inside. This is extremely lightweight. It even weighs less than the XR200 model from Allen Sports. Being lightweight makes this a lot easier to assemble and use on the road.

The Swagman XC2 keeps your bike stable and it’s versatile enough to accommodate a broad range of bike, wheel, and tire sizes. Being small you would not face any problem storing it in your garage and you will feel an undisturbed driving experience.

It’s a durable bike rack, I give you that. The XC2 is made of metal and the plastic knobs on the wheel trays and the rubber coating on the clamp hooks don’t feel cheap at all. They will perform under pressure and soak up a lot of abuse.

This 2 bike rack has the same capacity as the XR200 which is 35 pounds per bike and 70 pounds in total. If the limit exceeds the rack will be damaged. If you carefully use it on smoother asphalt you could use it for several years…yes, it’s that durable.

The XC2 is very simple and easy to use. It has a low loading height. So, you should not find any problem mounting your bikes on it. Although, you have to adjust the wheel trays by hand for bikes with varying wheelbases.

One thing I don’t like about this rack is that it puts you in a bit of an awkward situation while loading the bike close to the vehicle. The reason is that the clamp bar is situated in a vertical position. It requires you to lift the bike in between the rack and the vehicle.

Is the XC2 versatile? The answer is yes. It can and will fit a wide range of bike sizes. The wheel trays smoothly slide along the horizontal bar and can house wheelbases within the range of 15-52-inches. The oblong wire loop wheel trays are compatible with wheel sizes from 20-29 inches in diameter and tire widths up to 3.5-inches.

However, I hate to say this but these wheel trays aren’t wide enough to fit fat-tire bikes. In this case, you have to buy fat tire wheel trays that are available as an aftermarket accessory. If you ask me, this accessory should come with the package.

The Swagman XC2 has an adapter system that makes it compatible with both 1.25″ and 2″ receivers. However, the included hitch pin doesn’t work as it should be with the 2″ receiver.

Security? Well…there’s none. As it happens there is no way to lock the bikes to the rack or the rack to the vehicles. Yes, a bummer.

Apart from this and the annoying wobble, this is a not great but good bike rack. If you just want to test your bike, then you can trust this product. It’s durable, versatile, and flexible at the same time. Although it doesn’t fall into the same category as a premium quality bike rack, it still has a good amount of fight in it.

3. MAXXHAUL 50027 Hitch Mount Platform Style Bike Rack

Budget Rack
MAXXHAUL 50027 Hitch Mount Platform Style Rack
Quick Summary:
  • Material: Steel
  • Dimensions: 31.5″ x 11.5″ x 8″
  • Receiver: 2″ hitches
  • Item Weight: 32.9 lbs
  • Bike Capacity: 2
  • Load Capacity: 80 lbs
  • Brand: MAXXHAUL
Check Price on Amazon

This is straightaway a robust platform-styled bike rack. It’s strong, sturdy, and made to last. It can carry up to two bikes and has all the good qualities of a fine platform bike rack. The MAXXHAUL 50027 keeps the bike in one place safely and securely.

In this model, they have added two-foam padded hooks. These hooks help stabilize the bikes when you’re on the road. Besides that, the manufacturers have included a movable vertical post to add more flexibility to the whole structure. That’s not it, there’re also rubber straps to ensure further stability for your bikes.

MAXXHAUL 50027 weighs more than the previous two bike racks. It weighs just about 33 pounds and has a total capacity of 80 pounds. That is 5 pounds more than the Allen Sports’ XR200 and Swagman’s XC2 model. So, no matter what kind of monster you may have, the 50027 can easily carry them.

You would be glad to know that, MAXXHAUL 50027 is ideal for any vehicle from SUV, truck to a sedan that has a 2-inches receiver. Yes, you guessed it right, this model has ‘universal fitment.’ Equipped with a 2″ x 2″ hitch bar, it easily goes with standard Class III and Class IV hitch receivers.

Now, is this platform bike rack easy to use? You bet it is. It has a unique hook design. Using this hook, you can adjust your bikes on the rack any way you see fit. Does your bike have a unique body structure? No problem. You can accommodate them easily on the rack.

Mounting them on the 50027 is not an issue as well. Quickly mount your bikes on the rack using the quick hitch pins.

A friendly piece of advice: whenever you’re on the road carrying your bikes behind the vehicle, try to drive steadily. Excessive movements can cause damage to your bikes and your vehicle. I get it, when you’re ready for an adventure and the road lays wide open to you, you can get a little bit carried away. Please, don’t do that.’

It would be really unfortunate if you find that the integrity of your bikes has been compromised after reaching the designated spot. So, to avoid this kind of situation it is highly recommended that you drive steadily and use the adjustable rubber straps on the bike cradle.

These rubber straps work like a charm, trust me. Their job is to provide that extra bit of stability that your bikes need whenever you’re rolling on the asphalt. Yes, they keep bikes stable but also they add another layer of extra safety for your precious bikes.

Attaching the MAXXHAUL 50027 on your vehicles is also very easy. It doesn’t take much time at all. I mean it shouldn’t feel like a chore in the first place, right? Rest assured, it’s not the same case with this model. You can detach it even more quickly than installing it.

Well…how can you do that? The answer lies in the unique quick hitch pins. You can use these pins to assemble and disassemble the product for compact storage.

In the end, all I can say about this 50027 model from MAXXHAUL is that it’s a trusty bike rack. It has a very good build quality. The plastic parts are made with care and designed to withstand a lot of rough weather. The rack has flexibility, it doesn’t wobble that much and keep your bikes safe and secure.

4. Leader Accessories Tray Style Hitch Mount Bike Rack

Most Versatile
Leader Accessories Tray Style Bike Rack
Quick Summary:
  • Material: Steel
  • Color: Black
  • Receiver: 2″ hitches
  • Item Weight: 41.3 lbs
  • Bike Capacity: 2
  • Load Capacity: 140 lbs
  • Brand: Leader Accessories
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Leader Accessories has always been my favorite manufacturer when it comes to products for outdoor activities. As the name suggests, they do lead the way in this area. So, it should not come as a surprise that they have a very strong line-up of a bike rack in their outdoor product armory.

In this list, I’ve added their 2-Bike Platform Style Hitch Mount Bike Rack. It has all the good qualities of a strong and sturdy rack. The manufacturer really didn’t leave anything out that might compromise the experience of your outdoor adventure.

So, what features does this rack have? For starters, it has a quick-release tilt design. Can you fold it? Yes, you can. As a matter of fact, you can tilt it backward too for your convenience. Fits almost all kinds of bikes including those E-bikes having massive flat tires. Does it wobble? No.

It’s built to carry 2 bikes at a time and Lead Accessories made this extremely durable. The whole structure of this rack is made of steel. It weighs more than the previous three bike racks, 41.3 pounds. Believe me when I say this: The distributed weight capacity is a staggering 70 pounds per bike.

Let me put this in contrast with the other three bike racks that I’ve mentioned so far. The XR200 from Allen Sports and XC2 from Swagman both have a distributed capacity of 35 pounds.

Anyway, this best tray bike rack looks strong and feels strong. They also applied abrasion-resistant technology toner coating. This particular coating prevents rust, resists any sort of chipping, scratching, fading, and wearing. Moving on, the rack weighs 41.3 pounds

Let’s talk about the assembly. You can install it using a pair of pliers, a set of Allen wrenches, and an 11/16 socket and ratchet. Don’t worry if it’s your first time installing this type of tool. In that case, you can follow the instructions. It’s very comprehensive and easy to follow.

The hardware is easily identifiable. For instance, there are two types of bolts: stove bolts and standard lag bolts. Follow the pictures and you will know what to do.

This platform bike rack from Leader Accessories has several useful features that make it quite flexible. It has a quick-release tilt design and foldable and tilt-back design. The first one is pretty simple to operate. Using the quick release handle you can fold the rack up and down.

Normally, most of the bike racks use hitch pins to do that. But I found the quick release handle more fun and easy to operate. The second one is pretty self-explanatory. This is for accessing you rear part of the vehicle in times of need.

You can tilt the whole structure without dismounting the back and get access behind the vehicle. This also comes real handy when you’re not using it for carrying your bikes. You can simply fold the rack and save storage space. Cool, right?

Is this rack compatible enough? Yes, it is. It goes with a 2″ hitch receiver and fits a wide range of bikes including fat tires and electronic bikes. There’s a little issue though. If you have one of those bikes with a low Y-frame, you might have to use a Bike Frame Adapter for better support.

You might think this is a pretty heavy rack thus will it affect your driving? Actually, no. it has an Anti-Wobble system to eliminate movement of rack inside of hitch. They also added an extra safety reflector and a tie-down strap.

The safety reflector ensures safety while driving under the night sky. The tie-down strap is highly recommended to secure your bikes while you’re on the road. Overall, this is a robust rack that keeps your bikes safe and sound and makes your driving experience smoother.

5. HollywoodRacks Platform Hitch Mount Bike Rack

Money Worthy
Hollywood Racks platform Rack
Quick Summary:
  • Material: Plastic, Steel
  • Dimensions: 47″ x 44″ x 34″
  • Receiver: 1-1/4″ & 2″ hitches
  • Item Weight: 42 lbs
  • Bike Capacity: 4
  • Load Capacity: 140 lbs
  • Brand: Hollywood Racks
Check Price on Amazon

Hollywood Racks Destination is a real deal when it comes to carrying more than two bikes at once. This rugged bike rack can easily carry 4 bikes on the rear of your vehicle. Despite being rugged, this is extremely lightweight and the whole rack weighs just 42 pounds.

What are the features of this platform bike rack then? Well, to begin with, it’s extremely easy to use. It features padded frame holders and ratcheting wheel straps. Unlike Swagman’s XC2, this one offers a locking mechanism to secure your bike.

Moreover, there’s an anti-rattle hitch pin that tightens the rack’s shank to the hitch receiver. This unique design prevents the rack from rattling around inside the receiver.

So, the padded rotating holder…What are they? Well, the destination rack’s job is to keep your bikes secure. The destination rack uses this padded rotating frame to do that. These rubber padded holders can rotate 360 degrees and move up and down the center mast. Even so, they can do that independently.

By moving independently, they can accommodate easily the various types of bikes having different shapes and sizes. Moreover, these holders have padded ratcheting straps that further secure your bike by its frame.

Have those bikes with massive tires? No problem. The wheel holders of the Hollywood Destination rack can accommodate bicycles with a wheelbase up to 48″. The ratcheting wheel straps secure the wheels to the bike trays. These straps are also padded and you can adjust them along the tray to ensure a solid-perfect fit.

Are you worried about wobbling? Well, it’s certainly not an issue with this bike rack. The ratchet wheel holders are designed in such a way that they will hugely reduce the slipping and movement of your bikes while you’re on the road. Thus, there will be less wobbling and you can drive smoothly.

Just like any good bike rack, Hollywood Destination also has a folding design. When you’re not using it or if you don’t feel like detaching the rack at the moment, you can simply fold it up against the back of your vehicle.

It’s very simple to do so too. To raise the rack, all you have to do is just unscrew the knob and pull it out to lift the whole rack. Once you’ve done that simply re-insert the knob and tighten it to the rack. That’s it.

You may as well wonder that this is a pretty rugged bike rack…So would there be any problem installing it by yourself? Actually, no. This is very intuitive and easy to install. Let me explain.

You can install it in your hitch with an anti-rattle hitch pin that comes with the package. This is a three-step process. First, you have to simply slide the shank into your receiver. Then insert the hitch pin. After that, tighten it down with the included tool. Voila.

The pin here works as an anti-wobble device that eliminates sway and any sort of rattle in the receiver. This best 4 bike platform hitch rack also features a hitch lock to secure it your vehicle and prevent theft.

This is a robust bike rack that’s made to last a long time. It has a good build quality and sleek design. Cramped with a handful of useful features this is one of my favorite bike racks on this list. 

6. KAC K2 Overdrive Sports 2″ Hitch Mounted Platform Bike Rack

Heavy Load
KAC tray bike rack
Quick Summary:
  • Material: Alloy Steel
  • Dimenssion: 36.89″x 61.02″ x 38.11″
  • Receiver: 2″ hitches
  • Item Weight: 44.8 lbs
  • Bike Capacity: 2
  • Load Capacity: 120 lbs
  • Brand: KAC
Check Price on Amazon

KAC K2 Overdrive Sports is based in the heart of the Ozark Mountains. If you love biking, you’d already know what is this place, right? This is one of the coolest mountain biking sites in the US. Hence, they know the importance of a reliable bike rack that will carry your bikes safely wherever you want to.

This bike rack can easily carry up to two bikes, no matter what kind of bikes you have.  The KAC K2 overdrive is a versatile rear-mounted bike rack that’s designed for a 2-inch hitch receiver. It supports standard, fat-tire, or even E-bikes.

In terms of features, it doesn’t fall short. It has adjustable padded hook arms and heavy-duty 5″ wheel holders. With this on the back of your vehicle, you can carry a wide range of bicycles of any frame, suspension, or tire size.

The KAC K2 Overdrive is extremely durable. The main structure of this bike rack is made from alloy steel. This strong rack has a distributed capacity of 60 pounds which is 120 pounds in total. The days of worrying have come to an end with this rack. Have those massive bikes with a lot of weights? K2 overdrive will carry them like they’re nothing.

Versatility is another name of this platform-style bike rack. It has rugged 5″ wide steel trays that will fit most narrow and fat tires. The wheel holders have an adjustable knob design. Using this simple mechanism, you can and axle to axle wheelbase up to 54″.

This adjustable tire tray makes the K2 Overdrive a more versatile bike rack ideal for any type of bike.

They have also added padded hooks that can slide up and down. These padded hooks have two duties to perform. One: they keep the bikes stable and two: they protect them from scratches and scuffs. Step-thru bikes and low Y-frame bikes, however, may require a KAC Overdrive Frame Bar Adapter.

This adapter doesn’t come with the package. So, you have to buy it separately.

In terms of safety, this bike rack has some features. For instance, you can secure your bikes with the safety strap that comes with the main package. It’s not a hassle at all. You can secure both of your bikes using only one strap.

To keep your bikes safe while you’re driving on the road, they have integrated an Anti-Wobble System. It reduces the sway between the receiver and the rack a lot. It also keeps your bikes stable and sturdy. Moreover, there’s a rear reflector (Leader Accessories 2-Bike Platform Hitch Mount Bike Rack also has one) for you to have better visibility at night.

Can you access your rear cargo while this one is installed? Of course, you can. Using the Quick Release Smart Tilt feature you can move the rack away from the vehicle and access your cargo. By the way, you don’t have to unmount your bikes in the process. Nice, right?

Folding feature? Yes, it can be folded up flat behind the vehicle. This is a compact folding design that is very useful for garage parking.

In the package, you’ll find a key. Use this to lock the top arm adjustment knob. It’ll secure your bikes in place. After the knob is locked, the arm still spins independently to prevent further adjustment until it is unlocked again with the key.

This bike rack from KAC K2 Overdrive is made to perform. It has a cool-pragmatic design, useful feature and it’s very durable also. It has nice security features, doesn’t affect the driving experience, and versatile enough to fit all kinds of bicycles.

7. Stromberg Carlson BC-204 Platform Hitch Mount 4-Bike Rack

Budget Pick
STROMBER Platform Style Bike Carrier
Quick Summary:
  • Material: Rubber
  • Dimenssion: 7″ x 48″ x 15.5″
  • Receiver: 2″ hitches
  • Item Weight: 85 lbs
  • Bike Capacity: 4
  • Load Capacity: 160 lbs
  • Brand: STROMBER
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Stromberg Carlson is a company that has a strong reputation for superior craftsmanship, exceptional quality, highly reliable and impeccably durable products. You might think that’s a lot of praise right at the beginning.

Such strong praise needs to be backed up by hard facts. Don’t worry…they will be provided.

There aren’t that many bike racks that have universal fitment.  But the BC-204 platform bike rack has that. It is designed to fit a 2-inch receiver on your SUV, monochrome, travel trailer, or fifth wheel. It can easily haul 4 bikes and has the latest technology.

The whole body is made from heavy steel and zinc. They used these high-quality materials to make the product ultimately durable. Such a rugged bike rack like this has to weigh a bit more. This one weighs 85 pounds and you can well imagine that this is a real deal.

Modern-day bikes normally don’t way more than 35 pounds. The BC-204 model from Stromberg Carlson has a total capacity of 160 pounds. You can carry your bikes without worrying too much. It will perform because it’s made to perform.

Will it fit your bikes? Yes, it supports a wide range of bikes and frames. To able to do so, they have used a J-Hook. The J-hooks are widely used for cable support because they are easy to reconfigure. Stromberg Carlson used this theory to make the rack more flexible and easier to install.

You’ll also find that the wheel cradles are totally adjustable. Have those bikes with fat tires? Don’t worry, they will fit just right in it. Let me give you the number… You can extend the carrier to a staggering 51.5 inches.

The tire holders that are on the carrier are 14 inches. So technically you extend it to about 80 inches in total. So, it doesn’t matter what kind of monsters you have, you can easily accommodate them in this BC-204 bike rack from Stromberg Carlson.

Now, the assembly. Considering it’s a heavy-duty bike rack, it’ll be much easier for you if you could get extra pair of hands while installing it. To install the rack, you’ll need a 300mm monkey wrench, and a 17mm and 24mm open wrench.

These tools, however, aren’t included in the package. Just follow the instructions. They’re very detailed and thorough. Carefully follow each step and you’ll do just fine.

A word of advice: Please don’t place your bikes on the wheel cradle when operating the tilt-down feature. If you want to access the rear part of your vehicle, simply remove the 5 /8” Pin. It’ll allow the rack to tilt downward. To ensure safety, securely hold the bike rack while the pin is out.

To store it, you have to spin L Pin (kindly look it up on the diagram, you can’t miss it) at 90° and then pull it out from the center hole. After that, fold the main vertical tube to a horizontal position and re-secure using that very L-Pin. This way, you can store it without even taking the whole thing off of your vehicle.

Not to mention, the Stromberg Carlson BC-204 has a locking feature. You don’t have to constantly look behind your back to check up on the bikes. So, the rack is safe, robust, durable, and made to meet the strict quality requirements of a splendid bike rack.

8. BUZZ RACK Express 4-Bike Platform Hitch Carrier

Quick Summary:
  • Material: Metal
  • Dimenssion: 32.3″ x 51.2″ x 41.3″
  • Receiver: 2″ hitches
  • Item Weight: ‎32.6 lbs
  • Bike Capacity: 1
  • Load Capacity: 66 lbs
  • Brand: BUZZ RACK
Check Price on Amazon

Next time you go on a bike ride, take your entire family with you. Yes, you heard me right. I know it sounds exhausting and the tasks of transportations do seem perilous…but those days are over. The BUZZ RACK Express 4-Bike Platform Hitch Carrier will take care of your bike’s safety and transportation.

This one comes with a state-of-the-art design. It has a revolutionary low-level bike loading system. You don’t have to find yourself in awkward situations loading your bikes anymore. Besides that, it offers a great deal of safety and versatility for your bikes.

The rack not only looks sleek but very durable also. The frame is made from alloy steel that gives the whole rack a rugged structure. Combined with a special outdoor powder coating, this bike rack becomes stylish, lightweight, and durable that will perform even under heavy situations.

It also doesn’t shy away from carrying heavier weights. This rugged bike rack can carry up to 132 pounds and has a distributed capacity of 33 pounds. You don’t have to worry anymore about your heavier bikes if you have this bike rack from BUZZ.

Yes, it’s quite versatile. To make it so, they added adjustable wheel trays. On these wheel trays, you can fit pretty much any type of bicycles such as women’s, kids’, road, mountain, full-suspension, and E-bikes.

What I like most about this particular rack is that it has quite a low platform. Thanks to this design, you don’t have to do any sort of overhead lifting. There’s no need to remove the bike tires also.

As for safety measures, this rack doesn’t lay a finger on your bikes. It keeps them stable enough that your bike will look the same when you reach your destination. The straps firmly hold the wheels and the pads protect the rim all the way.

Does it fold? Yes, it does. When you’re not using the rack to carry your bikes, you can simply fold it up. It’s very convenient. After coming from a long trip, who else has the energy to detach the rack to park the vehicle in the garage, right?

Don’t worry about that anymore. You can save a lot of hassle and storage space using the fold-up feature. You have to consider one thing though. That is, if you have a car with a centrally positioned exhaust pipe or a fat-tire bike, then there’s a risk of burning or melting the bike’s tires and wheel supports.

To carry all four bikes, the BUZZ RACK Express does a tremendous job. It keeps them stable, secure, and safe all the way to your designated destination. The rack doesn’t wobble, carries a lot of weights, and fits almost all kinds of bikes easily.

9. KAC E2 Platform Hitch Receiver Bike Rack Carrier

KAC E2 Platform Rack
Quick Summary:
  • Material: Alloy Steel
  • Dimenssion: 53.27″ x 31.18″ x 33.46″
  • Receiver: 1.25″ & 2″ Hitch
  • Item Weight: 34 lbs
  • Bike Capacity: 2
  • Load Capacity: 60 lbs
  • Brand: KAC
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The KAC E2 Platform Hitch Mounted Bike Rack is ideal for carrying two bikes at a time. This is a versatile rear-mounted bike rack designed for a 1.25-inch hitch receiver. It goes with standard, road, and even those rugged mountain bikes.

It has a compact folding system, premium build quality, and way more compatible than other bike racks. The E2 bike rack from KAC accommodates a large variety of bikes and keeps them safe and sound during all the time you spend on the road.

The first thing I check in a bike rack is its durability. Well, this bike rack from KAC didn’t disappoint me at all. It’s manufactured with heavy-duty steel and has a fine powder coat finish that makes this rack more durable.

It helps the frame to withstand damages better and last longer. It also makes the whole rack resistant to corrosion. So, yes…You’ll be getting a sleek-looking bike rack that has top-notch durability.

Now, comes the matter of compatibility. You already know this rack is designed for a 1.25-inch hitch receiver. But if you already have a 2-inch hitch installed, don’t worry. It’s compatible with that too. You just have to use the hitch adapter. The good news is, the adapter comes with the package.

Anyway, this E2 platform hitch receiver bike rack can house any bicycles that are on the market, straightway. It’ll support all kinds of bikes from standard to massive E-bikes. Can it bear the weights? It can. The distributed capacity of this rack is 30 pounds.

Mounting bikes on the rack is also very easy. E2’s innovative design will allow you to accommodate your bikes on the platform in no time. You can adjust them with a simple turn-knob arms mechanism. To ensure your bike’s safety they’ve added padded hooks to these arms.

These soft paddings provide the necessary protection your bikes need while you’re driving. They will make sure that your bikes’ paint won’t chip or wear and tear. Well, there’s more. Even the trays of this rack are padded with soft protective foam. I can bet your bikes have never had such protection before.

Compact folding is another feature that I like about this E2 Platform Hitch Mounted Bike Rack. This unique design is integrated so that you can fold up the rack when you’re not using it. Trust me, this feature will come in handy you’re parking your vehicle in your garage.

In short, this is a decent bike rack that can sort all your transportation issues. It has plenty of safety and security features that every quality rack should have. This is very durable and more than capable to transport your bikes from one place to another.

10. Heininger 2035 Advantage 2 Bike Platform Hitch Mounted Rack

Budget Pick
Heininger platform Rack
Quick Summary:
  • Material: Metal
  • Dimenssion: 42″ x 21″ x 8″
  • Receiver: 1.25″ & 2″ Hitch
  • Item Weight: 20.9 lbs
  • Bike Capacity: 2
  • Load Capacity: 66 lbs
  • Brand: KAC
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Heininger is famous for manufacturing products that enhance the travel experience. To some extent, they have revolutionized the whole travel experience with their unique and exceptional ideas. The 2035 Advantage SportsRack model from Heininger is a direct result of their good work.

This 2 bike platform hitch rack is a down-to-earth bike rack. There’s nothing fancy about this product which I adore most. It does what is needed from a decent rack. It’ll load your bike easily and in no time. You can transport them to your desired location without a single scratch on your bikes.

It doesn’t require heavy lifting at all. It’s true. As it happens with many bike racks that sometimes you need to heft your bikes up high on a tippy roof rack. The 2035 model, however, only needs a short lift to low mounts that secure your bicycles quickly and with ease.

The rack is made to fit on a 2-inch and a 1 1/4-inch receiver hitch. Don’t worry, the rack will go with any type of vehicle from an SUV, to a sedan. Also, the product comes fully assembled. Now, that’s what I call is a blessing. You don’t have to do anything other than just put it on the hitch.

The entire process will take less than 2 minutes. Mounting the bikes on the platform will take another 5 minutes tops.

This simple bike rack doesn’t shy away from being strong. It’s made from extremely durable steel. The overall build quality is better and the wheel straps are much more user-friendly. I mean, you don’t have to figure out how the thing works…it’s very intuitive.

These wheel straps are different from typical material style straps. They work, to some extent, better than the conventional ones. On top of that, the vertical bar has an adjustable pad. It holds the straps firmly in one place when you are mounting your bikes.

It’ll save you time as the trays won’t move around or sway when you’re mounting your bikes on the rack. The straps have another purpose also. When you’re on the road they will keep the bikes stable and secure. You must have guessed this one already.

The whole structure is also rust-resistant and will withstand a lot of abuse. Now, the weight capacity. Well, this Sports Rack is a carrier all the way. For a 2 bike platform hitch-mounted rack, it has a well distributed capacity and that is 33 pounds.

So, yes…It should carry two bikes comfortably. They are made to last and won’t break down easily.

Does it fold? Yes, it does. This Flat Rack folds up adjacent to the bumper for compact maneuvering when it’s on the car. I know I won’t feel like detaching the whole rack right after coming from a bike ride. I would run indoors and have a nice hot bath.

Using this folding up feature, you can just fold it and park your vehicle in your garage. You can take it off of your car later.

The 2035 model is a fine accessory to have at your disposal. It’s lightweight, simple, and made to carry out heavy duties. This bike rack from Heininger will keep the integrity of your bike intact whenever you’re transporting them. It won’t budge and put any scratches on your precious bikes.

So, this brings us to the end of the list. I scoured through heaven and earth to find the best possible platform bike rack that can be the solution to your bike transportation problem. All the products that I’ve included here are worthy enough to be your trusted companion on the road and off the road.

That said, let’s head on to the final and most important part of this article: a detailed guide that will help you pick the right bike rack for your needs.

Platform Hitch Bike Rack Buying Guide: An Insight into My Research!

platform hitch rack guide

I think you already know a great deal about these platform-style bike racks. Still, I want to point out some important factors that you might need to check before you make a purchase. Next time you order something or hit the market, just try to remember the stuff that I will discuss here.

Hopefully, they will guide you to find your dream bike rack. If you’re new to this area, you might be wondering, why I’m making such a fuss about such a thing. Well…the world of bike racks is vast and full of variations. It’s easy to get lost in there.

So, kindly read on and use this buying guide as a light that will lead you through this vastness towards a simple yet awesome platform bike rack. Don’t mind me. I got a bit carried away here.

How Many Bikes Will You be Transporting?

This article consists of mainly two types of platform bike racks. One that can carry two bikes at a time and the other can carry 4. Although the majority of riders like to stick with the 2-bike design, if you’re a family guy you would want to go for racks that can carry 4 bikes at a time.

So, choose what you need. Depending on your lifestyle, it can be either two bike racks or four bike racks. 

Take Bike Weight Capacity into Your Consideration

platform rack bike capacity

This is an important issue. Before purchasing a rack, carefully map out the weight of your bikes. As you know, each bike rack has a maximum carrying capacity for each bike. In that case, if you own heavy downhill mountain bikes, E-bikes, or cruiser models, please check the weight capacity of your wished rack.

For those who are planning on having a 2 bike rack, there are a lot of options available for you. But first, you have to make sure of one thing. Will you be carrying standard bikes or before mentioned heavier bikes. Because standard bikes don’t weigh that much at all.

In that case, you can go with either the XR200 model from Allen Sports or XC2 from Swagman. They both have a well-distributed capacity of 35 pounds.

On the other hand, if you own heavier bikes don’t worry. Platform style are perfect rack for heavy-weight e-bikes. The 2-Bike Platform Style Hitch Mount Bike Rack from Leader Accessories has a massive 70 pounds of distributed capacity. Yes, the number is correct. You can carry any type of beast on this rack.

Let’s say you don’t need that kind of heavy-duty rack for carrying two bikes at a time. But you don’t want a rack with low weight capacity either. You want something in the middle. Well, in that case, MAXXHAUL’s 50027 model might do the trick. It has a very decent distributed capacity of 40 pounds.

For a family fun bike ride and to carry 4 bikes at a time, you can choose either BUZZ RACK Express, Destination Bike Rack from Hollywood, or Stromberg Carlson’s BC-240. They are all good weight carriers.

Also read: Our top pick of good quality bike rack for truck hitch.

Does it Come with Tilting and Folding feature?


Modern-day bike racks have to have this feature. It adds more flexibility. You can well imagine how it does so. For the sake of the article, I will say it out loud. Well, if you plan to keep your rack on the vehicle for a longer period, the tilting feature is a must.

Let’s say, you don’t want to detach the whole rack when you reach your humble abode after a long drive. I know a lot of people who’d leave the rack the way it is and go for a hot bath. If your rack doesn’t have a folding feature you’ll not be able to park your car in your garage.

You have to leave your vehicle on the driveway. You don’t want that, do you? Just simply fold the bike rack and you’re good to park. Also, it saves a lot of storage space.

Another purpose of the tilt feature is that it’ll grant you easy access to the rear part of the vehicle. In times of emergency, this feature comes as a blessing.

It’ll allow you to access your rear space quickly and easily. Almost all modern-day bike racks are integrated with this useful feature except for the cheap ones.

Check Wheel Size and Tire Width Compatibility

Check Wheel Size and Tire Width Compatibility

One of the things about a platform bike rack is that you have to take the wheel size and tire width into your considerations. But actually, it’s not that big of a deal. The reason is the majority of road and mountain bikes don’t raise any problem.

Every single rack on this list can easily fit 26 to 29-inch wheels. Remember, 26 to 29-inches wheels are standard. But what if you had those bikes with extremely large wheel size and tire width?

Well, in that case, the Stromberg Carlson BC-204 Platform Mount 4-Bike Rack has a maximum wheelbase of 51.5 inches. Also, the Leader Accessories 2-Bike Platform hitch rack has a 54-inches maximum wheelbase. Impressed?

Okay…let’s say you don’t need that much width. On that occasion, you can either go with the XR200 model of Allen Sports or Hollywood Racks Destination. They both have 48 inches of wheelbase. As you can see, pretty much every single rack is compatible with all the bikes that are currently on the market.

What about tire width then? It’s the same case as the wheelbase. Every single bike rack will house standard bikes having regular size tire width. If your tire width is larger than normal then you can go with Leader Accessories 2- Bike Rack. They can house bikes that have tire width up to 5-inch.

Is it Versatile?

versatility of platform rack

What I mean by this is that if the bike rack is compatible with a wide range of bike styles. Frankly speaking, this is a major issue with hitch-hanging racks. They don’t fit all types of bikes, it’s true. On the contrary, platform bike racks are not impacted by this issue of compatibility at all.

Now, you may ask, Why? The answer is pretty simple and you must have figured it out by now already. If not, let me help you. The platform racks only come in contact with the bike’s tires or wheels, right? So, the bike’s peculiar shape or different frame size doesn’t even matter to platform-style bike racks.

Still, it needs to be said so I’m going to go ahead and say it: pretty much every single bike rack that I have listed here is compatible with a large number of bikes having different shapes and sizes. So, worry not. You can easily mount and unmount them also.

Platform style rack is perfect for step-through bikes.

Do not Compromise with Durability

Durability is the heart and soul of a bike rack. A rack can have all the fancy features and compatibility in the world but if it isn’t strong enough then what’s the point? It should have a good build quality. The main structure of the rack is normally made of steel.

What you have to look specifically is that whether the steel has a powder coat finish or not. It makes the rack more durable and prevents it from rust. Another thing is the plastic parts. These are mainly used for holding the bikes firmly in place. The metal body simply carries the bikes.

Make sure the plastic parts don’t feel cheap. Also, look for the padded foam and straps. Check their build quality closely. 

My Final Two Cents

Platform bike racks are undoubtedly one of the best options when transporting your bikes. Well,  They keep your bikes safe and sound when you’re driving on the road. They keep the integrity of the bikes intact and don’t affect the driving experience that much.

Planning bike trips far away from home have always been tiresome and exhausting. Because we get tensed about the safety of our bikes and the thought of installing them. But in reality, this is not that big of a problem.

All your problems regarding the transportation of bicycles can be eliminated if you have the right bike rack at your disposal. It will make your life easier, connect you more with nature and improve your mental and physical health altogether. So, why not get the best platform bike rack and start the adventure that you’ve been longing to do?

Jeff Phillips Racktutor
About the author

Jeff Phillips is the able founder of In his professional life, he has been offering Paintless Dent Repair and Hail Repair services in North Texas since 1990. He is the owner of DentMasters. He is still passionate about outdoor adventures with his family, bikes and cars. So he has first-hand experience on bike racks. He is regularly testing suitable racks for his upcoming trip. His aim is to create a user-friendly free website where bikers can easily read bike rack informations without any hassle.

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