If you’re wondering, the main difference between a step-through bike and a step-over bike is the frame’s shape. While the latter has a diamond shape, the former has a heavy lower crossbar.
Originally, step-through bikes have been used by women. This, however, isn’t the case anymore. But why, though? Well, it has to do with the ease of mounting. Elderly people love these bikes.
Besides, the comfort of riding one is fabulous. Another reason is that your clothes don’t wrinkle when riding a step-through bike. Hence, even if you’re in formal attire, you can ride this bike to your office with no problem.
Now, what is the best way to carry them from one place to another? Well, several kinds of racks can do the job. However, the safest option would be to go with a platform-style rack. They are a bit more pricey than others, but these racks’ positives outweigh any other storage option.
Let’s discuss some of the best bike racks for Step-Thru Bikes in this little piece. While I’m at it, I’ll give you my own insight into how you should find these products. That’s IF, you don’t find mine helpful.
A Brief Overview of the Top-Rated Bike Racks for Step-Thru Bikes
Below you’ll find five bike racks (all platform-style) that might do the trick for you. They are perfect for carrying any kind of bike, including step-through bikes. They are all competent and quite versatile, to be honest.
The first one is from Kuat. It’s a sturdy bike with some minor downsides. What made me a fan of this rack is that it’s exceptionally lightweight and can carry some serious weights. In fact, this is the second most lightweight bike rack on this list that comes with an affordable price point.
The second one is from Thule. Despite the scary price tag, this is a capable bike rack in every way. It has everything. You may find this a bit heavy because of its all-steel construction, but it does have a wheel system that lets you carry it easily. Besides, it’s versatile, easy to use, and can take a lot of weight.
Saris Freedom Hitch Racks may not be the brightest of the bunch, but it has its charms. It has a strong body and weighs less as well.
While you may find it hard to use, its versatility will amaze you. After that, you will meet the Yakima Hold Up bike rack, which is quite similar to the Saris Freedom with minor differences.
Lastly, there is the RockyMounts Monorail Bike Rack. Perfect for carrying step-through bikes, this one has an incredible build with many valuable features. This versatile rack is super easy to use, and the price tag won’t cut a hole in your pocket.
So, without further ado, let’s jump straight into the first one.
1. Kuat Racks Sherpa 2.0-2 Bike Rack
Here’s a quick rundown of this product: Kuat’s Sherpa 2.0 is a fun platform-style bike rack. Its exclusive foot pedal tilt mechanism will instantly make you a fan of this.
As for the basic features, it has excellent build quality, weighs just about 32 pounds, and has 80 pounds of maximum weight capacity. So for step-through bikes, this is pretty adequate.
Manoeuvring the rack is made super easy in this rack. And the playful yet practical design ensures it doesn’t wobble while you’re on the road.
On top of everything else, the classy black powder coat finish on the aluminum body makes this bike rack a thing of beauty. With that said, let’s dive deep into the product.
Rugged Build with Rooms to Improve
Build-wise, Kuat’s Sherpa 2.0 is pretty solid. It won’t bend or break that easily. It’s that durable. With this attached on the back, you can take on any rough terrain without any worries. The aluminum construction gives the whole rack a strong core that houses your bikes safely.
The welding job is seamless. I mean, you can’t see the joints…the whole structure seems like one single aluminum tube that branched out as different parts in a graceful manner. And while the black powder coat guards the rack against rough weather and corrosion, it also makes the rack look dope.
Now, the shortcomings. I didn’t expect this from a company like Kuat, but they did slack off on the wheel trays. The plastic felt weak and did look fragile. Although the rack doesn’t wobble that much, the knob on the cam device could’ve been placed more carefully.
Lightweight and Capable
I think it’s worth noting that the Sherpa 2.0 doesn’t weigh that much. So if you’re an avid cyclist and you have to work with bike racks now and then, you’ll love this side of this rack. It weighs only about 32 pounds, and you can maneuver it yourself.
As for the weight capacity, it can haul up to 80 pounds. So yes, step-through bikes can be a bit heavier than step-over bikes. However, 80 pounds should be enough in most cases, given you don’t own one of those heavy-duty bikes.
In addition, the compact size and lighter weight will help you install and detach the rack quickly. And yes, you can carry up to two bikes. Just make sure the total weight doesn’t exceed the 80 pounds limit. So, a little calculation will be a good idea before you buy it.
Easy and Fun to Use
One of the things that makes Sherpa 2.0 popular could be that it is super easy to use. If you had difficulty loading and unloading the bikes with your ex-bike rack, this will make you a happy guy. The low-loading height makes all the difference here.
Locking the bike in place is also quite convenient. I found the ratcheting front wheel clamp very responsive and easy to clamp in place regardless of the size of the front tire. And unlike other bike racks, Sherpa’s rear wheel trays can be moved to house wheelbases of different diameters.
And speaking of fun, Sherpa scraped off the common tilt handle mechanism and replaced it with a foot lever. So you can operate it with your leg like your car’s accelerator and tilt the rack with one hand. If that’s not fun, I don’t know what is.
Versatility is not the Strongest Suit of Sherpa 2.0
Now, remember the weight capacity of this bike rack? 80 pounds, right? Well, with most standard step-through bikes, this won’t be a problem. However, Sherpa 2.0’s biggest flaw is that it cannot accommodate bikes having a tire width of 3” plus.
In addition, you can’t adjust the trays’ position. They are fixed. I hope this might not be a problem since Sherpa offers a decent 14.5” spacing between the wheel trays. If you have a longer bike, make sure the number fits the spec of this rack.
Value for the Money
For step-through bikes, Kuat Racks Sherpa 2.0 could be an excellent choice. It’s solid, has a decent weight capacity, and doesn’t wobble that much. In addition, it has an ingenious foot-pedal titling system and a top-notch security system with a locking hitch pin and a cable lock.
To be honest, if you own a standard step-through bike that matches the specs of this platform-style bike rack, you can seriously consider this. It’s cheap, durable and, most importantly, keeps the bikes safe and sound. You can also check our Kuat Sherpa 2.0 and Kuat NV 2.0 rack comparison.
2. Thule T2 Pro XTR Bike Rack for Step-through Bikes
Thule T2 Pro XTR is a gorgeous bike rack. However, looks don’t make it one of the best bike racks for step-thru bikes. This thing comes with all you’d wish to have on a platform-style rack.
For starters, it has heavy-duty steel construction and is versatile enough to house any kind of bike you may have, let alone your heavy step-through bikes.
Yes, you can tilt it in case you have to access the rear part of your vehicle. Besides, it has an excellent weight capacity and lots of valuable features cleverly tucked away all over the rack. T2 is straightforward to use, and you won’t have a hard time loading and unloading the bikes onto the racks at all.
To be honest, it has a scary price tag, but I think you’ll agree in the end that it’s worth every penny. So, on that hopeful note, let’s get down to the business, starting with the build and durability of this product.
What an Absolute Unit
Thule T2 Pro XTR is built like a beast. To some extent, it does feel like overkill. However, the steel construction gives the rack the much-needed strength to withstand harsh conditions and nasty bumps on the road.
The joints are solid, and the welding job is top-notch. Unlike Kuat Racks Sherpa 2.0, this one has premium quality plastic for its wheel trays. It’s durable, will keep your bikes secured, and the black paint will protect it from scratches and rough weather.
Built to Haul Serious Weights
The whole thing weighs 51 pounds which are 20 pounds more than the Sherpa 2.0. Now, how does it affect the handling? One thing for sure is that when you’re moving it, you’ll at least feel why the price is so high. So, should you tag this as a downside?
For me, the answer will be a resounding ‘no.’ The heaviness of the rack transcends into stability. Especially when you’re hauling your, let’s say 60, pounds bike at 100km/h, you don’t want it to bounce. The extra bit of weight of the rack keeps the bikes on it as stable as possible when you’re on the road.
Thule T2 Pro XT lets you carry two bikes. And if you want to ride with your family, you can buy the add-on, which enables you to carry up to four bicycles. Now, the standard T2 Pro XT has a total weight capacity of 100 pounds.
T2 indeed takes the win here since you can carry any step-through bikes, mountain bikes, or even the heaviest of E-bikes on this rack without any problem.
Heavy but not Difficult to Use
Thule T2 Pro XT may feel bulky but using it is nothing but easy. Why so? Well, for starters, the tilt release handle. This remote mechanism makes tilting the rack extremely easy. Don’tDon’t worry. Even with your bikes loaded, you’ll still have plenty of clearance to access the vehicle’s rear.
Furthermore, T2 folds relatively easily. The whole thing feels like an origami piece; smooth and fun. Besides, loading and unloading the bikes is also relatively easy. It takes not more than 10 seconds to either load or unloads the bikes onto this thing.
Just pick up your bike and place the front wheel on the wheel tray. Next, adjust the front wheel clamp and make sure it grips the tire firmly. Then place the rear wheel on the rear wheel tray and use the strap to lock it in place. And that’s it.
There’s one thing that impressed me the most was the little plastic wheels underneath the rack. You don’t have to carry it when you detach it from the vehicle. Instead, you can roll it around like a shopping cart!
As for installing the rack, you won’t need any tools. Simply place the rack into your car’s 2-inch (class 2-4) hitch receiver.
The stinger pin, and this is the fun part, automatically fits into the hole as you slide the rack in. After that, all you have to do is turn the knob to secure it in your vehicle. It’sIt’s easy, efficient, and quick.
T2 Pro XT Spells Versatile
Thule T2 Pro XT excels Sherpa 2.0 in terms of versatility as well. The front and rear wheel trays have several suitable options to accommodate a wide range of bikes having different tire widths.
So, for the extra money, you’ll be able to carry any step-through bikes, mountain bikes, kids’ bikes, and even massive E-bikes.
While Kuat Racks Sherpa 2.0 is limited to 3” tires, T2 can accommodate even 5” bike tires. In addition, you can adjust the trays individually, both laterally and along the middle axis. The standard 13” tray spacing of T2 thus becomes highly adjustable while Sherpa 2.0 is limited to only 14.5”.
So, these are the features that are absent in the relatively cheap Sherpa 2.0. I’m sorry if I’m casting a dark shadow over its reputation. But sadly, it is what it is. But at least now you know why you’re spending that much on a T2 and where it stands among its competitors.
Pricey but Totally Worth it
Thule T2 Pro XT gets the job done. No matter what kind of bike you have, it will carry it safely. It doesn’t take much time to either attach or detach. If you’re an avid cyclist who loves his bikes, you may want to stick with this one. This is strong, durable, and, most importantly, way more versatile than its competitors.
3. Saris Freedom Hitch Bicycle Rack Carrier
I’ve three words to describe this bike rack: affordable, universal, and easy to use. In addition, Saris Freedom Hitch Bicycle Rack is lighter and can carry more weight than the previously mentioned Thule T2 Pro XT and Kuat Racks Sherpa 2.0.
Nope, you can’t tilt it. However, there’s enough room in the back if you want to access the back of the vehicle. It has a solid construction, and if your vehicle doesn’t have a 2-inch hitch receiver, you can always use the adapter that comes with the package. With that said, let’s take a closer look at the product.
Well Built, No Extra Fat
Saris Freedom Hitch may look like there’s not much going on in its build, and you’ll be wrong to judge it this way. On the contrary, it has all the ruggedness and sturdiness you want in a bike rack. In addition, the complete alloy-steel construction makes this perfect for taking on asphalt.
The lower price point does come with some compromises, though. Unlike Sherpa 2.0 and Thule T2 Pro XT, this one doesn’t have any integrated security system. Although everyone uses external locks these days, it would still be nice to have integrated security measures in it. It’s no biggie if you’re on a low budget.
The plastic wheel trays did disappoint me. They won’t stand much abuse, I reckon. Yes, Saris’ customer service is noteworthy. They will replace the broken parts but still could’ve done a much better job with the trays.
Weigh Less, Carry More
Saris Freedom 2 has every right to be sassy about this. However, this particular model is lighter than its closest competitors. Do you think Sherpa 2.0 is light? Well, guess again because this one weighs even less…only 21 pounds. So, moving this around shouldn’t be a problem at all.
Let’s compare it with the Thule T2 Pro XT, shall we? Well, the T2 weighs a staggering 51 pounds. This is two and a half times more than the Saris Freedom 2 bike rack. Yes, the former has wheels to carry it around, but Saris is easier to handle.
Besides, this one can carry more weight than these two as well. It has a carrying capacity of 120 pounds! That’s 60 pounds per bike. Talk about affordable and capability. It outclasses Thule T2 by 20 pounds and Sherpa 2.0 by 40 pounds!
Mixed Feelings about the Ergonomics
While there’s nothing significantly wrong with the design, there are some things that may irritate you. I’ll get to that shortly but let’s focus on the positives first.
The loading height is shallow compared to the Thule T2 Pro XT and Kuat Sherpa 2.0. So, naturally, loading and unloading the bikes is relatively easy. Also, you only have to position the bike on the wheel trays. This is because the middle frame cradle supports the entire weight of the bike.
In addition, installing the rack itself is pretty easy. All you’ll ever need is a ¾-inch wrench to install it. First, place the receiver bar into the hitch and then insert the bolt into the receiver bar. Next, use the wrench to tighten the hitch bolt, and you’re done.
Now, the negatives.
Given the nature of the wheel trays, you’ll have difficulty adjusting your bikes. As a result, you may have to go through a lot of trial and error to load your bike correctly. And God forbid, if you want to load more than one bike, you’ll have to readjust the wheel trays repeatedly.
Not to mention, the frame cradle will likely come into contact with the down tube of your step-through bikes. So, if I were you, I would worry a little.
Surprisingly Versatile than Most Bike Racks
This is where it gets interesting. Yes, it can’t be tilted, and using it is quite a bit of a challenge. However, Saris Freedom 2 is, to some extent, more versatile than its competitors. For example, the rack is both compatible with 1.25-inch and 2-inch receivers.
Nothing special, yeah? But let’s say you have a vehicle with a 2-inch receiver. In that case, you can use the adapter that comes with the package and increase the size of the rack’s receiver. Works like a charm.
Besides, this one is a universal bike rack. So, you can carry any kind of bike on it without any problem. The wheel trays do have a 2.5-inch limit, though. But, for standard step-through bikes, I think the number is quite alright.
Great Option if You’re Tight on the Budget
The main talking point of this bike rack is that everyone can afford it without compromising much. It has a solid build that will last long. And since it is universal, you can carry any bike you want. Furthermore, it’s quite lightweight and has an incredible carrying capacity of 120 pounds.
Given its low price tag, I don’t think you’ll have that much problem making peace with its shortcomings.
4. Yakima HoldUp Hitch Mount Tray Bike Rack
It has all the good qualities you usually find on a decent platform-style bike rack. In addition, it has excellent build quality, a pragmatic design, and a lower loading height. Sadly, some areas, such as usability and tilting mechanism, fall behind Thule T2 Pro XT and Kuat Racks Sherpa 2.0.
However, it has a respectful weight capacity to carry any step-through and mountain bike you want. Also, the affordable price point, with all the features it has to offer, makes this bike rack a great option.
Great Build and Made to Last
Yakima is famous for its products’ durability, and its HoldUp Hitch Mount Tray Bike Rack is no exception either. It has a solid steel construction that gives the rack all the vigor and strength to withstand tough road environments. The joints are welded nicely, and everything works as it should.
There’s no mediocrity that I could find in the build of the backbone and the arms. The wheel arm clamp is solid and will hold your precious bikes safely. Unlike Saris Freedom 2, this doesn’t have any chance of contacting the lower frame of your step-through bike.
Another thing that made me happy was the quality of the plastic wheel trays. Apart from Thule T2 Pro XT, no other bike racks’ wheel trays on this list impressed me. But this one definitely did. The ratchet straps are good, and the plastics didn’t feel cheap. Bottomline: the rack is solid.
A Bit Heavy But has Good Weight Capacity
The Yakima HoldUp Bike Rack weighs almost the same as Thule T2 Pro XT, a solid 49 pounds. So, naturally, the question arises: can this one carry as much as The T2? Yes, absolutely. Yakima HoldUp has a weight capacity of 120 pounds (60 pounds per bike).
Carrying it around could be a bit problematic, I’m not going to lie. Thule has a brilliant wheel system underneath that helps the user move the rack around. This one doesn’t have anything quite like that. But it does have a compact design once you fold it. So, you won’t have a hard time moving it after all.
Takes Time to Get Used To
This is undoubtedly the biggest flaw of the Yakima HoldUp bike rack. Although the design is perfect, the execution is relatively poor. I get it, it’s cheap, but Yakima could fine-tune this product a little bit more. It could become a great platform-style bike rack in this price range if they did.
Whether it’s intended or not, I think Yakima missed out on this one… big time. So, what are the issues?
The first one is the traditional threaded hitch pin. Perfect for minimizing wobble, it is, however, more challenging to install the rack in a short time. Yakima could quickly go for the external knob. But they didn’t.
Next is the tilting mechanism, the most used feature of a bike rack. You must reach the back of the rack and pull a spring-loaded pin. This makes manoeuvring the rack quite a bit of a challenge when you have bikes stored on it.
Another thing that bothered me was the default state of the wheel strays. They stay folded when not in use. So, when you’re loading your bike on the rack, you have to unfold it first. This might not be a big issue for some of you, but for others, this could get a little bit frustrating.
Could be Passed as a Versatile Bike Rack
Yes, Yakima HoldUp can be tough to love at first, but this one is quite versatile for its price. Speaking of which, it can be used with both 1 ¼ -inch or 2-inch hitch receivers, and you can carry 2 bikes on it. Just like Thule T2 Pro XT, you can also extend the carrying capacity to up to 4 bikes with an add-on.
And as for bike compatibility, you don’t have to worry that much as long as you’re not planning to haul those massive E-bikes. This rack is perfect for step-through, mountain, and kid bikes. But why should you take my word for it? So, let’s talk numbers.
Yakima HoldUp is compatible with bikes having 20 to 29-inch diameter wheels. There’s a little catch, though. Up to a 27.5-inch wheelbase, you can quickly load your bike on the wheel trays. But for 29-inch tires, you may have to work a little hard to squeeze them into the trays.
As for the tire width, Yakima HoldUp is limited to 3-inches. This is as same as the Sherpa 2.0 bike rack. For bikes having 3-inch plus tire width, your safest bet would be Thule T2 Pro XT. Ultimately, your bike’s size and measurement will determine what you should go with it.
It’s a Basic Bike Rack with its Charms
In the end, I can only say Yakima HoldUp is a balanced platform-style back rack that shows a lot of promise. Yes, it does have its downsides, but they are no deal-breakers. If you keep your eye on the price tag of this bike rack, you’ll see that there’s a lot to love. It’s one of the best bike racks for step-thru bikes, people!
It is quite versatile, has a sturdy build, and has decent weight capacity. Besides, the design is quite compact compared to the premium bike racks on the market. Yes, tilting the rack is hard, and there’s this questionable clearance off the back of the vehicle. However, still, it does all the other things brilliantly.
Also Read: Yakima Holdup vs Thule T2 – Choosing the Right Bike Rack
5. RockyMounts Monorail 2-Bike Platform
This one has it all. Although RockyMounts is relatively new to this market, it humbled even seasoned veterans with its products. This model, in particular, is strong, bold, and durable. And the design is very user-friendly, unlike Yakima HoldUp or Saris Freedom 2.
This rugged platform bike rack weighs much less than the Thule T2 Pro XT! Yet it carries almost the same weight as that. And even in terms of versatility, it outshines the T2 Pro XT and the other products as well. In simple words, this bike rack rocks.
Quality Build, Nothing Fancy
RockyMounts kept things simple and basic. The build is superb, and there’s no extra fat. Both the arms and the lower bar are made of steel. This all steel-construction gives the rack quite a bit of character to battle the rough conditions on the road.
The design is top-notch and, again, simple. To be honest, you don’t need a world of features to haul your bikes to your desired destination.
You just want your car and your bikes to be safe and secure. RockyMounts Monorail does just that. The black finish with the blue accent gives the whole structure an excellent profile.
Also, that accent has practical significance as well. Anything blue can be used to adjust the rack. You don’t have to search for them anymore. Also, the plastic straps and the wheel trays are great.
They don’t seem as fragile or rigid as the other bike racks. Overall, Monorail’s build is definitely one of its most significant charms.
Lighter than its Competitors
It’s ten pounds (39) lighter than the Thule T2 Pro XT. Without the add-on, you can carry two bikes with this rack. With 120 pounds of carrying capacity ( 60 pounds per bike), this rack can carry any kind of bike you want. And with the add-on, you can carry 3 bikes (45 pounds per bike).
However, Thule T2 Pro XT and Yakima HoldUp hitch can carry 4 bikes with their respective add-ons. Anyway, the compact design and the lightweight feature make this bike rack very easy to move around.
Therefore, you won’t have a hard time either storing it or maneuvering it while installing the rack to your vehicle.
Easier to Use
This is by far the most user-friendly rack on this list. It has a very low-loading height, making carrying your bikes less of a chore. Speaking of which, it doesn’t take more than 10 seconds to either load or unload your bikes.
Besides, the rear wheel tray automatically adjusts and pivots itself to hold the rear wheel of your bike. This is a nice touch from RockyMounts, for you don’t have to actively adjust it like the rest of the bike racks.
Moving on, the clamp arms are very responsive and rotate around their axis quite nicely. Yes, you can adjust the handle to better grip the front tire. And as for the tilt release mechanism, you simply have to pull the blue handle.
It’s located right under the main bar of the rack and is relatively easy to reach. Once you pull it, the rack will rest in any position you want. Also, you can adjust the arms as well to avoid any bike-to-bike contact.
However, there’s one rare downside of this product: the threaded hitch pin system. While there’s nothing wrong with this mechanism’s fundamentals, you need a wrench to either install or detach it.
Honestly, it’s not that big of a deal, but Thule T2 Pro XT and Yakima HoldUp Hitch Rack don’t require any installation tool.
RockyMounts Monorail is as versatile as any premium bike rack. It has a very affordable price point, and still, it gives you all the features you need to carry a wide range of bikes. But, unfortunately, a lot of old-timers in the business don’t do that anymore.
Starting with the hitch receiver, it’s compatible with both 1.25 and 2-inch ones. So, you’re safe there. Also, if you have multiple vehicles with different hitch receivers, there’s no need to buy another bike rack.
Also, Monorail’s clamp arm is highly adjustable, just like any other racks in this list. For example, the blue switch on the arm lets you adjust the height of the arm quite easily. But, again, this is quite common with most of the platform-style racks.
However, one uncommon feature that I really liked is the extendable plastic straps. This will let you quickly secure even those monstrous bikes with fat tires. Speaking of bikes, RockyMounts Monorail fits bikes having 20 to 29-inches of wheelbase, just like the Thule T2 Pro XT and Yakima HoldUp.
And since its wheel trays can fit up to 5-inch wide wheels, you can also carry step-through, kid, mountain, and even huge E-bikes. In short, yes… RockyMounts Monorail can be certified as a versatile platform-style bike rack.
Safest Bet in Every Way
There’s a reason I included this product on my list of best bike racks for step-thru bikes!
RockyMounts Monorail did everything right. They kept things simple and basic to give their customers the best bike rack experience. The build is solid, and the user experience is commendable. The features make everything easy, from loading the bikes to storing the rack in your garage.
When you consider the price tag along with everything else, it’ll be a tough decision to not choose it.
Also read: RockyMounts SplitRail vs. MonoRail Comparison: Which One Tops the Other?
Things to Consider when Buying One for Your Step-Through Bikes
In this part, I’ll review some important things to help you get the right bike rack for your step-through bikes. Unfortunately, since the market has no shortage of them, you can get easily confused. So, to save you from that trouble, you can consider the following matters and minimize your search radius.
How Many Bikes Will You Carry
This one is easier. If you want to carry two bikes with you, you won’t have to look for any add-ons. Just go with one that has a decent build and valuable features. All the standard platform-style bike racks have two bikes capacity. So, this decision should be easy.
However, if you’re a family man and like to go cycling with your entire family, you will need to buy extra add-ons that let you carry 4 or 3 bikes. Options with Thule T2 Pro XT, Yakima HoldUp, and RockyMounts Monorail bike rack offer such option.
Go with a Durable and Strong One
The build quality is essential for mainly two reasons. The first one is that the rack must be strong enough to withstand the roughest terrains. It has to keep the bikes safe and secure even when you’re going over nasty bumps on the road. So, check the construction and welding jobs thoroughly.
While steel constructions are the most trusted ones, aluminum builds are also quite popular. This is because they are tough and lightweight as well. After that, check the plastic components of the rack, such as wheel trays, straps, and clamp arms’ contours.
Moving on to the second one and this is quite important. Step-through bikes don’t have the traditional diamond shape frame to distribute the weight properly.
Therefore, the lower bar has to be durable and robust enough to give the bike more stability and strength. It makes the step-through bikes a bit heavier than the traditional bikes. So, make sure the rack can support the extra weight.
Check the Weight Capacity For Step-Through Bikes are Quite Heavy
As I’ve already mentioned, step-through bikes are a bit heavy. So, make sure the rack has enough weight capacity to carry your racks safely. Usually, 100 to 120 pounds is enough to hold two step-through bikes.
And if your bike’s total weight doesn’t exceed that limit, you can go with Thule T2 Pro XT (100 pounds). If you want to go higher, remember that Saris Freedom, Yakima HoldUp, and RockyMounts Monorail can carry up to 120 pounds.
However, if you want to carry more than two step-through bikes, let’s say three or four, the weight capacity per bike will come down to 45 to 30 pounds from 60 pounds at least. Therefore, please do some calculations before you purchase one.
The Best Bike Rack for Step-Thru Bikes Needs be Versatile
How do you figure out if a bike rack is versatile or not? Well, generally, there are four or five things that you should look for in particular.
Starting with the hitch receivers, it’s highly recommended that the rack works with both 1.25 and 2-inch hitch receivers. This way, you can use the same receiver for multiple vehicles with different-sized hitches.
Next, look at the distance between the wheel trays, for example. Kuat Racks Sherpa 2.0 has a decent 14.5-inch spacing between its wheel trays. You can’t adjust it, though.
On the other hand, Thule T2 Pro XT may have a 13-inch spacing, but you can adjust it laterally and horizontally. This feature is also present in the relatively cheaper RockyMounts Monorail bike rack.
You can adjust the wheel trays by working screws underneath the arms of this rack. It will let you store bikes without touching each other.
After that, check the rack’s wheelbase and tire width limit. For example, suppose you have a heavy-duty step-through bike like Long Range All Terrain Step-Thru Electric Bike. This one has a wheelbase of 26 inches and a tire width of 4 inches. In the case of standard Step-through bikes, the number may not exceed 30 inches.
I am saying this because all the decent platform bike racks are compatible with bikes having 20-29-inch wheelbase. So the only thing that could be an issue is the tire width.
If you want a versatile rack to house any kind of bike, let alone the step-through ones, you have to go for racks that support even 5-inch fat tires. Besides Kuat Racks Sherpa 2.0 and Saris Freedom Hitch Bike rack, every bike rack on this list can support bikes with 5-inch wide tires.
And since platform racks use a front-wheel clamp arm system, you can carry any step-through bike on them regardless of the frame design.
It should be Fun and Easy to Use
Go for a rack that’s easy to work with. To ensure whether a rack is user-friendly, you can check a few things. For example, it should have a low-loading height because it makes loading and unloading much more accessible.
Also, make sure it doesn’t take much time to load a bike. With Thule T2 Pro XT, Saris Freedom, Yakima HoldUp, and RockyMounts Monorail, you can load your bike within 8 to 10 seconds! Even the Kuat Racks Sherpa 2.0 lets you load and unload your bikes quickly. So, keep that in mind.
Next up, check whether it can be tilted or not, and the release handle mechanism controls the rack’s rotation. This is very important. If it can’t be tilted, you won’t access the back of your vehicle. So this is a red flag. And if it has a tilting option, ensure the vehicle clearance is substantial enough.
Moreover, the rack should be easy to install and detach as well. It will be best if you don’t need a tool at all to do this job. Even so, all you’ll need is a wrench to install or detach a rack from your vehicle. Finally, check whether the security system is adequate to keep your mind at ease.
Wrapping it Up
Choosing the best bike rack to carry your step-through bikes is more complicated than you might think. If you don’t do your homework on this, you could face dire consequences later. On the road, anything can go wrong. So, having the right bike rack for your bicycles is very important.
While the safest bet would be to stick with a decent platform-style rack, you can also look at other genres. But if I were you, I would probably stay with a platform-style rack. They tend to be stronger, more durable, versatile, and easy to use. But most importantly, they don’t directly contact the bike’s frame. Even on a tight budget, there are many good options on the market. And there’s a good chance that you’ll get one that works just fine for your bikes and the vehicle. On the other hand, if the price is not an issue, instead of going crazy, spend it wisely so that you won’t have to pay twice.
Also read: Best Bike Racks for Tesla Model Y