Which is the best 5 bike hitch rack for your SUV, Sedan or Van?
Finding a 5 bike hitch rack is not an easy task. You have to find one that can accommodate all the different bike types you own, has the required weight carrying capacity, has enough distance between the bikes, and is compatible with your vehicle.
Most racks for 5-6 bikes are available in hanging style because these racks save a lot of space at the rear of the vehicle. For installation of these racks, a 2” hitch receiver of Class 3 or above is recommended because 5 bikes are quite heavy.
In this article, we have shortlisted the best 5 bike hitch racks. You can go through the reviews to find out why and how they are suitable for 5 bikes so you can choose the one according to your requirements. We have also rated each bike rack according to our Rack Score-based scoring system for your ease of comparison.
|Best 5 bike hitch mounted racks||Best for?||R score|
|Thule Apex XT||Best overall||9|
|Yakima Ridgeback||5-bike rack for SUVs and minivans||8.8|
|Yakima FullTilt||Sturdy and secure 5-bike hitch rack||8.9|
|Allen sports hitch rack||Economical 5-bike hitch rack||8.7|
|Curt Premium Trailer||Best for a family of 5||8.3|
Thule Apex XT 5: Premium Hanging hitch bike rack for 5 bikes
- 5 Bike
- Anti-sway technology,
- Access to trunk (due to swing technology)
- Premium Quality
- Cons High price
- Slightly overpriced
One of the best 1 1 4 hitch bike racks, Thule Apex is a great choice of hitch bike rack for multiple bikes. It has a maximum capacity of 5 bikes but unlike the 4-bike version, it is not available in swing-away style. Regardless, you can still access the trunk or hatch with the tilt-away feature.
You just need to have a 1 ½” or 2” hitch receiver for the installation of this rack. The rack comes installed with an adapter for a 2” receiver which you can remove for use with a 1 ½” receiver. If your vehicle does not already have a hitch, we recommend you buy the 2” receiver for carrying 5 bikes and make sure that it is class 3 or above.
Also make sure that the total bike load does not exceed 150 lbs, in this way you can carry 5 bikes weighing less than 37 lbs each. Overall it is a reliable 5-bike hitch rack that safely carries bikes with a 5.5” distance in between them.
You can use it for most bikes including beach cruisers and bikes with fenders. Since it is a hanging-style rack, by getting the 982XT Frame Adapter you can also haul kids’ and women’s bikes but this rack is not recommended for e-bikes. You can get it at around $530 which is reasonable for 5 bikes and locks included.
One of the most popular hanging choices for the best hitch bike rack for 5 bikes from Hollywood
- Pros Tilt feature, Tool-free installation, and offered in 11/4 inch hitch
- Cons Immovable parts which make it difficult to fit bikes
- Rating 4.4 out of 5
- Price Around $340
- Hitch receiver 11/4 & 2 inches
Yakima Ridgeback is the best 5 bike hitch rack for SUVs and minivans. This hanging-style hitch rack also has a maximum capacity of 5 bikes and has both 1 ½” or 2” hitch receiver options but we recommend a 2” receiver for 5 bikes.
It easily carries traditional bikes and for bikes with a slanted top tube, kids’ and women’s bikes you have to separately buy the TubeTop adapter. You can load 5 bikes each weighing 40lbs or less but some people complain that the 5-bike version accommodates 4 bikes at most.
Actually, this 5-bike hitch rack has a learning curve because the first time you load 5 bikes it will take you longer but it gets easier with time. Although 5 bikes fit tightly, it is not impossible and with a little practice, you will safely load your bikes.
Ridgeback can also be tilted with bikes loaded but with 5 bikes, it would be a two-person job. The rack itself is heavy and it can be difficult to bring it to the car before installation. Yet, it is a useful product, very sturdy and dependable.
Unlike Thule Apex it does not include the complete locking system because you have to buy the cable lock separately but at around $450, it also costs lesser than Apex so does not make much of a difference.
- 5 Bike
- Tilt for opening door
- SKS cable lock system included
- Simple and secure
- Costs more than other hanging-style racks
Yakima FullTilt has most features of the Ridgeback but some newer ones make it a high-value 5 bike hitch rack. Although it costs a bit more than Ridgeback, it offers a bike and rack security system. An impressive feature is the introduction of AutoPin which automatically secures the rack into the right position on a hitch receiver.
This rack also fits both 1 ½” or 2” hitch receivers. Make sure the 5 bikes you carry have a combined load of 150lbs. Also, this rack has fully padded arms to protect bike frames and these arms are durable enough to carry 5 bikes safely.
The best part is the adjustable bike cradles. Surprisingly, you can adjust the spacing between your bikes. This is a much-needed upgrade that users mostly ask for because when loading 5 bikes of different sizes, you might find the arm too short. With adjustable cradles, you can set shorter distances between thinner frames because they would b easily accommodated.
Other than that, you can tilt down the rack for access to the trunk and you can also fold it into a compact structure when it’s not in use. It works for most bike frames, but for bikes with non-traditional top tubes, you should get the TopTube adapter separately.
Allen Sports 5-bike hitch rack
One of the most economical hanging and Amazon’s choice for the best hitch bike rack for 4 bikes from Allen
- Pros Affordable, No wobble, Options, Tilt away
- Cons No security (locking) feature for bikes
- Rating 4.6 out of 5
- Price Starts at $100
- Hitch receiver 2 inches
The 5-bike hitch rack from Allen Sports is the most economical yet high-end rack reviewed by us. The 5-bike version of this rack is only compatible with a 2” hitch receiver. We recommend a class 3 or above hitch receiver if your vehicle does not have a factory-installed hitch trailer.
You can carry a total load of 175lbs on this rack and the best part is that it comes with many options so you can purchase the one that suits your requirements. Firstly, it has Deluxe and Premier versions, whereas Premier additionally has quick folding arms and dual compound cradles as compared to Deluxe.
Secondly, both these versions have locking and non-locking versions. Unlike most hanging style 5 bike hitch racks, this one does not have extra long arms. This has the benefit that you can easily park your vehicle but you should also know that 5 bikes would have to fit tightly. But if you have one slim road or kids’ bike with 4 adult bikes, loading them would not be a problem.
Other than that, while driving your SUV or a low-sitting vehicle, you might feel the need for a taller post for hanging bikes because this rack has low ground clearance. Apart from that, the rack offers features comparable with the premium racks, and that too at a very economical cost of around $175-$250.
Curt Premium Trailer
The Curt Premium is the most sturdy hanging style 5 bike hitch rack with high load-carrying capacity. It carries 5 bikes easily and it has a unique arm design. It has tapered arms that would let you load bikes of different sizes and geometries.
We recommend this rack for family biking adventures because you can carry adult and kids’ bikes on it. This rack fits on a 2” hitch receiver and contains an anti-rattle hitch pin for increased stability so all 5 bikes do not come in contact with each other. Also at a maximum load-carrying capacity of 225 lbs, you can even haul the heaviest bikes along with lighter ones.
At around $210, it is a good solution for carrying 5 bikes. The rack has tilt-away features but we do not recommend it for 5 bikes, because lifting it up again with the weight of 5 bikes is pretty tough. Apart from that, it has adjustable cradles so you can fit most frame shapes, and comes with an anti-wobble shank.
- 5 Bike
- Versatile fit
- Simple and secure
Which vehicles can fit a 5-bike hitch rack?
This 5-bike hitch rack is usually suitable for larger vehicles such as vans, minivans, and SUVs. Since 5 bikes weigh from around 150 to 200 pounds, this load cannot be carried on usual cars. Also, the vehicles should have a hitch receiver for carrying a 5-bike hitch rack.
What type of hitch receiver is required for a 5-bike hitch rack?
Most 5 bike racks are compatible with 2” receivers but some also fit 1 ½” hitch receivers. But for stable transport of bikes, a 2” receiver is recommended. Also, for carrying such a high weight, class 3 or above hitches are suitable.
Is it safe to carry 5 bikes on a hitch bike rack?
Yes. hitch bike racks are the most secure bike racks for carrying multiple bikes. The reason is, they have a high load-carrying capacity. They are mostly available for 4, 5, and even 6 bikes. Most 5 bike hitch racks are built in hanging style with equally spaced bike cradles to save space. We do not recommend carrying so many bikes on car bike rack without hitch