In an ideal world you could just pedal everywhere in beautiful weather and on perfect terrain, and car racks wouldn't be a thing. But since that's a fantasy for most riders, car racks are a necessity. Luckily, there's an option for every vehicle and they're truly better than ever.
From hauling one single bike to upwards of four, there's a hitch rack that'll do the job. Even purpose-built racks for hauling e-bikes now exist, as well as racks that have off-the-car storage innovations built in.
While designed for e-bikes, Thule's EasyFold can carry practically any two wheeler. The e-bike specifics boil down to two main features, the massive 120lbs load capacity and the removable ramp.
Yep, it has a ramp so you don't have to dead lift your heavy e-bike up onto the rack. Like all high-end hitch-mounted racks, the US$699 EasyFold comes with locks, tilts for rear vehicle access, folds up when not in use, and comes ready for both 1 1/4in and 2in receivers.
What do you do with your car rack when you don't need to transport bikes? Inno thought about this with its US$399 INH330 hitch rack. The lightweight (30lbs) rack folds up small and even features a carrying handle. It can be stored in your vehicle or tucked away thanks to its minimal footprint.
On the vehicle, it holds two bikes by the down tube and the whole rack tilts down for rear hatch access.
Here's Swagman's latest hitch rack, the Sitkka. Two and three bike versions are available, and the rack can carry practically any bike, from a 20in kid bike to a full-on fat bike with 5in tires. The Sitkka can support up to 90lbs and will be available in 2017.
RockyMounts MonoRail Swing
Leave it to the guys at RockyMounts to take hitch racks to the next level. The MonoRail Swing looks like most hitch racks, but instead of tilting down for rear vehicle access, the MonoRail Swing glides out of the way towards the passenger's side of the car.
Two bike capacity is standard and a third hauler can be added. The US$529 rack only works with 2in receivers and will accommodate tons of bikes, from kids' to fat to road.
Kuat NV 2.0
Kuat's NV 2.0 rack received many more updates than just the stealthy black paint job. The lever for folding and tilting the rack has been updated. The lever can be tapped with your foot to lower the US$629 rack, and tilting and raising is handled by pulling the lever with your hand. The wheel trays are now vertically adjustable to lessen bar to saddle interference, and the Allen wrench used to make the adjustments is tucked neatly into the rack.
And Kuat's repair stand is still included, just improved with a spring-loaded clamp, plus it's removable and can be used on its regular workstand base.