The first question would have to be, what type of vehicle are you attaching this to?
Jeeps, for example, have a rear-mounted spare tire, and require an extended length to allow clearance. And some vehicles have 1-1/4" receivers, and others a 2" receiver.
Aside from those pieces of info, if you are only going to be hauling the 2 bikes, I'd recommend a platform style as opposed to a "hanger" style carrier. They are easier to load, and secure, and, in most cases, hold the bikes in a more stable position, avoiding dings and scratches.
If, however, you intend to carry 3 or 4 bikes, the hanger style is somewhat better suited as the platform style for 4 bikes extends quite a ways from the vehicle, adding additional stress to the carrier due to the weight transfer, and potentially creating clearance issues when maneuvering your vehicle. If you do end up with a hanger style, you may need a top bar to allow for proper positioning. Something like this one, which, is, unfortunately, no longer available.
Hi @ishearn - We are posting your response here, as it came through to the Conversations e-mail account instead of the community. You said:
"Thanks @Rob6 . I have a 2007 toyota highlander hybrid. Are there any platform make/models u like in particular?"
Thanks @REI-CarterC .
Hi @ishearn . I actually have a Jeep Wrangler, with the rear-mounted spare tire, so I am somewhat limited in the selections available to me. I currently have an Allen hanger style carrier. I am on the lookout for a platform rack, and have done some research. Thule and Yakima are the 2 name brands that have the best reputations, and the most positive reviews. They also seem to be the most expensive. A friend and riding buddy of mine has a Swagman that he seems very pleased with.
Based on my research, any one of these would be a good choice. I personally really like the Thule Pro XT2 , primarily because it has the capability of converting to a 4 bike carrier with the addition of the Add-On. I believe that Yakima may have a comparable system. There are other features on different models that may suit your needs a bit better though, so be sure to review the specific details. I'd avoid most of the "no name" brands as they are not likely to be as sturdy or durable.
In my case, because of my spare tire issue, I will likely be turning to a Jeep specialty company, like Quadratec.
Good luck, and choose wisely. 😊
I recently bought a new hitch rack for use on a Highlander and Outback. I have owned probably 6 hitch racks over the years: Yakima, Softride, Thule, and Saris. I value light weight as it's a pain to take off, put on and store a heavy hitch rack, many are over 50 lbs. I also don't like a rack that extends well behind the back bumper. I bought a Saris Superclamp as it works best for a carbon fiber framed bikes as only the tires touch the rack and it weights as I recall 35 pounds. My previous rack was a Saris Freedom which is very light and worked great but it clamps unto the downtube which is not the best for carbon bikes. I did buy a Kuat rack but it was heavy and I found it stuck out too far and I could not close my garage door (too much stuff stored in front of the car), fortunately I was able to sell it for what I had paid.
I highly recommend Swagman bike racks ! They hold your bike by the top of the frame and bottom of the wheels (much like when it's sitting on the ground). I believe this is a much better way of actually holding a wheel (which most other racks do). And the Swagman is $100-200 les expensive than 1ups or kuats. I have owned 3 and they have been extremely reliable and have survived numerous long trips across Texas.