How much Weight can a Bike Rack Hold?

Suppose you already have experience transporting bikes anywhere, either in your car or someone else’s. In that case, you will have noticed that if you do not have the necessary tools to do so, it results in something complicated, and besides that, it can take up space.

Nowadays, many supports and platforms allow you to take the bikes almost anywhere and comfortably; you only need to know which works best. Some can only carry one, and others can carry up to four concurrently.

Load capacityIt’s essential that you can check how many bikes the platform can carry at the same time and the weight it can support; this will help you define whether it’s useful for you or not. If you need to know how to choose your bike rack and how much weight a bike rack can hold. Do not hesitate to continue reading all the information we bring you to confidently buy the bike rack that is most useful for your case.

best hitch bike rack

1. Roof bike rack

They were the first to appear on the market; you place it in the roof and some models on the car door frame’s gutters. Some models require removing the front wheel from your bike. The weight of these bike racks exerts in the middle strip.

The roof bike rack can load three bikes simultaneously with a maximum weight of 45 kg in total; it is straightforward to install since it is pre-assembled; you only have to attach to the car roof, and you will be able to use it immediately.

Related: Best Hitch Bike Rack for 4 Bikes (Reviewed 2021)

It can be held and fixed with elastic tension straps; additionally, it has an extra safety strap, pads to protect the car and each bike. It also has a tilt adjustment through the clutch system, is very resistant, and does not deteriorate rapidly due to weather conditions.

The main feature of this type of bike rack is comfort. Being located at the top of the car allows the doors, trunk, plates, and headlights to function appropriately and visible without contraption.

This comfort allows the device to remain installed if it is used continuously and does not obstruct the driver’s vision. It is one of the best-selling models, so the variety of models and prices is usually the widest.

Roof bike rack installation is simple; metal bars are attached to the back of the vehicle and links to the bikes in two ways, depending on the model; Through the diagonal tube, using a few arms with clamp, the second is a support for the fork of the bicycle.

Related: Best Hitch Bike Rack for Jeep Wrangler

  1. Trunk bike racks

They are the most economical bike rack on the list, anchored to the back of the car. It can accommodate up to three bikeswith a combined load of 30 kgs, to 45kgs if used with an adapter in the vehicle, is not exceeded. The supports in the car are reinforced with foam to prevent damage or scratches on the car.

It is an extraordinarily economical model considering its capacity for up to 3 bikes and includes fastening straps. It can be held and fixed with elastic tension straps; additionally, it has an extra safety strap, pads to protect the car and each bike. It also has a tilt adjustment through the clutch system, is very resistant, and does not deteriorate rapidly due to weather conditions.

Related: Best Hitch Bike Rack for Subaru Ascent

It is also used for long trips because it interferes with opening and closing the trunk. It usually comes with protectors to prevent any damage to the car paint. Installing this type of bike rack is a slightly more complicated process than in roof carriers, with special care must be taken because it can hide the license plates and headlights. Still, in these cases, you can buy additional headlight panels and license plates.


3. Ball or trailer bike rack

This type of bike rack was born from the need to improve the use of gate racks so that you can easily handle the trunk without interfering too much. They are a kind of rigid trailer and fit the hitch ball. Not all vehicles have this implement, and in case you want to buy this type, it may be installed on some car models if it is not available.

Related: Best Bike Rack for Prius (Reviewed 2021)

Ball bike racks usually bring a space for duplicate license plates and with the bridge for lights. They are the most comfortable because they do not interfere with aerodynamics, leave room to open the trunk and install the bikes easily. Still, having the better of the two types mentioned above, they are also the most expensive.

The rating determines the weight carried by the ball bike rack.

Class 1 Hitch Rating

A class I hitch is only appropriate for the lightest loads, and it this usually found on passenger cars and small SUVs. A class 1 hitch rating means that you can tow a jet ski, motorcycle or scooter, small cargo box, or bike rack. Even though this hitch class has a towing capacity of up to 908kgs (50bikes), a smaller car may not be able to handle the additional load. Always check your vehicle’s towing capacity before you try to tow a trailer.

Related: Best Bike Racks for Car 2021 (all types of cars included)

Class 2 Hitch Rating

It has a capacity of 1580kgs (90bikes). The class 2 hitch is rated for towing light loads. Class 2 hitches are available for many cars, SUVs, and light trucks and can pull a small boat, a bike rack with several bicycles. Don’t forget that you’ll be towing more than just the ship; you’ll also have the trailer and accessories, as well as fuel and anything that you need for what you’re towing. If you’re near your limit with just the boat or other load, consider moving to a higher hitch class.

Trailer hitches with a class 3 hitch rating are an excellent choice for most individuals who tow things like medium-sized campers, boats, and bike racks. They are one of the most commonly installed classes of the trailer hitch, so you’re likely to be able to find one for your vehicle if itcan handle the weight of a load between 1580 kgs and 2268 kgs(130bikes). Class three-receiver hitches typically have a 2-inch receiver tube,

Class 4 Hitch Rating

Class 4 rated hitches are designed for heavy-duty towing, with a capacity of up to 4536kgs(250bikes). Gross trailer weight. This size hitch typically only fits on a heavy-duty truck, commercial vehicle, or motor home. Smaller cars can’t tow so much weight. You may need a trap of this class to pull a large boat or camper or heavy construction equipment.

Class 3 and class 4 hitch ratings are separate. There are several hitches available from listed as “class III/IV.” These usually mean that the trap can handle as much weight as a standard class 3 hitches when used alone. However, when weight distribution equipment is added, the snare can load above that weight class. Always make sure that you know what load your gear can handle.

Related: Do Bike Racks Damage your Car?

There is no official class 5 hitch rating from the automotive engineering society, but many manufacturers make heavy-duty hitches that can handle over 4536kgs gross trailer weight. In this class, traps are designed for the most massive loads, so they are usually only made for heavy-duty and commercial trucks. Towing such a heavy load may require additional equipment, such as a brake controller.


A bike rack’s weight limit can hold considerably, based on the construction and quality of materials. One of the reasons it’s essential to try to find the manufacturer’s recommended weight limit is that a bike that feels incapable of holding you up because of the material’s flexibility may be strong enough if built right. In contrast, a stiff frame can also be too weak. Always choose a bike rack that your vehicle can tow.

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