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Is a Platform Hitch Rack Worth the Extra Money?

Platform style hitch racks for bikes have been on the market for several years now. But they have still been gaining popularity more and more every year. Yes they are a bit pricier than hanging models, so this begs the question, are they worth the extra money? Let’s break it down.
Bicycling has been becoming a favorite outdoor activity for all ages in recent years. And with that, there has been all new designs and styles that don’t fit the old triangular frame model of years past. Traditional hanging model hitch racks more often have not been able to accommodate all the new styles, whether it be full suspension frames, step through, and especially e-bikes which tend to be heavier.
That’s where platform style hitch racks come into play. These hitch racks have the ability to handle a wider variety of bike styles because instead of hanging the bike on two arms. They usually have a tray the bike sits in, and a hook arm to grab the front wheel (and sometimes the back wheel), allowing accommodation for various frame styles, and can tend to carry heavier bikes as well. Also if you have fenders, there are platform models that can grab the frame of the bike as well.
So that still begs the question, but what about the pricing? And aren’t they a lot heavier? The answers aren’t a simple yes or no. Between all the brands we carry, there are a good 20-25 models, if not more. They can be as light as 20-25lbs(show freedom 2 link) and some of the more basic models can be comparable in price to a hanging model. But if you go for a higher end model, what are you gaining? It does vary from model to model, but basically some will allow for tool free installation onto the car, and locking options. Some will allow for add-ons to carry up to 4 bikes. Some feature a swing away system so you can still get into your trunk without having to take your bikes off the rack. There really is quite a variety to choose from.
Now back to the original question, are platform hitch racks worth the extra money? Well, if one of the options is going to satisfy your needs, then yes! You may be paying a little more upfront now, but chances are you will have the bike rack longer than you will have your car, and then it can be used on your next vehicle. Most come with lifetime warranties, so as long as you maintain them properly, you can have a rack that will last quite a while.

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