Sportrack vs. Thule vs. Yakima bike rack: What is the right for me

On the next family trip, you want some bicycle tracking on the terrains. So, you need a carrier to carry these bicycles to that spot securely. What can support you in a better way than Sportrack or Thule, or Yakima bike racks in this regard?

But the problem most buyers face is between choosing bike racks from one of these brands. Well, Thule offers the most functional racks on the list but at a higher cost. However, Sportrack is already owned by Thule.

On the other hand, Yakima can fulfill customer demands by keeping the price range down. But you need to know that professional cyclists prefer Thule over Yakima for long-term usage. Continue reading to know more about these things.

Sportrack vs. Thule vs. Yakima bike rack

What is the Thule bike rack?

Thule bike rack review

In terms of secure bike carrying in a well-designed and functional rack, Thule does the best job. They produce both platform racks and hanging racks. However, platform bike racks are preferable for sturdier carriage and long-time usage.

Here are some characteristics of the Thule bike rack you need to know before purchasing one.

  1. They produce both hanger and platform hitch bike racks.
  2. It has a hitch switch tilt lever on the platform racks.
  3. It accommodates up to 5 inches tires.
  4. Integrated locks for the rack and bike security.
  5. Foldable design for compact storage.
  6. They offer the AutoAttach function.
  7. It has ratcheting straps on hanger racks.
  8. Anti-sway cradles to prevent bike contacts.

You might love to know about a couple of bike racks from Thule, where one is a hanger, and the other one offers a platform. Going through these two products will provide an in-depth idea of their functionalities.

Thule T2 Pro XT/XTR Hitch Bike Rack review

Key features

  1. It can hold up to two bikes.
  2. It is suitable for 20 to 29 inches wheels.
  3. The tires should be 5 inches.
  4. It offers 12.5 inches spacing between bikes.
  5. It comes with aluminum construction.
  6. The weight carrying capacity is 60 pounds with no frame contact at all.
  7. The integrated locking knob secures the rack to the receiver.
  8. It has an integrated cable lock for bike security.
  9. There is a hitch switch tilt lever available.
  10. The rack has pre-installed wheels underneath.
  11. It offers a foldable compact design.

User experience

It is undoubtedly a well-made rack, which is easy to install and use. The users find it convenient to attach the receiver end to the hitch and connect it to the vehicle. Carrying up to 60 pounds makes it hassle-free to store two bikes and carry them.

There isn’t any issue noticed regarding the loading of the bike. Also, you can get access to the rear panel of the vehicle by lifting down the rack using the tilt lever.

Also, the cable lock and locking knob make the bike and rack secured on the vehicle respectively. After removing it from the vehicle, users easily transport the rack using the built-in wheels underneath.

Thule Apex XT Bike Hitch Rack review

Key features

  1. It can hang up to 4 bikes.
  2. The weight holding capacity is up to 150 pounds.
  3. It has anti-sway cradles.
  4. It comes with 7 inches spacing between two bikes.
  5. There are ratcheting straps for bike security.
  6. It has integrated cable locks for bikes.
  7. It fits 1.25 inches or 2 inches receivers.
  8. The rack comes with a hitch switch tilt lever.
  9. It has dual folding arms.
  10. The manufacturer used a metal construction on the rack.

User experience

You may think how stable the bikes will be on a hanging rack. But the fact is, the anti-sway cradles make it highly stable without any wobble while driving the vehicle. For a family trip, it is an ideal choice because of having four bikes accommodation.

None of the users found it difficult to install the rack as it offers a tools-free and quick installation process. Here, it is easy to load the bikes and secure them during the whole trip. The horizontal and vertical cable locks make the bikes secure.

Don’t worry in the long run because the additional padding will keep the bike tube scratch-free. It gives the rack and bikes a professional look.

Everything you need to know about Sportrack bike rack

Sportrack bike rack review

For a secured bike hauling and carriage with a lot of versatility, Sportrack can be a worthy choice. It produces platform racks, hanger racks, and roof racks. However, we are only discussing the first two types here.

The versatility is the most attractive aspect of these racks. However, it is owned by Thule since 2006. Still, you need to know the characteristics of Sportrack bike racks.

  1. It has hooks on platform racks.
  2. It can fit on almost any size and design of bikes.
  3. Both hooks and cradles are rubberized.
  4. It comes with anti-sway cradles in hanger racks.
  5. Offers a tool-free mounting system.
  6. The foldable design ensures convenient storage.
  7. It can accommodate two to three bikes.

After knowing all these things about Sportrack bike racks, you should go through a couple of racks from the brand for a clear idea.

SportRack Crest 2 Non-Locking, Black review

Key features

  1. It comes with alloy steel construction.
  2. It has rubberized hooks for the bike tube’s protection.
  3. There are hooks and wheel trays.
  4. The rack has a center fold-down design.
  5. It has a tilting platform hitch.
  6. The maximum weight holding capacity is 90 pounds.
  7. It is mountable to 1.12 inches, or 2 inches hitch.

User experience

If you are searching for a basic bike mount rack, then it is a suitable choice. The simplified design holds two bikes securely. It allows the user to access the rear of the vehicle with ease. The users find it comfortable storing the bikes for a long time here.

With the rubberized hooks, the mounted bikes remain as long as you want. The attached tube won’t get damaged due to the comfortable rubberized design.

SportRack Pursuit Anti-Sway Trunk Mount Bike Rack review

Key features

  1. It has rubber cradles and straps.
  2. Anti-sway cradles to prevent bike-to-bike contact.
  3. It comes with added padding.
  4. The maximum weight holding capacity is 105 pounds.
  5. It has a quick hub mounting system.
  6. It can carry up to three bikes.
  7. The rack has a quick fold-down design.

User experience

The protective design of the rack keeps the mounted bikes safe from scratching for a longer period. The side straps and protective cradles keep the bikes secure. For family trips, it can suit the users most as it can carry up to three bikes.

The users need extra tools for the installation, which allows a hassle-free installation process. It holds the bike perfectly and ensures convenient support.  

About Yakima bike rack

Yakima bike rack review

Yakima is known for roof rack mount more than hitch bike rack mount. Compared to the rest two brands, they offer bike racks at an affordable price range. However, they don’t compromise the quality to do so.

The quality ensured racks are well-made for long time service. Instead of these good sides, professionals don’t prefer these bike racks over Thule. Now, let’s look at the distinguishing characteristics of these racks before moving further.

  1. It can accommodate wheels from 20 inches to 29 inches.
  2. It offers a tilt-down design for the vehicle’s rear access.
  3. Make the bikes more secure with the SKS locks.
  4. Fold-flat design for the hanger hitch racks.
  5. It needs 1.25 inches 2 inches hitch receiver.
  6. It has an anti-sway cradle design on the hanger racks.
  7. Bike carrying capacity ranges from 2 to 4 out of the box depending on the design.

You may be still worried about the brand and what actually it offers to the users. That is why we have included two racks from Yakima for your consideration.

YAKIMA, HoldUp Hitch Mount Tray Bike Rack, 1-1/4"

Key features

  1. It has a StrongArm design.
  2. Carries two bikes out of the box.
  3. It comes with an SKS lock for added security.
  4. The rack requires a 1.25 to 2 inches hitch receiver.
  5. There is side to side adjustability available between bikes.
  6. It has a smart tilt-down design.
  7. It can carry a load of up to 60 pounds.

User experience

Having an easy-to-install and easy-to-use bike rack at an affordable price range is a tough task. But with this one, the customers have almost nothing to complain about. The heavy-duty construction provides a well-built bike rack for long time use.

It hauls the bike securely and keeps both the front and rear wheel safe. Don't worry if you need to get access into the vehicle's rear as the rack allows you to do so with the smart tilt design. It is a recommended one for those who need a quality rack with affordability.

YAKIMA, RidgeBack Tilt-Away Hitch Bike Rack review

Key features

  1. It comes with a tool-free speedknob for installation.
  2. It carries up to 4 bikes.
  3. It has a fold-flat design.
  4. It requires a 1.25 to 2 inches hitch receiver.
  5. There is an upper-hand level for tilt design.
  6. It comes with removable zip strips.
  7. Anti-sway cradle to remove bike-to-bike contact.

User experience

When a rack is easy to install, it is undoubtedly easy to use. And the same thing happened with this one. Users can conveniently install the bike rack within 5 minutes without requiring any extra tools.

As a bike carrier, it has every necessary security design on the rack. With the zip strips and cable lock design, it keeps the four bikes securely in place. Also, it doesn’t let the bikes come in contact that ensures a higher scratch resistance service.

Comparison between Sportrack, Thule & Yakima bike racks

Sportrack, Thule, and Yakima are the three top bike racks-making brands. However, Thule has already owned Sportrack. It has become a part of Thule since 2006. All these three brands have some similarities and dissimilarities.

While buying a bike rack, it is obvious to fall into confusion regarding which brand to choose and which not. Here we are to remove all these confusions by providing this comparison chart. Take a look at it carefully and make the final decision.

Thule

Sportrack

Yakima

Aluminum construction

Alloy steel construction with rubberized protection

Metal construction

Highest load capacity up to 150 pounds

Highest load capacity up to 105 pounds

Highest load capacity up to 60 pounds

Mostly used as platform racks

Platform and hanger racks

The preferable choice for hanger racks

1.25 to 2 inches hitch receivers

1.12 to 2 inches hitch receivers

1.25 to 2 inches hitch receivers

Carries 2 to 4 bikes

Carries 2 to 3 bikes

Carries 2 to 4 bikes

Cable lock and locking knob

Rubber straps and cradles

ZipStrip lock

No

Rubberized hooks

No

FAQs

Which offers a better bike rack, Thule or Yakima?

If you want a platform bike rack, then go for Thule, and it is also good for long-term service. However, Yakima is a suitable one for a hanger bike rack and professionals don’t recommend it for an extended period of usage.

Which type of bike rack accommodates more bikes, hanging or platform?

Hanging bike racks accommodates more bikes because of the design. Typically, a platform rack holds two bikes out of the box. However, a hanger rack holds three to four bikes.

Will Thule bike rack fit Yakima?

Yes, the Thule bike rack will fit Yakima. The mechanism of these bike racks from two different brands is almost similar that allows relating one to another.

How much weight one bike rack can hold?

A bike rack can hold weight from 60 pounds to 150 pounds depending on the design. Platform racks have better weight holding capacity than hanger racks.

Final words

When you need a bike rack, you might choose from the platform or hanger design. Sportrack, Thule, and Yakima offer a few special features in this regard that you need to know.

  1. Cable lock for added security.
  2. Smart tilt design letting access to vehicle’s rear part.
  3. Easy tool-free installation.
  4. Protective rubberized design.
  5. Carries two to four bikes.

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