Allen Deluxe 4-Bike Hitch Carrier Review (2024)

The Allen Deluxe 4 provides an econmical solution for consumers who do not use a bike rack on a daily basis

Allen Deluxe 4-Bike Hitch Carrier Review (1)

Allen Deluxe 4-Bike Hitch Carrier Review (2)

Price:$120 List

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Manufacturer:Allen Sports

By Curtis Smith ⋅ Senior Review Editor ⋅ Sep 12, 2019

38

OVERALL
SCORE

RELATED: The Best Bike Racks of 2024

Our Verdict

The Allen Deluxe 4 is a wallet-friendly support arm style hitch mount rack. It holds the bike by the top tube of the frame and is therefore limited in its versatility. It lacks the security features and vehicle access features of more expensive racks, but it may be a good option for the infrequent user.

REASONS TO BUY

Inexpensive

Low loading height

REASONS TO AVOID

Uses frame as attachment point

Straps are not secure

No security features

Limits access to rear vehicle compartments

Product Updated

It looks as if this rack has been tweaked slightly. See a comparison below.

September 2019


Our Analysis and Test Results

Product Updated


Compare the updated Allen 4-Bike rack (left) to the version we tested (right).

Allen Deluxe 4-Bike Hitch Carrier Review (3)
Allen Deluxe 4-Bike Hitch Carrier Review (4)

While we didn't discern preciesely what has changed between the two (looks like minor tweaks and graphic updates), what we can be sure of is the price has dropped on this already inexpensive rack, from $150 to $120.

Hands-On Review of the Dexlue 4-Bike Hitch Carrier


This bike rack is an economical support arm style hitch mount rack that uses the frame as a primary attachment point.

Allen Deluxe 4-Bike Hitch Carrier Review (5)


Ease of Everyday Use


This model has a low loading height and does not require removal of wheels. Loading bikes with traditional front triangles is relatively easy, but loading small bikes, full suspension bikes, or other bikes with non-traditional front triangles is frustrating and in some cases impossible. The cradles are not adjustable on the horizontal supports, making spacing bikes difficult. The straps used to secure the bikes are nylon with plastic buckles and are impossible to get tight enough to prevent excessive movement. Allen recommends the use of a strap (not included) to secure the bikes to the bottom bracket to prevent movement. This is another step that decreases ease of use while increasing the contact points and the likelihood your bikes could be damaged in transport.

Ease of Removal and Storage


Once assembled, the rack easily slides into a 2" hitch receiver. This model is secured to the vehicle using a No Wobble hitch bolt that requires two ¾" wrenches to install. The No Wobble bolt is of limited use for preventing rack wobble in the receiver. No matter how tight we got the bolt, play existed on all of our test vehicles. An anti-sway or no wobble bolt is a great feature employed by the Editors' Choice Thule T2 Pro, but the one included with this particular model, the Deluxe 4, doesn't work.

Versatility


The Deluxe 4 holds bikes on its support arms on small cradles that attach to the top tube of the frame limiting its versatility. Not as versatile as platform-style hitch mount racks like the Thule T2 Classic or the Kuat NV, it ranges from difficult to impossible to attach many full suspension frames or frames with unique front triangle configurations on the Allen Deluxe. Four sets of mounting cradles are attached to the horizontal support arms, but we were hard pressed to find any combination of four bikes that would fit on the rack without serious bike-to-bike contact that would cause damage to the vehicle in motion.

Ease of Assembly


The Deluxe 4 comes out of the box in three pieces and must be put together using the included bolts and nuts. You will need an adjustable wrench and a 14mm wrench to assemble the rack. Directions are clear, but we had difficulty getting some of the bolts to line up due to poor manufacturing tolerances, and a hammer and some manipulation were required.

Security


This bike rack has no security features, no locks for bikes and no way to secure the rack to a vehicle.

Durability


We had issues during testing with the plastic buckles failing with bikes loaded. Other than that, there were no issues with the structural integrity of the rack. On Amazon, 7 out of 90 user reviews cite various structural failures, but it's difficult to determine whether a defect is to blame, or misuse by consumers.

Best Application


This rack is best for those who use a bicycle rack a few times a year or very infrequently. It is not ideal for high-end bikes, as scratches and frame damage are likely.

Value


At $120, the Allen Deluxe 4 is the cheapest hitch mount rack we tested, and it's sometimes priced at much less than that. It does present a good value for those who use racks infrequently and are not concerned with security or frame damage. If you use your rack on a daily basis, consider another option such as the Best Buy Rocky Mounts MonoRail.

Conclusion

The Allen Deluxe 4 is the cheapest hitch mount rack in the test and is anything but deluxe. With no security features and a design that limits its ability to carry most modern full suspension bikes, it is limited in functionality.


Curtis Smith

Allen Deluxe 4-Bike Hitch Carrier Review (2024)

FAQs

How much weight can an Allen bike rack hold? ›

Also, you should always remove your rack from your vehicle when not in use. Q: How much weight can my carrier hold? A: Most of our carriers are rated to carry up to 35 LB per bicycle. The exception would be our model AR200 which will carry up to 40 LB per bicycle.

Are hitch bike racks worth it? ›

If you're searching for the best way to transport bikes, hitch-mounted racks are the way to go. Securely attaching to the receiver hitch of your vehicle, they offer unmatched versatility and ease of use.

Can I carry 4 bikes on a Class 1 hitch? ›

For the most part, class I and class II hitches can only carry two, sometimes three, bikes. If you want to carry 4+ bikes or have the ability to swing the rack to the side, you're going to need a class III or higher hitch.

Can you exceed bike rack weight limit? ›

Bikes heavier than the recommended individual bike weight limit should not be carried with that rack system. This is because the retention mechanisms are not designed or tested to hold bikes heavier than the listed value, even if the total weight being carried is less than the bike rack's maximum capacity.

What are the disadvantages of bike racks? ›

They can block your view while you're driving, which can be dangerous. If you have a lot of gear, it can be difficult to fit everything on the rack. The weight of your bike and gear can affect how well your bike handles while riding.

Do hitch bike racks get stolen? ›

Thieves can detach your rack from the hitch or cut the locks and cables that secure the bikes to the rack. To prevent theft, we recommend: Using a high-quality bike rack lock and cable.

Why are bike hitch racks so expensive? ›

As reliable as hitch bike racks are, they tend to be the most expensive. For one, they're more advanced in design than all other types. Second, they require that you have a hitch on your vehicle, which can add to the expense.

What size hitch do most bike racks use? ›

Start this process by measuring the size of the hitch on your car (the width of the receiver opening). There are four different sizes, so yours will either be 1 ¼”, 2”, 2 ½”, or 3”. The two most common hitch sizes are 1 ¼” and 2”. Although some newer vehicles use a 2.5” which we have an adapter for.

How do I know if I have a Class 1 or 2 hitch? ›

Class 1 hitches have 1-1/4-inch receiver sizes, and have a GTW capacity of up to 2,000 lbs. and a TW capacity of up to 200 lbs. Class 2: If you drive a minivan or have a car or crossover that is on the bigger or more heavy-duty side, you likely have a Class 2 hitch.

How can I tell if I have a Class 3 or Class 4 hitch? ›

Hitch classes are separated by their maximum weight capacity rating and receiver opening size. Classes range from I to V, and each class has its own unique capacity and applications. To find: Read the label on your hitch, or measure the size of the opening.

What is a Class 4 hitch? ›

A Class 4 trailer hitch is perfect for towing large boats and recreational vehicles and are not for passenger cars. They are typically installed on heavy duty, full sized trucks. Curt Class 4 trailer hitches have a maximum towing capacity of 10,000 pounds and a tongue weight capacity of approximately 1,000 pounds.

How much weight does a bike rack hold? ›

Hitch Rack Comparison
Hitch Sizes1.25" (Fits 2" with Adapter) Dedicated 2"
Rack Weight (LBS)NV 2.0: 52 lbs NV 2.0 & Add-On: 91 lbs
Max Wheelbase (INCHES)50
Max Bike Weight (LBS)NV 2.0: 60 lbs Per Tray NV 2.0 & 1-Bike Add-On: 50 lbs Per Tray NV 2.0 & 2-Bike Add-On: 40 lbs Per Tray
Max Tire Width (INCHES)5"
64 more rows

How strict are bike weight limits? ›

A traditional bike's weight limit is between 250 and 300 pounds, with load capacity dictated by its wheel size, tires, weight distribution, material components, and design.

Can someone sit on a bike rack? ›

In a nutshell, as long as the rack you're using is reasonably sturdy and you're operating in a safe manner, you shouldn't have any trouble with the law.

Are electric bikes too heavy for bike rack? ›

Electric bikes are also significantly heavier than standard bikes - sometimes around twice the weight - so you'll need to make sure both your roof rack and your car's roof itself can hold that weight.

References

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