2022 Thule Hitch Bike Racks Compared: Best Price Per Bike
Thule has arguably the largest catalog of car racks, including hitch bike racks. Since its founding back in 1942 the European brand, has become a household name around the world. The name Thule has established itself to stand for quality, longevity, and features in bike racks and is often synonymous with car racks themselves.
With the vast catalog of Thule bike racks available, bike capacity, rack types, changing model names, and new innovative features, it’s not always straightforward to find the best fit easily. Even when browsing through the Thule hitch bike rack line-up, an even comparison is difficult and time-consuming.
That’s why I compiled all the current 2022 Thule hitch bike rack models in one table.
I should mention that, while Thule USA and Thule Canada offer the same products overall, they have separate stores.
However, there are different Thule models for the European and North American markets.
This article compares the USA and Canada models only.
Remember though, that quality costs money so products made by Thule will generally be more expensive than from other top bike rack brands. I have no affiliation with Thule but have owned one of their roof racks for bikes and skis before. They are the biggest brand in car racks with the largest market share and a stellar reputation for high quality and durability. In fact, there are more hitch bike rack manufacturers that are considered reputable brands.
Here are all the 2022 hitch rack models by Thule, ranked by their price per bike tray:
Thule Hitch Bike Rack Comparison (2022 Models North America)
RV-approved Thule hitch bike rack
Thule Range (RV) is the only hitch bike rack specifically designed for RV use. Its longer design accomodates for the longer rear end of a camper vehicle. That’s also what makes it not recommended for use on regular vehicles or vans.
Mounting Details: Trailer Hitch Variants
The mounting details in this list refer to the receiver size of a trailer hitch. These are standard sizes and basically dictated by the tow hitch class. There are multiple classes, but for bike rack use, even class 1 is mostly sufficient.
Just for e-bikers class 1 may not be suitable in most cases as it quickly reaches its limits. Generally, it is advised to go for a 2″ receiver ball size, since most hitch racks are supported and the selection is far greater. The same goes for bike capacity.
Thule offers pretty much all their hitch bike racks for both 1.25″ and 2″ receiver sizes.
|Receiver Size||Tounge capacity||Bike Rack Weight Capacity|
|Class 1||1 1/4″||200 lbs max.||2 – 4 bikes|
|Class 2||1 1/4″||350 lbs max.||5 bikes|
|Class 3||2″||800 lbs max.||5+ bikes|
|Class 4||2″||1.000 lbs max.||Overkill for bike racks|
Bike rack style & bike attachments
I go into this topic in much more detail here, but I’ll quickly summarize the most important infos here. There are many ways to actually fix a bike on a bike rack. Not all of them are great, and some are preferable to others.
Here is the tier list of bike rack styles in descending order:
- Wheel mount
- Seatpost Clamp
- Frame Mount: Down Tube
- Frame Mount: Top Tube
- Front Axle Mount
- Fork Mount
Incidentally, it coincides with Thule’s pricing model. The platform tray models using wheel fixations are generally more expensive, while cradle style frame mounts are the cheaper models.
They not only differ in the ease of use and stability, but are dramatically affect the overall bike rack protection. The rule is simple: There is no way to completely eliminate vibrations and slight movement in a car bike rack while on the move. So, the less the bikes can move on the bike rack, the better and safer it is.