We were thrilled when we found the Bell Right Up 2 Bike Rack. Prior to that, it seemed that the only receiver hitch style bike racks that could accommodate my wife's electric bike (56 pounds with the battery removed) were in the $400+ price range. The Bell rack was about 1/4 of that price, yet it seems sturdy enough and well designed.
We like that the center post swings out of the way when loading the heavier bike on the side closest to the car trunk. Also, because the center post uses a strap to holds the bike upright, you can attach that strap to any part of the bike frame. This helps because my wife's bike is a women's step through frame that has no horizontal frame bar. Therefore, there was no need to buy and install an adapter to create a horizontal cross bar, which would be necessitated by the design of many other racks I've seen.
We have only used the rack once so far, to transport the electric bike to the shop for a tune-up, and the bike seemed to hardly move during the drive. I'm sure the rack will work great when we include my much lighter road bike, since the rack specs indicate it could handle two 60-pound bikes.
We also bought and used a "required" stabilizing strap ("Curt Manufacturing 18050 Bike Rack Stabilizer Strap") which we were lucky to find on Amazon for under $6. Both Bell and Curt, the manufacturer of our receiver hitch, recommend using this strap. It attached easily between the rack's center post and the hinge edge of the car trunk lid. It did seem to add additional stability, which was comforting with the heavy electric bike on the rack. Curt's hitch instructions warn that their hitch warranty is void if a strap isn't used, although the hitch shop that installed our receiver hitch said they had never heard of anyone actually using such a strap with a bike rack.
Instructions for assembling the rack were relatively clear (though I had to measure some of the bolts to make sure I was using the correct ones for a couple of steps), and assembly went much faster than it looked like it might. The rack folds easily if left on the back of the car and also when storing it.
I'm not sure that it will possible be to make the entire rack theft proof, because proper rack attachment to the receiver hitch requires the heavy, threaded bolt. Therefore, using a hitch lock would also require that the lock have identical threads. In addition, because all of the other parts of the rack are simply bolted together (the rack includes a metric wrench so no other tools are needed for assembly), a thief willing to steal everything except the locked tongue portion of the rack still could do so with only an adjustable crescent wrench. We will probably unbolt the rack from the hitch and put it in the car trunk while out biking. Leaving the bikes sitting on the rack - using a cable lock to secure the bikes directly to the "ears" on the receiver hitch - is probably also very risky in a high theft area, because I don't think there are locking cables that can withstand large bolt cutters. Overall, however, the Bell rack is great!
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