Last Updated on May 3, 2023 by Will Sabel
Honda Odyssey is one of the best-selling family minivans in the world. However, adequate space, smooth handling, robust engine, and configurable seats aren’t enough to justify its immense popularity.
I was searching for an SUV for myself several years ago. Luckily, this bad boy caught my eye, and I bought one without hesitation. You can call it a “Rushed” decision. For me, it was “Love at First Sight.”
I wouldn’t lie; maybe it was a tad rushed. Because I was looking for a ride to carry my bikes on our family trips then.
Unfortunately, having an SUV wasn’t enough. Yes, I could’ve put the bikes inside of it. But it had a possibility of ruining the interior.
You know what I did…? I bought a BIKE RACK and many more in the following years.
Not gonna lie. I had a few bad purchases in the beginning. So, I started researching A LOT. And guess what, I finally got rid of the bad-buying phase.
I’ve listed the best hitch bike racks for Honda Odyssey. The list is completely based on my previous experience and purchases.
However, before jumping onto the products, let’s know how to install one first.
What Is the Best Way to Install a Hitch Bike Rack on Honda Odyssey?
Installing a hitch bike rack on compact SUVs like Honda Odyssey is not that hard. If I could do it on the first try, anyone can. Today, I’ll share with you the exact way I did it. Let’s get to the step-by-step guide you’ve been waiting for.
Shank and Receiver – Let the Love Birds Meet
Fitting a rack tube or shank into your car’s receiver is the first step in the installation process. These shanks come into either 1.25-inch or 2-inch sizes. So, you need to have a trailer hitch with the exact receiver size to attach it properly to your vehicle.
However, buying a hitch adapter can be a good alternative. This tool can transform your receiver into the required size.
If everything is good, firmly connect your bike rack with the receiver. Lastly, use the provided hitch pin to lock perfectly.
Trays and Arms
Now, it is time to adjust the trays and arms of your bike rack. If your product is standing one, there will be two arms. Otherwise, it will have loops/cradles and a horizontal bar.
Standing racks require less work to assemble. It’s already semi-assembled. All you need to do is push the lock pins in their respective places.
In cases of platform-style racks, you might think it’s difficult. But let me tell you, this is easy as well. Most of the time, you get pre-assembled horizontal bars and wheel loops. Otherwise, the user manual can be your great companion.
Double Check Everything Before Loading Bikes
You’re pretty much done with your rack installation at this point. But don’t hop your bikes in it right away. Instead, double-check in and out and ensure everything is in its place.
Mainly, your hitch and security pins should be in the correct place. Otherwise, all the work until now will be for nothing. Pins will break apart. Or worse, the rack will fall from the receiver while on the road.
You’re ready to load the bikes if everything is in its proper place. Standing racks have tie-downs for individual bikes.
On the other hand, platform styles have ratchet straps for wheels and hooks for bike frames. So that’s it, you’re ready for your adventure.
Well…. I’ve tried to give you the basics of installing a bike rack (there’s nothing more, to be honest). Following the above instructions will lead you to a proper installation.
Since you know how to set up bike racks, let’s get to know some of the best ones.
Top-Rated Hitch Bike Racks for Your Honda Odyssey – My Picks
I could name a hundred high-end bike racks. But a list that big will only confuse you. Hence, I’ve come up with 5 names that are fully compatible with Honda Odyssey.
Using any of these items will be enough to stick to your adventures while your rides remain snug in place without sustaining damage.
1. Allen Sports 5-Bike Hitch Rack 552RR-R
I’ve always been a fan of affordable and great-quality products. Allen Sports ticks all the right boxes for me. The 552RR-R is my first pick for a reason. Several reasons, to be honest.
For one, it is one of the best racks (if not “The Best”) available in the market that you can put your hands on for under 150 US Dollars.
The product fits into any 2-inch hitch receiver. Only 20 pounds of weight makes it easier for you to attach to the vehicle alone.
I got three lock pins and a hitch pin with the go-to box. That’s enough to assemble the rack all the way. The hitch pin helps the product tighten up with the receiver.
In terms of build quality, 552RR came with everything to impress me. Top to bottom, high-quality steel construction gives it durability and strength.
On the other hand, the black powder coating was impressive as well. This coating is all set to protect my rack against harsh weather. In addition, it offers protection from rust and erosion, just to name a few.
The long arms our is easily foldable. This gives you the perfect option to fold your rack into a compact shape when bikes are off.
As far as the footprint is concerned, it has a tilt function.
For me, this function is so handy between trips. If you need a few things to put in or out of your cargo space, you can easily tilt away the rack to do it. Otherwise, you have to remove the whole device.
The product has individual tie-downs with adjustable straps to hold bikes. Generally, the twin arms carry all the weight. Tie-downs ensure all of the bikes stay with the arm.
The long carry arms accommodate a wide range of bicycle frames and designs. For this reason, it’s tough to fit women’s cycles or any bike where the bar is too low.
However, not everything about this hitch bike rack impressed me. A few things need to be better with an upgrade.
To begin with, 552RR is anything but spacey. It’s tough for anyone to fit all five bikes into this rack. Yes, I know, standing racks require less space.
But Allen made TOO less this time. If you’re a family of five and need to carry more bikes, this one might annoy you a little.
Another thing to note, the arms don’t lock downward. Everything remains great when the arms remain up but starts rattling when it’s released. The manufacturer doesn’t provide anything to lock the rack when it’s not in use.
Apart from these problems, this device has everything you would’ve wanted in a bike rack. So if you’re looking for a reasonable family bike rack solution for your Honda Odyssey, there is no better piece on the market now than the Allen Sports 552RR-R 5-Bike Rack.
On the other hand, if you’re a lone rider, probably this one is not for you. So let’s get your hands on something that will surely meet your needs.
2. MaxxHaul 50027 2-Bike Hitch Rack
Buying a rack for four or five bikes can be overwhelming if you want to carry one or two bikes. For this reason, I’ve selected MaxxHaul 50027.
50027 is a platform-style hitch bike rack that you can fill with two bikes at most. The maximum load capacity is 80 lbs. This is enough (most of the time) to carry two mountain bikes at a time.
According to the manufacturer, the platform loops can take any wheels from 20 to 26-inch diameters. Still, I managed to carry my twenty-niner. I suppose the specific sizing won’t be an issue if you have bigger bikes.
The product weighs only 33 pounds. Hence, picking up and installing alone is much easier. Like the previous model, this one is also compatible with 2-inch hitch receivers.
I’m pretty sure you have a Class-III or higher hitch hooked up behind your Odyssey, haven’t you?
Yes? That’s what I was expecting.
50027 has one of the toughest constructions. Materials are the same as the Allen one: full alloy steel top to bottom and finished with black powder coating.
I’ll not spend another 50 words telling you what these materials offer. You already know (Super Tough).
Well, not everything about this product is TOUGH. Just take its installation, for example. A rookie will do it in 30 minutes (maximum). One hitch pin for no wobble, a few lock pins to cover the horizontal arms, tray loops, and the rachet hooks.
Okay, you’re done.
The rachet hooks sit on top of the horizontal bar. When experimenting with the rack, I could move these up and down according to your bike’s frame. These adjustable hooks are the main part of a rack that primarily holds the bike.
You might be worried about reading “Some hooks to hold your previous bike’s finish.” Don’t worry. These are fully foam coated to provide a scratch-free experience.
It covers the upper body of a bike, whereas the tray loops cover the lower body (Mainly wheels).
The platform loops are adjustable too. You’ll find a rotating nob for each loop. These will help you to load the bike according to its base size.
Another thing about the loops, they have rubber straps for additional safety. It goes around the wheel to ensure the loads are completely settled. Again, this might seem so little, but it helps decrease the shaking.
Don’t get me wrong. A little bit of shaking is acceptable. However, hitch pins and proper lock pins are necessary to minimize the risk. I’ll always suggest you buy all the pins along with your rack.
I’ve seen too many people complaining that their product is still too many jerks despite using all the required pins. So, I’m not quite sure if these will remove all the wobbling. But pins will surely DECREASE the wobble.
All in all, MaxxHaul 50027 is packed with nifty features. So if you’re looking for a long-lasting deal under two hundred bucks, go for it. Otherwise, let me show you something else.
3. Swagman XC2 Hitch Mount Bike Rack
The third product on my list belongs to Swagman. The Canadian manufacturer has a formidable reputation in the industry for making high-end bike racks. For example, XC2 Hitch Mount Bike Rack.
Like the previous two models, this one comes with an assembly guide. It’s up to you whether you would look into it or not. Because first of all, the product comes partially assembled. Secondly, I’ve shown you a better way earlier (Not Kidding).
According to many hitch rack reviews, the how-to guide is not that helpful. It feels dizzy or not? I’ll answer a soft, “Yes.”
Since the product features an easy installation process, learning the basics is enough to get you over the line. However, if you’re a video guy, just go to YouTube, and you’ll be okay.
XC2 is also a 2-bike rack, just like the MaxxHaul one. So they both look kind of similar to each other. The only difference is that XC2’s platforms are slightly straighter than the MaxxHaul’s.
XC2 has a complete alloy steel construction which ensures durability. Black powder coating intensifies the rack’s longevity. The finishing protects your device from rust, extreme weather, and moisture. Again, similar to the previous one.
This one comes with a 1.25-inch shank plus a hitch adapter to connect with 2-inch receivers.
Regarding added security, I think Swagman could’ve done better. For example, it doesn’t feature rubber straps to hold the wheels. As a result, you’ll experience a lot of bike wobble.
The product has two frame grips, aka ratchet hooks, to hold the bike’s upper body. Though these have a soft foam coating, they can’t give you a scratch-free experience. I would not suggest this rack to carry carbon fiber bikes.
According to the manufacturer, XC2 can take up to 35 lbs. of the maximum weight for one bike and 70 lbs. No, it’s too early to cancel this one from your list. Stick with me.
You can easily carry your 40 lbs. 29-er. I’ve seen people do it for years without worries.
There’s a 10-inch gap between the hitch pin and tray loops. It gives you enough room to adjust any bike from 15 to 52-inch wheel-base. Another great thing is that the reattaching holding arm can take all from 15 to 29-ers.
When it comes to mobility and additional storage, this rack impresses too. It’s a 25 lbs. product with foldable arms. Hence, you can easily fold and carry it out alone once removed.
We, Odyssey owners, require accessing the rear part more often on a trip. Unfortunately, this is where Swagman disappoints a bit.
The horizontal bar is foldable in both ways, and the platform is upward foldable. But there’s no tilting mechanism at play. So, your rear accessibility is limited.
Other than that, there’s nothing wrong with this product. It’s a great deal any day.
4. Swagman Chinook Hitch Mount Bike Rack
I’ve put another Swagman product in case the previous one failed to impress you. This one has TILT FUNCTION with other features that one looks for in a bike rack. So let’s get to know Swagman Chinook in detail.
It’s one of the most premium-looking bike racks under 400 bucks. It has an alloy metal construction with regular black gloss finish.
A high-quality metal build gives the device adequate strength and durability to carry your bikes. It’s a 2-Bike rack that can hold up to 90 lbs. Meaning 45 lbs. per bike. See, already an upgrade from XC2.
You’ll get installation manuals and necessary lock pins with the go-to box. It also comes semi-assembled like the previous XC2. Put hitch and lock pins in their respective places to finish the installation (Textbook, but that’s how it is).
This particular bike rack has a 1.25-inch shank and comes with a hitch adapter. You already know how this tool works. I’m not gonna explain it again.
What’s your take on Chinook and XC2 at this point? I think you’re in favor of Chinook a bit more. There’re other things, let’s see.
Two primary differentiators between the two racks are REAR ACCESSIBILITY and COMPACTNESS. In addition, Chinook packs both foldable tire trays and horizontal bars, whereas XC2 has only foldable horizontal bars.
As a result, Chinook can fold more and lets you park or store in a tight space.
XC2 doesn’t have the downward foldability, aka tilt function. Hence, you must remove the whole rack to put things on and off between trips. Well, not with Chinook.
You can easily tilt away from the whole bike rack with a little push on the lever.
This unique function gives you the required room to access the rear part of your SUV. However, it’s not a whole 90 degrees tilting, but it’s ENOUGH. When I say enough, you need to understand it’s you-can-walk-through-it enough.
Another upgrade from XC2 is that you’ll get rubber straps on each cradle this time. The straps go around the wheel and tighten it firmly with the platform. I like straps on my racks. It gives additional support to the bikes.
Some might ask, “Aren’t ratcheting hooks enough to hold down my bike?” Yes, they are enough. But when it comes to doing it perfectly, they aren’t.
Just clamp-on can’t protect your bike’s paint job. Instead, you need rubber straps to do so. Because these things lessen hook pressure to protect your frame.
Also, the adjustable hooks are fully foam-coated. They put pressure on the frames but not that rigidly to leave scratches. However, carbon fiber bikes are still a big NO for this rack.
In the end, this bike rack comes at 400 bucks, whereas the XC2 comes below 200. So it’s a little bit unfair to compare them side by side.
Both are good products in their respective price range. It’s common sense. If you double the price, you’ll double the quality.
5. Thule DoubleTrack Pro XT 2 Hitch Bike Rack
Thule makes the most premium bike racks in the market. So it would be a shame not to mention one product from them. For this reason, I’ve placed DoubleTrack Pro XT 2.
The bike rack has everything you wished for on a 2-Bike platform-style hitch rack. Now, I’ll break down each part of the product and tell you why I consider this one of the best hitch bike racks for the Honda Odyssey.
Like the previous Swagman models, this one also has a 1.25-inch original shank. This makes it compatible with Class I and II hitch receivers.
However, the device also has a hitch adapter. For this reason, you can effortlessly shift from 1.25-inch to 2-inch receivers.
Talking about easy, you can carry, install, and remove the product without help. The go-to box installation manual is clear, unlike the previous time. The manual shows everything in detail with the help of pictures. So it’s easy to understand.
XT 2 is similar to the other 2-bike racks in terms of build. However, the black finish makes it look classier than others. It has the sleekest design among all other products on my list.
Apart from looks, the device ranks best in other aspects as well. For example, the u-shaped hooks are fully coated with high-quality plastic. As a result, they’ll latch onto the frame firmly without damaging the bike’s finish.
Still, if you’re thinking of loading carbon-fiber bikes, I would suggest you not to. Let me tell you why.
The carbon fiber body is easily scratchable. No matter how good the hooks are, they will somehow leave a scratch on your bike. So, looking for wheel-mounted racks can be your option here.
Moving on, the hooks are adjustable. As a result, you can attach different frames. If your bike has a too low frame, you can buy a frame adapter. This will help bikes to stay with the horizontal bar.
About the horizontal bar, it’s also both-way foldable. Not only the bar, but you can also fold the entire platform.
Like the Chinook, this one has a tilt function as well. So, the rack can easily tilt away from your vehicle even when the bikes are on. It gives you enough room to access the rear part of your SUV.
The device has impressed me in terms of security too. Despite having the hooks, it has safety straps on the wheel cradles. Moreover, there’s rubber on the straps to damage-proof the wheel rings.
I’ve talked a lot of good things about this product. However, it’s like I like everything about the rack. There are still a few things that I don’t like.
To name a few, the recommended maximum weight capacity is only 75 lbs. Which is a bitsy low for a 450 bucks rack.
According to some customers, the ratchet straps are SHORT, and they could not attach with their 4-inch base wheels.
Aside from these two, there’s nothing wrong with DoubleTrack XT 2 (At least I couldn’t find it).
This one is the most expensive rack on my list. But the quality it brings with itself is worth every penny.
Things to Consider Before Buying a Hitch Mounted Bike Rack for Honda Odyssey
Remember, a hitch-mounted bike rack that perfectly goes with Honda CRV might not be compatible with Honda Odyssey. Every car is different, and so is its build and purpose.
For this reason, you must go with a rack that will help fulfill your purpose. Otherwise, it will be nothing but a big obstacle between you and your adventures.
You may have preferable brand names in your mind, and that’s okay. So yes, you should buy a bike rack from your favorite place. But considering some factors before buying it will allow you to land on the perfect one.
Which factors? Let’s take you there.
Standing Or Platform Style – Choose Wisely
Hitch mounted bike racks come in two types: Standing and Platform. Both types have some pros and cons. It’s up to you to decide which one to go for. Want a little help? Okay.
See, standing racks can hold up to three, four, or even five bikes at once. On the other hand, most platform racks can go up to only TWO cycles. So yes, modified and expensive ones can take up to four bikes, but we’re talking about general cases.
If you have more than three bikes to carry, you should go for a standing one. These racks are more reasonable and lightweight than the other ones. However, don’t cancel out platform racks yet.
Platform-style bike racks give you the freedom to fit a wide range of bike frames. Whereas you can only carry limited frame sizes on the other type. In terms of versatility, platform or tray racks win.
Another thing, this kind of rack provides superior security and stability to bikes. The rachet hooks and wheel straps ensure your bikes are safe and sound the whole ride.
In conclusion, if you want something reasonable to load a good number of bikes, your first choice should be standing racks.
On the contrary, if you want more security and flexibility in your bike rack, you must go for the platform-style version.
Shank Size Must Be on Point
Shank is the tube of bike racks that goes into the hitch receiver. Its size is important to attach a rack perfectly with the receiver. If and only if the receiver size matches the shank size, a rack will fit.
The tubes mostly come in two sizes, 1.25-inch and 2-inch. I assume you have a Class III hitch on your Odyssey (The perfect hitch class for SUVs). Which, by the way, has a 2-inch receiver.
Since you already have a hitch receiver, you can only buy a rack with the same tube size now. Or there’s something else? Let’s find out.
You have a Class-III hitch and a 2-inch receiver, which perfectly fits the 2-inch shank. Still, buying this kind of rack might not be a good decision.
Look, there’s a device called HITCH ADAPTER. It can convert your shank size into 1.25-inch to 2-inch and vice-versa. So, having a hitch adapter can solve any shank-size-related problems. Right?
Yes, that’s right. But there’s another teeny-tiny problem
You have to buy a 2 to 1.25-inch convertible hitch adapter. Because most racks with 2-inch shanks don’t provide any converter with the product.
But manufacturers are quite different from the other version. For example, most of them include an adapter with the go-to box. So they saved you from spending another 20 bucks.
I would’ve bought a 1.25-inch version with the free adapter if I were you. This way, I could easily switch between 1.25-inch to 2-inch shanks anytime.
The bottom line is that if you want a free adapter, go for a 1.25-inch shank version. Otherwise, go for the bigger one.
Maximum Load Capacity Should be Above the Average
No matter which kind of hitch-mounted racks you select, the maximum weight capacity should be up to the mark.
Suppose you have bought a standing type with 5 bike capacity. So you have five bikes, and the total weight is 140 lbs.
If your rack’s capacity is somewhere between 100 to 120 lbs., it won’t be able to carry the load. So, buying that rack was a big waste of time and money.
It’s okay to put bikes with 5 to 10 pounds here and there but I don’t recommend it. Because when you’re overflowing the maximum capacity, it will damage the product internally.
You initially might not be able to notice anything. But, as time passes, it will be visible (Several months is all it takes).
For standing racks, the one with n*30 lbs. of maximum weight would be ideal (n is the number of maximum bike capacity).
Generally, platform stylers hold two bikes (at most). So, don’t go under 70 lbs. here. It’s always better to stay above the total bike weight or at least near it.
Tilting and Foldability
I have too many things in the cargo space when I go out for a trip. For this reason, I must have more rear access during the journey.
Also, I want to put things on and off in the best way possible. The best way is to do it without removing my bike rack (You already know I take my bikes everywhere).
That’s where foldability and tilt functions come into play.
Attaching a hitch-mounted rack makes the vehicle longer. As a result, parking in tight spaces can be difficult.
Some platform-style racks have an upward folding option. With this, you can fold up your whole planform. You can park your car anywhere, even with the rack on.
Hanging-style racks have foldable arms. These arms can be folded and locked in a downward position when necessary.
The tilt function bends the whole bike rack away from the vehicle. It’s a handy feature and probably the most important one. Because this unique feature gives you enough space to walk between the rack and the rear part of your Honda Odyssey.
Normally, there’s a lever between the horizontal arm and the platform. Pushing the button makes the rack tilt away from the vehicle. But, do you know what the best part is? There’s no need to remove the bikes at all.
Some racks have only arms foldability, and some have both foldability and tilting options. It’s always better to buy the second one. Then, you’ll have more tricks in your pocket.
Quality Above Anything
There are two products. One is expensive with top-notch quality, and the other is budget-friendly with mediocre quality! Which one is better?
The answer is always the first one. Yes, some products can compete with its upper-range competitors. But at the end of the day, expensive product wins.
In the same way, if you’re looking for the best hitch-mounted bike rack for Honda Odyssey and the budget isn’t a problem, never go for a mediocre product.
More money means it will bring more features with it. They can come in durability, flexibility, compactness, or all together. So, it’s always better to go for high-quality products despite their price.
However, looking for reasonable options is okay. There’s nothing wrong with it. But you have to be wise in dealing with these kinds of products.
The prime rule about these is they should be in good shape and made with fine materials. In other words, go for a suitable product if and only if it’s high-quality.
To sum up, if you don’t have serious budget issues, go for quality above anything else. And if you’re on a budget, at least choose a reasonable option that offers quality.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is there any platform-style bike rack with more than two bike capacity?
Yes, several brands made platform-style bike racks with four bikes capacity. Generally, most products of this type have two bike capacities.
Brands like Thule, Kuma, and Yakima make 4-Bike platform racks. 2-Bike variants cost less than the other. If you want, you can order custom-made 4-Bike holders online.
Can I carry a women’s bike on my hitch rack?
Yes, you can, but you need to buy a device first. Women’s bikes have low frames. Hence, there’s nothing for a rack to hold onto its upper body. So here comes the “Frame Adapter.”
It’s a long bar that acts as a bridge between the bike’s stem and seat tube. After attaching the device to the cycle, rachet hooks or tie-downs grab the handle. As a result, the two-wheeler gets proper support, and you get to carry it on the rack.
How much does a hitch adapter cost?
It’s normally between $15 to $60. It depends on your shank and receiver size.
- 1.25-inch to 2-inch converter costs around $13 to $40
- 2-inch to 1.25-inch converter costs around $20 to $60
- 3-inch to 2-inch converter costs around $50 to $60
- 3-inch to 2.5-inch converter costs around $30 to $55
Which bike racks will fit my Honda Odyssey?
It solely depends on your trailer hitch. If your trailer hitch belongs to Class-I or Class-II, it has a 1.25-inch receiver. Any bike rack with the same shank size will fit in your SUV.
On the contrary, upper-class hitches (Class 3, 4, and 5) have a 2-inch receiver. So, you need to buy a rack accordingly.
However, buying a hitch adapter can fit any rack into any receiver.
How much does a bike rack tilt away?
Most bike racks with tilt function bend away 45 to 60 degrees to the rear. Still, it depends on the bike rack.
Some racks like BUZZ RACK Scorpion can tilt away almost 90 degrees. There’re other models too. For example, the 2-Bike holder can tilt way further than the 4-Bike one.
The Final Words
Finding the best hitch bike racks for Honda Odyssey is a hell of a job. You must give time, effort, and, importantly, one or two bad purchases to get the actual view.
It’s okay for one to give time and effort, but a blind purchase is out of the line. Fortunately for you, I had already gone through the patch before.
I’ve put every bit of my previous research and experience into this article. As a result, the five products mentioned above are the best-of-the-best (Comparing the competitors).
Besides that, I’ve also shared the factors to consider before buying a bike rack. If you want to grab one with your own research, these factors will help you.
I hope this article will lead you to the best hitch bike rack for Honda Odyssey.