Inno Racks Tire Hold hitch mount bicycle rack review

As far as I’m concerned, the only proper way to transport a bike on the back of a car is with tray-style, hitch mounted bike rack that allows for the whole bike to be placed on it intact. No removing wheels or strapping the frame to anything. Just set it on there and clamp something down and off ya go.

There are a number of ways brands like Yakima, Thule and others accomplish this, but those generally use a single arm clamp on either the front wheel or top tube, sometimes (usually) coupled with a wheel strap for the rear. Where Inno Racks differentiate themselves is by containing both wheels in closed loops, keeping the bike stable without ever touching the frame, or even the rims for that matter. There are plenty more nice features and adjustability built in, too, making it a versatile option for hauling all manner of bikes -even some fat bikes- straight outta the box…

Inno Racks Tire Hold hitch mount bicycle rack review

The box is huge.

Inno Racks Tire Hold hitch mount bicycle rack review

But the parts aren’t as gargantuan as the packaging would suggest. The base bar that sticks out from the back of the car is plenty long, but has no fixed mounting points, so you can put the trays on anywhere you want. If you’re only loading road bikes, you can place them closer together, or spread things all the way out for wide-barred mountain bikes.

Inno Racks Tire Hold hitch mount bicycle rack review

Assembly is straight forward and took only about 20 minutes with a cordless drill, screwdriver and ratchet set.

Inno Racks Tire Hold hitch mount bicycle rack review Inno Racks Tire Hold hitch mount bicycle rack review

On a mid-sized wagon like the Passat, it runs all the way to edges, and the bike’s wheels will stick out a bit on larger frames and most mountain bikes. The downward angle here is the car’s fault, that’s just at the angle the hitch sits at, which is a bit of a bummer, but the Inno rack sits high enough to overcome most angled driveway approaches and gutters.

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Fortunately the release handle can take a beating, ’cause I’ve smacked it hard and often over the past year, and it’s got the scrapes to prove it. Still works flawlessly, though, and it’s placed where it makes it incredibly easy to use, something Sweetie really appreciates as much as I do. It’ll also let the rack pivot downward a bit, too, making it possible to gain limited access to a hatchback even with bikes loaded.

Inno Racks Tire Hold hitch mount bicycle rack review

The wheel loops fit anything from a large volume 29er to a 20″ kids bike thanks to moveable wheel blocks. The loops have guides stickered onto them to make it easy to put them in the right spot for the type of bike you’re transporting. Remove them completely for 29ers.

Inno Racks Tire Hold hitch mount bicycle rack review

They’re simple plastic pieces with metal pins. Not quite as easy as a ratcheting clamp like on the Thule or Yakima systems, but a good way to get around those brands’ designs.

Inno Racks Tire Hold hitch mount bicycle rack review

Another look.

Inno Racks Tire Hold hitch mount bicycle rack review

Underneath, each tray attaches to the beam with four bolts (front shown uncovered). Get them loosely threaded on, then slide the trays left or right to offset them as much as needed within the generous allowance of space. Then tighten everything down and install the cover to make it pretty.

Inno Racks Tire Hold hitch mount bicycle rack review

This, plus the ability to put a lot of distance between the trays, makes it easy to stick two mountain bikes on there without the grips and saddles elbowing each other for space.

Inno Racks Tire Hold hitch mount bicycle rack review

I found it’s best to put the front wheel into the fixed loop to keep the disc brake rotors from contacting the loop. Otherwise, it could end up bending your rotor or worse.

Inno Racks Tire Hold hitch mount bicycle rack review

Another very nice built-in features is the locking wheel loops and cable. To place the bike, you lift the locking lever and open the loop all the way out. To secure the bike, you close down the locking lever and ratchet the loop firmly against the rear tire. For super simple run-into-the-coffee-shop security, just lock the lever shut, which prevents the whole bike from being lifted out without removing the wheels.

For a little more security, run the included cable through the wheels (and the lock loop on the rack’s frame if you want) and insert the end into the locking lever’s slot before clamping it down, then lock the lever. With two bikes, it’s long enough to loop around one frame’s downtube, through the other’s frame and then into the lever’s slot. This mostly prevents the frames from being stolen and being lifted high enough off the wheels to easily remove them. It’s mid-level security, but for many of us, it’s enough to run into the store or a friend’s house for a bit. And it’s super easy to use.

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It also comes with a locking, threaded bolt. Tighten it down with a socket set on the other side and it pulls the beam securely against the hitch to prevent the whole thing from rocking back and forth. The result is a mostly wobble free rack…as in, it has a slight bit of sway when loaded, but that seems to be mostly coming from the linkages on the rack rather than inside the hitch interface. It’s not much wobble, certainly not enough to cause concern, and it’s the same now as when I first installed the rack. Honestly, it hasn’t bothered me at all, just thought it worth mentioning.

Inno Racks Tire Hold hitch mount bicycle rack review

One nice surprise was that it accommodated a 26×3.8 fat bike tire. It was snug…

Inno Racks Tire Hold hitch mount bicycle rack review

…with the loop pressing into the tire a bit, but it worked just fine.

Inno Racks Tire Hold hitch mount bicycle rack review

Anything bigger than a 3.8 wouldn’t fit without being deflated a bit, and wider rims would probably not work at all, but for a basic fat bike and all the new “plus” sized options, this is a great way to get to and from the trailhead.

Overall, the Inno Tire Hold hitch rack has been a solid performer for the past year. It’s seen plenty of highway miles fully loaded and lots of quick trips to the local trails with just one bike on it. The operation is quick and easy, has developed no squeaks or creaks or problems, and I’ve received plenty of compliments on it when others are loading and unloading their bikes. Definitely worth a look.

The model is INH305, and they sell an additional tray that can be squeezed in if you need to carry three bikes. Available in both 1-1/4″ and 2″ hitch sizes. Retail is $429.99.

InnoRacks.com

21 COMMENTS

  1. Thule and others ? There is only 1 player in this market and its 1 Up USA. Scrap all the little plastic bits and get a real solid rack.

  2. 1UpUSA has been making a better wheel-grabber rack like this for several years. Their hitch mount uses an expansion ball instead of a pinch bolt, so there is no noticeable wobble. It comes with the only installation tool required. Add-on trays are raised so the departure angle is no problem even with 3 or 4 trays installed. Definitely check out the 1UpUSA if you are in the market for a hitch mount rack.

  3. Are you guys paid employees of 1UpUsa or something?
    I can’t speak of the quality of the InnoRack or the 1UpUsa rack, but just looking at basic features and price, they would have already been eliminated from my shopping list. First off, only 1 bike capacity with an 1-1/4″ hitch? That’s pretty useless.
    I have a friend with the Kuat NV – it’s close in price to the 1Up, but includes a built in lock (same as InnoRack) and also offers a repair stand built in.
    There’s lots of good options out there. Do your own research and pick the one that works for you.

    PS> Just because something has plastic in it, doesn’t mean it’ll break the first time you use it. If an engineering grade polymer is good enough for a automotive brake booster, its good enough for a hitch rack. (6 years experience in the plastics industry)

  4. +1 1UpUsa – love mine.

    +1 for any rack that makes it more likely you’ll go out and ride. Any rack that allows you to get the bike on and off the car quickly and easily does that. Fork mount racks are dead to me.

    BTW – My buddy has an Inno and loves it. .

  5. +1 here as well for the one up. It is really in a class of its own. I run one tray on it year round for the past three years and it looks great even through all of the road salt during the PA winters. I have two additional trays if I need them. It folds up so compact against the bumper, I never take it off the car. I don’t work for them, I’m just a happy customer.

  6. Yeah those 30- seconds it takes to take the front wheel off really sucks, i could see where those few seconds can ruin someone’s ride. No thanks with any hitch rack, Im all in on fork mounted roof or truck bed mounted racks.

  7. 1 up usa so gives you a lifetime theft replacement if the rack gets stolen off your car and a 60 money back if your not satisfied with the product.

    That alone sets them way ahead of the rest.

  8. 1upusa… I spent untold hours of my life hating bike racks til I finally bought one several months ago. Superior to kuat too… It’s like they thought through what a bike rack actually needs to function properly! Handles 4 bikes no prob. It definitely hurts when you buy it, but worth every dollar. There’s a reason why the 1up owners are so vocal. I’m just a guy, but took time to painfully type this on an iPad cause I want you to know the truth! 🙂

  9. ” Im all in on fork mounted roof or truck bed mounted racks.”

    Bed mounts are all well and good if you own a pickup truck. Most of us don’t. As to roof racks, wheel removal was not an issue and I used them for years. However, I got tired of the wind noise, bug spatter, gas mileage reduction and vulnerability to low overhead obstructions. To me the hitch rack is by far a better solution.

    I have a “Swagman” two-bike tray type rack that fits either a 1-1/4″ or 2″ receiver, holds both bikes securely and cost only $130. Yes, the top hook contacts the frame but has never done any harm.

  10. @Dave B,
    I really should have put, ” to each his own” at the conclussion of my post and your comments are well taken, however, hitch racks also reduce mileage, maybe not as much as roof racks, what I dont like about hitch racks is the vulnerability from others smashing into you, which I know hapoens more regularly then someone driving into a low overhand, or limiting your space for parking or backing up. I borrowed a hitch rack ( Thule) a few ago to transport 8 bikes, five in the truck, 3 on the hitch, I was paranoid the whole time.
    Im in the manufacturing business and we are currently completing a truck bed rack with bike attachments, as well as attachments for lumber, surf boards, kayaks, etc, and will follow up with a hitch rack a short time later, not that Im a true believer, but because we know that everyones sitution is different, not everyone owns a truck,some dont like roof racks or cannot mount a roof rack and there a hitch rack is a viable option.

  11. “…what I don’t like about hitch racks is the vulnerability from others smashing into you, …”
    About all I can say is that if someone rear-ends you and damages the bikes and rack, it’s their liability and their insurance that has to cover the damage. If you drive under something too low to clear the roof mounted bikes, the damage is all on you.

    I agree that a 3-bike or 4-bike hitch mount sticks way out the back but a one or two bike rack isn’t that long.

  12. This rack looks perfectly functional, but unless the pics are deceiving it looks pretty huge.

    But what’s the difference between a 1Up and other racks? They’ll both carry bikes just fine but the 1Up just costs double. I think all the 1Up owners are so vocal because they got majorly screwed on the price and need to make themselves feel better about it. So they act like it’s the only rack out there. Lol.

    Many quality racks out there for a fraction of the cost of the 1Up. I’ve been using a Saris rack for quite for over 2 years and it’s still bomb proof. Also made in the USA. Also lifetime warranty. Half the cost.

    People make this so much harder than it needs to be. It’s not rocket science.

  13. @xcracer – I have the 1up rack in the 1-1/4″ setup and it holds one bike, but is rated for two more extentions.

    +1 for a 1upUSA lover here. Love the fact that I can run the single bike rack all the time and still fold it up and open my Jeep hatch. I can add more extensions for other bikes if need be. I get comments on the rack all the time and it always works perfectly.

    My rack took a hard hit last week when I got rear-ended. Trashed the rack, but my jeep bumper only ended up with a few scratches instead of being completely destroyed. Can your plastic rack do that?

  14. I’ll weigh in on the 1upUSA rack too. Everyone that has one sounds like a paid employee, but usually they are just people that appreciate a really well made product. There are many details on them that you don’t notice until you have it.

    1. The trays are not all the same height; they get progressively higher. This helps keep the bigger 3- and 4-bike racks from catching on the ground, and also helps avoid seat/handlebar interference.
    2. The pinch bolt is so much better than a hitch pin. I can shake my entire truck by moving the rack instead of shaking the rack. No rattling whatsoever.
    3. The ability to buy a 2-bike rack and add on additional racks (up to a total of 4) as you need them.
    4. The fact that the basic design has been around for 10 years (or possibly more), and that when snow bikes came out it only needed a set of longer bolts and a set of spacers for up to a 5″ wide tire. Pretty impressive to have a design so well thought out that it only needed a basic modification for a product nobody really saw coming.

    They are expensive, and really just do the same thing as a basic rack. Some people may not need it, but for many (like my wife) it translated into getting out a riding more. It doesn’t sound like much, but the idea of pulling off a front tire or fighting to get a fat tire into a small plastic tray with little ratchet straps was enough to make her avoid riding when she didn’t have a lot of time. It meant riding with my kids more often, because I can just throw their bikes on the rack too, instead of having to waste time disassembling bikes or fighting with inconvenient racks while I worry about them milling around in the parking lot. For me, buying a 1up rack was like buying more riding time. YMMV.

  15. I’ve had my inno 305 with a 3 tray setup 15 months and have been very pleased with the quality. I carry 3mtb’s or RB’s with ample space and really like the ease of setting a bike in the tray and release it before clamping, quick adjust on wheel diameter if needed, clamp, lock and go. Carrying 3 bikes I can still acces my rear hatch window, or quick release drop to open the hatch on my 08 Pathfinder. I remove it often and while it isn’t light it is manegeable (oneup is much lighter however much pricier).
    I have friends with Kuat and Oneup and both are nice, but the price on the Inno was better and on par with either in features and quality.

  16. Saris makes a very similar rack in the Freedom Super Clamp. Lighter weight, less expensive ($370), and the two bike option doesn’t stick out from the back bumper nearly as far. Saris is easier to assemble (2 bolts). However the 2 bike option doesn’t fold.
    1-up rack is nice. I’ve talked to many happy owners. This INNO rack seems nice with the 3 bike option.
    I wonder what the specs really are on the INNO rack. How heavy of bike can you out on it? Three 35lbs fat bikes and a 40lbs rack would exceed the 1.25 tongue weight of some hitches/cars. INNO’s website specs are very lacking.

  17. I have been a proud costumer for many years with INNO. I have had everything from their boxes, snowboard carrier, SUP carrier, and to their hitch rack that we are talking about and love every bit of it! I’ve been a shop owner for close to 20 years now and have been in the industry for much longer.

    I will firstly say that I was a Thule fan for years until I came across INNO and for a better price that didn’t sacrifice quality! They include everything that comes with the unit in the box without having to pay extra for it. That being said that if you are a smart consumer you will find what works best for you and myself included.

    The INH305 has been on my Tacoma for a couple of years now and have never had anything go wrong. I’ve even had 4 trays on it with carbon road bikes. And 3 electric bikes that weight 65lbs a piece. The weight limit on a 1.25″ receiver is 132lbs (the manuals are on the website).

    I have had $20,000 dollars in road bikes on this rack and will say that with all the research that I’ve done over the years (until now) that this is by far the most secure rack currently on the market with the double wheel holder and the additional frame lock (Including 1 up which I demoed at interbike this year and wasn’t really impressed with)! I don’t have to worry about someone swopping my $2,000 carbon race wheel off of the competitors racks with only the wheel strap holding it on. I think this review was accurate and comprehensive with the product.

    On a side note I’m very suspect that the first 7 comments are all about 1up and on the same day and wonder if it’s their company spamming this review and what a low blow if it is.

  18. I couldn’t have said it any better, trmcd! I have some pretty cool bikes but the 1-Up rack always steals the attention at the trailhead…

  19. How much does that thing weigh? My Thule 917 XTR aka “T2” weighs like 60lbs. I’m far from a weakling but it is unpleasant to carry from a garden shed to the car and back, for example. If I had space in my garage I’d build a dolly to transport it on. Doing it again, I’d buy the Kuat Sherpa which weighs 30lbs, which would allow women to carry it.

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