Raxter bicycle hitch rack review
Raxter Bicycle Hitch Rack Review

By Warren Beauchamp 9/29/07

Transporting your recumbent bicycle can be difficult, especially if you don't have a van, truck or other large vehicle to put them in. Roof racks are generally too short, and make it easy to damage the roof of your car (yes, I have done this). Generally recumbent bikes are heavier than road bikes, and that also makes them difficult to lift onto a roof rack. Lowracers cannot be put on fork-mount roof racks because of frame interference. Strap-on racks are inexpensive and effective, but they often allow the bike and transport vehicle to be damaged, and restrict trunk access. What's the answer?

The RAXTER hitch mount rack is a good alternative. It slides into your vehicle's 1.25" or 2" hitch receiver and provides a sturdy platform for mounting your recumbent. The single rack, 1.25" receiver model in this review has an 80 lb limit, which should be strong enough for even the heaviest Rebike. A two bike model is also available.

Assembly was required, which took about 10 minutes. The instructions were well written. Required tools were a crescent wrench, phillips screwdriver, plain screwdriver and a metric allen wrench. In addition I needed a hammer to tap the rack extenders into place, and a file to remove some of the powder coating on the the tongue of the rack. The filing was required to get the tongue to slide all the way into my aftermarket hitch receiver and allow it to lock into place.

Construction of the main frame is nicely finished black powder coated steel and the arms are a heavy duty glass reinforced plastic.

This picture shows the rack with the optional extenders mounted, and the arms folded for transport.

Click on the pictures for a higher resolution image, and to see just how dirty my car is.

Velcro straps hold the tires in the U channel, which is wide enough for even the 2" Comp Pool tires on my 48" wheelbase quasi-low racer. A plastic channel mounted to the end of the arm straps to each tire. The arms are adjustable to allow for 20" or 700C tires, and are adjusted in the 20" hole for all the pictures in this review.
The RAXTER fits a wide range of recumbent bikes. Here is my electric commuter bike, which has a huge 57" wheelbase, and weighs 60 lbs. I shook this heavy bike around, and though the plastic arms had some give, it was clear that the bike would not go anywhere, and could not come in contact with the car. The trunk can be opened, even with the bike mounted to the rack. I could not imagine trying to put this behemoth of a bike on a roof rack...
Here's the rack with my wife's EZ-1. The arm does not have a position for 16" wheels, but the strap was long enough to wrap around the wheel anyway, and it seemed sturdy enough for an extended journey.

Note that the longer bikes stick out on both sides of the car. This should not be a problem, but extra care should be taken in parking lots and in tight situations. 

Like most racks, this one does not work for bikes with disk wheels, which means I can't put my NoCom lowracer on it without swapping out the rear wheel. It should work fine for any lowracer with normal wheels.

Conclusion
The RAXTER is a well made and highly adjustable rack which should allow most any recumbent bike to be transported in a safe and convenient manner.

Price
This single rack for a 1.25" receiver, with extenders costs about $200, plus shipping.
 

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