With their Deluxe Locking three bicycle hitch carrier, Allen Sports offers quality and convenience in a budget-friendly design. This two-bike carrier offers plenty of features at a surprisingly low price. Our test model’s MSRP of $129.99 makes it very affordable. Yet even at that price, they didn’t skimp on quality or function.
This welded steel carrier is designed to fit both 1-1/4″ and 2″ receivers. With the included lock, you can leave it installed without fear of theft. When not in use, the arms fold down, making it slightly more compact. Thanks to the tilting mechanism, you can access your trunk, hatch, or lift-gate with ease.
It only took two of us a few minutes to assemble the rack with a couple of wrenches. Actually, it’s really a one-person job. But I happened to have a friend over that day. If you can follow simple directions and have at least two adjustable wrenches, you can do it. Three bolts, three nuts, a retaining clip, and you’re ready to go. Once it’s in your receiver, twisting the lock wedges it in tightly. Remove the key, and you’re done.
With the rack installed, loading bikes is simple. The heavier bike goes on first, drivetrain facing you. While bikes should be loaded facing alternate directions, there is room enough on the three bike rack to have two of them face the same way. Well, as long as your handlebars aren’t too wide, and you only load two. Your results may vary. Allen’s patented tie-downs are easy to use, and a good start for securing your bike. They also sell a variety of extra straps and even an adaptor bar for women’s frames. We didn’t think to ask for extra straps, but bungee cords get the job done too. That kept things rattle-free, even at freeway speeds. Not once did we feel our bikes weren’t secure.
On a compact sedan or small SUV, we found that the tilting mechanism gave us easy access to the trunk or cargo area. Getting the retaining clip out was the most difficult part. And really, that wasn’t all that hard. Just remember to ensure the clip is back in place once the rack is returned to the upright position.
The Deluxe Locking 3 Bike Hitch Carrier from Allen Sports is a rare product in today’s market. It’s priced very well, and appears to be quite durable. We found it easy to assemble, quick to install, and simple to load and unload bike on to. Sure, you could pay double or even more for a similar rack. But I don’t think you’ll gain much in quality, usability, or features. It even comes with a limited lifetime warranty, backed by a company that got its start in 1967. Check out AllenSportsUSA for more of their products.
We’d like to thank Allen Sports for providing their excellent bike carrier for this review. We’re actually putting it into rotation with our contributors, to see how it holds up over an extended review period.