The Prorack 2-Bike Trunk Carrier and the Prorack 4-Bike Hitch Carrier have replaced the Rhode Gear line of bike racks. That includes the Rhode Gear Super Cycle Shuttle 2-Bike Carrier.
It also includes the Rhode Gear Highway 4-Bike Hitch Mount Rack. The Prorack series replaced the Rhode Gear series. It uses a similar design but with a handful of practical upgrades for a surprisingly lower price.
All of these racks would fall into the “lower end” category. They are less foolproof and durable than a Yakima or Thule racks. However, they have a drastically lower price tag.
They are a good value for the money. That is, if they are compatible with your vehicle and bikes.
Quick Look: Comparison Table
|ProRack 2 Bike Truck Carrier||ProRack 4 Bike Hitch Carrier||Rhode Gear Super Cycle Shuttle 2-Bike Carrier||Rhode Gear Highway 4-Bike Hitch Mount Rack|
|Best for||Cars without a hitch and up to 2 bikes.||Vehicles with a hitch.||Would not recommend.||Vehicles with a 1/4 inch hitch only.|
|Price||See Price on Ebay||See Price on Amazon|
|Compatibility||Can be mounted on almost any car or trunk or rear hatch. Few racks can accommodate hatchbacks without a hitch or spoilers the way that this one can - however, users report that the versitility comes at the price of a bit of awkwardness. Different shaped top clips are included for different vehicle shapes. Requires an inexpensive "spring bar" adapter for bikes with a slanted frame (ie. classic woman's bike).||Compatable with any vehicle with a hitch 1 1/4 inch in size. An adapter can be added for a 2 inch hitch, but users report that the adapter is not secure and reduces the stability significantly. Not ideal for any vehicles that sit very low (less that 6 inches) because bike tires can hit the ground on dips.||Kids bikes do not fit, despite manufacturer's promise.||Compatable with any vehicle with a hitch 1 1/4 inch in size. An adapter can be added for a 2 inch hitch, but users report that the adapter is not secure and reduces the stability significantly. Hitch adapter improvement from the previous model is only a slight improvement.|
|Assembly||No assembly required. Installation instructions readily available on the website. The "teeth" of the "gears" must be adjusted at the right angle to ensure that it is immovable. Almost every part is adjustable. Straps are labelled with where they should be positioned.||Takes less than 15 minutes to assemble.||Instructions are not helpful.||Instructions are not helpful. Parts reportedly do not fit together well.|
|Adjustment||Has 2 foldable arms with easy-to-use adjustable hub system.||Since it only attaches to the hitch, it doesn't require versitility.||Has 2 foldable arms with adjustable hubs.||Since it only attaches to the hitch, it doesn't require versitility.|
|Bike Stability||Comes with anti-sway craddles and anti-slip foam feet for the bikes to reduce vibrations. High strength nylon straps and metal hooks ensure secure mounting.||Made of solid steel.||Comes with anti-sway craddles and anti-slip RUBBER feet for the bikes to reduce vibrations. High strength nylon straps and metal hooks ensure secure mounting. Clips are lower quaity and difficult to secure.||Anti-sway cradles prevent bikes from contacting each other. This product is not only not stable, but not safe. Bikes have been reported to have fallen off. The rubber cords and rubber blocks for fastening on bikes are insufficient and the bar is not long enough to attach four bikes at proper angles.|
|Warranty||Comes with a 3 year limited warranty.||Comes with a 3 year limited warranty.||Comes with a 3 year limited warranty.||Comes with a 3 year limited warranty.|
|Capacity||Can carry 2 bikes.||Can carry 4 bikes.||Can carry 2 bikes.||Can carry 4 bikes.|
|Straps||Uses 6 straps in total - 2 attach to the top of the truck, 2 attach to the bottom of the truck and 2 attach to the sides of the truck.||Doesn't use straps.||Uses 6 straps in total - 2 attach to the top of the truck, 2 attach to the bottom of the truck and 2 attach to the sides of the truck.||Doesn't use straps.|
|Durability||Most users feel comfortable that their bikes are safe and that this product is comparable to higher-end brand names. There is frequent concern over the plastic gear-piece that is responsible for holding the bikes upright and rare reports of malfunction (dropping the bikes to the ground as a result).||Users report great durability and strong construction with the exception of the 2 inch hitch adapter.||Padding for vehicle and bike is made of foam instead of rubber. The foam get's chewed up quickly.||Some side-to-side play with the tilt-back mechanism (uses a hitch pin that can be replaced with a screw if the movement bothers you).|
|Protection for Vehicle||Non-slip foam protects the vehicle. Hooks are coated with rubber and are versitile shapes that protect the truck at points of attachement.||Vehicle is completely safe since bikes are connected to the hitch.||Non-slip foam protects the vehicle. Hooks are coated with rubber and are versitile shapes that protect the truck at points of attachement.||Vehicle is completely safe since bikes are connected to the hitch.|
|Trunk Access||Truck can be opened when no bikes are mounted, but it may automatically close due to the weight of the rack itself.||Mast can be tilted away for hatch access. To remove the rack entirely requires a screw driver (As the hitch attachment uses a screw driver instead of a hitch pin). The reason for the screw is used is apparently to reduce rattling.||Truck can be opened when no bikes are mounted, but it may automatically close due to the weight of the rack itself.||Can tilt back but does not fold down.|
|Accessibility||Available on Amazon and at local retailers.||Available on Amazon and at local retailers.||Products has been discontinued and replaced with the Prorack.||Products has been discontinued and replaced with the Prorack.|
|Security||No padlocks included.||No padlocks included.||Comes with 2 padlocks - one for the hitch and one for one of the bikes.|
|Aesthetic||Sleek silver with black padding.||Sleek silver with black padding.||Black bars and pads with central orange handle.||Black bars and pads with central orange handle.|
The Prorack 2-Bike Trunk Carrier and the Rhode Gear 2-Bike Carrier use a similar system to mount 1 or 2 bikes. Six straps with rubber-coated clips connect a tubular metal frame to the top, bottom and sides of the trunk or rear hatch of your vehicle.
The Prorack 4-Bike Hitch Carrier and Rhode Gear Highway 4-Bike Hitch Mount Rack connect a 4-bike rack to an L-shaped bar. That connects to a vehicle’s hitch receiver.
Some users claim that the approximately 15-inch upper rack makes actually mounting 4 bikes a challenging puzzle. If the pedals or handlebars make contact with each other and the frames are forced outwards, you can reduce the overall stability of the setup.
Both 2-bike racks can accommodate 2 adult-sized bikes with frames that have an upper frame length of at least 22 inches. A slightly more adjustable Classic “women’s” bikes with a slanted upper frame may not hang evenly. Therefore, you risk the lower tire hitting the ground when hitting a pothole or bump.
You cannot safely accommodate it without an adapter. They sell adapters separately for a few dollars.
Both 4-bike racks can accommodate up to 4 adult or children’s bikes with upper frames as short as 16 inches. So if you are hoping to transport medium-sized kids bikes on the back of the family van, one of the 4 bike models is your best option.
Similar to the 2-bike models, there is an adapter required to accommodate classic women’s style bikes. However, the hanging hitch racks offer a bit more grace for oddly-shaped bicycles.
As far as vehicle compatibility goes, you can mount the 2-bike trunk rack models on a standard trunk, a hatchback or even a smaller van. The racks are very adjustable.
It’s very important to take the time to initially set the rack up with ideal angles. That will hold the bikes with the strain balanced between the straps as much as possible.
Some vehicles carry the weight more naturally than others. However, even if you do it well, you will place considerable pressure on the vehicle’s frame wherever the hooks are secured.
Non-slip foam pads that wrap around the contact bars protect the vehicle’s surface. The Prorack model uses a more durable foam than the Rhode Gear model.
The rack models that connect to the vehicle’s hitch receiver are compatible with all 1 ¼ inch hitch receivers. The company advertises both models as compatible with 2-inch hitches. You just need the simple addition of an adapter.
Users with 2-inch hitches, however, often disagree that they can safely secure the rack. The adapter is a relatively flimsy piece of plastic. You insert it alongside the rack.
With the adapter, the rack is much shakier and more difficult to secure. The manufacturers tried to solve this problem. They did that, in part, by replacing the standard hitch pin with a threaded bolt.
However, the bolt adds the need for a screwdriver to remove the rack. It is also an insufficient solution to a weak makeshift adapter.
Users speculate that the Prorack comes with a slightly sturdier adapter than the Rhode Gear model. However, overall, I would not recommend this product for use with a 2-inch hitch.
With the trunk-mounted racks, in order to get anything out you the back you need to creatively pop the trunk so that it doesn’t automatically re-close, then hold up the weight of awkwardly-angled bikes for the duration of searching for sandwiches (or whatever else you need).
Without bikes on the rack, you only slightly alleviate the problem. Bulk and weight still makes the trunk experience difficult.
The racks that attach to a hitch aren’t entirely without challenge, either. However, with tilting bars, a well-secured bike can be angled away from the vehicle enough to squeeze open the hatch or trunk.
You can do that without requiring the hungry rider to hold up the bikes while getting things organized. This would be a big plus for riders who don’t want to uninstall the rack after each transport.
On the flip side, the hitch racks usually take up a bit more space behind the vehicle than the trunk attachments, so if cramming into the garage is a concern, you might be looking at uninstalling the rack regularly anyway.
In general, reviewers find that the hitch-mount rack models are stable when they use a 1 ¼ inch hitch receiver. The bikes on the rack, however, need an extra strap or bungee cord.
The purpose of that is to make sure that they don’t make a leap off of the rack in the not-entirely-unlikely case that one of the rubber pieces used to secure the frame comes loose or breaks altogether.
You will need to properly mount the truck-mounted racks. Users of the Rhode Gear 2-Bike Carrier report severe problems with keeping bikes secure at high speeds. They cite a range of incidents from bikes swaying around, straps loosening (due to mere semi-adequate metal clips), to bikes falling off on the highway.
The Prorack model comes with upgraded rubber blocks for bike security and adapted hinges that add security to the rack’s joints after assembly. With these modifications, the Prorack is adequately stable for long trips.
That being said, I wouldn’t get on the highway with an extra bungee or two and a couple rounds of tightening the straps.
If you are looking for a bike rack on a budget and have a 1 ¼ inch hitch receiver, either the Prorack 4-Bike Hitch Carrier or the Rhode Gear Highway 4-Bike Hitch Mount are good options in terms of usability. Since they discontinued the Rhode Gear model and it is a bit pricier for an equivalent product, there is no reason not to go with the Prorack, if it is between the two.
If your vehicle is hitch-less, the Prorack 2-Bike Trunk Carrier is decent low-budget option. It should get your bike to the trailhead without headache, but it is worth adding a couple of bungees and assembling it carefully to make sure nothing can go wrong.