Elevate Outdoor Piggyback Hitch (4 Bike) Bike Rack – Full Review and User Guide For 5th Gen 4Runner
Owning a 4Runner allows you to enjoy a plethora of activities that involve exploring the outdoors.
Depending on how you explore will depend on how you organize your setup. Some travel light and some travel heavy. The challenge for me is how to organize and pack the gear for all of the activities that are being enjoyed on the same trip. Gear, toys, and luggage can add up quickly so having the right accessories to haul it all is crucial for an efficient, more enjoyable experience.
For those of you that haul gear & ride bikes, you understand the importance of having a spot to put not only your bike but many bikes safely all while being able to access your cargo conveniently.
The convenience of accessing your cargo space comes at a pretty penny when running a bike rack. That’s why I went with the Elevate Outdoor Piggyback Hitch Bike Rack from Discount Ramps. They offer a competitive product at the most competitive price, including more than just bike racks.
Find it online:
- DiscountRamps.com: Check Price
Choosing the Right Bike Rack
Choosing the right bike rack can be overwhelming, especially for someone on a budget (like me!).
On top of that, there is the what is the right option, & is it the best option?
Do you choose a roof mounting solution, which requires removing the front tire each time you mount your bike but have the convenience of opening your liftgate with no interference?
How about the trunk-style bike rack that wraps & clips around the liftgate with the worry of chipping your paint?
What about the cradle rack that goes in your hitch but allows your wheels & tires to wobble aimlessly?
Or finally, do you choose what I figured to be the best option, the hitch bike rack?
Different Shapes and Sizes
Hitch mounted bike racks come in all different styles, the number of bikes held, and the price! The most popular feature that I have found to be true & a MUST HAVE is being able to “swing-out” or “swing-down” your rack to easily access your cargo space.
If you are like me or any other outdoorsman, your 4Runner is the source for storing everything. I have my rooftop tent (you can read about them here) on top of my rig and my Custom DIY Drawer System also needing to be accessed for my cooler & kitchen. I needed a bike rack that allowed me to easily access these modifications.
Leading up to getting the Elevate Outdoor Piggyback Hitch Bike Rack I did my research, as should you. There were several options from Thule, Yakima, Kuat & more but Discount Ramps had it all for a FRACTION of the cost of some of these competitors.
Introducing Discount Ramps
When you look at Discount Ramps’ competitors, you get a great hitch rack but then have to spend another $300+ to even have the option of swinging out the rack to access your luggage, and in my case, my camp kitchen.
When you go with Discount Ramps for your hitch bike rack, you are getting to choose from a two, three even four bike rack solution that comes standard with the swing-down option. This changes the whole game. You are buying a rack that comes “out-of-the-box” ready to haul your bikes & still allows you to access your cargo area.
What Is the Elevate Outdoor Piggyback Bike Rack?
The Elevate Outdoor Piggyback Bike Rack is a very well-thought-out bike rack that allows you to quickly & safely add up to four bikes on a rack all at once.
In the photo above, I am able to haul two large mountain bikes, my gravel bike, and a road bike comfortably. The rack is manufactured from very durable, powder-coated steel and is designed to be used with a Class III or IV 2″ hitch receiver. You can even order, with your rack, a 5/8″ Key-Locking Hitch Pin that will fit your 4Runner’s hitch if you do not already have one… and comes standard with two keys to secure your rack when not in use.
This rack in specific holds up to four bikes with a maximum capacity of 132 lbs, if you are only hauling two bikes you can simply remove the third & fourth bike portion of the rack.
One feature that the bike rack has that I’m not sure the competitors have is the ability to adjust the wheel holder cradles that hold the bike anywhere from 50″ to 76″ long. This is ideal for the family man that needs to get his wife’s bike, his bike & maybe two children’s bikes all on the same rack (Discount Ramps coaches you to store the bikes from smallest to largest.)
After placing the bikes on the wheel holder cradles you simply clamp the appropriate rubber-coated clamp arms to each bike.
The rack also includes eight velcro straps to secure the tires to the rack once they are properly fitted.
Unboxing, First Impression & Ease of Use
Straight out of the box, the rack comes with just about everything needed to be ready for assembly & installation. All you need for assembly are two 19mm wrenches and all that is needed for installation is a 5/8″ Key-Locking Hitch Pin that fits your 4Runner. Assembly takes about 10 minutes and once assembled is a very solid, great-looking bike rack ready to be used.
Using the Rack
Attaching the rack to the vehicle is simple, storing more than two bikes is where your organization skills are required. Your first couple of times hauling your bikes (depending on what type of frame bikes you have) will require you to be creative. This is more than normal because of the versatility this bike rack has to offer.
You really learn how much to expand your wheel holder cradles, which clamps will hold which bike & where each bike is going to fit best (usually starts with the smallest bike with the largest bike on the last wheel holder cradle).
Once you haul your bikes a few times, like anything else, you will have the routine down & the time it takes to throw your bikes on the rack will go from 10 minutes to three minutes allowing you to get on the road quicker!
When the rack is on, I still need to be able to access my cargo space. This bike rack allows me to do that by removing a pin & laying it down.
The rack itself with bikes on it can be quite heavy but this has not been an issue yet. I have found that if there is anything I need from the cargo space while my bikes are on the rack, then it needs to be accessible through the 4Runner’s rear window and the rest can be accessed while the bikes are off the rack, otherwise it will take two people to lower the rack depending on who you are.
- Holds two bikes with a removable two bike add-on, holding up to four bikes
- The ability to swing down the rack for cargo space access
- Easily stored both on and off the 4Runner
- Manufactured from durable, powder-coated steel
- 1-Year Limited Warranty
- Swing down can be heavy with bikes loaded
- This is not an issue with my setup, I started with a friend helping me lay down the loaded bikes but have readjusted how I pack my cargo space.
- The rack comes in at 70 lbs
- Again, not a big issue nor a deal-breaker. A simple solution for my girlfriend when I am not around was to install the rack without the third & fourth bike add-on & add that separately.
Overall, The Elevate Outdoor Piggyback Hitch Rack is one of my favorite additions to the rig.
I have been able to be the source of transportation with my bike buddies which is everything to me. The 4Runner gave me the ability to get out and explore the outdoors & this bike rack is allowing me to expand that privilege to the biking world.
In the next 12 months, I will have been able to complete different bike tours across the states all while being hassle & worry-free.
Having gone with any other bike rack, any size, I would have one heck of a hole in my pocket all while not being able to travel or access my luggage anytime soon. This bike rack allows you to do everything after assembly with a few extra dollars to put elsewhere.