Platform vs Hanging Racks
Hitch-mounted bike racks are classified into two categories. The first kind is platform-style racks, which employ a platform to attach bikes through the tires. The second kind of rack is hanging racks, which suspend the bike from the frame.
Platform racks have the advantage of just contacting the tires and not the bike frame. As a result, they are great for those who do not want to risk ruining their bike frames.
Furthermore, the trays may be changed to provide additional distance between cycles, reducing bike-to-bike contact. Platform racks can now accommodate all types of motorcycles, regardless of overall size, suspension design, or wheel size.
Platform-style racks are popular among serious riders due to their flexibility and ease of installation. The only disadvantage is that they are more costly than hanging-style racks.
Meanwhile, hanging racks support bikes by their frames, allowing the bikes to hang down. The benefit here is that many of these racks can handle up to five bikes without the need for additional hardware. The most significant downside is that contact with the frame might cause abrasion and, in rare circumstances, damage. When transporting a bike with a carbon fiber frame, this is a major concern.
Hanging racks may also be insufficient for bikes with odd frames (such as step-through cycles) or full-suspension mountain bikes. You may also wish to use a bungee cord or a strap to connect the front tires to the frame. This prevents the wheels from turning and colliding with other motorcycles.
Hanging racks, on the other hand, are easy to install and remove. They are also less costly than platform racks.
Which is better: Platform or Hanging?
Platform racks are perfect if keeping your bike clean is the most significant advantage and cost is less of an issue. The tires on most platform racks secure the bike, preventing frame contact totally.
They're also simple to utilize, particularly platform racks with roll-up capabilities. This is great for carrying larger bikes such as cruisers or e-bikes.
Platform racks are also superior for transporting bikes with unusual frames or full-suspension mountain bikes. There will be no need to weave any dangling arms through the frames.
Platform racks, on the other hand, are more expensive than hanging racks. Most riders are concerned that a hanging rack may harm their carbon fiber bicycles.
The major problem with frame contact is that it may ruin the bike's finish over time. On extended road journeys, we've heard terrible tales of hanging racks wearing the paint down to the metal.