DraftMaster Hitch rack Bike Rack

4.65/5 (57 Reviews)
MSRP : $449.00

Product Description

DraftMaster Hitch rack

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Reviews 1 - 15 (57 Reviews Total) | Next 15

User Reviews

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:4
Submitted by Steve

Date Reviewed: July 12, 2014

Strengths:    Extremely well made.
Assembly and mounting to vehicle are easy and pretty much intuitive.
Mounting bikes is simple and fast.
Relatively little sway.

Weaknesses:    Expensive, but in this case you get what you pay for. (I bought mine used.)
Pretty bulky and takes up some storage space.

Bottom Line:   
I bought this rack (with an extended specialty rail) so that I could transport mountain bikes at the same time as my long wheelbase recumbent. I've taken it on trips of 600 miles without incident (knock on wood). Mounting the bikes is easy, since the rack drops down for loading and then is raised into position for transport. The front fork mounts, which use skewers, look as though they might be a little insecure since the bikes are basically just hanging from them (with the real wheel held by a strap); you do want to make sure that you clamp them nice and tight. My system has anti-sway straps and is bolted tightly to the hitch receiver using bolts and lock washers. There is much less sway and bounce than with the Thule rack it replaced. My vehicle has a spare tire on the back, and I initially thought that I might need to get an extender for the hitch receiver, but the rack does fit without one, though just barely. MSRP for the system I have is roughly $850. I'm not sure it would be worth it at that price. (Actually, I'm pretty sure it wouldn't.) But I found mine used in excellent condition for a third of that amount. I'm very happy with it.

Overall Rating:2
Value Rating:4
Submitted by Justin

Date Reviewed: August 21, 2013

Strengths:    Sturdy product

Weaknesses:    Customer Service sucks!! I had a question about the assembly of the product, I called Atoc (the company that makes Draftmaster) the answer I received was, "well... read the directions". very rude personal. talked down to me the entire conversation.

Bottom Line:   
If it wasn't for the fact that I already own this rack, I would probably not carry it on my truck due to the lack of respect I received from the guy who answered the phone at Atoc.

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Ed

Date Reviewed: May 11, 2013

Strengths:    This is a review of the reviews. The last review posted is one month shy of nine years old. One of the review comments on the company's financial situation of more than nine years ago. I feel these reviews, positive and negative, are too old to be relevant today.

Weaknesses:    .

Bottom Line:   

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by sandy a Weekend Warrior from San Antonio

Date Reviewed: June 2, 2004

Strengths:    Easy to use for vertically challenged persons when it comes to loading and unloading. Strong and secure. I live in the city and leave it on my vehicle most of the time. I only ride on weekends and won't ride in traffic. This is the best bike rack I have used and have experienced no real problems with it.

Weaknesses:    Some of the smaller working parts can rust unless treated. Storage can be difficult.

Bottom Line:   
I have had this rack for 2 years and it has seen alot of use. I have no real complaints, only that it is a bit cumbersome for storing when you take it off. Noncyclist find it a curiosity when I have no bikes on it. Many times parking lot security has tried to direct me to the handicap parking thinking it is a wheelchair ramp!

Expand full review >>

Duration Product Used:   2 Years

Price Paid:    $400.00

Purchased At:   Bike World

Similar Products Used:   Yakima, rhode gear.

Bike Setup:   I have mine on the back of a 4runner. Fits 3 bikes.

Overall Rating:1
Value Rating:1
Submitted by Randall Wilson a Weekend Warrior from Granite Bay, CA, USA

Date Reviewed: May 12, 2004

Strengths:    None

Weaknesses:    The rack is too unwieldly to be left on the vehicle, and too large too store off the vehicle. Compounding the problem, the rack is too heavy to remove and replace an a regular basis. Assembly is more involved than with competitive racks. Bikes are located in a vulnerable position when mounted on the rack.

Bottom Line:   
Don't even waste your time looking at a Draftmaster rack. You won't like it when your bike is mounted on it; you'll hate it when your bike isn't mounted on it; and you'll hate it even more when you need to remove and store it.

Not surprisingly, the company that manufactures this engineering failure is apprarently having financial problems. I returned mine (the shipping charges exceeded $100.00), only to learn the company couldn't refund the purchase price.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   Foresthill Loop

Duration Product Used:   Less than 1 month

Price Paid:    $488.00

Purchased At:   Online

Similar Products Used:   Yakima Steelhead, Sportworks Transport

Bike Setup:   Trek 5500, Trek Fuel 98

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Greg a Racer from Lansing

Date Reviewed: May 1, 2004

Strengths:    This rack folds out so it works great on SUV type vehicles with rear doors. It will easily hold 4 bikes without fear of scratches or scrapes. It is mostly made of alloy so it will never rust.

Weaknesses:    The front tire need to come off. Also, I have a rear mount spare tire that gets in the way, so I had to purchase a receiver extension, but now it will drag on some abrupt dips. I guess I just need bigger tires on the Jeep.

Bottom Line:   
This is a great rack! It is well worth the investment for any serious rider who is looking for a rack that will last years and is easy to use.

Expand full review >>

Duration Product Used:   More than 3 years

Price Paid:    $200.00

Purchased At:   shop liquidation sale

Similar Products Used:   nothing similar

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by John O a Weekend Warrior from Chicago

Date Reviewed: November 3, 2003

Strengths:    Easy to load bikes. Easy to beak down to store. Saves a fortune on gas and no wind noise compared to roof racks, and nothing touching bike frames like other hitch racks. Also can open the rear hatch without removing bikes unlike other hitch racks. Lots of people come over and compliment it if you like that sort of thing.

Weaknesses:    Occasionally the rear wheel trays would come loose until I really torqued then down hard. Lots of people come over and compliment it if that bothers you.

Bottom Line:   
Best rack on our team by far. We did an adventure race last weekend and our support crew consisted of our wives/girlfriends. With vertually no instuction these 4 petite women (one 7 months pregnant) unloaded and preped the bikes for the bike leg and broke down and loaded the bikes so we could quickly move on to "get lost" in the woods for the orienteering section. This saved us time as I know we would have had to help them with a roof rack.
Keep up the great work Draftmaster!

Expand full review >>

Duration Product Used:   More than 3 years

Price Paid:    $500.00

Purchased At:   web site

Similar Products Used:   An old Bic roof rack which made my car feel like I was driving a sail boat down the interstate.

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Brian a Cross Country Rider from Sumter

Date Reviewed: September 9, 2003

Strengths:    very durable, easy to use, looks great, never damages paint, modular, etc-- well thought out

Weaknesses:    need to buy locking QR's seperatly. It was a bit spendy, but I don't regret it.

Bottom Line:   
I have yet to be disapointed with this rack. I have hauled bikes cross country using it without problem. Looks great and is quality!

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   K3

Duration Product Used:   More than 3 years

Purchased At:   Draftmaster

Similar Products Used:   other goose neck type racks with dorky straps that look like crap when you have them loaded...

Bike Setup:   Litespeed Hiwassee updated w/ full XT and a Duke XC fork

Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:4
Submitted by Harry Morris a Cross Country Rider from Columbia, MO, USA

Date Reviewed: August 11, 2003

Strengths:    Well built and engineered. Breaks down easily for storage.
Looks cool !

Weaknesses:    Cumbersome to install & remove ( assembled unit is a bit heavy & awkward for one preson to handle). Cam buckles are difficult to run the securing straps through. tray mounts were very tight on tolerance and made it difficult to install.

Bottom Line:   
I've tried several different racks & this unit without a doubt best suits my recumbent. Transported both bikes on my Ford Rander PU recently to Wisconsin from Missouri & back, and had absolutely no problems with the trip. I would not recommend this unit for short distant transport only (unless you plan to leave it on the vehicle); better suited for the long haul.
The people at Draftmaster are super to work with and made every effort to provide customer satisfaction.
Warning: be prepared to answer a lot of questions regarding the rack it's a show stopper.

Expand full review >>

Duration Product Used:   Less than 1 month

Price Paid:    $597.00

Purchased At:   Draftmaster website

Similar Products Used:   None

Bike Setup:   Trek 7200 hybrid & Tour Easy recumbent

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Al Williamson a Cross Country Rider from Oden Uah USA

Date Reviewed: July 11, 2003

Strengths:    Rack is easy to load,easy to load and secures bikes both to vehicle and rack, no pads, staps, bungees, rubbed spots, roof dents,broken "Lawyer Lips" no loss fuel consumption, no noise and not affected by cross winds

Weaknesses:    Did not find it sooner

Bottom Line:   
Since 1988 have used rear and roof racks, but the Draftmaste has made the process of loading the rack, loading and securing bikes, accessing the luggage much easier..through the rear window without changing the rack...rotate the rack, no change to the bikes, and you can open the door.

Expand full review >>

Duration Product Used:   1 Year

Similar Products Used:   4 or more rear racks and 2 or more roof racks

Bike Setup:   remove front wheel attach fork and secure rear wheel sesigned to carry 4 fron wheels, have attached 5 wheels

Overall Rating:3
Value Rating:3
Submitted by John a Cross Country Rider from SoCal

Date Reviewed: June 23, 2003

Strengths:    Well built

Weaknesses:    Instructions are poor and difficult to understand
No easy way to lock it
Ground clearance "issues"
Rear wheel trays are set way too high to properly hold full suspension mountain bike wheels - They barely hang on the back edge

Bottom Line:   
A good rack, but it simply couldn't hold our full suspension mountain bikes high enough to get out of even the shallowest driveways without leaving some rear tire rubber on the paving. Ouch! The optional extension is not really a solution because the rack moves around enough as it is without having to raise and extend the weight out even further behind the vehicle.

It's not that easy to load since the front wheels must be removed and bikes held vertical while being secured. It's no big deal with just one or two bikes, but add the third or fourth and you have to secure them while off the ground due to the height offset needed to fit the extra bikes. Also, if this rack is so stable, why the tie-down straps? They smack of afterthought. All in all, this rack just seemed sort of overly complicated. We returned it.

That said, I'd recommend anyone thinking about a hitch rack to check out 1upUSA's rack. It is the easiest to load of all because it doesn't require front wheel removal, the bikes go on horizontally and are held by the wheels only. It has great ground clearance, folds up the flattest and has a Allen-head bolt locking mechanism everyone else should be using. It is so damn simple to put together and operate and guaranteed for life! Check it out at 1upUSA.com. I don't work for 1up. I just appreciate a superior product (like their trainer, too). Like they say, spend more time riding, not loading your bikes.

Expand full review >>

Duration Product Used:   Less than 1 month

Purchased At:   450

Similar Products Used:   1up USA hitch rack

Bike Setup:   Very high-end full suspension mountain bikes

Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Tom from Green Bay, WI USA

Date Reviewed: June 23, 2003

Strengths:    Once set up and run through the rack is easy to insert into the hitch and remove when not using and the bikes are easy and fast to secure and remove.

Weaknesses:    The directions for assembly are weak (mostly sketches without alot of detail - pictorial or worded) - even for mechanically inclined people like me. Directions do not include recommendation as to how to load different size bikes which I figured out by loading and reloading multiple times before fine tuning what should have been described in the directions. Front fork locks worked extremely well on my family's two canondale bikes but less than optimal on two others where I needed to use an adjustable wrench to make sure..... Forks whose channels are straight do not work as well as Forks (such as Canondales') whose channels are at a 90 degree angle.

Bottom Line:   
The customer service is extremely helpful and knowledgeable both about its rack and trailer hitches in general. While the price appears high I wanted this to be my first and last system. Overall, after having used it for a 5-day bike vacation where the bikes were loaded and unloaded multiple times and the distance from home was approx. 150 miles - I am very happy with the performance and would definitely recommend it. Draftmaster shipped it when they said they would and it arrived in time for my family's vacation which was also a bonus.

Expand full review >>

Duration Product Used:   Less than 1 month

Price Paid:    $600.00

Purchased At:   Draftmaster Direct Website

Similar Products Used:   None

Bike Setup:   Two "adult" Canondales Mountain bikes and Two "junior" Haro Mountain bikes.

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:4
Submitted by Barry a Weekend Warrior from Moore, OK, USA

Date Reviewed: February 4, 2003

Strengths:    ease of use, fast bike loading and unloading.

Weaknesses:    vulnerability to rear ender and there goes $4000 in bikes, plus the rack. Stability straps tend to rub the paint on the vehicle, which can be fixed.

Bottom Line:   
not easily removed from the hitch. I used to hex head cap screws to secure the rack to the hitch. I would drill out the threads, and put in a lockable pin, like some else mentioned, but I am a little fearful that the rack will start to rattle.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   So far, The Midwest Recumbent Rally in Wisconsin

Duration Product Used:   6 months

Price Paid:    $320.00

Purchased At:   Local bicycle store

Similar Products Used:   Graber hatchback model for the PT Cruiser

Bike Setup:   used for: 1) TREK R200 recumbent, 2)Barcroft Virgina GT recumbent, and 3) Softride Roadwing Road bike.

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Sam Peralta a Cross Country Rider from San Diego, Ca

Date Reviewed: October 23, 2002

Strengths:    Very sturdy and durable, accessiblity to bike is convenient, and cool looking.

Weaknesses:    The down fall is that some idiot driver from behind can hit and damage your bikes.

Bottom Line:   
I absolutely love this bike rack. Mounting and dismounting our mountain bikes is as easy as 1, 2, 3. I receive many compliments about how cool looking the bike rack looks especially when all our bikes are mounted.

Expand full review >>

Duration Product Used:   More than 3 years

Price Paid:    $350.00

Purchased At:   Cantina Bike Shop

Bike Setup:   Giant XTC NRS Air, NRS XTC 1, & NRS XTC 3.

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Michael a Cross Country Rider from Southern Appalachia, WNC

Date Reviewed: October 3, 2002

Strengths:    EASY installation. Loading and unloading a snap. Solid construction. Folds down to get into the rear of vehicle and it makes it easier to load and unload. Highway use---close your eyes and go. You do not know it is there. No need to worry about ramming into a drive through. Easy to clean bike while on the rack. The damn thing is flat out sexy!

Weaknesses:    At this time there is no company hitch lock for the 1 1/4" receivers. They are looking in to it. They provide two nuts and bolts. Very solid. I bored out the threads and added a 1/2" hitch lock. Quite easy.

The skewers do not lock on to rack. I simply take them out and put them in the car while not in use. No big deal.

I find no other faults at all. The two that I listed I consider cosmetic in the scheme of things.

Bottom Line:   
I purchased the rack to hold three bikes. I also purchased the tire carrier. Total on the two items and shippng was around $550.00. I have been using this rack for a short time but have been transporting 3 to 4 days a week now. I love it. I could not wait to right a review. I will follow up after a longer period of time to see if my opinion has changed.

The other day one of my friends drove his new Specialized into the roof of the bank drive thru. A few days later we went riding together and he saw my rack. Uggh was his response. His face said, "Why do I have a roof rack?" $600 bucks on roof racks seems like a fortune now and you will understand that you are NOT getting what you pay for. Draftmaster is worth it.

The folks at Draftmaster are excellent. That makes all the difference in the world. You got to love small companies with a great product. Very personal. CUSTOMER SERVICE is a huge A+++++

Bottom line is that it is no more expensive than roof racks. There are no horror stories about roof bashings. No back aches. Highway speeds are comfortable. The bikes are happy in the draft. So is my gas mileage. No more lifting. If you drop your bike while mounting it hits the ground and not your car. But actually to mount your bike the back tire never has to leave the ground. Too easy.


I am very very happy, thrilled, and love this rack.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   Laurel Mountain-PNF

Duration Product Used:   3 months

Price Paid:    $449.00

Purchased At:   www.draftmaster.com

Similar Products Used:   Yakima roof rack
Graber trunk rack

Bike Setup:   Cannondale; Klein; Intense

Reviews 1 - 15 (57 Reviews Total) | Next 15

Review Options:  Sorted by Latest Review | Sort by Best Rating

Liability with hitch rack protruding off the back of vehicle

I just got a Northshore NSR-4 and love the rack, but someone the other day mentioned that in Oklahoma (where I'm located) things protruding more than 3 feet out of truck beds/vehicles need to be flagged for liability reasons. I don't know what this is called, but I'm assuming every state has somethi ... Read More »

Not happy with Yakima Holdup 2 hitch rack

Bought the rack from REI when i had a 26" FS bike. It worked perfectly, but the cable lock was my only complaint - its too short. Recently bough a 27.5" bike and not liking this rack anymore. I'm actually pissed because they claim it works for bikes with up to a 29" wheel. Front wheel doesn't fi ... Read More »

Hitch mounted bike rack

I was able to buy this rack for $25 [url=http://www.homedepot.com/p/Atlas-Homewares-4-Bike-Folding-Towable-Rack-1805005/204333345?storeId=10051&langId=-1&catalogId=10053#product_description]Atlas Homewares 4 Bike Folding Towable Rack-1805005 at The Home Depot[/url] Or I have a friend wiling to sell ... Read More »

DIY hitch rack

So being I can't afford a decent hitch rack and I found my hitch cargo rack that I forgot I had decided to go with a DIY platform rack. Got the idea when I was search out hitch racks, found same cargo rack with bike adapters. Insanely simple to make just ordered rise adapter for my cars hitch. ... Read More »

Need hitch rack, <$150 possible?

Been running a trunk rack for last season and so far this one. Tired of it partially cause its on a Chevy colbalt and bike (or bikes) acts as parachute on the highway killing my fuel mileage. Sit far too high thnx to having a spoiler... And such a hassle if I want to put a second bike like my son ... Read More »

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