Sportrack crest 2 hitch bike rack review

SportRack Crest 2 Locking Review: 2 Bike Hitch Rack [2023]

Good bike racks don’t come cheap, but today’s topic, Sportrack Crest 2 locking hitch bike rack (also known as crest 2 sr2901), is somewhat different according to my experience.

In short, it provides excellent features for the price. It’s a quality bike rack that would work superbly for almost everyone (except for the e-bike and fat bike riders).

Despite having tons of functional features, this quality product comes at the fraction of the cost compared to other name brands.

I’ve used this rack for a couple of months now, hopefully, you’ll get a clear idea if this is the right rack for you or not from my detailed review.

Starting from all the good stuff to a few shortcomings, I’ll talk about everything from my experience with this platform/tray-style hitch bike rack (including the setup process and alternative suggestions).

Let’s get into the Sportrack Crest 2 Locking review and find out if this is a good investment or not; spoiler alert: it actually is for most of the riders. 

MaterialHigh grade (14 gauge) Alloy Steel
Number of Bikes2-bike
Max Weight Per Bike (lbs)45 pounds
Hitch Receiver (in.)1.25 and 2 inches
Rear Liftgate AccessYes
Weight29 lbs. 13 oz
Integrated lockYes
Frame lockYes
Rack StyleHitch Platform

About SportRack Brand

Sportrack is known to be a good budget-friendly brand that sells different types of bike racks, roof boxes, ski racks, and kayak carriers.

SportRack is classified as a good overall brand however, they are very much varied in their products. Some of their products are top-notch while others are only fair. Their ski racks and kayak carriers are not that good.

However, their bike racks offer a great deal and are on par with the premium bike racks that are available on the market.

They were recently acquired by Thule which is a company that sells premium sports accessories so we can expect better things to come out from them in the future. Some people have even started calling the brand Thule Sportrack bike rack now.

Design and Build Quality of SportRack Crest 2

Looks: What you like and don’t like in terms of visual appearance is supposed to vary according to your personal taste. However, the looks of crest 2 is quite on the safe side for me. The matte black is something that you can’t usually go wrong with, but then again, I couldn’t say that this thing takes my money with its looks.

Overall, it’s well designed, and I didn’t have any complaints about the looks. It’s neutral.

Build quality: In terms of build quality, I’m quite satisfied with what I got with respect to the price. It doesn’t feel cheap at all, and I did have confidence in it from the very first time I tested it.

The paint quality (dust, mud, and rustproof) is decent, along with bolts and locks in the right places to make sure it stays sturdy without any extra wobble or play as you set it up.

Assembly and Stability: I needed two simple tools to assemble it (a 90mm socket and a rachet). For someone like me, who has some experience with racks, it was very easy and straightforward to assemble. However, for someone new, the assembly manual might give him a hard time during the first assembly. Once assembled, it’s pretty easy to put it on your car.

Once I tightened it well enough, there was almost no wobble or free play at all. So yeah, it’s a thumbs up from me for the stability.

Capacity: Both of my bikes (which are not on the heavier side) sat comfortably and the crest 2 rack had no issues at all. The company claims that each of the bikes can be a maximum of 45lbs, however, I’d suggest not pushing its limits. Not that it’s gonna break, but just to be on the safe side, try not to overload.

Portability: this is something that made the crest 2 a great deal for me. It folds down to a great shape which makes it easy to carry and store in my small storeroom. Despite not being on the high end, it’s quite lightweight (nearly 30lbs) and great for storing in small places.

Top 6 Features of Sportrack Crest 2 Locking Platform Hith Bike Rack

1 – High Security and Super Stable (locks and anti-wobble pin)

When it comes to safety and stability, the Sportrack Crest 2 locking rocks. I was happy to get all sorts of locking features to make sure I feel safe about the bike when it’s mounted on the bike rack and when I leave the bike rack with the car.

There are multiple locks to make sure the bike stays stable and doesn’t wobble at all; it is further ensured by the anti-wobble pin provided with the rack.

Also, I did feel secure leaving my rack with the car as there’s a separate lock to keep the rack locked with my car.

When it comes to safety and stability, it’s a big thumbs up from my experience.

2 – Fits with different sized hitches (Adjustable hitch receiver)

This might come as something simple, but this is super useful for a lot of people. In case you have two different cars with two different hitch sizes, then you’d have to buy an extra adapter or two different bike racks.
Having an inbuilt adapter, crest 2 locking solves that problem instantly. Well, my car is fine with 2” inch, but it’s good to know that I can move to 1.25” anytime.

3 – Easy and Secure bike mounting (tightening hook with adjustable padded rachet and lock)

There are two hook-like structures on top, that go up and down with a rachet, to make sure you can fit bikes of different sizes easily (even kids and women’s bikes). The hooks make sure the bikes stay snug with the rack without moving.

I really liked their attention to detail with the padded grip on the hooks. I was assured that my bikes won’t get damaged or the paints won’t scrape off.

To make everything much sweeter, there’s this lock with the rachet that works with a simple click.

4 – Fits almost all bike sizes (Up to 3” tires and adjustable between 20 to 29 inches tires)

I wish I could say that’s it’s adjustable for any bike out there, but that would just be asking way too much for the money I had to pay for the crest 2 locking bike rack. However, it fits “almost” all bikes.

The tire cradle/space is 3”, hence a regular mountain or road bike wouldn’t have any issues at all, but it’s a “sad no” for fat bikes.

Tips: Some of my friends suggested a DIY technique – you can simply deflate the tire, put it on the rack, and then inflate it later.

To be honest, for someone who seeks comfort, that just won’t make the cut. But this can help you cut corners in tough times I guess. If it does, then silently thank my friends who originally gave me this idea.

An amazing feature, despite being common, is the tire tray adjustability with simple knob rotations. According to their claim (proven true in my experience), you can mount bikes with 20” to 29” inches tire sizes. Simply by turning a knob, the tire tray can be moved as you like. So, it gets easier to mount a kid bike or any other bike that falls into this tire range – which is almost every bike.

For a proper finishing touch, the rack comes with wheel straps to secure the wheels firmly with the rack.

5 – Easy to Store and Carry (Super portable)

We are not gonna use a bike rack every day, and it’s certainly impossible to keep the rack hooked to the car all the time. I mean, yes you can keep the rack attached if you are way too lazy or have to use it often. But it can’t be all the time, right?

And that’s why the portability and storage dimension is a big deal for me. Having a compact bike rack is such a huge functionality. Most of the time, we’d only see ultra-portable and foldable features on the high-end racks, but the Sportrack crest 2 is an exception. It’s lightweight (30 lbs) as I’ve mentioned before, and it folds down into a compact size which is comparatively easy to store in tight spaces.

When it comes to portability, it’s a big thumbs up from me once again.  

6 – Easy trunk access (Tiltable mast)

A good platform hitch bike rack should have a tilted mast feature so that one can easily access the trunk of the car when needed. Now, it’s a both yes and no feature when it comes to our subject rack today. Yes, you can tilt the mast down and reach the trunk easily, but you can’t do that when the bikes are loaded. It’s like one of those moments when you cheer up in happiness and then reality hits you in the next second.

So, despite being a feature, it’s also a feature that’s not complete in a sense. But don’t get me wrong, this feature is still useful. I myself had to take advantage of this feature a couple of times.

Hopefully, I’m doing a decent job on the Sportrack crest 2 locking bike rack review; I’ll give more of my judgments in the latter part of this review, so – keep reading.

How To Assemble and Mount Bikes On Sportrack Crest 2 Locking Bike Rack

It’s quite challenging to make you understand the whole setup process simply by writing, so you’ll have to take the help of the manual and some related youtube video I found for the sportrack crest 2 assembly.

Before we get started on how to set up crest 2 you will need a socket wrench and a 19 and 16 mm socket. Once you have the tools follow the step-by-step process from the manual. Just make sure that you don’t overtighten and cross-thread your rack. I lost my 5-year-old bike rack by doing that.

Once you are done with the assembly:

Step1 – simply put the rack into the hitch, and then slide the anti wobble pin and keep tightening until the free play goes away.

Step 2 – Adjust the tire tray cradles using the knob and put your bike on top of it.

Step 3 – Pull down the hook in place, lock it, and then attach the tire strap.

That’s it. Your bike is mounted and safely secured. The whole mounting process is very easy and doesn’t take much time.

Note: Don’t forget to use the lock that comes with your locking version of the bike rack.

Personal Review And Who This Is Right For

To begin with, this is a great hitch bike rack. There are tons of features, the build quality is great, and the pricing is decent. Yes, it could have been a bit more aesthetic, but the classic design and color scheme left no room for me to complain loudly.

Now, let’s get to the real evaluation – IS THIS RIGHT FOR YOU OR NOT !!

If you are someone who rides a regular mountain bike or road bike, then yes, it should be able to help you on daily basis. 90 lbs capacity (45 lbs each) is decent for regular bikes. It’s a good investment in short.

However, if you are someone who’s gonna ride e-bikes or bikes with fat tires, then this might not be the right option.

On the other hand, if you have a lighter e bike, that is under 45lbs then there shouldn’t be any problem. Some people would even just take the battery off of the e-bike when they mount the bike on the rack. That way, one can significantly reduce the weight of an e-bike and safely carry it in a low-capacity bike rack as well.

Also, if you want to carry more than two bikes, it’s a no-brainer that it’s not right for you. I’ll suggest alternatives down below, so don’t worry.

The sportrack crest 2 locking is better than your average cheap bike racks; just make sure not to expect a similar performance of a high end platform bike rack.

It’s an ideal choice for people who don’t want to spend a fortune on a bike rack but still want something decent with functional features.

Sportrack Crest 2 Bike Rack Alternatives

You can check out the other version of sportrack called SportRack Crest 4 Locking the main difference between the Crest 2 and Crest 4 is that the Crest 4 can accommodate up to four bikes on the rack. However, it will cost you more.

Also, there’s a non-locking version which is much more affordable. As the name suggests, it does not come with the extra locking feature. Unless you are on a very tight budget, I wouldn’t recommend it. From the sportrack crest platform, 2 bike hitch mounted rack review, you will get the idea for both versions.

Those who are looking for a budget version of the crest 2 with similar features might like these:

  1. Swagman XC2 hitch mount bike rack (2 bikes and 2” receiver)
  2. Retrospec Lenox Hitch mount bike rack (2 bikes and 2” receiver)
  3.  – Maxxhaul platform hitch mount bike rack (2 bikes)

Those who are looking for an upgraded version with more features (one that can carry e-bikes and fat bikes) would like this one: 1 – KAC Overdrive Sport K2-RT Hitch mount platform bike rack (2 bikes and 2” receiver)

Pros and cons: Sportrack Crest 2 Locking Hitch Bike Rack

Why We Like It:

  • Very easy to mount bikes.
  • Durable built
  • Can carry two bikes – 45lbs each
  • Great portability
  • Fits all bikes and frame sizes
  • Mud and rustproof.
  • High-security features
  • Comes with Anti wobble bolt.
  • Affordable pricing
  • Adjustable tire trays.
  • Fits with a 1.25 and 2-inch hitch receiver.

Keep Note:

  • Not suitable for E-bikes and fat tire bikes
  • The tilting mast feature doesn’t work when bikes are mounted

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Are SportRack bike racks good?

Yes, sportRack bike racks are good. SportRack bike racks are a comparatively cheaper but effective solution to carry your bikes.

Are platform bike racks better?

Platform bike racks are better if you have to frequently load and unload your bikes. While hanging racks are better if you need to remove the rack frequently.

Do bike racks damage your car?

Trunk-mounted bike racks can cause damage to the paint of your car, however, a hitch rack such as the Crest 2 won’t do any damage to your car.

What’s the difference between SportRack Crest 4 Locking and SportRack Crest 2 Locking?

SportRack Crest 2 can carry up to 2 bikes while Crest 4 can carry up to 4 bikes.

Is SportRack made by Thule?

Thule has acquired sportrack recently so yes, SportRack is now made by Thule

What’s the difference between Sportrack crest 2 locking and non-locking version?

The locking version has locking features and comes at a higher price, whereas the non-locking version does not come with integrated locks thus the price is lower.

Are hitch bike racks removable?

Yes, this makes it a great option for frequent users.

Final Thoughts

According to my experience, if you are looking for a cheap but good-quality bike rack then the Crest 2 is perfect for you. It’s very durable and very easy to clean so you can easily go off-road with the rack attached to your car.

I didn’t have to worry about my bikes falling off as many safety features are there to keep my bike secured.

And if this is your first bike rack then you won’t have to worry as the setup process is very straightforward. You can just follow the steps mentioned above.

Hopefully, my Sportrack crest 2 reviews have given you an overall idea. So, if you are looking for a bike rack that will serve you for years to come, then go for it.

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