- Well-made and affordably priced
- Light weight at only 19 lbs
- Platform style base and J-arm means no contact with bike frame
- Easy on/off with one locking bolt
- Fits almost every size bike, including e-bikes up to 60 lbs
- Reflective element
- Expandable to 2 bikes with optional MAX Plus
- Optional custom color rack
- Optional Park Tool work stand adaptor
- Does not lock to the car
- No built-in lock for locking bike to the rack
- Assembly instructions would prefer more pictures and fewer words
- Does not fit 27.5 wheel fat bikes
- Only fits 2” receiver, optional 1¼” adaptor extra
- Not compatible with bikes with front fenders
Price: $179 MSRP for MAX; $179 for MAX Plus
Weight: 19 pounds
Receiver: 2” hitch receiver; optional adapter for 1 ¼”
# of Bikes: Carries 1 bike; Add a MAX Plus for a second bike
Max Wheel Base: 49.5”
Wheel Sizes: 20-29” wheel diameters, 20mm – 26.5” fat tire widths
How Obtained: Company sample
RBR Advertiser: No
Solid, Modular, Light Weight Platform Bike Rack
Event Gear shipped me their MAX platform bike rack a few months ago, promising it was light weight, solid and easy to store. As with most bike racks, there’s some assembly required. The MAX is the fourth brand of rack I’ve put together, and to my surprise it had few parts and was fairly straightforward to assemble. I would only suggest the company rethink their instruction booklet and reduce the number of words and increase the number of drawings or photos. I’m a visual person and can easily assemble something by pictures alone. In addition, the manual’s text was all in caps which made it difficult to read.
The MAX comes with a few tools, but I used my own torque wrench since many of the bolts had Nm specs. During assembly, I was impressed as to how well made and solid it was, as well as how light weight. According to the company, the rack weighs 19 pounds. For cyclists with neck and back issues, this rack could be the answer. Upon assembly completion, I did end up with two extra washers. Still don’t know where they go or if they are duplicates.
Loading and Transporting Your Bike
Installing the MAX hitch on my car was straightforward. Slide it into the receiver and tighten a bolt. Making sure the bolt is snug is important because if it is loose, there will be play in the rack. Once installed properly, the is no play or wobble to the rack… it is rock solid. The front tire fits in the “basket” and the rear sits on a platform that slides freely to accommodate different size bikes. The sliding platform worked fine with my gravel and road bikes, but I had issues with a heavier bike like my fattie. It was sliding around on me and made it difficult to load the bike. The company might consider an optional bracket that you could engage if you wanted to prevent the platform from moving.
After the bike is loaded on the platform, simply lift the j-arm up and over the front wheel, then ratchet it down snug. The j-arm is very well made, solid with an ergonomic release handle. Several other manufacturer’s release handles are hard for me to use. They have small release lever or just in an awkward position. The release handles on the MAX allowed me to grasp the j-arm with one hand while using my thumb to release the lock.
Once the j-arm is snug, the front and back wheels are secured with hook and loop straps which are supplied with the rack. The strap slides through a slot in the rack, then wraps around the wheel, under the rack and again around the wheel. It’s really quick and easy to load your bike and go.
Driving around on local streets, the rack didn’t sway or wobble. I also liked that there was a reflective decal on the rack to increase visibility helping to avoid being hit from behind. Note, I tested the rack up to 45 mph, but haven’t yet tested on the expressway.
When not using the rack, it can be stored inside your car or garage. No matter which you choose, lay the j-arm down on the rear wheel basket and use the hook and loop strap to secure it to the rack preventing it from bouncing around.
Fits Most Bikes in Your Stable
The MAX rack will fit virtually any bike in your garage, including an ebike. The specs are 49.5” maximum wheel base, 20-29” wheel diameters, 20mm – 26×5” fat tire widths and holds up to a 60 pound bike.
Modular Options to Fit Your Needs
There are several options for the MAX, giving you the ability to pick and choose what’s important to you.
- The MAX is compatible with a 2” receiver, but for an additional $69 you can get the Big Dog Adapter which will allow you to use with a 1¼” receiver.
- Need to be able to work on your bike at the trail head or before a race? The optional Park Tool head turns your rack into a sturdy work stand for $249 more.
- When you need the ability to travel with 2 bikes, simply add on the optional MAX plus for $179. (Note: The company only supplied the single version which was tested/reviewed)
- For those who want to go full out custom, Event Gear will paint the MAX rack for you, starting at $99.
Key Items to Note
The MAX rack is designed to be solid yet portable and affordable. Therefore, it is missing some of the bells and whistles you find on higher priced and heavier hitch racks. There are no options for locking the hitch to the car or bikes to the hitch. It fits most bike sizes, with the exception of the newer fat bikes with 27.5 wheels. Lastly, as with most platform racks, it is not compatible with bike having front fenders.
If you are in the market for a well built, light weight, platform hitch rack, take a look at Event Gear’s MAX. At $179 for a single bike system, this 19 pound rack is easy to take on and off your car. For an additional $179, add the MAX Plus to carry a second bike. The modular design lets you pick and choose the right rack accessories from a Park Tool work stand for trail head maintenance to customizing color options.
Sheri Rosenbaum regularly contributes articles and reviews products for RBR. She’s an avid recreational roadie who lives in the Chicago area and a major advocate for women's cycling, serving on the board of directors and volunteering with the Dare2tri Paratriathlon Club. Click to read Sheri's full bio or visit her web site sunflowersandpedals.com.