How to Fabricate a Hitch Mounted Bike Carrier

How to Fabricate a Hitch Mounted Bike Carrier
If you have talent working with metal, you can fashion your own hitch mounted bike carrier. When welding and cutting with a torch, keep your work area well ventilated. Gather the needed materials from hardware stores.

I you wish to save money on the bicycle cradles, consider going to used sporting goods stores and salvage the cradles off old discarded or broken bike racks. The project should take a day or two for completion.


Difficulty: Moderately Challenging

Things You’ll Need:
  • Welding torch
  • Welding safety gear
  • Bench vise
  • Marker
  • Large adjustable wrench
  • Two 8-foot lengths of metal tubing to match car's hitch receiver
  • Measuring tape
  • Foam tubing
  • 2 bike cradle restraints
  • Power drill with metal bits
  • Locking pin for hitch with clevis pin
Step 1
Place the metal tubing into the bench vise so it's parallel to the work bench. Measure out a 4-foot length of the tube and mark it with a marker or pen. Put on your welding safety gear and open your shop's windows for ventilation.
Step 2
Cut the metal tube at the 4-foot mark using the welding/cutting torch. Let the metal cool off. Remove the cut section and reposition it only in the vise.

Drill a 1/2-inch hole through the sides of the tube at the 4-inch point from one end. Slide the locking rod and device through this and the receiver hitch holes to lock it to the car.
Step 3
Set the remaining portion of the metal tubing into the bench vise. Measure another 4-foot piece and mark it. Cut this piece out and weld it to the end of the other 4-foot piece on the opposite side of the drilled holes. Weld it so it is perpendicular to the other metal tube.
Step 4
Place another length of the metal tube into the vise and measure, mark and cut one length of tube that will be on the same height as the end piece you welded to the metal receiving tube them and weld it to the metal receiving tube at the 2-foot mark from the end.
Step 5
Cut two more 4-foot lengths of metal tube and weld an equal distance across on the upright tubes. Drill out holes for the bicycle cradle holders by setting the holders onto the tubes and marking where the site of the screw holes. Align the holes of the cradle and the rack tubes and screw down the cradles to attach to the rack.
Step 6
Slide the metal tube with the holes into the receiving hitch and align the holes. Slide the locking rod through the holes on the receiver hitch and the rack. Lock the rod down with a clevis pin.

Article Written By Eric Cedric

A former Alaskan of 20 years, Eric Cedric now resides in California. He's published in "Outside" and "Backpacker" and has written a book on life in small-town Alaska, "North by Southeast." Cedric was a professional mountain guide and backcountry expedition leader for 18 years. He worked in Russia, Iceland, Greece, Turkey and Belize. Cedric attended Syracuse University and is a private pilot.

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