Last year Matt got a preview of the new tire hold bike hitch racks from Inno, a Japanese company that’s been designing and manufacturing vehicle racks for 30+ years. We’ve been testing the two-bike, INH120 hitch rack over the past two months, and here’s what we’ve found.
Design and construction
The INH120 is part of a fresh wave of no-frame-touch, tire-hold racks favored by many mountain bikers for their versatility, ease of use, and ability to protect bikes in transport. Ratcheting tire-hold loops grip on either side while the wide tray supports bikes from below.
Out of the box, the INH120 requires some assembly, though nothing too complicated. All of the parts are made from high-quality materials and the instructions are easy to follow. Most of the pieces go together with a simple hex tool, and assembly should take less than 30 minutes. As you can see from the photos above, each tray has two sides, and they attach using two bolts. A simple plastic cover hides the bolt heads and protects them from the elements.
The rack is designed to tilt down for access to the vehicle’s rear hatch, even with bikes on board. A security cable is included, though it’s more of a theft deterrent than a true theft-prevention solution. Inno says the INH120 works with both 2- and 1.25-inch hitch receivers.
On the road
Loading up the INH120 is a cinch. This style of hitch rack is nice because bikes can be loaded facing either direction, unlike those with a single arm and rear tire strap. Officially the rack fits bikes with up to a 48-inch wheelbase. My extra-large, Orange P7 29er is a smidge over that length at 48.2-inches, and honestly, I wouldn’t try to load a bike any longer.
The tire holds are adjustable for smaller wheel sizes. By default, they’re maxed out at the highest setting, and this works well for both 29er and 27.5-inch wheels. Plus bikes should fit fine — we tested with tires up to 2.6-inches wide — but fat bikes are a no go. Inno says the rack fits wheels as small as 20 inches in diameter.
Clearly a big advantage of this design is that the rack doesn’t need to touch your bike’s frame or fork, as road vibrations tend to quickly scratch and damage even the most robust bike parts. The arms ratchet into place and there’s also some leeway for shifting bikes to either side to avoid seat-on-handlebar contact. A large button releases the tire holds when it’s time to unload. The process can be a little awkward at first — where to put my other hand? — but it gets easier over time.
Like most vehicle hitch accessories, the Inno INH120 is tightened in the receiver by hand turning a knob. There’s also a backup push pin for added security. We found that the rack stays quite stable with little rocking side to side, even over bumpy trailhead access roads.
The turn knob has an integrated lock that in theory makes it difficult for someone to steal the rack form off a vehicle. However, it appears to be made mostly of plastic, as is the hole where the bolt locks in place, which doesn’t seem very secure. The design is smart — it doubles as a channel for routing the security cable — but is likely easily defeated.
The Inno INH120 rack can fold up 90-degrees when not in use, and also tilts down to allow access to the vehicle hatch when bikes are in position. The rack locks solidly into place and the pull handle feels great.
Like other racks that utilize a similar design, the INH120 is heavy — about 64 pounds. It’s not clear to me why these types of racks need to be so much heavier than racks with a different design, but this one appears to be made from durable, high quality materials. Inno says the rack can carry up to 120 pounds of cargo spread between two bikes which should be plenty, even for electric mountain bikers.
Overall the silhouette and finishes on the INH120 look great, both from a distance and up close. Priced at $549 (view current prices), this rack is toward the high end of the hitch rack market, but comparatively affordable to other tire-hold racks. Inno also sells a single tray, tire hold rack for $349 and a four-bike version for $899.