General Cycling Discussion - 4-bike hitch rack tray style
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I collected all the 4-bike hitch rack tray style I could find. Are there others? Which one is best? Which ones to avoid? Any comparative considerations of bike stability, absolute weight, integrated lock to keep in mind? etc. Should I just go for the standard hanging types instead? Thanks.
Swagman XTC4: http://www.etrailer.com/pc-br4b~S64665.htm
Xport Flatbed 4 bike rack: http://www.performancebike.com/shop/profile.cfm?SKU=22746&subcategory_ID=4411
11-17-08, 12:02 AM
I like the standard hanging type. Got my 4 bike Thule on sale at Performance years ago and it's still going strong. It makes a great repair stand also while on the road. We clean, lube, repair, and transport, all with the Thule. I have an older version of this one: http://www.thuleracks.com/product.asp?dept_id=8&sku=956
You can cram 4 bikes on but it's tight and I really like 3 better. Go for the hanging two arm hitch rack. Make sure you get the hitch locking pin also for peace of mind.
11-17-08, 05:32 AM
I'm a fan of bike racks that accommodate a variety of frame designs and wheel sizes and need no wheel removal. I had a Sportworks for years (consumer division now owned by Thule, T2 is basically the Sportworks design) and now run T2s, both hitch mount and roof mount (I have a shuttle van that I use professionally that can accommodate 2 bikes on a front hitch mount, 4 bikes on the rear hitch mount and 9 on the roof, but usually just use the 2 bike version on my SUV for my own needs).
While I can still come up with a complaint or two about the T2, they are the best out there that I've seen. Especially for suspension mountain bikes where hanging style racks don't work at all (had a hanging style Thule before my Sportworks, it killed a frame on an offroad adventure as it didn't fit well on the rack, got rid of it when I got home and had to replace the front triangle of the bike). I have used/use the Sportworks/T2 versions on and off road, have racked up many thousands of miles, no problems. The 4 bike version is heavy, but comes apart if that's an issue. I use cable locks for light security (full security means the bikes come inside), not worried about someone taking an empty rack.
I've been looking for something that can hitch carry but be moved up to a roof if needed. I'm thinking of buying the roof mounted rack then some 2" steel tubing to make a platform that slides into the hitch then mount the roof racks to that. this way I have some flexibility and can put the bikes on the roof if I need the hitch for something else.
Seems the Yakima (and probably Thule) weigh 100 lbs and cost over $600 US dollars. The Swagman and SportRack weigh 60 lbs and cost ~$250 US dollars.
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