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Commuting Bicycle commuting is easier than you think, before you know it, you'll be hooked. Learn the tips, hints, equipment, safety requirements for safely riding your bike to work.

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Old 11-15-05, 09:23 PM   #1
metomeya
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I want a hitch car rack, but I don't have a hitch, can I attached one?

Ya, I have a chevy Impala 2003, but it doesn't have a hitch, so I can't get a hitch bike rack like I want (i need a car rack that will LOCKE to my car so it won't be stolen) soooooo................this might be a dumb question but there is no way to attached a hitch to my car?
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Old 11-15-05, 09:38 PM   #2
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I found a Draw-Tite hitch for my Mazda online for about $100, had my mechanic install it and then found a strong Yamika bike rack on sale at Performance. I can now lock my bikes on the car and not worry about going into a store. Money well spent. Also, took the bikes on a long vacation trip and didn't worry about the rack falling off the car trunk.
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Old 11-15-05, 09:46 PM   #3
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Good news. You are in luck.

http://www.etrailer.com/products.asp...vrolet&t1=&h=e

That last one is all you need. I put one in my 01 Grand Prix that i used to have. I bet it is the same hitch and same installation. It took me about 15 minutes to put in. Had to take out spare tire and I think that was about it. Just put bolts in holes that were already there. Might have had to drill out one set of holes to make it a tiny bit bigger.

Still, it was soooooooo easy. Some vehicles are harder. I bought a minivan after the grandprix. It has a compressor back there to level the load. That made a tougher install, so i hired it done.
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Old 11-16-05, 06:59 AM   #4
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Look in your phone book for trailer hitches. If nothing is listed, look for trailers as an place that rents trailers should be able to guide you to someone with hitches. Also, many chain auto parts stores have hitches available.

As I recall, my hitch installed was about $300 with a lifetime warrantee. I got it at the local U-Haul place.

Also, check your car dealer, as they may offer one (though probably more expensive).

Get a 2" receiver, as the smaller receiver seems to be less and less available both for hitches and racks. If the rack you decide on uses the smaller receiver you can get an adapter, but there are many available for the 2" receiver.
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Old 11-16-05, 07:02 AM   #5
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You are the lucky winner ... of going for a drive to your local U-Haul and get a 2 inch hitch installed.

They do that every day, all the time, and the price is always right.

My buddy got a hitch on a Dodge Magnum - hauling heavier stuff than a bike rack - and it works as intended. You cannot go wrong with U-Haul


... hey Greg!
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Old 11-16-05, 07:34 AM   #6
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You don't want a hitch. You want a hitch box or hitch receiver. The bike rack slides into the hitch box where you would put the steel bar with the hitch on the end. Be careful not to buy a simple hitch which isn't removeable from the hitch box.

There are two sizes of hitch boxes that I know of. Make sure your bike rack and your hitch box are the same size. The 2 inch boxes are the larger of the two common sizes. I'm not sure what the designation is on the smaller ones. Maye 1 inch or 1 1/4 inch?

I installed the smaller size hitch box on a 98 Oldsmobile Delta 88 myself for the sole purpose of mounting a bike rack. I bought it from the dealer. On my previous car, a 1985 Volvo, I had a local welder install a hitch box. His advertisement mentioned hitches.
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Old 11-16-05, 08:25 AM   #7
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also....

If you are just getting this Receiver/Hitch just for your bicycle and NEVER gonna "tow" anything.... Get the CHEAPEST one you can find! Let's face it, the Receiver, Ball, Bike Rack will weigh more then the Bike it's self.

Try eBay, Walmart, etc....
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Old 11-17-05, 02:38 PM   #8
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If you will haul more than 2 bikes, I'd consider a 2" hitch, otherwize get the 1 1/4. There is an issue when you go up a steep hill like a driveway where you are more likely to scrape. There is a 5 rack that needs a 2" but up to 4 you can get by with the smaller. I use them both.
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Old 11-17-05, 08:36 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by slagjumper
If you will haul more than 2 bikes, I'd consider a 2" hitch, otherwize get the 1 1/4. There is an issue when you go up a steep hill like a driveway where you are more likely to scrape. There is a 5 rack that needs a 2" but up to 4 you can get by with the smaller. I use them both.
Very few, if any 2" receivers are built for cars.
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Old 11-17-05, 09:39 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by slagjumper
If you will haul more than 2 bikes, I'd consider a 2" hitch, otherwize get the 1 1/4. There is an issue when you go up a steep hill like a driveway where you are more likely to scrape. There is a 5 rack that needs a 2" but up to 4 you can get by with the smaller. I use them both.
I am also looking into installing a class 1 hitch (1 1/4") onto my '05 Matrix. If I go with a dealer installation it will cost approximately $184 CDN. This is only the hitch installation and not the wiring kit. The cost sky-rockets to $423 with the wiring. Since I do not intend to use the hitch for anything but the bike rack I will save some bucks and have them install the hitch only. Now I have to find a reasonably price bick rack that can lock to the hitch.
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Old 11-18-05, 05:06 AM   #11
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I had a hitch installed at a u-haul location in Florida years ago. was fairly cheap if i recall, and it held up well.
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Old 11-18-05, 05:20 AM   #12
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I will double/triple the suggestions to get a car hitch installed. Its not that hard. I have a corolla and all I did was look in the phone book under hitch. I think it cost $225 and took 1 hour. Then I got a 2 bike Thule hitch with a hitch lock from REI for $215 w/ tax. With my commute I have to drive part way so I keep the rack on my car all the time. It is much quicker and more secure than the strap on I use to have. Nothing is more of a time killer at 5 AM than dilly dallying around with straps in the dark.

One thing about Performance racks. I bought one of theirs first and as I was putting it together one of the supports that the bike rests on was loose were it attaches to the rest of the rack. It appeared to be from the round metal bar being out of tolarance. I took it back to the local store but I noticed it there the other day in the clearance section with another rack with the same problem. If anyone is close to Naperville, IL and is handy with this stuff I think it is $45 with an additional 30% off.
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Old 11-18-05, 08:23 AM   #13
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I believe DrawTite makes a hitch called a "Hidden Hitch" for cars. You might want to check that out. I bought a hitch from DrawTite last Summer for my 2004 Nissan Quest van and it was very easy to install. It was made for the van and all I had to do was remove the heat shield from the muffler.

And I see now that a previous entry has a link to the "Hidden Hitch". I saw it installed the other evening on a car in front of me. I am thinking about doing the same for my PT Cruiser.

Last edited by Tree Trunk; 11-18-05 at 08:25 AM. Reason: Need to edit
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Old 11-18-05, 11:03 AM   #14
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Am I correct in believing that I can't install a hitch to my car? See photo below.

I've been using a Saris Bones two-bike trunk rack, which is okay but I can't use my trunk unless I remove the rack. Also, the bike and rack have done a little damage to the car. Since it's a convertible, I can't use a roof rack -- and wouldn't want to since I park in the garage. I do a one-way commute so I use the rack every day.

Any suggestions? Thanks!
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