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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 04-07-07, 08:13 AM   #1
elder18
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Bike Racks: The Best Kind

I'm looking at driving part of the way to my destination and then, since parking there sucks, biking the rest of the way.

To do this, I'm going to need a good bike rack to put on my car, preferably one that won't fall of mid-drive, isn't easy to steal, and I can take off and put on fairly easily.

Any suggestions?
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Old 04-07-07, 08:26 AM   #2
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A hitch rack would be nice if you have a vehicle with a hitch. A roof rack would work if you have the cash. Personally, we own a trunk rack and it works fine. No one wants to steal it now that it is beaten up. It is cheap and works well provided that you install it correctly. I recently discovered that I could open the trunk with it on. For some reason this never had occurred to me before. It does take a little while to install.
All in all with a passenger car I would prefer a roof rack but the cost is annoying.
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Old 04-07-07, 09:11 AM   #3
Bolo Grubb
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If you can find an old sportsworks mod rack, they are awesome. Thule bought the consumer division of Sportworks and only sell the 2 bike and 4 bike models.

The mod I have has options for 1, 2 or 3 bikes.






Takes me about 5 minute to take it off or put it on. When it is off you can' see the hitch. I leave it on most of the time because with just 1 bike tray on it, it does not get in my way at all
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Old 04-07-07, 10:57 AM   #4
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I installed a hitch on my car solely for the purpose of mounting a bike rack. I have Swagman 4 bike hitch rack that I like.
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Old 04-07-07, 12:42 PM   #5
elder18
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Schwin

I found a Schwin bike rack for like $40 at Target, but I'm a bit skeptical knowing next to nothing about the bike rack world.

Would a Schwin model work, or do I need something better?
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Old 04-07-07, 08:44 PM   #6
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Trunk racks work fine, though ours is old and I wouldn't trust it on the freeway. Also, if you're worried about theft you can take it off... and put it in your trunk!
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Old 04-08-07, 06:44 AM   #7
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I read on another post that someone cautioned being careful that the tail pipe on your car isn't too close to the bike tire. Their tire melted!
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Old 04-08-07, 07:58 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DataJunkie
All in all with a passenger car I would prefer a roof rack but the cost is annoying.
Thule + Craigslist + ebay = cheap awesome roof rack.

My original Thule rack was bought new 18 years ago. I got a second rack last year for the other car. I pieced it together from ebay and Craigslist. Got the whole thing including the Velo vise fork mount bike tray and locks for about $125

-D
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Old 04-08-07, 08:09 AM   #9
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The main drawback of any rear-mounted rack- Getting rear ended- your bike is toast. My erstwhile Bianchi will attest. Never again. Handsome insurance settlement tho.
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Old 04-08-07, 08:18 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by derath
Thule + Craigslist + ebay = cheap awesome roof rack.

My original Thule rack was bought new 18 years ago. I got a second rack last year for the other car. I pieced it together from ebay and Craigslist. Got the whole thing including the Velo vise fork mount bike tray and locks for about $125

-D
d'oh! Why didn't I think of that?
After my next bike acquisition I think I will have to go this route.

danka
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Old 04-08-07, 09:18 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by jondubus
The main drawback of any rear-mounted rack- Getting rear ended- your bike is toast. My erstwhile Bianchi will attest. Never again. Handsome insurance settlement tho.

That can be a drawback of any bike rack. Getting rear ended could be enough to knock your bike off a roof rack. And with a roof rack you have to watch out for drive through window over hangs, low hanging branches and your own garage door if you forget the bikes are up there.

If you put your bike inside the car and get rear ended, well alot of damage can be done by the bike getting thrown around inside the car.

There are certainly good and bad points about all bike racks. The ease of getting a bike on it. Do you have to take off a wheel or two? Clamp parts of it down that could later come undone, like a fork clamp on many racks.

Will the rack affect your gas mileage? If so how much? Will it affect your ability to carry passengers? Other cargo?

Can you lock the bike for when you step into a restaurant for a bite to eat.

There are alot of things to consider and you have to choose what you think will work best for you.

For me a hitch rack was the best option. With mine it is very easy and quick to put the bike on it. Easy to secure. Small impact on gas mileage. Easy to move it to any car with a hitch.

For you your best option may be different.
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Old 04-08-07, 04:18 PM   #12
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I have actual THULE model that Bolo has of the Sport Works. I like that mine holds two..my bike a and a friend I ride with, plus I crew for SAG. I had a professor/friend that bought a THULE rack and then found extensions on Ebay. They were the Sport Works exstensions. Note: THULE and Sport Works exstensions are not interchangeable. He found out the hard way.
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Old 04-08-07, 06:47 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DataJunkie
d'oh! Why didn't I think of that?
After my next bike acquisition I think I will have to go this route.

danka
Yea since the stuff is so durable it is a great route. Another great tip:

When buying the load bars, look for the long ones. They tend to not sell for as much. I am guessing people don't want them because they are generaly too long for most cars. But with a hacksaw and a few minutes a long bar becomes just the correct length.

-D
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Old 04-08-07, 07:16 PM   #14
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I use a hitch rack. I bought a Graber, and it kind of sucks. OK as a rack but it has these plastic snap down straps to hold the bike in place. I don't trust them, I always loop a cheap cable lock through in addition. Also when I tried to use it this winter I snapped two of the straps.

Nashbar has the swagman hitch rack on sale for $40 right now, It looks OK.
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