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Old 05-13-08, 01:33 PM   #1
Spinz
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Guess I'll have to purchase a bike rack

I sold my Toyota pickup yesterday and ordered a 2008 Prius. The total drive in daily school miles is 56 and I needed something more fuel efficient. This car should fill the need.

What kind of bike rack do you recommend? One of those that go up top or one that hangs from the rear?

Does this make me a scoccer dad? Lp
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Old 05-13-08, 01:53 PM   #2
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I think the Saris Bones look cool. I use a Thule rear-end-sticker myself. It mars the paint job, but I'm not a car Nazi. And there's no risk of ripping off the garage door with it, either.
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Old 05-13-08, 01:54 PM   #3
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I think the Saris Bones look cool. I use a Thule rear-end-sticker myself. It mars the paint job, but I'm not a car Nazi. And there's no risk of ripping off the garage door with it, either.
My thoughts exactly- and the Saris Bones is getting good reports over here too.
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Old 05-13-08, 02:16 PM   #4
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I think the Saris Bones look cool. I use a Thule rear-end-sticker myself. It mars the paint job, but I'm not a car Nazi. And there's no risk of ripping off the garage door with it, either.
+1, if you put it on the roof it will mess up some of the MPG you hope to get with the Prius.
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Old 05-13-08, 02:50 PM   #5
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+1 for Saris Bones. I liked mine so much that I got a second for my girlfriend's car.

They are infinitely adjustable, but the guy at my LBS checked a book to make sure it would fit her car.
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Old 05-13-08, 03:12 PM   #6
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+1 Saris bones. I had a Thule roof rack and found it very inconvenient. The saris is easy to stick on, and it can old up against your car so it doesn't stick out when not in use. Finally, you don't have to lift a bike over your head to load it on the rack.
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Old 05-13-08, 05:08 PM   #7
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I like the looks of the Saris bones rack also................but I just can't get over the fact that every trunk rack I've ever seen has eventually eaten the paint on the car (all those straps and hooks.) I now spend the extra to install a small trailer hitch and use a hitch rack (insert your choice here). Something must be happening because they are even making hitches for the Toyota Yaris and folks are unlikely to tow much with that.
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Old 05-13-08, 05:47 PM   #8
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I like the looks of the Saris bones rack also................but I just can't get over the fact that every turnk rack I've ever seen has eventually eaten the paint on the car.
I'm with you, Maxx. If you use a strap-on rack once a week, by the end of the summer you'll be able to tell where the feet set on the paint. I wouldn't want to do that to my brand new car.

I've also worked in bike shops for long enough to have heard enough horror stories about folks losing a rack full of bikes on the expressway to make me a little gun shy too. I'd much rather have a rack that bolts on than one that straps on. Even better, fold down that rear seat and carry your bike on the inside.
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Old 05-13-08, 08:00 PM   #9
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After doing a lot of research last year, we chose the XPORT Flatbed 2-Bike Hitch Rack from Performance. The bikes are held firmly in place by the padded hooks and the bikes don't sway since the wheels sit into the rack, rather than hang. It's easy to set up, the materials seem to be good quality, and the price was excellent. It does not sit on the paint of the car.
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Old 05-13-08, 08:19 PM   #10
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Agree that a hitch is the way to go. I use a cheap Bell brand rack from K-Mart. No problems.

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Old 05-13-08, 08:55 PM   #11
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I like hitch racks. Better gas mileage, less elbow strain lifting the bikes on and off, won't forget they're there and crash them into the wall above the garage door. I got one that can swing down to allow hatch access but I never use that feature. If your car doesn't have a factory hitch receiver U-Haul installs them cheaply, since it is a promoter for their rental business.
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Old 05-13-08, 09:26 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Yen View Post
After doing a lot of research last year, we chose the XPORT Flatbed 2-Bike Hitch Rack from Performance. The bikes are held firmly in place by the padded hooks and the bikes don't sway since the wheels sit into the rack, rather than hang. It's easy to set up, the materials seem to be good quality, and the price was excellent. It does not sit on the paint of the car.
+1 for this type rack. I bought a Hollywood 4-bike conventional hitch rack a few years ago and wish I'd gotten one of these that the wheels sit in.

I've heard that carbon bikes are not supposed to be carried by racks that support by the frame. Any truth to that?

Hitches are pretty easy to install by yourself too.

Saris makes a couple of pretty nice tray-style carriers too: Thelma and CycleOn Pro. (somewhat pricey)
http://tinyurl.com/5nzpmb
http://tinyurl.com/ytr4ge
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Old 05-13-08, 10:21 PM   #13
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Saris Thelma for Prius

I had a roof top Thule on my '07 Prius and just the rack, without bikes, cut my gas mileage by 10%. With two bikes on top mpg plummeted. They really screw up the aerodynamics.
I now have a Saris Thelma used with a hitch. The Thelma allows me to open the hatch with a bike on it or with the Thelma folded.
Also it holds the bike by the wheels rather than the frame so I can carry road, mtn or kids bikes.
Check it out, it works great.
Actually when I am only carrying one bike, I take the front wheel off and with the rear seats down the bike fits perfectly.

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Old 05-13-08, 10:24 PM   #14
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Hi,

A Prius -- now we're talking. We are long-time Prius owners. We had and sold a Gen 1 Prius (2002). Had and totaled (someone hit me head on) a Gen 2 Prius (2005). Now we own a 2006 Prius. I have this receiver hitch on our current Prius:



You canorder it from here:

http://www.coastaletech.com/

They don't have the best customer service but their products are well engineered and their quality is very good.

DO NOT buy a rack that touches your bicycle frame. A receiver hitch rack like this works well:

http://www.yakima.com/racks/bike-rac.../holdup-2.aspx

I have the older version of this rack and I'm pretty happy with it.

A roof rack on a Prius will kill your gas mileage. Even the receiver hitch rack hurts gas mileage since the car's aerodynamics seem to be optimized for clean airflow off the back of the car. However the hit on gas mileage for a rack behind the car is much less than for a roof rack. BTW, this is from experience.

Hope this helps.
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Old 05-14-08, 04:23 AM   #15
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DO NOT buy a rack that touches your bicycle frame.
Maybe a little overstated?
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Old 05-14-08, 05:10 AM   #16
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The rack mentioned by Yen above (export flatbed 2 hitch rack) is manufactured by Hollywood Racks and is available from many internet sources. It is one of the easier racks to use and if purchased when on sale is remarkably inexpensive.

1. The wheel holder loops are adjustable for length and position so that you can accomodate different wheelbase bikes and stagger them so they do not interfere with each other.

2. The bike is held down with a top hood (padded). For long or frequent trips I would recomend additional padding (soft cloth perhaps) to keep the rubber padding on the hook from burning through the paint.

3. The rack (mine anyway from hollywood) came with an adaptor so that the 1 3/4 hitch mount also fit into a 2" receiver.

4. The side wings fold up vertically when not in use which prevents other cars that are turning into the parking space next to you from driving over your rack (lost one this way!)

5. The most important advice that you can have with this rack is to remember to tighten the locking knobs whenever you are done. If you leave one loose it will unscrew while you are driving and it will run as far and as fast as it can go. Hollywood Racks sell replacements (I assume that they will work for all the alternate brandings)

That is all.
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Old 05-14-08, 05:26 AM   #17
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Hmm. Didn't think about the bike paint issue with the Export Flatbed. Maybe the Saris tray racks are better in this regard since they attach only by the wheel.

Here are some other tray type options.
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Old 05-14-08, 06:03 AM   #18
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One additional item to think about with hitch racks is the weight. You will have to be putting this on and off and taking it inside to store a few times a year.
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Old 05-14-08, 06:36 AM   #19
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One additional item to think about with hitch racks is the weight. You will have to be putting this on and off and taking it inside to store a few times a year.
I never remove my hitch rack as I often ride year round. It's been on my van for 5 years. The bike shop suggested I use the same protectant I use on my van's exterior trim on the bike rack's rubber/plastic parts. After five years they still look like new and my van never sees the inside of my garage

I have the Yakima Bighorn that can hold 4 bikes.
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Old 05-14-08, 07:14 AM   #20
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I have a Saris Bones 2. Since I use it for rental cars, I wanted one that was adjustable and one that would carry my Bacchetta Giro 20 as well as a standard bike. I've only used it to carry the Giro on a Honda, but it worked well.
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Old 05-14-08, 07:48 AM   #21
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Here's a review of several tray style hitch racks.
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Old 05-14-08, 08:00 AM   #22
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Quote:
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DO NOT buy a rack that touches your bicycle frame. A receiver hitch rack like this works well
I guess it depends on your bike. I have a steel commuter with fenders. I have no problem with clamping my top tube to the rack, but I probably couldn't use a rack that has wheel loops, because it would crush my fenders.
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Old 05-16-08, 07:00 AM   #23
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With regard to Cleaves post about the rack touching your frame. I just discovered a new reason to honor this attitude. With a road frame or many types of MTB, the rack may touch your frame tubes and it may take a while to damage the paint.

With my current MTB frame, the rack contacts the top tube cables and causes them to scratch the paint quickly........... Consider yourself warned.

One has to ballance all of these rack requirements with the price.
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Old 05-16-08, 07:49 AM   #24
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I am not currently using my Hollywood rack. Instead, I strap the bike into the bed of my truck with a strap around my stem and straps holding either side of the aft chain/seat stays. This technique doesn't do much for you if you don't have a pickup truck though.

I think I'll sell my barely used 4-bike Hollywood rack when I get around to it. I'm not getting the planned use out of it anyway since my wife decided she likes running rather than bicycling.
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Old 05-16-08, 09:01 AM   #25
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For me, a roof rack is the only way to go. It keeps the bike up and away from the dust and dirt that gets sucked into the vacuum behind your vehicle. There are also no worries about damage in a rear ender. It is no problem to lift modern lightweight road bikes and even mountain bikes up onto the roof.
Bikes also are more easily stolen or vandalized when they are tucked onto the back of the car. They are much more conspicuous on top.
The other advantages are that a roof rack leaves the back of the car, including tail and signal lights, completely unobstructed and that I can use the rear hatch of my Subaru Outback with no hassles.

I was using a Thule Big Mouth which gently hold onto the down tube (yes, even on my carbon fibre bike, it's quite gentle), but I have switched to a Thule Echelon which is a fork mount system, because I didn't want to scuff the paint. I'll still use the Big Mouth for my mtb.

Unless one is physically incapable of lifting a bike up onto the roof, or the car will not accept a roof rack, the logic of using a rear mount rack eludes me.
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