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Old 05-30-12, 04:32 PM   #1
LazyOwner
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Bike Rack Hitch

Has anyone tried installing a bike rack hitch? Thinking of getting me one of these just not so sure if I am on the right sight or should i look around and check for best deals.
http://www.onsaleramps.com/hitch-bike-rack/
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Old 05-30-12, 04:48 PM   #2
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Have the receiver professionally installed. I have a trike/bike rack that fits the class V hitch on my explorer, and it's great.
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Old 05-30-12, 05:25 PM   #3
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I had mine installed professionally. I needed a different wiring thingee...something to do with my car having LED tailights. Different voltage or some such. If you're installing on a car rather than an SUV or pickup, be aware of ground clearance especially when backing out of driveways with bikes loaded. Have you already decided on the rack?
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Old 05-30-12, 07:24 PM   #4
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Have the receiver professionally installed. I have a trike/bike rack that fits the class V hitch on my explorer, and it's great.
Why have it professional installed? You get the right one they are a simple bolt on in existing holes, normally, not that drilling a hole is that hard. I've put a few on myself, really not to big a deal to do, just generally, line up and bolt on, torque to spec.

I always prefer a hitch mount bike rack over a roof mount. Truck bed is my first choice though.
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Old 05-30-12, 07:26 PM   #5
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I had mine installed professionally. I needed a different wiring thingee...something to do with my car having LED tailights. Different voltage or some such. If you're installing on a car rather than an SUV or pickup, be aware of ground clearance especially when backing out of driveways with bikes loaded. Have you already decided on the rack?
Just need a wiring harness with a control box and then actually powers the lights from it's own power source. Piece of cake to wire in.
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Old 05-30-12, 08:28 PM   #6
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Has anyone tried installing a bike rack hitch? Thinking of getting me one of these just not so sure if I am on the right sight or should i look around and check for best deals.
http://www.onsaleramps.com/hitch-bike-rack/
I wouldn't choose any of them.

Instead, choose one that cradles the wheels rather than depends on a relatively straight and open top tube to hang properly on the arms. There's way too many bike types that will hang too low (drop tubes, mixte, kid's, full suspension, etc) and can actually cause the bike to drag on the ground, put the tire in front of the exhaust or catch a wheel when exiting a sharp ravine.

I have the Hollywood Sport Rider 4 and it has handled everything from a long chopper to a Pugsley. It's easy to use, stable, steel so it can be repaired, and best of all: Hollywood is a wonderful company. I had a customer improperly assemble the rack and lost some pieces while driving down a bumpy road. One call to Hollywood and the replacement parts were shipped directly to their house at no charge...even though it was really their own fault.
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Old 05-30-12, 08:52 PM   #7
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Performance Bike's X-port hitch has most of Hollywood/Thule's quality at a lot less price for the platform rack category. I have one and my Dad has one and under 3 years of continuous use(I commute a mix of drive and bike). It is a significant improvement in safety and convenience to have a hitch unit installed, not to mention paint savings for the car and bike.

One personal reccomendation from experience though is when you have your rack set where it should be for what bike you are primarily using, drill a small through hole in the mast for a safety pin. This will prevent any creep in the mechanism from allowing your bike to fall off, also has the feature of being swappable to a padlock.
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Old 05-30-12, 09:25 PM   #8
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Why have it professional installed? You get the right one they are a simple bolt on in existing holes, normally, not that drilling a hole is that hard. I've put a few on myself, really not to big a deal to do, just generally, line up and bolt on, torque to spec.

I always prefer a hitch mount bike rack over a roof mount. Truck bed is my first choice though.

Well, in my case, it's also because I haul boat trailers, too, and they might weigh 5,000 pounds and have a 500 pound tongue weight. That's why I have a Class V hitch receiver and load distribution bars on my rear suspension.
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Old 05-30-12, 10:04 PM   #9
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Well, in my case, it's also because I haul boat trailers, too, and they might weigh 5,000 pounds and have a 500 pound tongue weight. That's why I have a Class V hitch receiver and load distribution bars on my rear suspension.
And a brake controller (electric, probably), right? I think they're required by all states at anything over 3500#. And personal safety!
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Old 05-31-12, 05:27 AM   #10
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And a brake controller (electric, probably), right? I think they're required by all states at anything over 3500#. And personal safety!
Those you can do yourself, I've installed a couple, but they units you get off the shelf aren't nearly as nice as the ones that you get installed. Either that or my brother-in-law just like to buy the cheapest darn one he can get.
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Old 05-31-12, 07:30 AM   #11
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A little confused as the link lead to hitch mount bike racks rather than receiver hitches. I have a Thule for mine and it just slides in the receiver. HINT - When the mount hole line up for securing the rack, paint a line where the receiver/rack meet. That will make future mounting of the rack easier as you know how far to push it in for the holes to allign. Better racks, like Thule, use a threaded screw to pull the rack tight against the receiver and minimize rocking as opposed to the straight lock pin like a trailer ball mount uses. Also, skip the lock. If they have a wrench to remove that bolt, they have a wrench to bypass the lock and remove any other bolt...like where the rack pivots up.

I am assuming you were talking about receiver hitches for the car, rather than the rack. I have installed on my past 2 cars and need to order one for my new car. The first I got locally as had to order for a Corolla but I researched from here. http://www.etrailer.com/ The second one I did order from etrailer, as I will for the new Mazda3.The great thing about researching off that site, they tell you if no-drill and give detailed instructions for your model car. Usually, it is a very easy job, sometimes removing a chassis bolt that is re-used after the receiver is in place. Sometimes requires loosening the exhaust for clearance then retightening but all that is covered in the instructions you can review befor you order.

A few tips: 1) easier with 2 people, but I did both of mine solo holding the opposite side roughtly in place with a floor jack while finger tightening the other side. 2) Make sure you bike rack matches the receiver size. Some (like Bell at WalMart) support both, but Thule sells receiver size specific (1 1/4 or 2") and no adaapter. (GRRRRR) 3) Wiring kit is optional as willl oly need it if you plan to pull a trailer. I deferred on the Corolla, then had it installed at U-Haul as I rented a trailer as all trucks were rented with a hurricaine approaching but they had trailers...and I could get my 10 sheets of plywood (rationed max) at Home Depot. and 4) Draw-Tite and Hidden Hitch are the same company, but Hidden Hitch includes the ball tongue and usually the one I go with as need to bump over $150 for free shipping. With the Mercury, I included the electrical kit (but never installed it) as was cheaper thanordering without and paying shipping.

Good luck.

Last edited by tizeye; 05-31-12 at 02:59 PM.
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Old 05-31-12, 09:20 AM   #12
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And a brake controller (electric, probably), right? I think they're required by all states at anything over 3500#. And personal safety!
Yes, definitely, brake controller and breakaway brakes on the trailers as well.
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Old 06-12-12, 04:34 AM   #13
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I always prefer a hitch mount bike rack over a roof mount. Truck bed is my first choice though.[/QUOTE]

Are you pertaining to this one or something similar?
http://www.onsaleramps.com/roof-bike-rack/
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Old 06-12-12, 08:01 AM   #14
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Just make sure your hitch can support the weight of the rack + multiple adult bikes. For example, just because a class 1 hitch can pull 2,000 pounds doesn't mean it can support a rack + three or four adult bikes sitting on it...
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Old 06-12-12, 12:34 PM   #15
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Just make sure your hitch can support the weight of the rack + multiple adult bikes. For example, just because a class 1 hitch can pull 2,000 pounds doesn't mean it can support a rack + three or four adult bikes sitting on it...
How heavy are your bikes?
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Old 06-12-12, 01:06 PM   #16
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How heavy are your bikes?
Not nearly heavy enough to bother a hitch that is installed correctly.
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Old 06-12-12, 02:50 PM   #17
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How heavy are your bikes?
My old bike was 52 pounds and my wife's is 48. Add a friend's Target Huffy and you have another 46 or so. Saddle bags full of stuff...you could hit 180 pounds and then the weight of the rack...you could overcome a class 2 hitch, perhaps.
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Old 06-12-12, 02:57 PM   #18
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My old bike was 52 pounds and my wife's is 48. Add a friend's Target Huffy and you have another 46 or so. Saddle bags full of stuff...you could hit 180 pounds and then the weight of the rack...you could overcome a class 2 hitch, perhaps.
Dude! What did you ride that weighed 52 lbs?! Holy Smokes!
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Old 06-12-12, 03:14 PM   #19
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I'll cover all the bases.

I have now installed receivers on my long-gone 2000 Tacoma, our now-gone 2008 Fit, and our new-to-us 2009 CR-V.

The Taco required removing the bumper and slotting in the receiver next to the bumper mounts. Piece of cake, except that I was working solo and everything was large and heavy.
The Fit only required removing the rear skid plate, which is still in my shed. Easiest of the bunch.
The CR-V required taking the muffler off of its mounts and filing away at some access holes in the frame to fit some steel spacers in. This one was a toughie, but even with a little toddler management and machine tool failure, I had it done in less than a couple of hours.

Our receiver-mount bike rack is a Thule 4-bike Hitching Post that holds the bikes from the top tube. My CX bike fell off of a friend's tray-style rack on the freeway once. After our epic metric century up Mt. Hamilton, apparently we put the clamp onto the bottle instead of the frame. After that, I vowed never ever to own one of those.
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Old 06-18-12, 05:17 AM   #20
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http://www.hitchanything.com/search....=search&page=1 I already got this hitch and just looking forward to find a hitch bike rack compatible with the receiver hitch I got. Well, I really appreciate the input and the hints from you guys. This is my first time to install such that's why I find your input very helpful. All replies are much appreciated.
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Old 06-18-12, 09:52 AM   #21
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Dude! What did you ride that weighed 52 lbs?! Holy Smokes!
The nuclear reactor must have been installed...
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Old 06-18-12, 09:59 AM   #22
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No trunk mount? My unibody Subaru doesn't have a hitch so that's the route I went. Happy with it so far, it's just a generic Sportrack one I got from a LBS but it does the job.
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