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Old 06-22-05, 04:32 AM   #1
KingTermite 
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Hitch Bike rack ?

Ok....just bought a new SUV and will surely put a hitch rack on it. I remember looking vaguely at them once a few years ago and it seems there were two different sizes of hitch (1/2" and 1/4" IIRC).

Can anybody give me any suggestions on hitch types and what hitch rack they might recommend?
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Old 06-22-05, 05:57 AM   #2
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No idea what the 1/2" and 1/4" IIRC stand for, but I put a Thule Hitching post (1-1/4" tube) on my Subaru Forester and love the rack. I lucked out and found it quite cheap at my LBS.
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Old 06-22-05, 05:59 AM   #3
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No idea what the 1/2" and 1/4" IIRC stand for, but I put a Thule Hitching post (1-1/4" tube) on my Subaru Forester and love the rack. I lucked out and found it quite cheap at my LBS.
1 1/4 or 2" .....THOSE are the numbers I remember now. Thanks.

How long you had the Thule?
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Old 06-22-05, 07:26 AM   #4
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A few years ago I went through the search for a hitch rack. The types of racks that "hang" the bike from the top tube or hold the bike in any way on a painted bike surface was immediately ruled out. I found a hitch with the brand name "Hollywood bike rack". The basic model holds two bikes. It has skewer mounts that hold the front fork of the bike and the rear tyre is held in a small "v" tray by a very strong heavy elastic band. The bikes don't touch each other (no banging and clanging) and the rack doesn't mar the paint. There may be other similar racks out there, but this is one that I've been satisfied with.
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Old 06-22-05, 10:26 AM   #5
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I've used a Yakima Hitch Fork for years and years. It will hold 3 adult bikes - road or mtn - and seems to handle most suspension forks.

I love it! It is heck for stout and we've never had a problem with theft (since the bikes are down at easy reach). I'm on my 2nd one because my Trooper was rear-ended a year ago. I was at a standstill and a Ford Excursion hit at 20 mph. The empty rack just folded up around the spare tire and dissipated much of the impact. While you don't necessarily look for a rack that serves such a function, I was impressed with how strong it is. It left one giant hole in the Ford's front grill.
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Old 06-22-05, 10:41 AM   #6
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I love my thule hitching post. I have only two pieces of criticism for it though:
1. The tube must be inserted into the receiver, then bolted into place, rather than a hitch pin. Granted, I carry a wrench in the car, but still a PIA.
2. Thule should offer something to keep the bikes from swaying. This rack only hangs the bikes. I then have to strap the front wheel to the diagonal bar to keep it from turning, as well as add a strap from the seatpost bar to the vertical bar on the rack to keep the bike from swaying fore and aft.
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Old 06-22-05, 01:27 PM   #7
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You can have the hitch installed by many automotive places and/or U-haul. It cost me $190 for the hitch reciever and the install. No wiring included or needed for just a bike rack. Since you have an SUV you can get a 2" hitch receiver and will have more options as far as bike racks go.

I bought a Sportswork Mod because most of the time I only need to carry one bike, but I can get a second bike tray to carry two. It is very easy and quick to load or unlod the bike.

Check out the site below for review on almost every bike rack made. Check it out. The on I have and in the pictures is very easy to use and very fast to load and unload the bike.

MTBReview.com








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Old 06-22-05, 01:31 PM   #8
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I've got the same rack as Bolo. It is a very good rack. I have had three different receivers put on 3 different cars. One i installed myself, the other two i had professionally done. I have a 1.25" receiver. One thing you might want to know is that you can get by perfectly OK with a Class I receiver. Class 2 and 3 are not needed for bike racks.

This will save you some money as well as likely make the receiver less conspicuous. (less metal so less bulk.) Hopefully you have confirmed that your SUV does not already have a receiver? Most SUV's come with a receiver already installed.
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Old 06-22-05, 09:58 PM   #9
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We recently got a Yakima KingPin 4 (on sale at REI), and we're quite happy with it. It seems to hold the bikes more securely than some of the other hitch racks we looked at. The rack has little adjustable plastic "cradles" for the tubes to sit on, which hopefully means they won't damage the paint. The bikes don't sway at all -- they are rock-solid attached. You do have to secure the wheels so they don't spin.

We have a Lexus RX300, and installed the 2" hitch receiver ourselves. It was very easy. The one we got is actually a class 3 receiver, which Ranger is right, is overkill for carrying bikes, but it cost only about $15 more than the class 1 & 2 receivers. We figure we're all set if we ever need to actually tow anything.

We paid about $135 for the hitch receiver at etrailer.com (shipping was really cheap), and about $180 for the bike rack.
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Old 07-01-05, 07:33 AM   #10
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As much as I like the idea of the hitch racks that hold the bikes from the bottom as you showed Bolo Grubb, I don't like the prices. I want to have 4 bike capability because I often have two friends with me and would like the ability to at least hold all of our bikes. The bottom holders only do 2 bikes at a time and extension to hold another two bikes is almost as much as original racks.

So, I have decided on the Thule Trailblazer (998XT) and I do want the latest model as guy in LBS showed me some worthy improvements on the 998XT over the older 998.

Anyway.....are there any secret cool places to get it inexpensively? I have searched and searched online and cheapest price I can find is $317 with $27 shipping. There have been a few on Ebay, but idiots keep bidding so high it isn't worth outbidding them.

I was hoping to get it a little cheaper...and wanted to make sure I exhausted every last nook and cranny before I shell out the money. Any suggestions of where I might find a cheaper price? My LBS is only selling for MSRP price ($399).
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Old 07-01-05, 07:43 AM   #11
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sportworks racks are the best hands down.. get one you will not be sorry. Your bikes wont bang together, it takes 2 seconds to load them on and away you go.. further, you can use the thing as am impromptu workstand if needed.

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Old 07-01-05, 04:07 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KingTermite
Can anybody give me any suggestions on hitch types and what hitch rack they might recommend?

I'd like to hijack this thread a bit, if I may....

I use a "bed extender" contraption on my pick-up so I can easily carry my canoes. It goes in the hitch receiver and provides a tall "T" shape support even with the cab of the truck. I'm trying to find a way to mount a bike rack at the same time. (I have a tonneau [sp?] cover on the truck bed)

I see that Bauer makes a rack that clamps onto a small 2"x2" stub you insert into your receiver. I'm thinking I may be able to clamp it directly onto the bottom of my bed extender arm instead, allowing me to use both at once.

Another thought is to buy just the top part of a hitch-type rack and have a local welder make up a mount so I can slide it onto my extender and pin it in place.

Has anyone already found a good system for this kind of thing?

Thanks,
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Old 07-03-05, 03:12 PM   #13
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Ok....rack is ordered and appt. to get hitch/receiver installed on my SUV Tuesday.

One question....a friend of mine brought this up and I never even thought about it. I thought the great thing about a swing away rack was that you could leave it there all the time to make it convenient....but she mentioned not leaving it on all the time lest it get rusty.

It will be a pain if I want to put a 58 Lb. rack on every time. That's heavy.

Is this true? Is it not rust proof metal?
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