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Old 09-08-05, 09:15 AM   #1
speedlever
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Compare these hitch racks for me

The links below are my short list (in no particular order). Anyone have any comments in real life usage of them? Any practical considerations you care to share? Advantages/disadvantages? Ease of use, etc.

Bikes to be carried range from 20" kids bike to adult models (four total). Some bikes have cables running on top of the top tube. Some bikes have cables on the bottom of the top tube.

http://www.performancebike.com/shop/...egory_ID=4411#
According to tech support, you can use a locking hitch pin to secure the rack to the hitch. You can use a cable lock to secure the bikes to the rack.
Unload bikes in order to use tilt function (like Thule and Yakima models)
Anti-wobble needed?
No anti-sway required!
~$229

http://www.softride.com/product.asp?p=40
Comes with a lock system that secures the rack to the vehicle and the bikes to the rack.
Appears to offer a system that can tilt without offloading bikes first.
Anti-wobble needed?
No anti-sway protection?
~$180 - $260 (http://tinyurl.com/7ongx)

http://www.hollywoodracks.com/4&5.htm
HR400 roadrunner.
This one is recommended by my LBS.
The system includes 9' security cable and two keyed-alike padlocks.
No-Wobble system eliminates slack between receiver hitch and rack.
Anti-sway tiedown bar.
The loaded rack tilts for cargo area access. (this suggests that the rack doesn't need to be unloaded before tilting for access to rear hatch of SUV).
~$220
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Old 10-02-05, 07:36 AM   #2
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Anybody?

Bueller?
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Old 10-02-05, 09:14 AM   #3
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This is what I use, http://www.saris.com/products/cycleonsub.htm It is a little pricy but you don't have to remove the wheels and it holds the bikes by the tires so no paint scuffing. It only takes about ten seconds to load a bike.
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Old 10-02-05, 09:33 AM   #4
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Well, I don't know much about the racks you are looking at, but I have Thule roof and hitch racks. The Thule hitch rack is the of of line swing arm rack and works great. You can access the back with the rack loaded, built in cable. Decent anti swing features. It's pricey, but a very good rack. I think it's 898XT or something like that. A little more then the others you are looking at, but I've been very pleased.

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Old 10-02-05, 12:07 PM   #5
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Guys... thanks for the input and trying to resurrect this thread. I finally gave up on getting feedback on some of the racks and got the Hollywood a couple of days ago. I really didn't want to spend over $200. The Softride rack was very tempting, but the lack of available info and actual in use reports steered me around it. I like the way the tray racks work but don't like how far aft of the vehicle they stick out (unless I misjudge the product).

My LBS gives me a small discount so I try to buy there when it makes sense... and so I did.

Edit: I was also tempted by the swing racks, but just didn't wanna spend the dough.
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Old 10-02-05, 03:39 PM   #6
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I like the Saris but wondering if it's worth $200 more than the Performance Xport. I'd like to see more pictures of these racks actually holding bikes; in particular women's bikes with sloping top tubes.

I'll be making a trip next month, about 700 miles with the bikes so I need something stable that won't hurt the bikes. I can add bungie cords, towels, tarps, whatever but I don't want them to move at all.
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Old 10-02-05, 03:58 PM   #7
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From my understanding, a hitch mount is exceptionally secure. Nevertheless, the owner needs to be diligent when attaching the bikes to it. If you haven nice finishes, you're going to need padding of some sort. I likes the platform bike holder, but needed to carry more than two bikes. So the hitch works for me. I did not need swing-away, as my tailgate window rolls down like old-style station wagons used to do.
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Old 10-02-05, 05:22 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bbattle
I like the Saris but wondering if it's worth $200 more than the Performance Xport. I'd like to see more pictures of these racks actually holding bikes; in particular women's bikes with sloping top tubes.
I have to agree with Rev Chuck. The beauty of the Saris rack is it hold the bikes by the wheels, not the frame. I have a buddy that has one, and it does an excellent job of securing the bikes. A bit pricey, but it is a quality unit and worth the money. All aluminum, so it will not rust...
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Old 10-02-05, 06:31 PM   #9
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I have a Hollywood 3 bike hitch mount. The only issue I have is that the rubber tie-down thingamagigies don't last. I just don't use them anymore an make due with bungies.
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Old 10-02-05, 07:43 PM   #10
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Konarider, they are steel, mine is anyway.
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Old 10-03-05, 09:36 AM   #11
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I purchased a Hollywood PRO RIDER about 4 years ago. I'ved used it maybe 6-8 times. It does exactly what I want it to do and is clearly a well made substantial product.
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Old 10-09-05, 03:31 PM   #12
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I know you just purchased a rack, but for what it is worth, I bought the glideAWAY rack from REI for my Honda Pilot. My criteria were cost, carrying four bikes and having access to my cargo area (the rear window doesn't open and we take our bikes on most trips) with the bikes on the rack. That quickly eliminated most racks leaving the glideAWAY, Softride, Thule and Yakima. While I'm very partial to Thule and Yakima, the $400 price (couldn't find anything on eBay) took them out of the running. I wanted to see the racks since there isn't a lot of info on it. REI has a great return policy so I ordered the Softride and the glideAWAY and saved the shipping cost by sending it to REI for me to pickup. My neighbor and I concluded that while the Softride seemed to be made a little better, it would be next to impossible to raise the rack with bikes on it.

I've had the rack since April and it has performed well. I have loaded the rack with four adult bikes (including one tandem) with no problem. Since the rack swivels, I can access both sides of the cargo area. I secure the rack to my hitch with the Yakima locking pin since it has the "wrench" built in and the pin is standard size. I lock bikes to the rack with two longs cables that also go through the extra holes in the hitch.

I've periodically emailed the company to ask them questions and they've been responsive, emailing me and even calling me to answer my inquiries.

http://www.rei.com/product/47909849.htm?

www.rackbiz.com
http://www.rackbiz.com/index_cat.php...0f5cd48818c65e

Good luck!
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Old 10-09-05, 05:04 PM   #13
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Interesting! That Glide Away looks similar to this one here:
http://tinyurl.com/7unzx

I was very curious about this rack but have seen no chatter about it until now. How heavy is it?

Thanks for the feedback on the Softride racks. Was there any anti-sway feature on the Softride racks? I didn't see any way to prevent swaying from the picture.

My Hollywood Roadrunner rack will also tilt down for access to the rear of a SUV, but I see no practical way to do it loaded. That is likely true of all tilt racks, from what I can tell.

From what little use I've put my Roadrunner to thus far, I can see why folks recommend the convenience of the tray style hitch racks. If I can find the Performance Xport Flatbed to look at, I may buy one of those too and see which I end up liking best. Then sell the other.
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Old 10-10-05, 02:35 PM   #14
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It is the same rack and I'm guessing different people sell it or perhaps put their name on it. The one from REI had a sticker fro rackbiz.com

REI says it is about 45lbs. I'm gonna guess all the swing away styles are heavy given the weight the arm has to hold if bikes are loaded. Softride was the only tilt style rack that I can across that would fold down with bikes on it. Having tested it with two bikes, it would be very hard with a tandem and/or 3-4 bikes to lift it back up.

The softride didn't sway but I didn't drive with it either. I believe they will all have some bounce to them on the highway and I've found that I also have to tie down the wheels and the bikes to each other and then to the rack with bungee cord to minimize any movement.

Good luck.
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Old 10-10-05, 08:36 PM   #15
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I believe they will all have some bounce to them on the highway and I've found that I also have to tie down the wheels and the bikes to each other and then to the rack with bungee cord to minimize any movement.
Sounds like a good sales pitch for the tray style racks!

I'd hafta say that the Hollywood Roadrunner does a good job. The bikes don't sway at all. It takes a few minutes to install the rack and load it, but the hitch locks in tight to the receiver and the bikes don't appear to budge at all on the rack.
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Old 10-10-05, 09:10 PM   #16
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I have a different style Xport rack from a couple years ago. The one with a twin tray but you have to take off the front wheels and use fork mounts. The only part I dislike is having to store the front wheels inside. That being said its a well built and sturdy rack. The price was the best part as it was around $100 from Performance. I'd say go for the Xport rack as that style of attachment is very good (I think they copied it off another company) and its probably well built like mine.
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