Advertise on Bikeforums.net



User Tag List

Results 1 to 13 of 13
  1. #1
    Newbie
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Posts
    1
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)

    trunk rack -- block license plate?

    Does anyone have recommendations on how to deal with a trunk rack that blocks your rear license plate?

    I'm just getting into cycling, and I bought a cheap Bell trunk rack for my wife's 02 Civic, to transport both of our bikes back and forth to local parks. Just planning to use for 10 mile or less drives. The rack itself doesn't obscure the rear plate, but once I put two bikes on the back, the rear plate is unreadable.

    I called our state's bureau of motor vehicles, and the guy I talked to suggested ordering a replacement plate, then displaying it in the rear window or on top of the bikes when I have the rack on the car. But when I talked to other people at the local license bureaus, they said that was the dumbest suggestion they'd ever heard of, since it's illegal to drive with two rear plates even if they have the same numbers (???) and they couldn't order an extra plate with the same numbers. Plus the "extra" plate wouldn't have the registration sticker on it, so it'd be illegal anyway.

    So then I called the state highway patrol for their advice. Still waiting for a return phone call.

    I'd hate to go through the pain of unscrewing the license plate and frame each time I mount the rack, then putting it in the rear window or on a holder on top of the bikes. Maybe someday I might get a more expensive roof rack if I get more serious about cycling, but that's not an option right now.

    Thoughts? Suggestions? Anyone deal with this problem before?

  2. #2
    Dances a jig. Mchaz's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    Central, Ok
    My Bikes
    2007 Surly Long Haul Trucker 54cm (Commuting/Wanna' go tour so bad), 1985 Trek 670 21" (Road), 2003 Gary Fisher Tassajara 17" (MTB), Cannondale DeltaV 600 (commuterized MTB), some junker bikes in my garage
    Posts
    403
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    I don't know how strict the police are around your neck of the woods, but it Oklahoma it doesn't seem like they care. I've used several trunk racks, all blocking the plate, and it has never been a problem.
    Last edited by Mchaz; 04-08-06 at 10:05 PM.

  3. #3
    Plays in Traffic 1ply's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    Kitchener, Ontario
    Posts
    486
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    We have the same type of rack, had 3 bikes on it before and I'm sure that you can't read the license plate when they're all on. Not something I thought about.

    If this really concerns you, and it shouldn't, maybe ask your LBS for advice. They will probably tell you that they have never heard of anyone having problems with the law when they are carrying bikes (other than possibly speeding of course .

  4. #4
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Posts
    190
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Why not drive it the way it is and see if you get pulled over. Just be nice about it and see what the police officer says before you worry about it. Your other option is a magnetic license plate holder like car dealers use.

    I've been driving with a rack that blocks my plate for a long time and haven't had any problems yet.
    When all else fails, read the directions.


    Trek Fuel 90 FS
    Trek 9.8 Elite Carbon Hardtail

  5. #5
    Senior Member Nachoman's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Location
    Point Loma, CA
    My Bikes
    Bill Holland (Road-Ti), Bike Friday (folder), Co-Motion (tandem) & Trek 750 (hybrid)
    Posts
    12,845
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    If some cop pulls you over for that, tell him to go out and chase a real criminal.
    .
    .

    Two wheels good. Four wheels bad.

  6. #6
    Senior Member concernicus's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    Santa Cruz
    My Bikes
    doesnt matter. just ride.
    Posts
    425
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    i got pulled over for speeding while i had my trunk rack w/ two bikes. the highway patrolman had no complaint, he just creaked his neck a little to see the plate. nobody cares. i cant believe you called all of those people, youre a very good citizen. im not even registered for the draft.

  7. #7
    Senior Member ken cummings's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    northern California
    My Bikes
    Bruce Gordon BLT, Cannondale parts bike, Ecodyne recumbent trike, Counterpoint Opus 2, miyata 1000
    Posts
    5,605
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    The last time I had a concern like that I stopped next to a cop in my town and asked him. He had good advice and let me pass with a slight modification. Locals may be less picky about vehicle stuff than Highway Patrol. Office people may not want to say anything for liability reasons. AT the worst you may need a roof rack.
    This space open

  8. #8
    Every day a winding road spinnaker's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Pittsburgh, PA
    My Bikes
    2005 Cannondale SR500, 2008 Trek 7.3 FX, Jamis Aurora
    Posts
    4,332
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by Nachoman
    If some cop pulls you over for that, tell him to go out and chase a real criminal.
    Oh yeah that is really good advice.

    If you don't want to move the plate then I think the answer is pretty simple. Get a rack (like the Sarris Bones) that does not block the plate. It might be a lot cheaper than meeting up with a cop that had a bad day (smart comments like Nachoman's or not). Moving the plate might not even be legal in your state anyway.

    Plus you invested how much into your bike? I would think a decent rack is a small price to pay to protect such an intvestement.

  9. #9
    Guest
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    Durham, NC
    My Bikes
    none yet =(
    Posts
    24
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    It's not the rack that's blocking the plate - it's the bikes. For some of us, a roof rack is not an option as it's (for myself, at least) both out of my price range and more inconvenient than storing the bike *INSIDE* the vehicle - roof-mounting on an SUV is a two-person job.

    I'm in a similar situation - I have a rack for the back of my vehicle. Luckily, I only have one bike to put on it, and the plate is still mostly visible. I can certainly see, however, that if I were to add another bike or two to the lot, it'd be much more obscured.

  10. #10
    Every day a winding road spinnaker's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Pittsburgh, PA
    My Bikes
    2005 Cannondale SR500, 2008 Trek 7.3 FX, Jamis Aurora
    Posts
    4,332
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Still. there have to be other racks that do not do this (besides a roof rack). The Sarris Bones is adjustable. It's ideal if the arms cause the bikes to be level but I imagine it would be OK if they were a bit out of level so the plate can be seen. I've only had one bike on mine. I'll have to take a close look to see what would happen if there were two. My plate is down low so I don't know if it would ever be a problem.

  11. #11
    Every day a winding road spinnaker's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Pittsburgh, PA
    My Bikes
    2005 Cannondale SR500, 2008 Trek 7.3 FX, Jamis Aurora
    Posts
    4,332
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Perhaps you can buy an extra plate that you can hang on one of the bikes?

  12. #12
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Posts
    190
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    If you get pulled over, tell the officer you're an illegal alien and you'll have no problems.
    When all else fails, read the directions.


    Trek Fuel 90 FS
    Trek 9.8 Elite Carbon Hardtail

  13. #13
    darling no baka landstander's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Location
    I come from a place where the nuts hunt the squirrels
    My Bikes
    Bike Friday New World Tourist, 2005 Trek 520, 2005 Raleigh Companion
    Posts
    437
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by Nachoman
    If some cop pulls you over for that, tell him to go out and chase a real criminal.
    Yeah, that'll show him! Bet he'll leave without writing a ticket too...
    Dragon... ATTACK!

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •