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Old 03-26-07, 01:21 PM   #1
Yen
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How do you transport your bike on your car?

We are planning to buy new bikes (first bikes in decades) and already looked into adding a hitch to our car (4-door sedan) to hold a rack. The thing that scares me about the rack is that it (and the bikes) then become the fender. If someone hits us from behind, no matter how soft, there go our bikes.

Last time someone ran into the back of my car was the late 70s, so it's not like it happens every day..... I'm just afraid that with bikes on the back, we may as well be saying "Hit me here". And people follow so close anyway. Maybe a roof rack would be better?

What are the pros and cons of each?
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Old 03-26-07, 01:23 PM   #2
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Cheaper to replace a bike than to fix the back of your car. I have a hitch mount rack. It swings out to the side, which is nice. I wouldn't want to deal with a roof mounted bike rack.
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Old 03-26-07, 01:27 PM   #3
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I have a trunk mounted Sarris. If I had a hitch I would go that route as you can get a locking pin that holds them to the hitch. Lots of threads talk about high probability of bike meeting the side of your garage as folks forget they have bikes on roof and pull in garage then BANG POW CRACK.
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Old 03-26-07, 01:33 PM   #4
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Do you think you are more likely to be rear ended or to forget you have bikes on top of your car and smash them into the garage or a low underpass?
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Old 03-26-07, 02:54 PM   #5
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Also, remember if you're not getting very light bikes, it can be a real pain to lift them up on top of the roof...
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Old 03-26-07, 02:59 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by blake711
I have a trunk mounted Sarris. If I had a hitch I would go that route as you can get a locking pin that holds them to the hitch. Lots of threads talk about high probability of bike meeting the side of your garage as folks forget they have bikes on roof and pull in garage then BANG POW CRACK.

I have that as well but I bike right from my apartment so I never need to use it.
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Old 03-26-07, 03:49 PM   #7
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I have a rear mounted rack and sometimes just toss the bike into the back of the car if I don't feel like putting the rack on. I have insurance in case I get rear ended...
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Old 03-26-07, 04:10 PM   #8
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I put mine in the bed of my pickup truck.
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Old 03-26-07, 07:05 PM   #9
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Rear rack which I keep on my older car all the time. Takes only a minute to put it on or put it off. Since I ride Walmart bikes, if I got rear ended, the replacement cost of the bike is minimal. I'd be a lot more worried about damage to my car.
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Old 03-26-07, 07:15 PM   #10
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how would you on a motorcycle...... ......................
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Old 03-26-07, 07:34 PM   #11
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I use a top-mount Yakima because somebody gave me everything but the Q Towers to fit my car, and it works great. Lifting the bikes up isn't a big issue for me because the car's short and I'm 6'4", but my 5'8" buddy needs a ladder to get his on top of his 4Runner (seriously, he carries a little stepladder in the car). I've slightly dinged one bike on the overhead at a bank drive-up, no serious damage, but I've seen a carbon bike get rear-ended on a trunk-mount rack. I'll take the disaster I can control.
One thing nobody's mentioned is mileage. With two bikes on my roof rack, I get 26mpg in my Mazda. With the rack off, I get 32-34 on the highway. A rear-mount rack would also cut mileage, but I'm sure it would cut it a lot less.
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Old 03-26-07, 07:45 PM   #12
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i had a roof rack on my old Jaguar, and i will have another on the "new" one once i get it running (old being 15 years old and new being 40 years old). i have a fork block mounted in the back of my station wagon as well.

i will never go back to a trunk/hitch rack again. they just do not hold the bike as securely as a fork mount (or even a roof rack's upright mount). all the swinging/wobbling just made me nervous.

i might get a hitch rack again (assuming i get another vehicle with a hitch), but only if it was the type that held bikes with an upright mount like a roof rack.
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Old 03-26-07, 08:03 PM   #13
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Old 03-26-07, 08:14 PM   #14
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Fold down one half of the rear seat and slide her in, with the front wheel removed.
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Old 03-26-07, 08:17 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Yen
We are planning to buy new bikes (first bikes in decades) and already looked into adding a hitch to our car (4-door sedan) to hold a rack. The thing that scares me about the rack is that it (and the bikes) then become the fender. If someone hits us from behind, no matter how soft, there go our bikes.

Last time someone ran into the back of my car was the late 70s, so it's not like it happens every day..... I'm just afraid that with bikes on the back, we may as well be saying "Hit me here". And people follow so close anyway. Maybe a roof rack would be better?

What are the pros and cons of each?
If we transport the bikes, we do it inside the back of the van. Out of the weather and enclosed as cargo...hence no insurance issues...ever!
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Old 03-26-07, 08:21 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tom Stormcrowe
If we transport the bikes, we do it inside the back of the van. Out of the weather and enclosed as cargo...hence no insurance issues...ever!
i still have a trunk rack, but I rarely use it now. just put the bike in the van and i'm ready to go. much easier and more peace of mind
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Old 03-26-07, 09:32 PM   #17
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+1 for the van. My minivan even doubles as a movie theater during long waits or inclement weather. I have several stages of the 2005 Tour de France edited to DVD with the commercials cut out. Bless the salesman who talked me into the minivan that had the DVD system at the same price .
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Old 03-26-07, 09:49 PM   #18
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Actually, before i had my car, i made this bike rack from PVC pipe for my truck, worked fairly well.

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Old 03-26-07, 10:02 PM   #19
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Roof rack...

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Old 03-27-07, 08:04 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tom Stormcrowe
If we transport the bikes, we do it inside the back of the van. Out of the weather and enclosed as cargo...hence no insurance issues...ever!
+1. Though I usually have to use the other car, a chevy lumina sedan, so I take the wheels off and put the bike on the backseat of the car. Eventually I'd like to sell the lumina and get a van of my own.
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Old 03-27-07, 09:39 AM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by idcruiserman
Cheaper to replace a bike than to fix the back of your car.

You've clearly never seen my car! Or my bike...
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Old 03-27-07, 09:51 AM   #22
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I've used the inexpensive trunk-mount bike rack for a long time and have had no problems -- just transported mine 1,200 miles on the rear of my car -- through heavy wind and some thunderstorms -- and had no problems. Where I live you're 10 times more liable to get front-ended by a deer than rear-ended by a car. I was actually considering a roof rack but then I read this thread last week before my trip:

Bike flew off car rack
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Old 03-28-07, 03:26 PM   #23
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Rack Inquiry

We have the Saris Bones Carry-On Pro Hitch Rack. It is available in either a 2" or 1/25" size. The rack locks in either a fold-up position (no bikes) or the transport position. You can literally mount/remove the bike from this rack in about 20-30 seconds. We bought the "Pro" version as it hads an adjustment knob that extends into the receiver reducing/negating hitch wobble within the receiver. While the rack is on the pricey side, it's ease of use and convenience are well worth it. With the Carry-On or Carry-On Pro version, you can also purchase a one or two-bike add-on from a Saris authorized dealer. The "Pro" version also comes with a cable lock to secure your bicycles and a locking hitch pin with a watertight cover.

"Cycle-On Dudes and Dudettes".
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Old 03-28-07, 03:57 PM   #24
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Have both kinds, prefer the roof rack with fork mount. Very secure. Drawbacks are that the bike becomes a bug catcher and what to do with the front wheel (I don't have one of those front wheel mounts, not secure to theft). Also as said above, not maybe the best choice for SUVs unless you're 6'6" or carry a ladder.

The hitch mount works ok for bikes with a relatively straight top tube, but not for anything else unless you get one of those adapter thingies. We also have a small aero framed bike that doesn't fit either. Also, while you can keep them relatively stable, they could rub up against each other and scratch. I think there are some models that help to prevent this; mine isn't one. Plus there's the annoyance of having to lower the rack out of the way to get into the trunk/hatch. On top, they are always out of the way and don't scratch each other. I do think the rear mounted racks causes your brake lights to be somewhat obscured, which isn't too safe. I'm surprised they're not actually outlawed for that reason, or at least have an additional taillight mounted on the rack that plugs into the trailer lighting plug.

You have to decide which drawbacks are more important to you and pick the other.
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Old 03-28-07, 07:44 PM   #25
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Does anybody have experience with carbon fiber frames on a hitch mount rack? I am told that mounts that hold the bike by the top tube can damage the tube since it was not designed to withstand crush forces. The Tule T2 holds the bike by the wheels. What are your thoughts and recommendations for carbon fiber frames?
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