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Old 02-10-04, 05:29 PM   #1
Portis
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Trunk Mount Bike Racks

I have done a ton of reading on the subject of car mounted bike racks. Just about everyone agrees that hitch mounted racks are better than trunk mounted racks. The problem is that by the time you add a trailer hitch to your car and buy the rack you have over $500 invested. I barely have more than that invested in both of my bikes.

The trunk mount racks can be picked up for $100. So of course I have decided to spend the bucks on going with the hitch method. But before I do, I was interested in hearing from anyone that uses a "good" trunk mount. Are they really that awful?

Also my bike's are Trek so they have to have that bar thingy to allow the wheels to he horizontal when transported. The Trek top bar is not horizontal to the ground when the tires are on the ground.

Last edited by Portis; 02-10-04 at 05:35 PM.
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Old 02-10-04, 05:40 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ranger
The trunk mount racks can be picked up for $100. So of course I have decided to spend the bucks on going with the hitch method. But before I do, I was interested in hearing from anyone that uses a "good" trunk mount. Are they really that awful?
The last time I used a trunk-mounted rack was over ten years ago. I bought a fairly high-end trunk-rack but still had problems with the straps slipping and loosening. I made it a point to stop every 30 miles or so to check and retighten the straps... more frequently if I was driving on rougher roads. I hope today's trunk-racks have gotten better.

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Originally Posted by Ranger
Also my bike's are Trek so they have to have that bar thingy to allow the wheels to he horizontal when transported. The Trek top bar is not horizontal to the ground when the tires are on the ground.
Does it really matter? Unless you have very steeply sloping top-tubes or no top-tubes at all, it's just a matter of asthetics right? The other option would be to do what I did and get a hitch-rack that doesn't secure to the top-tube. My MTB doesn't have a top-tube to clamp or suspend from and I didn't like the idea of the "boomer bar" so my hitch rack secures the wheels in trays and has a bar with a jaw that clamps to the seatpost or seat-tube.
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Old 02-10-04, 06:17 PM   #3
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If you're spending the bucks for a hitch, why not just get a roof rack?
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Old 02-11-04, 11:54 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ranger
I have done a ton of reading on the subject of car mounted bike racks. Just about everyone agrees that hitch mounted racks are better than trunk mounted racks. The problem is that by the time you add a trailer hitch to your car and buy the rack you have over $500 invested. I barely have more than that invested in both of my bikes.

The trunk mount racks can be picked up for $100. So of course I have decided to spend the bucks on going with the hitch method. But before I do, I was interested in hearing from anyone that uses a "good" trunk mount. Are they really that awful?

Also my bike's are Trek so they have to have that bar thingy to allow the wheels to he horizontal when transported. The Trek top bar is not horizontal to the ground when the tires are on the ground.

I really like the design and style of the Draftmaster Sportflite trunk rack.
http://www.draftmaster.com/sf.html

I have an early model called Enflite and it allows you to mount your bikes upright similar to a roof rack and the entire system more or less rides on the trunk lid vice hanging off the back. I have had good expreriences with mine and never been concerned with stability of the system. I believe the system retails for around $100.
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Old 02-11-04, 12:20 PM   #5
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As long as the top tube fits in the cradles, the wheels certainly don't have to be horizontal. I have a Rhode Gear hitch mount that I use when I'm carrying more bikes than will fit on my roof, and it works fine even with sloping top tube frames.
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Old 02-11-04, 02:23 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ranger
I have done a ton of reading on the subject of car mounted bike racks. Just about everyone agrees that hitch mounted racks are better than trunk mounted racks. The problem is that by the time you add a trailer hitch to your car and buy the rack you have over $500 invested. I barely have more than that invested in both of my bikes.

The trunk mount racks can be picked up for $100. So of course I have decided to spend the bucks on going with the hitch method. But before I do, I was interested in hearing from anyone that uses a "good" trunk mount. Are they really that awful?

Also my bike's are Trek so they have to have that bar thingy to allow the wheels to he horizontal when transported. The Trek top bar is not horizontal to the ground when the tires are on the ground.

Cost of a hitch mount is a major factor as to whether they are worth it for the amount of use you will give it. 10 years ago I bought a normal "Trunk" mounted carrier. I had a choice of 2. The cheap one had plenty of plastic bits on it, did not weigh a great deal, and was flexible. The other was all steel,no plastic whatsoever, All the parts that adjusted were made out of thick stainless steel, and the webbing straps are 4 cms wide. even the clamps on the webbing are substantial. I have the quality one now and can carry 3 bikes on it, and is very easy to adjust to the variety of cars it has been on. Sloping top bar is not a problem, as the bike sits solidly on the carrier with bungee cords.. Never have to adjust webbing once on, as it is strong enough to pull really tight, and the carrier has no freeplay in it to take out.
Only point I would make is that quality will count, so don't buy a low quality unit.
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Old 02-11-04, 05:23 PM   #7
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Well Maybe

I am starting to rethink this deal. I mean, I can spend $600 to get a basic hitch mount setup (with hitch). And after all of that it may look like crap on my car and not even be what I envisioned.

I think I am going to get one of these. There has been a lot said about this rack both good and bad but I am ready to give it a shot.

SARIS BONES

Last edited by Portis; 02-12-04 at 09:54 AM.
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Old 02-11-04, 05:35 PM   #8
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The photo looks like a Saris Bones trunk-mount rack.

I have one and have used it on the back of my Honda Prelude. I've never had any problem with it, though I do check the straps at every stop. I also keep a close eye on the unit in my rearview mirror.
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Old 02-12-04, 01:20 AM   #9
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I had a trunk rack about 20 years ago. Held the bike perfectly securely. When I got rear-ended, the bumper was pushed in a bit, but the bike was totalled. Since then, it's been roof racks and/or hatchbacks/wagons/pickup beds for me.
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Old 02-12-04, 01:26 AM   #10
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In some states it's illegal to carry bikes on a trunk mount if the bikes obscure your tail lights or tag (almost all do). I've read reports of people getting tickets for this, but it's one of those things that's highly subjective. I have a home-built rack on the back of my Jeep that bolts to the tailgate in place of the spare tire carrier that works very well. If I drove a car I think I would go with the roof rack...
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Old 02-12-04, 03:50 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ranger
I am starting to rethink this deal. I mean, I can spend $600 to get a basic hitch mount setup (with hitch). And after all of that it may look like crap on my car and not even be what I envisioned.

I think I am going to get one of these. There has been a lot said about this rack both good and bad but I am ready to give it a shot.

SARIS BONES

So then he orders a trailer hitch today. What is this kid thinking? It's great to be indecisive.
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