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Old 04-16-10, 11:16 AM   #1
arej00dazed
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hitch mounted bike rack questions

What brand hitch mounted bike racks should I check into? I know of thule, yack, etc, but I need to stay withn a $150 range (prefer less, of course), mostly cause I still need to buy a hitchand I have a wife, I sure you see where Im coming from. Anyhow, I have an 06 T&C, if it matters, and want a (4) bike rack. Im looking to get a class 2 hitch, but does it matter what size receiver I should get? Dont they come in either 1 or 2? If I get a 2 hitch, but the rack is 1 , can I get an adapter? I KNOW NUTTN! While Im at it, any particular brand hitch I should look into?

I know how yall feel bout wal-mart, but are any of those worth looking into?

And one last question, my wife has a globe carmel low entry, am I going to have problems mounting that?
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Old 04-16-10, 02:06 PM   #2
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I have one I bought used,& it has the 1 1/4" tube, with a " sleeve" to adapt it to 2" . A 2" receiver is best if you are going to tow heavier trailers. A 1 1/4" is usually a simple bolt on that is easy to install. Good deals on E Bay for the hitches. Mine is a cheap one made by Bell, but works just fine. Make sure to get one that has a removal pin so you can lower the bike to open rear cargo door, etc . Mine has cheap looking straps to hold the bikes. Some nice ones have better straps, etc. I carry extra cargo straps for mine, just to be sure. Also, a bungee cord on each lower side of it, or the bikes, then hook the other end under the car, to stop the irritating wobble/knocking. You can get a " crossbar " to adapt to a ladies bike for carrying it. Be SURE everything is tight & secure before driving.
P.S. Most the 4 bike racks I have seen you would have to CRAM 4 bikes on them.

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Old 04-16-10, 03:08 PM   #3
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Check out this link.

http://www.bikeforums.net/showthread...he-bike-finish
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Old 04-17-10, 07:49 AM   #4
arej00dazed
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actually that thread didn't help much. It was mostly you in a pissing match with another poster over a 2 bike rack (no offense). I need a 4 bike rack. And I have some experince with trunk mounted racks, so I know bout padding and tieing down. Although that thread did point out bout not buying cheapo racks (ala walmart racks), I did pay a small fortune (IMO) on our bikes. And the saris link that was posted looks interesting. My biggest drawback on getting a hitch rack is that I would not be able to open the lift gate on my van unless I removed the rack and all. With the saris, it looks like I wouldn't have to do that (well at least remove the bikes).

So I saw that they have adapters for 1 1/4" to 2", but what about the other way around? The saris required a 2" for a 4 bike rack.

EDIT: I'll have to research some of those links later. The swagman link has 4 bike racks that I just noticed, most of which has the clamp tubes. Which brings up another question. My Giant Boulder has the rear brake and shifter lines exposed along the bottom of the top tube and the tube itself is not round. Would those top tube clamp design pose a problem?
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Old 04-17-10, 08:14 AM   #5
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I doubt you are going to have a choice on receiver size.

Receiver size is determined by the car's trailer towing capacity. As a general rule, front drive cars, like a Town and Country, only qualify for a 1 1/4" receiver.
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Old 04-17-10, 10:14 AM   #6
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actually that thread didn't help much. It was mostly you in a pissing match with another poster over a 2 bike rack (no offense). I need a 4 bike rack. And I have some experince with trunk mounted racks, so I know bout padding and tieing down. Although that thread did point out bout not buying cheapo racks (ala walmart racks), I did pay a small fortune (IMO) on our bikes. And the saris link that was posted looks interesting. My biggest drawback on getting a hitch rack is that I would not be able to open the lift gate on my van unless I removed the rack and all. With the saris, it looks like I wouldn't have to do that (well at least remove the bikes).

So I saw that they have adapters for 1 1/4" to 2", but what about the other way around? The saris required a 2" for a 4 bike rack.

EDIT: I'll have to research some of those links later. The swagman link has 4 bike racks that I just noticed, most of which has the clamp tubes. Which brings up another question. My Giant Boulder has the rear brake and shifter lines exposed along the bottom of the top tube and the tube itself is not round. Would those top tube clamp design pose a problem?
Actually that link has all the answers you need, you just have to skip all the nonsense. in my first post I pointed out that they sell the same rack in four bike(it's around $150)configuration and also I said I'll take that particular rack over other expensive racks because it works as well or better then most of them and you don't have to take the rack off your hitch every time you wanna open your lift gate it folds away and finally that rack will not touch your cables and it'll accommodate the shape of your top tube.

I just everyone to know that I get nothing out of recommending this bike rack to people. After ruining my bike frames and my car paint with two other well known brands I found this one, and after two years I couldn't be happier with it, only time I take this rack of my bike is when I go to get my monthly car wash because they wont let me go in to the car wash with it, if they did I wouldn't be taking it off...ever.
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Old 04-19-10, 05:11 AM   #7
arej00dazed
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I priced some hitches at advance auto (I was there 4 times in one day, don't ask......). They have a uni-fit class 3 for $119 on sale or I can get a straight-from-manufacturer class 2 no drill for $207. I'm gonna take a look around to see what else is out there, but for the price, the class 3 sounds like a winner.

EDIT: that class 3 multifit isn't for vans with stow n go seats, so I can't use that one. U-haul has a no drill fit class 2 for $140-155 (1 1/4" - 2")

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Old 04-19-10, 10:54 PM   #8
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I've been thinking about receiver carriers too, but the only way I've carried a bike is sideways inside a station wagon, or occasionally strapped on its side to the roof rack. I can get a bike carrier for my Class II hitch for $50 from Harbor Freight; is there a particular reason why the name-brand ones cost SO much more?
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Old 04-20-10, 08:33 AM   #9
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You can put a Class 3 on a vehicle whether it's rated for it or not. I run a Class 3 on my Sienna, and I use it exclusively for my Yakima 4 bike rack.
HAving used racks both with and without anti sway downtube braces, I'd highly recommend not getting a rack without them.

You'll probably need an adapter to allow the low entry bike to be carried. They're basically a false top tube- clamps under seat and around stem.

JC WHitney and U-Haul are good sources for receivers.

edit- foam pipe insulation and velcro helps alot when trying to get four bikes on a four bike rack

Last edited by Dellphinus; 04-20-10 at 08:39 AM.
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Old 04-20-10, 09:10 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by arej00dazed View Post
And one last question, my wife has a globe carmel low entry, am I going to have problems mounting that?
If you don't get a rack that holds the bike by the wheels (and the ones that do seem to be a little absurdly expensive), you'll need a bike beam thingy like this one from Saris to put the bike on the rack -

http://www.saris.com/p-170-bike-beam.aspx

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Old 04-20-10, 10:10 AM   #11
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I borrowed a Saris from a coworker; once I got over the notion of using the wheels to hold the bike in place (worried about tweaking a rim), I rather liked it. Only thing I ran into is that it does not work with fenders--my bike currently has those. Oh well. My coworker bought it as he has a suspension full carbon fiber mountain bike, and he didn't have many other options for racks. Worked well in a 1.25" receiver.

Speaking of receivers, I used one from Hidden Hitch on my Jetta. Works well enough. I think they have their installation guides on line. I didn't need much more than a drill and a couple of large drills to install mine.

Lastly, I'm not sure if the hitch mounted rack is better mpg wise or not. I think I saw like a 20% drop in mpgs. I did have my bikes installed as far back as possible, so that the hatch on my car would still open, so that obviously did not help. But I would have thought it would have been better.
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Old 04-20-10, 10:25 AM   #12
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thanks for the help so far. I'd kill for the platform style racks, but they are quite expensive, more than I'm wanting to fork out. And I've noticed that each manufacturer has hundreds (ok, a lil exaggeration there) different types. Could someone throw some specific models my way to look at? Any specific site with reasonable prices? Once I have one or more picked out, I'm going to see what my LBS can do.

-hold 4 bikes, if theres a model that will hold 16"+, preferred (eventually, 4 full size, but by then the rack may fall apart, kids are only 5)
-flip down mechanism so the van lift gate can be open with rack still in hitch (bikes removed of course)
-will hold my Giant Boulder which has exposed brake/shifting lines on the underside of the triangular tube, I'll get the adapter for the globe
-doesn't weigh a ton, my wife needs to be able to throw it on (with on moderate *****ing)
-easy to strap a bike on, I can figure nearly anything out, my wife on the other hand.......
-will keep/stay sturdy on extended trips

the one mystolenbikes raves about looks good, but it needs to hold 4 bikes....and I'm not fond of buying off ebay, but so be it. I saw the same one in a 4 bike version, but the price was hefty! And it looks adjustable so maybe my kids bikes could fit it....?

any comments on some of these?
http://cgi.ebay.com/GlideAway-4-Bike...item335c249a53

http://cgi.ebay.com/NEW-TiltAWAY-4-B...item4ceed7b441

http://cgi.ebay.com/2-4-BIKE-SWING-D...item483a2ac301

http://cgi.ebay.com/4-BIKE-WHEEL-CRA...item483a2c0e1c

http://cgi.ebay.com/Allen-740RR-Bicy...item563b65861a

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Old 04-20-10, 11:55 AM   #13
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I wouldn't worry about the cables with the bike that has "exposed brake/shifting lines on the underside of the triangular tube". The cables should really be fine. I'm not 100% sure what you mean by a "triangular tube", I'm not sure if you should be concerned about weird shape of the tube just for getting it to stay on the rack purposes. My Saris Bones rack (not a hitch rack) doesn't have a problem with my strangely shaped carbon top tube - differently shaped top tubes are so common nowadays I probably wouldn't worry about it as rack designers have gotten to used their rack needing to hold bikes with differently shaped top tubes.

Other than that, good luck!
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Old 04-21-10, 08:03 AM   #14
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I have one of the inexpensive Bell hitch racks. It will hold 4 bikes and was within your price range. At least it was when I bought it two years ago. It does shift around a little and I use some bungee cords to try to keep everything in place. It can be adapted for either the 1 1/4 hitch or the 2 inch hitch. Might be a good one to start with, as I have had no problems with mine. FWIW
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Old 04-21-10, 09:52 AM   #15
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http://www.swagmanbikeracks.com/shop...&cat=24&page=1

I used one of these and it worked very well on all bike types. I now use a Thule that doesn't touch the top tube and I like it better but the Swagman meets all your criteria.

Mine listed at $300 or so and I bought it for $185. Look around for pricing.

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Old 04-22-10, 06:14 AM   #16
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Niagara shows this one, & it is also available with 1 1/4 & 2" adapter.[ which I would buy ]

http://www.niagaracycle.com/product_...oducts_id=1953
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