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  1. #1
    Motorcycle RoadRacer cehowardGS's Avatar
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    The dfference in Bike Rack Hitches

    Basically I know the saying "you get what you pay for", is very true, but I am trying hard to see the big difference in Bike rack hitched. There is a big difference in price.

    Expample.

    4 bike hitches.

    This one $47.00


    This one $200.00 +


    Is the higher price one 4 times better???

  2. #2
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    I've used those hanger type racks for many years and I recommend against them. Get one with trays that stand the bike upright.

    The hanging kind - especially the ones that claim to hold 4 bikes - will be a hassle to load and the bikes will invariably get banged up. If you must purchase one of those, use the 4 bike model to carry 2 or 3 bikes with more space in between.

  3. #3
    Senior Member cyclist2000's Avatar
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    Well the first rack doesn't rate how much weight that it will hold and the second will hold 120 lbs. the straps on the first are velcro and don't appear as secure as the second.
    I don't do vintage, I bought them new, rode them, kept them. Now they are just old bikes
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    Quote Originally Posted by itsmoot View Post

    I don't like those tray carriers because they sit LOW a couple feet behind the car, and they're practiaclly invisible when there's no bike on 'em. I can imagine several bad situations from that.
    Most, if not all tray carriers fold upwards when not in use, hence not really an issue.

    To the OP, when it comes to racks, usually something twice the price, is twice as good. When I'm hauling 1000's of dollars worth of bikes, I want to make sure they're secure.

  5. #5
    Senior Member Retro Grouch's Avatar
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    The better rack has a parallelogram mechanism to keep the bikes vertical as you lower the rack to open the rear hatch. The first one will practically force you to unload the bikes before you can tilt it downward. If you use it very much, that feature will make a huge convenience improvement.

    Another poster mentioned the second rack was rated at 120 lbs. That's only 30 pounds per bike. Fine if you're transporting road bikes but, if you're hauling WallMart mountain bikes it isn't going to cut it. If that one is rated for 120 lbs, how much can the other one handle? It looks wimpy to me.

    Actually loading 4 bikes onto either will be a challenge. The first one goes on easy. The second one goes OK but you have to watch for handlebar and pedal interference. The third and fourth bikes get tricky.

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    If you are in the market for a hitch rack I would recommend checking your local Craigslist. You may be able to get the $200+ rack for the cost of the cheapo if you are a smart shopper. I sold one last week that normally sells for $180 for $60 so I know there are good deals out there if you aren't opposed to buying used.
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  7. #7
    Motorcycle RoadRacer cehowardGS's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by simonaway427 View Post
    Most, if not all tray carriers fold upwards when not in use, hence not really an issue.

    To the OP, when it comes to racks, usually something twice the price, is twice as good. When I'm hauling 1000's of dollars worth of bikes, I want to make sure they're secure.
    That makes big sense. Right now, I am in on the cheap. As the biking bug bites me, I can see my pockets are going to be hurtin!!

    thanks for the feedback

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    Quote Originally Posted by itsmoot View Post
    ...That said, my old (1995 or so) Graber hitch rack just took a couple bungees, a few bits of foam rubber and a couple extra minutes loading/unloading to prevent multiple bikes from swaying and hitting one another.
    Yea, BTDT for probably 20 years. Same solutions as you. But still, over the years just got sick and tired of the half assed design -both the overall fussiness of getting the bikes on there safely and damage free and the fact that in spite of pretty vigilant care, over the years, the bikes got banged up. My god, with sloping top tube bikes, especially in small sizes, it's a severe PITA, sometimes nearly impossible even with the top tube adapters you can buy (another expense, a thing to keep track of when you need it). They are DESIGNED to allow the bikes to swing and clash into each other and the work arounds you mention are to counteract this DESIGN.

    A "few minutes" (realistically 5- 10) are not trivial when you're trying to get your bikes packed up for a quick evening after work/school ride. Compared to literally 1 minute to load bikes on to a tray type.

    The tray type are so much quicker and virtually fool proof not only for ol' experienced me, but especially for my wife and kids who don't have the experience with fussing with it and don't take the care that I do. They are just easy and trouble free.

    Like someone said above, they fold up when not in use and therefore stick out less than the hanging type.

    My awakening was when I traveled with my young family for 5 months by van in Europe with bikes. The Euros very commonly (virtually exclusively) used the tray type and it was so obviously superior that I bought one soon after returning.

    It's just a big DUH: a piece of equipment that is designed to easily, quickly and securely carry bikes in a manner that guarantees they won't scratch each other up vs. a piece of equipment that is actually designed to carry bikes in a way that will damage them... if not prevented through time consuming, invented (in other words, not part of the design or normal operation) means which involve doo-dads (bungies, foam bits) that aren't actually part of the design, aren't supplied with the unit, and aren't part of the normal operating instructions.
    Last edited by Camilo; 05-18-10 at 06:16 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Camilo View Post
    A "few minutes" (realistically 5- 10) are not trivial when you're trying to get your bikes packed up for a quick evening after work/school ride. Compared to literally 1 minute to load bikes on to a tray type.
    THANK YOU! Bout time someone realized how precious minutes can be.

  10. #10
    Motorcycle RoadRacer cehowardGS's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dhorn33 View Post
    If you are in the market for a hitch rack I would recommend checking your local Craigslist. You may be able to get the $200+ rack for the cost of the cheapo if you are a smart shopper. I sold one last week that normally sells for $180 for $60 so I know there are good deals out there if you aren't opposed to buying used.
    That is exactly what I did. I returned the cheapo $40 hitch rack I got from ProHoist, and got a Reese off of Craigslist. The $40 hitch rack, was in my opinion, flimsy. The Reese is 3 times as strong as the $40 one. I paid $60. Will post a picture when I put it on.

    Here is the Reese that I got off of Craigslist.



    Last edited by cehowardGS; 05-20-10 at 07:47 PM.

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    I wouldn't get either of those racks you posted as neither one has an "antisway" bar. Basically, a third attachment point that keeps the bikes from rocking back and forth and hitting each other.

    But, you don't have to choose that. I would suggest something priced in the middle - a Saris T-Rax Sport - the MSRP on this rack is $250, you could probably find it for less online.
    http://www.saris.com/p-306-t-rax-sport.aspx


    While I haven't used this exact rack, I've used the Saris Bones rack which attaches using straps but uses the same attachment thingies to hold the bike on the rack. Twice I somehow forgot to actually cinch the straps down on the rack, and drove off with my bike just hanging on the rack. Twice my bike arrived at my destination without falling off or even leaving their spot on the rack, even though I drove 20 minutes on the highway.

    The fact my bike didn't fall off onto the highway way more made up for the extra money I spent on it.

  12. #12
    Banned. Mr. Beanz's Avatar
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    One thing that comes to mind is metal thickness of the tubing and durability. When I bought my weight lifting equipment, thickness of a bench compard to a benched at SportMart, no way dude! I won't trust that flimsy metal to support my weight topped off with another 330 lbs!

    Just as the cheaper rack posted, I'd bet it's flimsy thin gauge metal that with vibration fo the road, will eventually enlarge at the hole where the arms are supported by the upright tube!

    Look at he Softride rack, actually supported by two tubes and the Saris, one tube but much larger diameter tubing.

  13. #13
    Motorcycle RoadRacer cehowardGS's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr. Beanz View Post
    One thing that comes to mind is metal thickness of the tubing and durability. When I bought my weight lifting equipment, thickness of a bench compard to a benched at SportMart, no way dude! I won't trust that flimsy metal to support my weight topped off with another 330 lbs!

    Just as the cheaper rack posted, I'd bet it's flimsy thin gauge metal that with vibration fo the road, will eventually enlarge at the hole where the arms are supported by the upright tube!

    Look at he Softride rack, actually supported by two tubes and the Saris, one tube but much larger diameter tubing.

    The Reese is heavy tubing with welds on the bottom. Thick steel around the part that connects to the tongue. The tubing of the Reese is thick too. The Reese feels very solid. However, I have been out the street with it yet. I am not hardheaded when it comes to things. The Reese although way, way better than the $40 hitch, if it doesn't work out correctly, it will go. I plan on using some bungee cords, and maybe some hitch straps to secure the bikes while getting ready to drives somewhere with the bikes aboard.

    Thanks for the feedback..

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