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  1. #1
    Saved by Grace lphilpot's Avatar
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    New car, bike rack advice sought

    Today I traded my 11.5 year old Dodge Dakota truck for an almost-new Honda Accord. I'm tickled, but the one thing I could carry (indeed, just about all I did carry!) in my truck that won't fit in the Honda is my bike.

    Now, we have a hitch-mount Hollywood Sportrider rack for our minivan that holds all three of our bikes, but I'd rather not add the expense of an otherwise-unused receiver to the Accord, just so I can experience the delight of wrangling the rugged but heavy (70 lbs) Hollywood rack on it, for my bike only. I've been thinking about a single-bike trunk mount rack, assuming it can be attached/removed relatively painlessly.

    Questions...

    • I have a serious case of New Object Syndrome right now, so I'm wondering: Do trunk mounts really attach solidly, but without any effect on the car's finish, etc.?
    • The Hollywood rack is a platform style rack, and I have no experience with hanging racks. Are there practical limits to carrying bikes on them with sloping top tubes (my current, but hopefully not permanent, bike is a comfort bike*)?
    • Any tips, recommendations, traps, etc.? I'd rather not spend a fortune, since this will be for quick rides about town. Just the same, I don't want to be penny-wise and pound-foolish.


    * 2010 Trek Navigator 2.0

    Thanks!
    Len Philpot - 2012 Specialized Tricross Sport
    I start out slow and then taper off from there...

  2. #2
    Senior Member skilsaw's Avatar
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    I use a Thule trunk rack on my 1991 Accord. Light weight, collapses to a convenient size, holds 2 bikes well, attaches firmly, doesn't mar the paint.
    A bit expensive new. Try the Pawn Shops and second hand stores.
    The one who has the most bikes wins.

  3. #3
    Seņor Member
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    A strap-mounted rack WILL cause scratches on your new car. If not the rack itself, the scratches would come from the bike swinging and knocking against your trunk.

    That's the problem with strap-mounted racks. They usually hold the bike too close to your car.

    A hitch-mounted rack is much better. A hitch rack usually holds the bike a good 8 inches or more from the back of your car, and you can still open the trunk with the hitch rack mounted. Problem is you would have to spend $200+ for a new hitch and rack-- The hitches available for the Accord are all Class-I hitches and are probably not strong enough for that 70-pound hitch rack you have now.

  4. #4
    Senior Member Retro Grouch's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LongIslandTom View Post
    A strap-mounted rack WILL cause scratches on your new car. If not the rack itself, the scratches would come from the bike swinging and knocking against your trunk.
    That's what I think too. If you use your bike rack once a week for a year, by the end of that time you will be able to see where the feet sit on your car's trunk.

  5. #5
    Life is good RonH's Avatar
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    A Saris Bones trunk rack is solid and secure. I have a Bones 2 and carry my Titanium bike and my CF bike on it with no worries, and no scratches on my Acura.
    --> http://www.saris.com/bike-racks/vehi...unk-racks.html
    My bikes: 2001 Litespeed Tuscany---2015 Cannondale Supersix EVO carbon

    I thought of that while riding my bicycle -- Albert Einstein

  6. #6
    Saved by Grace lphilpot's Avatar
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    Looks like I'll have to decide which is potentially worse: Marks on the new car's paint, or aches in my old back. :-) The Saris Solo looks interesting, but I suspect on any "trunked" car the bike would tend to hit the car. I'll keep looking....

    Thanks!
    Len Philpot - 2012 Specialized Tricross Sport
    I start out slow and then taper off from there...

  7. #7
    Senior Member Wheels4's Avatar
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    i have a yakima king something or another.. can't remember the name now, it's about 6yrs old. anyways... when i had a civic, i would keep it on there non stop(months at a time) and when i took it off, there were no scratches. and the bike never hit either.

    if i had another car(own an FJ now), i would put a roof rack on. i had one for years and loved it. sold it and now regret it.

    good luck with your decision.
    all-around: 09 Trek 7.3 FX
    roadie: 09 Scott S60

  8. #8
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    Be careful about the 70lb rack plus your bike on your Accord. The tongue weight rating of some similarly sized vehicles is 100lbs - I don't know the rating on your Accord specifically though. I don't know how much your bike weighs, but I imagine you're getting pretty close to 100lbs. Also consider your accord is unibody rather than body on frame so it might not be a good idea to exceed that rating

  9. #9
    Senior Member catonec's Avatar
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    I know its easy to say but... plunk down the cash for a roof system. Its safer and more secure. If your transporting thousands of dollars worth of bicycles then the $500 for a yakima is money well spent.
    2010 Kestrel RT900SL, 800k carbon, chorus/record, speedplay, zonda
    1997 Trek ZX6000, 6061w/manitou spyder, xt/xtr, time atac

  10. #10
    Saved by Grace lphilpot's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ekincam View Post
    Be careful about the 70lb rack plus your bike on your Accord. The tongue weight rating of some similarly sized vehicles is 100lbs - I don't know the rating on your Accord specifically though. I don't know how much your bike weighs, but I imagine you're getting pretty close to 100lbs. Also consider your accord is unibody rather than body on frame so it might not be a good idea to exceed that rating
    Yep - Plus, so far the only hitches I've seen for an Accord are Class I (1.25"). Our Odyssey has a Class III (2") hitch and the Hollywood rack has a 2" core, so it's out of the question. Besides, if I feel like messing with the Hollywood rack, I'll just put it on the Odyssey.

    For now, I'll probably just leave the Hollywood rack on the Odyssey full-time and commandeer it when I need to transport my bike (that's what my wife suggested and who am I to argue? ). By the time she gets tired of working around the folded-up rack on her minivan, I'll have figured out something.

    As to roof racks -- If the Accord were our only vehicle I'd agree completely. However, for any long(er) 'serious' haulage, we'll use the Odyssey anyway. We have a Skinz cover with taillights for the hitch rack and it works great for trips. Not that I want to cheap-out and have anything damaged during a local trip, but...

    I'll just have to see what works best - All the input is most definitely appreciated.
    Len Philpot - 2012 Specialized Tricross Sport
    I start out slow and then taper off from there...

  11. #11
    Senior Member jgjulio's Avatar
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    The Saris Thelma is a great rack.
    http://www.amazon.com/Saris-Thelma-B...5707591&sr=8-1
    fits 1.25 and 2 inch hitches.
    Easy to put on and off. Easy to put the bikes on and off.
    I love mine!
    I am going to put it on my Prius - now on a 2" SUV hitch.
    Julio (me)
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  12. #12
    Seņor Member
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    Apologies to Iphilpot for temporarily hijacking this thread..

    Hi jgulio, I own a Prius too, with the Curt hitch installed. That Saris Thelma rack is pretty darn heavy at 26 pounds-- I would not use it with any of the two hitches available for the Prius. It would put a lot of strain on the Curt hitch, and it for sure will destroy the Coastal Tech hitch.

    For my Prius I use a 10-pound hitch rack I bought off Amazon.

    Just wanted you to be aware not to overload your Prius hitch.

    Now returning the thread to IPhilpot!

  13. #13
    Saved by Grace lphilpot's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jgjulio View Post
    The Saris Thelma is a great rack.
    I came across the Thelma while researching 3-bike hitch racks for our Odyssey. It was intriuging, but after I saw one at our LBS I decided against it. The owner didn't outright recommend against it, but in his opinion it wasn't the sturdiest thing ever (particularly if you forget it's there while backing up, etc.). I looked it over and it did appear to be mostly plastic over a steel skeleton. That brought up concerns about sun-rot, drying, cracking of the plastic over time, etc. Also, the little straps around the rim appear to be the only thing holding the bikes in the rack and I read several accounts online of bikes where they weren't long enough (Saris sent extensions to be bucked on, rather than single replacement straps). I may have gone too far the other direction, but the Hollywood rack we got is rock solid and all steel (no doubt! :-)

    How is your Thelma holding up? Is it stronger and more durable than it appeared me? Maybe I was over critical... ?
    Len Philpot - 2012 Specialized Tricross Sport
    I start out slow and then taper off from there...

  14. #14
    Saved by Grace lphilpot's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LongIslandTom View Post
    Apologies to Iphilpot for temporarily hijacking this thread..
    No prob - You brought up a valid point worth considering.


    Hi jgulio, I own a Prius too, with the Curt hitch installed. That Saris Thelma rack is pretty darn heavy at 26 pounds-- I would not use it with any of the two hitches available for the Prius.
    A Class I hitch has a tongue weight of 200 pounds. Unless you're loading motorcycles on there, you should be OK at least based on the numbers alone. Our three-bike Hollywood rack is (as I noted upthread) right at 70 pounds empty.

    Or am I overlooking something?
    Len Philpot - 2012 Specialized Tricross Sport
    I start out slow and then taper off from there...

  15. #15
    Seņor Member
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    The amount of force on the hitch also depends on how far out the bikes are placed... Remember that the bike rack is acting like a lever on the hitch receiver-- The longer the lever (the further back on the rack the bike is placed), the larger the downward torque on the hitch.

    For a class-I hitch, I think up to two road bikes on the innermost cradles on a hitch rack is doable.. I'd be sweating if I have to carry three road bikes. Mountain bikes, I'd carry just 1.

  16. #16
    Senior Member megalowmatt's Avatar
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    I use a Thule 3-bike trunk rack. I can't remember the model, but it has attachments that cradle the seat tube to keep the bikes from swinging back and forth.

    I have also heard good things about the Saris Bones.

  17. #17
    Senior Member jgjulio's Avatar
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    I do not have the Thelma on the Prius yet. It is on my SUV and the rack has been very good.
    I also have a Saris rack that you hang bikes off of. It also works well but it is a pain to use and my bikes get scratched up like crazy when they hang and bounce on a trip.
    I have the two bike Thelma and it is not overly heavy and the bikes stay on very tight. The two straps do hold the bike down (one on each wheel) but the half moon plastic (quite thick and sturdy) thingy really cradles the bike in place.
    I was worried at first but after many trips with the bikes on board I have learned to trust it.
    My rack stays on the auto all the time and there has been no wear or "rot" of the plastic. It is in the sun all the time - I live in Southern Calif and we do get a lot of sun.
    Julio (me)
    2011 Specialized Roubaix Elite
    2009 Specialized Sequoia Elite
    2009 Trek 7.3 (Red)

    Patricia (wife)
    2009 Specialized Sequoia Elite; 2008 Fuji Absolute 2.0

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