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Old 03-07-11, 02:21 PM   #1
piclistguy
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Anyone use a hitch-type bike rack on passenger car?

I am considering a hitch-type bike rack for my car - which has a trunk not a hatchback. It's easy to find a no-drill aftermarket hitch to install.
I seem to prefer the hitch type racks for their lower impact on gas mileage and convenience. I have a few questions

1. It's easy to find locking hitch pins for 2-inch hitch racks, but for 1-1/4" hitches I can't seem to find a anti-wobble locking hitch pin. Please recommend one if you know of one that works well.

2. To those who mount their hitch racks and bikes to a car with a trunk (vs. an SUV or hatchback), do you notice much of a hit to highway gas mileage?
With a trunk, it would seem like the trough created between the roof of your car and bicycles would cause added turbulence and reduced aerodynamics.

3. How do you secure your bikes from theft with a hitch rack? Of course I will use a locking hitch pin, but I still need to secure the bikes to the rack.
Do you use a standard bike lock or do you run a cable? It's probably not a good idea to use a U-lock since the shifting weight and vibration from driving could
cause damage.

4. Do you cover your bikes when traveling long distances? Please recommend a cover.

5. Any downsides to using a hitch-type bike rack?
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Old 03-07-11, 02:41 PM   #2
LongIslandTom
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I use a hitch rack on my passenger car. My car has an aftermarket 1.25" hitch receiver installed. Very slight hit on fuel economy since most of the bike sits within the car's slipstream, MUCH better fuel economy than a roof rack.

I use a Graber Hitch-Tite to fasten the bike rack to my receiver. http://www.jensonusa.com/store/produ...e.aspx?sc=FRGL No wobble when the bolt is tightened using a socket wrench.

Because my hitch receiver has shackling loops for chains (for use when towing a trailer), I just lock my bike to the hitch receiver using a cable lock. I don't have a cover for the bike, though occasionally I do worry driving through rainy weather.

Works well for me. Been on many adventures with my bike on the back of my car like that for the past 3 years. I wouldn't use any other kind of rack.
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Old 03-07-11, 03:49 PM   #3
Burton
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I used A GetAway hitch mounted rack with a two door passenger car. It has a capacity for two or with an extension, four bicycles. I only actually used it with two and only for urban transport.

The rack has a built-in locking system to secure the bikes and an optional lock will secure the rack to the hitch. The reason I wasn`t interested in a trunck or roof mount is because the metal in cars isn`t as thick as it used to be and a trunk mounted rack restricts access to the trunk.

This particular model will pivot away from the car to permit access to the trunk. I also had a custom hitch built because the available models didn`t spread loads out enough. The metal under a car isn`t as thick as it used to be either.
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Old 03-07-11, 05:19 PM   #4
HandsomeRyan
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I got a Saris Thelma 2 for Mrs. HandsomeRyan's Nissan Rogue. It uses a 2" hitch (Although it comes in a version for smaller hitches too) and works well. We don't use it much because I have a yakima roof rack with 2 bike mounts and a tandem rail on my car but when we do use it I like it a lot.



/can't believe how much money he has tied up in bike-carrying equipment.

Quote:
Originally Posted by piclistguy View Post
1. It's easy to find locking hitch pins for 2-inch hitch racks, but for 1-1/4" hitches I can't seem to find a anti-wobble locking hitch pin. Please recommend one if you know of one that works well.
I think etrailer.com sells one. I'm too lazy to go look though.

Quote:
Originally Posted by piclistguy View Post
2. To those who mount their hitch racks and bikes to a car with a trunk (vs. an SUV or hatchback), do you notice much of a hit to highway gas mileage?
With a trunk, it would seem like the trough created between the roof of your car and bicycles would cause added turbulence and reduced aerodynamics.
I guess a CUV is more similar aerodynamically to an SUV than a car but I've not noticed a major change in fuel economy.

Quote:
Originally Posted by piclistguy View Post
3. How do you secure your bikes from theft with a hitch rack? Of course I will use a locking hitch pin, but I still need to secure the bikes to the rack.
Do you use a standard bike lock or do you run a cable? It's probably not a good idea to use a U-lock since the shifting weight and vibration from driving could
cause damage.
Cable lock and don't leave the car unattended for extended periods with the bikes on it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by piclistguy View Post
4. Do you cover your bikes when traveling long distances? Please recommend a cover.
No. I've covered the saddles but bikes are basically water resistant and a cover will act like a parachute behind the car.

Quote:
Originally Posted by piclistguy View Post
5. Any downsides to using a hitch-type bike rack?
They'll make your friends who still struggle with the strap-mounted racks really jealous.

Last edited by HandsomeRyan; 03-07-11 at 05:24 PM. Reason: added info
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