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Old 03-11-11, 06:57 PM   #1
Fairy Cogmother
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Suggestions for bike rack for car

I need a bike rack for my car that will fit two bikes. I don't want a roof rack, and I don't think I want one of the racks that attaches over the trunk because they look like they might damage the paint to the car. (For anyone who has the over-the-trunk kind of bike rack, do you like it? Have you had any problems with it?)

I think that leaves me with the hitch option. I have a Lexus HS hybrid (4-door sedan). Does anyone have suggestions on what rack would work well? My main concerns are: 1.) keeping the bikes stable, with minimal vibration/jiggling of bikes, and
2.) damage to my car.
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Old 03-11-11, 07:26 PM   #2
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I have the over the trunk bike rack for two bikes, I picked it up at Walmart (I had bought another one in a bike shop but it didn't fit the shape of my trunk). I think it works great, hasn't scratched my trunk.
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Old 03-11-11, 07:39 PM   #3
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FC, A hitch mount rack that bolts through the pin's hole in the reciever is best, IMHO. The one I have is a Softride, but I don't know if they're available for a 1 1/8" reciever. I have a Bell trunk mount rack also that I use on the car, no paint damage...yet after using it about 20 times.

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Old 03-11-11, 09:07 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by Fairy Cogmother View Post
I need a bike rack for my car that will fit two bikes. I don't want a roof rack, and I don't think I want one of the racks that attaches over the trunk because they look like they might damage the paint to the car. (For anyone who has the over-the-trunk kind of bike rack, do you like it? Have you had any problems with it?)

I think that leaves me with the hitch option. I have a Lexus HS hybrid (4-door sedan). Does anyone have suggestions on what rack would work well? My main concerns are: 1.) keeping the bikes stable, with minimal vibration/jiggling of bikes, and
2.) damage to my car.
Remember that to put a hitch rack on your HS250h, you are going to need to have a hitch installed on your car first.

Curt Manufacturing makes great hitches for Toyota and Lexus hybrids. They got one for your HS250h: http://www.etrailer.com/Trailer-Hitc...eid=2010302459

That hitch is a 1.25" receiver.

I also have a 1.25" Curt hitch on my Toyota Prius, and I used a cheap twin-arm Graber bike rack from Sports Authority. Properly secured to the hitch with a bolt (included with the bike rack), it's rock-solid. Been using it for 3 years.

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Old 03-11-11, 09:09 PM   #5
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I have a Saris Bones that I use to move bikes around when I need to. Some days I do wish that I had purchased the 3 bike model, but other than that, I think it's great. Certainly better than the cheap Walmart bike rack I had before. Their site has a car fit feature.
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Old 03-11-11, 10:04 PM   #6
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+1 on the Saris Bones and it doesn't damage the paint.
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Old 03-12-11, 08:50 AM   #7
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Hitch mount is the best. But I've used trunk mount racks a fair amount without damaging the vehicles paint by covering the painted area that will be contacted with heavy transparent adhesive backed vinyl. I've usually gotten it a motorcycle shops where it sold to protect the paint on the tank or side panels from the rider or bags rubbing on them.

No matter what the pad on any rack is like, dirt and grit that gets between it and the paint will eventually damage the paint.
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Old 03-12-11, 09:33 AM   #8
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Hitch mounts are very nice but there are a few things to be aware of.
1. Ground clearance must be accounted for when backing down a steeper driveway, for example. My driveway isn't long but the apron is steep enough such that I have to take it slow. If I don't, the hitch (not the rack) scrapes the ground.
2. Access to your trunk will be a bit more difficult. Removing hitch racks isn't something you want to do routinely. Mine is heavy & bulky. But that's also why it works so well.
3. The tray-style hitch racks are the kindest to your bike (i.e. no swaying) but they also can bash your shins if you're not careful.
4. Hitch racks allow easy loading/unloading for you and for thieves. You'll want some security when leaving bikes on the rack unattended...like going into a restaurant.

That said, I love my Thule T2. It is rock-solid and tips up or down to allow access to my hatch.
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Old 03-12-11, 11:40 AM   #9
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Another vote for the Saris Bones. I have a 2 bike model that I am using on my company car at the moment. But it also fits rental cars when needed

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Old 03-12-11, 03:53 PM   #10
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i have a saris bones and love it. it goes over the trunk. it hasn't hurt my trunk yet, that i've noticed.
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Old 03-12-11, 04:35 PM   #11
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We have an over the trunk style, it has not harmed the paint where the rubber pads meet the trunk, however there is a bit of scratching where the straps that hook on either side of the trunk are. Not very noticeable however.
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Old 03-12-11, 04:44 PM   #12
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I've got a 4-bike, Thule hitch rack (my car is a 2005 Toyota Matrix). Works great. Comes with anti-sway connectors that lock the bikes in tightly. I've never had a problem with bikes swaying on this bike rack. I also made sure I purchased one with a cable lock to prevent theft.

The only down side I can see to my hitch rack vs saris bones, is that it takes me about twice as long to load and unload my bikes. That in itself might be reason to purchase a saris bones.
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Old 03-12-11, 05:05 PM   #13
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I would recommend a Thule 917XT T2 1.25 inch Hitch Rack. It'll fit 2 bikes, will allow you to take each bike out without having to remove the other one and the bikes will not move while driving. I have the 916XT + 918XT extension and they are great.
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Old 03-12-11, 06:58 PM   #14
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Saris Thelma 2 hitch rack is nice. I have a roof rack but we use the hitch rack on my wifes car. Easy to load/unload and no chance of the bikes or rack touching the car's paint.
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Old 03-12-11, 09:45 PM   #15
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I didn't want to make a new thread, and I don't want to step on the toes of the original poster, but I was wondering if some of you bike & bike rack experts could help me because it seems like you guys are more knowledgeable than salesmen in stores.

Okay I should start out by saying I have a 2008 Chevy Aveo sudan. I want to transport my bike to campus (about 30 miles away) basically daily throughout the spring and summer. Since I am a student I also don't want to spend a lot of money (my price range is about maximum $50). I definitely want something around my trunk and not over my roof because I do not have the man power to lift a bike over my roof.

What suggestions do you have?

I went to Dicks and saw a Graber Trunktrack 2 around 40 bucks which is doable, but can't find anywhere if it will fit my car or not. I also found a Graber guardian 2 on ebay for around 35, but can't find any info on if it will fit my car or not.

I also really don't want the paint on my car to get damaged since I just got this car and plan on paying it off and selling it in about a year to hopefully get a hybrid.

Thanks in advance for any information that was given.
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Old 03-13-11, 08:16 AM   #16
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^ Do a search for "trunk rack", sorting the results by "number of replies". There are gobs of threads on this.

That said, have you checked CL or ebay? For such a low budget you won't get much of a new rack. Here's one example of what ~$50 will buy.
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Old 03-13-11, 08:43 AM   #17
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Saris Thelma 2 hitch rack is nice. I have a roof rack but we use the hitch rack on my wifes car. Easy to load/unload and no chance of the bikes or rack touching the car's paint.
The Thelma is nice, I used to sell the Saris line, (and Thule and others) and I like their racks a lot. The Bones model was the only trunk mount type I carried, much to the chagrin and consternation of my Thule rep.
However, if your bikes have fenders, the Thelma won't work. The Cycle On model will though.
If it's a budget rack you're after, I can heartilly recommend the Hollywood Sportrider. I've been using one on my car for about 4 years or so, and it has performed flawlessly. It mounts in either a 1.25" or 2" receiver, (I have the 1.25), and it handles any of our bikes, including my wife's e-bike, and any of my long frames with no issues.



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Old 03-13-11, 04:16 PM   #18
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I use a Sportrack double bicycle rack. I have a convertible so I don't have many options




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Old 03-14-11, 06:31 PM   #19
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Timber, how do you like that style of hitch rack vs a more traditional type? It looks extremely stable and fast loading.
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Old 03-15-11, 03:31 PM   #20
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Timber, how do you like that style of hitch rack vs a more traditional type? It looks extremely stable and fast loading.
I love this rack, It tilts back to load the inside bicycle & it is very stable. With the bug the trunk doesn't interfere at all with the bicycle. With the convertible this was the best solution.
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Old 03-19-12, 03:39 PM   #21
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I found my bike rack here at http://bikeracksforcars.us got a really good deal on it and have been taking me and my family everwhere we want to go and our bikes too. Hope you found one by now a bike rack is the best thing ever, love being able to ride where I want
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Old 03-19-12, 06:25 PM   #22
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If you do trunk mount, another Saris Bones vote here. I use a quick detailer to clean the trunk before I attach the rack. The unit won't scratch the paint, but if you have gritty dust on the trunk, the pads will grind the grit into the paint and mar it. It takes me less than 30 seconds to attach the rack, and it's lockable to the car. Having said all this, I would prefer a hitch mount, but I got a deal I couldn't refuse on the Bones, and it saved me the $250 I would also have to spend to get a hitch.
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Old 03-19-12, 06:57 PM   #23
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I have a over the trunk carrier (Euro trio) that I bought in 2001. I've put it on my Toyota Tercel, 08 Jeep Patriot, 92 Toyota Corolla wagon, 96 Ford escort LX with the wing. None of these cars have been damaged by it. The tubes that touch the car are recovered by thick tubular foam padding and the strap ends are metal recovered with thing rubber coating. I have been using the rack year round and I carry bikes of all shape and size on it and it's just been this year that it's starting showing it age. Some rust on the tubes but again I use the carrier year round. I paid $50 for it and I am 200% satisfied by it. Mine can carry 3 bikes which I find handy with my vintages that are a bit bigger or odd fitting bikes. I also carried a tandem on it no problem and I can fit up to 4 kids bikes on it too.
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