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Old 06-22-11, 08:04 PM   #1
ummbnb
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Hitch Racks and Kids Bikes

We downsized from the minivan and now have to buy bike racks. We decided on a hitch rack, got the hitch installed today and now need to make up our minds on a rack. It needs to accomodate up to four bikes, including 20"+ kids bikes. The platform racks are out of our budget and the three I'm choosing from get mixed reviews on flexibility amongst frame styles.

Can anyone offer any input on the following hitch racks?

Thule Roadway 4
Yakima Doubledown 4
Yakima Flipside (this is at the bottom of the list - probably not going to consider it much)


Thanks in advance!
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Old 06-22-11, 10:21 PM   #2
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ummbnb, I used a Softride brand rack.

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Old 06-23-11, 09:59 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ummbnb View Post
We downsized from the minivan and now have to buy bike racks. We decided on a hitch rack, got the hitch installed today and now need to make up our minds on a rack. It needs to accomodate up to four bikes, including 20"+ kids bikes. The platform racks are out of our budget and the three I'm choosing from get mixed reviews on flexibility amongst frame styles.

Can anyone offer any input on the following hitch racks?

Thule Roadway 4
Yakima Doubledown 4
Yakima Flipside (this is at the bottom of the list - probably not going to consider it much)


Thanks in advance!
We have the Thule.

Theoretically, it holds 4 bikes. In practice, it holds two adult bikes and one of our kids' bikes. You'll have to use one of those supplemental support bars to attach the kids bike, as well. I tried to add a second kid-sized bike to it with the other three on, but never found a way that didn't end up with pedals in spokes, etc, because of the difference in frame sizes.

That being said - it works perfectly well as a 3-bike carrier. Very secure, easy to load, etc.
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Old 06-23-11, 06:47 PM   #4
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Thanks much!
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Old 06-24-11, 05:59 AM   #5
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I know you said the platform racks are out of your price range, but this seems close to the racks you mentioned, assuming I'm finding the correct ones.

I got the Swagman XC-4 Cross-Country 4-Bike Hitch Mount Rack (2-Inch Receiver Hitch) and I've had it on a 600 mile trip with 2 adult bikes and 2 kid bikes. It takes some fiddling to get 2 kids bike and 2 adult bikes on, but once everything is set, it works very well. We had to put things on in a certain order, and it took about 10 minutes to load up because I don't do it very often. I figure it will get easier the more I use it though.
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Old 06-26-11, 01:58 PM   #6
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I've got an older Swagman, almost identical to this one:
http://www.amazon.com/Swagman-4-Bike...118009&sr=1-12
I also have two Yakima Tube Tops for my son's bmx and old full suspension bike I had.
Alternate the bike positions between handle bars and rear tires to stack them easier.
Bungee cord some swimming pool noodles to them to keep bikes and liftgate from getting scratched.
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Old 07-19-11, 08:13 AM   #7
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for anyone still looking at this:
1) get the highest rated (highest "class") hitch possible. Yes you may not be towing but "maximum tongue weight", ie the weight pushing down on the hitch goes much higher in higher rated hitches. This is much more significant for hitch bike racks than most people realize. a class 1 hitch on a crv is rated at 200 lbs max tongue wight. when you consider that the bikes are several feet on average back from the tongue creating leveraged weight, one can go over the tongue weight with four bikes pretty easily. a class I hitch for a CRV costs about $130 delivered and a class 3 is rated for 50% more weight only costs about $50 more.

2) install the hitch yourself with a friend. It is about as easy as changing a bike tire. if you are going to be using it for a bike rack you do not need lights connections, you do not need coolers etc. most hitch installs take about 15 minutes with two people, 20 minutes if you included reading the instructions. you dont need to jack the car on a crv. your vehicle already has the holes (typically 6 to 8 pre drilled) and the only issue is holding up that heavy hitch to align the holes it while getting the bolts in. I have done it alone with a milk crate to get the hitch in position, but a milk crate and a pal makes it very easy.

If you are really flummoxed uhaul charges about $30 to $50 to install a hitch.

Do not beleive any auto dealer service center who tells you that you need transmission or steering coolers or you will void the warranty. That is false.

.
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Old 07-19-11, 09:52 AM   #8
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webbing straps will hold bikes that won't go on the arms.. directly

Don't skimp on the solid mounting ..

On the way to the store, up US 101,
I stopped my bike when I heard a thump and scraping..
the whole families bike rack & load hit the pavement

Less than 30M behind me, I went back, and dragged the lot off the roadway ..

they were informed and looped back and picked up the rack and bikes.

rack was on the back of a travel trailer,

I see them, flexible rack mounts, big bundle of bikes,

bouncing along , headed down the coast, every summer..

Last edited by fietsbob; 07-19-11 at 10:03 AM.
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