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Old 10-21-11, 10:21 AM   #1
cleon
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Carbon bikes on hitch mount racks

Is there any problem with using the standard rack that holds a bike up by the top tube? I see it done all the time but the manuals all say 'DON'T!'??

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Old 10-21-11, 10:39 AM   #2
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I have one customer's carbon frame in the warranty pipeline right now with two cracks in his top tube (which the company was not going to cover under warranty) and a fortuitous crack in his chainstay which they *might* cover after getting a firsthand look at it. Anyway, it's up to you but the safe money is on supporting it by the wheels, particularly if it's high-end thin-walled carbon.
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Old 10-21-11, 10:57 AM   #3
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Thanks. I appreciate the perspective. So go with something like this if I prefer hitch mounts?
And I assume all the major brands are created roughly equal? (Thule, Yakima, Saris)
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Old 10-21-11, 11:03 AM   #4
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Not to threadjack, but we have a Thelma2, which is one of the ones that uses wheel support. We took our bikes on a couple of hour road trip and the winds got quite high (gusts may have hit 40mph and we were at Interstate speeds). I had the straps tight and the rack as tight as I could get it, but the bikes still moved quite a lot. My wife was concerned that the movement could cause damage to the fork or stays (I think she was thinking of the movement causing torque etc.)

I told her I didn't think that was an issue, but who would be right? She's really sensitive about her bike right now.
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Old 10-21-11, 11:13 AM   #5
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There are a few that still support the top tube, albeit probably with a lot less stress, that might eliminate some of that movement? I'm thinking of the Yakima Stick up for example,
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Old 10-21-11, 12:54 PM   #6
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I've wondered about the same thing with hydroformed aluminum frames.
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Old 10-21-11, 04:57 PM   #7
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I remember cringing when I went over a couple of speedbumps and saw both my wife and my carbon top tubes bouncing up and down off the bike rack supports. Just didn't feel right...and I think her 'owner's manual' specifically cautioned against it.
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Old 10-21-11, 05:33 PM   #8
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I've put carbon bikes on hitch racks as pictured without issues for years. Now have a Thelma II and no issues with that either. Usually though, I just throw the bike in the back of the SUV.
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Old 10-21-11, 05:54 PM   #9
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I've put carbon bikes on hitch racks as pictured without issues for years. Now have a Thelma II and no issues with that either. Usually though, I just throw the bike in the back of the SUV.
Carbon bikes are SO fragile. They asplode you know.

Of course that's why the smartest aerospace engineers are building state of the art jet passengenger planes from carbon. They are sick SOB's that love a big multifatality asplosion.
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Old 10-21-11, 06:57 PM   #10
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The nice thing about open forums is that there is no lower age limit so even the 12-yr olds can post.
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Old 10-23-11, 04:48 PM   #11
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Carbon bikes are SO fragile. They asplode you know.
Ob: http://www.bustedcarbon.com/


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Of course that's why the smartest aerospace engineers are building state of the art jet passengenger planes from carbon. They are sick SOB's that love a big multifatality asplosion.
I suspect that there aren't too many bike designers spending millions of dollars stress-modeling frames under all conceivable environmental conditions. Like, say, Boeing or Airbus does.

Obviously carbon works great the vast majority of the time. Just as obviously, it has to be treated differently than metal in a variety of situations, even ones as prosaic as tightening a bolt.
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Old 10-23-11, 10:57 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by cleon View Post
I remember cringing when I went over a couple of speedbumps and saw both my wife and my carbon top tubes bouncing up and down off the bike rack supports. Just didn't feel right...and I think her 'owner's manual' specifically cautioned against it.
If you check the owner's manual, I think it says you're supposed to let your wife ride inside the car...

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