I have three bikes - two regular road bikes and one women's bike with that slanted top tube.
I have a SUV with a 2" hitch already. Previously had a two bike carrier and put the kid bike in the back of the SUV, but now the kid has grown taller and I need a 3 bike carrier.
Before I get into specific brand/model, I wanted to get some opinions of the different styles available and their pros and cons.
First, it seems most carriers are made for either 2 or 4 bikes. There are 3 bike versions but not much. So first question is, does getting a 4 bike rack to use for 3 bikes a good idea or should I target only 3 bike carriers?
Second, some 4 bike carriers can "convert" to 2 by removing a section. Is this a useful feature or most don't bother with removing it once it's on?
Third, the carrier I had was for a 2" hitch. I didn't have a problem with it. Some of those I am looking at have a 1-1/4" hitch adaptable to a 2". Should I stay away from those simply because it's an extra piece of hardware and it may cause additional wobble? Get one made for 2" hitch or doesn't matter?
Now on to the various types.
Mostly I have seen this kind. You hang the bike's top tube over the arms. From what I read the problem is the bikes would rub and scratch each other since the bottoms are hanging? Some use pool noodles to separate them and then strap all the bikes together? Also this may be a problem for a slanted tube on a women's bike? Any brand/model of this type with design that doesn't suffer from these issues?
Or this, very small footprint, you can even leave it there when not being used.
Then I saw this kind. This is worse right? There is only one arm to rest the bikes how would the bike be stabilized?
Then you have these. This is similar to what I had. The wheels sit on it. No problem with women's bikes. The one I had doesn't have the top bar to hold down the bikes, but instead had a short arm sticking up that holds the crank arms. This is one I am considering but sure has a big foot print.
Finally this type. I think this wouldn't have a problem with women's bike frame, and would not have the bike scratching and bumping into each other? Not sure if those V shaped bars can be removed? Any experiences with these types?
Thanks in advance for any advice or comments.