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Thread: Bicycle Racks

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    Bicycle Racks

    Okay, I bought a new crossover vehicle despite the fact its interior cargo area can't accommodate my bicycle(s). I love the car, but now I don't have a secure way to transport my bike - at least not without removing the seatpost. Sure I could lay the bike down, but that's not good for the bike, not good for the car and not good for the image. I've narrowed the alternatives to roof or hitch - not really interested in a trunk mount (although the Saris looks interesting). Any ideas?

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    I've had both a roof and hitch rack. The roof was a pain in the butt
    and I was always worried about hitting my bikes on a low overhang. I have a Saris hitch rack and love it. A lot of folks use roof racks but it didn't work for me. I got my hitch rack on Craigslist and got a bargan.

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    Senior Member rica rica's Avatar
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    maybe it depends on your height, but roof ones have always been awful for me. i struggle to reach (even on a sedan or compact car) and it aggravates my lower back. For my money the hitch is the better option, although some people say there is a higher theft issue.

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    Senior Member Looigi's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by babyboomer View Post
    ..Sure I could lay the bike down, but that's not good for the bike, not good for the car and not good for the image.... Any ideas?
    How's it not good for the bike or the car? I do it all the time; lay the bike on its non-drive side in the back, wheels on. For two, I cover the first with a doubled moving blanket and lay the second on the first (carefully).

    I have hitch racks, but it's much easier and IMO safer for the bike simply to "throw" it in the back. I only use a hitch rack when I'm carrying a lot of other gear and can't easily fit the bike(s) inside.

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    Senior Member cyclist2000's Avatar
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    I use a roof rack on my sedan and a hitch rack on my SUV. I like the roof racks more, I don't worry about careless drivers rear ending my car and bikes.
    I don't do vintage, I bought them new, rode them, kept them. Now they are just old bikes
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/bustercrb/sets/72157623483647522/

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    Quote Originally Posted by Looigi View Post
    How's it not good for the bike or the car? I do it all the time; lay the bike on its non-drive side in the back, wheels on. For two, I cover the first with a doubled moving blanket and lay the second on the first (carefully).
    I wondered this, too. I've laid my bikes in the back of five or six cars with no problems at all, except for trying to fit a 64cm frame into a Civic coupe (and btw what's the problem with removing the seat post? It's a 10-second job).
    I have two trunk mount racks, Saris and Yakima, and a Yakima roof rack (which costs me 3mpg empty and 8mpg loaded, and eventually NO MATTER HOW CAREFUL YOU ARE, you'll go through a drivethrough with the bikes on board). I don't use them unless there's other stuff inside.
    If you're so worried about your image that you'd rather risk damage or theft of your bike, I can't help with that.

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    Senior Member cyclist2000's Avatar
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    The only problem that I can think of with a bike laying in the vehicle is getting grease stains on the carpet and that if you rest the bike with the drive train down it could bend the derailleur hanger.
    I don't do vintage, I bought them new, rode them, kept them. Now they are just old bikes
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/bustercrb/sets/72157623483647522/

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    Senior Member Looigi's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cyclist2000 View Post
    The only problem that I can think of with a bike laying in the vehicle is getting grease stains on the carpet and that if you rest the bike with the drive train down it could bend the derailleur hanger.
    That's not a problem with laying the bike down in the car. That's a problem with being stupid.

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    What if you took off the front wheel for inside storage?

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    Had a car with a Hatch back, half the roof rack was on the back of the roof,
    the back of the rack clipped to the edge of the hatchback.

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    Trunk or Hitch Rack: Bikes stay a little cleaner, cheaper, easy access to bikes, access to trunk limited. If you are camping, and you can't get to the trunk without removing the bikes, it's a deal-killer. We drove across the country, and at every campsite we had to remove the bikes.



    Roof: Bikes destroyed if you drive into your garage, bikes get dirtier, gas mileage affected.

    Once we were meeting our daughter at the Vega airport. I anticipated that clearance would be a problem, but approaching the airport, there was a big "Clearance 7 feet" "warning" sign, but the sign itself went across the road, and was a big iron beam. IOW, the sign itself was a problem. My wife had to go back along the highway, and flag motorists over so I could back up, then zip across several lanes to avoid it. It was a mess, and I am always uncomfortable with the bikes on the roof.

    Not my bikes:

    My Book: Drive, Ride, Repeat: The Mostly-True Account of a Cross-Country Car and Bicycle Adventure

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    Lots of good feedback folks! Thanks!

    At this point I'm looking into hitch-mounted racks that will tilt or swing out of the way. I think I'd prefer the platform style, but I'm keeping an open mind. I'm getting a lot of good information from etrailer.com.

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    Senior Member GeorgePaul's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by babyboomer View Post
    At this point I'm looking into hitch-mounted racks that will tilt or swing out of the way. I think I'd prefer the platform style, but I'm keeping an open mind. I'm getting a lot of good information from etrailer.com.
    A few years ago, I purchased a KŁat NV platform rack from etrailer.com. It was great, but when I purchased a new vehicle last year, I got a 1UP USA Single Bicycle Quik Rack, which I'm very happy with. It is well built, lightweight, easy to load/unload, and (the big one for me), allows me to open up the rear hatch without interference even when the rack is folded up. 09t.jpg

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    Senior Member cyclist2000's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Looigi View Post
    That's not a problem with laying the bike down in the car. That's a problem with being stupid.
    I don't think that it is being stupid but being uneducated.
    I don't do vintage, I bought them new, rode them, kept them. Now they are just old bikes
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/bustercrb/sets/72157623483647522/

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    Okay folks. I'm half way there! Today I received a Curt Mfg. Class III hitch receiver for my vehicle. I will try to install it this weekend - I don't want this chore left over for the holiday weekend.

    As for the second part, after looking at the Kuat, Softride, Thule, Yakima and others, I'm leaning towards the 1UP USA Quik Rack. It doesn't do everything, but what it does it does very well. I like the fact that there's no assembly required, that the trays can be folded. The modular design is a plus, and bicycle loading and unloading is as easy as 1, 2 ...

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    Secure transport? Ride the bike in town. Travelling? Get a trailer. Seriously. Got a trip planned to NC next year and got my eye on a toy hauler travel trailer.

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    Quote Originally Posted by TromboneAl View Post
    Trunk or Hitch Rack: Bikes stay a little cleaner, cheaper, easy access to bikes, access to trunk limited. If you are camping, and you can't get to the trunk without removing the bikes, it's a deal-killer. We drove across the country, and at every campsite we had to remove the bikes.



    Roof: Bikes destroyed if you drive into your garage, bikes get dirtier, gas mileage affected.

    Once we were meeting our daughter at the Vega airport. I anticipated that clearance would be a problem, but approaching the airport, there was a big "Clearance 7 feet" "warning" sign, but the sign itself went across the road, and was a big iron beam. IOW, the sign itself was a problem. My wife had to go back along the highway, and flag motorists over so I could back up, then zip across several lanes to avoid it. It was a mess, and I am always uncomfortable with the bikes on the roof.

    Not my bikes:

    Dude, I hit some gnarly air on this trip. Taco'd both rims.... it was epic.

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    So glad my lifted wagon came with a toe hitch. The Thule X2 or T2, or something, so easy. Gotta have a wheel loader with the FSR frame. Hitch rack will spoil you.

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    Okay, I have completed the first step. Last week I ordered a class III receiver hitch by Curt Manufacturing from a website called autoanything.com. It was at least 40% below retail and shipping was free; even though they sent it overnight! After receiving it I had my suspicions about why it might have been marked down so low; although the blemishes in the finish were barely noticeable. As long as it was structurally sound, a few minor scrapes and bruises were not going to bother me.

    Although the instructions said the installation could be completed in 15 minutes by an expert, or 30 minutes by an amateur, it took me two hours - and I needed another set of hands! I used ramps to lift the rear end of the car and, after a couple of trips to Home Depot, I had all of the right tools. The real challenge came while trying to move the exhaust out of the way to gain access to one of the mounting bolts. I suspect those of you more mechanically inclined will fare better.

    My Quik-Rack by 1Up USA should arrive shortly. I selected their product because I was looking for a single-bike solution in a platform style. Due to its modular design, I can add bikes incrementally; up to a total of three.

    On a side note, anyone needing to carry multiple bikes on a regular basis might want to consider the Wizard Kinetic. I found it on YouTube while researching bicycle racks.

  20. #20
    Senior Member cyclist2000's Avatar
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    I may have to change my thoughts on roof racks,

    I was returning from a tour a couple of weeks ago and my old Waterford was on the car roof, the rack is one of those that I remove the front wheel and clamp the bike by the fork. This old Waterford's fork doesn't have lawyer lips. So after 400 miles of travel the fork worked its way loose and the bike came crashing off the roof and onto the side of my car. it dangled from the rear wheel and was scratching up the side of my car at 60 mph until I could find a safe place to pull over.

    When the fork came loose from the rack, it bent one side of the fork so I needed to bend it back to get it back onto the rack for the remainder of the ride.

    I think that I may need a rear rack for my older bikes that don't have lawyer lips on the fork ends. And have something that holds the the bike frame.
    I don't do vintage, I bought them new, rode them, kept them. Now they are just old bikes
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/bustercrb/sets/72157623483647522/

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    etw
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    I put a hitch on my compact car a year or two ago and use a hitch rack. It works great and I love it.

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    Senior Member rumrunn6's Avatar
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    babyboomer ~ got pics?
    cycling is like baseball ~ it doesn't take much to make it interesting

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    Lover of Old Chrome Moly Myosmith's Avatar
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    I've heard more than one tale of woe over bikes on roof racks vs. garage doors or other overhangs. I'm a fan of hitch racks for security and ease of access. The only problem I've ever had was when a car backed into my bike on a hitch rack in a parking lot. The arse'ole that did it didn't even leave a note or come into the store to find out who owned the bike.
    Lead, follow or get out of the way

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    Lover of Old Chrome Moly Myosmith's Avatar
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    Lead, follow or get out of the way

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    Quote Originally Posted by rumrunn6 View Post
    babyboomer ~ got pics?
    I'll get some pictures out shortly!

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