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View Poll Results: 2 bike or 4 bike hitch carrier?
Two bike carrier 3 37.50%
Four bike carrier 5 62.50%
Voters: 8. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 04-16-14, 11:20 AM   #1
fwh32720
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Would it be better to buy a 2 or 4 bike hitch carrier.

Small dilemma. I was going to buy a 2 bike hitch carrier, which will be mostly just for me and occassionally my girlfriend. The sales person @ REI recommended a 4 bike carrier since the two bike carriers can be a tight squeeze. Made sense to me--should i go that route? Any ideas?
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Old 04-16-14, 11:28 AM   #2
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Originally Posted by fwh32720 View Post
Small dilemma. I was going to buy a 2 bike hitch carrier, which will be mostly just for me and occassionally my girlfriend. The sales person @ REI recommended a 4 bike carrier since the two bike carriers can be a tight squeeze. Made sense to me--should i go that route? Any ideas?
There is a saying that applies here........"you can't use what you don't have" i.e. 4 is better than less than 4.

Tip: this saying applies to other needs.
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Old 04-16-14, 11:41 AM   #3
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My answer is to go for 4, but there is another answer...

Both...

Expensive, but the Yakima Hold-up is the best I have ever owned, and the addition and removal of the extension is pretty straight forward, so I only mount it when needed. Easy mounting and unmounting of bikes

The only cons are that the way the bikes are mounted, it doesn't work with bikes that have a front fender, and with the extension is pretty heavy to fold up when not in use. Also, it obviously sticks out quite a way when configured for 4 bikes.

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00...?ie=UTF8&psc=1

Amazon.com: Yakima Products Hold Up Tray Style Add On 2 Bike Rack: Automotive
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Old 04-16-14, 12:37 PM   #4
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an extra space on the rack between the bikes will make for less banging together ,one would think ..
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Old 04-16-14, 12:52 PM   #5
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an extra space on the rack between the bikes will make for less banging together ,one would think ..
And that is THE reason to go with a four. Also if you run across a bike you just have to have you've got room to take it home
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Old 04-16-14, 01:09 PM   #6
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Yeah, the extra space on 4 bike carrier is quite welcome. Maybe look for a 3 bike carrier? That way you have a space in between the bikes, but it doesn't stick out as far.

My gf has a cheapo 3 bike trunk hanger rack, like a Saris bones or similar. The extra space in between the bikes is pretty necessary, if you don't want the pedals and frames to sword fight the whole trip.

You didn't say what type of car rack you're looking at.
Trunk mount hanger?
Hitch mount hanger?
Hitch mount tray?
Roof rack?

The 4 bike tray racks stick out very far, compared to the 2 bike ones. When folded up (stowed), a 4 bike rack will block much of your rear view.

On a hanger rack, 2 bike/4 bike doesn't seem to matter as much, since they fold downward and take up less space overall.
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Old 04-16-14, 01:16 PM   #7
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I'd go for the four bike carrier. I have a trunk mount for three and it really conveniently carries two. I can get three on it, but I end up removing one seat post to make it all fit.

Just make sure that your hitch is adequate in size and capacity to carry the load.
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Old 04-16-14, 01:49 PM   #8
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Since a hanging carrier was mentioned, a nice trick to keep the bikes from rattling into each other (if the rack doesn't have an anti-swing mechanism) is to bungie cord them together with a section (about 1/2) of a swimming pool noodle in between the bikes. The more solid foam type pipe insulation from a hardware store is a similar material, and would probably do a good job too.

I think I learned that in the forums here several years ago.
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Old 04-16-14, 02:10 PM   #9
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If you buy the 2 bike hitch you'll soon need the 4 bike carrier. If you buy the 4 bike hitch you'll never have a need to carry more than 2 bikes (at least that's how it usually goes for me).

But seriously, I too would go with the 4 bike carrier just in case.
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Old 04-17-14, 08:00 AM   #10
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If you buy the 2 bike hitch you'll soon need the 4 bike carrier. If you buy the 4 bike hitch you'll never have a need to carry more than 2 bikes (at least that's how it usually goes for me).
That's the way it usually goes for me too, but I recently got to use my extension when I went on a ride with 2 friends... We couldn't have carpooled without it.
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Old 04-17-14, 08:10 AM   #11
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I bought the Thule T2 916XTR carrier. Two bikes fit in comfortably, without banging into each other. If I ever need more carrying capacity, I can always add an extension to carry two extra bikes. A four bike carrier adds unnecessary weight and it extends two far out when fully deployed.

YMMV
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Old 04-17-14, 08:50 AM   #12
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Kinda depends on the type of bike rack. I have a hitch rack that hangs the bikes from the top tubes. It's a three bike carrier and works well for two. For 3 bikes it's very tight and not really practical. The difference in sizes and weights between the two, three and four bike versions of this carrier aren't great.

I also have a hitch rack that holds the bikes by the wheels. It's for two and does a perfect job for two. A similar three or four bike rack would be considerably larger and heavier.
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Old 04-17-14, 11:14 AM   #13
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Agree with the people recommending 4. I have a 4 bike Thule hitch rack and it is difficult to squeeze 4 bikes on, but 3 are easy.
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Old 04-17-14, 11:40 AM   #14
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Thanks for the input--I was thinking 4 was the way to go.
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Old 04-17-14, 12:08 PM   #15
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Well, I ended up with a Kuat Alpha and it holds 3! Very light, well made. Ditto on noodle/foam wrapped plastic pipe/whatever separators. Also...use zip ties or similar jammed between receiver & rack tube to eliminate ALL slop from hitch/receiver...your bikes will love you for that.
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Old 04-17-14, 01:30 PM   #16
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I've had a Saris 2 bike hitch mount for about 10 years. It has held up very well. I got some extra mount points off of e-bay. 2 bikes are a breeze and I have had 4 bikes on it several times. With 3-4 bikes I use bungee cords to keep them tight and swim noodles from the dollar store to keep them from banging together. With just 2 bikes no extras are needed. Every time I use it I'm glad I bought it.
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