bike rack info
I am just getting back into bicycling after 20 years (kids will do that to you). Before buying a new bike, I need to find a way to transport the bicycle with my car (my home is an area that makes bicycling directly to/from impractical). My small car will not handle a roof rack and I have been told by several bike shops that a trunk mounted rack won't work either. This leaves me with a the option of a hitch type bicycle rack. From browsing the internet, I see that bike hitch mounts come in two sizes: 1.25 or 2 inches. I am wondering which size to buy. I plan to carry at most 2 bikes.
I appreciate any advice you can offer.
First, do a search on "bike rack" for the bikeforums site. Lots of good discussions. Next, look at a site like http://www.bike-racks-plus.com/
Shows lots of options. Also, in order to have a hitch rack, you have to have a hitch. If you don't already, that could be a big extra cost.
Don't see why a removable trunk rack wouldn't work for you. I think even my Miata could carry a couple of bikes using my Saris trunk mounted carrier.
If you're only driving a few miles, lighter duty rack is fine. If you're driving on rough roads, extended trips, heavier duty (hitch mount, 2") would be better. My Yakima hitch rack mounts on my Durango's hitch and swings out of the way of the tail gate. If you have a non-standard frame, or super exotic frame material, you may need a tray-type trailer hitch mount or roof-top carrier.
I doubt your small car couldn't handle a roof rack. I drive a 1998 chevrolet metro and I picked up a Thule roof rack on ebay for a pittance. I purchased the right fit kit from Thule and I'm up and running. Now I just need to figure out how to mount my short wheelbase recumbent to it.
If you're after durability I'd suggest going with the 2" and consider the T rack. I have done that and actually have the model where I can haul 5 bikes with confidence. My sister bought a Yakima rack and mounted a 1.25" receiver for it. With just two bikes I think you could just go with the 1.25".
I installed a 2" so I could pull some other small trailers (Jet skis, utility trailers, etc) if I wanted to so that might something to consider if that appeals to you.........
One little trick that I did on my set-up for a reciever rack was to drill and tap a small hole in the side of the hitch.I put a small bolt in it to "lock" the bar to stop it from swaying and rocking when I have bikes loaded on the car.Stopped a lot of noise and motion when I drive.
I used a trunk mount rack for years and switched to a hitch mount version about a year ago. I wouldn't go back to the trunk mount for anything. No matter how careful you are, you "will" damage the paint on your trunk with frequent trunk mount use, not to mention of the hassle of putting it on and taking it off all the time. I have a 1.25" receiver and can carry two bikes without problem.