I am looking for a bike rack for my Rockhopper 09. I drive a 98 Saturn SL 4door. Now I see that there are hitch racks & trunk mounts? Which are more stable/secure? Due to my work I need to relocate 3/4 times a year which means I'll be driving a lot on interstates & such with a mounted bike. Considering this, what are my options for a safe/sturdy bike rack?
What are my options for securing my bike on the mount so it would deter bike theft?
I am a little apprehensive of bike racks that have straps. What if someone cuts it?! or it breaks? I am paranoid that way. It would kill me to see my bike fall from the mount while driving! I checked out Saris Bones 2-Bike, looks sturdy & expensive. Any suggestions? Thanks for your time!
the two major companies are thule http://www.thuleracks.com/ and yakima http://www.yakima.com/. i would stay away from the roof mounted racks, unless your not as scatterbrained as me. people have a tendency to forget the bikes are on there and run into stuff...speaking from personal experience here.
Hitch mounts are definitely the way to go. But, in the absence of a hitch, I happen to like Stealth racks for strap-on, trunk mounting. Get the 3-bike instead of the 2-bike, as it gives you two more anchoring straps. I've carried two DH bikes and an XC on the 3-bike many times no qualms.
The caveat with a strap-on, of course, is you will have to get creative with a couple of lock cables and an anchor point on your car's chassis to secure a bike from theft.
They attach with a bolt... You can buy their special locking, threaded hitch pin, or you can drill it out like I did, and use your own, normal locking hitch pin that you use for trailers.
Just realized you meant security of the bikes.. my bad.
Yea, on your hitch there's normally places for tow hooks to attack to, you can run a cable through those, and loop it through ya frame.
throw a lock in it, and you should be good.
@dminor, how about the security with the hitch? Can I use some kind of security cables to lock it with the stem of hitch?
I pass a cable through one of the safety chain loops on the hitch or around the hitch itself if the loop is too small. Takes a couple cables to do that and a stack of bikes.
DO NOT drill out the threaded hole, contrary to what was said above. The bolt needs to suck the stinger tight against the side of the receiver socket so that the rack doesn't wobble. If you want to use a standard locking pin, better to drill a second hole through everything ahead of the bolt.
Thanks for responses -_RebelRidin'_-, dminor.
I just realized that my car does not have a hitch receiver. So this means that I'll have to install one on my car. Also I think hitch racks are more expensive than trunk mounts. I am guessing installing a hitch & hitch rack will totally blow my budget. I only have about $125 to spend. Any suggestions? Sorry if I am kinda wasting your time. Thanks!
For $125 budget, I suggest you spend $40. The hitch racks are best (out of your price range), but my experience with trunk mount is that you aren't getting a much better rack for $125 than the $40 Wall Mart job.
You are not going to like the quote. Shop-built receivers aren't cheap, even when you do the install yourself. Plus, since it's a little Saturn, you are only going to find a 1¼" receiver for it - - they don't make standard 2" sockets for small-car hitches. So then you either have to use an adapter (I have one and I hate it) or buy the small-stinger version of the rack, which limits your load capacity.
Stealth rack that I mentioned above lists for $100. You should be able to find one for about $80. They also have some of the better cradles around to.
Yea, I didn't see your "no hitch" post until after I typed that,
With the budget of 125, a good truck rack would do you good, because like Dminor said, hitches aint cheap, and for smaller cars its going to be hard to find the 2''. I honestly don't like, or trust the 1-1/4's and the adapter from 1-1/4 to 2'' is just more wobble.
tilumisteel, -_RebelRidin'_-, dminor, thanks for your replies!
Well that leaves me with a trunk rack. I'll check out Yakima & Thule. What do you guys think about Saris Bones 2-Bike?
@ dminor, are stealth racks sold in US? I checked their website and only found dealer locator for Canada.
^^ Yes they are. I've gotten mine at my LBS. I believe most LBSs can order directly from them for you; or if your shop orders from SBS (Seattle Bicycle Supply - - large wholesaler) they carry the Stealth racks.
Most of their web site orientation is Canadian because they are a Norco product.