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Thread: bike carriers

  1. #1
    Junior Member cmcgoat's Avatar
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    bike carriers

    I'm getting ready to buy a bike in a few weeks and want to buy a bike carrier to go along with it so I can haul my bike and my kids bikes down to the park.

    The carrier I will buy will be a trunk carrier to fit on my Dodge Stratus. I've seen them priced from $40 to $100 +.

    Any recommendations for trunk carriers? I'll probably get one to carry 2 mountain bikes. Anything I should think about (like should I buy a bunch of bungee cords also)?

    I've only used one of these and it was a long long time ago. Thanks for any advice.
    Chris Conn
    Austin, TX
    Schwinn Frontier GSX

  2. #2
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    Check on Craigslist for a good used one. I see alot of them for sale in this area. I'd stick with the major brands like Yakima, Thule and Saris. There may be other good brands out there but I do not know them by name.

    This is a good article on the tradeoffs of rack systems at Consumer Reports.

    Thule Trunk racks
    Yakima Trunk racks
    Saris Trunk racks

    At lot of people like the Thule T2 in the hitch mount category. If you don't have a hitch it will cost you ~$120 to get one. Plus the hitch mount racks are more than double the expense of the trunk racks. Although, the hitch racks are a little more convenient and are kinder to the car.

  3. #3
    WV is not flat.. brandenjs's Avatar
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    I like the hitch mounted racks myself they are easy to use and they keep the bikes away from the car.
    It can be a little expensive to set up to begin with, but well worth it in the long run.
    This is our truck from a charity ride last year...

  4. #4
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    I have all three main types of racks:
    - Trunk Mount
    - Hit Mount
    - Roof mount.

    My least favorite is the trunk mount as it is a royal main to attach to the car to make sure it is secure enough that there will be zero movement, or else it can rub on the car and cause paint damage.

    My middle choice it the hitch mount version. The up side it that it slips into place in seconds, and one bolt to lock it in place. This takes all of about 90 seconds to complete. Removal is also very simple. The down side it that I found that the bikes can hang a bit low if you are driving a normal car or station wagon. With an SUV you'll get an extra 6" to 12" of ground clearance. With my wife's bike I use a car that connects from the seat post to the front stem, but it still can hang a bit low, and exiting driveways with steep drops, I've had the bike wheels hit the ground... definitely not good.

    My favorite (on a car or station wagon) are the room mount systems that clamp on the front tube. These don't require the removal of a wheel. You just lift the bike up, clamp on the tube, and strap down the front a rear wheels. This is simple, quick and no work needs to be performed on either the car or the bike. I am pretty tall at 6' 2.5" so this works great for me, for my wife at 5' 2.5" this would be hard to work with.

    No matter what kind you buy, look at Craiglist and see if anyone locally is selling a rack. I got my hitch rack for $30, I know the guy paid $120 for it only a few years ago, and was hardly used. You can also find them at eBay, but shipping can add up.

    Happy riding,
    André

  5. #5
    weirdo
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    Yeah, I have some tips- my wife and I just went through this in preparation for a road trip last Fall. We had also decided on a trunk carrier for various reasons.
    1- Be sure to try the rack with your own bikes in the store, if possible. Failing that, make sure you can return it if you run into a compatibility problem. I picked up a cheap Bell from Wallyworld and I couldn`t get my wife`s bike to mount on it (comfort bike with short and very sloped TT). Returned the first rack and marched the bike into REI so I could try it with the racks they had on display. I ended up with a Yakima for about four times the price. The Bell might have been OK if it had fit, but the Yakima is definitely sturdier and mounts better.
    2-Be sure to feel the tire nearest your exhaust from time to time if you`re not constantly moving. We had our car warming up one and defrosting frosty morning when I started to smell cooking rubber. The tire is still rolling, but I`m sure it didn`t enjoy the sauna.

    Ours is a little bit of a pain (can`t access the trunk with bikes loaded, takes a while to mount every time) but I`m happy with it for our occasional use. For more frequent use, I would probably go with a different style.

  6. #6
    Junior Member cmcgoat's Avatar
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    Thanks for all the advice. I bought a Schwinnn Frontier GSX today
    (haven't picked it up yet) and am thinking of picking up a 2 bike
    Thule trunk carrier they have at the LBS, about $60. I will make sure
    it works with my bike before I buy it!
    Chris Conn
    Austin, TX
    Schwinn Frontier GSX

  7. #7
    Senior Member DieselDan's Avatar
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    If you use a trunk mounted rack, make sure to tighten down the lower straps AFTER you load the bikes.
    Bikes use brakes to stop.

    If your bike has breaks, don't ride it.

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