Join Date: May 2007
Location: Buffalo NY
Bikes: Gerry Fisher Nirvana, LeMond Buenos Aires
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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.