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Old 10-11-11, 10:49 PM   #1
PandaExpress
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Expensive trunk racks for bicycles: Worth the price?

I'm looking to pick up a trunk rack for my sedan, and I'm surprised by the price range is so large. New, they seem to go anywhere from $40 to $300. If I'm just picking up a two or three bike model for a regular sedan, is a $300 Thule really be that much better than a $40 Bell?
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Old 10-12-11, 07:53 AM   #2
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I've never used a Thule rack but do have a Rhode Gear Super Shuttle rack that sells for $60 at Target. I got mine at a garage sale for $4 a decade ago. The design has not changed much for many years. It holds two bikes. I've even hung a recumbent trike and two-wheeled recumbent bikes from it. I do take one additional step for safety. I put an extra strap that secures the rack to the hatchback from the inside my Scion XB. I'm not really expecting anything to happen but just do it anyway.
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Old 10-12-11, 08:28 AM   #3
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I have to agree, I have an inexpensive rack (holds three bikes) that fits on the trunk of my car. I'm not sure how much I paid for it, but I'm sure it was not even $75 (four years ago). It works great!!!! Granted, it is not one of those molded plastic jobs with all kinds of adjustments, but for me, the inexpensive one that I have is good enough.

Tom
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Old 10-12-11, 08:57 AM   #4
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I'll throw in another one:
Twinny Load
All towing hook models.

Price? Between €200 and €400.

I've seen plenty of bikes bounce of cheap trunk racks, because they could only be fastened using belts.
It's not a pretty sight when two bikes bounce of a car on a busy highway...

The more expensive ones better secure your bike and will prevent chafing or extra stress on the bike.
In general, the more fastening points you have, the better the carrier is for your bike.

Last edited by JaccoW; 10-12-11 at 09:01 AM.
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Old 10-12-11, 10:29 AM   #5
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I use a Saris Bones 2 that can be adapted to almost any vehicle including exotics. It can be fitted in a couple minutes at most and costs $125 or less. I wouldn't own anything else after using one.
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Old 10-12-11, 10:33 AM   #6
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I use a Saris Bones 2 that can be adapted to almost any vehicle including exotics. It can be fitted in a couple minutes at most and costs $125 or less. I wouldn't own anything else after using one.

+1. I got mine off a another member of our local cycling club for $75. It was worth every penny.
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Old 10-13-11, 06:55 PM   #7
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I have the Saris Bones 2 as well, I think it was $115 on Amazon and I could not be happier.
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Old 10-24-11, 01:35 PM   #8
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I had the cheapest Bell for years and recently upgraded to the most expensive Thule (when it was on sale at REI) for the security features. If you never leave your bike unattended, a Bell can be satisfactory. Some people will be bothered more by its flimsiness and wobble, though we felt it was stable enough. We wanted to be able leave the bikes unattended on the car for short stops, such as while eating at a restaurant. The Thule has steel cables instead of nylon straps, a key lock for the cable tightening ratchets, and another lock for a cable that passes over the outermost bicycle top tube. It also weighs a lot, so it doesn't have the slightest bit of wobble.
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Old 10-26-11, 09:35 AM   #9
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My first bike rack, I paid $4.00 at a flea market. My second bike rack, I picked up at the town dump. I bought a hitch mount for $100.00(the most I have spent on a rack). I paid $30.00(20 of that was shipping) on ebay for a sparetire mount, that was a Yakima. And I got a free Thule trunk mount. I have used all of them, and have never lost a bike. The first $4.00 rack went from NJ to Cali and back(with a bike that was worth more than the car) You don't have to pay an arm and a leg for a rack. IMHO Thule and Yakima racks, of any variety are way over priced, and not worth what they cost compared to what else is out there if you look. Just read the directions, and use common sense when mounting it.
And, after trying to get parts from Thule, I'd never consider buying one.
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Old 10-26-11, 11:11 AM   #10
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And, after trying to get parts from Thule, I'd never consider buying one.
A good point to keep in mind, but depends heavily on where you are living. Not everyone lives in the U.S.
Then again, how often do you need replacement parts for a bike rack? Except for at the beginning when mounting it?
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Old 10-29-11, 09:49 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by mje View Post
I had the cheapest Bell for years and recently upgraded to the most expensive Thule (when it was on sale at REI) for the security features. If you never leave your bike unattended, a Bell can be satisfactory. Some people will be bothered more by its flimsiness and wobble, though we felt it was stable enough. We wanted to be able leave the bikes unattended on the car for short stops, such as while eating at a restaurant. The Thule has steel cables instead of nylon straps, a key lock for the cable tightening ratchets, and another lock for a cable that passes over the outermost bicycle top tube. It also weighs a lot, so it doesn't have the slightest bit of wobble.
A few months ago I switched from my old Allen rack to the Thule with added security features. Well worth the money. More stable at 60 to 65 on the highway and more secure against theft.
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