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Old 08-28-05, 07:15 AM
speedlever's Avatar
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: Rolling hills of Piedmont NC
Posts: 1,040

Bikes: 2008 Trek Madone 5.5, 2005 Marin Novato, Trek 7100

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I've read through many of the threads pertaining to hitch racks as I try to determine what will work best for me. I've found that many of the racks suggested are no longer available as mfgs change models. Also, many referral URLs are dead. Useful as the MTBR site is, many of the racks in their list are no longer available and/or the current racks are not listed. I thought I'd start a new thread with a date attached.

I've never had a hitch or a rack before, so some of the obvious stuff isn't so obvious to me. I plan to put a 2" receiver hitch on my truck and on my wife's Honda Pilot. So I will be looking for a 2" hitch mount rack for 4 bikes.

Ease of moving the rack between hitches will be important. I also want a way to lock the rack to the hitch and the bikes to the rack. With the Pilot, it will be nice to have a rack that allows access to the rear hatch. Planned usage will mainly be short trips.

Trying to keep costs somewhat in check, I've ruled out the more expensive tray mounts like the Saris Cycle-on, 1up USA Ultra Rack and the Thule Transporter T2 (old Sportworks).

The Performance Xport flatbed sounds interesting, but reviews here indicate some shortcomings such as it has to be bolted to the hitch. Can't a locking hitchpin be used instead? Also, this spec makes me wonder if there are any practical restrictions:
"Fits bikes with wheelbases from 17" to 58""

The Thule Expressway and the Yakima Kingpin 4 both require the bikes to be removed from the rack before lowering it for access to the rear hatch (per the instructions). Sorta defeats the purpose of having a tilt-down rack, methinks. Thus this leaves their pricier swing-aways as preferred alternatives.

Question: how important are the racks that offer hitch and bike locking as standard (such as the top Thule and Yakima products). Can the same security be done just as effectively/cheaply with 3rd party add-ons?

The Softride carriers look attractive... and offer integrated cable lock and hitch lock. Is the DX (with foot pedal release) a practical option? Seems the bikes would get in the way of activating it. And do they offer any anti-sway protection?
$230 - $320 list

I know there are more options, but am out of time right now. I'll try to add some more links later.

Last edited by speedlever; 08-28-05 at 11:31 AM.
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