Fifty Plus (50+) Share the victories, challenges, successes and special concerns of bicyclists 50 and older. Especially useful for those entering or reentering bicycling.

Trailer hitch bike racks

Reply

Old 05-18-18, 09:53 AM
  #1  
wnl256
Fred
Thread Starter
 
wnl256's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Woodstock, GA
Posts: 216

Bikes: Trek 4100, Specialized Allez Elite, Kickr Snap

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 22 Post(s)
Trailer hitch bike racks

Hi everyone! I'm getting ready to add a hitch to the back of my car specifically for a bike rack. Now I need to get the rack.

Any suggestions for a trailer hitch bike rack suitable for a road bike, max capacity 2? Preferably one that doesn't cost 300 bucks?
wnl256 is online now  
Reply With Quote
Old 05-18-18, 10:10 AM
  #2  
rseeker
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 2016
Location: Southeast US
Posts: 226
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 74 Post(s)
I see these on craigslist often, like at least once a week. If I were buying I'd expect to get one used for $75. They seem pretty durable.
rseeker is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 05-18-18, 11:20 AM
  #3  
Iride01
Senior Member
 
Iride01's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2017
Location: Mississippi
Posts: 1,862

Bikes: '91 Schwinn Paramount '78 Raleigh Competition GS

Mentioned: 15 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 705 Post(s)
What kind of car? My son got a bike rack to use with his 2005 Jeep Liberty. Even with one of the receiver adapters to extend the rack back far enough to miss the spare tire mounted on the rear, and as well offset it to raise it higher, he still had to be careful about dragging the bike tires when transitioning from slopes to flats or vice versa. He now uses one that mounts to the spare tire mount, still allowing use of the spare tire, and holds the bikes much higher so dragging isn't an issue. As well, it's much steadier than the one mounted in the trailer hitch receiver.

If you are limited to using a rack that has to use your trailer hitch receiver, then maybe those that have a wheel rest under them as part of their scheme will provide more protection. His first rack, they simply hung from hooks through the tops of the wheels. Secure enough. Just no protection from user mistakes of going from flat to steep and forgetting the bikes.
Iride01 is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 05-18-18, 11:49 AM
  #4  
biker128pedal
Senior Member
 
biker128pedal's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Eastern VA
Posts: 741

Bikes: Madone 5.0, Diamondback Topanga frame (Warranty replacement of broken Raleigh)

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 6 Post(s)
Rack

i have an Allen rack. Donít remember the model but works well but not height adjustable. It may be the 532 and holds three bikes. The 522 is a two bike. They do have one that is. It is the deluxe version. I saw the three bike version for $99. These are top tube support type. If you go this way get the anti rock bolt thing.

her new version. Oh I was told not to use this type with a carbon frame bike. I use with aluminum frame bike.

https://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/B078Y...626&amp&sr=8-4

biker128pedal is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 05-18-18, 12:47 PM
  #5  
rumrunn6
Senior Member
 
rumrunn6's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: 25 miles northwest of Boston
Posts: 20,200

Bikes: Bottecchia Sprint

Mentioned: 48 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2158 Post(s)
lots of ppl like the tray style (a little more expensive maybe but several features & benefits worth considering). I'm still old school hanging bikes by their top tube, got a used one on CL for 2 bikes & a new one I forget where for 4 bikes. keep an eye on whether you get a 2" or 1 1/14" receiver

https://atlanta.craigslist.org/atl/b...587107454.html

https://atlanta.craigslist.org/nat/b...582186242.html

if you have any wiggle, either at the hitch rack elbow or at the hitch itself there are a cpl ways to stop it / minimize it such as screw-in style hitch pins & safety straps. some racks come with screw in pins, many do not. I added one to one rack, the other was all set. one needs straps (4 bikes) the other (2 bikes) does not. but they both use screw in pins

this old "Subaru" rack fits any 1 1/4" hitch. works great for 1 bike & OK for 2. it would better for 2 bikes with straight top tubes. Wifey's bike has a steep sloped top tube so I have to use the other rack if we go anywhere together








this shows how safety straps are used on my Swagman Titan




Last edited by rumrunn6; 05-18-18 at 12:54 PM.
rumrunn6 is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 05-18-18, 01:59 PM
  #6  
Ogsarg
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2017
Location: Hollister, CA (not the surf town)
Posts: 323

Bikes: 2009 Specialized Roubaix, early 90's Giant Iguana

Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 131 Post(s)
Nashbar had their deluxe 2 bike rack on sale for $169.00 a few weeks ago so I ordered one. Just came this week and haven't opened the box yet. I know lots of people don't like anything touching the top tube but I figured I'd cut a piece of pipe insulation to slip over it.

https://www.bikenashbar.com/cycling/...bn-shdlx2-base
Ogsarg is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 05-18-18, 02:26 PM
  #7  
wnl256
Fred
Thread Starter
 
wnl256's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Woodstock, GA
Posts: 216

Bikes: Trek 4100, Specialized Allez Elite, Kickr Snap

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 22 Post(s)
Some great information here so far. Thanks everyone! To answer @Iride01, the car is (don't laugh) a Miata. I've tried putting a trunk mount rack on it and it ends up ruining the paint. I found a nice hitch designed specifically for the Miata that hides when you aren't using it. Obviously I'm never going to haul a trailer behind the car, but this seemed like the best way to put a bike rack on the back. It will be rather low to the ground, so I will have to be careful with steep hills. I was thinking that I wanted a tray-based one rather than hanging, specifically so that if anything scraped bottom it would be the rack and not the bike's wheels. Unfortunately those get pricey. I like the Nashbar rack, and it is still at a good price. I may also take a peek at Craig's list.
wnl256 is online now  
Reply With Quote
Old 05-18-18, 02:56 PM
  #8  
rumrunn6
Senior Member
 
rumrunn6's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: 25 miles northwest of Boston
Posts: 20,200

Bikes: Bottecchia Sprint

Mentioned: 48 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2158 Post(s)
Originally Posted by wnl256 View Post
Miata
https://www.etrailer.com/Hitch-Bike-.../B202-114.html
rumrunn6 is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 05-18-18, 03:07 PM
  #9  
Andrey
Senior Guest
 
Andrey's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Hudson Valley, NY
Posts: 234

Bikes: cyclocross-Raleigh, road-Cannondale, Fausto Coppi, Jamis Endura.

Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 22 Post(s)
Second that. Have this bike rack for 3 bikes, very happy . It is also very stable and easy to store/remove.
Andrey is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 05-18-18, 04:00 PM
  #10  
DowneasTTer
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2012
Location: North Central Florida
Posts: 547

Bikes: 2013 Giant RX 0, 2001 Mongoose Pro Triomphe, 2011 Giant TCR Composite, 2014 Giant Escape RX Composite

Mentioned: 3 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 14 Post(s)
Originally Posted by wnl256 View Post
Some great information here so far. Thanks everyone! To answer @Iride01, the car is (don't laugh) a Miata. I've tried putting a trunk mount rack on it and it ends up ruining the paint. I found a nice hitch designed specifically for the Miata that hides when you aren't using it. Obviously I'm never going to haul a trailer behind the car, but this seemed like the best way to put a bike rack on the back. It will be rather low to the ground, so I will have to be careful with steep hills. I was thinking that I wanted a tray-based one rather than hanging, specifically so that if anything scraped bottom it would be the rack and not the bike's wheels. Unfortunately those get pricey. I like the Nashbar rack, and it is still at a good price. I may also take a peek at Craig's list.

I had a couple of different hitch racks in my Miata days (90 blue & 95 M-edition). Now I have only one make. Kuat. NOTHING touches the bike frame just the wheels. I have a couple of the Kuat NV's 1.25 racks for my Smart Fortwo and my Audi TT roadster and a 4 place NV 2" hitch rack for my motorhome (so I can take both our road and mtn bikes on trips. They are great racks and the company support is like no other. I have had all the rest over the past 40 years or so even had a custom hitch for my Jags back in the day but nothing comes close to a Kuat... good luck and enjoy top down fun to the trail head and back.
DowneasTTer is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 05-19-18, 09:03 AM
  #11  
rvdv
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: 43 40'N, 79 20'W
Posts: 53
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)

Iíve used this on my NC Miata for 2 years now, holds 2 bikes, hitch tray style, well built and inexpensive! Sportrack crest 2 SportRack US.
rvdv is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 05-20-18, 08:24 AM
  #12  
Doc_Wui
Senior Member
 
Doc_Wui's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2015
Location: Chicago Suburbs
Posts: 540

Bikes: Diamonback, Transeo, Trek, Giant

Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 111 Post(s)
I mounted a 1-1/4" hitch on my '94 miata. Used it with a inexpensive Bell hanging rack. Very sturdy for one bike.

We used to have a Jeep Grand Cherokee and later a Honda Pilot. I put a 2" hitch on the Jeep and U-Haul put one on the Honda. We used a 4-bike hanger rack. It must have weighed 50 pounds by itself. What I didn't like was mounting the accessory arm on my wife/daughters two bikes w/o top tubes. I figured the seat post would come loose and drop the bikes, so I would strap the frames to the rack too.

Now I use a swagman platform carrier on a 1-1/4" hitch on a Jetta. Not a good bike hauler. When packed with luggage and two bikes, the bottom of the hitch scrapes asphalt going into gas stations and up steeper hills.
Doc_Wui is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 05-20-18, 09:51 AM
  #13  
Doug64
Senior Member
 
Doug64's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Oregon
Posts: 5,197
Mentioned: 23 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 645 Post(s)
I have a Yakima Literider that works quite well.

It also makes a good work stand
Doug64 is online now  
Reply With Quote
Old 05-20-18, 05:32 PM
  #14  
MAK
Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: Delaware
Posts: 1,244

Bikes: Yes, I have bikes.

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 101 Post(s)
Originally Posted by rvdv View Post

Iíve used this on my NC Miata for 2 years now, holds 2 bikes, hitch tray style, well built and inexpensive! Sportrack crest 2 SportRack US.
Just an FYI...The Sportrack, Hollywood tray rack and the Performance tray rack (I used one for years) are pretty much the same. The only problem with tray racks are that if a car bumps it in a parking lot, you may need to bang it back into alignment. I kept a hammer in my trunk.
MAK is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 05-20-18, 05:38 PM
  #15  
MAK
Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: Delaware
Posts: 1,244

Bikes: Yes, I have bikes.

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 101 Post(s)
You didn't tell us what kind of bike you're transporting. Not sure if it's true but I've heard that carbon bikes should not be mounted on racks that support the top tube. I'm sure that someone will add a yes or nay to this.
MAK is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 05-20-18, 09:20 PM
  #16  
Hondo Gravel
misanthrope
 
Join Date: Jan 2018
Location: Hondo,Texas
Posts: 368

Bikes: Motobecane Boris Fatbike, Motobecane Omni Strada Pro,Fantom Pro CX, Fantom X7 MTB, Gravity SS MTB.

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 121 Post(s)
Originally Posted by MAK View Post
Just an FYI...The Sportrack, Hollywood tray rack and the Performance tray rack (I used one for years) are pretty much the same. The only problem with tray racks are that if a car bumps it in a parking lot, you may need to bang it back into alignment. I kept a hammer in my trunk.

That rack is identical to my Nashbar Shawdow 2 and it works good for a budget receiver hitch rack. It holds the bikes well and I add some bungee cords for additional security. I recently ordered extra tire mounts for my fatbike that fortunately Nashbar sells. Overall Iím happy with it at the price point it sells at.
Hondo Gravel is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 05-21-18, 05:17 PM
  #17  
DougG
Road Runner
 
DougG's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: Rochester Hills, MI
Posts: 1,182

Bikes: 2017 Felt VR5, 2012 Specialized Crosstrail

Mentioned: 3 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 65 Post(s)
I just got a Saris SuperClamp EX for my new car, replacing an old Thule tray rack that was much bulkier and heavier to manage (the Saris is only 35 lbs). It's higher than the price range mentioned, but they have them on sale right now for about $380. Very well designed and will hold two bikes up to 60 lbs each (not a concern for me until my wife recently started talking about an eBike!).



DougG is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 05-23-18, 09:10 PM
  #18  
themp
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2015
Posts: 103

Bikes: Specialized Crosstrail

Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 26 Post(s)
I use this one:

2-Bike Hitch Rack | Prorack

I paid 69 dollars three years ago, now 109 dollars. Not clear how to order this from the website other than calling. Amazon has it but it looks a little shady:

https://www.amazon.com/Prorack-80624.../dp/B00BQUK2QK
themp is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 05-24-18, 08:03 AM
  #19  
Dudelsack 
A might bewildered...
 
Dudelsack's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2011
Location: Loovul
Posts: 6,498

Bikes: Bacchetta Giro ATT 26; Lemond Buenos Aires

Mentioned: 3 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 67 Post(s)
I bought a Hollywood rack a few years ago off of Amazon. It was under $200 if I recall and has taken a lot of neglect and held up well. Would recommend. Looks just like the sports rack above.
__________________
We are on earth to help others; what on earth the others are here for I donít know.
Dudelsack is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 05-24-18, 08:26 AM
  #20  
eja_ bottecchia
Senior Member
 
eja_ bottecchia's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Posts: 4,366
Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 340 Post(s)

The Thule is not inexpensive. You, however, get what you pay for.

In a recent rear-end collision my Thule hitch-mount rack sacrificed its ďlifeĒ in order to spare greater damage to my C60 and to my car.

Regardless of which rack you end up getting, I recommend the 2Ē receiver. It is sturdier and has less tendency to vibrate.

Good luck and ride safely.
eja_ bottecchia is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 05-25-18, 09:13 AM
  #21  
frogbiscuit
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: Spotsylvania, VA
Posts: 13

Bikes: 2018 Specialized Sirrus, 2004 Gary Fisher Marlin, Gary Fisher Tiburon frame with a bunch of garage parts

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 10 Post(s)
I found a Reese 4 bike rack in the Wal Mart clearance aisle for $40. Wouldn't hesitate to take it on a long trip, it's pretty solid.
frogbiscuit is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 05-25-18, 06:34 PM
  #22  
Mainiac
Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2017
Location: Maine
Posts: 25

Bikes: Fuji Allegro, Miele Mountain Bike, Trek Domane AL 2

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 10 Post(s)
" I figured I'd cut a piece of pipe insulation to slip over it."


Pipe insulation works like sandpaper.
Mainiac is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 06-02-18, 10:26 PM
  #23  
Dchiefransom
Senior Member
 
Dchiefransom's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: Newark, CA. San Francisco Bay Area
Posts: 6,245
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 29 Post(s)
I have an older Sportrider from Performance Bicycle, made for them by Hollywood. I put a ratcheting vertical pole on it because the hooks that just squeezed the square tube would slowly slip upward off the top tube as I drove over rough roads. I see that the one from Performance and Nashbar both have the ratcheting vertical pole on them. The Performance model is $149. It doesn't fold toward the car like the Nashbar rack, but it angles upward after it leaves the receiver. If I was looking for one today for a regular bike I'd get the Performance rack. With the 2" to 1 1/4" adapter from U-Haul my rack clears the spare tire on my Wrangler.
Dchiefransom is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 06-03-18, 04:11 PM
  #24  
SylvainG
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2017
Location: Ottawa,ON,Canada
Posts: 994

Bikes: Schwinn Miranda 1990, Giant TCX 2 2012

Mentioned: 11 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 394 Post(s)
Here's the one I use:


(Picture taken from that link).

Holds two bikes by the wheels and frame. Doesn't care what kind of frame you have, it will hold it straight. By holding the wheels, there is zero chance of them rubbing against your car. Some folds so they can be left on the car when not in used. Some also has a lock on that sliding curved bar on top to prevent opportunistic theft.
SylvainG is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 06-05-18, 08:56 PM
  #25  
volosong
Senior Member
 
volosong's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: North Idaho
Posts: 2,754

Bikes: n + 1

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 12 Post(s)
Originally Posted by MAK View Post
Not sure if it's true but I've heard that carbon bikes should not be mounted on racks that support the top tube. I'm sure that someone will add a yes or nay to this.
Been using a hitch-mount Yakima rack for my Pinarello carbon bikes since 2012. Supports the bike by the top tube. I do wrap a folded up microfiber cloth around the contact points before attaching the securing rubber straps. No problems at all and the bikes seem fine. Furthest I've transported the bikes this way is from SoCal to North Idaho, about 1,200 miles one-way, over a two-day drive.

- - -

Bike weight 17 pounds, or somewhere around that. Supported at two contact points on the top tube. I would think the forces and stresses of a 215 pound rider on a frame is much, much more than a 17 pound suspended weight.

Last edited by volosong; 06-05-18 at 09:02 PM.
volosong is offline  
Reply With Quote

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us Archive Advertising Cookie Policy Privacy Statement Terms of Service