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Bike came off car rack

Old 04-25-16, 06:46 AM
  #1  
coffeesnob
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Bike came off car rack

I have a yakima king joe.. 3 bike trunk mounted rack. I use it to carry 2 bicycles.. I hate the thing. Our treks bars are flat and these seem better suited to a round bar. About 6 weeks ago I noticed one of the bikes was swinging back and forth like a door. Luckily no harm. Yesterday going down a 70 mph highway I just happened to notice a bike missing but somehow it king the pedal king of wedged into the other bikes spokes and didn't fall completely off I don't think any damage to any bike occured as I must have noticed it at just the exact second it happened..well anyways just needed to vent I don't know what I am doing wrong I always double check the straps and use bunjees to boot..any tips??
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Old 04-25-16, 06:47 AM
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bungee cords
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Old 04-25-16, 06:49 AM
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Old 04-25-16, 07:04 AM
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I gave up the bike rack when I got my Ford Edge -- where the seats fold down with a button.

That being said...the bikes coming off of the rack...If the provided straps don't appear to secure the bike properly, get one of those ratcheting straps that ratchet it on as a safety system. If those bikes fly off at 70 mph, you can kill someone.
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Old 04-25-16, 07:15 AM
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That's my nightmare! Glad the bike didn't come off completely.

My thule has an extra safety strap that goes around/through all the bikes, and also a lock cable that goes over all the top tubes. A couple weeks ago, I forgot the safety strap, and though nothing untoward happened, I shuddered in horror when I discovered it.

I agree with @deapee above that you should use some sort of auxiliary safety strap. Maybe the straps on your rack are worn out?
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Old 04-25-16, 07:24 AM
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Originally Posted by sandy79 View Post
bungee cords
What he said.
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Old 04-25-16, 10:04 AM
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Life is too short to worry about a cheap bike rack. Get something that holds it by the wheels like a Kuat NV or 1UPUSA
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Old 04-25-16, 10:18 AM
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Linky ... https://www.yakima.com/kingjoe-3-three-bike wouldn't call it cheap.

One thing I find supremely useful is QBP/Surly's Junk straps ... it's a really long nylon webbing Toe strap

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Old 04-25-16, 10:29 AM
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Lost my first 10 speed bike that way, a Fiorelli road bike. If you are an avid rider no doubt you have some used bike tubes in your spare parts pile. They make excellent tie downs. Just cut the valve out of the tube and you have something that is strong, stretchy, and will not mar the paint of a bike frame. Just don't pull really hard when you knot a tube. It's not necessary and will make removing the ties much easier. My own experience is that it will hold a bike or trike to a rack at any speeds you can legally (or illegally) attain. The rack would come off long before the tube would give way.

Last edited by VegasTriker; 04-25-16 at 10:33 AM.
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Old 04-25-16, 10:36 AM
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I also have a Yakima rack - I don't remember what it's called, they don't make the exact model anymore - it's about 3 or 4 years old. But it's basically the same exact trunk rack as your King Joe (though mine is only 2 bikes). I think it was a Super Joe or something like that.

I've never had a problem with the bikes swinging or even coming close to falling off, and I've done my share of speeding down the highway. I also have a heavy steel bike nearly 30 pounds.

Are you using the cradles properly that strap around the seat tube as well, or just using the 2 straps over the top tube? I specifically bought a rack that had the cradle and strap for the seat tube in order to keep the bikes from swinging.
Also make sure you use the front wheel strap - I wrap mine through the front tire, around the frame of the rack then around the downtube to secure the front wheel from swinging. The second bike usually doesn't move too much because it's up against the inside bike.

Finally, use the big long strap that comes with the rack to tie the bikes to the rack itself. That's what it's for. I start by going through the rear brake bridge of the outside bike, then under the front fork of the inside bike, then around behind the the frame of rack, then back through the rear brake bridge of the back bike, through the front fork of the outside bike. This literally straps the bikes to the rack and each other.

As I've said, I've had zero issues with bikes swinging or falling. Make sure you pull those straps over the top tubes tight - try to go one notch farther than you think it should be. They'll stretch pretty well.
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Old 04-25-16, 11:33 AM
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ok thanks for the replies, I am new to biking and have certainly never carried one let alone two on a bike rack. Today while in the garage I dug up the manual just to see what it said. I found a section that says if you have a top tube which is slanted..(ours are) you need a tube top so you can carry the bikes straight. Well you know what, I bought these bikes and the yakima at a local bike shop. They knew I was a newbie so you would have thought they would have mentioned the tube top knowing what bikes and rack I bought.So....I guess I have to spend another $40.00 X 2 to carry these bikes.. I wish I could afford a truck or a van.......
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Old 04-25-16, 11:53 AM
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I really dislike trunk mount racks. I've seen too many people bring in their broken bikes to the shop because they had either fallen off, or they got hit by another car.

When I only needed to carry one bike, I'd just put it inside my car. When I needed to carry more than one bike, I'd use the roof rack. Fortunately, now I need neither; with my Honda Element I can put bikes in without even removing wheels or even laying them down.

As for your trunk rack, always recheck the straps holding it to the vehicle after your have loaded the bikes; you may find they are not as tight as when the rack was unloaded. I like to put an extra knot in the strap; I don't rely solely on the buckle to keep the straps secured. It's OK if the bikes are a little slanted, which is why the bike shop may not have suggested the faux-top-tube accessory. Whether or not you need one depends upon how securely you can get the bikes on the rack, not how it looks cosmetically.

Last edited by techsensei; 04-25-16 at 12:33 PM.
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Old 04-25-16, 12:14 PM
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Trunk racks are a compromise. I am on my third one (one Allen 3 bike rack, one Thule two bike rack and my current Sarris Bones 2).

The Allen is a cheap, vinyl covered metal tube rack. Its weak point is that it has metal diagonals of 1/8 or less diameter. Apart from marking the trunk when they touched once, they flex and I don't trust them to carry two (let alone three) bikes in anything but smooth roads (we don't have these in Houston). Also, it doesn't fit my rear wing equipped Mustang...

The Thule was a beautiful job, with one fatal flaw: If any of the hooks came off (and they can come off in my Mustang, with its 'melted look/no horizontal surface' bumpers), then the opposite hook comes off because the tension is lost. The straps are not secured anywhere in the middle! Losing some of the tension makes the rest of the hooks to eventually come off! I returned it to REI the next day.

My current Sarris Bones 2 utilizes the same concept, but the straps are all sawn together in the middle. You lose one hook and that's that! You loose one hook.

However, the feet of the Sarris are stepping on the bumper plastic cover. We just came back from a 300 mi. trip and I saw 2 dimples on the plastic, as there was not hard metal directly underneath.

I am considering getting trailer hitches installed in both the Mustang and the 328 and buying a hitch mounted rack.
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Old 04-25-16, 12:32 PM
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Odds are you are using the rack wrong.

Used properly, these racks provide a secure, non-swinging mount for the bikes.Start by examining the cradles. You'll note that they have 2 positions, providing a roughly 80° angle to support the inside of the seat/top tube joint.

The design calls for the top tube to be strapped to a cradle at one end, and for the other cradle to be rotated so the flat side is against the seat tube with the top tube resting in the circular area. This one can be strapped to the seat tube to prevent sway. I don't know if Yakima provides 3 straps for 2 cradles, but if they do strap the seat/top tubes both. If not, I suggest buying a 3rd strap for each bike (6 total for 2 bikes).
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Old 04-25-16, 12:36 PM
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I damaged my first bike, a '72 Motobecane Mirage when it came loose from a rack. I still have nightmares about it.
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Old 04-25-16, 01:05 PM
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I like Coghlans Arno Straps as secondary straps. Also fantastic for saddlebags on really rough bicycling terrain or for attaching tents and/or sleeping bages to bicycles = lots of uses. They hold tigh, are easy to use and not too expensive.

https://www.amazon.ca/Coghlans-8424-...=1&*entries*=0

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Old 04-25-16, 03:18 PM
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About 20 years ago I was a witness to a 6 car accident when some guys bike fell off of his trunk mounted rack. Happened on the highway at about 65 mph... bike hit the ground, flipped up in the air about 10 feet and cars started scattering. I managed to weave right through the carnage untouched. Pure luck. The bike owner never stopped.


-Kedosto
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Old 04-25-16, 04:17 PM
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I'm not a fan of any strap on bike rack.

I think that the best bike rack also happens to be the cheapest. It's a canvas drop cloth from Sherwin Williams. You use it to protect your car's seat from your bike.
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Old 04-26-16, 04:30 PM
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Platform rack
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Old 04-26-16, 04:59 PM
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One of the MANY reasons I drive a truck..
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Old 04-26-16, 05:16 PM
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^^This^^
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Old 04-27-16, 04:01 AM
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Originally Posted by clydeosaur View Post
One of the MANY reasons I drive a truck..
well....I wish I had one.
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Old 04-27-16, 05:07 AM
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after I install my road gear rack and load the my bike .
I recheck the rack straps and re-tighten them as needed.
then i used red tie down strap wrap them around the bike at the top tube the back around the rack the secure the straps. the bike is so secure I can wiggle the bike and car together.
like these: 1" M/C Tie Down Strap, Wheel Tie | M&R Products
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Old 04-27-16, 12:01 PM
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Yeah I'd be willing to bet - and no offense to anyone here - that most "failures" of trunk mounted car racks are actually user error, not the fault of the rack.
I'll concede some of the cheaper racks that don't have anti-sway cradles - or any cradles at all, probably are more prone to issues simply because they aren't as strong or well made.
BUT, if you don't take the time to properly secure it, and tie it down, like it says in the user manual, then, it's pretty much your fault.
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Old 04-27-16, 12:14 PM
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Originally Posted by the sci guy View Post
Yeah I'd be willing to bet - and no offense to anyone here - that most "failures" of trunk mounted car racks are actually user error, not the fault of the rack.
I'll concede some of the cheaper racks that don't have anti-sway cradles - or any cradles at all, probably are more prone to issues simply because they aren't as strong or well made.
BUT, if you don't take the time to properly secure it, and tie it down, like it says in the user manual, then, it's pretty much your fault.
Agreed that it's usually user error. One thing about cradles though: while they work well with "standard" bikes, many bikes aren't standard. It's often a bit of a struggle to get small bikes on racks that have cradles because they are too fat, too far apart, or there aren't big enough openings in the frame of the bike.
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