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trailer hitch bike rack?

Old 05-01-17, 12:14 PM
  #1  
fourwinds
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trailer hitch bike rack?

Recommend brands & features for a bike rack to mount on a trailer hitch. Better to hang or have a platform? How secure is it from theft? Does it fold up and/or move out of the way? Does it rattle when no bikes are loaded?
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Old 05-01-17, 12:34 PM
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I have a Thule T2 rack with the extra 2 tray adapter.
Its a platform/tray carrier and is 10x better than my old Thule hanging rack. Its also 4x more expensive.

The entry level priced hanging racks are great for a couple bikes, even if they advertise 4 bikes, they really arent made for more than 3 without some insane twisting and paint chipping.

The Thule T2 and the Yakima Holdup are both excellent tray racks which hold the bikes by the front wheel and rear wheel. There are other tray racks by a bunch of brands(yakima and thule included) where there is an arm that clamps down on the top tube of the frame. A few of my bikes have cables routed along the top of the top tube and I wouldnt want those cables rubbing against the frames mile after mile.


The Thule T2 is really easy to fold up and down and loading/unloading takes 20seconds per bike. Its really fast. The rack is stable when in use and when folded up. It doesnt sway or anything due to the threaded hitch pin.
The Thule T2 comes with locks for the hitch and also for each bike. They are basic locks and if someone had bolt cutters they could steal the bikes. Hitch locks are only there to keep people honest.

Only downside besides price is the rack is heavier than hanging racks.
I got mine from REI with their 20% off member coupon to make it hurt a little less. Lowest price I could find anywhere.
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Old 05-01-17, 01:03 PM
  #3  
ramzilla
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I've got a cheapo Allen 4x hitch mounted bike rack for my Camry. It's small enough to disconnect & store in the trunk when not in use. Of course it rattles around some. Bungee cords help keep everything secure. The only drawback to this inexpensive bike rack is the Manufacturer provided hitch fastener. They give you a nut & bolt to permanently attach the rack. (I guess the lawyers figure that some people are too stupid to remember to attach the hitch pin before driving 90mph down the interstate). So, if you want to make it portable/removable you have to make an "un-authorized modification" by drilling the POS bolt hole out to 5/8' diameter & replacing the bolt with an ordinary hitch pin. Other than that it's a fine little bike rack & works very well.
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Old 05-01-17, 01:59 PM
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1upusa

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Old 05-01-17, 02:09 PM
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How many bikes do you need to haul?

This is the best rack hands down:

https://www.saris.com/product/superclamp-2

So easy to install, use and remove. I love this thing.
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Old 05-01-17, 02:28 PM
  #6  
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I have a Saris Freedom 2 bike rack and that thing is solid. Yes, you have to bolt the rack into the hitch, it stays locked in place, doesn't rattle and you never worry about it. A floppy rack will eventually cause sag and possible breakage.
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Old 05-01-17, 02:34 PM
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I have a saris hitch mount three bike rack that I have been using for over six years and love it. Holds the bike by the wheels and not the frame.
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Old 05-01-17, 02:53 PM
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Originally Posted by SKunKWerKs View Post
How many bikes do you need to haul?

This is the best rack hands down:

https://www.saris.com/product/superclamp-2

So easy to install, use and remove. I love this thing.
The Superclamp is really nice, and I considered that...until I found out that the Superclamp 4 cant be reduced to 2 when you dont need all 4 spots. Thats a really limiting feature as 80% of the time I only need 2 spots so having the ability to change from 2 to 4 is nice, instead of needing to always have 4 spots.

The other limitation was wheelbase- the wheelbases on bikes sharing arms need to be very similar, so my bike with my youngest kid's bike wouldnt work.


I do like how light it is, relatively speaking.
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Old 05-01-17, 03:26 PM
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I have a Kuat Beta 2.0 and it's a great hanging rack for 2 bikes. Rack does not rattle with or without bikes on. For theft protection, you can buy a Kuat locking bolt. Also, with this configuration, you can use a long U-lock to lock the frame to mast. I originally had considered a platform rack, but was concerned about hitting the platform on the ground when changing direction to or from "uphill."
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Old 05-01-17, 05:41 PM
  #10  
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I have a Thule Apex 4 bike carrier that I've used a bit. Nice rack with a built-in lock that's performed very well.
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Old 05-01-17, 05:42 PM
  #11  
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When I put a hitch receiver on my sedan, I bought the Transit flatbed from Performance Bikes. Wow...what a lousy rack. The bikes moved far too much to the point that going over a bump too fast and the handlebar slammed into my trunk and dented it. Along with other issues, I returned it and got a Saris Freedom when they were on a nice sale. Saris has nice products! Much lighter, easy to mount the bikes and it holds the bikes really well.



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Old 05-01-17, 05:43 PM
  #12  
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Originally Posted by Elvo View Post
1upusa

This! I've had two and they are AWESOME, if a bit spendy.
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Old 05-01-17, 08:34 PM
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I went cheap.

2-Bike Hitch Rack | Prorack

Got this for $69 and free shipping a while back from Amazon. For some reason it is now priced at $90 + $30 shipping. The four carrier version is priced on Amazon for $90 and free shipping. I did have to add PVC pipes between the two rubber mounts on each side to keep them from moving. So, the front rubber mounts are up against the plastic end caps and the inside rubber mounts are against the PVC with a radiator hose clamp on the outside. I have a 1 1/4 inch hitch, so this mounts metal to metal. If you have a 2 inch hitch then you have to use the plastic insert they provide and you can see the comments on Amazon that this fails over time as it compresses. Yakima owns Prorack.
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Old 05-06-17, 12:50 PM
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fourwinds
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I looked at a Thule T2. Heavy duty, easy to reach latch that makes offloading easy and accessing the hatch on my wagon. But nearly $600 for 2 bikes!
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Old 05-06-17, 03:37 PM
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By the way, the 1UpUsa can be carried with three fingers. It's truly light and compact.
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Old 05-06-17, 04:42 PM
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Doug64
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I have a Yakima Literider, and am happy with it.
https://www.yakima.com/literider

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Old 05-06-17, 04:53 PM
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GlennR
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^^^^^^^^
Only 3 bikes?

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Old 05-06-17, 04:59 PM
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Doug64
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Originally Posted by oldnslow2 View Post
^^^^^^^^
Only 3 bikes?

Yeah, but we often carried 4 on my Toyota Matrix.
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Old 05-06-17, 05:23 PM
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my go to rack is a little Subaru 2 bike folding unit. bought second hand on craigslist for less than $100. no rattle at the hitch or the elbow. it pops on & off with the bike, don't drive it around w/o a bike



when I need to carry 4 bikes now I use a Swagman Titan but when loaded w bikes it needs stabilizer straps due to wiggle at the elbow



over the years, done a variety of things





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Old 05-06-17, 07:52 PM
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Originally Posted by fourwinds View Post
Recommend brands & features for a bike rack to mount on a trailer hitch. Better to hang or have a platform? How secure is it from theft? Does it fold up and/or move out of the way? Does it rattle when no bikes are loaded?
I have the swagman XC2 hitch rack for 2 bikes. I like the platform style it keeps the bikes in place well without the bike's wheels turning and bumping into the car's paint. I hardly keep the bike's loaded on the rack for long, but I got the swagman cable/hitch lock combo that is a threaded lockpin with a cable that snakes around the bikes for security. The rack's wheel holders fold upwards when not in use. I've had the setup on the freeway and over rough highways and it is very solid, I trust it. When my post count is up I can finally post a pic, so hold on. Okay here comes a pic with one bike mounted.

Last edited by 808spd; 05-07-17 at 10:28 PM.
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Old 05-07-17, 12:07 AM
  #21  
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Originally Posted by SKunKWerKs View Post
How many bikes do you need to haul?

This is the best rack hands down:

https://www.saris.com/product/superclamp-2

So easy to install, use and remove. I love this thing.
The Saris Freedom Superclamp 2 looks pretty good too although I see I'd have to unload the bikes to get in the rear of the car. It is less expensive than the Thule T2.
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Old 05-07-17, 05:40 AM
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I have a Thule 4 bike rack on my car. It has worked beautifully for years now. I have no issues with it. As far as theft, if you mean bikes, If I will be leaving it for a little time, I will attach a cable to lock the bikes to the rack to act as a deterrent.
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Old 05-07-17, 08:19 AM
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I have both the hanging (1st) & platform (newest). I much rather prefer the platform. the hanging will scratch your bike where it contacts and sways and the rubber ties always breaks. and you can't really add the capacity of bikes it advertises due to handlebar widths and pedals. on the platform type the weight is supported by the wheels so minimal effort is needed to hold it in place.

I choose the Swagman platform because it was cheap and has MINIMAL plastic & rubber parts (those break). I'm liking it so far.

Last edited by xodondum; 05-07-17 at 08:37 AM.
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Old 05-10-17, 01:22 PM
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I got the Swagman Chinook 2 and like it a lot. It comes with the hitch lock and the vertical arms lock as well. Very secure and not too expensive (I think I paid around $250 on Amazon). I added a cable with a padlock to add one extra level of security but the locks it comes with are plenty. Doesn't rattle, folds up when not in use and has been great so far.
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Old 05-10-17, 01:47 PM
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Originally Posted by fourwinds View Post
Recommend brands & features for a bike rack to mount on a trailer hitch. Better to hang or have a platform? How secure is it from theft? Does it fold up and/or move out of the way? Does it rattle when no bikes are loaded?
Thule Thule Thule...They make the best rear mounts for the widest range of folks and the quality is second to none. You could look at Kuat as well, but they are bulky on the back of a car depending on how many bikes you are hauling. I have a combo of a Thule rear mount and a Fork mount Thule roof rack. Love both options couldn't be happier.
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