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Bike racks for carbon fiber frame

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Bike racks for carbon fiber frame

Old 05-02-17, 10:47 AM
  #1  
TKJava
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Bike racks for carbon fiber frame

I recently purchased a bike rack for my car, a hitch mount type that carries 4 bikes. After my purchase I discovered that a car rack that "hangs" the bike from the top tube is not recommended for carbon bikes. The e-mail I got back from the rack manufacturer simply stated "manufacturers of carbon bikes don't recommend the hanging type of rack" with no real explanation as to why. The LBS where I purchased the rack said that this is a sentiment from "back in the day" it was thought that the strap that wraps around the top tube and or the top tube support can crush the carbon fiber frame but he would use this type of bike rack. So I'm reaching out to the collective wisdom of the forum to see what anyone else thinks about this.

Thanks.
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Old 05-02-17, 11:45 AM
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Thats a new one to me. I've never had a problem hauling any of my CF bikes.
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Old 05-02-17, 12:16 PM
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hanging bike racks tend to allow bikes to sway a lot(compared to platform/tray racks). The swaying rubs the top tube and also invites the potential for other bikes to contact the carbon frame(creating scratches/chips/etc).

Just wrap it up tight!
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Old 05-02-17, 08:10 PM
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Originally Posted by mstateglfr View Post
hanging bike racks tend to allow bikes to sway a lot(compared to platform/tray racks). The swaying rubs the top tube and also invites the potential for other bikes to contact the carbon frame(creating scratches/chips/etc).

Just wrap it up tight!
I wouldn't use a sway-and-bump bike rack with any lightweight carbon or metal bikes. This is the entire reason that tray-style hitch racks were invented.
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Old 05-03-17, 10:19 AM
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I have a saris bike hitch mount bike rack that I've used for years. It holds three bikes and holds them by the wheels nothing touches the frame.
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Old 05-03-17, 11:07 AM
  #6  
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I always thought it wasn't too difficult to fix the "multiple bike swaying problem"
Get one of those "pool noodles" and cut them to a length that would keep the bikes from touching. Place one or two of these between the bikes, and wrap a bungie cord around the bikes. The cut "pool noodle" will act as a spacer, and the bungie cord will keep it all snug.
You could even feed the bungie cord through the "pool noodle" so ensure it doesn't fall.
I've yet to test this, but it seems like a viable solution to me.
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Old 05-03-17, 07:10 PM
  #7  
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I started w/the hanging style, hate it because my frames would end up scratched. I now use a platform style, so much better.
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Old 05-03-17, 09:11 PM
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Platform is the way to go, specifically the kind that hold it just by the wheels and nothing else. Any contact points on the frame will eventually cause rubbing unless great care is taken to protect the bikes. Much easier to just put the bike on the rack, secure the wheels, and go.
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Old 05-03-17, 09:40 PM
  #9  
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Originally Posted by TenSpeedV2 View Post
Platform is the way to go, specifically the kind that hold it just by the wheels and nothing else. Any contact points on the frame will eventually cause rubbing unless great care is taken to protect the bikes. Much easier to just put the bike on the rack, secure the wheels, and go.
+1^ No doubt about it!
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Old 05-04-17, 07:31 AM
  #10  
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Try to get something that doesnt touch the frame. I use a Kuat NV and LOVE LOVE LOVE it. It does touch the fork just a bit BUT the material they use there is a very soft rubber that is made to brake away before causing damage to the frame (and they replace them for free!!!)

Also checkout 1up. They are a bit lighter duty compared to Kuat but it ONLY touches the wheels.
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Old 05-04-17, 10:31 PM
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I drove many tens of thousands of miles with aluminum and CF bikes on a hanging rack, even on dirty and dusty roads. No issues with scratching. You would be hard pressed to tell where they hung on the rack.

Last edited by Kapusta; 05-05-17 at 06:42 AM.
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Old 05-05-17, 05:39 AM
  #12  
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I cut up microfiber towels, and use those to protect my frame on a hanging rack.
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Old 01-11-19, 12:31 PM
  #13  
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Solaris No Frame Touching

Originally Posted by sinjun View Post
I have a saris bike hitch mount bike rack that I've used for years. It holds three bikes and holds them by the wheels nothing touches the frame.
Is this the rack (from amazon, you are referencing. I am considering purchasing this as I just purchased my first carbon frame bike.
amazon.com/Saris-Thelma-Bike-Universal-Hitch/dp/B0039SYOUC/ref=sr_1_fkmr0_3?s=automotive&ie=UTF8&qid=1547229414&sr=1-3-fkmr0&keywords=thelma+tow
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Old 01-11-19, 12:52 PM
  #14  
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You see this a lot, but 1UP USA racks are the way to go. You will never need another rack. Nothing touches the frame and it is super heavy duty, solid, stable and fast to mount and dismount bikes. Here are four fatbikes on the back of my truck (a lot of weight). They are secured by the tires.

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Old 01-11-19, 12:56 PM
  #15  
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Originally Posted by jadocs View Post
You see this a lot, but 1UP USA racks are the way to go. You will never need another rack. Nothing touches the frame and it is super heavy duty, solid, stable and fast to mount and dismount bikes. Here are four fatbikes on the back of my truck (a lot of weight). They are secured by the tires.

If I were gonna use a bike rack to transport my bikes, that's the rig I'd have ^.
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Old 01-11-19, 01:41 PM
  #16  
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I use a trunk-mount hanging rack. i am careful when I use it.

First, make sure anything toughing the bike frame is padded. Towels, pool noodles, whatever.

Second, Secure the bikes. i use multiple bungees and old worn-out tubes I have patched too many times or which are not a size I use nowadays. I make sure Nothing moves---not the fork, the frame, No part of the bike should be free to move--except maybe the front wheel can spin depending on how i wrap things on a particular day.

if the top tube is supported by padded hangers at each end it should be able to support the weight of the bike. You could lift the bike slightly on used inner tubes and add more padding and actually have the whole weight sprung off the bottom bracket if you wanted.

Obviously hitch mounts obviate a lot of these problems---if you have a hitch mount, or are willing to get one. I just rack my bikes with care.
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Old 01-11-19, 01:51 PM
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+1 here for a "tray" style that clamps the front tire on top and straps the rear wheel/tire on bottom.
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Old 01-11-19, 01:54 PM
  #18  
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Platform bike rack > Traditional hanging bike rack

Platform bike rack and clipless pedals for my road and gravel bikes were the best investments I've made in cycling related gear. The platform bike rack doesn't have to be anything great like a 1up or a Kuat. I've been using a $400 Hollywood Racks platform rack for 4 years... a major upgrade from the hanging Allen rack I had before.
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Old 01-11-19, 01:58 PM
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Roof Rack?

Pros use those.. on team support cars..

Otherwise..I'd fabricate a padded support, in your case, So It sits on the rack support arms, rather than the frame directly ...





...

Last edited by fietsbob; 01-11-19 at 02:05 PM.
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Old 01-11-19, 04:19 PM
  #20  
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Wow, a lot of nice racks in this thread.
I have a hanging hitch mounted rack like the OP, I got it for free from a neighbor. I use it to haul my wife's cruiser and my MB. I don't think there's anything about a CF frame that would preclude a hanging rack from working - it's just that those racks allow the bikes to move around which can cause scratches. That's annoying when you spend a lot of money on a bike.
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Old 01-12-19, 12:10 PM
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A tray type is ideal. That being said, I have spent some time searching on this topic and have never found anyone that said their carbon top tube was broken from a hanging rack.
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Old 01-12-19, 07:59 PM
  #22  
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Originally Posted by TenSpeedV2 View Post
Platform is the way to go, specifically the kind that hold it just by the wheels and nothing else. Any contact points on the frame will eventually cause rubbing unless great care is taken to protect the bikes. Much easier to just put the bike on the rack, secure the wheels, and go.
This!

I recommend the Thule trailer hitch platform rack.

I was recently involved in a collision where my car was rear-ended while carrying my C64. The rack prevented my car and most importantly my bike, from suffering greater damage. As a bonus, Thule gave me a 40% discount on a new rack.



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