General Cycling Discussion Have a cycling related question or comment that doesn't fit in one of the other specialty forums? Drop on in and post in here! When possible, please select the forum above that most fits your post!

Hitch Mounted Bike Rack

Old 09-23-18, 09:39 PM
  #1  
The Golden Boy 
Extraordinary Magnitude
Thread Starter
 
The Golden Boy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: Waukesha WI
Posts: 11,272

Bikes: 1977 Trek TX700; 1978/79 Trek 736; 1984 Specialized Stumpjumper Sport; 1984 Schwinn Voyageur SP; 1985 Trek 620; 1985 Trek 720; 1986 Trek 400 Elance; 1987 Schwinn High Sierra; 1990 Miyata 1000LT

Mentioned: 70 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1672 Post(s)
Liked 29 Times in 21 Posts
Hitch Mounted Bike Rack

I have a 2014 Acura TSX Wagon. Fantastic car. In the past we've used a strap mounted Saris Bones rack, but the hooks wouldn't fit on my last car or my wife's van- we gave the rack to some friends. I don't think the hooks would fit on this car. I've been looking forward to getting an 'accessory hitch' and a hitch mounted bike rack for this car- (I was hoping to have it on my last car...)

I've looked at a bunch of the options- based on my bikes and the accessories on my bikes I'm looking at a rack that has the weight of the bike on the wheels- so a "tray" style rack. I really don't want my bike hanging from the top tube- plus, it seems most of the locking options seem to work best with the tray racks. Most of my bikes are "vintage" touring bikes, with pannier racks, fenders and such- my wife's bike is a new-ish Trek 7.2 with a rear rack- so I'm not sure that the options that have and arm hold down the wheels would totally work.

What are some options that you've had experiences with?


Here's my car:

Acura TSX Wagon by Dave The Golden Boy, on Flickr
__________________
*Recipient of the 2006 Time Magazine "Person Of The Year" Award*

Commence to jigglin’ huh?!?!

"But hey, always love to hear from opinionated amateurs." -says some guy to Mr. Marshall.
The Golden Boy is offline  
Old 09-23-18, 10:11 PM
  #2  
PDLandis
"steel is real"
 
PDLandis's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2018
Location: Wrightsville, PA
Posts: 26

Bikes: Jamis Renegade Exploit, Specialized Rockhopper Expert, Custom USA Cannondale 1x8 Frankenbike

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 8 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
I have 2 Swagman XC, and they work great. Well built and very adjustable. Much better than hang and bangs. It takes seconds to load/unload.
PDLandis is offline  
Old 09-23-18, 10:55 PM
  #3  
johnny99
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: Northern California
Posts: 10,864
Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 100 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 1 Time in 1 Post
There are lots of very good hitch bike racks on the market. Hitches come in different sizes, so look for a rack that fits your hitch (small cars usually use 1.25 inch hitches). Thule and Kuat make some of the best racks, but they are more expensive. I agree that the tray-style racks are safest for lightweight bikes.
johnny99 is offline  
Old 09-23-18, 11:06 PM
  #4  
soonerrebel
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 2002
Location: North Aurora Il
Posts: 133
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 4 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Check these out. But like johnny99 said the Thule and Kuat can be expensive. I have a Thule T2 and it has served me well.

Thule T2
Kuat NV
Yakima HoldUp
soonerrebel is offline  
Old 09-23-18, 11:27 PM
  #5  
Elvo
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Orange County, CA
Posts: 4,066
Mentioned: 8 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 338 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 3 Times in 3 Posts
1upusa
Elvo is online now  
Old 09-24-18, 12:31 AM
  #6  
wingless
Senior Member
 
wingless's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2017
Location: Florida
Posts: 303

Bikes: 2011 Trek 1.2 + 2016 Trek 1.1 H2

Mentioned: 4 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 114 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
My Thule has been working great.

The main part shown holds two, a holder slides in that holds two more.


]

wingless is offline  
Old 09-24-18, 04:18 AM
  #7  
jpescatore
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2017
Location: Ashton, MD USA
Posts: 413

Bikes: Trek Domane SL6 Disc, Trek 520

Mentioned: 4 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 125 Post(s)
Liked 6 Times in 6 Posts
I've been using a cheap ($70) Allen 4 bike hitch rack for 10 years now, works great (with cheap bikes you can get 4 on it, more of a 2 bike rack if you want to be sure no banging) but not a tray rack.. A friend uses the Thule T2 and recommends it.

To make it easier for my wife to get bikes on her new car, I've been looking at tray racks, too - another friend recommends the Saris Freedom but I haven't been able to pull the trigger on a $550 rack when the $70 one work fine, even for my carbon Trek Domane.
jpescatore is offline  
Old 09-24-18, 04:44 AM
  #8  
talphie
Senior Member
 
talphie's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2018
Location: Michigan
Posts: 162

Bikes: Volkscycle, Trek Fx3, Specialized Hard Rock

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 33 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Just purchased a Kuat Transfer2 rack for transporting our bikes. I looked at a few, but the $500-$600 scared me. This one retails for just under $300 (still a bit of an investment) and the bike wheels sit in trays, so the frame has no stress. I’ve used it only twice so far, but it seems very solid. Worth a look.
talphie is offline  
Old 09-24-18, 09:07 AM
  #9  
PaulRivers
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Minneapolis, MN
Posts: 6,313
Mentioned: 12 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 432 Post(s)
Liked 4 Times in 3 Posts
Originally Posted by Elvo View Post
1upusa
The 1upUsa rack is a great rack, but it does use a front hook the goes over the front tire which might not be the best with fenders:


I've heard they sell a fender bumper pad or something but it might be better to just get a different rack.

The Saris Freedom doesn't fold down for storage in your garage really, but it does hold the bike without going over any fender points:


The Swagman XC folds down and does not hit fender points either:

https://www.amazon.com/Swagman-Cross...dp/B0001VO1YY/

Basically if I just search amazon for "hitch bike rack" you'll see a lot of models.
PaulRivers is offline  
Old 09-24-18, 09:56 AM
  #10  
rm -rf
don't try this at home.
 
rm -rf's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: N. KY
Posts: 5,060
Mentioned: 10 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 613 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 5 Times in 4 Posts
The racks that hold the bikes in a tray with an arm over the front tire won't work with front fenders.

My Kuat Sherpa 2.0 is perfect for me, but won't do front fenders.
--Its extremely fast and easy to load two bikes. Nothing touches the frame, and the two bikes stay separated, and stable.
--It's very lightweight, around 30 pounds, and it's simple and fast to attach the rack to the hitch. It takes less than a minute to mount the rack. (I put a piece of color tape on the arm, so I know just how far to slide it into the hitch socket.)

The front tire holder arm has to be pressed tight onto the tire, and as close to the front fork/brakes as possible. That's not going to work with a fender, and the user instructions are clear about this.
If I need to use it with my other fendered bike, I'd remove the front fender. It's a 3-5 minute task to remount the fender, so I wouldn't want to do this on every ride.
I thought about making some kind of dense pad sized to fit between the fender and tire, but that doesn't seem practical, I think the fender might still get damaged.

~~~~~~~
I didn't want those racks that suspend the bikes by the top tube. I didn't want possible paint scuffing, or bikes hitting each other. They are inexpensive, though.

Last edited by rm -rf; 09-24-18 at 12:12 PM.
rm -rf is offline  
Old 09-24-18, 10:49 AM
  #11  
fietsbob 
coprolite
 
fietsbob's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: NW,Oregon Coast
Posts: 41,579

Bikes: 8

Mentioned: 183 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 6745 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 159 Times in 135 Posts
Front of the City bus racks hold bike by the bare front tire
so front mudguards cannot extend past the top of the front wheel by much..

something to consider when you accessorize your bike..
and plan to use multi mode commutes
fietsbob is offline  
Old 09-24-18, 12:03 PM
  #12  
TrojanHorse
SuperGimp
 
TrojanHorse's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: Whittier, CA
Posts: 13,138

Bikes: Specialized Roubaix

Mentioned: 134 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1007 Post(s)
Liked 23 Times in 18 Posts
I like my 1upUSA rack, even got tagged from behind and the rack saved my bike *and* my bumper.


TrojanHorse is online now  
Old 09-24-18, 12:05 PM
  #13  
mstateglfr 
Sunshine
 
mstateglfr's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2014
Location: Des Moines, IA
Posts: 8,174

Bikes: '87 Schwinn Prelude, Black Mountain Cycles Monstercross V4, '89 Novara/Centurion Ironman, '18 Diamondback Syncr, '18 handmade steel roadbike

Mentioned: 75 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2892 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 112 Times in 78 Posts
Originally Posted by The Golden Boy View Post
Most of my bikes are "vintage" touring bikes, with pannier racks, fenders and such- my wife's bike is a new-ish Trek 7.2 with a rear rack- so I'm not sure that the options that have and arm hold down the wheels would totally work.

What are some options that you've had experiences with?
I have a Thule T2 because i need to be able to haul 4 bikes a handful of times each year and the T2 add-on allows for that.
Its solid, well made, and terrible for fenders.

So eliminate that from your list of possibilities. I have seen people attach the arm in front of the fenders and the bikes seem fine(for the few seconds I see them while driving), but not too sure how far i would trust that setup.

I shy away from racks that clamp to the frame, but im sure nothing bad will happen.
https://www.etrailer.com/tv-review-t...ck-th9054.aspx
https://www.etrailer.com/question-214882.html

These are a couple recommendations from a really complete and informative hitch rack site.
mstateglfr is offline  
Old 09-24-18, 12:49 PM
  #14  
Kapusta
Cyclochondriac
 
Join Date: Feb 2017
Posts: 2,124
Mentioned: 17 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 884 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 35 Times in 29 Posts
I love my 1UP rack, but the one thing it does not deal with very well are full coverage fenders.

The issue is not the front fender, but the rear one.

The way I deal with that on mine is to move the part that pinches the rear tire to the very lowest position, which ends up just under the rear fender on my and my wifes cruisers. That keeps the front end locked in place, but the back can lift out. So it requires a strap to hold the rear wheel down to the rack.

So as much as I like the 1Up for our road and mountain bike, if you plan to use the tck for bikes with full coverage fenders, I would not recomend it.

Due to your fender situation, I think your best bet is a tray rack with a stablizer arm that goes over the top tube.

Last edited by Kapusta; 09-24-18 at 01:30 PM.
Kapusta is offline  
Old 09-24-18, 01:03 PM
  #15  
124Spider
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2017
Location: Seattle, Washington, USA
Posts: 300

Bikes: 2016 Cervelo R3 2018 Rodriguez Tandem

Mentioned: 5 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 122 Post(s)
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
We have the Thule T2 Pro XT 2 rack on our Forester, and love it.
124Spider is offline  
Old 09-24-18, 02:19 PM
  #16  
The Golden Boy 
Extraordinary Magnitude
Thread Starter
 
The Golden Boy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: Waukesha WI
Posts: 11,272

Bikes: 1977 Trek TX700; 1978/79 Trek 736; 1984 Specialized Stumpjumper Sport; 1984 Schwinn Voyageur SP; 1985 Trek 620; 1985 Trek 720; 1986 Trek 400 Elance; 1987 Schwinn High Sierra; 1990 Miyata 1000LT

Mentioned: 70 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1672 Post(s)
Liked 29 Times in 21 Posts
Thanks to everyone!

Originally Posted by PaulRivers View Post

Basically if I just search amazon for "hitch bike rack" you'll see a lot of models.
I've seen quite the dazzling array on Amazon, REI, YouTube as well as many manufacturer sites- I wanted to see what people are actually using and how they like them.


Originally Posted by TrojanHorse View Post
I like my 1upUSA rack, even got tagged from behind and the rack saved my bike *and* my bumper.


I really dig that 1up rack- everything about it looks super solid- and just going by a lot of comments and youtube videos- people REALLY love them... but I think those arms with fenders and possibly racks may be a deal breaker...

I'm also really impressed that it stood up to getting rear ended. I got rear ended with a bike on the back of my car in 1991- It was one of the strap-on racks and my cranks got clobbered.

Originally Posted by mstateglfr View Post
I have a Thule T2 because i need to be able to haul 4 bikes a handful of times each year and the T2 add-on allows for that.
Its solid, well made, and terrible for fenders.

So eliminate that from your list of possibilities. I have seen people attach the arm in front of the fenders and the bikes seem fine(for the few seconds I see them while driving), but not too sure how far i would trust that setup.

I shy away from racks that clamp to the frame, but im sure nothing bad will happen.
https://www.etrailer.com/tv-review-t...ck-th9054.aspx
https://www.etrailer.com/question-214882.html

These are a couple recommendations from a really complete and informative hitch rack site.
I'd run across some of the etrailer videos- but I hadn't actually checked out the site. Thanks!

It seems that a lot of people really dig Thule and 1up- and just judging from how many Thule products you see on cars- they seem to be well trusted.
__________________
*Recipient of the 2006 Time Magazine "Person Of The Year" Award*

Commence to jigglin’ huh?!?!

"But hey, always love to hear from opinionated amateurs." -says some guy to Mr. Marshall.
The Golden Boy is offline  
Old 09-24-18, 02:34 PM
  #17  
TrojanHorse
SuperGimp
 
TrojanHorse's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: Whittier, CA
Posts: 13,138

Bikes: Specialized Roubaix

Mentioned: 134 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1007 Post(s)
Liked 23 Times in 18 Posts
Originally Posted by The Golden Boy View Post
I'm also really impressed that it stood up to getting rear ended. I got rear ended with a bike on the back of my car in 1991- It was one of the strap-on racks and my cranks got clobbered.
Pretty mild rear end, in all fairness. That might be a difficult rack with fenders too.
TrojanHorse is online now  
Old 09-24-18, 02:40 PM
  #18  
Gyro
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 2008
Location: lost
Posts: 319
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 41 Post(s)
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
I'm also very happy with my 1up.
Gyro is offline  
Old 09-24-18, 02:40 PM
  #19  
honcho
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Posts: 95
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 38 Post(s)
Liked 5 Times in 5 Posts
I own and use the Saris Freedom rack with the optional long bar to transport a tandem. It works well and I had never seen anyone else using one until a recent trip where there were two others on vehicles at the trailhead. While I have a lot of Thule and Yakima gear, I have come to the conclusion that their racks (and Kuat) are grossly overpriced for what they offer. They are also heavy to take on and off of your vehicle. You may not care (I do), but last time I looked, Yakima's and Kuat's hitch racks are made in China. Thule probably has Chinese production too 1Up has nice stuff, made in USA, but not fender friendly. I have had a Performance rack very similar to the Swagman in an earlier post and it was more than adequate and the price was right when on sale at Performance. Attached is a picture of our tandem on the Performance xport rack
honcho is offline  
Old 09-24-18, 02:45 PM
  #20  
CrewFan
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Posts: 55

Bikes: Fuji Gran Fondo, Breezer Liberty r 1.3+, Fuji Absolute 2.1

Mentioned: 3 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 19 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
I have the above mentioned Swagman XC and it's pretty easy to use and works well with my commuter bike's fenders.
CrewFan is offline  
Old 09-24-18, 03:07 PM
  #21  
PaulRivers
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Minneapolis, MN
Posts: 6,313
Mentioned: 12 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 432 Post(s)
Liked 4 Times in 3 Posts
Fyi, 1up does sell a fender cushion, not saying it's good or bad but it is an official thing:
https://www.1up-usa.com/product/fender-cushion/
PaulRivers is offline  
Old 09-24-18, 04:58 PM
  #22  
124Spider
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2017
Location: Seattle, Washington, USA
Posts: 300

Bikes: 2016 Cervelo R3 2018 Rodriguez Tandem

Mentioned: 5 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 122 Post(s)
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by mstateglfr View Post
I have a Thule T2 because i need to be able to haul 4 bikes a handful of times each year and the T2 add-on allows for that.
Its solid, well made, and terrible for fenders.

So eliminate that from your list of possibilities. I have seen people attach the arm in front of the fenders and the bikes seem fine(for the few seconds I see them while driving), but not too sure how far i would trust that setup.

I shy away from racks that clamp to the frame, but im sure nothing bad will happen.
https://www.etrailer.com/tv-review-t...ck-th9054.aspx
https://www.etrailer.com/question-214882.html

These are a couple recommendations from a really complete and informative hitch rack site.
I will confess to being confused by this post.

We've used our Thule T2 for two years, many dozens of times, and I have no idea how it could impact a fender (literally or figuratively). Obviously, I don't care what others buy, but this mystifies me.
124Spider is offline  
Old 09-24-18, 06:30 PM
  #23  
Kapusta
Cyclochondriac
 
Join Date: Feb 2017
Posts: 2,124
Mentioned: 17 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 884 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 35 Times in 29 Posts
Originally Posted by 124Spider View Post
I will confess to being confused by this post.

We've used our Thule T2 for two years, many dozens of times, and I have no idea how it could impact a fender (literally or figuratively). Obviously, I don't care what others buy, but this mystifies me.
Doesn’t the clamp over the front wheel clamp down where a fender whould stick out?
Kapusta is offline  
Old 09-24-18, 06:48 PM
  #24  
mstateglfr 
Sunshine
 
mstateglfr's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2014
Location: Des Moines, IA
Posts: 8,174

Bikes: '87 Schwinn Prelude, Black Mountain Cycles Monstercross V4, '89 Novara/Centurion Ironman, '18 Diamondback Syncr, '18 handmade steel roadbike

Mentioned: 75 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2892 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 112 Times in 78 Posts
Originally Posted by 124Spider View Post
I will confess to being confused by this post.

We've used our Thule T2 for two years, many dozens of times, and I have no idea how it could impact a fender (literally or figuratively). Obviously, I don't care what others buy, but this mystifies me.
the front wheel arm cant clamp down tight against the wheel/brake caliper junction due to the fender.
mstateglfr is offline  
Old 09-24-18, 07:47 PM
  #25  
SCPaul
Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Columbia, South Carolina
Posts: 36

Bikes: Disc Trucker, Jamis Dragon 650 Sport

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
I have a Swagman XTC2 that I have had for 7 or 8 years. It is similar to the XC except the wheel hoops are different. One thing I dislike about it is that it prevents trunk access (at least on my Accord) if I have a bike with wide bars toward the car. Other than that, I have been happy with it.
SCPaul is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service

Copyright © 2018 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.