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Best hitch carrier for carbon frames

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Best hitch carrier for carbon frames

Old 09-21-20, 11:56 AM
  #101  
trailrnr
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Originally Posted by banjaboy View Post
Hi all, Looking to get a hitch mounted rack to carry carbon bikes. I am located where I need to transport my bike for a real training ride, its a carbon frame and the regular dangly carriers just dont make my bike happy. Any ideas for a trough type hitch mounted carrier? Cant do roof mounted as I have a shoulder injury that makes lifting almost anything above my head impossible
I drive a Miata, so when I switched from Thule rear trunk rack to a Saris hitch rack I felt an improvement in my situation. Obviously, moving the bike inside the car is not an option. My bike hangs from the top tube, but have had no issues with scratching or marring the paint. Personally, I would be happy to sacrifice my bike to a a rear end collision, if it saved my car, and myself from the impact....
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Old 09-21-20, 12:03 PM
  #102  
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Originally Posted by GlennR View Post
Subaru Impreza... a compact car. Cramming not needed. If i remove the rear wheel I can easily fit it in the trunk with the back seat up.
I actually bought a Subaru Impreza wagon several years ago because my bike fit in the back just fine without removing its wheels. Thus, I do not use a rack of any kind.
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Old 09-21-20, 12:12 PM
  #103  
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Hmm, didnt think my simple question would bring out this much response, anyway, got myself the perfect, no frame contact rack, only wheels are touched. Which rack??? Nope, not telling you
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Old 09-21-20, 12:31 PM
  #104  
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Originally Posted by banjaboy View Post
Hmm, didnt think my simple question would bring out this much response, anyway, got myself the perfect, no frame contact rack, only wheels are touched. Which rack??? Nope, not telling you
Are you crazy? You could have bought a Subaru Impreza and have been bored out of your skull driving a milktoast vehicle transporting your bicycling in the back to prevent the eventual rear-end collision thus saving you the hassle of claiming bicycle damage on your insurance.
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Old 09-21-20, 12:37 PM
  #105  
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Ha Ha Ha...these threads are always entertaining.
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Old 09-21-20, 01:20 PM
  #106  
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Originally Posted by Mojo31 View Post
I have the extender - need it to clear the oversize spare because the hitch insert is not long enough without it. Still prevents opening the gate. If it was the typical hatch, I don't think it would interfere.

It's not a big deal or deal killer to me as it's not my only car.


I have that rack. Can you open the rear hatch farther if you depress the pedal on the Kuat and drop it to it's 45 degree angle?


This isn't the best photo, but Kuat's website has a video showing it in the tilted downward position.
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Old 09-21-20, 02:16 PM
  #107  
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Nope - tried.

The photos on the Kuat site show the hatches that open from bottom to top and those that drop like a truck. I don't think there would be any problem with either of those based on my observations, but with the Jeep tailgate that opens like a door, it doesn't. My spare sits higher than stock since it is a bit oversize, but even if the tire cleared, the door would hit the rack.

Like I said, not a deal killer for me since if I need trunk access I can take my wife's SUV or my other car. It's just a first world problem.
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Old 09-21-20, 08:15 PM
  #108  
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If I had a Subaru i would want to cover my face with a bag so my buddies dont see me, oops, my bad....but true......
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Old 09-21-20, 09:36 PM
  #109  
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Originally Posted by banjaboy View Post
If I had a Subaru i would want to cover my face with a bag so my buddies dont see me, oops, my bad....but true......
Interesting.
They are extremely popular around me- guys driving em everywhere. Verstile and safe.
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Old 09-22-20, 06:06 AM
  #110  
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I have the Yakima Hold Up. Works very well. Bought used on Craigslist, got a very good deal on a lightly used rack. Keep in mind, if you take it on and off, it's very heavy and cumbersome. I injured my back when I didn't bend my knees enough.

But I love the simplicity of it. And my full suspension mountain bike will only go on such a rack (or on the roof.)

I would do it if I were you. Such a great invention.
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Old 09-22-20, 07:31 AM
  #111  
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Originally Posted by banjaboy View Post
If I had a Subaru i would want to cover my face with a bag so my buddies dont see me, oops, my bad....but true......


Life is too short.
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Old 09-22-20, 08:24 AM
  #112  
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Originally Posted by Mojo31 View Post
Nope - tried.

The photos on the Kuat site show the hatches that open from bottom to top and those that drop like a truck. I don't think there would be any problem with either of those based on my observations, but with the Jeep tailgate that opens like a door, it doesn't. My spare sits higher than stock since it is a bit oversize, but even if the tire cleared, the door would hit the rack.

Like I said, not a deal killer for me since if I need trunk access I can take my wife's SUV or my other car. It's just a first world problem.
You need a Pivot attachment: https://www.kuatracks.com/product/pivot/.

Or a swing arm rack.
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Old 09-22-20, 09:13 AM
  #113  
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Originally Posted by topflightpro View Post
You need a Pivot attachment: https://www.kuatracks.com/product/pivot/.

Or a swing arm rack.
Nah, don't need it.

The only thing that goes in back when we ride are the helmets, and it opens enough to get them out. And, when the roof is off, I never have to open it.
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Old 09-23-20, 07:36 AM
  #114  
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RockyMount

To the original question: I have had a good experience with RockyMounts monorail on my SUV. I generally haul 2 bikes and found it difficult to avoid scratches and a bit time consuming putting in and taking out inside the vehicle. The hitch mount and bikes are quick on and off with no scratches. I particularly like the easy tilt down. The cost was a little less than other hitch tray mounts with similar features.
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Old 09-23-20, 09:33 AM
  #115  
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I use a Yakima hitch rack that holds my carbon bike by the top tube. No problem as far as I can see after a summer of use.
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Old 09-23-20, 10:26 AM
  #116  
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Originally Posted by jackb View Post
I use a Yakima hitch rack that holds my carbon bike by the top tube. No problem as far as I can see after a summer of use.
Hate to say, but that is not a good idea. To understand why, you need to know the properties of carbon fiber. Think of a carbon tube like a paper towel cardboard tube as they are very similar in a lot of respects. Unlike metals, the strength of carbon fiber is directional. A carbon fiber tube is very strong when you try to compress it from end to end, but is not very resistant to impacts to the side of the tube. In other words, like a paper towel cardboard tube, it is easy to crush from side to side but not from end to end. Thus, you want to avoid any kind of impact to the side of a tube. You also want avoid clamping a bike stand on the carbon tube which can effectively crush the tube even though you don't see damage.

One issue with carbon tubes is that the damage from impact can be barely visible in its early stages, and can be hidden by paint. It can develop small stress fractures that can grow until catastrophic failure occurs.

I used to race a sailboat that had a carbon fiber mast and boom. In certain maneuvers, we had to be very careful to make sure the boom did not swing across the boat and hit the wire rigging with any force. If such an impact was hard enough (and it didn't take much), the boom would simply shatter at the impact point sending shards of carbon fiber everywhere. Aluminum booms were also used because the worst case scenario was a bend in the tube and not a catastrophic failure.

When your bike hangs on the rack, every time you hit a bump in the road, your top tube is experiencing an impact (frame contacting the rack support) on the weakest part of the tube. Over time, that could have a significant effect on the structural integrity of your bike. When riding, the wheels impact things while you ride as well, but the force of the impact is transmitted the length of the fork and rear seat stay, and is not transmitted to the side of the tube.
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Old 09-23-20, 01:08 PM
  #117  
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Originally Posted by Mojo31 View Post
Hate to say, but that is not a good idea. To understand why, you need to know the properties of carbon fiber. Think of a carbon tube like a paper towel cardboard tube as they are very similar in a lot of respects. Unlike metals, the strength of carbon fiber is directional. A carbon fiber tube is very strong when you try to compress it from end to end, but is not very resistant to impacts to the side of the tube. In other words, like a paper towel cardboard tube, it is easy to crush from side to side but not from end to end. Thus, you want to avoid any kind of impact to the side of a tube. You also want avoid clamping a bike stand on the carbon tube which can effectively crush the tube even though you don't see damage.

One issue with carbon tubes is that the damage from impact can be barely visible in its early stages, and can be hidden by paint. It can develop small stress fractures that can grow until catastrophic failure occurs.
You must ride around with your jaw dropped due to all the roadies propping themselves up by sitting on the top tube of their bikes.
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Old 09-23-20, 01:12 PM
  #118  
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Originally Posted by Mojo31 View Post
I have the extender - need it to clear the oversize spare because the hitch insert is not long enough without it. Still prevents opening the gate. If it was the typical hatch, I don't think it would interfere.

It's not a big deal or deal killer to me as it's not my only car.
If I had a swinging gate with a spare tire, I'd just get a Spare Me Rack. Used one on my 2003 CR-V for 13 years. Best bike hauling setup I have used, and say that as someone who has been using a 1UP for the past 4 years. Never need to move (or remove) the rack and bikes swing completely out of the way every time you open the rear. I found the extra work of the securing bikes to the hanging rack was offset tenfold by the added convenience in every other aspect.

That is my experience, YMMV.

Last edited by Kapusta; 09-23-20 at 01:21 PM.
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Old 09-23-20, 01:19 PM
  #119  
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Originally Posted by mstateglfr View Post
You must ride around with your jaw dropped due to all the roadies propping themselves up by sitting on the top tube of their bikes.
Not at all. What people do is their business. I lean against my top tube as well, but that is not an impact.

I've seen enough carbon fiber tubes on boats break to know that you don't want to subject them to side impacts. The guy that bought my race boat from me stuffed the bow into the back of a wave at speed with the wind behind his back. The boat's hull stopped as if it hit a wall. The wind continued to drive the mast and sails forward. The shock load caused the mast to fail where the wire rigging attached to the mast. Cost the guy close to $20k.
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Old 09-23-20, 01:22 PM
  #120  
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Originally Posted by Kapusta View Post
If I had a swinging gate with a spare tire, I'd just get a Spare Me Rack. Use one on my 2003 CR-V for 13 years. Best bike hauling setup I have used, and say that as someone who has been using a 1UP for the past 4 years. Never need to move (or remove) the rack and bikes swing completely out of the way every time you open the rear. I found the extra work of the securing bikes to the hanging rack was offset tenfold by the added convenience in every other aspect.

Anyway, if I had a swinging gate again, that is what I'd do.
I get it. I just prefer to not hang my carbon frame on a rack.
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Old 09-23-20, 01:33 PM
  #121  
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Originally Posted by Mojo31 View Post
I get it. I just prefer to not hang my carbon frame on a rack.
And I get that, too. Not everyone is comfortable with it.

FWIW, I hauled both a CF road bike and Al MTB 40K-50K miles with no issues. This included 6 trips across the country plus 3 summers living on the road with the bike basically living on the racks for 2 months. But I was pretty careful about how they hung.
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Old 09-23-20, 03:46 PM
  #122  
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Originally Posted by Kapusta View Post
And I get that, too. Not everyone is comfortable with it.

FWIW, I hauled both a CF road bike and Al MTB 40K-50K miles with no issues. This included 6 trips across the country plus 3 summers living on the road with the bike basically living on the racks for 2 months. But I was pretty careful about how they hung.
Carbon to me is stange. I put a big crack in the top tube of my Cinelli by just having the bike fall about 18 inches onto a stand. Could not believe it when it happened. Was talking to a guy from the local shop on Sunday and they just did the exact same thing to a $3500 Bianchi frame. It seems to be that when carbon breaks, it often does not require much force at all and does so shockingly easily. I am now paranoid after this one event.

With that said, I have ridden with people who have big cracks in their bike frame - some right at the top tube/head tube junction! - and the say they have been riding the bike for years in that condition. There is also a local guy that has a Santa Cruz with a broken seat stay that he "home" repaired, which honestly looks like crap, but he hucks that thing and it looks to have held up for over a year.

I also have an Ibis Ripley and I treat it like any other MTB. Crash into things, lean it against everything and it is perfect. I honestly think my Turner will break before that thing.
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Old 09-23-20, 03:55 PM
  #123  
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Originally Posted by HD3andMe View Post
I think you're misguided in applying your experience with lightweight race rigging with bike frames. My experience, over the last couple of decades, is that carbon bikes, (road, gravel, and MTB) are much more durable and impact-resistant than you allege. Lots of side impacts, scratches, and scrapes from various bails haven't resulted in the damage that you're discussing.

Maybe I'm on the other end of the sailing spectrum as I used carbon booms, masts, and fins for years while windsurfing and they also held up just fine after being banged on rocks, logs, etc. The only time a carbon mast failed was when my Dad and I used one to make a whisker pole...
Just offering observations and opinions. I'm not an expert on the stuff.

The mast was not lightweight. The walls were about 1/4" thick, and the tube was 34' long. It was a stout rig. The booms were much lighter.
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Old 09-24-20, 11:18 AM
  #124  
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I should add that I put apiece of pipe insulation around the top tube to help soften the shock and to reduce the chances of scratches.
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Old 09-24-20, 12:39 PM
  #125  
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Originally Posted by jadocs View Post
Any rack that secures the bike by the wheels. 1UP USA is my rack of choice.
All of the racks mentioned carry and secure by the wheels. Full suspension designs rendered the frame hanging racks useless.

I own a Kuat 2/4 bike carrier that requires a 2" hitch. LOVE IT! This is after using a Yakima roof rack for 25 years - on a van for almost 15. Wife and kids had NEVER put bikes on or taken them off. WAY too difficult, for obvious reasons. So when the kids were finally on adult bikes it was (past) time to upgrade our bike carriers. And bikes inside? Who has that luxury? Who wants to cram bikes in the back? They ALWAYS get jammed, stuck and never seem to fit very well - and that's in a minivan. No, the wheel tray racks are THE WAY to go. So easy to use for everyone in the family. (I'm still using the Yakima for tandem carrying which is kinda ironic. THE hardest bike to lift is the one I'm still lifting. Oh well, keeps me young!)
The only issue you may encounter is the significant weight added to and cantilevered off of the back of the vehicle. 2" hitch + 2 bike Kuat + 2 bike extender alone is a lot of weight sticking off the back. Then add 100 to 150 pounds of bikes and you may have issues. Add to that a road trip with stuff in the back? SAG BIG TIME! So you may need to augment your car's suspension. I looked into upgrading to something like AirRide for the rear struts, but over $2k installed seemed a bit much. I found air spring supplements that have worked great for three years now. Air Lift 1,000 I think they are:
https://www.etrailer.com/Vehicle-Sus...xoC1qMQAvD_BwE

$150 and couple of hours under the car installing them turned out to be the ideal solution. Van rides so much better now.

Hope this helps.
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