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Bike Racks

Old 11-18-15, 10:47 AM
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Bike Racks

I'm sure this topic has been hit before, but it's winter so be happy I'm not asking about flop, waving, or average speed.

I just replaced my sedan with a 2012 Ford Flex thus making my trunk rack incompatible. Just as well since those things always scratch up the paint anyway. Now, I mostly used my bike rack for the drive home from group rides. The bike travels inside the vehicle so it is secure while I'm at work and then I use the more accessible rack to bring the bike home.

However, on longer trips when storage space is needed, we do a lot of camping, it's nice to have the bike(s) outside the vehicle. I'm looking for opinions on hitch or roof racks that secure the bike(s) from casual theft.

I'd like it to not break the bank, be easy to use, and secure the bike(s).
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Old 11-18-15, 10:50 AM
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A bunch of duct tape will hold the old trunk rack to the Flex.
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Old 11-18-15, 10:54 AM
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Originally Posted by Doug28450 View Post
A bunch of duct tape will hold the old trunk rack to the Flex.
That's a thought, but I would like to have access to the rear hatch.
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Old 11-18-15, 10:55 AM
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I would go with the hitch. With bikes up on the roof, you are asking for a catastrophe..

The hitch itself is multi-purpose, which is good. As long as you don't mind installing one on the car, I don't see how you can go wrong with it. I am not all the informed about what type of hitch racks are popular right now that may have locking capabilities, but I think for the casual bike hauler, the hitch is the best approach.
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Old 11-18-15, 10:57 AM
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This is what I have and love it.

Thule 916XTR T2 2-Bike Hitch Rack 2 Inch - Thule Hitch Mount Bike Racks
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Old 11-18-15, 11:11 AM
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I had a roof rack, based on that experience I'd go with a hitch if I was going to do it again. Faster and easier to load, and more protection for the bikes.
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Old 11-18-15, 11:13 AM
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Originally Posted by PhotoJoe View Post
I like it, but at $450 it doesn't hit the "won't break the bank" mark. I may end up leaning towards a roof rack simply due to the price difference between roof and hitch racks.
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Old 11-18-15, 11:27 AM
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For hitch racks I would recommend stepping up to tray type ones. Much easier to load and the bike won't e dangling around. I have the T2 and it has worked fine. Even held the bikes when I ended up taking an, ahem, slightly rougher than I thought road this summer. It also has an integrated cable lock. Nothing that will stop a thief for long, but it will prevent someone from grabbing the bike when you stop for lunch.

Roof racks, harder to put the bike on them. If your Flex doesn't have cross-bars already those can get pricy (a couple hundred bucks for towers plus at least a hundred for the bars themselves). If it does have cross-bars I'd recommend Rocky Mounts. Inexpensive and fit almost all types of cross-bars. I've had two of those for almost ten years and they work great. The skewers lock, which again will not stop a determined thief but will prevent an opportunist from taking the bike.

Regardless of which option you go with, you can always throw a cable lock to secure the bikes from casual theft.
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Old 11-18-15, 11:41 AM
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Originally Posted by FrozenK View Post
If your Flex doesn't have cross-bars already those can get pricy (a couple hundred bucks for towers plus at least a hundred for the bars themselves).
This isn't an issue. It has crossbars.
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Old 11-18-15, 11:43 AM
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Originally Posted by RPK79 View Post
I like it, but at $450 it doesn't hit the "won't break the bank" mark. I may end up leaning towards a roof rack simply due to the price difference between roof and hitch racks.
Sorry. Should have added that I bought mine of CL, in like-new condition, for $150.
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Old 11-18-15, 11:44 AM
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Originally Posted by RPK79 View Post
This isn't an issue. It has crossbars.
Then Rocky Mounts for a roof rack.
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Old 11-18-15, 11:46 AM
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Originally Posted by PhotoJoe View Post
Sorry. Should have added that I bought mine of CL, in like-new condition, for $150.
That is where I got my current trunk rack for $40. I'll have to watch it over the winter. I won't need a rack for 6-7 months so time is on my side.
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Old 11-18-15, 11:58 AM
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The Thule isn't the one that works this way, but I can load two bikes, confident that they're secure, nothing touching a frame, in less than 30 seconds. I also made mini-racks out of 2x8's and fork clamps that can go in either the back seat of my Silverado 1500 Crew or a larger one that fits in the back of our Excursion. For long trips, I would much rather carry them inside. Not only for the protection of the bikes from road stuff, but also so we can stop and eat without the fear of easy theft. For short trips though, or like you, when you're loaded, I have no regrets on the Thule. When I have the X loaded, towing the trailer, then I put bikes on the roof rack.

For those using CL to hunt deals, if you have multiple CL's in your area, www.searchtempest.com makes the hunt so much easier! I L.A., I have about 6 CL sites I'll look through. ST makes it one search.
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Old 11-18-15, 12:09 PM
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I use a Big Mouth.


https://www.thule.com/en-us/us/produ...599xtr-_-13804

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Old 11-18-15, 12:16 PM
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Why are the locks sold separately on pretty much all of the racks?
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Old 11-18-15, 12:19 PM
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So you can buy multiple locks with the same key. One key for all your racks.
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Old 11-18-15, 12:29 PM
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Originally Posted by rpenmanparker View Post
I would go with the hitch. With bikes up on the roof, you are asking for a catastrophe..

The hitch itself is multi-purpose, which is good. As long as you don't mind installing one on the car, I don't see how you can go wrong with it. I am not all the informed about what type of hitch racks are popular right now that may have locking capabilities, but I think for the casual bike hauler, the hitch is the best approach.
I agree with that. I know myself well enough to be certain that one day I would arrive home and pull into the garage with the bike still on my roof.
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Old 11-18-15, 01:17 PM
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1UPUSA or Kuat NV. They are the only reasonable options.
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Old 11-18-15, 01:22 PM
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Originally Posted by Nachoman View Post
I agree with that. I know myself well enough to be certain that one day I would arrive home and pull into the garage with the bike still on my roof.
I used to have a roof style rack that actually fastened on the rear deck to the edge of the trunk lid, not on the roof. So it worked like a roof rack but was about two feet lower. That was great, and it was about as adventurous as I would get. If you own a garage, beware!

That type of rack isn't offered anymore that I know of. I think the trunk lids are too shallow nowadays front to back to properly secure the rack.
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Old 11-18-15, 01:28 PM
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Keep in mind with a rear rack, your bikes will not survive being rear ended. I bought a bike rack like the Thule one posted above off Craiglist and the guy gave me 8 extra hooks with it because he had been hit and had to replace it three times. I'm about to add another set of hooks to that collection (maybe) because I was rear ended and have to replace the rack. Your mileage will vary, or course. I live in Los Angeles so I'm more susceptible to being wrecked. Roof rack, your bike has a higher survival rate.
Also, definitely go through Craigslist. So many new or like new racks on their for a fraction of the retail price.
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Old 11-18-15, 01:28 PM
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Originally Posted by rpenmanparker View Post
If you own a garage, beware!
I don't (currently), nor do I visit fast food drive-thru windows.
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Old 11-18-15, 02:13 PM
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Originally Posted by RPK79 View Post
I don't (currently), nor do I visit fast food drive-thru windows.
All it takes is one moment of inattention at the wrong place.
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Old 11-18-15, 02:20 PM
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Originally Posted by Elvo View Post
1UPUSA or Kuat NV. They are the only reasonable options.
I have the 1upusa and it is great and if you are only planning on carrying one bike you can get just the single tray for $300 with the option to add more later. Other big bonus of this rack is it is compact so you can just leave it on all the time without it really being in the way or blocking anything.
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Old 11-18-15, 02:27 PM
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I've first bought this one:
[h=1]Allen Sports Deluxe 3-Bike Hitch Mount Rack[/h]___________________
THEN

This is the one I just bought when I bought two new bikes last month.

[h=1]Thule 990XT Doubletrack Platform Bike Hitch Rack[/h]
I used an Allen hitch mount where you had to hang your bikes on the arms. Although it was padded, it still rubbed the paint thin where the contact was made. I wasn't going to stand for that with my Scott and Giant bikes, so I spent the xtra $300 and got a good rack.
I really like the way it locks the bikes to the rack, and is easy on the bikes, themselves.


And this one comes with a lock to lock to your hitch receiver and locks for each bike.

Last edited by spoiledrotten; 11-18-15 at 02:31 PM.
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Old 11-18-15, 02:32 PM
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Originally Posted by Nachoman View Post
All it takes is one moment of inattention at the wrong place.
I'm still leaning towards a roof rack at this point. Overall they seem less expensive for a locking rack and it keeps the bikes out of the way for backing up and in the event of a rear end collision.

I know there is a rule where we all have a clipless moment when first learning clipless pedals, but I don't think the same is true for roof racks.
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