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Thoughts on trunk mount bike racks?

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Thoughts on trunk mount bike racks?

Old 06-05-16, 06:55 PM
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WorldIRC
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Thoughts on trunk mount bike racks? (Considering Hitch Mount too)

Hi All,

Looking for a trunk mounted bike rack to hold 2 carbon road bikes? Would prefer not to deal with trailer hitches or roof racks. I know there are lots of options out there but I want your thoughts on this. I will be using it on a 2014 Nissan Altima (4dr) and possibly a 2015 Kia Sorrento.

I'd like to reduce the swap as much as possible. As well, I want confidence in knowing the thing won't come detached from my vehicle when on the highway.

Finally, security. I'd like some peace of mind knowing the bikes aren't going anywhere when the car is parked -- obviously I wouldn't leave the bikes outside overnight, but for pitstops and what not, having that security would be great.

Thanks!

Last edited by WorldIRC; 06-14-16 at 10:39 AM.
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Old 06-05-16, 07:05 PM
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Saris Bones is great but I don't think it has a lock. Park within view of where your pit stop is for security.
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Old 06-05-16, 07:09 PM
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Originally Posted by datlas View Post
Saris Bones is great but I don't think it has a lock. Park within view of where your pit stop is for security.
Ya my LBS has the Saris Bones 2 and can get me a really good deal on them, but no security unfortunately. Highway pit stops can also often pose a challenge for security / view.
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Old 06-05-16, 07:14 PM
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I've been using a strap on rack for years now with no problems...inclluding a 12-hour drive to the beach and back.....just make sure it's attached securely.

As far as a strap on rack that can't be removed/stolen....I don't know if one exists. I've locked my bike to the rack before, hoping nobody wants to carry away the whole contraption!
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Old 06-05-16, 08:48 PM
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Originally Posted by 12strings View Post
I've been using a strap on rack for years now with no problems...inclluding a 12-hour drive to the beach and back.....just make sure it's attached securely.

As far as a strap on rack that can't be removed/stolen....I don't know if one exists. I've locked my bike to the rack before, hoping nobody wants to carry away the whole contraption!
I've read there are systems that allow the bike to be secured to the rack and the rack secured to the vehicle.
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Old 06-05-16, 10:20 PM
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For the Saris, You could wrap a cable lock around the bikes and around the rack, it would be fine security for pit stops. I tie all of the straps' tails around the bikes wheels and such too. I have never seen a trunk mount rack that offers more security than just the addition of a cable lock.
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Old 06-06-16, 05:08 AM
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the Thule 9009xt is supposed to have some sort of cable locking system (lock to rack, lock rack to car) built in. Haven't used it though.

Is it just an urban legend though.. I though there was some sort of possibility that car exhaust can melt carbon fiber?
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Old 06-06-16, 12:52 PM
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I use a roof rack mainly because rear visibility when driving, I didn't want to have to take bikes on/off every time I wanted open the trunk, and worrying about people bumping into the bikes. The rack locks to the cross-bars and the bike locks to the rack so it's very secure. Plus, the rack can permanently stay attached without having to remove it seasonally or for other reasons.
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Old 06-06-16, 01:23 PM
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there are no good ones.

saris bones supposed to be the best. yes it was relatively stable. seems nicely built. but scratched my frame (the straps) and scratched the car (the legs). i mean, if you just need a temporary means of transporting bikes and you dont care much about the car, fine. if you will be using it often, get a hitch mount
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Old 06-06-16, 01:55 PM
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Originally Posted by redfooj View Post
there are no good ones.

saris bones supposed to be the best. yes it was relatively stable. seems nicely built. but scratched my frame (the straps) and scratched the car (the legs). i mean, if you just need a temporary means of transporting bikes and you dont care much about the car, fine. if you will be using it often, get a hitch mount
This. Used a bones and had the same result to my car. Installed a hitch and never looked back.
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Old 06-06-16, 01:59 PM
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And you can make great comedy when you forget about the bikes when going under a low bridge.
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Old 06-06-16, 02:06 PM
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Originally Posted by WorldIRC View Post
Hi All,

Looking for a trunk mounted bike rack to hold 2 carbon road bikes? Would prefer not to deal with trailer hitches or roof racks. I know there are lots of options out there but I want your thoughts on this. I will be using it on a 2014 Nissan Altima (4dr) and possibly a 2015 Kia Sorrento.
Pretty new and pretty nice car to be putting something on the paint finish like that. Ouch.

I'd like to reduce the swap as much as possible. As well, I want confidence in knowing the thing won't come detached from my vehicle when on the highway.

Finally, security. I'd like some peace of mind knowing the bikes aren't going anywhere when the car is parked -- obviously I wouldn't leave the bikes outside overnight, but for pitstops and what not, having that security would be great.

Thanks!
There is no such thing as security for a bike on a rack unattended.

J.
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Old 06-06-16, 02:43 PM
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Not too worried about the car. It's black and plenty of marks on it. I drive 45000KM per year. I don't know if I can put a hitch mount onto the vehicle as it is a lease. Thoughts on that? Never really toyed with the roof rack as I'd hate to be starring in a comedy.
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Old 06-06-16, 03:04 PM
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Many light duty hitches just bolt to the underside of the car, and can be removed. Kind of a PITA though (raise the rear of the car, unhook muffler, fish bolts through the frame- then undo it in a year or two) and once your lease is up you have a $200 paperweight to deal with.

For the Saris Bones, you could pad the feet and hooks to protect your car. Two carbon bikes will not come close to challenging its capacity. And honestly you don't NEED to cinch in down as tight as the straps can go (Has anyone here ever used an original Hollywood rack? Those things just hang with two straps. No side or bottom straps, no hard cinching. It seems terrifying but I still see them in use from time to time). But that really is my favorite trunk rack model when you figure in price, stability, stability of the bikes, and compatibility with different cars.

And security won't be any better or worse than any other rack- the same bolt cutters will defeat your cable no matter how particular/proprietary the cable is to your fancy bike rack. The only way you get more secure is to 1) get a rack with trays or arms that lock the wheels or frame down (hitch or roof models) or 2) what I mentioned before, tie everything you can to the bikes and make it as annoying as you can to remove. Use lots of straps and smaller cable locks.

I thought this would be an issue when I got my car a few years ago, so I opted to buy instead of lease etc. At first I thought a trunk rack would be sufficient, but I carry some heavy bikes with weird frames (touring bikes, mountain bikes, small framed bikes) that the trunk rack couldn't handle well, so I soon sold it and went the hitch route.

Last edited by Raiden; 06-06-16 at 03:07 PM.
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Old 06-06-16, 03:15 PM
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Would be worth a call to the leasing company. Depends on the car etc... I've had leased cars with hitches before and it wasn't a problem. Especially if you aren't going to tow with it. Leases generally permit "normal wear and tear" and simply adding the hitch is neither of those.

On the other hand, if the rack on the trunk causes damage, that wouldn't be "normal wear and tear".

J.
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Old 06-07-16, 02:27 PM
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I have a Saris Bones and have used it on a Toyota Camry and Nissan Altima without issue. However, it is not secure against theft. Somebody can easily steal both the bikes and the rack. I rarely use it because I prefer to ride my bicycle to whatever ride I am doing. I don't take my bike to other cities much unless it's via riding there.
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Old 06-07-16, 10:29 PM
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Just another aspect: check state/provincial laws about obscuring your license plate. It seems from what I read it's a bit arbitrary as to who gets a ticket for bikes on a rear/trunk mounted rack.
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Old 06-08-16, 05:39 AM
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I use a Saris Bones. Cut up some microfiber towels, and rest the rack's pads on the towels. Do the same thing with the bike on the rack and you're set.
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Old 06-08-16, 06:18 AM
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I don't like trunk rack, they messed up my paint and had the bike fly off one time... Got a hitch and 1up rack and won't be looking back
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Old 06-08-16, 06:42 AM
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I'd take the wheels off and stick the frames in the back seat. And the wheels wherever you had room. No way I'd drive anywhere with my CF bike supported / clamped on the top tube hanging off the rear of my vehicle.
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Old 06-08-16, 06:48 AM
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Originally Posted by deapee View Post
I'd take the wheels off and stick the frames in the back seat. And the wheels wherever you had room. No way I'd drive anywhere with my CF bike supported / clamped on the top tube hanging off the rear of my vehicle.
If I am by myself, I do that no problem. Lots of room for the bike in the car. That being said, the bike rack is really for when its my wife and I. I can't fit two bikes in the car (but we can fit them in her SUV).
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Old 06-08-16, 07:00 AM
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Originally Posted by deapee View Post
I'd take the wheels off and stick the frames in the back seat. And the wheels wherever you had room. No way I'd drive anywhere with my CF bike supported / clamped on the top tube hanging off the rear of my vehicle.
Exactly. CF frames are not designed to be clamped around the tubes.

That said, bikes in the car are a serious problem in the event of an accident. I wouldn't do that either. I'd either go with a roof rack (there is one for every car) or I'd bolt on a hitch (easy to do) and a hitch rack.

J.
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Old 06-08-16, 07:02 AM
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go to etrailer.com look up your car, check the available hitch options, installation instructions will also be there (most cars are no drilling 30 minute install w basic tools). then use a tray style carrier , anything from an inexpensive nashbar to a Kuat, 1UpUsa or similar will work. Easy to load bike, removal / installation is easy, and security can be done with security chains and hitch locks (hardware store chain and cables don't offer much protection, but are better than nothing).


I've had all three of the carrier types, and I prefer the tray and hitch by far. Of course the best option is a vehicle you can transport the bike inside. As someone mentioned, remove the wheels and put it in the trunk or backseat, use a moving blanket or bike bag to protect the upholstery.


good luck
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Old 06-08-16, 07:07 AM
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I got the cheapest trunk rack in the store, sometning called a Graber. I padded the hooks, no damage to the paint on the car. I use an additional lashing strap to secure the bike, no chance of it coming off. It has lasted years.

But it is no theft deterrent. I think the only thing that works for that is to put the bike in the car, but we don't all have that option.
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Old 06-14-16, 10:38 AM
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OK I've decided to go for the Hitch Mount instead.
My wife's car is large enough we don't need a rack (and since its a company vehicle, we can't put a hitch mount on it). I've determined there should be no issue bolting in the hitch onto my car.

I'm looking at the Yakima Holdup and the Thule T2 Pro.
Both have comparable MSRPs; but due to my relationship with my LBS, I can get between 25-30% off the Yakima.

Thoughts now?
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