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Tough decision on a rack

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Tough decision on a rack

Old 06-26-21, 07:26 PM
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Help deciding on a hitch mount bike rack.

Hi - i am having a tough time deciding on a bike rack. They are either pricey or inexpensive. While the "expensive" racks do not seem to be the best option. I want to go middle of the road and carry 3 bikes. LBS carries a Saris platform rack or Thule Camber 4 but the reviews on these are not great. There are also brands such as Hollywood or Swagman.

My previous rack was an Allens sports. I use the rack mainly to transport bikes to a local state park, which is a couple of hours away or charity bike ride events.

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Old 06-26-21, 09:39 PM
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1Up is really your best options. You can carry, 1, 2, or 3 bikes, and I believe up to 4. There really is no better option.
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Old 06-26-21, 09:57 PM
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Hi. I have the Swagman XTC2 and it has been pretty good. I like that it holds a bike from the frame while the tires stay put in the wheel hoops. The hoops themselves are adjustable to fit different sized bikes. Ive had my road bikes and mountain bike fit just fine and secure. The wheel hoops have a Velcro strap that goes through the wheel for security but the center post does most of the work.

I picked this bike rack because of the price. But I also liked that it holds bikes from the wheels and the frame. While I used to have a Yakima that held the bikes from the frame, it was the type that hangs the bike from the center and needed a strap to keep them from swinging. Plus, the rubber protection pad became gummy and sticky, leaving residue that was difficult to remove. I looked at the Kuat, which I liked, but the price was very high and in the end it served a similar purpose with a similar design. On the Swagman, the frame contact point is smaller and it uses a soft foam that has not degraded in a few years of use.

A limitation for some may be that it requires a hitch receiver. It was not a issue for me, and rather an advantage because I did not want a bike rack on the roof or pressing on the rear hatchback glass for support.

I cannot post pictures or links yet but hope this helps your decision.
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Old 06-27-21, 08:54 AM
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I don't know if you prefer a rear mount (hitch or trunk mount) or roof mount.
I have a Honda Fit (small car) and went with a set of roof rails by Sportrack. Half the price of Thule or Yakima, and have been rock solid. No problem getting the bikes on or off, and as long as I remember they are there and don't drive into the garage or under a low overhang, they are safer than hanging off the rear. Had a club member that was rear-ended. Totaled two bikes, the person's insurance company wants to pay "depreciated value" (i.e.: next to nothing) to replace them. Their offer wouldn't even cover the cost of one wheelset.
I do use two Yakima "Frontloader" racks that mount to the rails. Both bikes I transport are CF frames, and the Frontloader doesn't touch the frame, but holds the bike very securely.
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Old 06-27-21, 01:06 PM
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If you want an inexpensive one, Yakima and Thule make the type that have arms you hang the bike off. That type is your best inexpensive option. For the pricier tray-sale ones that grab the tires. the 1UPUSA one (any version) or one of the Cats will work great. I have owned both, plus a bunch of others, including the swing-up-arm types. Avoid the ones that clamp on to the toptube.
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Old 06-27-21, 07:09 PM
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I like the Saris 4-bike platform rack, convertible to a 2-bike rack, because it has the ability to mount the accessory light bar which mounts to the underside of the rack, and displays turn signals, brake and running lights that may not be visible otherwise from behind. Pricey, but made in Wisconsin, not China.
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Old 06-28-21, 06:01 AM
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Personally, I would not go the inexpensive route when considering a rack for transporting my bikes. Think of the rack as an investment to protect your bike (and any future bikes you may purchase), which is amortized over years. The rack I have started as a ski rack in 1984 - admittedly I've had to buy different fit kits over the years, but I've experienced zero problems (not caused by my own boneheadedness) with the rack or any fitments.

You seem to be transporting your bike(s) a significant distance, not just a few miles to a trailhead or local park. If you're driving 2 hours there and 2 hours back, I'm assuming that you're hitting highway speeds for a significant portion of the drive. Even if you're not, 4 hours a trip is a lot of jouncing. That would push me towards a better rack.
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Old 06-28-21, 06:19 PM
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As in most things, you get what you pay for.

A lot of the cheaper racks that either clamp to the frame, have hooks that go over the frame or that you hang the bike from are cheap but they can also do more damage to the finish on your bike than the rack is worth (been there done that). If you don't care about that, then it's not a problem.

The best solution are racks that hold your bike by the wheels. They are independent of the geometry of the bike that you have now or in the future. I used to think the best to these was the 1UpUSA that I had for years, but I've since replaced it with the QuikRStuff rack which is better in almost every way. They're backordered now, but they're worth waiting for. It's light, it's modular, it holds your bike supremely well, you can put it on the car and have a bike in it in less than 60 seconds, and when you're done it comes off the care just as fast. It's easy to tilt, It looks great on your car. Downside is it is expensive but the marginal extra cost is well worth it for the functionality.

The QuikRStuff rack was designed by the same guy that designed the 1UpUSA racks except it's the next generation and he corrected all the little things that were irritating about the 1UpUSA rack.

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Old 07-02-21, 07:34 PM
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Thanks all! I found a platform rack (which was sold out on AMZ) for a good price on local C-list.
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