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Carbon bikes on trunk racks... a myth?

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Carbon bikes on trunk racks... a myth?

Old 01-07-22, 07:19 PM
  #26  
WhyFi
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Originally Posted by Steve B. View Post
You are misinterpreting my post and forgetting that the OP indicated the hitch option was a poor choice for his vehicle. With trunk mount or roof rack the alternatives, roof then being the better option was what I was referring to.
Oh, stop - trying to reframe your statement puts you right back where you started. "Why take a chance for damage clamping and hanging?" is still balanced by the risk of drivin' your biking in to a low overhang. There's risk to both and some will be more comfortable with one over the other.
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Old 01-07-22, 10:13 PM
  #27  
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I put my bike in the car and drive, make my partner ride to the start of the ride.
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Old 01-08-22, 11:28 AM
  #28  
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Before I purchased my Impreza, I rode to the dealership and made sure the bike fit inside.

Given that the OP already owns the car and the bike doesn't fit inside, i'd opt for a roof rack over a trunk rack. The trunk rack will damage the paint and they looks like crap on such a nice cars as an A5.

Here's a 3rd option:

Last edited by GlennR; 01-08-22 at 11:48 AM.
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Old 01-09-22, 09:58 AM
  #29  
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I've been transporting on trunk racks many years attach by top tubes. My carbon bikes are $7k and up. No issues. You want to be safer, take wheels off and transport them in car it'll make bike lighter. Good luck
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Old 01-09-22, 03:07 PM
  #30  
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Been carrying a pair of Cannondale Synapse Carbon bikes on trunk-mounted racks since 2006 without issue.
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Old 01-12-22, 09:50 AM
  #31  
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I'd rather find an alternative to securing your CF frame by its top tube, even if it's more of a hassle. I do not recommend doing this as it's not engineered to withstand the forces applied by a trunk rack when your car is moving. I mean, it's not even recommended to clamp your bike by its top tube on a working stand... When I didn't have a hitch & a bike rack, I used to put it the trunk and had to fold the rear seats. I had to remove the front wheel though.

To me, a hitch bike rack is the best option. The car protects the bike from debris and rocks and it's very easy to secure and unsecure your bike.

-A fork mount roof rack is also a good option, although your bike is subject to rocks and debris due to the fact that it is on the roof when you drive. Hit a rock when going 60MPH and you may get a nice crack on your fork or head tube. A few years ago, I saw a man entering an underground parking who forgot that two bikes were on his roof. They got smashed up completely. The guy was crying (with good reason). Still haunts me today.

-Sea suckers are also an option, but I personally don't fully trust the suction thing.

Last edited by eduskator; 01-12-22 at 09:56 AM.
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Old 01-12-22, 10:06 AM
  #32  
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Has anyone on this forum ever had any frame damage as a result of transporting a carbon frame on a trunk rack? Everyone seems to imply that the jostling the frame takes from a moving vehicle in conjunction with clamps/straps on the top tube will lead to damage, but I've never seen any evidence of that other than manufacturers recommending against it. They also recommend against using wheel-on trainers but millions of people have been doing that for years with scarcely any issues.

Anyway, I use a Saris Bones trunk rack with my carbon Trek, and I've never had an issue, I can also fit the bike into the back seat of my Jetta with the front wheel off so I'll generally do that unless I need the space for passengers/luggage.
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Old 01-12-22, 10:15 AM
  #33  
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Originally Posted by Dan333SP View Post
Has anyone on this forum ever had any frame damage as a result of transporting a carbon frame on a trunk rack?
Does my friend's uncle's former co-worker's husband count? I hear that the assplosion left a crater.
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Old 01-13-22, 02:43 AM
  #34  
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Originally Posted by dvai View Post
Thanks to all for the reply.
- Is an Audi A5.
- Trek Domane SLR and specializes sirrus carbon frame.
It looks like it's possible to get a less-obvious hitch made of stainless materials, but at $600, it's certainly pricy:
https://stealthhitches.com/products/audi-hitch-shr30009

I saw a "hold by the wheel" trunk rack but I haven't used it, and don't know if it fits your car, it looks a little funky:
https://www.thule.com/en-us/bike-rac...orm-2-_-993005

Originally Posted by dvai View Post
- Inside the car would only fit one and not the Domane without taking off the handlebars
- Installing a hitch would be tough based on how the car is designed. The add on hitches you see are installed poorly and end up damaging some part (also, they get almost always rusted in the midwest).
- Roof rack is maybe a more feasible option. I think the trunk rack is more convenient, so that's why I asked.
Here's the thing, hold-by-the-frame trunk racks are just fiddly and annoying as hell if you want to put more than 1 bike on them.

You get a hitch and 1UP rack...it's incredibly expensive, but it also works fairly smoothly. It's no longer a daily struggle to get bikes on and off, you just put the rack on, put the bikes on, they don't rub each other and it mostly just works.

There's just so much futzing with a trunk rack. Not just putting it on and off, but making sure the front wheels aren't going to be rubbing against each other, trying to get different style bikes to fit, I'd just rather dump the money into a better rack than go back to doing that.
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Old 01-13-22, 01:42 PM
  #35  
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Originally Posted by dvai View Post
Thanks to all for the reply.
- Is an Audi A5.
- Trek Domane SLR and specializes sirrus carbon frame.
- Inside the car would only fit one and not the Domane without taking off the handlebars
- Installing a hitch would be tough based on how the car is designed. The add on hitches you see are installed poorly and end up damaging some part (also, they get almost always rusted in the midwest).
- Roof rack is maybe a more feasible option. I think the trunk rack is more convenient, so that's why I asked.
I still think putting a hidden hitch on your car is the way to go. I put a Curt hitch on my Genesis Coupe with no problems. It was a little fiddly of an install but not horrible. I'm sure they would have a unit properly designed to fit your car. After 3 years it's still pretty much rust free as far as I know.... though you almost can't see any of it anyway. I'm in Canada too so I doubt your environment is much different.

The GF had a cheaper trunk rack and it destroyed the paint on her trunk lid and her bike so I got her setup with a hitch too. The hitch mount racks are great, so easy to get bikes on and off, no chance they're going to bang into each other or the car and cause damage, they're about as protected as they can be, and the weight of the bike is supported by it's tires.
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Old 01-14-22, 08:45 AM
  #36  
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Originally Posted by dvai View Post
- Installing a hitch would be tough based on how the car is designed. The add on hitches you see are installed poorly and end up damaging some part (also, they get almost always rusted in the midwest).
- Roof rack is maybe a more feasible option. I think the trunk rack is more convenient, so that's why I asked.
You may wish to look into a hidden hitch. I put one on my Miata and it works well with a 1UP-USA quick-rack.
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Old 01-14-22, 03:18 PM
  #37  
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Originally Posted by PaulRivers View Post
You get a hitch and 1UP rack...it's incredibly expensive, but it also works fairly smoothly. It's no longer a daily struggle to get bikes on and off, you just put the rack on, put the bikes on, they don't rub each other and it mostly just works. There's just so much futzing with a trunk rack. Not just putting it on and off, but making sure the front wheels aren't going to be rubbing against each other, trying to get different style bikes to fit, I'd just rather dump the money into a better rack than go back to doing that.
I don't disagree that trunk racks can require a lot of futzing around to get things to sit perfectly, but if the alternative solution is to spend more money on something "incredibly expensive" I'd rather skip the intermediate step of a hitch-mounted rack and just buy a vehicle that's big enough to carry two bikes inside.
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Old 01-14-22, 03:56 PM
  #38  
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Originally Posted by Bob Ross View Post
I don't disagree that trunk racks can require a lot of futzing around to get things to sit perfectly, but if the alternative solution is to spend more money on something "incredibly expensive" I'd rather skip the intermediate step of a hitch-mounted rack and just buy a vehicle that's big enough to carry two bikes inside.
1 person: hmm, should have bought a car my bike would fit into
1 person in hatchback: ah, my bike fits inside the car.
2 people in hatchback: shoot, now I need a rack again.
2 people in suv: ah, bikes fit inside the car, but dang, this was expensive.
4 people in suv: oh, huh, now I need a rack again...
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Old 01-14-22, 09:15 PM
  #39  
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Originally Posted by PaulRivers View Post
1 person: hmm, should have bought a car my bike would fit into
1 person in hatchback: ah, my bike fits inside the car.
2 people in hatchback: shoot, now I need a rack again.
2 people in suv: ah, bikes fit inside the car, but dang, this was expensive.
4 people in suv: oh, huh, now I need a rack again...
Dude in a van with a rack and room for all his bikes:
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Old 01-15-22, 05:55 AM
  #40  
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Originally Posted by dvai View Post
I really want to be able to transport my bike on my car. Won't fit. And I don't want to get a new car just to be able to transport my bike (inside it or with a hitch).

Ive always been told you should not put a carbon frame on a trunk rack... but is that really true?

I haven't been able to find a hard recommendation against it from bike manufactures. Trek says they recommend against it.

Thoughts? Experience with this?
I have transported my carbon road bike several times on a Saris Bones rack. Never had any issues.

Not sure about warranty, doubt it would be covered if damaged. But I find it hard to see how you could damage the bike that way, unless you hit something backing your car up of course.
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Old 01-23-22, 09:54 PM
  #41  
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Glad to see there's recent activity on this thread so I don't have to start a new one. This is something of a concern for me as well. I have a Suburban, so it's no problem transporting bikes there. But my DD is a Chevy Sonic. I just picked up a cheap hitch bike rack for it and have the receiver coming to mount on the car. The two bikes I would be transporting (likely only ever one at a time) is a Trek WSD 1.2 and a Specialized Roubiax. I think I would be less worried about the Trek just because it's aluminum, but honestly, both of these bikes represent a pretty decent investment on my current budget so I don't want to do anything stupid to damage anything. Anybody see an issue with what I'm doing?
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Old 01-24-22, 10:57 AM
  #42  
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The only problem with a rear rack is if you get rear-ended. Try to strap it down so that it can't wiggle much. I also think it looks stupid to see the wheels turning, so I bungee those too.
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Old 01-24-22, 12:41 PM
  #43  
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Originally Posted by GlennR View Post
Given that the OP already owns the car and the bike doesn't fit inside, i'd opt for a roof rack over a trunk rack. The trunk rack will damage the paint and they looks like crap on such a nice cars as an A5.

Here's a 3rd option:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0UFzk9hPwr8
Completely agree. I had the paint on a custom built bike trashed with a trunk rack. Did more damage to the paint and finish on the bike than the rack was worth.

And I have a SeaSucker rack I use when we take the bikes with us when we fly. It fits on any rental car and it works super well. You hold the bike just like it's a roof rack and it fits on any car without hurting it (unlike the strapped on trunk racks). Great solution.

J.
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Old 01-24-22, 12:46 PM
  #44  
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Originally Posted by VegasJen View Post
I don't want to do anything stupid to damage anything. Anybody see an issue with what I'm doing?
Way I figure with hitch racks; platform style has essentially a zero chance of frame damage and hanger style has an unknown chance of frame damage. So sure, hanger style may well work fine for you. ... then someday it might not.

Price difference between the rack styles with name brands seems to be a small fraction of the cost of a typical carbon frame bike, and you'd have the peace of mind of not wondering.

BTW - if you're usually just transporting one bike and occasionally transporting two bikes, I really like the 1UP-USA setup where you buy a single-bike rack and an add-on. Takes me a half a minute to put the add-on onto my quickrack single. Of course this flexibility doesn't come cheap, but it is really handy.

Last edited by gpburdell; 01-24-22 at 01:19 PM.
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Old 01-27-22, 12:30 AM
  #45  
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The only reasonable solution is a new Chevy Suburban or GMC Yukon XL. Three bikes will fit in the back on fork mounts. You're welcome.
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Old 01-27-22, 08:05 PM
  #46  
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Originally Posted by GlennR View Post
Before I purchased my Impreza, I rode to the dealership and made sure the bike fit inside.

Given that the OP already owns the car and the bike doesn't fit inside, i'd opt for a roof rack over a trunk rack. The trunk rack will damage the paint and they looks like crap on such a nice cars as an A5.

Here's a 3rd option:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0UFzk9hPwr8
I'm glad I'm not the only one who did this! My daily driver is an Impreza and every car I looked at when I was shopping, I brought my bike and loaded it in. I was looking for the smallest AWD I could find. It also has a trailer hitch which was for bike racks only, according to what Subaru says (although I added trailer lights and use the Impreza to pull a small utility trailer for lightweight use). If I need to carry two bikes I either put the tray-type hitch carrier on it or one of the two roof top carriers I have.

Oh, and we pull a travel trailer with a BFT, a Ford F250 with a camper shell. The bikes are on fork mounts locked and dry inside the shell. Used to do the same thing when my daily driver was a Suburban.
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