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Bike Rack Recommendations

Old 11-23-13, 09:02 PM
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lennyparis
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Bike Rack Recommendations

I just bought a 2014 Subaru XV Crosstrek and am looking for a bike rack

I am a roadie with light carbon bikes

Would you recommend a roof or hitch rack (don't have hitch currently)?

What are pros and cons as well as recommended brands/types?
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Old 11-23-13, 09:11 PM
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Originally Posted by lennyparis View Post
I just bought a 2014 Subaru XV Crosstrek and am looking for a bike rack

I am a roadie with light carbon bikes

Would you recommend a roof or hitch rack (don't have hitch currently)?

What are pros and cons as well as recommended brands/types?
Option A: Fold seats down, insert bike. Since its a hatchback there's a good chance you can leave the front wheel on.

Hitch racks are easier to load/unload, but more expensive and stick out behind your car making parking more difficult.
A roof rack will be far cheaper, but they're more difficult to load and there's the risk of low clearance.
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Old 11-23-13, 09:13 PM
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It is a small SUV so not sure bike will fit

any chance bike comes lose on roof rack?
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Old 11-23-13, 09:16 PM
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I have a hitch rack because my Element is too tall for a roof rack. With a hitch rack, you don't have to worry about crashing your bike into the garage. Sometimes bikes on a roof can make whistling noises or get covered by bugs. Gas mileage may suffer. The roof rack would've have cost me more money, too.

I've got a Hidden Hitch and a PerformanceBike rack. I can remove the rack very quickly. It took me longer to get the Hidden Hitch out of the box than it did to bolt it to the frame. The bikes sit on rails and a foam covered hook holds the bike down on the top tube. I also have a nylon strap to hold everything down just in case. On some long trips, I also had a cable lock keeping everything safe(r).

Saris makes some very nice racks for all sorts of vehicles but they are more expensive. But if you are planning to use the rack a lot, the cost isn't so bad.

With a hitch rack, you may not be able to open the rear hatch with the bike(s) on the rack.
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Old 11-23-13, 09:19 PM
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Originally Posted by lennyparis View Post
It is a small SUV so not sure bike will fit

any chance bike comes lose on roof rack?
the bike will fit inside no problem. Especially if you take the front wheel off. I used to put my bike in the back seat of my wife's BMW.

I set this roof rack rail up on my Vespa. Bike is very secure, won't fall off.

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Old 11-23-13, 10:29 PM
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Originally Posted by lennyparis View Post
It is a small SUV so not sure bike will fit

any chance bike comes lose on roof rack?
My friend tosses his road bike in the back of a Prius (with the wheels still on). If you remove the front wheel it'll easily fit. My bike (57cm) fits easily in my Subaru's (09 Legacy, 08 Impreza both sedans).

The main reason for a bike carrier is if you want to transport 2 bikes.
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Old 11-24-13, 07:06 AM
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Love my Saris Bones RS trunk rack which will fit your car.
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Old 11-24-13, 07:47 AM
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hitch then a 1up quick rack.
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Old 11-24-13, 07:56 AM
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Thule T2. /endthread
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Old 11-24-13, 08:03 AM
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if you want a hitch rack and want to carry more than 2 bikes get something better than a class I.

I bought a 2nd hand subaru hitch rack for my forester and it's good for 1 bike. it doesn't have traditional arms so it stinks for 2 bikes. I had the worst time picking out a hitch rack for 4 bikes.

maybe subaru can set u up with a subbie brand rack but if it's the same old thing I got, you can do better. after market hitches seem to be easy and cheap enough to get installed. I remember the human customer service ppl at Etrailer were pretty good about recommendations. but they don't install anything.
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Old 11-24-13, 08:07 AM
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I have an older Thule rack on the Subaru. Works incredibly well.

Bike stable at 80, rack locks to the car and the bike locks to the rack.

I use it anytime we carry more than one bike, or if the distance is below about 200 miles. Further than that, the wind noise and mileage penalty bug me and I take the time to remove the wheels and pack more carefully. You can do wonders with some patience and a moving blanket or two.

photo below...
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Old 11-24-13, 08:25 AM
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Does your car already have a manufacturer-added roof rack? With crossbars?

If so, try to find bicycle racks from Inno - https://www.innoracks.com/. They work well with any crossbars, unlike other brands (Thule ...cough... cough...) which are designed to do things like get you to buy their 1.2 meter chunk of aluminum crossbars for $95
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Old 11-24-13, 10:46 AM
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I have been a roof rack Yakima guy since 1989. For the OP, if you would benefit from the versatility of a roof rack, such as loading other things from a roof box, skis, canoe or kayak, or lumber, sheet rock plywood, etc, then the roof rack is for you. If you don't like lifting the bike over your head, then I suppose a hitch mount is for you. As for the comments about smashing your bike into the garage with the bike on the roof, I have nothing to say other than some people are incredibly stupid...
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Old 11-24-13, 10:52 AM
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I have to second the Thule T2. I friggin' LOVE mine on my 4runner. I had a Yakima a while back that wasn't bad at all, but holding the bike from the wheels is just so darn secure, plus I can see them out of the back window!
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Old 11-24-13, 10:59 AM
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I like the platform style hitch mounted racks. Not sure you can get a proper hitch on a Crosstrek though. Do you find the CVT whine annoying?
Or did you get the manual transmission.
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Old 11-24-13, 11:08 AM
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Originally Posted by Fox Farm View Post
I have been a roof rack Yakima guy since 1989. For the OP, if you would benefit from the versatility of a roof rack, such as loading other things from a roof box, skis, canoe or kayak, or lumber, sheet rock plywood, etc, then the roof rack is for you. If you don't like lifting the bike over your head, then I suppose a hitch mount is for you. As for the comments about smashing your bike into the garage with the bike on the roof, I have nothing to say other than some people are incredibly stupid...
I have known a half dozen people that have been rear ended while siting at a light. It happened to a guy I work with 2 weeks ago. At least with a roof rack you have some control over wrecking your bike. If you are hit from behind you have no control.
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Old 11-24-13, 11:15 AM
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Want something that is secure and keeps bike out of the way
If I have passengers putting bike inside does not work
so was thinking about roof rack
But worried about it not being secure and not being able to keep an eye on the bike
the gas mileage is less important to me as this will not be a regular thing (or short drives to destination)
Don't mind lifting light carbon bike onto roof

the CVT is a bit annoying and noisy
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Old 11-24-13, 11:18 AM
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You are asking about racks since you should already know the advantages/disadvantages of loading the bike in the back of your vehicle. I also recently bought a new vehicle and could have flipped down the back seat, taken the front wheel off, etc. Didn't want to go that route, so decided on a hitch mount. I had one installed through U-haul for about $100 and they did a nice job. After lots of research on racks, it came down to the Kuat Sherpa and the 1up USA. Both are very nice racks and don't touch the top tube, which was a concern for me. You can't go wrong with either one. I ended up buying the Kuat Sherpa, have been very pleased with it and get lots of compliments. I often just leave it on the car, but it comes off very quickly. Also, its a breeze to load and unload the bikes from the rack.
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Old 11-24-13, 11:19 AM
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Originally Posted by opie View Post
hitch then a 1up quick rack.
They make a roof rack too.
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Old 11-24-13, 11:22 AM
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Originally Posted by c_mack9 View Post
Thule T2. /endthread
There is a review on BF comparing the T2 with a Raxter rack. It isn't favorable to the T2.

Thule doesn't recommend the T2 for road bikes because the front hold down is suppose to make contact with the front brake.

Last edited by Carbon Unit; 11-24-13 at 11:25 AM.
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Old 11-24-13, 11:57 AM
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Originally Posted by Carbon Unit View Post
There is a review on BF comparing the T2 with a Raxter rack. It isn't favorable to the T2.

Thule doesn't recommend the T2 for road bikes because the front hold down is suppose to make contact with the front brake.
I've got a Raxter Tarsus on my Legacy. Its easy to load. The best features are simple loading and it only sticks out ~1 ft when folded. Most of the Thule's are significantly longer. Its a great rack, I'd definitely recommend it, if you're going that route.

There's a catch with most Subaru's, which is a 1 1/4" hitch is standard, finding a Class 3 2" hitch is more difficult. Most racks are designed for a 2" hitch, so you're either adding 6-8" with an adapter or highly restricted in rack choice. Expect the hitch to scrape some, although probably not an issue on an XV.

In my case, the Legacy didn't come with any sort of roof kit, so there was no cost difference for hitch vs roof since I needed a base kit. In your situation, a roof kit should be cheaper since you can start with the XV mounting points. Also, if you ski/board roof rack is much easier to convert for the winter.
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Old 11-24-13, 01:05 PM
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+1 for 1up usa - absolute top quality. I have their 2" hitch rack 2 bike model, with 2 single bike add-ons.
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Old 11-24-13, 04:03 PM
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I also love the Thule T2. I also bought the extension to carry 4 bikes when we go camping or some of my buddies want to go somewhere to ride. It is solid as a rock, a bit heavy maybe but the bikes are very secure. I like the clamp going on the wheel instead of the painted top tube. With it clamping on the wheel it makes it easy to haul the kids bikes also which are 24 and 20 inch bikes. Expensive, but didn't want to chance damaging expensive bikes with a cheap rack.
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