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Hitch rack recommendations

Old 02-24-23, 01:23 PM
  #1  
surak
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Hitch rack recommendations

I've a steel Santana 26" with full fenders, just installed a 2" receiver and thinking of getting a rack instead of jamming the whole thing into my HR-V in long-mode. Wouldn't be used that often or for epically long trips, but not looking for bottom of the barrel. What have others used and would recommend?

I'm aware of the Draftmaster but it's both overkill from a price and functionality perspective (wouldn't trust using it near its multi-bike carrying capabilities since my car likely can't handle the weight).
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Old 02-24-23, 02:33 PM
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Unfortunately, I don’t have any pictures of the rack I use for my tandem that I got last year. I use a Hollywood rack that I got for about $50 off Craigslist. I removed the items marked with a red X and then moved the trays outbound so that the wheels are cradled. I have a Nissan Frontier and the wheels stick out to the sides about 4 inches. I’ve driven from Denver to Vermont and back with the bike on the truck and from Denver to Lincoln NE and back. On neither trip was the bike difficult to carry nor did it come loose. I would suggest pushing the arm down over the stoker stem very tightly, however, and adding some padding to the foam on that arm. Pipe insulation from Home Depot works well.
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Old 02-25-23, 06:18 AM
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I got a 1Up tandem roof tray. The quality and build is incredible. Only thing is it requires roof racks and maybe a step stool. I have mine on a Subaru Forester, I'm able to open the passenger door stand on the sill to put the bike up by myself.
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Old 02-25-23, 06:46 AM
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i have the same rack, i use it for my recumbent as well and for 100 bucks i modified for my wifes ebike. great rack, not very light
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Old 02-25-23, 11:56 AM
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A bit unorthodox

I have used a Softride for years without any trouble. A tandem does extend beyond the sides of my truck, especially the back wheel of the bike. (I usually turn the front wheel so it sticks out less than the side view mirror.) I initially drove very cautiously but I started to relax and now I don't worry about driving in traffic at all. There are several things I like about the Softride; It's very sturdy - it can easily handle 4 single bikes, or a tandem and 2 single bikes. I can lower the bikes, which remain level and have access to my tailgate, or on a previous 4Runner, the tailgate. Because the top of the rack remains level when it's lowered, I can use that as a platform to hold a little table or my Coleman two burner when I car camp. Very convenient!


One of the problems with the usual designs of an up-right rack is that the bikes extend really far back, probably around 42". You have to really watch it when you back up.
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Old 02-25-23, 02:10 PM
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Roof rack is out of consideration, unfortunately I learned after buying my HR-V that only the higher trim level had a roof capable of a rack.

I like the simplicity of something like the Hollywood rack cyccommute shared but it looks like the max wheelbase is 60" (already long for non-tandem-specific racks, based on my cursory research), while my Santana's wheelbase is 65".

Anyone have info on the Long Bike Tote tandem rack? Not too many online reviews of it, but it looks like a decent candidate.
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Old 02-25-23, 03:47 PM
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Originally Posted by surak View Post
Roof rack is out of consideration, unfortunately I learned after buying my HR-V that only the higher trim level had a roof capable of a rack.

I like the simplicity of something like the Hollywood rack cyccommute shared but it looks like the max wheelbase is 60" (already long for non-tandem-specific racks, based on my cursory research), while my Santana's wheelbase is 65".

Anyone have info on the Long Bike Tote tandem rack? Not too many online reviews of it, but it looks like a decent candidate.
2010 Cannondale Road tandem, L/S. Wheelbase is 69Ē. The wheels are well cradled in the wheel holder but the wheel holder arms are pretty far out on the edge of the bar. There would be room for maybe a couple of more inches but the bike at that point is sticking out past the sides of the truck pretty far.

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Old 02-25-23, 09:01 PM
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IMG_3713 by Nacho Neal, on Flickr
.
Lots of over-hang. But I don't care.
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Old 02-27-23, 08:59 AM
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Originally Posted by surak View Post
I've a steel Santana 26" with full fenders, just installed a 2" receiver and thinking of getting a rack instead of jamming the whole thing into my HR-V in long-mode. Wouldn't be used that often or for epically long trips, but not looking for bottom of the barrel. What have others used and would recommend?

I'm aware of the Draftmaster but it's both overkill from a price and functionality perspective (wouldn't trust using it near its multi-bike carrying capabilities since my car likely can't handle the weight).
We use a standard Thule trailer hitch mount two bike rack. It works well for us on our RDX Acura and the Subaru Crostrek. We take the wheels off and the frame fits within the mirrors. We,be traveled from the east coast to the west coast twice with this set up with no problems. We Lock the bike to the car overnight at hotels and we have large grill cover that I cover the bike overnight to limit exposure.
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Old 03-02-23, 04:46 PM
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Originally Posted by Nachoman View Post
IMG_3713 by Nacho Neal, on Flickr

.

Lots of over-hang. But I don't care.

You really think this is OK? I think it is a terrible idea. First, I'm sure this is illegal for a passenger vehicle. But who knows! Second, seems like catastrophe waiting to happen. Knowing how many people have driven into their garages with bikes on top, seems like it's just a matter of time for you to forget it's hanging out there and you take out your tandem on an obstacle or another vehicle. Third, seems like you're putting other road users at risk - namely cyclists that you may be passing. Driving a narrow two-lane road with that thing? Pretty hard to give cyclists 3' as required by many state laws AND not cross the center line with your vehicle and/or the other side of the overhanging tandem. And lane-sharing motorcyclists? Yikes. And the aerodynamics are terrible too!


Sorry, not for me.


As to the post about the LongBike Tote - that's a very reasonable solution. In fact, it makes me realize that I can probably retro-fit my Yamkima Sidewinder to mount to my 2" Kuat hitch rack and find a perfectly good alternative to the roof rack. I was a die-hard roof rack user - even on the van. But those days are over. And my 5' wife could NEVER get bikes on or off. Love the improved gas mileage of no bikes on top - and even the improvement after removing just the Yakima rack alone. So I'm going to have to figure out an elegant way to retrofit my Kuat to accept the Yakima tandem rack. Would be so much nice.


Oh and to anyone concerned about the added weight of hitch racks and their effect on smaller vehicle suspension, there's a pretty quick and inexpensive solution:

https://www.airliftcompany.com/produ...air-lift-1000/


My Sienna van had always suffered from "camping sag." I hated how the loaded van was always maxed out, suspension-wise. Then when I added the 2" trailer hitch and then the FOUR bike Kuat carrier, the problem was untenable. Van full of gear and four bikes on the back? Bottomed out! So I looked into an "air-ride" suspension retrofit. That's thousands of dollars, so that idea was out. Then I came upon AirLift and figured $60 was worth the try. I've had it now on the van going on seven years and they've worked great. Adjust pressure from 15-35 psi, and my suspension sag problems are solved. Such a simple solution. Installed myself.


Thinking of doing the same for a Toyota sedan we own - it, too has always ridden low with four people and a few things in the trunk. I want to add a hitch rack, but I know if I do, the thing will be dragging azz! So I hope to add the AirLift to this vehicle as well.
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Old 03-02-23, 08:00 PM
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Originally Posted by LV2TNDM View Post
You really think this is OK? I think it is a terrible idea. First, I'm sure this is illegal for a passenger vehicle. But who knows! Second, seems like catastrophe waiting to happen. Knowing how many people have driven into their garages with bikes on top, seems like it's just a matter of time for you to forget it's hanging out there and you take out your tandem on an obstacle or another vehicle. Third, seems like you're putting other road users at risk - namely cyclists that you may be passing. Driving a narrow two-lane road with that thing? Pretty hard to give cyclists 3' as required by many state laws AND not cross the center line with your vehicle and/or the other side of the overhanging tandem. And lane-sharing motorcyclists? Yikes. And the aerodynamics are terrible too!

Sorry, not for me
I agree with all of the above points. Seems dangerous as hell. When I had a small car (Honda Fit), we carried the bike on a roof rack:

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Old 03-03-23, 06:50 AM
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I have a Hollywood frame rack I use. When I am going any distance, I take the front tire off. if I am just going across town to the bike trail, I don't mess with taking the tire off. Most 4 bike bike racks would handle the weight of a single tandem.

I have used my 4 bike Hollwood rack with my two other adult bikes. I was a little worried about the bounce when I took this picture last summer.
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Old 03-03-23, 05:12 PM
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Besides that Long Bike Tote tandem rack, looks like Tandems East has various options. RockyMounts hanging rack, a combo tandem and single bike rack, and an electronic rack (whatever that means).

At least the Tandems East fork mounted offerings have different options for QR and TA. I've emailed Long Bike Tote to ask if theirs is QR only.

Despite the positive responses, I'm still leery about the hanging style rack...
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Old 03-04-23, 09:29 PM
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We have the Rocky Mounts Tandem Tailpipe that hangs our Cannondale X/M tandem across the back of my Grand Marquis. I remove the front wheel and we haven't had an issue with it. The rear wheel hangs out a little bit past the driver side mirror, but not too bad. The longest trip we took with it was from Wisconsin to Kentucky and didn't have an issue including going through construction zones and rush hour in Chicago.
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Old 03-07-23, 07:22 PM
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Originally Posted by TobyGadd View Post
I agree with all of the above points. Seems dangerous as hell. When I had a small car (Honda Fit), we carried the bike on a roof rack:

While I agree that Nachomanís bike is sticking out a bit too far for my tastes, racks like yours may not be an option for more modern cars. Most every rack made in the last 15 years is aerodynamic and that rack wonít fit on them. Yakima doesnít make that one anymore. Thule makes one but itís for square mounts.
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Old 03-08-23, 09:25 AM
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Originally Posted by cyccommute View Post
While I agree that Nachomanís bike is sticking out a bit too far for my tastes, racks like yours may not be an option for more modern cars. Most every rack made in the last 15 years is aerodynamic and that rack wonít fit on them. Yakima doesnít make that one anymore. Thule makes one but itís for square mounts.
I wonder if some of the racks at Tandems East would work: Bike Racks | Tandems East

The vertical one that mounts to a hitch sure would be safer than strapping a tandem sideways to the back of a small car.
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Old 03-08-23, 10:02 AM
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Originally Posted by TobyGadd View Post
I wonder if some of the racks at Tandems East would work: Bike Racks | Tandems East

The vertical one that mounts to a hitch sure would be safer than strapping a tandem sideways to the back of a small car.
The ATOC is made for square profile (old Thule/Yakima) bars. The Rocky Mounts rack might work or it can be bolted to certain cross bars but it is not longer made. The Ride 2 Tandem hitch rack is basically what I use with a fork mount. It would make for a shorter load for a smaller car.
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Old 03-08-23, 10:07 AM
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Originally Posted by cyccommute View Post
The ATOC is made for square profile (old Thule/Yakima) bars. The Rocky Mounts rack might work or it can be bolted to certain cross bars but it is not longer made. The Ride 2 Tandem hitch rack is basically what I use with a fork mount. It would make for a shorter load for a smaller car.
Yakima also sells adapters for all sorts of crossbars, racks, and roofs. Someone could buy a used Yakima Sidewinder from eBay or something, a few adapters, and be in business. Many options.
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Old 03-10-23, 07:18 AM
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hitch rack recommendations

Originally Posted by cyccommute View Post
The ATOC is made for square profile (old Thule/Yakima) bars.
We switched to the wing aerobars on our Thule rack five years ago. We found an adaptor to allow our ATOC tandem rack to be mounted on the bars. We also bought adaptors to allow our kayak J-racks to fit the aerobars. The wing bars are much quieter than a square bar, and the switch between the bike rack and kayak racks is much easier.
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Old 03-10-23, 10:59 AM
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4 bikes on a hitch rack

When the gang all travels together I put the three singles and one tandem on a standard Yakima 4 bike hitch rack - the wheels come off the tandem and the bikes are just within the width of the rearview mirrors. It helps that the combined weight of all 4 bikes must be around 100-120 lbs, as all the bikes are either carbon, or aluminum carbon frames. There is some bounce if and when i hit a pothole, which happens in New York, but not much more than the bounce I see when I just have the tandem on tandem specific rocky mount carrier that I bought from Tandems East years back.

But, m

y best choice for traveling with just the tandem theses days is to put the back seat down, take off the front wheel and put the tandem in the back of the MDX -it fits
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Old 03-10-23, 11:02 AM
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only 3 bikes in this picture -but i have put on 4

oops, only three bikes here in this picture, but there is room for 4 if need be.
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Old 03-10-23, 02:25 PM
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I’ve taken many long trips with a tandem plus 3 single bikes mounted on my Draftmaster, and also mounted 2 tandems for a few day trips. Works great, but Draftmaster sure is pricey now. I bought mine when the company first started more than 25 years ago, before they were sold to Atoc. Can’t remember what I paid back then, but it couldn’t have been more than a few hundred dollars. Still, the nicest solution is to put our Speedster into the back of the model Y by disconnecting the front triangle, which doesn’t really take any more time than mounting the hitch rack.
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Old 03-13-23, 09:40 AM
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Originally Posted by TobyGadd View Post
Yakima also sells adapters for all sorts of crossbars, racks, and roofs. Someone could buy a used Yakima Sidewinder from eBay or something, a few adapters, and be in business. Many options.
I do this using the Sidewinder and the Yakima aero bar adapters. Note that Yakima does not approve of this use of their adapters, I'm assuming because of the potential weight of a vintage tandem. I definitely know ours is up there atop our Nissan Frontier.




I have tired of hoisting a 38lb tandem onto the roof, even with the articulation offered by the Sidewinder. I'm also tired of removing the front wheel to mount the tandem. So I'm looking for another solution.
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Old 03-13-23, 10:43 AM
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1UP has worked great for me without having to remove the front rim.
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Old 03-20-23, 10:42 AM
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Originally Posted by Yamato72 View Post
I do this using the Sidewinder and the Yakima aero bar adapters. Note that Yakima does not approve of this use of their adapters, I'm assuming because of the potential weight of a vintage tandem. I definitely know ours is up there atop our Nissan Frontier.


I have tired of hoisting a 38lb tandem onto the roof, even with the articulation offered by the Sidewinder. I'm also tired of removing the front wheel to mount the tandem. So I'm looking for another solution.
I use a Nissan Frontier truck with a cap. I considered a roof rack but couldnít find one that would readily fit. I also didnít want to have to hoist the bike up there all the time plus gas mileage really suffers with any bike on top. Itís pretty hard to get a single up there (I have a ladder that fits over the rear tire). Thatís why I went with a hitch rack like the Hollywood. Itís cheap and I was impressed with how well the bike rode on a trip from Denver to Vermont and back.
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