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  1. #26
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    One thing to consider with any hitch rack is how badly the rack/bikes will obscure your taillights and license plates.

    I use one (tray mount) my VW Westfalia, which has narrow horizontally oriented taillights, and I get real nervous about being rear ended in heavy traffic. Those lights are hard enough to see without the bike rack in the way.

    Some people may also worry about an overzealous cop pulling them over for an obscured license plate (probable cause) and then having to deal with other "issues". YMMV

  2. #27
    Shuffleman
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    Quote Originally Posted by crit_boy View Post
    Pump the brakes on buying accessories. I have multiple thousands dollars of clothes, accessories, tools, racks, trainers, etc. It has taken more than 20 years to build up my "collection". I could not go out and replace all of the stuff I regularly use in one year. Slow down. Ride your bike - that is the point. The point is not buying a bunch of junk to ride your bike.

    Stop buying the cheapest crap there is. Cry once. Else you are going to have to re-purchase all this stuff again when you realize buying everything all at once was a bad plan b/c you didn't know what you wanted or needed and bought junk. Plus, if you buy the good stuff, you can sell it for not that big of a loss.

    #1 thing (i don't remember if you bought the bike yet) - buy a nice bikes that fits. Nice means greater than about $1000. "Real" road bikes have been $1000 for 20 years. Yes, people with say tiagra or sora or whatever is good enough. I wouldn't mess with less than 105. Start getting cheaper than $1000 and you get bikes with a mixture of crap wheels, junky brakes, horrible saddles, heavy no name stems/seatposts/bars.

    #2 thing - proper riding clothes/shoes. It is about to get cold. You can't get good winter gear for cheap. So, I'd go for knickers, long sleeve under armour cold gear type shirt, SS jersey, and a wind vest (thin windproof full finger gloves and shoe covers may help too). That stuff will keep you riding outside in the low 50s.

    Since you went hitch rack: Save up and buy a 1upusa or kuat or the like. For the next year, take the wheel(s) off and put the bike in your car or ride to the ride. I live outside of DC - So, my traffic is worse than yours and I ride to the ride.

    There is a guy on a group ride I do that puts his bike in his audi TT. If there is a will there is a way. Buy a cloth drop cloth from your local home improvement store and cover the back seat and floor. Put your bike in the car sans wheels.
    There is some good advice here but some of it is not necessarily the best advice.
    Getting a bike that fits is spot on. However, nice road bikes do not start at over $1000. I know many people that ride Claris, sora and Tiagra equipped bikes and they are perfectly fine groupsets. I think that your plan is actually perfect when it comes to a bike. Most people buy a road bike and ride it a few times and realize that they do not like the sport or do not ride much. Only a few people actually love the sport. Look at Craigs List if you do not believe this info. It is much easier to sell an entry level bike and you lose far less money. IF you like the sport in a few years you can sell the bike and get a new one. At that point, you will know what you like and you can make a more informed purchase. If money is tight, there is no reason that you can't stick with the entry level bike. I get passed by riders on nicer bikes and by riders on lesser expensive bikes. It is not the bike that slows you down. Keep in mind that many here, including myself, are very passionate about the sport. Sometimes that bleeds into our advice. When one says that you get "crap" wheels, brakes and etc. it is just a matter of perspective. Those brakes and wheels on the entry level bikes are perfectly fine. My first road bike was a Felt Z95. It had stock everything. It had a mixture of Tiagra and Micorshift components. I made my way up to the A group pretty quickly with that bike. My current bike costs way more and if I am faster it is only because of more time in the saddle.
    As for clothes, gather them as you go. I only have one pair of riding pants. If it is cold, I wear my shorts under my running lycra pants. I often wear my long sleeve Under Armour shirts under my bike jersey. Granted I live in the south, but it works for me. You can make it work by only buying things on an as needed basis. This is especially true for mirrors and lights. I never use a front light or mirrors. I know others that do. Its a personal preference thing. Ride first and then you will figure it out.
    I am not going to tell you that 1up and Kuat are not nice racks. They are. However, they cost more than most bikes do. Personally, I would never pay that much for a rack and I am one to baby my bikes. I have a cheap Allen hanging rack that I use to carry only one bike. It is easy to put on. I only use this when going on a short ride to the shop. My favorite rack is the Transit by Performance. The link is here and you can wait for a sale and get it for much less.
    TransIt Flatbed 2DLX 2-Bike Hitch Rack
    The only down side that I see to the Transit is that it is heavy. It has a lock to the hitch and to the bikes. It really does not need the lock to the hitch though as it is so heavy that it would be comical to see somebody steal it. Regardless, that rack works great when I transport my mtbs. I have my bike, my wifes and my son's. They do not really fit on the hanging racks because of all the different tube shapes. The platform racks truly are the best. If money is tight, which you said that it was, than people should respect that and try to help. Offering a 1up as advice is like telling a person shopping for a Civic to buy a Lexus LS. It is not that the 1up is not extremely nice. It is. The Transit will do perfectly fine. Like the entry level bike, it is heavier. No big deal. It works great.
    Again, most people here mean well but we are die hards and hard core enthusiasts. We have all had our entry level bikes. I could still ride my old Felt and been fine to this day. I could afford something different so I bought it. It was definitely not a "needs" based purchase.

  3. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by crit_boy View Post

    #1 thing (i don't remember if you bought the bike yet) - buy a nice bikes that fits. Nice means greater than about $1000. "Real" road bikes have been $1000 for 20 years. Yes, people with say tiagra or sora or whatever is good enough. I wouldn't mess with less than 105. Start getting cheaper than $1000 and you get bikes with a mixture of crap wheels, junky brakes, horrible saddles, heavy no name stems/seatposts/bars.
    I'm gonna have to disagree with this. I have a Trek 1.1 with Shimano 2300, which is worse than tiagra or sora. I've upgraded the seat, tires and replaced rear brake pads... but that's about it. I have the Trek Domane S5 with 105 components for comparison. For a sub-$1K bike, the 1.1 is a nice "real" ride, IMO.
    Fred-li-ness is not a virtue, it's a way of life.

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  4. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shuffleman View Post
    I think that your plan is actually perfect when it comes to a bike. Most people buy a road bike and ride it a few times and realize that they do not like the sport or do not ride much. Only a few people actually love the sport. It is much easier to sell an entry level bike and you lose far less money. When one says that you get "crap" wheels, brakes and etc. it is just a matter of perspective.

    Again, most people here mean well but we are die hards and hard core enthusiasts. We have all had our entry level bikes. I could still ride my old Felt and been fine to this day. I could afford something different so I bought it. It was definitely not a "needs" based purchase.
    Thank you very much for all your advice and for making me feel better about my decision to purchase what I can afford!!!

    My thoughts are that since I'm used to riding a 16 year old $300 mountain bike on the road with Shimano STX-RC and ACERA components, even the $600 road bike with Claris components will probably feel pretty darn good!!

    I completely understand their enthusiasm...and my enthusiasm is pretty high right now as well, unfortunately my bank account and priorities don't warrant spending $1500+ on a bike. Like you said if for some reason I don't ride as much as I think I'm going to, I can sale the bike and not be out more than a few hundred dollars...with a more expensive bike I'm sure the loss would be a lot greater.

    Again, I appreciate your input and taking the time to respond!!!


    Quote Originally Posted by HyperCycle View Post
    I'm gonna have to disagree with this. I have a Trek 1.1 with Shimano 2300, which is worse than tiagra or sora. I've upgraded the seat, tires and replaced rear brake pads... but that's about it. I have the Trek Domane S5 with 105 components for comparison. For a sub-$1K bike, the 1.1 is a nice "real" ride, IMO.
    I'm not sure where my Shimano STX-RC and ACERA components fall (currently what's on my mountain bike that I'm using for a road bike) as far as quality, but I bet at $300 for the entire bike (even 16 years ago) those components ain't great . I agree, the Trek 1.1 is very nice bike. It was one I was seriously looking at until I noticed the only two my LBS has in stock are from 2015 and 2013.

    Thank for the input!

    TripleB
    Last edited by TripleB; 10-11-2016 at 03:20 PM.

  5. #30
    Shuffleman
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    Quote Originally Posted by TripleB View Post
    My thoughts are that since I'm used to riding a 16 year old $300 mountain bike on the road with Shimano STX-RC and ACERA components, even the $600 road bike with Claris components will probably feel pretty darn good!!
    Thank for the input!
    TripleB
    I started riding the road on my mtb. I bought a hybrid and it was way faster. I borrowed a road bike after 2 weeks on the hybrid. One ride with that was all that it took. I had a new Felt road bike in my garage 2 weeks later. That bike cost $899 new. It was entry level just like what you are looking at. It was a huge difference between that and the mtb or hybrid. Your bike will be awesome for you. No matter how good most of us think that we are, our bikes never hold us back. The main difference in groupsets is weight. Is Ultegra a better shifting component than Claris. Yes, but not by a ton. The weight of the two is the main difference. Enjoy your bike and put lots of miles on it.

  6. #31
    Seat's not level
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    For a hanging rack with the rubber straps, I'd suggest backing it up with a bungee or one of these ... https://www.niteize.com/product/Gear-Tie-ProPack.asp. I was with at guy at a race a few weekends ago. The rubber strap broke and his bike fell off. Never found the bike. $ for an extra strap, $$$$ for a new bike.
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  7. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chain View Post
    For a hanging rack with the rubber straps, I'd suggest backing it up with a bungee or one of these ... https://www.niteize.com/product/Gear-Tie-ProPack.asp. I was with at guy at a race a few weekends ago. The rubber strap broke and his bike fell off. Never found the bike. $ for an extra strap, $$$$ for a new bike.
    Those gear ties are way handy and useful. Better than bungee cords in many applications, holds things tight and don't have to stretch to hold them.
    Too old to ride plastic

  8. #33
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    Platform Rack: They stick out REALLY far from the car if you have 4 bikes. The entry and exit angles can be a problem with some driveways and curbs even on my Acura MDX. They are a PAIN to get to the tailgate when the bikes are off. AND! The bikes sit further apart - so that 4th bike better not be your fat bike that weighs 45lbs.

    Hanging Rack: I got the Yakima Swingdaddy and think its superior. When you are on vaca, and no bikes are not on the rack you can quickly swing it out of the way. Swaying bikes? No problems, just use the anti-sway latches correctly, a bungee cord for the front wheels and MAYBE a foam pool noodle with a slit in it, if you are worried.

    I know this is an old post, but I just went through this entire exercise and was surprised to see the support for the platform carriers. My suggestions are based on long vacas with large drives and multi-bikes. Platforms may be better for Tuesday night rides with one bike.

  9. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kestreljr View Post
    Platform Rack: They stick out REALLY far from the car if you have 4 bikes. The entry and exit angles can be a problem with some driveways and curbs even on my Acura MDX. They are a PAIN to get to the tailgate when the bikes are off. AND! The bikes sit further apart - so that 4th bike better not be your fat bike that weighs 45lbs.

    Hanging Rack: I got the Yakima Swingdaddy and think its superior. When you are on vaca, and no bikes are not on the rack you can quickly swing it out of the way. Swaying bikes? No problems, just use the anti-sway latches correctly, a bungee cord for the front wheels and MAYBE a foam pool noodle with a slit in it, if you are worried.

    I know this is an old post, but I just went through this entire exercise and was surprised to see the support for the platform carriers. My suggestions are based on long vacas with large drives and multi-bikes. Platforms may be better for Tuesday night rides with one bike.
    I'm gonna have to disagree with your assessment of Platforms. My wife and I have 2 small SUVs and even with the extension for 4 bikes, it's easy to fold up when not in use, easy to fold back down if we need access to trunk area and with 4 bikes on the rack during travel... it does not stick out far enough to impede precision parking and driving.
    Fred-li-ness is not a virtue, it's a way of life.

    Embark on Fredly endeavors.

  10. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by HyperCycle View Post
    I'm gonna have to disagree with your assessment of Platforms.
    Me too. I guess this IS a road bike site but I mostly transport full suspension mountain bikes. It can be a royal PITA to get those positioned on any type of hanging system.

    And the whole, "just use all manner of clamps, ratchets, bungees, and the occasional foam noodle...". No thanks.

  11. #36
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    The hanging trunk/hitch racks would be my last choice. I would go with a roof rack, or even tear the bike down and throw it in the trunk/back seat before I dealt with that mess again.

    However, I've gone full on internal bike storage after some hassles with my external racks on a road trip last summer.




    I still have and love my Kuat Platform 2 bike hitch rack. It's light, simple to use and store, and secures the bikes. I still use it on occasion, but not when I'm travelling, due to theft concerns. I caught someone trying to cut the lock on my hitch rack last summer when I stopped for dinner while driving back home from California.

  12. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by Migen21 View Post
    The hanging trunk/hitch racks would be my last choice. I would go with a roof rack, or even tear the bike down and throw it in the trunk/back seat before I dealt with that mess again.

    However, I've gone full on internal bike storage after some hassles with my external racks on a road trip last summer.




    I still have and love my Kuat Platform 2 bike hitch rack. It's light, simple to use and store, and secures the bikes. I still use it on occasion, but not when I'm travelling, due to theft concerns. I caught someone trying to cut the lock on my hitch rack last summer when I stopped for dinner while driving back home from California.
    When I travel the back of my wagon is generally filled with camping gear, a cooler, food and clothes (a second duffel filled with just cycling kit), so there is no room inside for the bikes. Thus I prefer the roof rack as it doesn't impede my access to the gear stowed in the back.
    Life is short... enjoy the ride.

  13. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by bradkay View Post
    When I travel the back of my wagon is generally filled with camping gear, a cooler, food and clothes (a second duffel filled with just cycling kit), so there is no room inside for the bikes. Thus I prefer the roof rack as it doesn't impede my access to the gear stowed in the back.
    This is why I kept the hitch and hitch rack, so if I need to put people or stuff in the van, I can still carry the bikes.

  14. #39
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    I looked and looked and finally sprang for the Kuat Nv Base 2.0.

    I wouldn't hang my Madone 5.2 carbon by the top tube. The Kuat only touches the tire and wheel.

    I could probably hang my Lemond Buenos Aires, but I don't want to.

    With both bike on the Kuat there is little to no wiggle and I've never had a single problem over hundreds of miles.

    Also, the Kuat has a ton of convenience features like swing down for access to the tailgate on my Tucson, easy release of the rack up and down, built in cable locks, adjustable cradle for different lengths, and a bunch more.

    Yes, it was expensive, but my bikes were expensive and this rack looks built to last forever. And you could probably sell it and get almost what you paid for it.

  15. #40
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    I've had both. I think they are both generally easy to use.

    If this is for a hitch mount, I think the platform is a better option.

    One issue that can come up with the hanging racks is that some weird shapes and sizes of bikes can be a challenge to get to fit. Generally not an issue with standard diamond-frame road bikes or hard-tail mountain bikes, but other types (step-through "women's" bikes, mixtes, FS mountain bikes, exotic tri bikes) can sometimes be a challenge. In the end I never found a frame I could not make fit, but it took some creativity to say the least.

    The other thing to consider is whether you will need to tilt the racks back to access the rear of the car. The platform racks handle this very well. With hanging racks, the bikes turn in the cradles.

    In order to keep the front wheels from flopping over on a hanging rack, I would bungee the back of the front wheel to one of the pedals.

  16. #41
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    I recently got a 1up USA rack for my truck. It works for my road and mountain bikes and also let's me open the tailgate on my truck. The main reason I went with a platform rack was because the geometry of my mountain bikes didn't work well with hanging racks. Also, this rack goes on my truck in less then a minute and I can have 2 bikes mounted ready to go in about another minute. This is truly the best rack I have ever owned (also the most expensive) but it's all aluminum and made in the USA so with any luck it will last awhile! Here is a picture showing how it allows me to open my tailgate.

    Good luck in your decision.

    Hanging Rack vs. Platform Rack?-s1up-rack.jpg

  17. #42
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    Next time I buy a platform rack, it will definitely be either a 1up or a Kuat.
    Fred-li-ness is not a virtue, it's a way of life.

    Embark on Fredly endeavors.

  18. #43
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    Had a roof-mounted bike rack, and had no issues with it. Great for carrying one bike only and had no problems lifting/accessing my bike since my SUV has nerf bars. Then I bought a Thule platform hitch bike carrier which can hold up to 2 bikes. A bit pricey but it is very stable and no vibrations whatsoever.

  19. #44
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    That Kuat rack looks like a Festivus pole gone bad.

    1UP Racks USA. 1upusa.com

    Accept no substitutes.
    "That pretty much sums it up. I'm 43 and my max is ~178-180. If that HR chart was mine or Froome's, we'd be on the verge of death. But for you it probably looks like a normal workout." -TLG

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  20. #45
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    Quote Originally Posted by 9W9W View Post
    That Kuat rack looks like a Festivus pole gone bad.

    1UP Racks USA. 1upusa.com

    Accept no substitutes.
    I'd say that the Kuat looks to be inspired by (aka stolen from) Yakima's tray offerings whereas 1UP's racks look like they were cobbled together with parts from an Erector Set. But that's just my opinion.

  21. #46
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    Quote Originally Posted by dir-t View Post
    I'd say that the Kuat looks to be inspired by (aka stolen from) Yakima's tray offerings whereas 1UP's racks look like they were cobbled together with parts from an Erector Set. But that's just my opinion.
    Not sure why one would want plastic bits, straps, clasps, ratchets, laces, and other ish danging from the back of their vehicle.

    The up is utilitarian, unapologetic, monolithic, professional grade and without all those consumer grade plastic Festivus trinkets which will surely fade under UV in no time. It can be on 12 months out of the year and works...always. There's nothing to break, nothing to snap off, no proprietary parts.

    I'll leave Kuat racks for the Joey crowd who takes their bike (secured upside down of course) to the local park once a week.
    "That pretty much sums it up. I'm 43 and my max is ~178-180. If that HR chart was mine or Froome's, we'd be on the verge of death. But for you it probably looks like a normal workout." -TLG

    LOLOLOL

  22. #47
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    Another vote for platform. I've used Thule and Kuat platforms for years, many thousands of miles. Easiest to use; much simpler getting bikes on and off than a hanging style.

    You can even just get the inside bike off without having to remove the outside one first (try doing that with a hanging rack!)

    I am going to try the new rocky mounts platform rack that is coming out: It can swing away from the vehicle with the bikes on to make for easier access to the trunk. That's gonna be awesome. Don't know why no one has done it before, as Thule and Yakima and maybe others have done it with hanging racks.
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  23. #48
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    Another vote for platform, especially if you also have mountain bikes. Hanging racks don't work all that well with all the frame shapes/geometry for full suspension mountain bikes.

  24. #49
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    Quote Originally Posted by 9W9W View Post
    Not sure why one would want plastic bits, straps, clasps, ratchets, laces, and other ish danging from the back of their vehicle.

    The up is utilitarian, unapologetic, monolithic, professional grade and without all those consumer grade plastic Festivus trinkets which will surely fade under UV in no time. It can be on 12 months out of the year and works...always. There's nothing to break, nothing to snap off, no proprietary parts.

    I'll leave Kuat racks for the Joey crowd who takes their bike (secured upside down of course) to the local park once a week.
    Since one of your main concerns seems to be appearance and paint fading, I can understand why a Kuat might not be for you.

    For those of us who want a convenient way to transport an expensive bike (or two or three or four) whether cross country or to the local park, the Kuat is great.

  25. #50
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    Quote Originally Posted by 9W9W View Post
    Not sure why one would want plastic bits, straps, clasps, ratchets, laces, and other ish danging from the back of their vehicle.

    The up is utilitarian, unapologetic, monolithic, professional grade and without all those consumer grade plastic Festivus trinkets which will surely fade under UV in no time. It can be on 12 months out of the year and works...always. There's nothing to break, nothing to snap off, no proprietary parts.

    I'll leave Kuat racks for the Joey crowd who takes their bike (secured upside down of course) to the local park once a week.
    As offended as you are about plastic, why would you ride a modern carbon, aka plastic, bicycle?
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