Learn me hitch mount bike racks (road bikes)
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  1. #1
    RoadBikeReview Member
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    Learn me hitch mount bike racks (road bikes)

    I know a similar thread came up just a few days ago but after reading the post I learned that my desire is different for that poster (didn't want to butt in on their thread). Also tried that search feature and didn't see much for this. So we need a bike rack for our car. I have a tow hitch on the Outback now, that's a thread on its own, and would like to get a hitch mounted bike rack. What's different from the last thread is I want to carry road NNC machine and the occasional regular mountain machine. No big wheels here. Also, we will need the ability to haul four at once. I am not adverse to racks holding on the top tube. As a member of the mighty Lowng it is impossible to buy something without asking first so... What do I buy?

    (If we can get it at REI that's a plus since Hokie has the REI Visa)
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  2. #2
    n00bsauce
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    I would go with a wheel mount system. All the major manufacturers have them. Regardless of the configuration of your bike frame (many mountain bikes don't have a conventional top tube) you can mount your bike. They typically fold up easily and many fold down for access to the hatchback doors (like on an SUV) without taking bikes off the rack. Easier and more secure mounting than a top tube type carrier. I would never buy a top tube carrier.

    I was VERY impressed by a 1upUSA rack I saw the other day. Well made, attractive (as far as bike racks can be attractive). Folded up very small on the back. I inspected it pretty closely and was impressed by the machining and quality. They claim it takes 10 sec. to install or remove and packs up very small in it's reuseable box. Also claim to be theft proof. 1UPUSA.com :: Bicycle Racks Thule, Yakima, Saris and many others all make competetive products.
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  3. #3
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    once you go hitch, you never go back!

    From REI, something like the Thule T2 or the Yakima Holdup.

    Worth every cent. But if thats not enough, it will pay for itself in gas savings (compared to roof racks).

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by grrrah View Post
    once you go hitch, you never go back!

    From REI, something like the Thule T2 or the Yakima Holdup.

    Worth every cent. But if thats not enough, it will pay for itself in gas savings (compared to roof racks).
    Yeah, I've done the roof mount before. Being 6' 4" it isn't a problem for me but the hitch mount will be a lot easier for Hokie. Really I want to know if people here have good/bad experiences with the products from Thule, Yakima, Saris, 1upUSA, etc.
    "Sticking feathers in your butt doesn't make you a chicken"
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  5. #5
    RoadBikeReview Member
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    Also, it looks like the four bike wheel mounted options stick way out behind the car compared with the top tube mount styles.
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  6. #6
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    Saris makes a real nice rack tho it's a bit spendy.We've had the CycleOn Pro for several years now and its great.

  7. #7
    RoadBikeReview Member
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    It looks like to get 4 bikes on something like the CycleOn Pro I am going to drop $400 for the base rack and another $300 for the add on kit. That's $700!!! I have to be honest, that's a little out of my price range. Keeping it around $400 for the four bikes would be real nice and I probably should have said that up front.
    "Sticking feathers in your butt doesn't make you a chicken"
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  8. #8
    n00bsauce
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ejdo View Post
    Also, it looks like the four bike wheel mounted options stick way out behind the car compared with the top tube mount styles.
    How far they stick out is not an issue unless you're totally oblivious to the fact you've got a rack on the back. How securely they transport your bikes is more important. Even the best top tube racks risk rubbing and damage to the paint or frame. Tire mount racks don't touch the frame anywhere and hold the bikes rigidly, plus you don't have to take a wheel off like fork mount racks, which also hold the bikes rigidly and don't risk damage to the paint or frame.

    Too much sway, chance for paint/frame/wheel damage from top tube racks for my taste. YMMV.
    "Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities." Voltaire

    There are your fog people & your sun people, he said. I said I wasn't sure which kind I was. He nodded. Fog'll do that to you, he said.

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  9. #9
    RoadBikeReview Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ejdo View Post
    It looks like to get 4 bikes on something like the CycleOn Pro I am going to drop $400 for the base rack and another $300 for the add on kit. That's $700!!! I have to be honest, that's a little out of my price range. Keeping it around $400 for the four bikes would be real nice and I probably should have said that up front.
    Look on CL. I picked up a Yakima Doubledown 4 in very good shape for $125.
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  10. #10
    n00bsauce
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    Quote Originally Posted by steelblue View Post
    Look on CL. I picked up a Yakima Doubledown 4 in very good shape for $125.
    I agree. CL is a good place to look for bike and rack accessories that are often used very little for good prices. People often buy racks or cartop carriers thinking they'll use them a bunch. Use them once or twice over several years and realize they don't need them as much as they thought and sell them pretty cheap. I bought a virtually newThule cartop carrier for $125 that retails for $400. Not a scratch, couldn't tell it from new, stored in a basement for several years.
    "Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities." Voltaire

    There are your fog people & your sun people, he said. I said I wasn't sure which kind I was. He nodded. Fog'll do that to you, he said.

    "We are all ignorant about most things."
    Mel Erickson

  11. #11
    RoadBikeReview Member
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    Both here and on MTBR, Kuat is getting some pretty high praise.

    Also, some pretty high prices.
    Quote Originally Posted by JustTooBig View Post
    Your Logical-to-Dumbass ratio is way out of kilter, buddy

  12. #12
    Beetpull DeLite
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    What class is your hitch? For the wheel-holding versions like the T2, you have to watch your tongue rating limit on the car and hitch both. I can't use a 4-bike version on my Altima.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by GirchyGirchy View Post
    What class is your hitch? For the wheel-holding versions like the T2, you have to watch your tongue rating limit on the car and hitch both. I can't use a 4-bike version on my Altima.
    My car has a hitch rated to tongue weight of 350 lb. I know that's somewhat off from the weight of a bike rack because it is a big lever arm (torque = force x distance). 100 lbs only 6 in. away from the receiver is only 50 ft-lbs but put that 2 ft away and its 200 ft-lbs which is equivalent to putting 400 lbs 6 in. away. That's a big difference for just a 1.5 ft.
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  14. #14
    gazing from the shadows
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ejdo View Post
    Keeping it around $400 for the four bikes would be real nice and I probably should have said that up front.
    4 bikes, ~$300, list price: Hitch racks, road runner hitch rack, bike racks, bicycle carriers, trunk racks, hitch mount racks - Hollywood Racks Includes locking cable and locking pin. Probably includes the tie down straps too, mine did when I bought it years ago. But straps are cheap even if you need to add those to the cost.
    .
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  15. #15
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    Ended up getting the Thule Apex 4. It's a little more than some of the other hanging 4 bike hitch racks but we tried the Saris one and it didn't hold the bikes well in addition to felling less secure at the joints. Took the bikes to the Jersey shore and everything was great.
    "Sticking feathers in your butt doesn't make you a chicken"
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  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by ksl316 View Post
    Saris makes a real nice rack tho it's a bit spendy.We've had the CycleOn Pro for several years now and its great.
    +1 on the Cycle On. I carried 4 bikes on a 4,300 mile vacation with no issues. I found mine on C-List for $300 or so. New they run close to $600 for 4 bikes.

    I will say it does stick 4' or so behind the vehicle and does not tip down out of the way. It is also a heavy beast. I would estimate it at 120 pounds or so.

  17. #17
    Jerkhard Sirdribbledick
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ejdo View Post
    Ended up getting the Thule Apex 4. It's a little more than some of the other hanging 4 bike hitch racks but we tried the Saris one and it didn't hold the bikes well in addition to felling less secure at the joints. Took the bikes to the Jersey shore and everything was great.
    Except somehow the rack f-ed up your spokes.
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  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by DrRoebuck View Post
    Except somehow the rack f-ed up your spokes.
    Well played sir, well played
    "Sticking feathers in your butt doesn't make you a chicken"
    -Tyler Durden

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