Author Topic: Need a bike rack for my car!  (Read 5826 times)

GuitarStv

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Need a bike rack for my car!
« on: October 14, 2014, 10:10:33 AM »
I need to be able to transport two or maybe three bikes.  Please school me on the options out there.

Does it make more sense to get a trailer hitch and rack, or one of those trunk mount type bike racks?  Anyone have recommendations, or things I should be looking for?  I'd like it to be easy to attach/remove and hold the bikes securely.

I have an '05 Corolla.

frugalnacho

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Re: Need a bike rack for my car!
« Reply #1 on: October 14, 2014, 11:06:15 AM »
We have a 2010 corolla and bought this over the summer:

Allen Sports Deluxe 3-Bike Trunk Mount Rack

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00ASSQZKI/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o06_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

We have only used it like 4 or 5 times but it goes on/off easy, and seems to hold the bikes securely.  It's on sale for $39.11 right now with free shipping (I think we paid $60).

I would recommend it.



dragoncar

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Re: Need a bike rack for my car!
« Reply #2 on: October 14, 2014, 12:55:35 PM »
We have a 2010 corolla and bought this over the summer:

Allen Sports Deluxe 3-Bike Trunk Mount Rack

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00ASSQZKI/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o06_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

We have only used it like 4 or 5 times but it goes on/off easy, and seems to hold the bikes securely.  It's on sale for $39.11 right now with free shipping (I think we paid $60).

I would recommend it.

I got the 2-bike version of that for like $25 on sale at Amazon.  For the money, seems good.  I chose it because it is supposed to fit both our cars (3-bike version wouldn't).  But read the reviews, if you can, for your specific car.  For mine, some of them expressed concern about placement of supports on plastic bumpers that could crack over time. 

One thing I did was put duct tape on the metal hooks to hopefully reduce scratching. 

If you already have a hitch, I'd go with a hitch rack.

PindyStache

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Re: Need a bike rack for my car!
« Reply #3 on: October 14, 2014, 08:35:12 PM »
I have no idea about specific models, but just wanted to note that these things come on CL all the time at severe discounts. They often end up in the bike section is the only reason I know...

brownetowne

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Re: Need a bike rack for my car!
« Reply #4 on: October 14, 2014, 09:03:47 PM »
Hitch mount racks
Pros
Better gas mileage
Easy on / off of bikes and hitch
Can offer great access to trunk / hatch with the right tilt feature
Most brands offer from 1-4 bike mount options
Cons
Requires a hitch on your car
More expensive
Can catch road more salt than a roof rack if you use them in winter

Trunk mount racks
Pros
The least expensive
Better gas mileage than a roof rack
Good for apartment living / limited storage
Cons
Can scratch your car
Usually obstructs hatch / trunk / wiper
Not as easy to take on / off

Roof racks
Pros
Expandable to other items (skis, boats, more storage, etc)
Stays on the car without obstructing shit
Cons
MPG killer (most cars drop 10-15% or more, WITHOUT the bikes on)
Suck in crosswinds with bikes on
Can damage your garage / drive through / tunnel / bridge AND the bikes on your roof if you don't watch the height
Most expensive

My Take:
I love hitch mount racks. Get one if you transport bikes a lot like I do.
Install a 2" hitch even if your car can't tow 2" accessories. The 2" racks are sturdier, and 1-1/4" hitches can only handle 2 bikes.

Saris makes a quality, affordable rack.
1UPUSA makes the best one out there. Industrial-looking. It's modular and versatile and fits all sorts of bikes. 
Kuat is also nice. Pretty refined-looking, but a few pounds heavier than the very versatile and modular 1UPUSA design.

GuitarStv

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Re: Need a bike rack for my car!
« Reply #5 on: October 15, 2014, 06:05:18 AM »
Thanks for the replies, I'll check these out!

Sid Hoffman

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Re: Need a bike rack for my car!
« Reply #6 on: October 15, 2014, 08:59:23 AM »
My Take:
I love hitch mount racks. Get one if you transport bikes a lot like I do.
Install a 2" hitch even if your car can't tow 2" accessories. The 2" racks are sturdier, and 1-1/4" hitches can only handle 2 bikes.

I've installed trailer hitches on my last 3 cars (Civic, Elantra, Prius) and used a small trailer, bike rack, and cargo box with the hitches on them.  I am also a big fan of it because of that fact you can put lots of things besides a bike rack on it, or even pull a small trailer.  I would point out that the odds of being able to get a 2" hitch for a Corolla is slim to none.  Here's a list of 5 hitches for the 2005 Corolla.  All are 1 1/4".  This is common because they don't want people to try towing a "real" trailer with a compact car, and a 1 1/4" receiver helps keep expectations in line.

DollarBill

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Re: Need a bike rack for my car!
« Reply #7 on: October 16, 2014, 08:48:24 AM »
I just posted something similar and this is the final product. It was about $360 for the hitch and basket carrier. I really like the fact I can use the carrier for other purposes.

http://forum.mrmoneymustache.com/welcome-to-the-forum/bike-rack-question/msg424667/#msg424667

DollarBill

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Re: Need a bike rack for my car!
« Reply #8 on: October 23, 2014, 08:26:26 AM »
Found a antirattle device at Lowes for $3.97. It was called beam clamp or super strut PN# U-501/2 or Lowes PN# 45684. It works perfect as a antirattle device for a 1 1/4" hitch.

I had almost 2 1/2" deflection and now it's almost none.

Thegoblinchief

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Re: Need a bike rack for my car!
« Reply #9 on: October 23, 2014, 11:52:22 AM »
Unless you expect to use other things on the hitch (luggage rack, trailer, etc), I'd just do a trunk mount one.

I have a hand-me-down rack I got for free but even my best MacGyver solutions can only get 4 bikes on it. Eventually we will need a hitch mount, or I'll do a combo of roof and hitch. Good to know about the receiver size.

DollarBill

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Re: Need a bike rack for my car!
« Reply #10 on: October 23, 2014, 01:38:36 PM »
4 bikes on a trunk mount...yikes!

Fuzz

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Re: Need a bike rack for my car!
« Reply #11 on: October 23, 2014, 04:13:12 PM »
I like the hitch mount ones. Trunk mounts in my experience are hard to keep adjusted. Also, it depends on where you want to transport the bike. I wouldn't take a trunk mount on the highway or put more than 2 bikes on it, of course, you may find a great trunk mount one. Mine was a piece of junk.

kenmoremmm

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Re: Need a bike rack for my car!
« Reply #12 on: July 25, 2019, 12:14:29 PM »
anyone try this rack from walmart?
https://tinyurl.com/y6lfy7mh

seems like good reviews and reasonable price. evil empire and all, but...

mschaus

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Re: Need a bike rack for my car!
« Reply #13 on: July 25, 2019, 01:36:39 PM »
I used two different trunk/hatch mount racks for years (a nice Yakima and an old cheapo) -- they were a pain in the butt to take on/off and even to get the bikes on/off. Plus they damaged the car. Plus it makes it really hard to open the hatch. Plus you always worry if it's on tight enough or coming loose.

I finally bit the bullet and got a LUXURY hitch mount -- it's incredible. So easy to take on off, the bikes too. Got the Thule T2 XT Pro, which even has built-in locks. Probably saves me 30 minutes in hassle every single time I use it. (was a fun DIY project to install the hitch) (full price is excruciating -- find it used)

acepedro45

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Re: Need a bike rack for my car!
« Reply #14 on: July 25, 2019, 03:15:24 PM »
Ultimate mustachian solution: a bungee cord.

Since you are driving an '05 Corolla (same model, make and year as me) I assume you don't mind a scratch or two on the bumper. I constantly throw my beater bike in the trunk as needed and tie it down with a bungee. I don't see why it wouldn't work the same for two bikes - maybe not enough room for three though.

Based on your other posts and avid interest in cycling, though, you may be a lot more picky about little nicks and scrapes on your bikes than I am.

GuitarStv

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Re: Need a bike rack for my car!
« Reply #15 on: July 25, 2019, 04:48:57 PM »
I ended up getting a Saris 3 bike rack used from Craigslist for about a hundred dollars five years ago.  It works pretty well, and is very stable on the highway but did end up leaving some scratches in the paint of the car.  Loading it with three bikes also seems to have somewhat damaged whatever opens the trunk.  Like the trunk still opens, but doesn't spring up any more (even when the rack is removed).  If I cared about my car's exterior I'd look into one of the more expensive hitch type setups.

aetheldrea

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Re: Need a bike rack for my car!
« Reply #16 on: July 25, 2019, 09:02:51 PM »
When I was looking at hitch mounted racks they all said that you also had to use straps with hooks onto your trunk, just like the trunk mounted racks use. Seemed like even more of a PITA than a trunk mount, especially with having to install the hitch I have no other use for.

My bike commute used to take me by a broken Schwinn hitch mounted carrier that someone tossed to the side of the highway when it broke on them at freeway speed. (Not sure if the remaining pieces of their bikes were then small enough to fit into their car.) Mental note: don't buy a Schwinn bike carrier.

pk_aeryn

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Re: Need a bike rack for my car!
« Reply #17 on: July 25, 2019, 11:24:45 PM »
I have an 05 Corolla, but the S version with the spoiler on the trunk and the Saris is the only model I could find that worked over the spoiler, it works very well. I was going to buy one used but nobody wanted to sell me one for a significant amount of difference off the retail price so I just bought new.

caleb

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Re: Need a bike rack for my car!
« Reply #18 on: July 26, 2019, 08:36:02 AM »
I've been using the same Thule roof rack on a bunch of different cars for twenty years.  The good part about it is that it works for all sorts of recreational gear, including kayaks, canoes, ladders, skis, and luggage boxes.  It's not a cheap system on the front end, but it's durable and adaptable to different cars.

If you're only looking for bikes, I just used a friend's hitch-mounted Kuat rack, and it was pretty amazing: solid, super easy to load, and keeps bikes cleaner than putting them on the roof.

aetheldrea

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Re: Need a bike rack for my car!
« Reply #19 on: July 26, 2019, 04:24:56 PM »
If you only need to transport infrequently, borrowing/renting a minivan might be the way to go. With the rear seats out you can fit a crapton back there, and would be safe to park at a grocery store or wherever.

GreenToTheCore

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Re: Need a bike rack for my car!
« Reply #20 on: July 26, 2019, 11:20:34 PM »
Great summary @brownetowne

We have a 1UPUSA and love it.
Seems the vertical racks are becoming popular, like the North Shore design (http://all.global-riders.net/files/imagecache/preview/files/forum_images/2014/03/ns_racks_shop_14_of_1.jpg)
They are intruiging... anyone have experience with them?

kenner

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Re: Need a bike rack for my car!
« Reply #21 on: July 26, 2019, 11:23:30 PM »
It may not be an issue for you, especially if you've got three bikes you're locking together, but hitch racks and roof racks are a little more secure theft-wise since you can get locking versions that are attached to your vehicle with more than a couple metal tabs.  In my case I'm in a college town where bikes have been known to wander away when left unsupervised, and there are definitely places where chaining my bike to my trunk rack while I ran an errand would just mean that my trunk rack disappeared with the bike.