1. The most important thing about buying a new bike is to make sure it fits. The only way you'll know if the bike is right for you is to size up the bike and make sure that the bike's geometry matches your body's geometry. Ask questions and do some research.
mtn. biking 101
2. If possible, try to find a shop that will let you demo the bike on real dirt. Five minutes in a parking lot won't cut it. You wouldn't buy a car without a real world test drive, and a bike should be no different.
3. Don't belive the hype. Just because your favorite rider or best friend rides a certain bike, that doesn't mean that's the best one for you. Have an open mind and be realistic about your needs and ability.
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  1. #1
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    hitch mounted bike racks

    hey folks, any recommendations on hitch mounted bike racks? i have an 08 Jeep Commander with a 2" hitch. im looking on ebay and see some heavy duty ones for under $50. I went over budget with my first bike and need to save on some accessories. Am I okay getting an ebay bike rack? seems like they have great reviews as well

    thanks!
    Gary Fisher HiFi Deluxe 29er

  2. #2
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    My thoughts - don't scrimp on racks, especially if you carry a lot on highways. I just replaced an old Rhode Gear hitch rack with a new Yakima - I didn't like the way my bikes were bouncing and swinging around on the old rack. Spending a bit more on a good rack will get you a more stable ride and usually better security. Of course, something nice would run anywhere from $250-450, but it'll last you for years. . .

  3. #3
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    Kuat NV, I have Yakima, Thule, and Saris. Kuat tops them all. I agree with UUNetBill, the cheap will be very expensive if it turns out to be a POS. Do it right buy once.

  4. #4
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    Love my Yakima roof rack!!! Bonus, if you get a different car, you can typically change the clips, towers, etc. And, at least for me, I am a little sketchy leaving my bikes out back. A rear-ender that would just barely damage the car can ruin your day if the bike is back there!!

  5. #5
    CT3
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    swagman xtc 2 on 180 on amazon.com

    comannder is quite big throw it in the back, less worries just more hassle and FREE

    used to throw my bike in the back of my coupe, a tc, then went yak rack didnt like the huge decrease in gas mileage, went to the hitch. sold the yak for what i paid used hitch and rack only cost 300

  6. #6
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    i would honestly throw the bike in the back of the commander but i dont think it is big enough. maybe ill got to my LBS and see if they will let me throw one in
    Gary Fisher HiFi Deluxe 29er

  7. #7
    Probably drunk right now
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    Devil's Advocate....

    Quote Originally Posted by Andy Pancroft View Post
    Love my Yakima roof rack!!! Bonus, if you get a different car, you can typically change the clips, towers, etc. And, at least for me, I am a little sketchy leaving my bikes out back. A rear-ender that would just barely damage the car can ruin your day if the bike is back there!!
    There are pro's and con's to each type of rack. Rear end collisions don't occur nearly as often as I drive in to a home garage or parking garage. I've only knocked my bike off my roof rack once while driving in to a parking garage with my bike on top. I ruined both bike and rack parts.

    Added bonuses for rear racks:

    - If you switch cars, you don't need to make any rack changes so long as your new vehicle has the same hitch receiver.

    - After an epic ride (30+ miles) when your entire body is cooked, you don't have to lift your heavy bike above your head to get it on your rack.

    - Rear racks will accept at type of mountain or road bike wheel. Not so on a roof rack.

    - Significantly better gas mileage with your bikes on and off the rack.
    JPark - 3.5- don't listen to dremer

  8. #8
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    I picked up a used Yakima for $100. Can hold up to 4 bikes (2 kids 2 adults). Look used for a good rack to save a little.
    2011 Trek Marlin
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  9. #9
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    i've had no issues at all with the xport flatbed. i use it with a 1.25" hitch but it comes with an adaptor for a 2" and i hear it works well. there's also a 4-bike version made just for 2" hitches.

    XPORT Flatbed 2-Bike Hitch Rack - Get There and Back

    i really don't know why someone would pay more for a tray-style hitch rack. i agree with the pros/cons of any type of rack. yeah, you can get rear ended while driving but that's rare anyway.

    not sure about $50 racks on ebay- don't know much about them.
    - 1995 Giant ATX 870
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  10. #10
    CT3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Waltah View Post
    i would honestly throw the bike in the back of the commander but i dont think it is big enough. maybe ill got to my LBS and see if they will let me throw one in
    you cant put a mountain bike in this????

    front wheel off wheel in most hatchbacks, both wheels off fit in most trunks

    that trunk is huge!

    you can even get fancy

  11. #11
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    Hey that looks like my bike, except mine is White.

    I have a Mitsubishi Outlander Sport (the small version of the Outlander), and if I can get my 17.5 in the back with the seats down without taking off the front wheel, I am sure you with a Commander can. Geesh you even have room for a Third Row, COME ON man, that thing will fit easy peasy.
    2010 Gary Fisher Marlin
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  12. #12
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    thanks a bunch folks, it fit right in the back of my commander no problem! not sure what i was thinking. I actually picked up my bike today. I'm going to save for a proper hitch mount or maybe even use my factory roof rack somehow.

    Been hydrating all morning getting ready for a maiden voyage around town, then trails tomorrow morning.

    Gary Fisher HiFi Deluxe 29er

  13. #13
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    I got the Swagman XTC from Amazon and I've been happy with it. Good price and it works. Check it out.

  14. #14
    CT3
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    Yakima 2103 FrontLoader Upright Bike Rack For Factory Crossbars

    frontloader will work with all factory crossbars

  15. #15
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    The Yakima rack definitely looks nice and the price is not bad, but I didn't want to load and unload from the top of the xterra, especially when tired. Loading and unloading from a car would probably be much better though

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by fromthecoast View Post
    The Yakima rack definitely looks nice and the price is not bad, but I didn't want to load and unload from the top of the xterra, especially when tired. Loading and unloading from a car would probably be much better though
    agreed. im 5'7" so i was rethinking the roof mounts on the commander. ill get a hitch mount when necessary. dont need it just yet luckily.
    Gary Fisher HiFi Deluxe 29er

  17. #17
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    I'm 6'2" and still didn't want to fool with the top of my stock 4x4 Xterra.

  18. #18
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    Eric would u recommend the XPORT Flatbed?? I got a Chevy Tahoe and been debating on getting a Thule or Yakima. Is there any kind of locking mechanism to the hitch wouldnt get stolen when the bike arent on the rack? How much is it a pain to take the hitch on and off?

  19. #19
    CT3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Reice05 View Post
    Eric would u recommend the XPORT Flatbed?? I got a Chevy Tahoe and been debating on getting a Thule or Yakima. Is there any kind of locking mechanism to the hitch wouldnt get stolen when the bike arent on the rack? How much is it a pain to take the hitch on and off?
    i have an xport and a swagman both use threaded anti sway bolt. the ratchet arms are way better then the bolt clamp on the xport. the bolts can come loose from what ive read. both around the same price. xport sticks out more so easier access to the truck with a bike on it, swagman cant open the trunk with a bike on the inner tray

    you can probably use the swagman hitch lock on the xport. swagman is much easier put in bike and push done the arm, easier to compress the suspen a bit. i leave mine on for days at a time bc im lazy, its still there, its easy to take of loosen with wrench then hand unscrew, reverse for putting it on take like 3min

    only reason why i have the xport be it was 5bucks with performance points. if i didnt have that id have to swagmans

    if i had more money id get the kuat or 1up

  20. #20
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    A roof rack can be really loud on the highway.

  21. #21
    humber river advocate
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    best rack i've ever used....

    North Shore Bike Racks
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  22. #22
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    Wow, those North Shore Racks look killer!


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  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by Reice05 View Post
    Eric would u recommend the XPORT Flatbed?? I got a Chevy Tahoe and been debating on getting a Thule or Yakima. Is there any kind of locking mechanism to the hitch wouldnt get stolen when the bike arent on the rack? How much is it a pain to take the hitch on and off?
    i never checked out the thule or yakima hitch racks so can't comment about them. there isn't a locking mechanism- as ct3 said, maybe you can use a different hitch lock on it.

    the rack takes less than 5 minutes on and off- extremely easy! i never had any issues with this rack- no bolts coming loose, nothing. ct3 is right when you have a bike on the inner tray the trunk doesn't open the whole way. this isn't an issue for me since it's rare that i need to get into the trunk when the bikes are on. the times when i knew i needed to get into the trunk, i just loosened the top bolt and turn the bars a bit and re-tightened lightly.

    i don't know how much the thule or yakima cost but i couldn't pass up the $130 or $140 i paid for the xport. i'm sure some of the other racks listed in this thread are better here and there but the xport does the job perfectly for me. if you have the extra money to burn, look at the others. the northshore rack looks good but that's $400+; too much dough for me.

    also, performance has an excellent return policy, so if you're having issues and a performance nearby, swap it out or even ask them for a part.

    good luck!
    ez

    op, glad you fugured out you don't need a rack at this time.

    EDIT: i only used the xport on a 1.25" hitch. there's a heavy duty plastic sleeve that's an adaptor for a 2" hitch and hear it was stable but haven't personally experienced it. if you have a performance near you, check it out- they should even let you try it out on your car and put a bike on it, etc.
    - 1995 Giant ATX 870
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