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  1. #1
    It's all about the FSR!
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    2005 Audi A4 - rack me up, on a budget

    I have a 2005 Audi A4 2.0T Quattro, and I am thinking that it is time to give my wife's Nissan a rest, and pick up some bike hauling duty.

    Needs: I need to haul 2 26er (1 19" and 1 XS WSD) full suspension bikes on the roof or hitch mount only, no trunk racks. They need to be secure at highway speeds and above. Bikes need to be easily loaded and unloaded. Prefer no touch, or like a Saris, where they are locked in via the wheels.

    Budget: $300 including hitch/installation.

    Can this be done?

    Car for reference.


  2. #2
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    $300 is a bit of a stretch for both a hitch and a rack.

    $350 or so will get you into a hitch and a decent 2 bike hitch mount rack like the Swagman XTC2. Which is what I decided to go with. Of course that kinda assumes you would install the hitch yourself too. I prefer the versatility of having a hitch, and mounting the bikes is a breeze compared to heaving them up on the roof.

  3. #3
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  4. #4
    It's all about the FSR!
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    Nice rack lol. How is your top tube holding up with that hook over the top of it? My bike is scratched up enough, so I don't want to possibly add more damage to it. Will this damage it at all?

    Also, what year SJ is that?

  5. #5
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    2011 SJ - 26er of course.

    Everything is fine with the hook, no scratches. Its a firm rubber that really holds on to a smooth surface well. I just make sure that there is no dirt on the top tube before locking it down.

  6. #6
    ballbuster
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    What's wrong with that?

    Quote Originally Posted by Heavy Fluid View Post
    Nice rack lol. How is your top tube holding up with that hook over the top of it? My bike is scratched up enough, so I don't want to possibly add more damage to it. Will this damage it at all?

    Also, what year SJ is that?
    I ran one of those racks for years on my GTi, then my Audi A4. Great frickin' rack.

    I would suggest a Cort trailer hitch ($180 or so landed) and an XPort Flatbed ($160 on sale, look for 10%-15% off coupons, or watch Craigslist.org). I don't like hanging type hitch racks, but maybe doing one for the short term is a good way to go. They're a dime a dozen on craigslist. The reason I don't like hanging type racks is that the bikes sometimes drag on the ground when leaving driveways. Audis are pretty dang low to begin with, and they have lots of rear overhang.

    I actually sold it when I got a Thule T2, and to be honest, I'm thinking I want my old Performance Bike X-Port Flatbed rack back. The Thule T2 has had a couple of problems, and it's way heavy and huge. The wheel hooks are pretty weak. I have one that is bending up without too much pressure on it, making the bike lean funny. It doesn't fit in the trunk of my car unless I drop the rear seat, unlike the Flatbed. I'm pretty underwhelmed by the T2.

    The only real issue I had with the X-Port Flatbed was that hook would leave a dull mark on all of my top tubes.... Fix: wrap a microfiber rag around the top tube... problem solved.

    XPort Flatbed...





    Thule T2....

    Last edited by pimpbot; 07-10-2011 at 07:53 PM.

  7. #7
    It's all about the FSR!
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    Thanks for the information and pics. Not sure what I am going to do quite yet. Our Nissan is a lease, and the Saris Bones 3 has left significant marks on the bumper, which I am not happy about. No hitch on it either.

  8. #8
    Digital Toast
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    With enough looking around on Craigslist you can find some awesome deals. Maybe even a used hitch. I'd give a few junkyards a call and see about the hitch. Never know till ya try.

  9. #9
    It's all about the FSR!
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    I got the hitch installed today. The rack should be here today also, ordered from Amazon. The Swagman which I had considered only comes in a 2", and my car is a 1 1/4" so I went with this one instead. Only 3 bucks more, and got better reviews. Made by Thule which is a little comfort for me.

    http://www.amazon.com/SportRack-A309...1789410&sr=8-6

    Total cost for everything is $360. Not too bad. I opted to pay for a professional install instead of a DIY. Well worth it to me.

  10. #10
    It's all about the FSR!
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    Got it put together and installed on the car. Not too bad honestly. Better than I thought it would be. Wheel trays need a bit of adjusting between my 19" and my wife's 13" WSD. Trying to ensure that the center of gravity is over the middle of the rack. I am concerned about the plate being blocked, and my taillights. Anyone run into any issues with this?


  11. #11
    It's all about the FSR!
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    Have made two trips using this rack setup, and so far, very happy with the purchase. I am still getting the trays set in the right place so that both of our bikes fit without touching.

  12. #12
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    if you're really concerned you can attach the plate to your rack when it's on the car and loaded. a few people have gotten tickets for obstructed plates.

  13. #13
    It's all about the FSR!
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    Well, 4 trips now made on the highway, and have not run into any issues yet. I will keep the plate where it is for now.

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