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  1. #1
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    Which Hitch - T2 vs. Stick-up vs. Thelma

    So I want to stay with a hitch mount and my new bike (Element) will not work with the standard hitch mount.

    My bike is an XL and has a fairly long wheel base, I am concerned that with a tray style or wheel holding bike rack that my wheels will be hanging low and if I bottom out that the wheels would be the first to hit. THe rack will be going on a 2006 Jetta 2.5L if that helps.

    THe racks that will work with my car/bike set-up are as follows:

    THule T2 - most expensive, heavy, solid cosntruction, tried and tested design.

    Yakima Stick-up - middle price point, I am fond of Yakima products and this rack look sturdy - probably similar weight to T2

    Saris Thelma 2 - cheapest rack, lightest rack. Looks like longer wheel base bikes have a lot of problems fitting on the Thelma, look slike the wheels hang low.

    So my main concerns are: 1) the wheelbase fitting on the rack 2) The wheels hanging to low to the ground with a tray mount style rack

    Also I will be remoiving this rack every time I use it, I can handle the weight of the T2 but it might eventually get to be annoying.

    Given the above information what rack would you recommend?

    Cheers

  2. #2
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    I'd look at the Raxter racks. They are super light, super easy to load and compact. That might be the ticket for you.

    J.

  3. #3
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    Yakima and Saris' J-bend hitch mount for their racks are going to give you more ground clearance than the 4-bar setup on the T2. You'll still probably need to use caution in some road transitions since I doubt the jetta hitch will have much ground clearance compared to an SUV.

  4. #4
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    Does anyone have any pictures of the Yakima Stick-up or the Thule T2 installed on their sedan - preferrably with bikes on and a side shot - I would like to see the ground clearance if possible.

    Thanks

  5. #5
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    Here's the raxter 4 bike rack. Each set of 2 bikes is higher from the bumper than the previous.


  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by JohnJ80
    Here's the raxter 4 bike rack. Each set of 2 bikes is higher from the bumper than the previous.
    Not any better than the T2 for the bottom part of the rack base which is easy to bottom out on sedans w/hitches. The Yakima and Saris are j-bends needed for low clearance applications.

    Yakima base:


    Saris base:


    Sportworks/Thule T2 base:
    Last edited by syadasti; 04-12-2009 at 05:16 PM.

  7. #7
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    I used to own a Xport flatbed, which BTW is very light weight! But once I got rid of my sedan and got an SUV the xport was useless because I was unable to open the rear hatch (only rear window).
    So I sold it and started shopping. After looking at all the racks you mentioned above, I decided to get the T2 by Thule.
    It truly is a awesome rack!! It is on the heavy side, but it holds the bikes safely and plus all the positive reviews on it. I doubt anyone ever said this rack sucks!

    I do not have any cons about it, but being heavy, then again I am comparing the flatbed (hollywood) and to compare, the quality is nothing alike.

    I can tell you how to get the T2 for about 80.00 less from the $399 price tag.
    If you are a member of REI wait to get the next 20% off coupon to purchase.

  8. #8
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    SO looking at the pictures of the three racks, I think the Yakima Stick-up and Saris Thelma are the two racks to look at since they have the J-Bend. I am sure the Thule T2 is a great rack but that straight bar application looks like it will bottom out on most transitions.

    So the questions regarding the Thelma is can it handle a wheel base of 1120 mm or 112 cm? Also is the thelma able to carry 29er bikes - as this is my next purchase and I believe the wheel base will be quite large - so does anyone know what the max wheelbase the Thelma can carry?

    Also, does anyone have any comments on the Yakima stick-up? Weight, durability, ease of use?

    Cheers

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by XC23
    Also is the thelma able to carry 29er bikes - as this is my next purchase and I believe the wheel base will be quite large - so does anyone know what the max wheelbase the Thelma can carry?
    This link goes to a thread about 29ers and the Thelma rack
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  10. #10
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    I just bought a T2 for my Subaru Impreza. The 1.25" version that I have sits up higher from the hitch than the 2" version in the picture above. I think it is exactly the same as the 2" version they just cut the 2" tube and weld a 1.25" tube to the bottom of it, so it sits 1.25" higher. Hope this makes sense. It's not a big difference but it does help. The rack also angles up a bit which further helps clearance. I tried the saris Thelma and I felt there were too many limitaions, 29ers don't really fit, fat tires don't really fit, long wheel bases don't really fit, but it is really light weight. I haven't had the T2 long but it feels really solid. Hope this helps.

  11. #11
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    Has anyone tried the 1upUSA Quik-Rack?
    http://www.1upusa.com/1upusarackhome.htm

    I have a Mazda MX-5 that I'm planning on installing a 1.25" hitch on, and I need a light and compact single bike rack. I've narrowed it down to the 1up rack, or the Raxter. It looks like 1upUSA sells both. I've read all the reviews, and it seems like the Raxter is more popular around here, but the 1up is very intriguing, and looks extremely well built. Any input is appreciated. I'd like to pick one up soon.

  12. #12
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    That looks really cool - just what I'm looking for. I like the idea of being able to quickly add bike capability in 1 bike increments up to 4 bikes.

    Do the arms ratchet as you move them up to engage the tires?

    J.

  13. #13
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    Acutally, I just answered my own question. I called 1upUSA and talked with them for a while.

    The arms have a cam lock sort of arrangement. There is a trigger you trip to open them up. After that, as you close them they ratchet down ever tighter until you trip the trigger again. The weight of the rack is 22 lbs for the first bike and 15 lbs for each bike thereafter You can put it on and take it off as a single unit (4 bikes or less) but they say that it is so easy to add the additional trays that they recommend you do it that way. Then you never have to muscle the whole thing around. So, a 4 bike version is 67lbs vs about 90lbs for the others. But the heaviest piece you ever have to manage is basically 22lbs. While they don't recommend it, you can keep adding bike kits forever...

    This unit also fits both 1-1/4" and 2" receivers. It has a built in antisway bolt and is very easy to install - there is no pin to line up.

    They are also working on a roof top version. It is basically their current tray that goes on the back but will mount on any roof rack and securely lock to it with their tamper proof bolt system (essentially a key).

    Turns out the reason that nobody has a two arm system like this (i.e. Thule and Yakima) is because of 1upUSA's patent. Raxter does infringe but apparently they work together on that somehow.

    This will be the rack that I buy for the hitch.
    J.

  14. #14
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    I just bought the 1up rack. It's pricey, but it looks awesome, and I think it will be the best rack for my very low clearance 2007 Mx-5. I only need to carry one bike. It looks like it's built like a tank. I'll take pics and review when I get it. I'll post here.

  15. #15
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    7crwolf, did you get your rack yet?

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by TX_Shifter
    I can tell you how to get the T2 for about 80.00 less from the $399 price tag.
    If you are a member of REI wait to get the next 20% off coupon to purchase.

    If you're an REI member you can wait for their scratch and dent sale and usually find awesome deals there. I picked up my T2 that way for $50. It was in perfect shape and had all the parts. It looked (IMO) like someone bought it for a biking trip, used it that once, and then returned it taking advantage of REI's liberal return policy. They had 2 that day at that price and I'm still kicking myself for not buying both.

    I have the Thule T2 on my Jetta right now, it does hang low but I have yet to drag it on anything. Just be aware you having something hanging off the back. The bike is very secure on that rack back there, even when hitting 85mph on the interstate on the way into work this AM. I didn't get any sway or rocking at all. The rack is super easy to load/unload, much easier than a roof rack. We had a Yak rack on the roof but my wife was always complaining about how hard it was to get the bikes up there so we put a hitch on the Jetta to solve that issue. She can install and carry the T2 no problem and she's all of five feet tall, so you shouldn't have an issue. I would recommend the T2 in a heart beat, and I have yet to run into any problems with it...plus for $50 there's really no room to complain.
    You better take care of me, Lord. If you don't you're gonna have me on your hands.

  17. #17
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    1up Quick-Rack


    John & 7crwolf,

    +1 Would love to hear how you like the 1up Quick-Rack! Specifically, I'm interested in:

    - Pinless/boltless hitch mount. It seems like it is pretty much held in by friction with the extender ball, no?

    - How far does the first rack and the Add-On stick out horizontally from the end of your hitch receiver? I'm worried about clearance on our steep driveway.

    - How is the sway when you drive?

    There is one review for this in the MTBR Review section, but that user has no posts in the forum. So, maybe it was put there by someone at 1upUSA, especially since they have a link to it on their website?

    Thanks!
    Consuela

  18. #18
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    Guys who asked...

    Yes, I got the rack, but it's been DUMPING BUCKETS here in Indianapolis, so I've only had a chance to use the rack once. But, yes, I'm very happy with the purchase of the rack from 1upUSA. If you have any questions, give them a call. I called before I ordered, and spoke to the guy who appears to own the company.

    It's a great product. Well built, very solid. The design is truly innovative, and ingenious, in my opinion. It doesn't use a pin, but instead uses a special allen style wrench (with an anti-theft "bump" in the middle to prevent standard allens from working). You just turn the bolt, and it extends a steel "ball" built in the hitch itself, and it just applies pressure inside the receiver. It applies more than enough pressure to keep the rack rock solid.

    Regarding the securing mechanism, it's all it claims to be. The bike sits in the rack in like, 5 seconds. All you do is open each arm of the rack (holding a small lever to allow it open), then set the bike, then close the arms. The lever automatically locks the arms in place, with infinite adjustment... Hard to explain, but it works. It does not get extremely tight, and because your really not locking the front wheel in as tight as a fork skewer, there is a little wobbling, but it's not going anywhere.

    Regarding size, I have NEVER seen a hitch mount with better clearance and less rear overhang. It is the PERFECT solution for a low ground clearance vehicle, or if you only want to transport one bike. Plus, I bought it with the intention of eventually using it on my Miata, which is low, and has a tiny trunk. This thing when folded up, fits in it's trunk. It's pretty amazing. Also, if you don't like it, they guarantee it for a month (I think), and the guy pays for shipping both ways. You have nothing to lose. Get it. I have one crappy pic from last time I went riding, attached.
    Attached Images Attached Images

  19. #19
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    That doesn't look like a Miata. Did you get a bike add-on too?

    I think he needs to use distributors and dealers like every other rack maker does. Their older product was around forever and it was never nearly as popular at as Yak, Thule, Performance, and other racks. Kuat is a newer but similar high-end rack company and they are already more popular than this brand cause they don't go at it alone. The free shipping offer is standard fare from any of the mail order rack resellers - its not unique at all other than the return shipping prepaid which I would think almost nobody ever uses unless they have damage or fit problems. People have posted stories on here with fit/damage problems and usually the reseller or manufacturer takes care of that for free too.

    In case people haven't seen it, this is the old version they sold:

    http://www.mtbr.com/cat/older-catego...6_6184crx.aspx

  20. #20
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    What happens if you lose pressure in a tire?

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by wormvine
    What happens if you lose pressure in a tire?
    You are effed.

    It would flop around I would think. Then you'd stop, and tighten the arms, and it would be fine.

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by 7crwolf
    You are effed.

    It would flop around I would think. Then you'd stop, and tighten the arms, and it would be fine.
    Yeah the T2/Holdup arms sometimes slip themselves from bumps even without losing air pressure and its not a big deal.

  23. #23
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    You are right. That is not a Miata. It is my wife's Forester.

    I'm still debating if I want to ruin the look of my 2007 PRHT MX-5 by putting a hitch on it... But you can see why I would need something that holds the bike by the wheels. I attempted to mount a trunk rack, but the bike practically scraped the ground. This rack will definitely work better than anything I've seen for a vehicle this low. But I can tell you that I take the Miata to the twisty roads of NC/TN a lot, and it is nice to have the bike there too. (Tsali is awesome)... I think I might bite the bullet and add the ugly hitch.
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    Last edited by 7crwolf; 05-15-2009 at 07:54 AM.

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by 7crwolf
    You are effed.

    It would flop around I would think. Then you'd stop, and tighten the arms, and it would be fine.
    Yeah a flat tire could be a bad thing. I have read others post those concerns about the T2. I have the T2 and the rear tire lost air once after it was mounted but there was no issues.
    If the front tire lost pressure, It might be a different story.

    I just wanted to know if there was a fail safe mechanism for the 1up.

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by wormvine
    Yeah a flat tire could be a bad thing. I have read others post those concerns about the T2. I have the T2 and the rear tire lost air once after it was mounted but there was no issues.
    If the front tire lost pressure, It might be a different story.

    I just wanted to know if there was a fail safe mechanism for the 1up.
    I think it was mentioned above those arms are ratcheting so other than excessive movement I don't think you'd have any other problems. The sidearm style (T2/Saris/Yak) tray racks all have arm migration when I've used them without the need of a flat tire for movement.

  26. #26
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    I have the Yak Holdup and the Plus 2 that I put on only when I need to carry 4 bikes. It's stout and heavy, but I wouldn't want it to be any less so because there can be a lot of torque on it when driving on rough or uneven road surfaces. You can drop it slightly to allow access into some rear lift gates but I wouldn't try it with 4 bikes on it. I chose it over the similar Thule because it was much more robust. A friend has the Thule and it's fine for two bikes. It does tip down farther for rear gate access but I wouldn't get it if you are planning on carrying 4 bikes.

  27. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by syadasti
    Yeah the T2/Holdup arms sometimes slip themselves from bumps even without losing air pressure and its not a big deal.
    Let me clarify... The 1upUSA rack does NOT slip open at all. If anything, it can only get tighter, as the tire would lose air. See my picture a few posts above, on the Subaru... You can actually move the arms TOGETHER (tighter) with very little effort. You just move them. No other interaction required. HOWEVER, to OPEN the arms, you have to grab the arm with one hand, and hold a little spring loaded lever with the other. That lever is the small red lever that is at a bit of an angle, along the main rail, right where the most inside support arm connects. There are two of them. So I would say that a flat wouldn't do much, but I don't know because it hasn't happened.

  28. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by 7crwolf
    Let me clarify... The 1upUSA rack does NOT slip open at all. If anything, it can only get tighter, as the tire would lose air. See my picture a few posts above, on the Subaru... You can actually move the arms TOGETHER (tighter) with very little effort. You just move them. No other interaction required. HOWEVER, to OPEN the arms, you have to grab the arm with one hand, and hold a little spring loaded lever with the other. That lever is the small red lever that is at a bit of an angle, along the main rail, right where the most inside support arm connects. There are two of them. So I would say that a flat wouldn't do much, but I don't know because it hasn't happened.
    Seems like a flat would be less of an issue with the 1upUSA than with the T2 and Holdup, because the 1upUSA holds both tires. So, maybe if you were unlucky enough to have both tires go flat during transport...

  29. #29
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    I talked with 1UpUSA about their rack in detail. If you get a flat, the bike will not fall out but it will be looser in the rack - not a big issue and certainly not fatal to the bike. If you look at the arms, when up, they encompass the rim so even if the tire is flat, it can't come out. They have a patent on the two arms (one for each wheel) and that is why all the other racks, with the exception of Raxter who they license, have only one arm and a strap for the other wheel.

    They are also working on putting their trays into a roof mount and should have that done by July. I have encouraged them, and believe they will do, so that if you buy an add on tray for the rack, you can also have the option - with additional hardware - of using that tray on a roof rack as well. That would work perfectly for me since I want to have a roof rack on my BMW and a hitch rack on my wife's SUV.

    Note too, the rack as it comes will work with both 1.25" and 2" receivers.

    IMO, this is the top end rack out there. It's pricey, but it's got features that nobody else does, it's lighter, stores easier and it is more secure than anything out there. That said, you pay for that capability.

    J.

  30. #30
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    Am I correct to believe that the 1up rack does not tilt down like the T2? I like that feature but do not use it that much so it might not be a deal breaker.

    I just read on their website that the rack does indeed tilt down in case you need some clearance. So nevemind!

  31. #31
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    You'd be incorrect. Per 1upUSA, it does tilt down, it also has a slight tilt back position to make it work better with back spare tires etc...

    J.

  32. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by 7crwolf
    Guys who asked...

    Yes, I got the rack, but it's been DUMPING BUCKETS here in Indianapolis, so I've only had a chance to use the rack once. But, yes, I'm very happy with the purchase of the rack from 1upUSA. If you have any questions, give them a call. I called before I ordered, and spoke to the guy who appears to own the company.

    It's a great product. Well built, very solid. The design is truly innovative, and ingenious, in my opinion. It doesn't use a pin, but instead uses a special allen style wrench (with an anti-theft "bump" in the middle to prevent standard allens from working). You just turn the bolt, and it extends a steel "ball" built in the hitch itself, and it just applies pressure inside the receiver. It applies more than enough pressure to keep the rack rock solid.

    Regarding the securing mechanism, it's all it claims to be. The bike sits in the rack in like, 5 seconds. All you do is open each arm of the rack (holding a small lever to allow it open), then set the bike, then close the arms. The lever automatically locks the arms in place, with infinite adjustment... Hard to explain, but it works. It does not get extremely tight, and because your really not locking the front wheel in as tight as a fork skewer, there is a little wobbling, but it's not going anywhere.

    Regarding size, I have NEVER seen a hitch mount with better clearance and less rear overhang. It is the PERFECT solution for a low ground clearance vehicle, or if you only want to transport one bike. Plus, I bought it with the intention of eventually using it on my Miata, which is low, and has a tiny trunk. This thing when folded up, fits in it's trunk. It's pretty amazing. Also, if you don't like it, they guarantee it for a month (I think), and the guy pays for shipping both ways. You have nothing to lose. Get it. I have one crappy pic from last time I went riding, attached.
    Hey now

    The 1up does look very well designed, looks like it might be perfect for my MS3 (low hanging bumper). I recently installed a hitch with a 2" receiver and am looking for something to replace my ancient Bauer revolution.

    Do you think the 1up would be suitable for a heavy (40+ pounds), DH bike? Is there much wobble at freeway speeds?

  33. #33
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    I would say that the 1up is as rock solid as any rack I've seen. It should be fine for your DH bike, but if you have any doubts, call the manufacturer. The owner answered the phone when I called, and he was very helpful.

    I've used mine at highway speeds now a few times, and while there's a little bit of wobble, it's not going anywhere. The wobble isn't really due to the structure of the rack, it's due to the wind on the bike. I have a XL frame with a high seat, so I think that makes it a little worse. Obviously it doesn't hold the bike as tightly as a roof rack where you attach the skewer to the frame, so most of the movement comes from the slight amount of play (turning side to side) that is permitted in the front wheel. But if you lift up on the bike while its secured on the rack, it will lift up the back end of car, so it's definitely tight.

  34. #34
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    We just got our 1upUSA rack last night. I used it for one bike and it holds the bike very securely. Also, it looks like if the tires went flat, the bike would wobble around but it would not fall out. The rack is super fast to install - less than a minute and that was the first time I did it after just reading the directions.

    I also received an add on kit that I will put on tomorrow for a ride we are going to do. Next week, I will order two add on trays that can also be used as roof racks (new product for them) AND as add on kits on the hitch. That is a great feature and gives me a lot of extra capability and flexibility.

    J.

  35. #35
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    John,

    Be sure to post here about how you like the add-on trays. I'm debating getting one. Thanks.

    Chris

  36. #36
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    I already have one normal add on tray. Do you mean that or the ones that can go on the roof?

    J.

  37. #37
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    Well, I'm interested in both... But the roof one, if it also fits on the back of the hitch model, does sound pretty nice. I wish they had that on their site right now. Oh well, I'm in no hurry. I assume the bolt on one you do have works as well as the first one?

  38. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by 7crwolf
    Well, I'm interested in both... But the roof one, if it also fits on the back of the hitch model, does sound pretty nice. I wish they had that on their site right now. Oh well, I'm in no hurry. I assume the bolt on one you do have works as well as the first one?
    I haven't put it on yet, will do so this weekend. It looks as well built as the rest of it.

    J.

  39. #39
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    Here are the results of getting a flat tire while a bike is on the 1up rack: http://www.flickr.com/photos/7794567...7619809470965/.

    Basically, all I noticed while I was driving was that the bike was moving around a bit more than usual. As I got closer to home, I could see that the tire had gone completely flat and was no longer in contact with the "roller" at the top of its arm. (When I started the drive, the tire was low, but it still had air in it.)

    I stopped to get gas near home, and took a closer look at the rack. If I pushed the back tire all the way back into the arm, I could lift the front tire out of its arm, but to do so, I had to completely compress the back tire. That means that it's possible that a sufficiently large jolt in the car could have bumped the bike out of the rack -- but a sufficiently large jolt would have also done some damage to my car.

    I recentered the bike in the rack, but left the back tire's arm where it was. I had to make a couple of turns to get to my apartment, and after the first one, I noticed the bike had shifted back towards the rear tire. I stopped to get my mail and checked it again and noticed that it had shifted back towards the front a bit. I pushed on the bike a bit towards the front and noticed that the wheel had "grabbed" the arm and was closing it. I left it alone and drove to my garage and took the photos that you see.

    I would say that the rack handled the flat fairly well. It looks like you have two choices if you get a flat while on the road with this rack:
    1) Stop and fix the tire itself.
    2) Stop and close the flatted tire's arm enough that the non-flatted tire is held up against the "roller" in its arm.

    As long as both tires are in contact with their "rollers", they really aren't going to come out of their arms. I wouldn't be comfortable driving a long distance with a flatted tire, but a short distance is probably fine -- but I would suggest stopping and addressing the flat in some manner ASAP, just for sanity's sake.

  40. #40
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    I suppose you could just take a strap and tie down the flatted tire then it would be pretty much the same as any of the one armed racks. I also think if you took the strap from the front tire to the down tube to prevent the wheel from turning, it would be impossible to get the bike out of a properly closed rack. An old toe clip strap would work great.

    J.

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