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  1. #1
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    Shopping for a new bike rack, suggestions?

    I'm currently using a very old trunk door rack. The bikes basically slide in on a couple tubes and are secured with straps. The good thing is that it works with my full sus bike because the tubes are thin enough and no straps directly on them.

    However I keep it attached to my car all the time because it's annoying to put it on and off 6 times a week but I have a baby and I'm growing worried that in case I get rear-ended by an SUV or pickup truck which would hit above the bumper, the bike rack could explode my rear window (the car is a 2000 Ford Focus hatchback) or even fly into the car and injure or kill my son who is in a rear facing car seat.

    So, I have been thinking about installing a hitch which cost about $150 for my car and get a hitch rack but I want one that can hold at least 3 bikes.

    A platform rack for 3-4 bikes is huge (too much for my small car) and very expensive but I'm not sure it other racks like this one (Thule Parkway 4 Bike Rack for 1-1/4" Hitches - Tilting Thule Hitch Bike Racks TH957) will fit my frame, what are y'all using?

  2. #2
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    If you're planning on keeping the rack on all the time, I think you'd be better served with a rack that allows you to fold the bike arms down when not in use, unlike the parkway.
    look at the Thule Vertex, or the Yakima Doubledown Ace 4. Both of these racks have the same convenience features you're looking for.

  3. #3
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    yeah but these won't fit my full-sus carbon frame unless I use a saddle to seatpost adapter and I'm not sure how I feel about suspending by bike from a dropper post.

  4. #4
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    yes, I understand. You will want a platform rack then, and something that can handle 3 bikes is a lot more rack than something that can handle 2 bikes. Regardless, with a 1 1/4" hitch on the Ford Focus, you're going to be limited to 2 bikes.
    Have you forsaken the roof altogether?

  5. #5
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    roof racks are a pain, removing the front wheel, climbing up the car, not for me for frequent use. Will probably go with a 1 bike platform for the day to day and I can use my old trunk rack for the rare occasions I need to have more than 1 bike with me

  6. #6
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    you can buy a roof carrier that does not require removal of the front wheel, like:
    THule 594XT
    Yakima FrontLoader & HighRoller
    1upusa

  7. #7
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    Roof rack significantly decrease the car mileage even with no bikes on it and you have to lift the bike up.

    I'm leaning towards a 1Up 1-bike hitch rack or maybe a Thule T2. 1Up is the best hands down but you pay for what you get.

  8. #8
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    Every bike rack is a compromise of sorts; carrying oversized cargo where the car manufacturer didn't design for. In my case, I have a roof rack on my Honda Fit and a receiver hitch mount on my 3/4 ton pickup truck with a bed cap. Both racks have their advantages, both have disadvantages. On the Fit, which is my daily driver usually with bike on top, the major disadvantage is lifting the bike up. The driver's side has a Yakima Highroller and the passenger side has a Yakima that you take the front wheel off. My 29er rides on the driver's side and my carbon fiber road bike normally rides on the passenger side. Rarely do I have both bikes on at the same time. The base rack is a Yakima Whispbar. Commuting, the Fit gets 37-38 mpg, mixed city/highway, 35 miles roundtrip. On a recent road trip, the Fit returned 33 mpg on the Interstate, in the mountains at 75-80 mph with my 29er on top.

    My truck, which gets 11mpg regardless of how I drive it, is another story. The Yakima hitchmount is great. It's the two bike model that has the bar that goes over the front wheel and a strap for the rear wheel. It's very stable and holds the bikes well. The disadvantage is opening the tailgate. With bikes on, the tailgate can't be opened unless the bikes are removed. When I'm not carrying bikes, the bike rack has to be in the lowered position to open the tailgate.

    So, it's a compromise either way you go. Objectively add them up and make your choice. Neither is a panacea for carrying bikes with no impact to your car habits. If your car doesn't have a hitch, you'll have to add that, which is a compromise in itself.

  9. #9
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    Went through this same process last year. after a ton of research I went with north shore racks. North Shore Racks

    it's about half the price of the platform ones, just as easy to fold up and down. I never take it off my jeep liberty because with the top folded down my hatch opens just fine. I can't tell you how many complements I've gotten on it. I have zero regrets on my purchase and am so happy I saved all that money compared to the competition. BTW a simple cable lock through the downtube of the bike and around the center stem works to keep the bike locked up when I leave it in the parking lot at work.

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    Thanks for sharing, never heard of these and they look great. However I don't think my wife will go for that because it requires operating the rack to access the trunk (we share a single car) while the 1Up USA 1-bike is narrow and at bumper level, she will never have to touch it.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Geotrouvetout67 View Post
    Thanks for sharing, never heard of these and they look great. However I don't think my wife will go for that because it requires operating the rack to access the trunk (we share a single car) while the 1Up USA 1-bike is narrow and at bumper level, she will never have to touch it.
    Their website is a little unclear. You only need to remove the pins to open the door when bikes are on it. When it's in it's non-bike position I don't need to touch anything the hatch just opens. The center tube splits in the middle and folds down on itself with a simple pin. I always leave it in that position when not in use (takes literally 10 seconds to do this). Once done I already have the clearance I need. My girlfriend doesn't need to touch anything to get in the trunk. Plus there is enough clearance that you can stand in between the rack and the trunk so you don't have to reach over the rack to get stuff. I'll upload photos later so you can get a better idea what i'm talking about.

  12. #12
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    Shopping for a new bike rack, suggestions?-2013-06-24-14.06.14.jpg

    as you can see the door opens fine with the rack on. Well I don't want to hound your thread just give you all the info. Best of luck in your search!

  13. #13
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    Interesting option, thanks again.

  14. #14
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    Anybody using Tuf Racks?

  15. #15
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    Have neen looking @ the Kuat NV and the Yakima Hold-up. I'd appreciate ANY input on either or both of these racks, please?
    Will be mounted on a 2" Eco hitch on a 2013 Subaru Crosstrek. Thanx!
    Training on Hills Builds Character, That's How I Got To Be One!

  16. #16
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    Shopping for a new bike rack, suggestions?

    Quote Originally Posted by IRONMAN1518 View Post
    Have neen looking @ the Kuat NV and the Yakima Hold-up. I'd appreciate ANY input on either or both of these racks, please?
    Will be mounted on a 2" Eco hitch on a 2013 Subaru Crosstrek. Thanx!
    Yakima updated the Holdup for 2013

    It's heavy, bulky, rattles and squeaks too much.... Now comes with integrated cable locks like the Kuat.

    But, if you have also a road bike, I find the arm slips a lot. Holds onto knobbies fine

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