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  1. #1
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    buying my first bike rack, hitch or hatch or roof mount??

    Hi All,

    Newbie to the forum, looking to buy a bike rack so i can travel with my son to more state parks for more riding adventure... looking at the thule raceway pro-2 rack....anyone on the forum used this rack? Any pro and cons? Anyone had their hitch racks rear ended and bikes damaged?
    Decisions,decisions........Thanks.........

  2. #2
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    All have pros and cons. Roof racks mean lifting the bike up high to mount it on the rack. In crappy weather the bikes get filthy driving your vehicle down the road. Hitch mount racks run the risk of being rear ended. Bikes do get dirty traveling as well. I've had both but prefer hitch racks which make loading the bikes easier. Plus you won't ruin them if you forget and pull thru a drive thru or into your garage as you would with a roof rack. Just a matter of preference.
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  3. #3
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    I have both hitch and roof, and strongly prefer hitch. No opinion on the rack you listed, but itís hard to go wrong with 1Up USA.
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  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by andy1688 View Post
    Hi All,

    Newbie to the forum, looking to buy a bike rack so i can travel with my son to more state parks for more riding adventure... looking at the thule raceway pro-2 rack....anyone on the forum used this rack? Any pro and cons? Anyone had their hitch racks rear ended and bikes damaged?
    Decisions,decisions........Thanks.........
    Generally no, that is not a good rack for transporting a bike a significant amount. Trunk-racks inherently scratch and warp your vehicle over time, are not as secure, securing straps wear out, and these racks are generally more useful as a temporary solution or "in a pinch" to carry a few extra bikes when say you already have a roof rack. I've had and used various trunk racks and the Saris Bones is my favorite, but it still suffers from these inherent issues. The more weight and leverage your are putting on this part of the vehicle (trunk, bumper, etc.) that was not intended for it, the worse. Additionally, that appears to be a "hanging" style rack, where the bikes can bash into each other and swing. Although you can use straps to help secure them, it's difficult to use these racks with various frame-designs. They do make a "tray" version of the trunk rack, but that just takes some of the issues here to the extreme, such as putting excessive weight and leverage on a part of your vehicle that wasn't intended for it.

    Modern tray-style hitch racks are very popular these days for several reasons, ease of loading, reduction of aerodynamic drag, can be taken off completely and quickly when not in use, very secure in holding your bike, easier to loop a cable through a part of the receiver and through the bike for some security (although leaving a bike in a rack unattended in any situation is a bad idea), and you won't screw up your car as compared to a roof-rack where crap will inevitably fall off the bike and you will eventually accidentally bump a pedal or something into the car when lifting it.

    Roof racks are good solutions for situations where you can't use a hitch-rack, to gain some additional carrying capacity, however, there are very few situations where you need a roof rack these days because you can't install a receiver. You can get receivers aftermarket and OEM for virtually any vehicle these days and often almost every model car that is sold in the US AND Europe will have this option, just that they won't always sell it OEM in the US, but with some looking and searching, you can usually find a solution. When there's a lot of nasty road-spray, I keep my bike inside my vehicle. It's a little harder to deal with, but even up top the bike is going to get covered in grime and crap where I live, so it's easier just to keep it inside for those few drives where road spray is a concern. Other people take to using plastic bags/plastic around the drivetrain of their bikes on the hitch rack, but that decreases your rearward view obviously.
    "It's only when you stand over it, you know, when you physically stand over the bike, that then you say 'hey, I don't have much stand over height', you know"-T. Ellsworth

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  5. #5
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    And 1up USA is probably not a good idea right now until they get the production issues sorted out from the company splitting. That said, there are several good hitch rack variants available from other companies.
    "It's only when you stand over it, you know, when you physically stand over the bike, that then you say 'hey, I don't have much stand over height', you know"-T. Ellsworth

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  6. #6
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    Hitch mount tray style is really the way to go. I have a hanging trunk rack that I use on my little car because I have not got a receiver hitch for it, yet. for the hanging rack I had to get a bar that goes from the head tube to the seat post to carry my bike. Also depending on the weight of your bikes I have seen damage done to the truck latch. My buddy had one on his accord and it bent the trunk latch to the point he couldn't open the trunk.

    Roof racks are ok, If you need room for more bikes. But like stated before just remember the bikes are up there! and the bike is most exposed to road debris. Traveling to an event one time we had multiple bikes on the car. The roof mounted bikes we covered in bugs, road grime, and worst of all two birds. yuk.
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  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jayem View Post
    And 1up USA is probably not a good idea right now until they get the production issues sorted out from the company splitting. That said, there are several good hitch rack variants available from other companies.
    FWIW, I just got my 1up a couple of months ago, zero issues.

    Awesome rack!
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  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jayem View Post
    And 1up USA is probably not a good idea right now until they get the production issues sorted out from the company splitting. That said, there are several good hitch rack variants available from other companies.
    I recently purchased 2 singles, and 4 trays, on two separate orders, with zero issues. The original company is running strong. Itís the new company thatís having trouble. Lots of trouble.


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  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Blatant View Post
    I have both hitch and roof, and strongly prefer hitch. No opinion on the rack you listed, but itís hard to go wrong with 1Up USA.
    I started with the Rocky mounts Brass Knuckles roof mounts, and like them, but we now have 4-6 bikes that go on trips sometimes, so I got the 1Up USA hitch mount and looooovvvveeee it! It is pretty easy to deal with all around. It just stays on the back of the Rav4. The MTBs go on it, and the BMX's go on top, or on it if we are only hitting the park. After my wedding, I will probably get the extender for the 1UP to get 4 bikes on the back.

    After a long ride on my full rigid Surly, I often times don't want to lift the bikes up top, plus, the height of the car forces me to have a little step stool to really get the MTB's up there (first world problem...), so putting the MTBs on the hitch rack is more friendly to my tired arms and chest, and keeps the step ladder at home. The BMX's are different b/c they are lighter and i am not usually as "beat up" after a session at the park

    I would not trust the non-hitch "hatch" racks...I see those on cars/trucks all the time and they don't look like they would stay very secure. They also hold the bikes by the top tubes usually, and when bouncing around, I can't imagine that as being good for the TT

    The 1Up is worth the investment in my mind....and I got mine last summer before all of the shenanigans....
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  10. #10
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    Its hitch for me too. I use a Kuat NV 2 with the two bike add on. This allows me to switch between cars, one which handle the 4 bike config and the other which maxes at two bike. I use reflective tape to keep the tailgaters honest, hate those types.

  11. #11
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    What kinda of vehicle? Do you plan on carrying anything else besides bikes? (Skis, kayak, etc.)

    I love my Thule roof rack because I've got small car (VW GTI) and I use the roof rack for skis, a cargo box and anything large that won't fit in my car. My car is low so loading the bikes is a breeze, I can easily fit 3-4 bikes on the roof and I can strap damn near anything to the bars if needed.

    Why no hitch? They're more expensive, I think they look silly on small cars and I don't want the huge, heavy hitch rack folded upwards all spring, summer and fall when I'm not schlepping bikes.

    I've also had 3 friends get re-ended with hitch racks, so I feel safer with my bikes on my roof.

    If I had an SUV I would certainly get a hitch simply because they're easier to load.
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  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by VTSession View Post
    What kinda of vehicle? Do you plan on carrying anything else besides bikes? (Skis, kayak, etc.)

    I love my Thule roof rack because I've got small car (VW GTI) and I use the roof rack for skis, a cargo box and anything large that won't fit in my car. My car is low so loading the bikes is a breeze, I can easily fit 3-4 bikes on the roof and I can strap damn near anything to the bars if needed.

    Why no hitch? They're more expensive, I think they look silly on small cars and I don't want the huge, heavy hitch rack folded upwards all spring, summer and fall when I'm not schlepping bikes.

    I've also had 3 friends get re-ended with hitch racks, so I feel safer with my bikes on my roof.

    If I had an SUV I would certainly get a hitch simply because they're easier to load.
    Takes me about 20 seconds to install or remove my hitch rack. And if a receiver looks silly, an erector set mounted to the top of the car...
    "It's only when you stand over it, you know, when you physically stand over the bike, that then you say 'hey, I don't have much stand over height', you know"-T. Ellsworth

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  13. #13
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    Used a roof rack the longest, a Yakima King Kobra II, clamping was to the tires and wheels nothing touched the frame. It was an excellent rack, plusses were that it didn't prevent access to other parts of the car, was away from other cars, and the rack was really easy to use and stable. I had an Accord at the time and had a step-up folding bench that was like a small scaffold that I could use to put the bike on if needed, but most of the time just putting my bike on was easy enough without a step-up. Downsides were it was was really loud at above 50mph if you didn't use the fairing, and lowered gas mileage. It always held in bad weather but it would still make you cringe when driving in high winds.

    It was 11-12 years old when I sold it but still got a nice price and took less than 24 hours to sell.


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  14. #14
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    Personally I wont ever use a roof mount. Great idea right up until a rock gets kicked up in front of you and puts a dent/gouge in a stancion.

    Hitch racks take next to nothing to install and remove. I do it all the time. And any that tilt dont get in the way. You can get the hitch itself in a format that makes in almost unnoticeable.

    Best part, not loosing a ton of your fuel mileage whether bikes are on the rack or not.

    Its a user preference but hitch racks make more sense overall. Slightly higher upfront cost but at least the rack can go to any vehicle. A roof rack not so much.

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  15. #15
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    And the 1up brigade is out in heavy force, and they ARE good racks, but they come at a premium price and there are also a lot of other good tray-style racks. My T2 is a generation behind and I'd like a 1up, but the T2 is around 12 years old and it keeps going, so I'm not replacing it until it really breaks/rusts away/etc. My T2 still works much better than any roof rack, so it stays. I say this because most people are taken back quite a bit when they start seeing the prices. It's worth it, but there is other good stuff too.
    "It's only when you stand over it, you know, when you physically stand over the bike, that then you say 'hey, I don't have much stand over height', you know"-T. Ellsworth

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  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by andy1688 View Post
    Hi All,

    Newbie to the forum, looking to buy a bike rack so i can travel with my son to more state parks for more riding adventure... looking at the thule raceway pro-2 rack....anyone on the forum used this rack? Any pro and cons? Anyone had their hitch racks rear ended and bikes damaged?
    Decisions,decisions........Thanks.........
    I presume you do not have a receiver on your vehicle.

    Thule makes the best body mount bike racks, in my opinion. If you absolutely do not want to install a receiver, by all means, get a $300+ Thule, you will not regret it. They are solid racks that mount very securely.

    For long term use, all you need to do to protect your vehicle is clean it where the rack will touch it, and clean the pads on the rack. If you are really anal, placing some saran wrap between the body and the rack will guarantee no grit on the pads can be ground into the paint.

    The straps on the Thule's are stout and will last for more than a few years. I've got a Thule that's seven or eight years old and I crank the shit out of the straps when I use it. We did a 1400 mile trip with two large MTB's on it last summer, with no vertical support for the bottom legs (2013 Ford Escape, bumper does not extend past the hatch). The two top straps supported 100% of the weight of the bikes, plus whatever force the two bottom straps were applying. Even with no vertical support to the legs, the bikes did not sway at all.

    The rubber top-tube mounts do not let the bikes rotate, but depending on your vehicle you may need to bungee the crank of the inner bike into a certain position (or bungee the bikes together) to keep a pedal away from the vehicle.

    My only complaint about the Thule body mount racks is how close together the bikes sit. If my current rack wasn't free, I'd have a three bike Thule for handling two bikes on my wife's vehicle.

    Yes, people do get rear-ended, but cars also flip, or drive under things, or run into things (like branches), which also destroys bikes. That's why you need to ensure your bikes are covered, and switch insurers if they are not. Then, don't worry about it, bikes rarely get damaged on vehicles. I've been driving for 33 years. The only time I have been rear-ended was during a heavy snow storm, which is not a point in time in which I would have bikes with me. I live within the Louisville Ky metropolitan area, so the chance of being in a vehicular incident are not low. My wife was T-boned last year, that was her first incident in 33 years. Yes, we are the same age.
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  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by thesmokingman View Post
    Its hitch for me too. I use a Kuat NV 2 with the two bike add on. This allows me to switch between cars, one which handle the 4 bike config and the other which maxes at two bike. I use reflective tape to keep the tailgaters honest, hate those types.
    Sums up what I do too. Rec hitch Yaki version 4 timer used mostly as two timer.
    Reflective tape +
    I rarely have tailgaters but I'll bet they are jack~asses only doing so because we have bikes/racks. My driving style usually invites them to pass or I'll just pull off to a drive or lot if they really bug me. Surging or pulsing ever so slightly makes them pull their hair out though. It often gets them to pass on by.

    I still have all the roof top gear in the garage but don't miss the lifting and twice the time and work to buckle it all down. The tray racks are so effective and fast, no contest. Also have the yaki rocket box for the crossbars set up, just not using for bikes.

    For those that don't have high rooflines or mind lifting, do as you think best or easiest. If in doubt, watch a few vids of those loading the bikes and you'll see things that should be helpful in your decision.

    Roof bikes do get crashed from time to time. Maybe as often as others get hit in a rear-end collision.
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  18. #18
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    Hitch for me too.

    I've used trunk, roof, and now a hitch. Trunk ones scratch up the car and the roof rack (collecting dust now) is tedious to install and remove. The hitch rack is hands down the easiest to use. It's easy to put on and remove. I've got a Thule T2 (heavy!) and Saris Superclamp 2.

  19. #19
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    What sort of car do you have? Makes a difference.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jayem View Post
    Takes me about 20 seconds to install or remove my hitch rack. And if a receiver looks silly, an erector set mounted to the top of the car...
    To each their own.
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  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by andy1688 View Post
    Newbie to the forum, looking to buy a bike rack so i can travel with my son to more state parks for more riding adventure...
    Always a good idea to ride with your kid!

    My first vote wouldn't be for a hatch rack... lots of used ones on craigslist since they're a pain.

    I'd go for hitch mount if it's in your budget, and also recommend 1up if you want to get a rack that will last forever versus a mediocre solution and upgrade 2, 3, 4 times.

    The RockyMounts Monorail is also supposed to be decent.


    Quote Originally Posted by andy1688 View Post
    Anyone had their hitch racks rear ended and bikes damaged?
    I think the odds of getting rear-ended is less than the odds of accidentally driving a roof-rack of bikes into your garage, drive-thru, parking deck, etc.
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  22. #22
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    By all means, do not buy a hitch rack if you get rear ended frequently. However, I would submit that if this is the case, you have bigger problems than which rack to put on.

    Roof racks were pretty much the only game in town in the 90s and early 2000s, the hitch racks of those eras were the dumb "J" shaped ones where your bikes had to hang from top-tubes and bash into each other. They were a trainwreck, but auto manufacturers especially like to sell these when people get a receiver put on at the dealer, the auto manufacturers are usually about 10-15 years behind the times when it comes to bike racks. So unfortunately you do still see these being sold. Hitch racks should not be judged by these.
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  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by J_Westy View Post
    Always a good idea to ride with your kid!

    My first vote wouldn't be for a hatch rack... lots of used ones on craigslist since they're a pain.

    I'd go for hitch mount if it's in your budget, and also recommend 1up if you want to get a rack that will last forever versus a mediocre solution and upgrade 2, 3, 4 times.

    The RockyMounts Monorail is also supposed to be decent.




    I think the odds of getting rear-ended is less than the odds of accidentally driving a roof-rack of bikes into your garage, drive-thru, parking deck, etc.
    Kuat, thule, yakima are all far from "mediocre" solutions. Last a plenty long time and work just as good.

    1up is awesome stuff, possibly well worth the money and may eventually outlast others (due to use of aluminum vs steel) but the price isnt for everyone. Like in my case, $250 for a kuat transfer 2 that fits anything from a road bike to me fat bike with 4.8 tires. No adapters fits 2 bikes. Done

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  24. #24
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    I bought a used version of that Thule to use on my hatchback. I should have investigated the strap placement more before I set off because the lip on the trunk did not allow the strap to seat properly and it ended up putting a small dent in my car. I immediately resold it and bought a hitch and a 1UP. it's expensive but its better than having the rear end of my roof looking like a golf ball.

    FYI - The hitch and used 1UP were about the same price as the new Thule.

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by Blatant View Post
    I have both hitch and roof, and strongly prefer hitch. No opinion on the rack you listed, but itís hard to go wrong with 1Up USA.

    This. Nothing more needs to be said.
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  26. #26
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    I like hitch carrier the best, and went with 1UP PRIMARILY due to my long wheelbase bike. Most tray-style carrier only accept up to 48" wheelbase. My process is 49.5", so 1UP was the only option at the time. Happy with the rack though.. just not the price...
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  27. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by bim6180 View Post
    I like hitch carrier the best, and went with 1UP PRIMARILY due to my long wheelbase bike. Most tray-style carrier only accept up to 48" wheelbase. My process is 49.5", so 1UP was the only option at the time. Happy with the rack though.. just not the price...
    It is expensive, but I think its a one time investment (at least for many years) I'm hoping mine lasts for years, as others have mentioned. I went from Walmart to SportsRack tray - to the 1UP, its a world of difference.
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  28. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jayem View Post
    And the 1up brigade is out in heavy force, and they ARE good racks, but they come at a premium price and there are also a lot of other good tray-style racks. My T2 is a generation behind and I'd like a 1up, but the T2 is around 12 years old and it keeps going, so I'm not replacing it until it really breaks/rusts away/etc. My T2 still works much better than any roof rack, so it stays. I say this because most people are taken back quite a bit when they start seeing the prices. It's worth it, but there is other good stuff too.
    Yeah, I avoided sharing my current rack (1up) for that reason and instead posted about my old Yakima roof rack.

    But your point about price is right on target. When I bought the old Yakima roof rack I could not believe how expensive it was and was coming from stuffing the bike in the car after giving up on trunk racks.

    Once you can settle in on a price point you are comfortable with there are a lot of excellent racks available. But for many making that leap to the first decent rack it can quite a sticker shock.

    Both my Yakima & 1Up were totally worth the money.


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  29. #29
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    I would get a 1up. It's not cheap but you'll get to have both roof and hitch racks in one rack. If you buy the roof trays, they can be attached to the hitch assembly. It's really the best of both worlds.

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  30. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by gundrted View Post
    I would get a 1up. It's not cheap but you'll get to have both roof and hitch racks in one rack. If you buy the roof trays, they can be attached to the hitch assembly. It's really the best of both worlds.

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  31. #31
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    I just bought a 2-inch hitch ($130), installed it myself on my Xterra SUV, and picked up a Kuat Transfer 2 platform/tray style rack for it with discounts at REI for about $215 (reg $289). So far, it's working fine. I'm surprised how fast and easy it is to load a bike compared to my old Thule Parkway 4 hanging-style hitch rack. We shall see how long it lasts or if any issues develop. It takes me 30-45 seconds to install or remove the rack from the hitch.

    I have a trunk style rack too, Hollywood brand i think. Not as "elegant" as the thule raceway pro-2. Mine was a pain to use and i agree, they're kinda temporary solutions or as a loaner. I should dig it out of the garage and sell it off. I loan too much gear as it is.

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  32. #32
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    Iím in the same boat as the OP. Need a hitch rack for my sweet 2002 VW Jetta TDI In deep blue/purple. Iíve been looking at where most of these hitch tray style racks clamp onto the front tire and it looks like if you have a front fender thatís extends in front of your fork the rack will clamp down on this? Also can anyone comment on how close the ratcheting mechanism sits next to your fork? A lot look like they might rub on the fork leg due to improper design. I know the 1up design takes care of both of these issue but I might be able to get a pro deal on a Yakima or rocky mount rack which could save me $200+ over a 1up. Thanks for the help.

  33. #33
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    If all you're ever going to be carrying is bikes, get a hitch rack.

    If want to be able to also carry skis, snowboards, or a cargo box (so worth it for trips), get a roof rack.

  34. #34
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    Hitch rack (Thule). Also, if you donít have a hitch on your vehicle, you may find that itís pretty easy job to put one on yourself, particularly if itís an SUV. Not sure about cars, but SUVs seem to come from factory with pre-drilled and tapped hitch mounting points. If youíre not planning on using it for towing (which would require an electrical harness as well), you can just buy a hitch online for less than $150 and bolt it on yourself in about 15 minutes.

  35. #35
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    A downside for hitch mounts is jurisdictions where ...

    Another consideration for hitch mounts is the use in jurisdictions where the police are reportedly ticketing for obscuring licence or stop lights. I will be moving to another province in Canada where there were some tickets reportedly issued for this.

    I elected to go with a vertical hitch rack (North Shore Bike Racks) - licence is partially obscured, but brake lights are not.
    Mounting and retention is really easy, but involves lifting the bike into a vertical position - so mid-way between a horizontal hitch and a roof rack. Having had both, I'll never go back to the roof rack.

    I might add that my other driver has driven the bikes into low lying tree branches when vacationing - fortunately no harm done.

    It is always a good idea to accessorize hitch mounts with reflectorized vinyl, to increase visibility for driving after dark.

  36. #36
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    I'm a hitch guy all the way. However I have concluded that it is necessary to have brake lights behind the bikes. I have a 4-bike rack, and at times the bike will block the taillights even with just one bike on it (see below). I bought a kit from Amazon for $20, plus a $5 plug and added it to my rack. If your car doesn't already have a trailer light plug, it's a little more work though.

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    It's not perfect as I can't put a 4rth bike on with the lights where they are. If that need arises, I will need to re-think the mounting, or get a different kit. I actually should have gotten smaller-sized lights than I did.

    Reflective tape helps, and I ran that way for a year or two. Finally decided that hanging something I value 3 feet off the back of the car with brake lights playing peek-a-boo was not a good idea. I would consider the lights mandatory for road trips that involve night driving.

    I didn't like the OneUp Rack and sent mine back. But as far as I know, I am the only one.

  37. #37
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    Wow, there is so much to say on this issue. I had roof racks for years (as someone else mentioned, that was the thing for a long time...remember cars with roof gutters?) and finally switched to a hitch rack (1Up which is great, super easy, super fast, no big lifts) when I changed vehicles. Sooo much easier, although roof racks are not as tough if your vehicle is low (not a SUV, for example). Another thing...I got tired of changing around all the roof clips etc with every vehicle change. Now I'm all set with my 1Up although admittedly I need a hitch on whatever car I'n using it on. IMO, lots of cars these days have crappy set-ups for roof racks and you need to research that for the car you have or want to get. Go hitch if you can. Which? That's another thread.

  38. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vtbikologist View Post
    Wow, there is so much to say on this issue. I had roof racks for years (as someone else mentioned, that was the thing for a long time...remember cars with roof gutters?) and finally switched to a hitch rack (1Up which is great, super easy, super fast, no big lifts) when I changed vehicles. Sooo much easier, although roof racks are not as tough if your vehicle is low (not a SUV, for example). Another thing...I got tired of changing around all the roof clips etc with every vehicle change. Now I'm all set with my 1Up although admittedly I need a hitch on whatever car I'n using it on. IMO, lots of cars these days have crappy set-ups for roof racks and you need to research that for the car you have or want to get. Go hitch if you can. Which? That's another thread.
    Similar experience in that I was 11+ years with a roof frack that worked great. Never drove into the garage with the bikes on, but came close a few times, and never had my bikes damaged from road debris while on the roof--go figure. But Is witched to a hitch rack when I changed vehicles and have had no problems with my hitch rack either.

    But before I switched to the hitch rack I first tried the Yakima mighty mounts to see if I could still use my roof rack on. What was then a new Outback. I could but wow did the bikes list to the side. they looked like they were about to teeter over. I was a little comfortable with that and then I also realized that with the bikes on the roof I had no space for the roof cargo box, so that basically made my decision to go hitch. On a second car I'd have no problem with a roof rack.


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  39. #39
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    There is always the famous SeaSucker

    https://www.seasucker.com/
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  40. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by buddiesconfusion View Post
    Iím in the same boat as the OP. Need a hitch rack for my sweet 2002 VW Jetta TDI In deep blue/purple. Iíve been looking at where most of these hitch tray style racks clamp onto the front tire and it looks like if you have a front fender thatís extends in front of your fork the rack will clamp down on this? Also can anyone comment on how close the ratcheting mechanism sits next to your fork? A lot look like they might rub on the fork leg due to improper design. I know the 1up design takes care of both of these issue but I might be able to get a pro deal on a Yakima or rocky mount rack which could save me $200+ over a 1up. Thanks for the help.
    Initially I was looking into a 1up with all the hype on MTBR. Until I found a pretty clean used Saris Superclamp 2 on Craigslist. For the price of a single bike 1up...I got the rack (which holds two bikes) and a Curt hitch. In the end...it just needs to hold my bikes securely and be fairly convenient to use...which it definitely does.

    The Rocky Mountain and Yakima clamping system looks pretty similar to the Saris and Thule on the front wheel. If you have a fender that extends fairly far from the fork...then it may clamp down on the fender. I have a Marsh Guard with the Stash extension. The Stash is pretty short so the arm just grazes the front of the fender.

    I was able to get a Thule T2 at industry pricing six years ago. If I can get similar pricing on RM or Yakima...that's what I would do.

    The 1up is a nice bit of kit...friend of mine has one. At least for me...it not worth the extra $300 I'd have to spend for a two bike setup vs the Saris for my GTI.

  41. #41
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    Quote Originally Posted by jcd46 View Post
    There is always the famous SeaSucker

    https://www.seasucker.com/
    wow, you could mount it on the hood, you would probably always remember it is on the car before pulling into the garage, and it makes quite a hood ornament


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  42. #42
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    Quote Originally Posted by andy1688 View Post
    Hi All,

    Newbie to the forum, looking to buy a bike rack so i can travel with my son to more state parks for more riding adventure... looking at the thule raceway pro-2 rack....anyone on the forum used this rack? Any pro and cons? Anyone had their hitch racks rear ended and bikes damaged?
    Decisions,decisions........Thanks.........
    Hard to believe no one has suggested a Northshore Rack. Absolutely bomber, easy to use and safe. A rear end would only result in a bent wheel...

  43. #43
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    Quote Originally Posted by ctinflag View Post
    Hard to believe no one has suggested a Northshore Rack. Absolutely bomber, easy to use and safe. A rear end would only result in a bent wheel...
    I came across the Northshore rack right after getting my 1Up...I think for now, the NS would be a bit of overkill for my needs, but I could see getting one down the road when more people will be riding with me. It is pretty sweet!
    "It's about having pointless fun in the woods...." - Walt
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  44. #44
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jayem View Post
    And the 1up brigade is out in heavy force, and they ARE good racks, but they come at a premium price and there are also a lot of other good tray-style racks. My T2 is a generation behind and I'd like a 1up, but the T2 is around 12 years old and it keeps going, so I'm not replacing it until it really breaks/rusts away/etc. My T2 still works much better than any roof rack, so it stays. I say this because most people are taken back quite a bit when they start seeing the prices. It's worth it, but there is other good stuff too.
    Can you really fault people recommending a product that is really, really well made?

  45. #45
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fluidworks View Post
    Can you really fault people recommending a product that is really, really well made?
    Yes, because there are alternatives available that also work well, as in significantly better than a roof-rack, for significantly less money. The sticker-shock may blow some people right back to a roof-rack, so I would advise them to still consider the other tray-style hitch racks, there are still many that are very good comparatively. I'll probably get a 1up if I can't keep my T2 going forever, but I have a little extra disposable income and until that time, I can definitely find better things to spend it on.
    "It's only when you stand over it, you know, when you physically stand over the bike, that then you say 'hey, I don't have much stand over height', you know"-T. Ellsworth

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  46. #46
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    1UpUSA all the way

    We've had several racks including Thule and Yakima and we settled on 1UpUSA. Why? Mainly because even the best steel racks eventually rust out and they're heavy. We use ours enough that we leave them on our vehicles full time and our 1Up's anodized aluminum with stainless steel fasteners have never corroded. We sold a first generation aluminum 1Up (anybody remember their original steel rack? Weighed a ton.) to a friend over a decade ago and he still has it.

    They are way lighter than others' racks and really easy to both secure and take off, as well as stupid simple to secure bikes on. My wife can handle the weight of a two-bike rack just fine and almost every mountain biker we ride with has joined the 1UpUSA club.

    Their customer service should be a model for other companies. I bent some parts backing into a fence and got replacements in a matter of days, getting me back up and running by the next weekend.

    Some say 1UpUSAs are expensive, but when you consider life-cycle costs, they so out-live other racks, they're worth it. This is especially true when you include the life-cycle that we sold one on Craigslist in less than two hours for not much less than we paid for it. We got so much interest we could have taken bids on it. Not a bad for a 10 year old rack.

  47. #47
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bunjinjohn View Post
    We've had several racks including Thule and Yakima and we settled on 1UpUSA. Why? Mainly because even the best steel racks eventually rust out and they're heavy. We use ours enough that we leave them on our vehicles full time and our 1Up's anodized aluminum with stainless steel fasteners have never corroded. We sold a first generation aluminum 1Up (anybody remember their original steel rack? Weighed a ton.) to a friend over a decade ago and he still has it.

    They are way lighter than others' racks and really easy to both secure and take off, as well as stupid simple to secure bikes on. My wife can handle the weight of a two-bike rack just fine and almost every mountain biker we ride with has joined the 1UpUSA club.

    Their customer service should be a model for other companies. I bent some parts backing into a fence and got replacements in a matter of days, getting me back up and running by the next weekend.

    Some say 1UpUSAs are expensive, but when you consider life-cycle costs, they so out-live other racks, they're worth it. This is especially true when you include the life-cycle that we sold one on Craigslist in less than two hours for not much less than we paid for it. We got so much interest we could have taken bids on it. Not a bad for a 10 year old rack.
    yep. mine stays on all the time, and lived through it's' first winter this year. Was much easier to deal wiht than the roof rack when things got frozen. Just had to use a lighter to unstick the little ratchet device that slides to move the grips. The thing spent some time covered in road/salt/brine nastiness, as well. Should be fine due to its make up.
    "It's about having pointless fun in the woods...." - Walt
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  48. #48
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    I've owned roof racks and hitch racks and used a trunk rack a few times. Tray style hitch rack is my preference as it is by far the easiest to use and has no negative impact on the vehicle. Trunk racks are cheap and easy to use but don't carry the bike that securely, and can get in the way of using your trunk/hatch and scratch the car's paint if not cleaned properly before use. Roof racks are ok on cars but hard to reach on taller vehicles, and on any vehicle will reduce your fuel economy due to the extra wind resistance, which adds up on long trips. The only downside to hitch racks is that you also have to buy a hitch if you don't already have one.

    I had a 2" Thule T2 hitch rack for a couple years, then when I got a new car that only had a 1.25" hitch available I bought a 1up to replace it. After using the 1up for a year I decided I really didn't like it and bought a Saris Superclamp 2 instead. I definitely prefer the Saris now. The new Quick Rack Mach 2 does address nearly all of the things I didn't like about the 1up rack, and for that reason I would not recommend anyone buy a 1up rack until the QRM2 is sorted out.

    Quote Originally Posted by Fluidworks View Post
    Can you really fault people recommending a product that is really, really well made?
    No, but I can fault people for recommending a product that isn't as user friendly as other options while also being significantly more expensive. Also charging a lot more money for black when the manufacturing and coating process is the same for both black and sliver is bullshit.

    Quote Originally Posted by Bunjinjohn View Post
    We've had several racks including Thule and Yakima and we settled on 1UpUSA. Why? Mainly because even the best steel racks eventually rust out and they're heavy. We use ours enough that we leave them on our vehicles full time and our 1Up's anodized aluminum with stainless steel fasteners have never corroded. We sold a first generation aluminum 1Up (anybody remember their original steel rack? Weighed a ton.) to a friend over a decade ago and he still has it.

    They are way lighter than others' racks and really easy to both secure and take off, as well as stupid simple to secure bikes on. My wife can handle the weight of a two-bike rack just fine and almost every mountain biker we ride with has joined the 1UpUSA club.
    There are now many other options for two bike tray racks that are significantly lighter than 1up. Not everyone leaves a hitch rack on their vehicle all the time, so lighter is better for taking it on and off. The 1up also doesn't hold bikes as securely as other racks; yes they aren't going anywhere, but they have a bit more wobble than other types of wheel holders. The 1up wheel release mechanism is also a bit finicky to use, as is the rack tilt/folding mechanism.

    Quote Originally Posted by Bunjinjohn View Post
    Some say 1UpUSAs are expensive, but when you consider life-cycle costs, they so out-live other racks, they're worth it. This is especially true when you include the life-cycle that we sold one on Craigslist in less than two hours for not much less than we paid for it. We got so much interest we could have taken bids on it. Not a bad for a 10 year old rack.
    The resale value seems to be hit or miss, or maybe region dependent, but definitely not guaranteed. When I went to sell my 1 year old 1up rack I only had two interested people, it took 3 months to sell, and I didn't get as much for it as I thought I would be able to.

  49. #49
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    With all the talk of being rear ended with a hitch mount, has any used Velosurance? Sure your pride and joy will still get mangled, but you're covered financially. Or are they not a reliable option?

  50. #50
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    Trunk mounted racks are good, especially for 2 bikes, the most common issue, like someone else mentioned above, is it may scratch your vehicle. Roof mounted racks have always made me nervous.

    My vote is for a hitch mounted rack. Thule has both good racks, both trunk mounted and hitch mounted, Allen has some good racks and mostly cheaper than Thule.

    Also, I don't know why buy, Hollywood Racks are pretty good too, and usually cost less.

    Hope it helps, happy biking

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