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  1. #1
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    Best Bike Rack - Period

    Have to say that I am tired of trying to squeeze my Large Trek Fuel into the back of my car with the back seats down…
    Just got a nice new class III trailer hitch installed and looking to get a hitch mounted bike rack(2 bikes max)…

    Question is…for the money ($200-$600) range…what really is the BEST BIKE RACK?

    Thoughts and opinions are most welcome…

  2. #2
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    For me North Shore Bike Racks. Fits your budget, Canadian made and easy access to trunk etc.

    North Shore Racks
    Last edited by kmac999; 11-06-2011 at 02:32 PM.

  3. #3
    namagomi
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    Do you have a hatchback? If so try to find a rack that swings...

  4. #4
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    Kuat NV!

    Kuat NV.. even has a bike repair stand. Swings low so you can open the hatch without de-biking. Built in bike lock as well.

    Kuat NV

  5. #5
    sock puppet
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    i have been researching the same issue for a while now...

    i really liked Kuat concept, and the company. seems that they are on the right track... they even covered the cost of the damage on the bike when the rack malfunctioned and dropped the bike. that is customer service - thumbs up.

    however, it seems that they have not figured out a good way to stop rack wobble in the hitch - blaming it on the hitch tolerances. in my experience - Thule and Yakima both have the same system that works - bolt through and tighten it hard. no wobble.

    what i don't like about Thule and Yakima is STEEL. lots of it. and it likes to rust.

    i had T2 by Thule, and it is a solid design. the ONLY thing that i disliked about it was - RUST.

    they didn't change their design much - as it works, but they did not address the rusting issue - OUT.

    Yakima - they use STEEL too - however - they have addressed rusting issue somewhat, by using automotive quality paint and painting process. i can accept that. Yakima is also built like a tank - i think it is the heaviest in the bunch. very good front locking system that does not touch the fork, unlike Thule and Kuat. i also like Yakima rear strapping system. the only dislike is STEEL but i may have to live with it since i still think that Kuat did not nail the wobble issue.

    Kuat - the best design bar none, and by far the best looks. i like the concept of the smaller company with great service - no concerns there at all. they use lots of aluminum and the design is bullet proof. they also make add-on bike stands for other manufacturers - so you can add it to your Yakima rack too. Kuat also includes hitch lock and cable lock in their price. Both Kuat and Yakima have built in cable lock - Yakima being a bit better.

    for me it will be between Yakima and Kuat, with slight advantage to Yakima right now. Yakima can also be had for less in the USA while Kuat keeps the (high) price pretty solid on both sides of the border. there is a distributor on the west coast for Kuat in Canada.

    so - if i had to buy it RIGHT NOW - it would be Yakima Holdup.

    i will make my decision in January - so giving Kuat another couple of months to address the wobble issue.

    hope this helps...

  6. #6
    Team NFI
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    First question would be type of car- trunk.. hatchback...and so on.

    Roof racks big negative is if you aren't paying attention can destroy bikes and rip of your car roof.

    Keep in mind no rack is secure. I laugh at people still mounting bikes to roof racks especially the ones with front and wheel mounts. Then lock the wheels... it's like only locking up your bike to the rack via the wheel only.
    If you hurt in your efforts and suffer painful dings. Then you are doing it right.

  7. #7
    sock puppet
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    Sir - OP said he got HITCH

    Quote Originally Posted by Enduramil View Post
    First question would be type of car- trunk.. hatchback...and so on.
    hitch... like in trailer hitch...

    unless there is a design breakthrough that allows a roof rack to be mounted in the hitch - we are looking for hitch racks...


  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by osokolo View Post
    hitch... like in trailer hitch...

    unless there is a design breakthrough that allows a roof rack to be mounted in the hitch - we are looking for hitch racks...

    Hmm.... I need more Guinness.
    If you hurt in your efforts and suffer painful dings. Then you are doing it right.

  9. #9
    sock puppet
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    that is too easy... forget you have a bike on the roof and zoom into the garage...

    KaBOOOm...

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Enduramil View Post
    Roof racks big negative is if you aren't paying attention can destroy bikes and rip of your car roof.
    ?? Please elaborate.

  11. #11
    Team NFI
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    Quote Originally Posted by osokolo View Post
    that is too easy... forget you have a bike on the roof and zoom into the garage...

    KaBOOOm...
    Bingo.

    The average person driving cars these days has the attention span of a sleep deprived 4 year old hopped up on sugar in a toy store. Look at all the car parks with the big metal height markers.. see all those dents? Yep.. people who don't pay attention.

    Now add in the tired cyclist factor after a race coming home.....
    If you hurt in your efforts and suffer painful dings. Then you are doing it right.

  12. #12
    namagomi
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    Quote Originally Posted by MovinUp View Post
    ?? Please elaborate.
    Parking garage, drive through, low hanging trees by the parking lot. Not to sat you can't drag your hitch across the pavement while pulling into a steep drive.

  13. #13
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    Thanks... I've never even considered those things to be an issue, I guess I'm just careful.

    On another note, I'm surprised the Thule stuff for hitches isn't better. My roof stuff is Thule and it's all aluminum and stainless. It lives on my roof and looks great after years of use.

  14. #14
    Dorkimus Prime
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    If cost is a factor....

    I believe you can get a Swagman 2-bike hitch rack for $149 from dealers that sell them. I have the 4-bike version and it is great. I think it is a Trailmaster.

    Like Oggie said, Swagman's are steel as well, and that may be an issue, but for value they are a 5 flaming chili's.

    Also, Oggie used to fondle electrical outlets with his postage stamp tongs, so his flame burns less bright than it used too! Marinate your steel parts with Fluid Film and it will look good for ever....
    "I love being on a bike. It helps me feel free. I get it from my dad", by Guillaume Blanchet

  15. #15
    Up, Up, and Away!
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    Quote Originally Posted by electrik View Post
    drag your hitch across the pavement while pulling into a steep drive.
    Done that!

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by osokolo View Post

    i really liked Kuat concept, and the company. seems that they are on the right track... they even covered the cost of the damage on the bike when the rack malfunctioned and dropped the bike. that is customer service - thumbs up.

    however, it seems that they have not figured out a good way to stop rack wobble in the hitch - blaming it on the hitch tolerances. in my experience - Thule and Yakima both have the same system that works - bolt through and tighten it hard. no wobble.
    fyi my kuat nv has a hand tightening cam system as well.. no wobble whatsoever.. looks like your decision is made !

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by electrik View Post
    Parking garage, drive through, low hanging trees by the parking lot. Not to sat you can't drag your hitch across the pavement while pulling into a steep drive.
    It happens especially when one pulls in straight on. The trick is to not pull in straight on.
    If you hurt in your efforts and suffer painful dings. Then you are doing it right.

  18. #18
    sock puppet
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    Quote Originally Posted by pathogen View Post
    fyi my kuat nv has a hand tightening cam system as well.. no wobble whatsoever.. looks like your decision is made !
    Yes. That is the system that Kuat uses to address the wobble. Few reviewers had the same finding that it is not as effective as Thule or Yakima. If it works for you , that is the end of it. If I knew it would work for me, I would pull the trigger right now.

    Do you have 2" hitch?


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  19. #19
    humber river advocate
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    class 3 is a 2" receiver, get a north shore rack as mentioned. easy to put on the bikes, stable, high ground clearence, made in canada. i haul around my bikes, friends bikes, drive out to the east coast/artic watershed and 4x4 with it. usually the more simple the design the better. those other racks are over priced flacid weaksauce and wouldn't hold up to the constant abuse.

    here's a pic of my rack in use.





    Quote Originally Posted by PickeringMTB View Post
    Have to say that I am tired of trying to squeeze my Large Trek Fuel into the back of my car with the back seats down…
    Just got a nice new class III trailer hitch installed and looking to get a hitch mounted bike rack(2 bikes max)…

    Question is…for the money ($200-$600) range…what really is the BEST BIKE RACK?

    Thoughts and opinions are most welcome…
    Support TORBA
    Sunnyside Bike Park Working Group
    Albion Hills Conservation Area Master Plan Public Advisory Committee

  20. #20
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    thule doubletrack is a decent option too

    Bought it more than 3 years ago still in really good condition.
    Holds the bikes rock solid,upload and download the bikes is a breeze,folds up nice and tight to the car when not in use,comes with an adapter so works with both hitch sizes.
    Cons:
    Steel construction, bit heavy if you planning to remove it often.

  21. #21
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    I have been using Thule racks for about 10 years. I have never had any issues with them. I tend to keep the rack on the whole summer and I did have a bit of rust after several years. I am using what they call the Ridgeline which accepts four bikes. It also has the ZiP stick which allows you to strap the bikes so they don''t swing. I am on my second rack as the first was involved in a rear end collision. The insurance company replaced it even though all that was wrong was that the Zip Stick portion was destroyed. I have adapted it, and have mounted it on a utility trailer I have. Now I can tow my camping gear and carry my bikes all in one package. This rack is about 10 years old and for a little bit of rust, it really is not that much, is still good. The second rack is about 4 years old and still holding up fine. I have replaced the cradles in the first rack and a couple in the second.

    The main issue with this rack is for full suspension bikes without a top tube or non-standard top tubes like the ones SP shows. They tend to have low clearance depending on the vehicle. I now have a truck and it is not so much of an issue. Apart from this, these racks are rock solid. They are heavy and overbuilt, but work well. I have never had an issue with shaking or wobble.

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by osokolo View Post
    Yes. That is the system that Kuat uses to address the wobble. Few reviewers had the same finding that it is not as effective as Thule or Yakima. If it works for you , that is the end of it. If I knew it would work for me, I would pull the trigger right now.

    Do you have 2" hitch?


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    I have a 2" hitch.. you are welcome to swing by and check it out in person if you want. PM me if you are interested.

  23. #23
    sock puppet
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    thank you.

    PM sent.

    Oggie

    Quote Originally Posted by pathogen View Post
    I have a 2" hitch.. you are welcome to swing by and check it out in person if you want. PM me if you are interested.

  24. #24
    No. Just No. Moderator
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    Quote Originally Posted by electrik View Post
    Parking garage, drive through, low hanging trees by the parking lot.
    Still waiting for my first "incident" after 12 years with the roof rack. Let's hope I can tack another 12 years on to that running total! The potential for destruction is definitely there, and I know some people who have done the deed.

    On the flip side, I also know 2 people who have had bikes on hitch mounts damaged due to being rear-ended.

    Not saying one is better than the other. If I were to do it all over again I'd have a difficult time deciding. Just saying that's there's potential for damage both ways, and in some ways I prefer the option that I have control over.

  25. #25
    namagomi
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    Quote Originally Posted by Circlip View Post
    Still waiting for my first "incident" after 12 years with the roof rack. Let's hope I can tack another 12 years on to that running total! The potential for destruction is definitely there, and I know some people who have done the deed.

    On the flip side, I also know 2 people who have had bikes on hitch mounts damaged due to being rear-ended.

    Not saying one is better than the other. If I were to do it all over again I'd have a difficult time deciding. Just saying that's there's potential for damage both ways, and in some ways I prefer the option that I have control over.
    Fuel economy is better with the rear rack i hear(wind noise also), though how much you notice it depends on how efficient your car was to begin. Percentage wise fuel economy takes a larger hit the smaller your car is, so it can be shocking... particularly if you've got a lead foot. Being rear-ended always hurts(rimshot)... but maybe not so bad if it means a new bicycle?? haha!

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