2007 Subaru Impreza bike rack options?- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    2007 Subaru Impreza bike rack options?

    Anyone here have experiance with good ole Subaru's? I want a rack which will hold 2 bikes and give me the least trouble. I've looking into the hitch mounted ones because I like the idea of the rack not being always attached to the car. I don't really want to go with a trunk rack because from everything I've read they just about always cause problems and damage the car..

    So.. that leaves me with a roof mounted system.. Will it really affect my fuel economy much?
    What pitfalls am I going to run into..
    Oh and I have a sliding sun roof..

    My car is new. I'm vain and worry about the paint etc.. Anyone have their roof mount racks damage their car?

    The only other issue I have is that my car currently doesn't have a hitch. So I would need to find one compatible for my car and get it installed before I ever got the bike rack. This whole route would obviously be more expensive too..


    So yeah.. suggestions?
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  2. #2
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    I suggest you go to the NASIOC.com Forums. There is a thread dedicated to roof racks on Imprezas, with lots of pics of many different setups. I think it is in the Members Gallery Forum. You may have to do a search.

  3. #3
    Muskoka
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    Got it for you. Sixteen pages of racks on Imprezas...
    http://forums.nasioc.com/forums/show...ight=roof+rack

  4. #4
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    Imprezza Wagon

    I have the wagon. I run a regular roof system. works great

  5. #5
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    wow.. I wasn't expecting that many pics! Nice! Great find guys. Thanks a lot! I guess the roof rack doesn't look half bad.

    Different question.. What do you do to protect your bikes while they're on your car? I mean covering certain parts etc.. Do they make bike bags? haha..

    I guess I really just need to decide what mounting interface I want.. Hmmm
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  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by ZoSoSwiM
    So.. that leaves me with a roof mounted system.. Will it really affect my fuel economy much?
    Yep, it will affect your fuel economy ALL the time, and morso when you have bike(s) attached. The hitch rack pays for itself in terms of money saved with better milege. Having to buy premium gas at every fillup is enough, I don't need a rack causing 1-3mpg loss all the time to make it even worse.

    You can even notice that I have an aftermarket exaust (borla). It works with the OEM towbar.

    The T2 also tilts down to allow access to the hatch WITH the bike attached.
    Attached Images Attached Images
    "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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  7. #7
    thecentralscrutinizer
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    I have an 07 Wagon too. I have a 2 bike, fork mount hitch rack that I use. It leaves just enough space that I can swing the gate open. My rack does seem to sit a bit lower than the one Jayem has which gets them even further out of the wind.

    Like Jayem said, for fuel economy you definitely want to go with a hitch mount rack.
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  8. #8
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    Thats what I was thinking. I've never priced getting a hitch mounted.. so I'm nervous of that cost.. and realistically the rack it's self will be around $350 right? If I went with a standard 2 inch hitch I could get just about any hitch rack and be fine... So thats what I'll likely end up doing. Plus I love the better millage and the fact nothing is really touching my car!
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  9. #9
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    I think I'm going to run a hitch mount.. It's a little more expensive but worth it for my millage. I'm now debating on what rack I want. I'm looking at the 1.25 versions of the Thule T2 and The Saris Thelma. I've noticed a few other brands but these 2 stand out for their quality.. and I figure if I have $5000 worth of bikes sitting on it I want something good!
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  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by ZoSoSwiM
    Thats what I was thinking. I've never priced getting a hitch mounted.. so I'm nervous of that cost.. and realistically the rack it's self will be around $350 right? If I went with a standard 2 inch hitch I could get just about any hitch rack and be fine... So thats what I'll likely end up doing. Plus I love the better millage and the fact nothing is really touching my car!
    I did the math a few days ago and it took about a year for it to even out, but consider that past that year you're going to be paying more money if you went with the roof setup. I compared what owners report their milege loss is with the roof systems, then a realistic loss with bikes attached for the driving to trailheads, and even if you're talking about a relatively small mpg loss of 1-3 all the time, it easily adds up with the price of gas.

    A few things about the hitch mount;

    The subaru OEM towbar is good because it has a "cutout" for the exhaust that allows aftermarket stuff to be put on with minimal trouble. The negative is that it's 1.25", so while Thule makes the 1.25 version of the T2, I wouldn't really use this towbar for anything other than transporting bikes, and you can't put the 2-bike extention (for a total of 4) on the 1.25" T2, but due to the tonque weight, you wouldn't want to do that with a 2" reciever either, so in the end I feel the 1.25" reciever isn't much of a disadvantage.

    You can get an aftermarket towbar as well, there are several that work, and the only negative here is that they do not have the exhaust cutout, and to work they sometimes require you to use longer exahust hangers on the underbody of the car (especially with aftermarket exhaust systems). This is REAL easy to do though, the exhaust hangers are just little rubber fittings that the exhaust hangs from, it is relatively easy to get longer ones and put them on.

    The 2" reciever would probably give you a little better stability in terms of sway and rocking, but this isn't much of a problem with the T2, another way to address this is to cut the securing bolt down a little and use TWO bolts, one from each side of the reciever. This would lock it in even better.

    The T2 is real stable though, and it tilts down to access the hatch if you have bikes loaded, and it tilts up to get out of the way if you want to keep it on the car but do not have any bikes loaded. I take it off when I'm not using it for a significant time period, but the loading and unloading of the bikes and better milege is well worth it. Usually both hitch and roof rack systems are expensive when priced out, but you obviously cut a lot of the cost when you have rails and can get relatively inexpensive crossbars as with my subaru. Even then, you'll still come out ahead eventually with the hitch system. There are some things I would do differently with my car if I did them again, but the towbar/reciever and the T2 are things I would definitely not change.
    "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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  11. #11
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    I also have a hitch mounted rack on my Sti. I use a drawtite hitch and a Sportswork rack, 1.25". It is really stable and a great investment. My rack got a bit bent in a rearend incident and I will be replacing it with a T2. Good choice in going with the hitch mounted rack.

  12. #12
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    Great info Jayem thanks! I was looking at the hidden hitch Class 1 system.. I asked my dealership about an OEM hitch from Subaru and they said they didn't have one. I don't plan on upgrading performance parts on my stock Impreza.. just isn't worth it. So any extra clearance for an exhaust system would be a waist. If I can get that hitch in a 2in size I will and go with the 2inch T2 rack. I don't plan on using the hitch for anything other than my bikes.. so total load weight and such don't really matter much.

    Thanks for all the info guys! I look forward to getting these goodies this spring!
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  13. #13
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    I have a Thelma on a hitch mount on my Evo 8. Works great and is very light. A few things to note however. You cannot put BMX bikes on the thelma and 2 full DH bikes are over the weight limit. It sways a little, but is really solid, easy to use, and best of all, under 40 lbs. I would recommend it for those that only have 26" trail or road bikes!

  14. #14
    jrm
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    Ive found

    1-1/14 hitches for the subarus from drawtite and u-haul with a max of 3500 lbs and a toungue weight limit of 300lbs. Both ran $119.

  15. #15
    KAH
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    Jayem, what OEM hitch did you find from Subaru? I called the service department monday and was told Subaru has never sold an OEM hitch for the Impreza, only aftermarket.
    I have a 2008 Impreza wagon. Not sure how much different the rear undercarriage is from a 2007, but U-haul said they didn't have anything either. I have seen about 3 from various hitch makers online. Drawtite, and a couple others. Only 1 1/4. I got such a good deal on a 2" bike rack I figured I could add a 2" adapter if I can't find an actual 2".
    So Jayem, if you know of an OEM hitch, do you happen to have a part number? Thanks

  16. #16
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    I don't know who makes it, only that it's OEM. I mean it was on the SUBARU website as optional equipement, so I don't know what else could prove it besides that.

    This was before I got an aftermarket exhaust system, but note how it "clears" the exaust.
    Attached Images Attached Images
    "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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  17. #17
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    According to my service dept Subaru didn't make an OEM hitch for the Impreza in 2007.. so I doubt there is one for the 2008 model. I Highly doubt that anyone would really notice a difference between the drawtite, curt, and hidden hitch brands. I'm likely getting the Curt hitch.
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  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by ZoSoSwiM
    According to my service dept Subaru didn't make an OEM hitch for the Impreza in 2007.. so I doubt there is one for the 2008 model. I Highly doubt that anyone would really notice a difference between the drawtite, curt, and hidden hitch brands. I'm likely getting the Curt hitch.
    Well, they may not have, but an OEM hitch from before 2007 should fit a 2007 with no problems.
    "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

    You're turning black metallic.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by ZoSoSwiM
    According to my service dept Subaru didn't make an OEM hitch for the Impreza in 2007.. so I doubt there is one for the 2008 model. I Highly doubt that anyone would really notice a difference between the drawtite, curt, and hidden hitch brands. I'm likely getting the Curt hitch.
    http://subarupartspeople.com/SearchP...=Trailer+Hitch

    This is the one I have on my 2007.
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  20. #20
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    Tid bit expensive... Hmm..
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  21. #21
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    check out https://www.etrailer.com/ i got mine there. they have some that have the cutout and others that dont. i got the cutout one for my wagon to clear the exhaust. no longer hangers needed.
    i also run the T2 2" setup and love it. just for info here is my milage info
    base car 75mph 29mpg
    car with just roofracks (king cobra bike mounts) 25mpg
    car with bikes on roof racks 18mpg
    car with bikes on hitch 25mpg

    with my wagon being turbo you use a lot of fuel with bikes on top.
    and some pics





  22. #22
    Nat
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    Quote Originally Posted by paranoid56
    Paranoid, what gold wheels are on your car in this pic?

  23. #23
    Nat
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jayem
    I don't know who makes it, only that it's OEM. I mean it was on the SUBARU website as optional equipement, so I don't know what else could prove it besides that.

    This was before I got an aftermarket exhaust system, but note how it "clears" the exaust.
    That's some tight parking, Jayem. Do you crawl in and out via the hatch?

  24. #24
    JWA
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    This is the setup I used on my STI: http://forums.nasioc.com/forums/showthread.php?t=882744

    Works great and you can put the clips on and off without removing the weather seals once you know where they are.

  25. #25
    KAH
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    Quote Originally Posted by paranoid56
    check out https://www.etrailer.com/ i got mine there. they have some that have the cutout and others that dont. i got the cutout one for my wagon to clear the exhaust. no longer hangers needed.
    i also run the T2 2" setup and love it. just for info here is my milage info
    base car 75mph 29mpg
    car with just roofracks (king cobra bike mounts) 25mpg
    car with bikes on roof racks 18mpg
    car with bikes on hitch 25mpg

    with my wagon being turbo you use a lot of fuel with bikes on top.
    and some pics




    I think every bike I've seen on a roof rack had the bike going forward. Is there a special reason you mount your rear tire forward?

  26. #26
    Nat
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    Quote Originally Posted by KAH
    I think every bike I've seen on a roof rack had the bike going forward. Is there a special reason you mount your rear tire forward?
    It might be to clear the rear spoiler when the hatch is open. If the bike trays extend rearward too far it'll gouge or break the spoiler.

  27. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nat
    Paranoid, what gold wheels are on your car in this pic?
    those are centerline RPM rims, very lightweight.

    i have the bikes on backwards because of the hatch. if i have it the other way the wing hits the bikes when you open it.

    Shane

  28. #28
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    cool to see other suby owners. i have a 2001 2.5RS sedan. Hopefully be getting a rack/bike come may.

  29. #29
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    Sportworks hitch and Yakima Highrollers. Most of the time I use the Sportworks. Make sure you get the Subaru hitch. I have an aftermarket one and it flexs quite a bit. If going with a roof rack get the factory rails. The round Yakima's make noise.


  30. #30
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    [QUOTE=Nagaredama]Sportworks hitch and Yakima Highrollers. Most of the time I use the Sportworks. Make sure you get the Subaru hitch. I have an aftermarket one and it flexs quite a bit. If going with a roof rack get the factory rails. The round Yakima's make noise.

    i dont think the factory rails are up to the task. they are very thin and bow very easy.
    also, having used both the factory Subaru and after market hitches, they all flex its the 1.25 tubing they use. I beefed mine up when i make it 2" but it still flexes some. i usually put some straps on it coming from the top rack to help support it.

    Shane

  31. #31
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    I'll only be putting one bike on there usually.. and sometimes 2. a 30 pound mountain bike and a 15 pound road bike... I don't believe it'll have much trouble..
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  32. #32
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    My former '05 Subaru WRX, with a Draw-Tite hitch, and Sportworks T2:





    Install your own hitch...don't pay some jackass to do that simple job for you. I'm about as mechanical as a paper cup. If I can do it, YOU can do it.

    The T2 rack worked good. No complaints. But I sold this car/rack for another truck. Loves me my truck....mmmmm.

  33. #33
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    I plan on installing everything myself.. I figure building a bike from the frame up is harder then a hitch. haha...

    So can't wait for my rack and hitch this spring!
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  34. #34
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    Got the hitch and rack installed. I must say, the whole thing went together really well. The hitch fits just about perfectly. The Outside exhaust hanger is a little lower than it should be so my muffler tilts slightly. The underside of the bumped slightly rubs on the hitch right in that corner too, but its nothing to worry about or bother cutting. Unfortunately I needed to remove the tow line anchor on the passenger side of the car. If I had longer bolts I could attach that over the hitch. I'm going to look into a shorter exhaust hanger and longer bolts so I can get that stuff straightened out.. but its really not a big deal I guess.

    The T2 went together super easy. I had it all adjusted to my car and bikes within an hour. I took my time too.. I took the rack with both bikes loaded for a ride down the road yesterday and I'm pleased with how well it handles the wind. Big trucks make it wobble a little but oh well.

    The bikes cover my rear lights a lot though.. I'm debating on getting a lighting system for the rack. Something I could attach easily.

    Anyhow, I'm pleased.. here are some pics!








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  35. #35
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    Shane,

    Where did you get the light bar for the front end I have a 06 and can't find them anywhere.

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