ANOTHER Rack debate....- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    ANOTHER Rack debate....

    Im really in between purchasing a rack right now. Here is the down low

    2010 Honda Civic 4dr
    Free automatic car washes for life
    2 adult bikes and 2 kids bikes must be carried

    I do have an Allen 4 bike carrier for our Jeep. Its kinda shatty becuase it has cloth straps, like the ones on your backpack. lol It also weighs like 30-55pnds its all steel. Id probably have to buy a new light weight hitch carrier if i put a hitch on the Civic.

    I have been looking at Yakima roof racks and trunk racks
    Saris racks
    Also possible going the hitch route also.

    I have heard of people's roof racks being pry'd and stolen.

    I dunno what do you guys think?

    I kinda like the Yakima Super Joe Pro 3....

  2. #2
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    Not to hijack your thread, but I'm kinda in the same boat.
    Just bought a stumpy FSR and not sure the best way to transport a FS bike (HTs seem easier to accomodate)

    I've got a toyota corolla and a sienna minivan

    thoughts anyone????

  3. #3
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    for me...if i dident have a new car id use a trunk rack....i dont know how you feel about your corolla and sienna....are you only lugging around 1 bike?

  4. #4
    ballbuster
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    I still vote hitch rack every day of the week, and twice on Sunday.

    Easy, nothing touches the car's paint, you can secure them with a lock to the frame of the car, and you can easily take it off to run it through your car wash.

    I had a Stumpy FSR-XC for a number of years. Hanging type racks don't play well with this kinda bike. You'll need one of those top tube bars that goes between the stem and saddle. It hangs low and the wheels are likely to hit the ground when you leave driveways. I had a wheel that needed a truing after one of these hits. At least a flatbed type hitch rack will scrape before the bike does, and it doesn't matter what funky shape the frame is.... it will fit.

    The Performance Bike XPort Flatbed is an excellent rack for the dough. You're probably into $200 or so for a hitch receiver and $170 for the rack, unless you find one used. Nice thing is, it folds up easily and fits in your trunk... again, for the car wash.

    On that note, try not to frequent the automated car wash too much, especially with the Japanese car single step paint. It will look dull in no time.

    Yeah, I 'll never do a roof rack again. I had one on my GTi, and the foot pads left 4 dull spots in the otherwise mirror-like black paint. I tried to polish the dull spots out, and only messed up my clear coat which flaked all the way around the roof. I totally ruined the paint on my roof trying to make those little dull spots look good again.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by pimpbot View Post
    I still vote hitch rack every day of the week, and twice on Sunday.

    Easy, nothing touches the car's paint, you can secure them with a lock to the frame of the car, and you can easily take it off to run it through your car wash.

    I had a Stumpy FSR-XC for a number of years. Hanging type racks don't play well with this kinda bike. You'll need one of those top tube bars that goes between the stem and saddle. It hangs low and the wheels are likely to hit the ground when you leave driveways. I had a wheel that needed a truing after one of these hits. At least a flatbed type hitch rack will scrape before the bike does, and it doesn't matter what funky shape the frame is.... it will fit.

    The Performance Bike XPort Flatbed is an excellent rack for the dough. You're probably into $200 or so for a hitch receiver and $170 for the rack, unless you find one used. Nice thing is, it folds up easily and fits in your trunk... again, for the car wash.

    On that note, try not to frequent the automated car wash too much, especially with the Japanese car single step paint. It will look dull in no time.

    Yeah, I 'll never do a roof rack again. I had one on my GTi, and the foot pads left 4 dull spots in the otherwise mirror-like black paint. I tried to polish the dull spots out, and only messed up my clear coat which flaked all the way around the roof. I totally ruined the paint on my roof trying to make those little dull spots look good again.
    what she said
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  6. #6
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    Look at Sea Sucker. If I had the loot, I'd have one of them jokers so fast.
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  7. #7
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    Im a roofrack person, trunk or hitch racks may be a little more convienant, but your 10x more likely to have your bike damaged by either backing into something or getting rear ended, remember, most of the trunk/ hitch racks partially block taillights/ brake lights, just try to collect on insurance when it is proven you got rear ended because the other driver did'nt see your lights or you backed into something, I heard of people not being able to collect for the cost of their bikes.
    A roof rack, which in not totally fool proof, is way more likely to protect your bike.

    Having a roof rack stolen is not so common, about as common as trunk/ hitch racks are stolen

  8. #8
    It's all about the FSR!
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    I would go hitch rack. I have one, and after using a trunk rack, there is no way that I would ever use one again.

  9. #9
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    Well, I currently have all three rack options (roof, trunk and hitch) thanks to the different cars we have and they all have their pros and cons. On our 2008 Civic sedan (same as the OP), we have a Yakima roof rack which is fine since the car is not that tall. I like how secure the bikes seem mounted on it and there are plenty of options if you have odd frame shapes and/or drop outs. The pads do leave a bit of residue on the roof when I take the rack off but it cleans right off with Bug and Tar remover. No scratches in the paint (except where I dropped the rack taking it off once) but I make sure where the rack touches the car is always clean before putting it on. Some people use clear tape to protecttheir paint finish. The fuel economy hit doesn't seem to be bad. We live in a condo so we also have to load and un-load above ground which is also a bit inconvenient too.

    Thanks to my wife's 35 lb cruiser bike and a much taller roof on our Scion xB, we went with a hitch and a Kuat NV. This has been the easiest rack to load and my wife loves it. We're still new to this rack though so my impressions are pretty preliminary. We also bought a Rack Stash and store the rack in our parking spot which makes it handy to get on and off the car quickly.

    The last rack we use is a Saris Bones which goes on my Honda Beat convertible. No one makes a hitch for it and naturally a roof rack wouldn't work so there was no other option. It's my least favourite of the 3 choices as it's 1) a pain to adjust all the straps every time (it's scary watching the trunk bow as you tighten it) and 2) my Ibis isn't a traditional frame style so getting the bike on requires some contortion and twisting. But it does go on.

    So my vote as a preferred option would be a hitch rack, then roof and finally trunk.

    Carl

  10. #10
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    Another vote for a hitch rack. I don't have one yet, but my trunk rack messed up the trunk latch, and it has left some marks on the paint. (see here: http://forums.mtbr.com/car-biker/rac...st8400584.html) I don't want a roof rack for two reasons: First, I park in a garage so it would be a big pain to have to find somewhere to park, take my bike off and secure it, then move my car. Second, any extra drag on my car has a fairly significant effect on mileage. Even a few bikes on the back will cause it to downshift a lot more frequently on the highway.

    I drive an 07 Civic, and U-haul quoted me $174 for a hitch installed, which seems reasonable.
    Matt

  11. #11
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    The problem is: Compact car = 1.25" hitch carrier.

    If you are looking for a 4-bike hitch rack, you will be limited to the hanging types like this:



    There's a good reason for this. Most 1.25" hitches can only handle up to a 200 pound tongue weight.

    The more versatile platform racks that have trays, loops or channels holding the tires, will weigh more.

    My Swagman XC-4 rack weighs 60 pounds all by itself (for the 2" hitch on my Expedition). Add 4 bikes that average 33 pounds each, and that easily adds up to 192 pounds on the hitch receiver.

    If you rig a 2" to 1.25" adapter and put 4 bikes on a platform carrier to mount on your small passenger car, there won't be enough ground clearance. I've tried this on a Forester (which has more ground clearance than a Civic) and that's a no go.

    If you absolutely need 4 bikes to be carried, you may need to go to a custom rack or 2 on the roof, and 2 on a hitch rack.

  12. #12
    ballbuster
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    You mean....

    Quote Originally Posted by Hurricane Jeff View Post
    10x more likely to have your bike damaged by either backing into something or getting rear ended, remember, most of the trunk/ hitch racks partially block taillights/ brake lights....
    .. than driving into a low overhang and shearing your bike off the roof?

    I know anecdote is not data, but I've seen way more instances of bike damage from driving into something with a roof rack. Heck, I lent a couple of roof trays to a bud and he destroyed my trays when driving under a tree that was not trimmed properly.

    How many times have we seen pics like this? How many cars have you seen on the road with bent trays? I don't know about you, but I've seen way too many to count.

    Hijacked from somewhere else off this site:



    Also, if somebody rear ends you, it's their fault even if your brake lights are completely not working. That said, I can see my taillights through the wheels of my bike no problem.

  13. #13
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    +1 pimpbot. I have two Thule trays on a Yakima roof rack. One time, I forgot my bike was on top and drove under my car port. I ripped the bike off the rack. Fortunately, it only damaged my car (minor scratches) and nothing else.

    This is exactly why I wanted to move to a hitch rack. Unfortunately, I couldn't find a hitch (only a tongue for a ball, and there aren't any ball mount racks in the US like there are in Europe) for my 91 Civic, so I had to get a trunk rack. I also wanted a tray rack because I didn't want to fiddle with an adapter (which I have for a Softride hitch rack). I went with the Thule 9003 Raceway. Now, I don't have to worry about driving under my car port.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by pimpbot View Post
    .. than driving into a low overhang and shearing your bike off the roof?

    I know anecdote is not data, but I've seen way more instances of bike damage from driving into something with a roof rack. Heck, I lent a couple of roof trays to a bud and he destroyed my trays when driving under a tree that was not trimmed properly.

    How many times have we seen pics like this? How many cars have you seen on the road with bent trays? I don't know about you, but I've seen way too many to count.

    Also, if somebody rear ends you, it's their fault even if your brake lights are completely not working. That said, I can see my taillights through the wheels of my bike no problem.
    What pimpbot said. I've seen/heard of far more instances of people forgetting their bikes are on the roof and driving into their garage or a drive-thru than I ever have of people getting rear ended with a bike on the back. In our riding group alone there were 3 different people who did it in 1 season. Getting rear ended happens, but I wouldn't make my choice based on the possibility of an accident, as accidents aren't everyday occurrences. I could just as easily say one could flip their vehicle and destroy the bikes if they're on the roof.

    If you're backing into sh*t with your car, you're an idiot and shouldn't be driving (bike rack or no). You're probably also the same person who would leave the scene without notifying anyone. There's a saying I use a lot, especially for people in the massive SUVs... "If you can't park it, don't drive it." This holds true for backing out of your parking space as well.

    A tray style hitch rack is just so much more convenient and easy, more so if you have a tall vehicle. I do have 2 Yakima FrontLoader roof racks, but I only use them if I'm carrying more than 2 bikes. Then it's 2 on the hitch and the rest on the roof.

    Trunk racks are by far the worst option. They do damage to your vehicle and move/sway a lot. A lot of times they also need checking/readjustment of straps whenever you stop. People only use them because they are the quickest and cheapest option, and require no skills/tools to install.
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  15. #15
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    I have a Saris Bones three. I dont use it anymore because I have a truck now. It did fine for the MTB and BMX.

    If anyone wants to buy used, PM me.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by BaeckerX1 View Post
    ... Trunk racks are by far the worst option. They do damage to your vehicle and move/sway a lot. A lot of times they also need checking/readjustment of straps whenever you stop. People only use them because they are the quickest and cheapest option, and require no skills/tools to install.
    Wrong. My Thule 9003 Raceway was not the cheapest option. I have carried two bikes on it and it is very secure. The cables don't need tightening or adjustment after an installation. It's more secure than my roof rack trays/support arms.

    Perhaps you didn't read my previous post. There is no hitch available (that I could find) for my vehicle. In my case, the trunk rack was the best option.

  17. #17
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    So your stupid if you back into something with your bikes on a rear rack, but not if you drive,, say into a parking garage?

    I have been in the bike biz with the Fork Up products for many years and have heard all kinds of horror stories regarding bikes in the rack, and most of those involved trunk or hitch type racks. Roof rack icident obvisiously do happen, but I'll bet it happens10x more to hitch/ trunk rack users.

  18. #18
    ballbuster
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    Well, obviously...

    Quote Originally Posted by Hurricane Jeff View Post
    So your stupid if you back into something with your bikes on a rear rack, but not if you drive,, say into a parking garage?

    I have been in the bike biz with the Fork Up products for many years and have heard all kinds of horror stories regarding bikes in the rack, and most of those involved trunk or hitch type racks. Roof rack icident obvisiously do happen, but I'll bet it happens10x more to hitch/ trunk rack users.
    ... both are stupid mistakes. Hey, we're a stupid people... I'll be the first to admit it. Mistakes happen all over the place.

    Difference is, with a hitch rack, you're looking at the bikes in your rear view mirror the whole ride. It's much harder to gauge your clearance with roof racks than with a hitch rack. I can see the end of my hitch rack by turning my head or looking out the window. I only have my sunroof to peek through for the roof racks. Many cars don't even have that.

    And my guess would be that roof rack accidents happen 10 times more than hitch rack accidents, judging by all the bent trays I see on cars, and how often my riding buddies get 'the roof rack prize'.

  19. #19
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    roof racks for sedans/coupes, hitches for wagons and trucks, minivan put all the bikes inside!

  20. #20
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    What do you guys think of the brand INNO?

  21. #21
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    I use an XC Swagman with a 2008 Honda Civic, and I'm not sure 4 bikes would really be a problem.

    I think they make the Swagman for 1 1/4 recievers(not positive about the 4 bike rack), no adapter required, that also drops the weight of the apparatus. I can stand on the back of mine and it doesn't really drop the car that much (and that definitely exceeds the 200lb weight limit.) 4 Bikes plus your swagman 4 bike rack should be under the limit.

    I'd say if you have a hitch (about 80 bucks and easily installable yourself) and can drive somewhere and stick a swagman on and try it out, that'll be the most convenient way to go.
    Swagman is super easy load/unload (15 seconds per bike) , super secure, easily lockable, and you can open your trunk all the way with the bike(s) in the rack. My 2 cents..

    Also might checkout the Swagman XP , looks like a 1 1/4" mount 4 bike rack that holds the bikes a little higher from the road.
    Last edited by EclipseRoadie; 09-11-2011 at 06:15 AM. Reason: Typos

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