Bike falls off of Sportrack XC2- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Bike falls off of Sportrack XC2

    I have the Sportrack XC2(?) http://www.etrailer.com/Hitch-Bike-R...ck/A30901.html

    my bike would have fallen off the back of my car at highway speeds if i didn't have a cable lock around it. that was the only thing holding it up as i drove 60-70mph on the highway.

    I am 100% sure that i tightened the hook around the top tube securing the bike to the "farther" tray away from my trunk. As i drove i checked the bike in the rearview and my bike was in a different position as when i first checked it, so i pulled over.

    Long story short, the hook automatically moves itself up as i drive at highway speeds after 10 mins. It has happened more than 3 times where i've needed to pull over the highway and move the top tube hook back down and re-tighten. Trust me, i tighten it REAL GOOD.

    My temp solution is to use bungee straps:
    -one of them to tie down the top hook's tightening knob to the bottom hook's knob to keep the hook from going up and releasing the bike.
    -another to bungee my frame to the frame of the bike that i usually have on the inside tray.

    I bought my Sportrack from etrailer. I do not want to pack it up and ship it back. Whats am i to do?
    RH SL Pro

  2. #2
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    Hard to improve on a poor design. Looks pretty wimpy. Sometimes you get what you pay for.
    "...the people get the government they deserve..."
    suum quique

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bikinfoolferlife
    Hard to improve on a poor design. Looks pretty wimpy. Sometimes you get what you pay for.
    It's not really wimpy, and not a poor design. Take your trolling withu and leave thanks
    RH SL Pro

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by louisssss

    I bought my Sportrack from etrailer. I do not want to pack it up and ship it back. Whats am i to do?
    I checked the web for similar problems and I found one person's solution:

    My temp solution is to use bungee straps:
    -one of them to tie down the top hook's tightening knob to the bottom hook's knob to keep the hook from going up and releasing the bike.
    -another to bungee my frame to the frame of the bike that i usually have on the inside tray.

  5. #5
    Old man on a bike
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    Quote Originally Posted by louisssss
    It's not really wimpy, and not a poor design. Take your trolling withu and leave thanks
    It is really wimpy (max cap 90 lbs, rack weight 30 lbs) and it is a poor design (or you wouldn't be looking for a fix). You don't want to listen that's your business. I have transported bikes personally and professionally, have somewhere over 100,000 miles doing so. You?
    "...the people get the government they deserve..."
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  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by louisssss
    I have the Sportrack XC2(?) http://www.etrailer.com/Hitch-Bike-R...ck/A30901.html

    my bike would have fallen off the back of my car at highway speeds if i didn't have a cable lock around it. that was the only thing holding it up as i drove 60-70mph on the highway.

    I am 100% sure that i tightened the hook around the top tube securing the bike to the "farther" tray away from my trunk. As i drove i checked the bike in the rearview and my bike was in a different position as when i first checked it, so i pulled over.

    Long story short, the hook automatically moves itself up as i drive at highway speeds after 10 mins. It has happened more than 3 times where i've needed to pull over the highway and move the top tube hook back down and re-tighten. Trust me, i tighten it REAL GOOD.

    My temp solution is to use bungee straps:
    -one of them to tie down the top hook's tightening knob to the bottom hook's knob to keep the hook from going up and releasing the bike.
    -another to bungee my frame to the frame of the bike that i usually have on the inside tray.

    I bought my Sportrack from etrailer. I do not want to pack it up and ship it back. Whats am i to do?
    i have the xport from performance- pretty much the same thing. i've never had issues like you- i wonder if something is wrong with the nuts since you're getting them tight. does make me be a little more cautious so i appreciate you posting this. is there a way you can bungee the hook to the bottom of the rack so it can't move up? not sure if that will work as i think through it.

    good luck and provide some updates/ideas.

    and yes, it's a cheaper rack, but something like this shouldn't happen and i haven't heard of it happening outside of your situation.
    - 1995 Giant ATX 870
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  7. #7
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    i have a swagman xc and its design is similar except for the hook on the top clicks down like a zip tie and you have to put it down and push in to get it to release. maybe you could buy that part from swagman.

  8. #8
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    I bought one of these for the price and simplicity. I have only transported a single bike so far. I put it on the inside spot and put the outer hook above the inner one and tighten it down right above the inner one so I have two points securing the hook for my bike. Plenty of miles this way over some rough roads and no problems. I still need to come up with a solution for when I carry two bikes to ensure they both stay locked in.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bikinfoolferlife
    It is really wimpy (max cap 90 lbs, rack weight 30 lbs) and it is a poor design (or you wouldn't be looking for a fix). You don't want to listen that's your business. I have transported bikes personally and professionally, have somewhere over 100,000 miles doing so. You?
    yep i'm going to go ahead and not listen to you. max cap of 90lbs = perfect, my bike weighs 25 and my gf's weigh 27.
    Rack Weight = 30 lbs, good it doesn't weigh down my car.

    i'm glad you drive bikes around professionally. You must be good at your job. I drive my bike to and from the trail. i dont get paid for it, if you must know.

    I do not need a professional method of transporting bikes. They just need to stay on the rack.
    RH SL Pro

  10. #10
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    I'd also check the tire clearance too. My friend has either the same or similar design it doesn't fit the 2.35" tire without deflating the air a bit. Have you encounter that so far?

  11. #11
    ronbo613
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    I have a swagman xc and its design is similar except for the hook on the top clicks down like a zip tie and you have to put it down and push in to get it to release. maybe you could buy that part from swagman.
    Same here; I have no such problems either using 2.35 tires.

  12. #12
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    I have the Hollywood version for 4 bikes w/ 2" receiver. I love it, I can make it a 2 biker if that's all I am taking that day or 4 for group outing. There was one time I forgot to tighten the top hold downs on my daughters BMX race bikes and drove 4 hours to a race and the bikes were still secure in the rack. You might need to create a larger width split at the clamping area. It might be contacting together BEFORE actually tightening on the vertical post. Also do use use the velcro straps for the wheels to prevent bike shift on turns?

  13. #13
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    It's unfortunate that you haven't been able to solicit much in the way of advice from your post. I'll have a go at it but I'm not sure if you'll like my idea or not.

    There are two options I can think of. One is to get the hook into position where it would be with the bike on the rack and drill a small hole through the clamp and the vertical bar which would allow you to insert a locking pin through the hole. I'd suggest not making the hole to large so that it doesn't affect the structural integrity too much.

    The other option would be to apply a coarse material (like a fine sand paper) with adhesive to the bar so that when you clamp the hook down, it is less likely to slide compared to the way it does on the smooth surface now. You might even be able to apply the same surface to the inner surface of the hook apparatus to make even more resistance to sliding. The drawback is that it may be more difficult to move the hook up and down or it may not loosen enough to be able to slide once this rough surface is applied.

    Good luck with it.

  14. #14
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    Okay, some real first hand advice on this issue

    Quote Originally Posted by louisssss
    I have the Sportrack XC2(?) https://www.etrailer.com/Hitch-Bike-...ck/A30901.html


    my bike would have fallen off the back of my car at highway speeds if i didn't have a cable lock around it. that was the only thing holding it up as i drove 60-70mph on the highway.

    I am 100% sure that i tightened the hook around the top tube securing the bike to the "farther" tray away from my trunk. As i drove i checked the bike in the rearview and my bike was in a different position as when i first checked it, so i pulled over.

    Long story short, the hook automatically moves itself up as i drive at highway speeds after 10 mins. It has happened more than 3 times where i've needed to pull over the highway and move the top tube hook back down and re-tighten. Trust me, i tighten it REAL GOOD.

    My temp solution is to use bungee straps:
    -one of them to tie down the top hook's tightening knob to the bottom hook's knob to keep the hook from going up and releasing the bike.
    -another to bungee my frame to the frame of the bike that i usually have on the inside tray.

    I bought my Sportrack from etrailer. I do not want to pack it up and ship it back. Whats am i to do?
    I have a Performance BIke XPort Flatbed that had this exact issue.

    Turns out it was plastic dust collecting under the hook clamps. I'll bet if you take the hooks off, you will find that the plastic where it meets the vertical bar has worn a bit, leaving a slippery coat of plastic dust. Clean that out with a damp rag and I'll bet you'll be good to go.

    I got my XPort Flatbed (the same rack) from Performance. They just swapped it out without a receipt for me.

    Also, the knobs are prone to stripping. They later changed the knob with one of a different thread pitch which seemed to fix the issue.

    For added extra credit safety, I drape my U-Lock over the top of the vertical and around the bike. If the hook did come loose again (which it hasn't in the last 2 years, probably 40-50 bike trips) the U-lock would prevent a disaster.

    Other than that rub, its a great rack. I would still recommend it.

    <a href="https://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/3LwF6uktn9GnZlUioqvVbw?feat=embedwebsite"><img src="https://lh5.ggpht.com/_zZ7tZYTZu1o/S5MKPARJfOI/AAAAAAAANVk/94Az6GaNYOM/s800/IMG_0363.JPG" /></a>

    Yeah, I stopped paying attention to BFFL. He doesn't have much positive to say.... bags on everything. If he thinks that its wimpy from a photo, he should see the failed T2s out there. T2s are expensive and built like tanks, but there have been some failures of those too.
    Last edited by pimpbot; 03-24-2010 at 09:04 AM.

  15. #15
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    louisssss,

    My name is Patrick at etrailer.com. We have seen the problem you are experiencing before and have a solution for you. We will send you out a set of replacement hook assemblies. Check your message box on MTBR and we'll get these out to you as soon as we can.

    Patrick B
    etrailer.com
    etrailer.com
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  16. #16
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    Now that's TOP SERVICE!! I've been looking at buying a hitch and bike rack for my Honda Fit and now I know where I'm going to buy them!
    Last edited by soccerdude; 03-24-2010 at 08:45 AM.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by etrailer.com
    louisssss,

    My name is Patrick at etrailer.com. We have seen the problem you are experiencing before and have a solution for you. We will send you out a set of replacement hook assemblies. Check your message box on MTBR and we'll get these out to you as soon as we can.

    Patrick B
    etrailer.com

    Nice!
    Oh noes. I'm going to drink the Kool-Aid.

  18. #18
    ronbo613
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    Quote:
    Originally Posted by etrailer.com
    louisssss,

    My name is Patrick at etrailer.com. We have seen the problem you are experiencing before and have a solution for you. We will send you out a set of replacement hook assemblies. Check your message box on MTBR and we'll get these out to you as soon as we can.

    Patrick B
    etrailer.com


    Nice!
    I second that!
    That's where I got my Swagman rack; great to see this kind of response and customer service.

  19. #19
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    Pat I sent u an email. You're the man. I look forward to giving you guys more business. I can't believe you made the account for that post.
    I just need a little reason to spend more!
    RH SL Pro

  20. #20
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    You get what you pay for! Why would anyone with a high dollar bike want a rack where you have to accept " a little rub"? Don't be a [email protected], pony up and buy a better rack. Etrailer probably sells those too....

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by pimpbot

    Yeah, I stopped paying attention to BFFL. He doesn't have much positive to say.... bags on everything.
    Watch out if you disagree with foolferlife, he'll challenge you to a backyard biking showdown. I'm serious he's a little out there...

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by mtnbiker1973
    You get what you pay for! Why would anyone with a high dollar bike want a rack where you have to accept " a little rub"? Don't be a [email protected], pony up and buy a better rack. Etrailer probably sells those too....
    Biking isn't my #1 hobby and neither is having an idiot Internet financial manager. Did I ask you for advice on where to spend money.

    I'll buy what I want, when I want and you can stfu.
    RH SL Pro

  23. #23
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    lmao

    Quote Originally Posted by Dictatorsaurus
    Watch out if you disagree with foolferlife, he'll challenge you to a backyard biking showdown. I'm serious he's a little out there...
    THanks for the heads up.

    ... and not all of us have endless cash to blow on whatever we like. I'd rather spend the dough on bike parts than the rack. The rack is fine. I'd rather look good on the trail instead of the the parking lot.

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by pimpbot
    THanks for the heads up.

    ... and not all of us have endless cash to blow on whatever we like. I'd rather spend the dough on bike parts than the rack. The rack is fine. I'd rather look good on the trail instead of the the parking lot.
    i'd rather have a life than overspend on a bike rack that i use at the most once a week
    RH SL Pro

  25. #25
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    I too have had the slippage with the same rack I bought on Etrailer. Slowing down seemed to help, but not solve the problem, on highways. I was wondering if it had to do with aerodynamics on a car vs an SUV, where mine doesn't slip at all, just on the Jetta.

    Any better suggestions/solutions that are more permanent?

  26. #26
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    Upgrade the hooks to the XTC ratchet type.
    Sorry I was thinking Swagman not Sportrack, although I think it would still work

  27. #27
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    Nice to see they are taking care of you.
    The thing I was going to mention was "get ahold of the place you bought it from & see what they say".

  28. #28
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    I've got the hollywood version of that rack. I had it happen to me and found that the problem was with the knobs you use to tighten the hook with. It was just a wear issue, with use the locking nut in the knob started rotating in the knob. It felt like I was tightening it but it want actually tightening. I was able to buy a set of knobs and bolts from the hardware store to replace them. New knobs and it works fine again. I bought a couple of spares for the glove box and keep an eye on it. Otherwise very happy with the rack because the 30 lb weight doesn't drag down my Civic and it fits in my trunk when folded up.

  29. #29
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    I have the swagman XTC, which is similar to that rack and my hooks ratchet down and are release by pushing a lever. The only knobs on the thing are for the wheel loops. The hooks hold very solid.

  30. #30
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    louisssss , did the replacement hook assemblies fix the problem for you? I am considering ordering the same rack from etrailer?

  31. #31
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    I have the same rack and the bolts in the hook assemblies are all worn out. I am going to contact Etrailer and see what they say...

  32. #32
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    If your bike has a sloping top tube this can cause the hook to move to one side as you push it down onto the bike frame. This prevents the clamp mechanism from tightening properly when you turn the knob. It will appear the clamp is tight when it really isn't.
    Make sure the hook remains vertical and doesn't move to one side when it is pushed against the top tube of your bike.

  33. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hill_Lover
    I have the same rack and the bolts in the hook assemblies are all worn out. I am going to contact Etrailer and see what they say...
    Update: I did not get the extra mile in after sales service that the OP got. They want me to ship the rack back which does not make sense at all given this at most would be a $5 dollar fix vs shipping costs, time without the rack et al.

    Off to the hardware store...

  34. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by Moustache rider
    If your bike has a sloping top tube this can cause the hook to move to one side as you push it down onto the bike frame. This prevents the clamp mechanism from tightening properly when you turn the knob. It will appear the clamp is tight when it really isn't.
    Make sure the hook remains vertical and doesn't move to one side when it is pushed against the top tube of your bike.
    I know that. The problem is that the bolts and knob are made out of different materials which causes the bolts to wear out faster. I cannot find the review i read this in right now though. Although to be fair, I knew this when i bought the rack but i thought that was with heavy use. I expected to get at least three years out of them instead of 11 months with very moderate use of maybe once a week if that.

  35. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hill_Lover
    I know that. The problem is that the bolts and knob are made out of different materials which causes the bolts to wear out faster. I cannot find the review i read this in right now though. Although to be fair, I knew this when i bought the rack but i thought that was with heavy use. I expected to get at least three years out of them instead of 11 months with very moderate use of maybe once a week if that.
    I wasn't responding to you specifically. More a general suggestion to people that have had this rack loosen up on a potential cause.

  36. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by vtsteevo
    louisssss , did the replacement hook assemblies fix the problem for you? I am considering ordering the same rack from etrailer?
    i didn't bother installing them, i got a thule t2 instead. Now to deal with rust problems...
    and this **** weighs 60 lbs so its a ***** to take off and put in garage.
    RH SL Pro

  37. #37
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    Been using this rack pretty heavily all year so far, and its been holding up great. Only issue is one of the velcro straps got a slight tear in it, but that's more of a user issue.
    Oh noes. I'm going to drink the Kool-Aid.

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