Carrying the family bikes

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  • 04-07-2010
    dnlwthrn
    Carrying the family bikes
    So I have a dilema... My youngest son is getting bigger, and will be moving up to a 20" wheeled bike soon. Now I need to figure out how to carry 5 bikes on the outside of my van. Currently using a cheaper, dept. store hitch rack for 4 bikes.

    I'm planning on replacing the hitch rack with a better setup.

    Here's what I'm considering:
    Hitch rack for 5 bikes
    Hitch rack for 3 kids bikes, roof rack for adult bikes.

    Minivan has factory roof rack, hitch. Ideally, I'd go with a T2 or Holdup setup for 4 bikes and then 1 or 2 fork mounts for the factory rack.

    What's the general consensus on the T2 v. Holdup? Will both work with kids' bikes (20" bmx bikes, 24" mtn. bikes)?

    How about the roof mount setups? Looks like I can get the Forklift for $125, but then there's the Thule Prologue setup for $179 that would give me two mounts?

    Alternatively, what's the "best" 5 bike hitch rack?
    Too many choices...
  • 04-07-2010
    cracksandracks.com
    here is some information on the t2 and the holdup that we have written about in the past....keep in mind, the updated t2 now includes lock cylinders. the advantage to all of the tray style/platform style bike racks is that they will carry kids bikes up to 29'er bikes no problem.

    here is also a good deal on a 5 bike rack. the problem ultimately with a 5 bike rack, that some people complain about is that it can be hard to stuff 5 bikes on there without a tangled mess of pedals and handlebars.
    if you're already using a 4 bike rack, then adding a 5th bike may not be that hard for you.

    if you are considering mounting on the roof, keep this one thing in mind....not all factory crossbars are created equally...not knowing what kind of van you have, i can't say for sure, but i would climb up in the door, grab on to one of those factory crossbars and torque it side to side and see how stable it is...
    for example, older model jeep grand cherokees had the worst factory xbars ever, and i wouldn't be comfortable mounting any bike up there....
  • 04-07-2010
    dnlwthrn
    Thanks Scott.

    Currently driving a Ford Windstar, but will be replacing it shortly and am looking at Chrysler (both Caravan and T&C). Isn't it also possible to put towers/load bars on the factory tracks?
  • 04-07-2010
    cracksandracks.com
    yes, you can mount into the factory tracks on the windstar and the grand caravan/tc.
    they would use the control tower with landing pads.
    however, the windstar uses a landing pad1, while the grand caravan - with factory tracks (01-07) - uses a landing pad 4....both use the same bar length of 48".
    some of those grand caravans 08-10 have an elevated siderail that has no fit, so watch out!
  • 04-07-2010
    dnlwthrn
    Yeah, I noticed that when looking at them...
  • 04-19-2010
    dnlwthrn
    Just to update the world, I went with a Thule Roadway 915 5 bike hitch rack. Cost wise, this was a no brainer. Sure it'd be nice to have the tray setup like the T2, Holdup, or Kuat NV, but for $600+ and only 4 bikes I couldn't justify it. We'll see how the rack does this weekend on its maiden voyage...