Good bike carrier for Jeep Wrangler- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Good bike carrier for Jeep Wrangler

    Hey all, I am growing tired of putting a bike in the back of my wrangler and was wanting to get a good spare tire mounted rack or a 2 inch receiver rack for around 100-150 bucks.

    I need something though that will hold a bike on tight without coming lose at 80 mph because I will be taking my bike to Cleveland, OH area and driving from Southeast OH and traveling on the interstate.

    I don't want to buy a $600 or so bike and then have it drop off my wrangler on Interstate 77

  2. #2
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    you need to decide budget and style - platform (like in my VW post earlier) or one that hangs the bike from the top tube. also you need to decide if you'll be carrying bikes with funky curved top tubes etc. that would determine the style you would buy. Just go to rackoutfitters.com and review your options plus they demonstrate on video all the popular racks. you can spend form a little over $100 to $400.

  3. #3
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    I have a Thule T2 on my Wrangler and I have driven all over the country with it with no worries.

    Be aware that your spare tire may cause some clearance problems with a hitch mount carrier; I have an oversize spare (33 x12.50) and had to get a draw bar extension.

    I would, if at all possible, avoid a spare mount bike carrier, as I have seem several Jeeps with tailgate damage from mounting oversize spares on the factory tailgate hinges. Point is, the factory hinges are designed for "X" amount of weight. If you throw a bike carrier on the spare along with a 28 pound bike or two and you are asking for problems.

    The T2 is expensive, but there is a reason for it. The confidence it gives me when transporting bikes worth more than my Jeep is worth it. Plus it's really simple to operate and speeds up the whoel process.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Wrench
    I have a Thule T2 on my Wrangler and I have driven all over the country with it with no worries.

    Be aware that your spare tire may cause some clearance problems with a hitch mount carrier; I have an oversize spare (33 x12.50) and had to get a draw bar extension.

    I would, if at all possible, avoid a spare mount bike carrier, as I have seem several Jeeps with tailgate damage from mounting oversize spares on the factory tailgate hinges. Point is, the factory hinges are designed for "X" amount of weight. If you throw a bike carrier on the spare along with a 28 pound bike or two and you are asking for problems.

    The T2 is expensive, but there is a reason for it. The confidence it gives me when transporting bikes worth more than my Jeep is worth it. Plus it's really simple to operate and speeds up the whoel process.
    Ditto. I have a T2 on my wrangler as well. Super easy to load bike on and off.

    Go for the hitch mounted rack. Although T2 is out of your price range, check local classifieds, like craigslist, and you may find cheaper options. As folks trade in their bike cars and SUVs the racks get sold there.

    My wife as a rack similar to the Thule Parkway 2 bike hitch mount with the anti sway attachments that works pretty well.

  5. #5
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    I have to agree with the above as well. I initially went with a spare tire type on my wrangler and with one bike on it it wasn't too bad but it really flexed the door with two so i figured even with one it was not a good option long term. I went with the Saris version but regardless if you want piece of mind, a platform type is the way to go, you wont regret the investment. if you are bound and determined to go with a spare tire type, I can make you a sweet deal on a nice Yakima Spare Roc rack, even throw in the bar to use with odd shaped frames. Im in PA but head to Cleveland somewhat often and we could arrange a drop point.

  6. #6
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    If you are wanting a rack for $100-$150, go to performance and get the Xport Flatbed 2 for $129 (on sale right now). I have used the T2 on a friends vehicle but I went with the flatbed because it is considerably cheaper and works just as well. I have had mine for several months now and have zero complaints. It is actually a Sportrack 2EZ with a Xport logo on it and the manufacturer is owned by Thule.
    Links to both:

    http://www.orsracksdirect.com/sportr...ck-a30901.html

    http://www.performancebike.com/shop/...tegory_ID=4411

  7. #7
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    Oh, I forgot to state that I have a wrangler as well and have no clearance issues.

  8. #8
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    Yes, but what year Wrangler? I can say with confidence that you need a hitch extension of some kind if you want a T2 on your '08 (and I can only assume '07) Wrangler and don't count on being able to open the rear door.

    Omitting this got me confused enough to waste my and three REI employees time trying to put a rack on my car that wouldn't fit. And the most infuriating part is that it doesn't fit by, oh, about an 1/8th of an inch.

    The Wrangler seems to be the most common bike rack problem on these boards and yet no on manufactures a clean platform solution. Seems I could start a company that only makes Wrangler rack solutions and I would make a forturne.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by MisterC
    Yes, but what year Wrangler? I can say with confidence that you need a hitch extension of some kind if you want a T2 on your '08 (and I can only assume '07) Wrangler and don't count on being able to open the rear door.

    Omitting this got me confused enough to waste my and three REI employees time trying to put a rack on my car that wouldn't fit. And the most infuriating part is that it doesn't fit by, oh, about an 1/8th of an inch.

    The Wrangler seems to be the most common bike rack problem on these boards and yet no on manufactures a clean platform solution. Seems I could start a company that only makes Wrangler rack solutions and I would make a forturne.
    It is an '07

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by MisterC
    And the most infuriating part is that it doesn't fit by, oh, about an 1/8th of an inch.
    Sounds like a job for a Dremel tool

    My Wrangler is an '03, with 30 inch tires. The T2 works great. Anyway to move the receiver hitch to get around the problem?

  11. #11
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    Just buy a receiver extension

  12. #12
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    Is that possible? That they installed the hitch further back on my car? I wouldn't think so.

    So you have no clearance issues folding it up and down and opening your rear door? Do you have pictures maybe?

    I'm just going to have to ask around the local shops to see if anyone has experience with the platform on the Wrangler. REI was certainly clueless.

  13. #13
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    If you are wanting a rack for $100-$150, go to performance and get the Xport Flatbed 2 for $129 (on sale right now). I have used the T2 on a friends vehicle but I went with the flatbed because it is considerably cheaper and works just as well. I have had mine for several months now and have zero complaints. It is actually a Sportrack 2EZ with a Xport logo on it and the manufacturer is owned by Thule.
    Links to both:

    http://www.orsracksdirect.com/sportr...ck-a30901.html

    http://www.performancebike.com/shop/...tegory_ID=4411
    So you have had no problems with the Xport model? The thule is on sale right now, but is still more expensive than the the xport one.

    Also my other question is, will the hoops hold a 29er? I know the tires are a bit bigger and want to be sure it will work if I ever get a 29er (probably will this summer)

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by rfields4013
    Oh, I forgot to state that I have a wrangler as well and have no clearance issues.
    Which wheels/tires do you have? You have no clearance issues with a stock T2, no extension? I had heard numerous issues with folding it. My old Sportworks didn't clear quite clear the tire on my 2007 Sahara with the 18" wheels.

  15. #15
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    Saris Cycle-On Pro

    I have a 2007 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited (JK) Sahara with the stock 18" wheels and tires (32.5"). When I bought it I had a Sportworks Transport, but the spare sat right on top of tilting mechanism. The tire hoops also didn't fit my new 29er, so I sold it. I've asked around for a year for a good solution.

    There are a variety of post-style racks from the likes of Hollywood and Allen designed to extend past a rear-mounted spare, but I really wanted a pltform-style rack. RackAttack recommended I just get a Wilderness Rack and then use roof mount style attachments. On the advice of RackOutfitters and after reading reviews there and a Sicklines.com, I bought the Saris Cycle-On Pro. I just installed it yesterday, so these are my inital thoughts.

    Pros:
    - It fits my Wrangler, both in the loaded and stowed (folded-up) positions without the use of an extension; I've got a couple extra inches of both diameter and width to play with if I were to put larger tires on
    - The "hassle-free hitch" is a nice feature, enabling the rack to be installed and removed without tools (after initial assembly)
    - The wheel trays support the bike well enough for it to stand without holding it
    - Though it doesn't have the T2s adjustability, I like that the bike trays are welded: less things to come loose (I'm sure that opinion will change if on eever becomes damaged)
    - I like the solid, wratcheting rear wheel holders over straps
    - My 29er and my road bike are both held securely (I'm likely going to get the 2 bike add-on, so I can carry my wife and childrens' bikes too)

    Cons:
    - I cannot open the rear of the Wrangler with the rack mounted, not even enough to reach small items in and out; a fold down mechanism like the T2 wouldn't help much, as that mechanism itself is what would be in the way
    - The arms that hold the wheels are different from the Thule and Yakima designs: the whole arms slides up and down rather than the cradle part sliding up and down on the arm. The then requires that smaller bikes be mounted closer to the vehicle to avoid the arm from hitting the ground. It can also come all the way out.
    - To carry small bikes (like a kids' 20") the front wheel trays have to be mounted closer together, so the same tray could not be used for a 20" bike and my 29er without remounting the trays.

    I'll perhaps update this later as I use the rack more. It seems to hold as securely as my SPortworks did. I'm not sure I'm sold on the front wheel arms having a pre-determined angle, but I do like that it doesn't sit up against my brakes.

  16. #16
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    I ended up geting the Sport Rack hitch mounted bike carrier.

    I love it. The two bike model is quite nice. I of course made a few adjustments with some work to make the bike carrier even more sturdy.

    I took the wing nuts off the bike trays and replaced them with some heavy duty washers and just use a socket if I ever need to move the wheel hoops back and forth.

    I took the plastic tube ends off that had the velcro mechanism and drilled the frame ends and added some sturdy tie downs.

    This bike rack is bomb proof now with some work.

    The original was probably good enough, but I drive my wrangler like a bat out of hell sometimes.

  17. #17
    Braaaapp!
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    Quote Originally Posted by DrNickels
    I ended up geting the Sport Rack hitch mounted bike carrier.

    I love it. The two bike model is quite nice. I of course made a few adjustments with some work to make the bike carrier even more sturdy.

    I took the wing nuts off the bike trays and replaced them with some heavy duty washers and just use a socket if I ever need to move the wheel hoops back and forth.

    I took the plastic tube ends off that had the velcro mechanism and drilled the frame ends and added some sturdy tie downs.

    This bike rack is bomb proof now with some work.

    The original was probably good enough, but I drive my wrangler like a bat out of hell sometimes.
    I have the same one, use it on both my 01 Wrangler and my gf's 07 Passat. No complaints so far.

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