Need help choosing a bike rack.- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Need help choosing a bike rack.

    I just bought my first real mountain bike and thought I could get by with just throwing the bike in the back of my car or SUV. I haven't tried the car yet but I rather put it on a rack than to throw it in the back.

    I own a 2007 Toyota 4runner without a hitch and a 2003 Mazda 6 Sedan with a spoiler.

    I don't know if I should:

    1) Buy a hitch and a bike rack for 4runner
    2) Buy a roof rack attachment for 4runner
    3) Buy a bike rack for my Mazda 6 that will fit the 4runner also.

    I am looking for the cheapest option but do not want to buy a POS.
    I plan on buying trading in my Mazda for another SUV or a pickup in about 2 years. I don't know if any trunk mount racks would fit my car because of the spoiler and I would want it to fit the 4runner also.

  2. #2
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    does your 4 runner have a roof rack - with crossbars- that you could use to attach a bike rack to? if so, this may be a really good option for you...something like the rocky mounts tierod, the yakima frontloader, or the thule sidearm. these will all 3 attach directly to your factory crossbars, and the 4 runner has adequate bars for this. there are other racks that fit on factory bars too. with this option, you can use up to 2 bikes.

    both of your vehicles currently will take a trunk rack, but will require the use of an adapter on the mazda. i can't confirm about the spoiler, though...was it aftermarket? the yakima king joe works over the spoiler, but again, you're going to be using adapters.
    if moving the rack between vehicles is what you're thinking, you're going to be spending alot of time readjusting it for either vehicle.

    the hitch is a great option for the 4runner because it will make loading and unloading the easiest. you can pretty much take your pick of the bike racks for the hitch, because access to the rear, while most of the bike racks will allow for some, isn't so important because of the sliding rear glass (unless you're loading a dog in the back alot).

  3. #3
    jrm
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    Cheapest & Secure

    <img src=http://forums.mtbr.com/attachment.php?attachmentid=527230&d=1268451418>

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by jrm
    <img src=http://forums.mtbr.com/attachment.php?attachmentid=527230&d=1268451418>
    That looks nice. I will only be able to do that in the 4runner and my wife can't drive my car (manual and yes I tried to teach her).

    Is the 2x4 secure in anyway?

    What are those brackets that you have the bikes attached to?

  5. #5
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    locking fork mount


  6. #6
    jrm
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    In my 3rd gen 4runner

    Quote Originally Posted by joepa150
    That looks nice. I will only be able to do that in the 4runner and my wife can't drive my car (manual and yes I tried to teach her).

    Is the 2x4 secure in anyway?

    What are those brackets that you have the bikes attached to?
    Im just using two cheap qr's bolted to a piece of plywood. The plywood is held in place by bungies using the cargo tie downs in the cargo area.

  7. #7
    ballbuster
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    Yeah, works great

    Quote Originally Posted by jrm
    Im just using two cheap qr's bolted to a piece of plywood. The plywood is held in place by bungies using the cargo tie downs in the cargo area.
    Those fork mounts can be had for $10-15 each. Just screw them to a piece of wood roughly the width of the rear cargo area to keep your bikes from tipping over.

    I'm all for hitch racks. Nothing touches the car, not much loss in gas mileage if any. I noticed a small gas mileage hit on my Audi A4 sedan, but my old GTI had no hit. Bikes were behind the roofline on the GTi, but stick up a bit over the trunk of the A4. The primary downside is that it's just sticking out there for somebody to rear end, and you have to watch driving up and down steep ramp angles cause the bikes can drag on the ground if it's on a non-SUV kidna passenger car.

    This is a Performance Bike X-Port Flatbed rack. Good cheap rack. IIRC, Hollywood Racks sells this exact model rebranded. The 2 bike version works with 2' and 1 1/4" receivers. THey go for $150 on sale these days... and a hitch receiver for your Mazda probably runs under $150 if you install it yourself. I just take my rack off and put it in the trunk when not in use.

    <a href="https://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/690LZxl6-heNf9fPnUU4qg?feat=embedwebsite"><img src="https://lh4.ggpht.com/_zZ7tZYTZu1o/S559Yh-7XPI/AAAAAAAANZk/ldmGhWVCkFQ/s800/IMG_0364.JPG" /></a>

    BTW, the best tip evar for teaching folks to drive stick.... Find a big empty parking lot, and tell them to only use the clutch and no gas (using engine idle only) to get the car rolling. That way, they learn the feel of the clutch. I taught my wife using this method, and she took it up in a week and was comfortable on the road driving.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by pimpbot
    Those fork mounts can be had for $10-15 each. Just screw them to a piece of wood roughly the width of the rear cargo area to keep your bikes from tipping over.

    I'm all for hitch racks. Nothing touches the car, not much loss in gas mileage if any. I noticed a small gas mileage hit on my Audi A4 sedan, but my old GTI had no hit. Bikes were behind the roofline on the GTi, but stick up a bit over the trunk of the A4. The primary downside is that it's just sticking out there for somebody to rear end, and you have to watch driving up and down steep ramp angles cause the bikes can drag on the ground if it's on a non-SUV kidna passenger car.

    This is a Performance Bike X-Port Flatbed rack. Good cheap rack. IIRC, Hollywood Racks sells this exact model rebranded. The 2 bike version works with 2' and 1 1/4" receivers. THey go for $150 on sale these days... and a hitch receiver for your Mazda probably runs under $150 if you install it yourself. I just take my rack off and put it in the trunk when not in use.

    <a href="https://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/690LZxl6-heNf9fPnUU4qg?feat=embedwebsite"><img src="https://lh4.ggpht.com/_zZ7tZYTZu1o/S559Yh-7XPI/AAAAAAAANZk/ldmGhWVCkFQ/s800/IMG_0364.JPG" /></a>

    BTW, the best tip evar for teaching folks to drive stick.... Find a big empty parking lot, and tell them to only use the clutch and no gas (using engine idle only) to get the car rolling. That way, they learn the feel of the clutch. I taught my wife using this method, and she took it up in a week and was comfortable on the road driving.
    Thanks for the tips.

  9. #9
    Monkey for Adventure
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    Smile For the Roof Rack choice consider SmartCrossbars™

    joepa150, don't know if you've figured out the best option yet for your vehicles - wanted to let you know about the SmartCrossbars™ rack system. If you've decided to put roof racks on your two vehicles, by upgrading your crossbars to SmartCrossbars™ you'll be able to easily move bike attachments from one vehicle to another and you'll never have them on when not in use - so you won't have to throw money away on poor gas mileage. The SmartCrossbars™ are super aerodynamic, so no noise or hit to your everyday gas mileage. And if you're looking at skiing or traveling with a cargo box in the future - the SmartCrossbars™ make that easy with either vehicle. Feel free to check out the system at http://SmartCrossbars.com it there is any interest.

    As an fyi, SmartCrossbars™ work with any Thule® or Yakima® feet and towers.

    Good luck and enjoy the riding!

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