Poll: Hitch or Roof rack?- Mtbr.com

Poll: What do you prefer, a hitch or roof rack?

Results 1 to 28 of 28
  1. #1
    mtbr member
    Reputation: Straz85's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Posts
    1,348

    Poll: Hitch or Roof rack?

    This is simply to satisfy my curiosity. There have been a million threads about whether someone should get a hitch or roof rack. I'm curious to see how many people prefer which. So...

    What do you prefer, a hitch or roof rack?

  2. #2
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Posts
    65
    Voted for hitch. Getting 2 bikes on top of a F150 crew cab would be a pain in the butt!

  3. #3
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
    Posts
    6,762

    I go hitch...

    keeps the bikes out of the slip stream for better mpg, and I like the current batch of racks like the Thule 916XT T2. Will accept any bike up the 29" wheels, odd shaped hydroformed top tubes are not a problem, no hanging, bikes don't move around and beat each other up, etc. They can be problematic for smaller lower slung vehichles when it comes to driveway or parking lot entrances with steep approns. And the slip stream advantage can be partially lost with small vehichles as well. But overall if it's doable I'll take a hitch rack. Unless I can get the bikes inside the vehicle. That's one of the reasons I drive a mini van!

    Good Dirt
    "I do whatever my Rice Cripsies tell me to!"

  4. #4
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Posts
    145
    I love the hitch racks, easy to put bikes on, no bikes falling on the girlfriends head as she tries to get them off, no running bikes into garages.

    I have the one that swivels away from the vehicle so i can still get in the back.

    Plus when i get to my destination the bikes aren't nearly as covered in crap and dead bugs.
    -elake

    "I don't half-a$$ anything, for me it's whole-a$$ or nothing."
    -elake

  5. #5
    code: mtbr2011
    Reputation: cracksandracks.com's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Posts
    1,046
    Quote Originally Posted by elake
    I love the hitch racks, easy to put bikes on, no bikes falling on the girlfriends head as she tries to get them off, no running bikes into garages.

    I have the one that swivels away from the vehicle so i can still get in the back.

    Plus when i get to my destination the bikes aren't nearly as covered in crap and dead bugs.
    I have had a hitch rack, and when it rains or the roads are wet, the back of the car got much dirtier than the roof rack.

    i could go either way on this one....i have a roof rack now, and love it...but i don't do a ton of highway driving to ride. i use the sidearm, which is a great rack for road or mountain bikes.

    in the past, i used fork mounts and i can say this....at the end of the day, or after a long ride, i would sometimes leave my bike on the roof longer than i should cause i was tired and didnt feel like putting my front wheel back on in the dark....wake up the next day and it's raining....and then my drivetrain needs attention.

    luckily, i have a shop with air, a stand and plenty of rags, so i can keep my bike in good shape.

  6. #6
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Posts
    34
    I have an Explorer Sport Trac (explorer with a bed). I built a custom wooden bed joist that fits up against the cab and in front of the wheel wells. I put a couple Thule front end fork locks on it and then put ratchet straps over the bikes. The straps keep the bikes held down and from moving around AT ALL, and the joist keeps the whole setup from sliding back and forth. I can take it out of the bed anytime I want (rather than just bolting the fork locks to the bed itself). The setup would work for any pickup truck, and leaves a lot of room to pack other stuff in between/around the bikes. i.e. backpacks, coolers, tents, etc

  7. #7
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Posts
    359
    Hitch
    I have a Swagmann XTC, no messing with front wheels, bikes on and off in a snap, light weight, easy to add extra security for both the rack and the bikes, which I dont know how you would do for a roof rack.

  8. #8
    Blue Pig
    Reputation: Blksocks's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Posts
    1,553
    Sorry to go off topic on the hitch and roof rack question

    I notice you guys like the hitch but what about the hatchback/trunk racks? The ones with the straps? Are those any good?
    Ragley Blue Pig

  9. #9
    Elitest thrill junkie
    Reputation: Jayem's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Posts
    31,832
    Quote Originally Posted by Blksocks
    Sorry to go off topic on the hitch and roof rack question

    I notice you guys like the hitch but what about the hatchback/trunk racks? The ones with the straps? Are those any good?
    I used one of those for quite a while, but they are nothing more than a temporary solution. Over time they will mar the paint, and even warp the panels/bumper, depending on the specific vehicle. Does it work? Yes. I wouldn't do it if I cared about the vehicle though, like something "nice" that you want to look good and have resale value. The Saris ones are IMO the best, a little pricier, but that's the whole idea with racks, you get what you pay for.
    "It's only when you stand over it, you know, when you physically stand over the bike, that then you say 'hey, I don't have much stand over height', you know"-T. Ellsworth

    You're turning black metallic.

  10. #10
    mtbr member
    Reputation: Evo.'s Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Posts
    621
    IMO, Hitch if it is a truck / Suv. Roof rack if it is a car.

  11. #11
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Posts
    399
    Both

    It's the only way to haul 5 bikes and riders.

  12. #12
    Classic weekend warrior
    Reputation: sk1er18's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Posts
    222
    I have a roof rack... but its not on my roof, it's above the bed of my pickup...

    I don't like hitch racks:

    1) With an already long truck, its just more sticking out of parking spots & harder to maneuver
    2) If im in a little fender bender, I don't want a bumper scratch to turn into destroyed mountain bikes.
    3) I often use my hitch for other things while im still carrying my bikes... can't tow a boat/jet ski/trailer/ etc at the same time.

    If i had an SUV... i'd probably get a hitch rack due to convenience
    If i had a car... i'd be using a roof rack.
    -Carver Ti O'Beast
    -Niner RLT 9
    -'16 Trek Farley 7 (hers)

  13. #13
    mtbr member
    Reputation: Evo.'s Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Posts
    621
    Quote Originally Posted by DWDW
    Both

    It's the only way to haul 5 bikes and riders.

    BOOM!!! North Shore Racks!

  14. #14
    Classic weekend warrior
    Reputation: sk1er18's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Posts
    222
    Quote Originally Posted by Spastic Zombie
    If you're towing a boat, all you have to do is put the bikes IN the boat. There's no need for a rack as you have lots of storage in the boat.

    Worrying about fender benders doesn't make much sense to me. The other guy should have insurance so you'll get a new bike. If he doesn't, your uninsured motorist insurance will kick in but you'll have to pay your deductible (and go after the dirtbag for it).
    should I strap the bikes on the jet ski too? Or how about the trailer thats full of quads and other stuff so there's no room for bikes. i'm an active person, hitch mount wont work.

    And if i am in a fender bender, i still dont want my bike ruined regardless of if insurance will cover it... chances are, im on my way to go riding and would still like to ride after the police report is written
    -Carver Ti O'Beast
    -Niner RLT 9
    -'16 Trek Farley 7 (hers)

  15. #15
    jrm
    jrm is offline
    mtbr member
    Reputation: jrm's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Posts
    11,208

    Depends on the vehicle-owner

    Quote Originally Posted by Straz85
    This is simply to satisfy my curiosity. There have been a million threads about whether someone should get a hitch or roof rack. I'm curious to see how many people prefer which. So...

    What do you prefer, a hitch or roof rack?
    Ive had roof racks but currently have a hitch rack.

  16. #16
    Thread Killer
    Reputation: bucksaw87's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Posts
    762
    Hitch rack for me. I actually find that it improves gas mileage on my car a little...Then again, my car is very aerodynamically weird, so a bike rack with bikes kinda normalizes things.
    I ride a 26'er with tubes and rim brakes.
    Yeah, I'm basically living in the stone age.

  17. #17
    Skier by trade
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Posts
    132
    I started off always using roof racks, my last Sube Forester was leased and with its height i didn't want to deal with a roof, so I got a strap on. Hated it. I wacked my head countless times closing the gate. I just got a 2010 VW Jetta SW TDI. While I cold go back to the roof, I chose to install a hitch an go with a Yakima Hold-up. I like the idea of the tray due to aerodynamics and that the bikes will be behind the car vs. w. a post or strap-on and my frame designs, they get so off center that the wheels are past the width of the car.
    Click. Point. Chute.

  18. #18
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Posts
    399
    Quote Originally Posted by Evo.
    Those are nice, but we also BMX. Those racks only carry suspension forks.

  19. #19
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Posts
    55
    It has to be a pain to get a couple bikes on top of a car, hitch fo sure

  20. #20
    Dinner for wolves
    Reputation: buddhak's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Posts
    1,566
    Quote Originally Posted by Blksocks
    Sorry to go off topic on the hitch and roof rack question

    I notice you guys like the hitch but what about the hatchback/trunk racks? The ones with the straps? Are those any good?
    Used an Allen trunk mount rack for about 19 years. Same rack, 19 years. Simple machines simply work. I liked the rack so much I bought an Allen hitch mount when I got my Honda Element. The trunk mount mars the paint on your car, whether you put a towel down between the rack and car or not. If you drive a POS hoopdy, no problem. If you care about the way your car looks, then it is a hitch mount you need. Any car can run an 1.25" hitch. Personally, I have a 2" set-up. Roof racks just make no sense to me, unless you plan on carrying more up there than just bikes.

    Responds to gravity

  21. #21
    Dinner for wolves
    Reputation: buddhak's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Posts
    1,566
    Quote Originally Posted by Blksocks
    Sorry to go off topic on the hitch and roof rack question

    I notice you guys like the hitch but what about the hatchback/trunk racks? The ones with the straps? Are those any good?
    Used an Allen trunk mount rack for about 19 years. Same rack, 19 years. Simple machines simply work. I liked the rack so much I bought an Allen hitch mount when I got my Honda Element. The trunk mount mars the paint on your car, whether you put a towel down between the rack and car or not. If you drive a POS hoopdy, no problem. If you care about the way your car looks, then it is a hitch mount you need. Any car can run an 1.25" hitch. Personally, I have a 2" set-up. Roof racks just make no sense to me, unless you plan on carrying more up there than just bikes.

    Responds to gravity

  22. #22
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Posts
    171
    Quote Originally Posted by sk1er18
    should I strap the bikes on the jet ski too? Or how about the trailer thats full of quads and other stuff so there's no room for bikes. i'm an active person, hitch mount wont work.

    And if i am in a fender bender, i still dont want my bike ruined regardless of if insurance will cover it... chances are, im on my way to go riding and would still like to ride after the police report is written
    To the OP don't listen to throttle twisters. If your vehicle is only used to transport MTB's I say hitch on a SUV and roof rack on a car. My wifes Subie has a roof rack and I just went from roof to hitch on my Sequoia. It's so much easier than throwin the bikes up on the roof.

  23. #23
    Classic weekend warrior
    Reputation: sk1er18's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Posts
    222
    Quote Originally Posted by GoBuffs
    To the OP don't listen to throttle twisters. If your vehicle is only used to transport MTB's I say hitch on a SUV and roof rack on a car. My wifes Subie has a roof rack and I just went from roof to hitch on my Sequoia. It's so much easier than throwin the bikes up on the roof.
    So you agree with me then? I don't understand why you quoted me and said "dont listen to throttle twisters... but then you said exactly what i said in terms of hitch/roof racks

    See below:

    Quote Originally Posted by sk1er18
    I have a roof rack... but its not on my roof, it's above the bed of my pickup...

    I don't like hitch racks:

    1) With an already long truck, its just more sticking out of parking spots & harder to maneuver
    2) If im in a little fender bender, I don't want a bumper scratch to turn into destroyed mountain bikes.
    3) I often use my hitch for other things while im still carrying my bikes... can't tow a boat/jet ski/trailer/ etc at the same time.

    If i had an SUV... i'd probably get a hitch rack due to convenience
    If i had a car... i'd be using a roof rack.
    -Carver Ti O'Beast
    -Niner RLT 9
    -'16 Trek Farley 7 (hers)

  24. #24
    Elitest thrill junkie
    Reputation: Jayem's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Posts
    31,832
    I think the numbers in the poll tell the story. Back in the day hitch racks sucked, poor access to the rear/trunk, they were usually the kind that let the bikes "hang" and sway around, questionable strength, etc. Now it's very different, trays that allow you to leave the front wheel on, quick and easy securing of the bike, etc. Roof racks started as the "take your wheel off" kind, which was pretty dumb, finally they evolved to use the same type of trays as the high end hitch-racks, but then you have even more stuff up top on your vehicle robbing you of mpg, not to mention the aerodynamics when you put your bikes up there. These days I can't see a real good reason to have a roof-rack, except for a few cars that can in no way support a reciever, but that is pretty rare. There seems to be a large contingent that thinks roof-racks "look cool" or are some sort of mtb status-symbol, but otherwise I think the decent hitch rack options these days have roof racks beat from every perspective. Mine gets taken off and rests a few feet from my car when I'm not hauling bikes every day.

    I don't see why you would put a roof-rack on a car vs an SUV. Sure it sucks lifting em on an SUV, but you still have all the negatives of aerodynamics and lifting them on a car as well.

    I'm sure that if you did this poll 8 years ago or more, the numbers would be reversed.
    "It's only when you stand over it, you know, when you physically stand over the bike, that then you say 'hey, I don't have much stand over height', you know"-T. Ellsworth

    You're turning black metallic.

  25. #25
    Moderator Moderator
    Reputation: mtbxplorer's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Posts
    7,597
    Just ordered another roof rack for my new to me Subie. Want to be able to carry bikes, kayak & canoe, and since it already had a compatible factory rack, it was less expensive to go that route. I did have the non-tray style hitch rack on a truck, which was fine until a bolt failed and the hinge-down feature went into effect @ 50 mph. Ruined a wheel & a couple tires - could have been worse.

  26. #26
    mtbr member
    Reputation: mtnbiker1973's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Posts
    725
    I say they both have a place. I drive a van. I've got a yakima holdup + 2 and a yakima roof rack. I can carry eight or nine bikes or take a tray off of the roof, move one in and put my rocket box up there. Versatile. That's what i like. Just depends what you need.

  27. #27
    banned
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Posts
    7,930
    Glad I had a hitch rack in Durango when I separated my shoulde and injured myself a long ways from home.... there would have been no way to get my bike on a roof rack with my arm messed up. It was only some minor pain to load the bike up in a wheel trayed hitch rack to get everything home.

  28. #28
    mtbr member
    Reputation: myrs200's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Posts
    13
    Hitch for me - better mpg
    my rs200

Members who have read this thread: 0

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  

THE SITE

ABOUT MTBR

VISIT US AT

© Copyright 2019 VerticalScope Inc. All rights reserved.