Questions for hitch type bike rack users- Mtbr.com
Results 1 to 7 of 7
  1. #1
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Posts
    1

    Questions for hitch type bike rack users

    I would like to take my bicycle on road trips and have decided on an Allen Hitch 3-Bike rack which
    has many rave reviews on Amazon.com.
    I have some questions to those who transport their bikes on hitch racks.

    1. I need to install my hitch rack on a passenger car. I have a 1997 Accord and soon plan to purchase a 2008 Lexus ES350.
    Can anyone offer advice on selecting and installing a trailer hitch on a passenger car? I heard of a device called a Hidden Hitch
    which supposedly doesnt make the rear of your car look like a truck.
    2. These type of racks with attached bikes block the license plate. Has anyone been pulled over by highway police
    because of this?
    3. I plan on buying a Bike Cover to protect my bikes from the elements when driving and parked overnight.
    Have any of you experienced whether covered bikes are more attractive to curious thieves?
    4. Can anyone recommend a specific brand/model of Bike Cover?
    5. On a passenger car, do any of find it way too inconvenient to get access to your trunk with bikes attached?
    6. Does you car (not SUV) become too difficult to paralell park when using a hitch type rack with bikes?

  2. #2
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Posts
    31
    One of the easiest places to get and or install a hitch are uhaul centers across the country. They have a lot of experience installing hitches on about any vehicle you can think of, and economically as well.

    As far as the license plate issue, hasn't come up for me personally. I would think a bike cover would certainly make it a more attractive target, after all, you spent $ on a cover, so the bike must be important, ie expensive, but you shouldnt be leaving them hanging on the car overnight. Just bring them inside. How long does it take to put them on, take them off? probably a lot less time than calling the police and filing a stolen bike complaint.

  3. #3
    Nightriding rules SuperModerator
    Reputation: crisillo's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Posts
    20,787
    Quote Originally Posted by pcguy
    One of the easiest places to get and or install a hitch are uhaul centers across the country. They have a lot of experience installing hitches on about any vehicle you can think of, and economically as well.

    As far as the license plate issue, hasn't come up for me personally. I would think a bike cover would certainly make it a more attractive target, after all, you spent $ on a cover, so the bike must be important, ie expensive, but you shouldnt be leaving them hanging on the car overnight. Just bring them inside. How long does it take to put them on, take them off? probably a lot less time than calling the police and filing a stolen bike complaint.
    agree on both accounts..u-haul hitches are usually very well priced and please take the bikes off the rack.... even with locks, leaving them overnight is asking for trouble...

  4. #4
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Posts
    695
    I will third uhaul...I just ordered one (no sales tax or shipping) and the price is better than "hidden" hitch.

  5. #5
    More Torque
    Reputation: Diesel~'s Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Posts
    1,982
    A few things to keep in mind/consider as you consider your purchase:

    A 1 1/4" hitch is much less visually obtrusive than a 2", but may not have the weight capacity to carry 3 bikes (depends on rack).

    A rubber hitch plug will give the hitch a cleaner look, when the bike rack is not installed.

    Certain types of hitch racks are friendlier (less damaging) to bikes than others, as you have probably found in your research.

    I would not leave the bikes locked to the rack overnight, or for an extended period of time, due to the ease of theft.

    Definitely visit the Lexus forums online to see what types of hitches, if any, people have installed on their cars. Try to find pictures of the specific installs. There is a huge visual difference between brands. On my car, the Curt Mfg. version is the lowest profile, much more than hidden hitch or Uhaul.

    I've never had any problems with the cops for having a hitch rack.

    I'm not sure how good of an idea it is to put a cover over the bikes while driving. It could block your tail lights and license plate, and depending on how far down it hangs, the exhaust could melt it. On a car, it would also likely reduce gas mileage, as it could act like a sail, due to the fact that it's perpendicular to the vehicle.

    Many hitch racks fold down or swing out to provide better access to the trunk or hatch, though it can still be a pain to maneuver around them.

    I have not tried to parallel park with the rack installed, but I will say that the car seems much longer with the rack and bike on.

    The 08 ES350 is a nice car. My buddy had a 2007 with the glove leather for about 6 months before Lexus bought it back from him due to a transmission problem. They took excellent care of him, and he ended up with the new LS, which is also quite nice.

    Good luck with your decision.

    D

  6. #6
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Posts
    695
    Diesel has a good point, the car forums are a good source of info. Usually plenty of pics, kudos and gripes that can cover all the issues you think of and dont think about. having a truck, im less concerned about aesthetics.

  7. #7
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Posts
    710
    A hidden hitch just has angled bars so it is harder to see. The receiver is still going to stick out to or past the bumper. With a hitch on a car you are never going to get a completely clean look although a hidden hitch is going to be better then one that has a straight bar across the back.

    Here is an example of a before and after of a hidden hitch install on an element.




    Never had an issue with the cops and the bikes on but you could always run into trouble because the bikes are blocking the plate.

    I have a Thule T2 and am able to get the back hatch open on my element a little with the bikes on. You can also drop the rack down to the ground and I can get full access in. On a car you should be able to get into the trunk fine. The Thule t2 leave quite a bit of space between the rack and the vehicle. But it would probably depend on the rack you get.

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.