Rack for 2008 Subaru OBS- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Rack for 2008 Subaru OBS

    I'm looking for a new bike rack for my 2008 Subaru Outback Sport and after spending a considerable amount of time pondering the various options, I'm in need of a second opinion. Up until recently I've been using the Yakima Raptor (downtube-support style roof rack) to carry my bikes, but after my heavier all-mountain rig tipped over in the rack () while on the way to the trailhead, it has come to my attention that I need something new that's more supportive. At this point I'm considering either the Yakima Frontloader or a trailer hitch with a Thule T2 mounted on it.

    I've ruled-out fork mount racks because I suspect the RockShox Lyrik I have on my all-mountain bike will make it a pain to load and unload the bike--or is there a workaround for this problem?

    My concern with the Frontloader is that the bike will sit high and it will be susceptible to the same kind of support issues I had with the Yakima Raptor. Although it looks like it offers more support than the Raptor, I desire a sturdy fit and I have doubts that the Frontloader will provide this--although I don't know any of this from first hand experience. Can anyone vouch for the Frontloader?

    I'm thinking my best bet is probably the trailer hitch with the T2 mounted on it, but I'm not sure what kind of hitch I should get and what a reasonable price is for the said hitch (Subaru doesn't make a factory hitch for the Impreza or OBS). I know that the Forester OEM hitch will fit on the OBS but I've heard that using that hitch isn't completely recommended for safety reasons (I guess it doesn't crumple like it should on the OBS under impact like it does on the Forester). Can anyone recommend an aftermarket hitch for this vehicle that won't sacrifice safety--and ideally a brick and mortar retailer that sells it (CA)?

    Thanks in advance!

  2. #2
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    Draw-Tite part number 24849 or Hidden Hitch # 60265. These are easily obtained and dependable. Installation should take 40 minutes or less in your driveway.

  3. #3
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    What he said. I work at a Subaru dealer and am actually staring at a 2009 OBS with a Draw-Tite hitch from Uhaul. It looks clean enough for non-OEM. That's your best bet I imagine.

    With that said- Subaru offers OEM hitches for that generation Imprezas pretty much everywhere but the U.S... they replace the bumper beam just like on the Foresters, and my theory is they just didn't feel it was worthwhile to get crash testing done on the Imprezas like that, probably because they thought not many people would use a hitch on an Impreza.

    So, you could always import an OEM Impreza hitch. Or, after looking at pics of Imprezas with Forester hitches, I'd say that would be a fine way to go too, but the Draw-Tite or Hidden Hitch will be quite a bit cheaper (and easier). Those are the way to go, IMO.

  4. #4
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    a hitch will work well, and those parts mentioned above will be dependable and strong as other posters said.
    ....something to consider, when using a platform rack on a vehicle like that, is that it is low to the ground for such a long load, meaning you will potentially bottom out the rack in big dips, etc...so even though the stability and strength are there, you can't race your way through the dirt road.
    not a dealbreaker, but something to pay attention to when hauling your bike around.

  5. #5
    Dirt McGirt
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    Thanks all for the responses!

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