Is stabilizing strap required for hitch-mounted rack?-
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  1. #1
    mtbr member
    Join Date
    Apr 2009

    Is stabilizing strap required for hitch-mounted rack?

    I recently purchased a Curt 1 1/4" trailer hitch and 1up USA bicycle rack for my Hyundai Elantra Touring.

    The hitch instructions indicate a stabilizing strap is recommended (required?) for non-trailer loads.

    I plan to use the rack to carry one bicycle (~20 lbs).

    Does anyone else use a stabilizing strap with hitch-mounted racks? Is it absolutely required, or just a recommendation?

  2. #2
    mtbr member
    Reputation: OscarW's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2010

    ... and if we just ...

    It is just a recommendation as 1up wants to make sure that people don't loose the rack when they don't tighten up the bolt enough. I have a 1up rack and there is zero movement in the hitch when the rack it properly mounted. The velcro strap is more a lawyer thingy IMHO...FWIW I have a 2" hitch in which I mount my 1up rack..
    Current ride(s) 2011 Santa Cruz Blur LT and a Norco Threshold SL with Di2

  3. #3
    Stiff yet compliant
    Reputation: Moustache rider's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2007
    The strap might be required by the Curt warranty because bike racks put a twisting load on the receiver tube that you don't really get with a trailer.
    IMO it isn't enough to worry about with only one bike. The hitch should be plenty strong. If you had a few more bikes and were closer to the rated tongue capacity then the strap might be justified.

  4. #4
    Two Tired
    Reputation: CheapWhine's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2005

    Don't worry about it

    I saw the same warning. I talked with several people who didn't think it would be an issue. I finally looked up the Curt bicycle rack and saw that they specify the strap due to a shortcoming in their own rack design (a vertical top-hanging design). The strap goes from the front of the hood to the top of vertical post.

    I have used a strap on top hanging racks to stabilize the wheels and prevent swinging, but this is not an issue for tray style racks. Some top hanging racks may not need this, but my friend's rack does. A simple and cheap strap with a cam lock from any hardware store works great.

    I got the hitch and the 1Up rack. It is very stable even with the smaller 1.25" hitch and a bigger bike than you are using. I don't even know where I would put a strap on it to make it more stable.

    You have the hitch and the rack, so plan your next ride and go.
    Let the good times roll.

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