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  1. #1
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    Trunk Rack?

    Thinking of getting a bike carrier as a gift for my college age son. He drives a Ford Focus so it would either have to be a roof rack or trunk rack ... I assume a trunk rack would be more economical (and versatile) if he changed vehicles? For now he mainly mountain bikes, but he may carry a road bike as well eventually.

    My only experience with carriers is with the receiver/hitch style. Any advice from those of you that have used or currently own a trunk or roof style carrier?

    Thanks

  2. #2
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    I use a the Bell Tripleback trunk rack. Got it from Walmart for $50. Works great, easy to use.
    Not as nice as a Thule or Yakima roof rack but WAY cheaper and gets my bike to the trail just as effectively.

  3. #3
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    you are right about a trunk mount being much more economical than a roof rack or even a hitch mount.

    trunk mounts are easy to use, and have come a long way in the last several years. for mountain bikes i feel that the thule archway and gateway racks are a great value because they have independently adjustable bike arms which help for full suspension mtb frames. easy on and off too with adjustability for many many cars.

    it would be helpful to know the year of the focus, 2/4 door, hatchback/sedan...to verify fit.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by cracksandracks.com View Post
    you are right about a trunk mount being much more economical than a roof rack or even a hitch mount.

    trunk mounts are easy to use, and have come a long way in the last several years. for mountain bikes i feel that the thule archway and gateway racks are a great value because they have independently adjustable bike arms which help for full suspension mtb frames. easy on and off too with adjustability for many many cars.

    it would be helpful to know the year of the focus, 2/4 door, hatchback/sedan...to verify fit.
    2007 Focus ZX4 ... and it does have a factory spoiler on the trunk if that matters?

    Thanks!

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    I have a focus sedan with spoiler too. Is there a trunk rack that can accomodate this?

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    I use a Saris Bones trunk rack, and it has been great. I have used it on a few different cars with a number of different bikes and never had problems fitting any of them. It also feels much more secure than my old, cheap Allen rack. Spoilers are not a problem with the Bones due to the way the arms are curved.

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    Quote Originally Posted by TheYellerDog View Post
    I use a Saris Bones trunk rack, and it has been great. I have used it on a few different cars with a number of different bikes and never had problems fitting any of them. It also feels much more secure than my old, cheap Allen rack. Spoilers are not a problem with the Bones due to the way the arms are curved.
    I use a Saris Bones as well. Fits my 2011 Ford Fusion as well as my wife's Volvo SUV. Easy to install, light-ish, but built like a tank. Highly recommended.

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    The Bell that I mentioned above works fine with spoilers as well.

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    Before I switched to a hitch rack, I had a Thule 9003 raceway platform rack. It worked great and very easy to put on and off the trunk lid. Unfortunately I found I often need to have access to the trunk so I switched to a hitch rack.

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    I can still access the trunk with my rack on.
    Even with my FS on it I can get in the trunk.

  11. #11
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    I have a Saris Bones 3, and Iike it a lot. I'm not sure if it will work with the spoiler, though.
    Last edited by BeginnerCycling; 11-26-2011 at 10:36 PM.

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    +1 on the Thule 9003 Raceway. It's a trunk mounted platform rack. It's not perfect (the locking mechanisms suck), but it's the only trunk mounted platform rack available and it does an excellent job of everything except theft prevention. Since it's a tray rack, I don't have to mess with the adapter (the main reason I didn't get a Saris Bones, though I've read they're excellent racks as well).

    I have only used it for relatively short drives - many ~30 mile trips with only one bike on it. Though it'll hold two, I usually ride by myself, so I only carry one bike. When I do have a bike on it, I find I can drive my car just like when there's no rack/bike. I don't even notice it's back there.

  13. #13
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    sorry for the delayed response...all of the thule trunk mount racks fit the back of this ford focus...check 'em out while they are on sale too...

    Quote Originally Posted by kfb66 View Post
    2007 Focus ZX4 ... and it does have a factory spoiler on the trunk if that matters?

    Thanks!

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    Quote Originally Posted by J_Hopper View Post
    +1 on the Thule 9003 Raceway. It's a trunk mounted platform rack. It's not perfect (the locking mechanisms suck....
    I wanted to add that I did a review at the place I purchased this rack, Onion River Sports. I rated it 4 stars due to these shortcomings.

    However, as of today, 11-28-11, ORS has not posted my review and it's been over two weeks. I wonder why when I didn't give it a perfect review ORS is not posting the review???

    Anyone on here from ORS want to respond?

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by cracksandracks.com View Post
    sorry for the delayed response...all of the thule trunk mount racks fit the back of this ford focus...check 'em out while they are on sale too...
    Thanks to all for the feedback ... I will check out my options later today and figure out what offers the most bang for buck.

  16. #16
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    I have the non-platform version of the Thule Raceway and will add some flaming chilis for it as a great rack. Price is very reasonable, it looks great (no straps flapping around), and hold three FS bikes with no issue at all. The locking mechs aren't the greatest but they aren't the worst either. I wouldn't hesitate to recommend this rack.
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  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by namaSSte View Post
    I have the non-platform version of the Thule Raceway and will add some flaming chilis for it as a great rack. Price is very reasonable, it looks great (no straps flapping around), and hold three FS bikes with no issue at all. The locking mechs aren't the greatest but they aren't the worst either. I wouldn't hesitate to recommend this rack.
    When you say "locking mechanisms" are you talking about the cable that locks carrier to car, and bikes tocarrier? That wouldn't be a top priority for me as it's always easy to add a separate lock/cable.

    I really just want my son to have a convenient means of carrying his bike. His trunk is full of audio gear so access to the trunk is also low priority ... #1 priority being fit to his car, #2 security of bikes (2-3), #3 convenience and ease of use.

    Thanks

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by kfb66 View Post
    When you say "locking mechanisms" are you talking about the cable that locks carrier to car, and bikes tocarrier? That wouldn't be a top priority for me as it's always easy to add a separate lock/cable.

    I really just want my son to have a convenient means of carrying his bike. His trunk is full of audio gear so access to the trunk is also low priority ... #1 priority being fit to his car, #2 security of bikes (2-3), #3 convenience and ease of use.

    Thanks
    this rack has a passive security system...meaning, that it has a metal based strap that hooks around the bike rack and gets put inside of the trunk...essentially tethering it to the car.
    the locks that are for the bikes are helpful to prevent crimes of opportunity, but won't do much for a professional thief.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by cracksandracks.com View Post
    this rack has a passive security system...meaning, that it has a metal based strap that hooks around the bike rack and gets put inside of the trunk...essentially tethering it to the car.
    the locks that are for the bikes are helpful to prevent crimes of opportunity, but won't do much for a professional thief.
    cracksandracks.com is talking about the non-platform Thule Raceway. I don't have one of them, but rather the Thule Raceway Platform rack (9003), which I think is an outstanding rack. However, the locks leave something to be desired. Let me clarify...

    There are two locks on my rack. One is on the main rack body and prevents someone from loosening the right side cables. If you can't loosen the cables, then the rack can't be taken off the car.

    The other lock is on the jaw that clamps to the frame. When locked the jaw doesn't loosen.

    Here are the problems with these locks:
    1- the rack body lock: it doesn't always engage properly and one time it just pulled right out of the rack body. It took me about 30 minutes of fiddling to get it back in properly. I figure if it would fall out, why wouldn't a thief be able to easily drill it out or pull it out with a screwdriver?
    2- the jaw lock: the jaw is plastic. I think the jaw could easily be flexed enough to get the locked jaw off of the frame.

    This isn't a deal breaker for this rack. It is an outstanding rack, and in hindsight I'd get the same rack knowing these shortcomings. It's an easy rack to put on/take off, and it's easy to load a bike on to. Virtually any bike will fit without any adapters. I've carried a GT Team Trials on it, my son's Adams Trail-a-Bike, and my Trance X2, all non-standard frames/bikes. Of course, I don't think it would hold recumbents, penny farthings, or tandems, but I don't think that's what we're talking about here. If you plan on carrying any non-standard frames, then with any other, non-platform trunk rack, you'll also need an adapter. Personally, I wanted to just load it and go and didn't want the extra step/hassle of an adapter (I actually have a hitch rack for another vehicle and an adapter, so I have experience with them).

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by cracksandracks.com View Post
    this rack has a passive security system...meaning, that it has a metal based strap that hooks around the bike rack and gets put inside of the trunk...essentially tethering it to the car.
    the locks that are for the bikes are helpful to prevent crimes of opportunity, but won't do much for a professional thief.
    When I mentioned "security of bikes"as the #2 priority in my previous post, I did not mean from a theft standpoint ... I'm more concerned with a good "secure" fit of bikes on the carrier, as well as secure fit of carrier to car (not flopping around, etc).

    I definitely prefer tray style carriers for myself as I have a hitch rack on my SUV, but I'm leaning towards the hanging style for my son and his car. They appear convenient and budget-friendly!

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by J_Hopper View Post
    cracksandracks.com is talking about the non-platform Thule Raceway. I don't have one of them, but rather the Thule Raceway Platform rack (9003), which I think is an outstanding rack. However, the locks leave something to be desired. Let me clarify...

    There are two locks on my rack. One is on the main rack body and prevents someone from loosening the right side cables. If you can't loosen the cables, then the rack can't be taken off the car.

    The other lock is on the jaw that clamps to the frame. When locked the jaw doesn't loosen.

    Here are the problems with these locks:
    1- the rack body lock: it doesn't always engage properly and one time it just pulled right out of the rack body. It took me about 30 minutes of fiddling to get it back in properly. I figure if it would fall out, why wouldn't a thief be able to easily drill it out or pull it out with a screwdriver?
    2- the jaw lock: the jaw is plastic. I think the jaw could easily be flexed enough to get the locked jaw off of the frame.

    This isn't a deal breaker for this rack. It is an outstanding rack, and in hindsight I'd get the same rack knowing these shortcomings. It's an easy rack to put on/take off, and it's easy to load a bike on to. Virtually any bike will fit without any adapters. I've carried a GT Team Trials on it, my son's Adams Trail-a-Bike, and my Trance X2, all non-standard frames/bikes. Of course, I don't think it would hold recumbents, penny farthings, or tandems, but I don't think that's what we're talking about here. If you plan on carrying any non-standard frames, then with any other, non-platform trunk rack, you'll also need an adapter. Personally, I wanted to just load it and go and didn't want the extra step/hassle of an adapter (I actually have a hitch rack for another vehicle and an adapter, so I have experience with them).
    If I decide I can afford to spend more, this rack does seem very nice ... thanks for the feedback!

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by kfb66 View Post
    When I mentioned "security of bikes"as the #2 priority in my previous post, I did not mean from a theft standpoint ... I'm more concerned with a good "secure" fit of bikes on the carrier, as well as secure fit of carrier to car (not flopping around, etc).

    I definitely prefer tray style carriers for myself as I have a hitch rack on my SUV, but I'm leaning towards the hanging style for my son and his car. They appear convenient and budget-friendly!
    i understand...the raceways are certainly convenient and secure...same with the gateways and archway racks...all solid setups.

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by cracksandracks.com View Post
    i understand...the raceways are certainly convenient and secure...same with the gateways and archway racks...all solid setups.
    Of the carriers discussed, are any of them more secure on the vehicle from a theft standpoint? I'm guessing my son would leave it installed on the vehicle (without bikes) during most of the biking season.

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by kfb66 View Post
    Of the carriers discussed, are any of them more secure on the vehicle from a theft standpoint? I'm guessing my son would leave it installed on the vehicle (without bikes) during most of the biking season.
    You have to lock the rack to the vehicle. With hitch racks you can use a locking hitchpin. With trunk racks, you have to use a cable or chain. My Honda has a tow loop underneath the rear bumper. I use a cable and lock my Thule 9003 to the tow loop. This secures the rack, but unfortunately inhibits trunk access.

    It takes a couple of minutes to put the rack on, and even less to take it off. For me, that's not a big deal and I just remove it when I'm not using it. If I was riding daily, though, I'd probably leave it on.

    Now, if you could find a cable that was a flat weave then it could be shut into the trunk so trunk access wouldn't be inhibited. I did some googling and couldn't find any...

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