Hitch rack VS roof rack- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
    RML
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    Hitch rack VS roof rack

    Hi,
    I have a honda civic 2 door. Was thinking of upgrading from the rack that goes on the trunk to either a roof rack or hitch rack. Any recommendations? Do you all feel that the bike racks that you can place on your trunk are safe? I'm always checking the rear view mirror at high speeds.

    Thanks!

  2. #2
    K n e e m o i
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    I think roof rack is better. I know some people go to UHAUL and have hitch installed on their car, just so they can put a bike rack on the hitch and put a bike on it. Waste of money if you ask me. You're not even using it to tow anything. I'd go with the Yakima or Thule roof rack.

    I think putting it on the rear of the car will subject the bike to more turbulence, as it is explained by many cars rear end getting soiled than the other areas. I really hated having my bike swaying on the rear of the car when driving on the freeway. But some people hate putting their bike on the top of the car. SUV owners with high roofs, I understand, but a normal sedan or a sports coupe???? Why???? Plus the hitch makes the car look ugly. I saw a rich single dude with a RX8 with a hitch rack with a bike on its ass. Man did it look ugly. They have nice roof racks for the car you know.

    Get this, I almost lost my bike at 60MPH as the bike was being subjected to high turbulent winds, and the strap couldn't hold it anymore, so it snapped off. Went with roof rack, so far it is great. Just don't drive under a low clearance sign.
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  3. #3

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    get a hitch

    i used to have a roof rack(3years) and the noise would drive me nuts. i went and got a hitch and bought a thule t2. very stable. no wind noise. bike sits on a tray and does not move. would never go back to a roof rack. i have a 1992 4dr honda civic. it has over 230k miles and pulls two bikes without any problems. i only ride on the weekends so i take it on and off. with the roof rack you most likely will never remove it. good luck

  4. #4
    RML
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    I thought roof racks cost more, then i saw the cost of the Thule t2, if you add that to the cost of buying and installing a hitch, they seem almost equal in cost. Did you get the 1.25 inch hitch for the civic? What do you think about the hitch racks in which the bike doesn't sit on a tray?
    Thanks! I appreciate the input.

  5. #5
    Vaginatarian
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    I vote for the hitch rack also, as far as turbulence, do you really think that something behind your car gets more than something on your roof? I have a van & a Porsche both with hitch racks never a problem, however 2 of my friends have torn their roof racks off with major damage, plus its a lot harder to lift your bike on and off the roof and you have to remove your front wheel everytime

  6. #6

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    Roof rack=big, ugly, semi-permanent addition to your car; hard to take off/install rack

    Hitch rack=small, temporary addition that is almost invisible when removed; 30 second job to install/remove rack.

    Hitch rack for the win

  7. #7

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    RML,
    for the honda civic you need to get the 1 1/4 size hitch. i used to have a yakima rack for the hitch in which you sit the top tube on top of the tray--- don't get these types of racks. unstable and bikes will swing.
    i also have a suv in that has a 2inch hitch. i bought an adaptor (cost $30) so the i could use the same bike rack on the suv.

  8. #8
    RML
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    Thanks for the advice!
    I think i'll do the ebay thing for the thule.

  9. #9
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    i had that same dilemma last year, i didn't wanta spend $500+ on a thule or yakima roof rack, but then after some research, found that hitches weren't any cheaper overall for my application. i dont really care about aesthetics (seeing as i drive a grandma green 95 buick regal but i didn't want to carry the bikes in the back seat or always make friends drive...
    https://cornmuffin.org/008.jpg

    i just happened upon performance bikes (.com) in my search and saw their house brand Xport. i believe my total outlay was $320 shipped, that included 4 towers, clips for my car, 2 bike trays, 2 beefy locking skewers, fairing, cargo carrying tiedowns. a good deal by all accounts, the whole package is quite resilient, trust me its been through the works in the past year and a half. been well over the speed limt, been offroading (trailhead excursions, as far as my car can take me in, that is...), multiple items not intended for rack use, infact i've got a thing going as to what i've had on the roof, from beds to desks, bureaus to elliptical machines the list goes on... hahaaha
    As an aside, i can take my friends thule rails and pop them on to my car, they're compatible. i believe sportrack purchased barrecrafter who inturn owns thule (what?).
    https://cornmuffin.org/0011%20.jpg
    it also helps tone down the granda'ese of my car :|
    hope some of this helps someone,
    joe
    ps. gotta love the folks who buy thule to transport huffies and or hybrids....

  10. #10
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    i had that same dilemma last year, i didn't wanta spend $500+ on a thule or yakima roof rack, but then after some research, found that hitches weren't any cheaper overall for my application. i dont really care about aesthetics (seeing as i drive a grandma green 95 buick regal but i didn't want to carry the bikes in the back seat or always make friends drive...


    i just happened upon performance bikes (.com) in my search and saw their house brand Xport. i believe my total outlay was $320 shipped, that included 4 towers, clips for my car, 2 bike trays, 2 beefy locking skewers, fairing, cargo carrying tiedowns. a good deal by all accounts, the whole package is quite resilient, trust me its been through the works in the past year and a half. been well over the speed limt, been offroading (trailhead excursions, as far as my car can take me in, that is...), multiple items not intended for rack use, infact i've got a thing going as to what i've had on the roof, from beds to desks, bureaus to elliptical machines the list goes on... hahaaha
    As an aside, i can take my friends thule rails and pop them on to my car, they're compatible. i believe sportrack purchased barrecrafter who inturn owns thule (what?).

    it also helps tone down the granda'ese of my car :|
    hope some of this helps someone,
    joe
    ps. gotta love the folks who buy thule to transport huffies and or hybrids....

  11. #11
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    Roof (-)
    Wind noise
    4-6mpg loss
    cannot drive in or out of garages, think bad weather too
    Cannot drive through many dive-thru locations
    Exposes bike to sand/bug/wind blast


    Hitch (-)
    potential damage from backing into whatever
    Hatch, trunk access limited
    Road dirt accumulation

    The garage, and inclimate weather issues nixes the roof rack for me for around town. Losing 5mpg on average on 1200 mile trips puts the nails in the roof rack coffin. I think someone on here said they lost more than 6mpg with the roof rack.

  12. #12
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    With the Tule/Sportworks T2 You're not limited with hatch access. It has a removable pin that lets the rack drop, loaded or not. Go to http://www.orsracksdirect.com/. In the 'coupon' (or promotion code... something like that.) enter EXTRA 10 and get an additional 10% off. I got the 2" [email protected] and paid $280. Free shipping too!

  13. #13
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    Check with your insurance company to see how many claims are processed as a result of roof racks being torn off. You'll be surprised.

  14. #14
    Derailleurless
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    Quote Originally Posted by ExtraStout
    Roof (-)
    Wind noise
    4-6mpg loss
    cannot drive in or out of garages, think bad weather too
    Cannot drive through many dive-thru locations
    Exposes bike to sand/bug/wind blast


    Hitch (-)
    potential damage from backing into whatever
    Hatch, trunk access limited
    Road dirt accumulation
    I used hitch exculsively for years, and moved to roof two years ago. I pretty much agree with the Stout's list of negatives, except that the MPG loss is only a factor for me when bikes are attached, and is much less if I keep at or near the highway speed limit.

    Another factor for me is that with bikes on the roof, I am MUCH more comfortable walking away from the car for a coffee or a meal: I can more easily see the bikes, and I have the comforting sense that any petty criminal with nefarious intentions will be less likely to pick at my shiny bits when they are perched "way up there".

    The big, big, big bonus for me was that I regained unobstructed use of my wagon's lift gate. Obviously, not a problem for a sedan driver.

    I am also comforted in knowing the car tailgating me can now see my brake lights more clearly. Although it hasn't happened to me, I've always been nervous of getting rear ended with bikes hanging off the rear.

    Of course anybody facing this choice will have to draw up their own list of (+) and (-) and weigh the options. Everyone is going to have different priorities based on their vehicles, the amount of driving they do, and what other use they may gain from either a roof rack or a trailer hitch on their vehicle.
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  15. #15
    icanseeformiles(andmiles)
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    I've lost two bikes to bent frames, where some jerk hit my bikes while parking.

    Rack type? rear mounted, of course.
    Quote Originally Posted by MB1
    To differentiate riders by the type of surface frequented is IMO the height of foolishness.

  16. #16
    Start slow and taper off
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    6 of 1, half a dozen of the other.

    Both have pluses, both have negs. As you can see by the responses, what works for one will not work for another. Might as well ask what is the best seat for you to use. Different strokes for different folks.

    Personally, I use both hitch racks and roof racks, depending on which car I'm using (we have two), what I'm doing and how many people are going. I also occasionally use both roof and hitch rack at the same time.

    For what its worth, on a sedan such as the honda civic, after the initial install/set up, it probably takes about the same amount of time to remove a roof rack as it does a hitch rack. And depending on the hitch rack, sometimes the roof rack is both lighter and less awkward. My Yak hitch rack is heavier and more awkward to carry than my roofrack, but some hitch racks are lighter. However, there are certainly more chanced to install a roof rack incorrectly or damage the paint than with a hitch rack.

    You can typically order the hitch itself as well (not the hitch rack, but the actual hitch), and install it yourself, with a minimal amount of trouble, and save some dough. Some cars are easier than others, most these days are pre-drilled and bolt right on. etrailer.com is one option--look up your car, and it will list ease of installation.
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  17. #17

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    Did you make a choice on what to get? I have a 2006 honda civic sedan and I'm in the same situation. What do I buy, the hitch or roof rack. I'm leaning towards the hitch rack myself.

    Does anyone have any recomendations on a specific hitch rack for a civic? Or basically just do the searches on the various rack sites?

  18. #18

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    After stewing for a while over witch hitch rack to buy (Yakima or Thule), my wife made a very good point, as she would be the primary user. If you do much parallel parking on city streets, the hitch rack is an accident waiting to happen. You either hit the guy behind you or someone else hits your bikes. And you'll be taking it off every time it's not being used for the same reason. A roof rack you can forget about once it's installed. The part about parking garages is the downside. Ask yourself if you think you'll park more in under ground garages with the bikes on, or parallel parking on the street.

  19. #19

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    Quote Originally Posted by RobS10
    ...you'll be taking it off every time it's not being used for the same reason. A roof rack you can forget about once it's installed.
    Funny, I am in favor of hitch racks for exactly your reasons stated. I WANT to take off the rack when I'm not using it. A hitch rack takes all of about 22 seconds to put on or take off. A roof rack is ugly, noisy, makes my sunroof worthless, AND is a pain to take off and put on. I want the slap it on/rip it off convenience of a hitch rack without the all-the-time ugliness and noise of a roof rack.


    Who would want to spoil these beautiful lines with one of those roof-mounted monstrosities?
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  20. #20

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    I'm sorry, if you're putting it on a car, and I see your point about spoiling the looks of your ride (I drive a 4Runner which already has a factory roof rack, so nothing lost on it). I was looking at the purely practical reasons. If you parallel park often with the rack on (especially with bikes), the hitch rack will be more of a pain. Why would you lose the use of your sunroof?

  21. #21

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    Quote Originally Posted by RobS10
    If you parallel park often with the rack on (especially with bikes), the hitch rack will be more of a pain.
    True. But 99% of the time, I put the rack on, put the bike on, drive somewhere woodsy to ride, drive home, take the bike off, take the rack off. I never leave the rack on the car, so no worries about parallel parking, except in extreme cirumstances. I realize this doesn't apply to everyone. But with a hitch rack, I think it's kind of silly to leave it on when you aren't transporting bikes because it is so easy to take off or put on.

    Why would you lose the use of your sunroof?
    Because you have some big ugly crossbars obstructing the view, often a fairing screwing up the wind, and lots of noise/whistling. Doesn't completely ruin the roof, but makes it less desireable, IMO, and my roof is open any time it's 60*+ and not raining.

  22. #22
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    I am going through this same dilemna, as ever. Its such a heated debate but i think everyone can find their ideal setup. I drive a Toyota Matrix, no preinstalled hitch.

    The cost of installing a hitch and a T2 are around $460
    The cost of installing two Sidearms (or equivalent) are around $250. (i already own the roof mounts - i use them for ski and windsurf)

    Hitch Things:
    Cost is moderate factor.
    Adding more bikes is not possible without use of my roof
    tongue weight is rated Class I, 200lb - risk of damage?? (big question?!)


    Roof Things:
    If i get a roof rack I also own an old Thule trunk rack (i've loaded 3 DH bikes on it) i can fit 5 bikes, and five people in the car
    I'm anal about mileage, and i'm anal about aesthetics.
    I like the trunk access
    Putting two 40lb bikes on the roof after a day of riding?
    I'm freaked about parking garages

    i can't make up my mind. I hate to lose mileage and my sunroof, but i'm leaning towards the roof racks because i already have the roof mounts and i can fit more bikes if needed...
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  23. #23
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    Pros and cons of both as already mentioned. I use a pair of Thule 591 roof racks, which don't look ugly if you use aero roof bars. I think they actually make my car look more purposeful. Cost was my main reason for going this route. If I needed a towbar for other uses (ie towing a trailer) then I'd have gone for a rear hitch for sure.
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  24. #24
    sop
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    It all depends on the vehicle you're driving. I've used both roof and hitch racks and, when I owned a pickup, I also used one of those inexpensive QR fork clamps that simply bolts to the bed of the truck and holds the bike upright (that design was the best of all).

    For SUVs or wagons with factory roof rails/racks already in place, the Thule or Yakima roof mount systems make the most sense. I've owned several SUVs, and I always found myself having to open and close the rear window/tailgate when traveling; hitch racks make access to the rear of SUVs a real pain. MPG already sucks with these vehicles, so what's a couple of miles per gallon less.

    I currently drive a Subaru, and the dealer-available accessory roof rack system sold by Subaru is excellent; it's better than my old Thule. The Subaru rack clamps directly to the raised roof rails, the cross bars are the same dimensions as the Thule system accessories, it's extremely solid, it locks in place with a key lock, and it removes in about one minute. You don't have to take off the existing luggage-type crossbars when using it. I also use it to carry my Kayaks and skis, so it makes a lot more sense than a hitch rack for me. And roof racks also allow you to carry any number of odd-shaped things, like plywood sheets, lumber, ladders, and any other stuff that you can buy at Home Depot...try that with a hitch rack.

    For sedans or fancier vehicles with pretty roof lines or no available rain gutter systems or mounting points, like the civic, hitch racks are the best way to go. Additionally, the roof rack clamping bases for these vehicles can scratch your car; several I've inspected don't seem that solid, they only clamp into the seam between the roof and the top of the door frame. Hitch racks can be quite expensive, though, when you factor in all the related hardware....much more expensive.

    If you're worried about your image, hitch racks make your car and bikes look like the Smith family on vacation, with their four Huffys strapped onto the back, the front wheels steadily spinning as they cruise down the interstate. Roof racks create the impression of a Tour de France team car chasing the peloton....much cooler.

    As for safety, the rear tail-lights/turn signals are much more visible with roof racks, and the high-mounted brake lights on most vehicles these days are easily obscured with hitch racks. You always have the worry of being rear-ended by some woman fixing her makeup, and seriously mangling your pretty bikes. I can tell you from having worked in the insurance industry for nearly 25 years that rear-end collisions are the most common accidents of all. Moreover, in all the years I've been overseeing insurance losses, I've never once seen a claim for a torn off roof rack, though I'm sure it has happened (it did to me: I pulled into a Motel 6 late one night, after driving 12 hours, and crashed into the entrance's low ceiling...trashed my saddle and seatpost).

    Good luck with your choice.

  25. #25
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    I have both, and have used both on several different cars. Right now I have 2 cars and a truck. The truck has a rear yakima hitch mount and both cars have roof racks.

    Which do I prefer? By far and away the roof racks. SO much easier to deal with and get the bikes up and down vs the clugy mouting of the straps and all with the hitch mount. Ive not used the thule, but the Yakima im not a fan of. Want in the tail gate or trunk? yeah it swivles but with the bikes on there again good luck.

    Full suspension bike? good luck with the hitch mount unless you use adapters and again there goes the dealing with funky connectors.

    With the roof rack you just take the front wheel off, throw the bike up there, one very easy to use quick release for the front never having to adjust anything and then a quick strap on the rear wheel, and that bike is not going anywhere.

    Noisy? I have sunroof on one of the cars, the noise is just not there. Of course dont mount the fork mounts they whislte like a harmonica. With a front fairing the noise is even less than noticable.

    Looks? i dont love the roof rack on one of my cars, but I deal with it.

    Hitch? Go to back out of a tight parking spot and forget your car is 3-4 feet longer, see how well that goes over. Ive seen it done before.


    Its all personal choice, I greatly prefer roof rack. And with a roof rack you can get SOO many different accessories and use it for other stuff, kayaks, luggage, you name it.


    My two cents.

  26. #26

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    Quote Originally Posted by sop
    If you're worried about your image, hitch racks make your car and bikes look like the Smith family on vacation, with their four Huffys strapped onto the back, the front wheels steadily spinning as they cruise down the interstate. Roof racks create the impression of a Tour de France team car chasing the peloton....much cooler.
    Haha, funny to read the different points of view in this thread. When I see an unused roof rack, I always wonder how many pieces of dusty, unused exercise equipment that guy/girl has in his basement. I've honestly never once thought "Cool, Tour de France," I've always thought, "Haha, ugly crap on your car that you aren't even using right now."

    Besides, a hitch, when not in use, can be used to tow my Hobie Cat or a jet ski/PWC. Can't wait to hear all the tree huggers scream when they find out I love riding across a quiet lake on the water equivalent of a crotch rocket sport bike!

  27. #27
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    I have had a civic hatch since 1993 and literally driven 100,000+ miles with my Thule roof rack. I haven't taken it off in 11 years! (I know, they say don't leave it on, but I'm lazy). It looks cool with the rack on, not dorky.

    So, I now have a Pathfinder SUV...came with a factory 2" hitch. So, I buy the Thule hitch rack, forget the model, that has the 2 bars sticking out for 4 bikes...okay, I can't open the rear hatch now...it folds down, partly, but only with no bikes...and it takes me LONGER to get two bikes on there, because without at least 4 straps criss-crossing all over the place, the bikes are not stable at all. And, whoever says it takes 20-seconds to put the rack on the hitch is magic. It requires a crescent wrench, lining up the holes, tightening up correctly, putting the Thule hitch lock on, then gather all the straps. It takes me much longer to secure 2 bikes, no two ways about it.

    So, I splurge, ebay the Thule, and buy the Topoftheline Thule hitch rack, the one with the arms that fold down, with the cable lock builtin (did I mention the cheap hitch racks have no locking capabilities? You would have to buy and use a regular bike cable lock and figure out a way to lock it all together), and, the whole thing swings to the right with bikes locked on! This is nice. But, I'm still ebaying that shortly to go back to a roof mount system. I'm even going to go for the upright mounts where I don't even have to remove a wheel. You want quick? Roof racks are quickest.

    The rear hitch experience just wasn't what I hoped for. However, the tray-type rear hitch mounts would be awesome, but none swing out to the side while loaded. Tilting down just doesn't cut it when at a camp-site and you have to "live" out of the back of your SUV...if someone could just do the swing out hitch tray rack, I'd love it.

    I say get the roof rack...if you sell the car, you only have to buy the fairly cheap rubber pads again for the new model, no hitch installation necessary.

  28. #28
    MC Hammer
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    I didn't read through all these posts but..............

    One more vote for hitch racks, I bought a Sportworks T2 and have been happy with it for the past 6 months

  29. #29
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    I went with a roof rack. My Outback sport has factory crossbars, so I got mounts and a single Yakima King Cobra for $140 or so. Very fast and easy to use and personally I think it looks really cool on my car! Best roof rack I have ever used, especially for DH bikes.

    Huge minus- at the end of a long day of riding hard, my bike weighs like 200lbs and the rack is an awful long ways up

    So I still want a hitch. Not for a hitch rack tho, for about the price of a really nice hitch mount rack I can find a decent used trailer, which can haul tons of bikes plus lots of other cool things. I just don't trust U-Haul to mount a hitch

  30. #30
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    I currently have a Saris roof rack on my '99 Lumina, and my parents have a cheapie hitch rack for their Caravan. I have also used a friend's trunk rack and another friends Thule roof rack in the past. I have to say that I like the Saris roof rack better than any other roof system out there. It goes on and off in 2 minutes, and I can do it by myself. For a car, it is not difficult to lift the bikes on to, and I know they are secure.

    Hitch racks that hold the bikes by the top tubes, with the bike able to swing around, absolutely suck. Unless you like your bikes to bang and rub together and cause all sorts of scratches and rub spots. The same goes for trunk racks. The hitch racks that use trays to rigidly support each bike seem like a good idea, but usually require a 2" hitch to carry 4 bikes, which is not an option for many cars. Also, they can interfere with opening the tailgate/hatch on SUV's and minivans. I personally think that a roof rack looks better on a car, and a hitch rack looks better on a Van/SUV.

    In conclusion, my vote goes for the Saris roof rack since no one else has mentioned it yet.

  31. #31
    Ariolimax columbianus
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    Quote Originally Posted by norton05
    I went with a roof rack. My Outback sport has factory crossbars, so I got mounts and a single Yakima King Cobra for $140 or so. Very fast and easy to use and personally I think it looks really cool on my car! Best roof rack I have ever used, especially for DH bikes.

    Huge minus- at the end of a long day of riding hard, my bike weighs like 200lbs and the rack is an awful long ways up

    So I still want a hitch. Not for a hitch rack tho, for about the price of a really nice hitch mount rack I can find a decent used trailer, which can haul tons of bikes plus lots of other cool things. I just don't trust U-Haul to mount a hitch
    I have a 2001 Subaru Outback Sport and have been using Yakima King Cobra's for about 3 years. I've broken the King Cobra in two places, tray broke where front wheel mounts, and the little spring loaded lock thingy that holds the front wheel holder broke too. Yakima replaced it no questions asked via REI.

    Since I use the factory crossbars I have been using the Mighty Mounts 14H and just recently I had a major problem. I was leaving the trailhead driving very slowly down a bumpy fireroad and two of the Mighty Mounts broke. If you use the Mighty Mounts you will notice the poor design, a little nut is recessed inside a piece of plastic and is supposed to hold the rack down with a bolt. The two nuts that held the front wheel tray down pulled through the plastic and the rear carriage bolt popped (bent) the bottom of the tray. Luckily I was going slow and the bike wasn't damaged, also it wasn't my bike, it was a friends.

    Another problem I've had w/the King Cobra is that my 2.35" Nevegals don't really fit in the wheel trays, smaller tires fit fine. One thing I noticed when I went on a large group ride and saw a bunch of different cars/trucks with both types of racks roof/hitch mount drive up and down the same road was that all bikes moved/swayed back and forth as the vehicles went over the bumps. So maybe a system that is anchored to the rack itself (such as a hitch mount) will have less tension or fatigue on the small parts that attach the bike rack to the car itself.

    Right now I'm facing the same dilemma on what to do/buy. I'm thinking about getting a hitch installed and picking up a Yakima Hook Up 2 Hitch Rack (similar to the Thule T2/Sportworks) or get the Thule T2. I was thinking of getting the Yakima so I could use my lock cores, does anyone know if the lock cores are compatible (Yakima lock cores fit Thule applications)? Does anyone have experience with these new Yakima Hook Up 2 Hitch Rack?

    What I really want to do is just get a hitch and weld up big cage that will fit my bike(s). Right now I don't trust my roof racks with my brand new Nomad my bike is almost worth as much as my car, at least to me.

  32. #32

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    not to say roof racks are not great, I have used them and loved them, BUT with gas the way it is I switched to saris bones and dropped 5mpg on my gas mileage. That adds up big time!! That is how much drag I had w/ the bike on top instead of back. I couldn't believe it, so until gas gets under 2 again hahahahaahahahaha. I will stick w/ my saris. Later taters, JC

  33. #33
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    I vote for roof rack

    I recently got a roof rack and so far I like it. I have the Thule with the side arm so there is no taking off of the front wheel. I considered the hitch but since my car was a lease, it is cheaper to buy another fit kit than to buy another hitch for my next vehicle if I get something different. The thing I am most paranoid about is the clearance - forgetting the bike is up there and running in to the garage (I put a little cling on sticker that says "bike" on the inside of my windshield when the bike is up there to help remind me).

    While the roof rack is not the prettiest thing I deal with it. Hitches -- these are usually integrated well on truck and suv but on cars I just think they look funny -- especially how low some of them hang down for the rear fascia. Also, the hitch racks extend the rear of the car and reduce the departure angle of terrain you can roll over. As far as removing the hitch racks after a ride -- I just don't want to have to deal with re-installing the hitch everytime I want to go ride -- just a pain -- it is nice if you know you are not going to ride for an extended period of time. Also the hitch can be interchanged with your buddies as long as they have the proper reciever hitch as you.

    The rear hatch access that other talked about was not something that I considered but it is something that is very important to me. A few weeks ago for a ride I camped out of the car (malibu maxx) and if I had that hitch rack to try to work around it would have been a pain. Also, typically after a ride I like to sit on the rear fasica/bumper to relax and change my shoes.

    Milage wise, I think the roof rack hit me for a few mpg's, but a hitch rack has to cause a hit as well -- the extra weight of hitch + the bike(s) on the rear of the car can cause the front of the car to raise ever so slightly causing the front end to catch more air (less aero) and + to me the bikes on the rear catch air as it rolls off the sides and roof of the car. I do get some bugs on the fork and head tube of my bike from being on the roof. The bike shop guy told me that hitch bikes tend to get more dirty -- from his experience.

    Just my thoughts

  34. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by RobS10
    I'm sorry, if you're putting it on a car, and I see your point about spoiling the looks of your ride (I drive a 4Runner which already has a factory roof rack, so nothing lost on it). I was looking at the purely practical reasons. If you parallel park often with the rack on (especially with bikes), the hitch rack will be more of a pain. Why would you lose the use of your sunroof?

    I've had a Thule hitch mount on our 4runner since 1999. It's been off road through Wyoming and through Chicago traffic. I put a Yakima rack into the factory luggage rails for an enourmous Yakima Rocket Box and still have a bike on either side when we're towing. .

    I'm 6' tall and I prefer the hitch rack for the bikes. My 5'6" wife prefers the hitch as well.
    Authorities speculate that speed may have been a factor. They are also holding gravity and inertia for questioning.

  35. #35
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    one thing i've noticed about hitch racks and trunk racks is that you have a third hand if you want to do something like tune a rear derailleur.

    I just put my bike in the bed of my truck though.

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