What do you think of car bike racks?

Forums Mountain Bike Forum What do you think of car bike racks?

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    • #178349

      How do you store your bikes for travelling to trails: roof bike rack, rear car bike rack, tow bar rack, in the car as one, without wheels or something else? Why did you choose it?

      And what’s most important to you about how you store it?

      -getting it packed away quickly

      -not getting the car all muddy

      – the noise and movement of having the bike on the outside being a bit worrying

      – the securing against the risk of theft

      – getting it all out the house and into the car quickly

      – not damaging the car/bike

      – using variety of different cars (friends cars) to store it

      -Something else?

      Is any not a worry at all?

      Do you think there is any product out there that is perfect for storing your bike and bike kit? I’m trying to figure out which storage method is the best and ways it can be improved. If you have any thoughts it would be great to hear.

    • #178350

      I’ve used pretty much every type of car rack and I have to say tray-style hitch racks are my favorite. Why? Because it’s quick and easy to load the bikes on and off. No need to take wheels off, mess with straps, or lift bikes very high.

      Now, that’s not to say it’s a perfect solution. If I’m not riding I don’t like to leave the hitch rack on my car so I have to haul the (fairly heavy and awkward) rack in and out of my basement.

    • #178368

      I went with a Yakima roof rack, using two of their Frontloader trays and one standard tray. The nice thing about the Frontloader is that you don’t have to take your front wheel off, which leaves a lot more room in the car. The downside is, it can be awkward to load bikes into the trays, especially if the bike is heavy, if you’re tired, or parked on a hill.

      Roof racks are loud and have a bigger impact on gas mileage than hitch racks. I have a sunroof but if I drive faster than 30 MPH the wind noise is unbearable. It’s an issue even when bikes aren’t up there. If I had to do it all over again, I’d go with a tray style hitch rack like Jeff said. It’s going to cost more up front, especially if you don’t have a hitch on your car, but the convenience and ease of use is worth it.

      Most racks don’t come with locks stock. Or if they do, you have to purchase the lock cores separately. I got the lock cores for the rack itself as well as the trays. The locks for the rack prevent someone from stealing the entire rack off my car, and the locks on the trays provide minimal security. If I’m going to be leaving my bike on my car for an extended period of time, or out of sight, I use a u-lock along with a heavy-duty cable for extra insurance. It may not prevent someone from stealing my bike, but it will damn well make it harder for them to take it.

    • #178487

      I used my truck bed with fork mounts and a car trunk mount. Then I got the Thule T2 hitch mounted rack. Being able to load and unload in about 10 seconds is the greatest thing ever.  It is a pain to take off the truck. The hitch pin requires a wrench and a key. But the speed of use is worth it many times over.

    • #178523

      I like the kuat nv core. works awesome. you don’t have to lift bikes up high, and mine has the extension that can hold 4 bikes. its also got locks to go through the rims and a lock on the pin, so it is safe.

    • #178524

      I had an old thule rack that was horrible and the bikes on it got so tossed around that a handlebar broke one of my shifters on my old bike. never get a thule.

    • #178785

      I use a tray style hitch-mount rack from 1up USA. First rack I’ve ever loved. In no particular order, the things I like about it are: 1. bike is on/off in seconds, 2. rack makes it easy to do basic maintenance trailside, 3. its 100% aluminum so no rust & lightweight, 4. install/remove rack from hitch in seconds with a simple allen key, 5. rack has zero shake in receiver hitch, 6. expandable up to 4 bikes – takes about 2 minutes to add/remove an additional rack. The rack is a little pricey but I don’t mind paying for quality & convenience.

    • #178846

      We ended up with a Saris tray ish style hitch mount.  Works pretty cool, and now we have some new fat bike wheel cups.   We have a small hitch receiver, so 2 bike is all we can get.  It also doesn’t fit in the garage very well.   I really don’t think there is a perfect solution.

    • #178902

      I bought one of the racks that hangs on your trunk. I couldn’t afford to put roof racks on my car or get a hitch mount installed and THEN buy a rack. The trunk rack isn’t bad, it can be a pain to put on the first few times, and I don’t like to keep it on my car at all times, as it makes it harder to use the trunk.

      I use the rack when I have a shorter drive to the trails, its extra wet and muddy conditions, or I need to load my car all the way up. I don’t like driving too far with my bike on the rack, I have some trust issues.

      When I’m driving a longer distance to the trail or have to do a lot of highway driving, I take my front wheel off and put my bike in the car. I drive a compact car, but with the back seats folded down my bike fits nicely. This obviously takes a lot of space up in my car for anything else. As for noise factor I don’t feel that there is much noise in the car, as long as you pack your bike so that it can’t move on its own. And another time I put it in the car is if I need to store it overnight, I hate the idea of leaving my bike outside during the night just waiting for someone to take it…

    • #179112

      What do you think of car bike racks? Um, I think they are needed. There are better ones, there are cheap ones, but one way or another you need one.

      Plus, how else can you tell who the cool people are looking at their cars? Around here (Seattle) all the cool people have bike racks and ski boxes on their cars.

      Okay, now that I got my joking out of the way, I had roof mounted Yakima racks for ever. Think I bought my first one at 18, I’m 45 now. Over time it became more of a pain to lift the bikes up on top of taller cars/SUVs, and a drag to take the front wheel on and off.  I now have a hitch mounted Yakima tray type rack. It can hold 2 or 4 bikes which is nice. I still have two bike mounts on the roof rack which I have for the ski box so I can take 6 bikes when needed.

    • #179231

      I have used tray style hitch mounts, the cheap car trunk racks, Thule roof racks, homemade pickup racks, and yakima roof racks.

      My preference?

      1. Yakima roof rack. Can be used to carry multiple bikes easily, quick on and off, can use trunk easily while bikes are mounted, don’t have to remove for driving around and easy to remove anyway. I use one frontloader rack for the mtb and a fork mount for my road bike. Plus, I bought the whole setup (towers, rails, clips and three racks) for 100 bucks.  I’ve also used the lockjaw mounts, which worked fine too and you didn’t have to take the front wheel off for those either. The only con? Fatbikes. But I don’t have a fatbike so the yakima roof set up is great for now.

      2. Close second is the tray style hitch mount. The good ones can be lowered so you can get in the trunk. the downside is that they are incredibly expensive and the cheap ones suck. Everyone here in MN who has a fatbike has a truck or a hitch mount.


      At the Lutsen 99er last year some guy had strapped his fs carbon xc bike to the roof of his Nissan 350Z. He used a ton of carpet and mats, but seriously….

    • #186619

      I’m all about fitting the bikes in the car Sammy. No rack required! No smashing bikes on the garage! Personally I’d take a wagon over most cars but they’re falling out of popularity lately. I wrote about this a while back actually: http://www.ridemorebikes.com/best-car-mountain-bikers/

    • #186701

      When I don’t just put the bike in the back of the pick up I use a tray type hitch rack for a couple of reasons. I don’t like taking the front wheel off my bike all the time and I don’t have the energy after a ride to throw it up on top. I bought a Curt rack; half the price and very well built. Shop around for the best price.  It has a pivot point so when I use it on the car or where I might have to get in the back of the truck one pin and it folds out of the way, bikes and all, for easy access.  If I put it on the back of the trailer where it doesn’t need to tilt out of the way I remove that and it fits right on the 2″ receiver.

      When securing the bike, where I have a real worry it might get stolen, I use two cable locks.  One I use to go through the tires and the frame and one through the frame and around the rack.  Probably pretty much useless with cable cutters around but I feel better that way.  And double security makes the insurance people happier.

    • #186759

      I really also much prefer to put my bike inside of my car.

      *No rack required.

      *No need for adding hitch to my car.

      *My gas mileage does not drop on those long trips.

      *No need to have additional locks or cable locks to keep anyone from tampering with or stealing my bikes.

      *No worries about trunk mount straps getting loose.

      I have an Acura RSX with a hatch back. I simply lay down the back seats, I put down a blanket in the trunk area to keep the trunk area clean, remove the front tire (super easy on my bikes), lay the bike in the trunk area, and put the front tire in. If I need to put a second bike in, I put another blanket on top of the first bike and repeat the process.

    • #186819

      I have owned trunk mount, hitch mount where the bikes hang and finally hitch mount tray style.  I will never use any other type than hitch mount tray style in the future.  Bikes are super secure, easy to put on and off.  The only downside to it is that its fairly heavy and awkward to remove and store.  Never could understand the roof mount style, seems like such a hassle to load.

    • #187060

      Dont need one have a pickup just put the bike in the bed on its side derailer up and run a strap through the frame and to the tie down point to keep it from sliding around

    • #215697

      Tray-style hitch racks all the way. Just wrapped this review and love this rack:

      Kuat NV 2.0 Bike Rack Review

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