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On Hitch Mounted Bike Racks

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On Hitch Mounted Bike Racks

Old 12-06-20, 11:46 AM
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UsedToBeFaster
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On Hitch Mounted Bike Racks

I'm trying to find the best hitch for my setting. Best here means:

a) Can handle 4 bikes without any rubbing.
b) Is a high quality rack (not some amazon knock off) that will not fail.
c) Does not interfere with tail gate operation in SUVs.

For a) and b) can anyone recommend a 4 (preferably 5) bike rack that can actually handle 4 adult bikes?

It seems satisfying all three requirements is hard, particularly c). So to remove c) from the problem, I was thinking of getting a hitch extension, that is getting an extra part that pushes the hitch receiver out further. Any thoughts on the safety to car and bikes for bike racks if I did this? In particular bike racks are a bit unsual as the tongue weight they put on the hitches is a bit more than even larger trailers.

Thanks
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Old 12-06-20, 12:31 PM
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Originally Posted by UsedToBeFaster View Post
In particular bike racks are a bit unsual as the tongue weight they put on the hitches is a bit more than even larger trailers.
Not even close – unless the towing capacity of your SUV is only 1000 lbs.
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Old 12-06-20, 12:53 PM
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Yakima, Thule, Kurt, 1up.

Pick one- they all offer 4 bike tray style racks that can actually handle 4 adult bikes, are high quality, and pivot for tailgate access.
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Old 12-06-20, 12:56 PM
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Originally Posted by tomato coupe View Post
Not even close – unless the towing capacity of your SUV is only 1000 lbs.
tongue weight and towing capacity, aren't the same thing.
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Old 12-06-20, 03:47 PM
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tomato coupe
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Originally Posted by noodle soup View Post
tongue weight and towing capacity, aren't the same thing.
A 1000 lb. trailer typically would have a tongue weight of 100-150 lbs. A "larger" trailer for an SUV could weigh in excess of 5000 lbs and would have a tongue weight than greatly exceeds any bike rack.
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Old 12-06-20, 04:12 PM
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Etrailer dot com is a a good site to compare some racks.
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Old 12-06-20, 09:58 PM
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You need a 2" receiver to handle 4+ bikes. The generic saying is that if you add an extension you half your max tongue weight due to the extra leverage. mstateglfr already mentioned the standard platform racks, I'm a 1up owner myself, but if you want 5+ bikes go vertical like a Recon Rack Co . A few other make that style of racks but some don't work with road bikes while I know those do.
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Old 12-07-20, 09:50 AM
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Take a look at 1Up racks. They are modular in that you can add up to 3 more add-on modules to the main rack as needed. These add-on modules are easily installed/removed as needed. No matter how many add-on modules, if any, are being used, the entire rack can be tilted to gain access to the back of an SUV. Check the 1Up website and YouTube, where there are many videos showing this rack in use.

Tongue weight is typically 10% of the trailer weight.

Last edited by oldwinger14; 12-08-20 at 08:56 AM.
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Old 12-07-20, 11:04 AM
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I have the Hollywood Sport Rider SE4 Hitch Bike Rack. It holds 4 bikes and the vertical bars fold down to allow the tailgate of my pickup truck to open (but only when no bikes are on the rack). The design makes for easy loading and unloading of bikes. I have been using this rack for several years and it has held up very well. Here is a link to the product on the Hollywood site:

https://hollywoodracks.com/products/...nt=15862463686
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Old 12-07-20, 12:13 PM
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Thanks all. Where I've struggling is to understand the tongue weight of a hitch (weighing about 50 pounds) and 4 bikes (weight about 100 pounds). It's not quite the same as a trailer in that a trailer is rarely bouncing around out back like a hitch is over imperfect roads. This would imply that the tongue weight is not just 150 pounds.

Also, the general concept of hitch extenders halfing your tongue weight had me thinking. Most extenders are about 1-2 foot and most bike racks are at least that so shouldn't the allowable tongue weight of my vehicle be 300 pounds?

Thanks again.
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Old 12-07-20, 12:31 PM
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Originally Posted by UsedToBeFaster View Post
It's not quite the same as a trailer in that a trailer is rarely bouncing around out back like a hitch is over imperfect roads.
Why would a trailer be immune to bumpy roads?
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Old 12-07-20, 12:39 PM
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Originally Posted by UsedToBeFaster View Post
T
Also, the general concept of hitch extenders halfing your tongue weight had me thinking. Most extenders are about 1-2 foot and most bike racks are at least that so shouldn't the allowable tongue weight of my vehicle be 300 pounds?
The 4 rack brands mentioned earlier all pivot down to allow access to the tailgate. No hitch extender is then needed.
Ive used Tuhle and Yakima 4 bike tray racks on a Honda Pilot, Chrysler Pacifica, and Subaru Outback- the tailgates all open fine with 4 bikes loaded on both brand's common 4 bike tray racks. Yakima Hold Up and Thule T2 are the racks used- both very common, and no extender needed.
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Old 12-07-20, 05:09 PM
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Thule 4 bike tilt. Not cheap but will last a lifetime. I've never felt any carrier could truly protect all four bikes without some touching unless it was holding by the wheels and not the frame.
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Old 12-08-20, 08:58 AM
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I have a Kuat Sherpa 2.0 (for sale) and recently upgraded to the NV 2.0 4-bike carrier. Both have the anti-rattle feature which solidly keeps the bike rack from moving around when mounted in place. As mentioned already, the tilt down feature is a huge plus and easy to use even with bikes loaded on the hitch. I also have the Kuat Vagabond XL cargo basket which has (2) built-in fork mounts to carry (2) bikes on top. That might be another option to consider if a cargo basket comes in handy.
In this pic, you see the Sherpa 2.0 on the hitch along with the Vagabond XL and Rhino Rack Mountain Trail carrier on the roof. What you don't see is our 6yr old daughte'rs 18" bike inside the truck. Now you see why I had to upgrade to the NV 4-bike carrier.
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Last edited by primov8; 12-08-20 at 09:02 AM.
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Old 12-08-20, 07:12 PM
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I second the Kuat rack. Very secure and good separation of the bikes and nothing clamped to the bike frame. Quality product
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Old 12-09-20, 04:53 AM
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Originally Posted by TassR700 View Post
I second the Kuat rack. Very secure and good separation of the bikes and nothing clamped to the bike frame. Quality product
New geometry and carbon frames make suspending bikes from top tubes problematic. I will get a Kuat soon.
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Old 12-09-20, 05:17 AM
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Several years using the Kuat rack behind multiple vehicles (from a smaller Subaru Crosstrek to a pickup truck) on local rides and on long vacation drives, love it. Not cheap, but very sturdy and reliable and easy to use, get on/off and tilt down.

I don't have the addon for 4 bikes, but have used it when some touring cyclists were in town and carried their two very hefty e-bikes on it. Nice knob to adjust a cam that makes sure the rack doesn't rattle in the hitch receiver.

Not cheap, but in the same range as the others of same quality.
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Old 12-09-20, 07:09 AM
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The Kuat rack seems like a high quality option but at $750 for the 2 bike version it is more expensive than the $500 Hollywood Sport Rider SE 4 bike rack. For me the best feature of these racks is that the bike sits on its wheels on the rack rather than being suspended from the frame which can present problems with carbon frames and step-thru (women's bikes) frame designs. Below is a photo of the Hollywood Sport Rider SE 4 bike rack:


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Old 12-09-20, 08:27 AM
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The Hollywood rack posted ^^^ is cheaper but those padded hooks still clamp onto the frame to hold the bike down. Whereas the Kuat, 1UP, Thule hitch-platform style carriers make no contact whatsoever on the frame of the bike(s) being carried.
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Old 12-09-20, 08:53 AM
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1UP USA hands down. In 4 bike configuration it has a weight limit of 50lbs per tray...that's 200lbs worth of bikes you can haul safely and reliably. Secures the bikes by the wheels, no fumbling with straps around wheels or anything that touches your frame.

You are not going to find any 4 bike hitch rack that you won't have to tilt or rotate out of the way so you can drop the tailgate.

You said the "best"....that's it.
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Old 12-09-20, 09:25 AM
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The above post echos my earlier post touting a 1Up rack. I see 4 major features that make it a great choice:
1) Overall build quality and light weight
2) The rack secures the bikes without touching the bike(s) frame
3) Ease of install & removal
4) Completely modular - the rack can be configured to hold 1 or up to 4 bikes by adding up to 3 add-on modules as needed.
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Old 12-09-20, 09:41 AM
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Originally Posted by ARider2 View Post
The Kuat rack seems like a high quality option but at $750 for the 2 bike version it is more expensive than the $500 Hollywood Sport Rider SE 4 bike rack. For me the best feature of these racks is that the bike sits on its wheels on the rack rather than being suspended from the frame which can present problems with carbon frames and step-thru (women's bikes) frame designs. Below is a photo of the Hollywood Sport Rider SE 4 bike rack:
One rack doesnt touch the frame. Another rack's entire securing is based on clamping the frame.
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Old 12-09-20, 06:11 PM
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4 bike hitch rack = guaranteed scratched bikes . I use a Thule Apex w/ 4 bikes. 4 bikes are so close together on the rack that the bikes hit each other: the bikes sway, the handlebars turn, some times the carrier the bike sits on slides toward other bikes. Also it's difficult to load 4 bikes trying to figure out where all the pedals should go where they don't hit the bikes. Sometimes, I'll load a bike and a pedal hits a frame.
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Old 12-09-20, 06:12 PM
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Originally Posted by primov8 View Post
The Hollywood rack posted ^^^ is cheaper but those padded hooks still clamp onto the frame to hold the bike down. Whereas the Kuat, 1UP, Thule hitch-platform style carriers make no contact whatsoever on the frame of the bike(s) being carried.
Yes, the Hollywood system clamps down on the frame while the Kuat system clamps down on the tire to hold the bicycle in place. If one wants a system that does not touch the frame then it is worth the extra money to go for the Kuat. I have used the Hollywood rack to transport everything from high-end carbon fiber road bikes to heavy e-bikes and did not see any ill effects from clamping down on the frame to hold the bikes in place. Since the bicycle wheels rest in the cradles I find very little downward clamping effort is required to keep the bicycle securely in place. The Kuat is a superior product while the Hollywood is good enough for the needs of most cyclists.
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Old 12-09-20, 06:19 PM
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Originally Posted by greysquirrel View Post
4 bike hitch rack = guaranteed scratched bikes . I use a Thule Apex w/ 4 bikes. 4 bikes are so close together on the rack that the bikes hit each other: the bikes sway, the handlebars turn, some times the carrier the bike sits on slides toward other bikes. Also it's difficult to load 4 bikes trying to figure out where all the pedals should go where they don't hit the bikes. Sometimes, I'll load a bike and a pedal hits a frame.
This will not happen with a 1Up rack.The bikes are spaced and sinced they are held to the rack by the tires, there is no way the handlebars can move
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