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1.25" or 2" Hitch Receiver for Bike Rack?

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1.25" or 2" Hitch Receiver for Bike Rack?

Old 05-23-20, 08:09 AM
  #26  
jbell_64
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Originally Posted by HerrKaLeun View Post
You don't need to be a structural engineer to answer that questions. Add to that the fact that 2" receivers cost almost the same as 1-1/4". And when you have larger racks for more bikes, they only come in 2" (for a reason...).
The questions is more why 1-1/4" even exists.
I think it is solely to remind people that putting a hitch on a car does not turn it into a truck.
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Old 05-23-20, 11:18 AM
  #27  
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Originally Posted by HerrKaLeun View Post
You don't need to be a structural engineer to answer that questions. Add to that the fact that 2" receivers cost almost the same as 1-1/4". And when you have larger racks for more bikes, they only come in 2" (for a reason...).
The questions is more why 1-1/4" even exists.
You're kidding, right? They exist because there are different towing classes, and the smaller receiver is used for the lower weight classes. When it comes to accessories like bike racks, it prevents a person from using a bike rack that is too large for their car's rated capacity. The receiver can only hold as much weight as the mounting points will allow. Even within the 1 1/4 world, there are some accessories that will not fit, some Class I receivers have a stop in them that prevents a class II accessory to be attached. If you made a 2 inch receiver for a car that is only rated for Class I, it would open up a ton of issues. There are different towing classes, and receiver sizes for a reason.
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Old 05-23-20, 11:39 AM
  #28  
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Originally Posted by jbell_64 View Post
I think it is solely to remind people that putting a hitch on a car does not turn it into a truck.
What does a hitch to do with what type of car or truck it is? the only limit of hitch you can install is if there is one available for the bolt pattern your vehicle has. Cars and SUVs also can tow, they just have a lower tow rating.
It would take someone really dumb who thinks installing a 2" hitch with 4-ton rating on on a Prius to think it enables the Prius to tow 4 tons. (well, but we also live int he country where manufacturers of disinfectant need to point out it is not for ingestion.... so there is that). If you tow trailers, you also need to install the wiring harness and with some manufacturers a transmission cooler. So the fact someone installs a hitch receiver, doesn't really have to mean anything for trailers. i bet most hitches on private vehicles inc. trucks never see a trailer, but see cargo platforms, bike racks etc.

Originally Posted by phughes View Post
You're kidding, right? They exist because there are different towing classes, and the smaller receiver is used for the lower weight classes. When it comes to accessories like bike racks, it prevents a person from using a bike rack that is too large for their car's rated capacity. The receiver can only hold as much weight as the mounting points will allow. Even within the 1 1/4 world, there are some accessories that will not fit, some Class I receivers have a stop in them that prevents a class II accessory to be attached. If you made a 2 inch receiver for a car that is only rated for Class I, it would open up a ton of issues. There are different towing classes, and receiver sizes for a reason.
You realize a hitch rated for 4 tons also can tow a 200 pound trailer? The weight of the trailer is limited by the car. The hitch receiver itself in most cases will have a larger rating.

Maybe I have to retract mys statement that it doesn't take a structural engineer to see the benefit of the 2" vs. 1.25". a trailer pulls on the hitch receiver, but it doesn't twist it. A bike rack will exercise torsional fore by going up an down on the left and right side. Take a 1.25" hitch and a 2" hitch and go down a highway and you see the difference in how scary the bike will swing around. Even if you put simple science aside, or refuse to understand it, you must see that larger racks are only available in 2" and it is prudent to be a bit future-proof.
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Old 05-23-20, 11:43 AM
  #29  
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Originally Posted by HerrKaLeun View Post
What does a hitch to do with what type of car or truck it is? the only limit of hitch you can install is if there is one available for the bolt pattern your vehicle has. Cars and SUVs also can tow, they just have a lower tow rating.
It would take someone really dumb who thinks installing a 2" hitch with 4-ton rating on on a Prius to think it enables the Prius to tow 4 tons. (well, but we also live int he country where manufacturers of disinfectant need to point out it is not for ingestion.... so there is that). If you tow trailers, you also need to install the wiring harness and with some manufacturers a transmission cooler. So the fact someone installs a hitch receiver, doesn't really have to mean anything for trailers. i bet most hitches on private vehicles inc. trucks never see a trailer, but see cargo platforms, bike racks etc.



You realize a hitch rated for 4 tons also can tow a 200 pound trailer? The weight of the trailer is limited by the car. The hitch receiver itself in most cases will have a larger rating.

Maybe I have to retract mys statement that it doesn't take a structural engineer to see the benefit of the 2" vs. 1.25". a trailer pulls on the hitch, but it doesn't twist it. a bike rack will exercise torsional fore by going up an down on the left and right side. Take a 1.25" hitch and a 2" hitch and go down a highway and you see the difference in how scary the bike will swing around. Even if you put simple science aside, or refuse to understand it. you must see that larger racks are only available in 2" and it is prudent to be a bit future-proof.
I guess you know all about towing and hitches. Carry on then. Of course the receiver manufacturers know more about the regulations than you, I would surmise, and they make only the receivers that fit the towing capabilities for that vehicle. Some models of Prius can handle a Class III hitch, whereas my Nissan Cube cannot, they don't make one for it. They also do not make one for my Fiat 500. There is one available for the Prius. It comes down to availability, what the manufacturer makes for a vehicle, and that is based on the vehicle's capability, and rating from the auto manufacturer.

I'm not sure why you are so argumentative. My earlier suggestion simply said that if a two inch receiver was available, to get that over a 1 1/4. The person owning the vehicle has to use their head to not exceed what their car's manufacturer states the towing capacity, and max tongue weight is. A 2 inch receiver gives the ability to use heavier duty bike racks capable of carrying more bikes, of course that depends on your vehicle's capabilities.

Did you miss my original comment?

QUOTE: "I can only get a 1 1/4 inch receiver on my current vehicle, and my last one. I have a two bike rack from Thule, and have had no issues, including multiple 800+ mile day trips. With a 1 1/4 inch receiver you are limited to a two bike rack. Other than that, it is no issue. Just get a good receiver. The receiver made for my vehicle by Curt, required a special strap if a bicycle rack was used. The receiver I bought, from Reese did not, as the Hidden Hitch receiver for my last receiver also did not require a strap.

Of course if a vehicle can accept a 2 inch receiver, go with that, you can then use 1 1/4 or 2 inch."

Last edited by phughes; 05-23-20 at 12:02 PM.
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Old 05-23-20, 12:41 PM
  #30  
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Originally Posted by phughes View Post
You're kidding, right? They exist because there are different towing classes, and the smaller receiver is used for the lower weight classes.
I have to wonder why we have so many classes.

Why not combine Class 1&2 (1 1/4")
Combine Class 3&4 (2"). Class 5 (2")?

Why can one find 2" balls with bolt sizes from about 3/4" up to about 1 1/4", and a huge divergence of weight ratings.

Still, I agree with your premise that to some extent the smaller (and lighter) equipment can correspond to the actual needs and uses.

Originally Posted by HerrKaLeun View Post
Maybe I have to retract my statement that it doesn't take a structural engineer to see the benefit of the 2" vs. 1.25". a trailer pulls on the hitch receiver, but it doesn't twist it. A bike rack will exercise torsional fore by going up an down on the left and right side. Take a 1.25" hitch and a 2" hitch and go down a highway and you see the difference in how scary the bike will swing around. Even if you put simple science aside, or refuse to understand it, you must see that larger racks are only available in 2" and it is prudent to be a bit future-proof.
I was thinking about that some earlier. If a trailer ball is balanced perfectly, and a car pulls directly in a straight line, then that may be true. But, one can have drop hitches. Flip it over and the ball is raised to the hitch.

Pull, or back around a corner and the ball is pulled or pushed to the side. And, with a drop/raised hitch, it also is twisted.

A few bumps, as well as starts and stops and it may be wiggling (plus, of course, bouncing around when empty).

And, in those times when everything goes wrong, you have the trailer pushing or pulling the car to the side.

Also note, there seems to be a fair amount of slop with some hitches/receivers.

Some of the 2" bike racks are actually 1 1/4" with the added complication of an adapter.

I haven't paid that much attention to racks on the highway. Most seem stable enough. The worst ones are generally the overloaded racks on motorhomes (and presumably 2" receivers).

I doubt it really matters that much if one is carrying 1 or 2 bikes (50 pounds worth of bikes?) Start carrying 4 really heavy bikes, and it will be an issue.

I do like inter-compatibility of stuff, but if working on a super-light passenger car, it would probably be a 1 1/4" receiver. Just no need for heavier 2". On the other hand, a mid-sized SUV or pickup would probably get the 2", in part because more options are available.
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Old 05-23-20, 12:55 PM
  #31  
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Originally Posted by CliffordK View Post
I have to wonder why we have so many classes.

Why not combine Class 1&2 (1 1/4")
Combine Class 3&4 (2"). Class 5 (2")?

Why can one find 2" balls with bolt sizes from about 3/4" up to about 1 1/4", and a huge divergence of weight ratings.

Still, I agree with your premise that to some extent the smaller (and lighter) equipment can correspond to the actual needs and uses.


.
It's not my premise, it is simply the way the industry is, as well as physics, and engineering. Not all cars can handle higher tongue weights, or towing weights. With respect to bike racks, it is the tongue weight that come into play. A class I hitch is rated for 100-150 lbs tongue weight, Class II is 200-350 lbs tongue weight, Class II is 350-500 lbs, and Class IV is 500+ lbs.

You could not combine Class I and Class II since they have different weight ratings. The same goes for Class III and Class IV.

Anyway, I originally simply stated what I have, and 1 1/4, and what rack I use, I have a Thule 2 bike tray type rack. I then stated that I cannot use a Thule 4 bike rack, because that requires a 2 inch receiver. I then said if a 2 inch receiver was available for the car, then to get that one. That offers more options, even if they do not need it now.
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Old 05-23-20, 01:35 PM
  #32  
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Originally Posted by CliffordK View Post
Still, I agree with your premise that to some extent the smaller (and lighter) equipment can correspond to the actual needs and uses.


I was thinking about that some earlier. If a trailer ball is balanced perfectly, and a car pulls directly in a straight line, then that may be true. But, one can have drop hitches. Flip it over and the ball is raised to the hitch.

Pull, or back around a corner and the ball is pulled or pushed to the side. And, with a drop/raised hitch, it also is twisted.

A few bumps, as well as starts and stops and it may be wiggling (plus, of course, bouncing around when empty).

And, in those times when everything goes wrong, you have the trailer pushing or pulling the car to the side.

Also note, there seems to be a fair amount of slop with some hitches/receivers.

Some of the 2" bike racks are actually 1 1/4" with the added complication of an adapter.

I haven't paid that much attention to racks on the highway. Most seem stable enough. The worst ones are generally the overloaded racks on motorhomes (and presumably 2" receivers).

I doubt it really matters that much if one is carrying 1 or 2 bikes (50 pounds worth of bikes?) Start carrying 4 really heavy bikes, and it will be an issue.

I do like inter-compatibility of stuff, but if working on a super-light passenger car, it would probably be a 1 1/4" receiver. Just no need for heavier 2". On the other hand, a mid-sized SUV or pickup would probably get the 2", in part because more options are available.
- the weight difference between a 1.25"and a 2" hitch receiver is negligible on a car. I looked into that before installing my receiver. Most structural part of the receiver is under the car (the part that bolts on to the car) and the same. In most cases the manufacturer just welds the 1.25" square part to the same structure as the 2" squares. Maybe you save 1-2 pounds. On a car weighing over 2 tons loaded this really doesn't matter.
- a round ball doesn't transfer twisting force to the receiver. The square insert of a bike rack does.
- buy a native 2" rack and not the 1.25" with an adapter... is just better. The racks with a larger rating only come in native 2"
- I have a 1up native 2" rack with a single bike and it swings a little bit. I would have no faith in a 1.25" rack, especially with 2 bikes. But everyone's comfort level is different. Imagine the wind forces pulling on your bike in wind, passing by big semis at 80 mph.
- if I have a small car or a truck, the interface between rack and vehicle still is the receiver. so whatever is better about 2", will be better regardless of vehicle.
- more options are available with a 2" receiver. you can install 2" racks and 1.25" racks.
- Most smaller racks are NOT rated for off-road. None of the ones rated for off-road has 1.25". Even if you just go over a gravel road or some potholed path, there are significantly larger forces.

Don't go cheap on the rack, get a quality rack and you have it forever and you can drive in confidence. There is always someone on the Internet who recommends a $100 rack with 1.25" parts.... and then the plastic thingies deteriorate, the steel corrodes, the $2K bike falls off and so on. Buying a high quality rack also puts that 1.25" discussion to rest, since they only come in 2". Cry once....
I really don't understand some people on this forum. They spend hundreds of $ on bike specific clothing and shoes, socks, CO2 cartridges, gels...and so on (I ride what I have), but then save $20 on a rack that holds their $5K bicycle.

Finally, if you install a receiver and your car had some winters in the rust belt, do yourself a favor and pay U-Haul to do it. I was cheap and installed my own receiver on my own 6 year old WI car and had a hell of a time since 2 of the 4 bolt nuts were exposed to the salted roads......
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Old 05-23-20, 03:01 PM
  #33  
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First, there are LOTS of cars that are no-tow, so the only RESPONSIBLE companies will put a 1.25 inch adapter on your car for non-towing use. So you can get a 1.25 inch adapter on your Miata to bring your purple crack to the autocross or track. And you can get a 1.25 inch adapter for your Corolla for your bikes.

If your car can do 2 inch, do it. If you can’t, you won’t die or destroy you bike if you put on a 1.25 inch adapter.

Worry about your exhaust pipe(s).

FFS.

-mr. bill

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Old 05-23-20, 03:52 PM
  #34  
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The implications of receiver size and towing capacity is different for towing vs using a bike rack.

The issue with bike racks is not the strength of the receiver. Any 1-1/4” receiver can handle the weight of a 4 tray bike rack. It is not very much.

The issue is the TWISTING of the rack in the receiver. And this is where a 2” hitch helps a lot. 1mm of play allows more rotation in a 1-1/4” interface than a 2” one.

This twisting is a non-issue with towing, as the trailer hitch is designed to pivot and twist freely on the receiver ball.

I put a 2” reciever on my car, even though there is no way I can tow a trailer that actually needs whatever class receiver a 2” hitch is. The reason is that it makes for a more stable rack IF I also use a 2” rack.

One caveat to this is that if you have a 1-1/4” rack you’re better off with a 1-1/4” receiver (at least for that particular rack). With a 2” receiver you get the wobbling of the 1-1-4” rack in the adaptor plus the wobble of the adaptor in the 2” receiver.
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