Transporting bikes with an SUV?

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z91
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Transporting bikes with an SUV?

Post by z91 » Tue Jul 03, 2018 12:17 am

My wife and I are on a biking spree this summer with the kids, now that they both learned how to pedal without training wheels. Trouble now is we want to explore other areas, but having a pain transporting the bikes around. I can fit them all in my SUV's trunk with the third row down (Honda Pilot), but it requires me to take off the front wheels of our bikes and play a game of Tetris. This also means we can't transport anything else, like coolers.

I've been looking at buying something to transport the bikes around a bit easier. At least have the adult bikes on the roof/hitch so we have room for other stuff. Not too concerned about the kids bikes, but that'd be a bonus. It won't be often, maybe 3 times a month in the summer.

What I've been considering:
1) Get a bike hitch. Seems simple enough, but I don't have the trailer hitch installed on my car, so I'd have to do that first. I see that they sell aftermarket options for $150 or so and I can install it myself. Then a budget hitch looks like they go for $200-300. This option seems clunky to me but it does the job and would force me to install a hitch, so I can attach trailers and such in the future if I wanted to.

2) Buy roof racks. The combination of things I'd have to buy here make this kind of expensive. My SUV has side rails on the roof, but I have to buy crossbars, then a bike mount for the crossbars. This seems pretty sleek though and I can use it for other things like plywood/sheetrock from the supply store, which would probably happen more often than attaching trailers..

Seems like the easiest thing would just to get a bike hitch. I don't plan on using it often and can store it if needed. I hear a lot of bad things about wind noise (especially at my price point :P ) with roof racks, and I'm kinda lazy, so I'd probably just leave it on the roof all the time. Not to mention I'm 5'5" so I'd probably just embarrass myself getting the bikes up and down..

Any thoughts? It's a fairly big investment for me as I only spent 5k on the car and we're looking at 10% of that just to transport bikes around.

Edit: I should also mention I'm paranoid about theft..so any tips on that would be great too. I'd hate to go out for lunch and come back to see the hitch/rack and/or bikes gone.

inbox788
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Re: Transporting bikes with an SUV?

Post by inbox788 » Tue Jul 03, 2018 2:20 am

How far are you transporting the bikes? The easiest solution is the hitch rack. A trailer would cost more, but you can use that to transport the bikes as well as sheets of construction materials.

chw
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Re: Transporting bikes with an SUV?

Post by chw » Tue Jul 03, 2018 4:28 am

Regarding the bike hitch, make sure the hitch you install is rated properly for the frame of the auto. The torque from the weight of 3-4 bikes can damage the frame if the hitch isn't sized and installed properly. I do use a bike hitch to transport 2 bikes- I use a Swagman 2 bike rack, which is very easy to transport bikes. I was only able to install a 1.25" receiver on my SUV frame, which is more limiting on the weight that can be transported on the hitch. Some SUVs will accommodate a 2" receiver, which generally will allow transport up to 3-4 bikes.

motorcyclesarecool
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Re: Transporting bikes with an SUV?

Post by motorcyclesarecool » Tue Jul 03, 2018 4:43 am

Get a universal trunk mount bike rack. Quick. Easy. Cheap. Effective. And if you place the straps well, you’ll still have trunk access. Go for Thule or Yakima.
Understand that choosing an HDHP is very much a "red pill" approach. Most would rather pay higher premiums for a $20 copay per visit. They will think you weird for choosing an HSA.

BobTexas
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Re: Transporting bikes with an SUV?

Post by BobTexas » Tue Jul 03, 2018 5:20 am

Hitch type are much easier to use then roof racks, plus you don't have to worry about running into the drive through and tearing the bikes off the roof. Get the tray kind like the Yakima Holdup. You can get them on Craigslist if you are patient

Jack FFR1846
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Re: Transporting bikes with an SUV?

Post by Jack FFR1846 » Tue Jul 03, 2018 5:56 am

motorcyclesarecool wrote:
Tue Jul 03, 2018 4:43 am
Get a universal trunk mount bike rack. Quick. Easy. Cheap. Effective. And if you place the straps well, you’ll still have trunk access. Go for Thule or Yakima.
I'm going to say NO to this. We have one of these and rarely use it because I've got an old hitch rack. This past weekend, I installed the rack on our crosstrek for my son to take his bike back to his summer intern job. The straps were quite tight and bike very secure on the rack. The hooks that go to the top of the hatch fell off (4 of them) and the whole thing fell off the car. This thing is garbage. If you're local to me and want this rack, you can have it for free. I plan to bring it in with my scrap metal as it's such junk.

We've had the hitch rack for at least 30 years and it is solid and works great. I've had 4 bikes on it quite a few times and never had an issue.
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RootSki
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Re: Transporting bikes with an SUV?

Post by RootSki » Tue Jul 03, 2018 6:45 am

I used to just shove my bike into the back of my XC60. Then I met my wife and she wanted to ride with me sometimes. Two bikes in the back of an XC60 sucks. Went with a Küat Hitch rack. Not the super expensive one, the next model down.

I'll never again put a bike in or on a car again.

PS - I do have one of those trunk mount things that cost about $35 just in case my wife needs to come rescue me with her car, but outside of making sure it fits, we've never used it.

Rupert
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Re: Transporting bikes with an SUV?

Post by Rupert » Tue Jul 03, 2018 7:12 am

Go to UHaul and have them install the trailer hitch for you. I think I paid about $150 to have them install one on my minivan. The hitch rack is so much nicer and easier to use than any universal rack I've used in the past.

runner3081
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Re: Transporting bikes with an SUV?

Post by runner3081 » Tue Jul 03, 2018 7:46 am

Jack FFR1846 wrote:
Tue Jul 03, 2018 5:56 am
motorcyclesarecool wrote:
Tue Jul 03, 2018 4:43 am
Get a universal trunk mount bike rack. Quick. Easy. Cheap. Effective. And if you place the straps well, you’ll still have trunk access. Go for Thule or Yakima.
I'm going to say NO to this. We have one of these and rarely use it because I've got an old hitch rack. This past weekend, I installed the rack on our crosstrek for my son to take his bike back to his summer intern job. The straps were quite tight and bike very secure on the rack. The hooks that go to the top of the hatch fell off (4 of them) and the whole thing fell off the car. This thing is garbage. If you're local to me and want this rack, you can have it for free. I plan to bring it in with my scrap metal as it's such junk.

We've had the hitch rack for at least 30 years and it is solid and works great. I've had 4 bikes on it quite a few times and never had an issue.
I think you may not be doing it right.

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queso
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Re: Transporting bikes with an SUV?

Post by queso » Tue Jul 03, 2018 8:13 am

BobTexas wrote:
Tue Jul 03, 2018 5:20 am
Hitch type are much easier to use then roof racks, plus you don't have to worry about running into the drive through and tearing the bikes off the roof. Get the tray kind like the Yakima Holdup. You can get them on Craigslist if you are patient
True, but I've never wanted to try to go through the ordeal of explaining to my insurance company that I don't care about my Honda's bumper, but I want to be reimbursed for the two $10k Cervelo tri-bikes that were crushed when I was rear ended at a stop light by someone updating their FB status. I'll stick to roof racks. I almost never go to drive thru restaurants anyway. :happy I have a Thule and have been really happy with it. Had it for years.

protagonist
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Re: Transporting bikes with an SUV?

Post by protagonist » Tue Jul 03, 2018 8:23 am

This is a simple solution that works well for me....I found it as the #1 recommended bike rack on Wirecutter: https://www.saris.com/product/bones3

It worked well on my Honda Element.....check out how well it would work on your vehicle. It took awhile to set up the first time, but once set up for your vehicle taking it on and off is easy.

The downside is that you cannot open the hatch of your SUV when you are carrying bikes., so you would have to access your luggage, etc. from the front.

I never considered the insurance issue....then again I don't have $20K worth of bicycles. You might speak with your insurance agent. Maybe you can get a rider (if that is the correct term) on your policy to cover them. I mean an insurance rider, not a bike rider.

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queso
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Re: Transporting bikes with an SUV?

Post by queso » Tue Jul 03, 2018 8:28 am

protagonist wrote:
Tue Jul 03, 2018 8:23 am
I never considered the insurance issue....then again I don't have $20K worth of bicycles.
I don't either, but we take turns driving and a couple of the guys I ride with (Ironman competitors) have much nicer bikes than I do. :happy

WhyNotUs
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Re: Transporting bikes with an SUV?

Post by WhyNotUs » Tue Jul 03, 2018 8:47 am

Your criteria are in conflict and you need to prioritize them

1.) Want cheap
2.) Want secure
3.) I am not tall (no choice about this one)
4.) I want two to four bikes (if you are getting a hitch mount might as well)

Normally, I think the best solution for you would be a hitch with a four bike rack with locking arms, however, as you note that would be a substantial investment relative to the cost of the car.

The only lower cost solution is the strap-on type. There is no real way to make them very safe from theft so you can decide for yourself whether to take the risk.

As a tall person, roof racks are viable option for me but when I see less tall people trying to use them I scratch my head as to why they made that choice. Seems like a good way to ruin a bike outing.
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livesoft
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Re: Transporting bikes with an SUV?

Post by livesoft » Tue Jul 03, 2018 8:49 am

Videos abound on youtube.com so one can see all kinds of reviews of bike racks.
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bloom2708
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Re: Transporting bikes with an SUV?

Post by bloom2708 » Tue Jul 03, 2018 8:51 am

Not as cheap of a solution.

2 Brompton folding bikes for mom & dad. (These are high quality, but not cheap)

2 Citizen folding bikes for the kids. (These are lower quality, but cheap)

Throw them in the trunk or cargo area. :wink:

I know, I know, it isn't that simple. My Brompton has been the best investment in a quality tool that will last a long time.
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2pedals
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Re: Transporting bikes with an SUV?

Post by 2pedals » Tue Jul 03, 2018 8:53 am

Get a trailer hitch and a bike rack that works with your hitch (1.25" or 2" receiver). I have the Kuat Beta 2 and have seen nothing better. It is lightweight (aluminum) has a internal clamp in the receiver to reduce receiver play and rattle. I do not like the more expensive tray racks, I have yet to see one that can secure (to my liking) various bikes properly with fenders, shocks, frame shapes, tire sizes, etc.

You may also find that the Swagman adapter bar very handy for mounting bike with cross tubes than are sloped with a hanger style (Kuat Beta) bike rack.
Last edited by 2pedals on Tue Jul 03, 2018 9:00 am, edited 2 times in total.

protagonist
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Re: Transporting bikes with an SUV?

Post by protagonist » Tue Jul 03, 2018 8:54 am

queso wrote:
Tue Jul 03, 2018 8:28 am
protagonist wrote:
Tue Jul 03, 2018 8:23 am
I never considered the insurance issue....then again I don't have $20K worth of bicycles.
I don't either, but we take turns driving and a couple of the guys I ride with (Ironman competitors) have much nicer bikes than I do. :happy
I don't mean to seem cold and heartless. But their bikes are their responsibility. A Saris Bones 3 is a perfectly reasonable way to carry bikes. If you buy something like a Saris Bones 3 and it doesn't work for them because of liability issues (understandable when their bikes are worth more than many cars), IMHO they need to come up with the solution, not you.
Last edited by protagonist on Tue Jul 03, 2018 9:01 am, edited 1 time in total.

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jharkin
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Re: Transporting bikes with an SUV?

Post by jharkin » Tue Jul 03, 2018 9:01 am

We opted for a trailer hitch rack for our Honda Pilot. A loaded roof rack makes the vehicle very top heavy and more susceptible to wind buffeting, and the strap on racks make the rear hatch difficult to use. The hitch rack simply folds down to open the hatch.


We got an Allen Sports rack... Haven't used it much but it seems ok.... a LOT cheaper than expensive Thule/Yakima/etc racks but still gets good reviews. Our usage is maybe 1-2x a year, if its something you use a lot one of the more expensive brands might be worth the premium.
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00AS ... UTF8&psc=1

We did not order the Pilot with the tow package, I just ordered the factory receiver and installed that myself - it simply bolts to the underside of the rear frame, and you replace a trim piece in the bumper. Its 20 minutes of work and the only tools required area socket wrench and a screwdriver. ( If the bike rack is your only use, you do not need the full factory install with wiring harness/etc)

As mentioned above you need to watch the ratings. The wight of your fully loaded bike rack has to be less than the tongue weight rating of the vehicle - which is typically only 10% of the tow rating. i.e. if you have a 3500lb tow rating, the tongue weight limit for the rack and bikes might be 350lb.
Last edited by jharkin on Tue Jul 03, 2018 9:06 am, edited 2 times in total.

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munemaker
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Re: Transporting bikes with an SUV?

Post by munemaker » Tue Jul 03, 2018 9:04 am

motorcyclesarecool wrote:
Tue Jul 03, 2018 4:43 am
Get a universal trunk mount bike rack. Quick. Easy. Cheap. Effective. And if you place the straps well, you’ll still have trunk access. Go for Thule or Yakima.
On a SUV, wouldn't a trunk mount type rack prevent you from opening the rear hatch? I borrowed one of that style from a friend one time and that was my experience (could not open the hatch with the rack in place).

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munemaker
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Re: Transporting bikes with an SUV?

Post by munemaker » Tue Jul 03, 2018 9:06 am

WhyNotUs wrote:
Tue Jul 03, 2018 8:47 am

As a tall person, roof racks are viable option for me but when I see less tall people trying to use them I scratch my head as to why they made that choice. Seems like a good way to ruin a bike outing.
You could use a roof rack and carry a folding step stool/mini ladder in the hatch of the SUV for placing and removing the bikes.

-buzz-
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Re: Transporting bikes with an SUV?

Post by -buzz- » Tue Jul 03, 2018 9:12 am

Watch craigslist and find a used hitch mounted rack.

Hitch mount is secure and easy to access. The nicer ones swing away with the bikes mounted so you can access the rear hatch, but that isn't 100% necessary.

For kid's bikes, you may need top tube adapters to allow them to fit on the rack securely.

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djpeteski
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Re: Transporting bikes with an SUV?

Post by djpeteski » Tue Jul 03, 2018 9:17 am

I would buy and install a hitch, and a 4 bike rack. I have used, and will always continue to use etrailer.com.

They have videos on how to install the hitches, so you can make up your mind ahead of time if you want install it yourself or pay to have it done. They make it about as easy as possible and include all the hardware for most hitches.

The bike rack options are endless. And while I only have a 2 bike rack, I can open my rear hatch with the rack installed! To me that is a bonus. I have the ROLA TX-102 and am super happy with it. I used it this weekend to drive about 175 miles each way and transport our two bikes.

Keep in mind that your kids will get older. You can buy a solution today that will be good 15 years from now. While you may not have the same car, you can have the same bike rack and can enjoy the same activities when they are older.

Also putting things on the roof of a Pilot will kill the gas mileage and does not sound fun for this 6'0" guy.

shunkman
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Re: Transporting bikes with an SUV?

Post by shunkman » Tue Jul 03, 2018 9:18 am

BobTexas wrote:
Tue Jul 03, 2018 5:20 am
, plus you don't have to worry about running into the drive through and tearing the bikes off the roof.
…or the car wash...don't ask me how I know.

I now have a Kuat tray-style hitch mount rack. Not cheap but it is a work of art that functions just as well. I use mine 4-5 times a week so I feel it justifies the cost.

2pedals
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Re: Transporting bikes with an SUV?

Post by 2pedals » Tue Jul 03, 2018 9:25 am

protagonist wrote:
Tue Jul 03, 2018 8:54 am
queso wrote:
Tue Jul 03, 2018 8:28 am
protagonist wrote:
Tue Jul 03, 2018 8:23 am
I never considered the insurance issue....then again I don't have $20K worth of bicycles.
I don't either, but we take turns driving and a couple of the guys I ride with (Ironman competitors) have much nicer bikes than I do. :happy
I don't mean to seem cold and heartless. But their bikes are their responsibility. A Saris Bones 3 is a perfectly reasonable way to carry bikes. If you buy something like a Saris Bones 3 and it doesn't work for them because of liability issues (understandable when their bikes are worth more than many cars), IMHO they need to come up with the solution, not you.
With a trunk mounted rack you have to worry about two things how you mount the rack to the car and how you mount the bike to the rack. Trunk mount type racks tend to scratch up your car. You have to to be very careful and it is unavoidable if your are using the mount frequently. Also I have yet seen a secure way to lock your bike down. The bike can be locked to the mount but the mount can not be locked to the car. With a trailer hitch your bike can be locked to the hitch and your receiver locked to your car. Yes a Sarus Bones 3 is reasonably inexpensive and reasonable way to carry bikes but just be careful with how you mount the rack to your car unlike a trailer receiver and I would not want to do this frequently.
Last edited by 2pedals on Tue Jul 03, 2018 11:40 am, edited 1 time in total.

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GoldStar
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Re: Transporting bikes with an SUV?

Post by GoldStar » Tue Jul 03, 2018 9:52 am

Related question to rear mounts:
I pass cars on the highway with rear mounts that cover the license plate? Is this legal? Seems like it shouldn't be.
When I looked into hitches and rearmounts this concerned me.

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munemaker
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Re: Transporting bikes with an SUV?

Post by munemaker » Tue Jul 03, 2018 10:48 am

GoldStar wrote:
Tue Jul 03, 2018 9:52 am
Related question to rear mounts:
I pass cars on the highway with rear mounts that cover the license plate? Is this legal? Seems like it shouldn't be.
Not legal to obstruct license plates. When the kids were young, we did this a lot (carry bikes on the back obstructing view of plate), including long 1,200 mile (each way) trips through many states a number of times. Cops do not seem to notice/care. If they stopped you for some other reason, they may tack this on, as kind of a bonus for them. While technically illegal, I would not be concerned.

There are minor things that most of us do that are technically illegal. For example, who always drive at or under the speed limit?

muddgirl
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Re: Transporting bikes with an SUV?

Post by muddgirl » Tue Jul 03, 2018 10:53 am

We bought a hitch mount for $50 from U-Haul. There was a mixup with the hardware package, but once they got us the correct bolts it was very easy to install. On recommendations from the pilot forum, we borrowed a thread chasing kit and a torque wrench from Autozone for proper installation. With the right tools it took us maybe 45 minutes and two people to install. U-Haul would have done the installation for $100-$150. Without the full tow package, our tow weight is limited but we only had two adult bikes.

We bought our hitch rack from https://www.etrailer.com/ (I have no relationship with this company other than satisfied customer). It was the best site to do market research with the widest variety of options - most stores only carry 1-2 racks. There are some tradeoff decisions to make when it comes to a hitch rack - some are easy to remove and install, some swing up or away for trunk access, some work better for bikes without a topbar (ie, "ladies bikes") - so I don't think there is one holy grail rack for every family.

dbr
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Re: Transporting bikes with an SUV?

Post by dbr » Tue Jul 03, 2018 10:56 am

When biking with a team we had an enclosed trailer outfitted with attachments to hang and secure the bikes. That way we got easy to use loading and unloading, secure and weather proof storage, and use of a vehicle (the trailer) that is not compromised by more or less safe and secure attachments that are not really a well intended use of a vehicle.

My experience is that there is no really good option other than to put the bike(s) inside the vehicle or use an enclosed trailer, at least not for travel at any significant speed and distance. Otherwise far and away the most common attachment I see among bike enthusiasts on the highway is roof mount. I can certainly sympathize with the loss of $20k in bikes in a fender bender. I suppose an open trailer might be the next choice.

jebmke
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Re: Transporting bikes with an SUV?

Post by jebmke » Tue Jul 03, 2018 10:57 am

-buzz- wrote:
Tue Jul 03, 2018 9:12 am


Hitch mount is secure and easy to access. The nicer ones swing away with the bikes mounted so you can access the rear hatch, but that isn't 100% necessary.

This is what I use with my RAV4. I bought a hitch online and installed it myself then had my dealer use a torque wrench to confirm the bolts were tightened properly. My Thule rack slips right in and locks to the hitch. Bikes lock to the rack. I can swing the whole rig out of the way to access the back of the RAV.
When you discover that you are riding a dead horse, the best strategy is to dismount.

2pedals
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Re: Transporting bikes with an SUV?

Post by 2pedals » Tue Jul 03, 2018 11:16 am

munemaker wrote:
Tue Jul 03, 2018 10:48 am
GoldStar wrote:
Tue Jul 03, 2018 9:52 am
Related question to rear mounts:
I pass cars on the highway with rear mounts that cover the license plate? Is this legal? Seems like it shouldn't be.
Not legal to obstruct license plates. When the kids were young, we did this a lot (carry bikes on the back obstructing view of plate), including long 1,200 mile (each way) trips through many states a number of times. Cops do not seem to notice/care. If they stopped you for some other reason, they may tack this on, as kind of a bonus for them. While technically illegal, I would not be concerned.

There are minor things that most of us do that are technically illegal. For example, who always drive at or under the speed limit?
+1 illegal, no one I know has had a problem getting pulled over for this law, but some have been pulled over with a warning for riding a bike faster than in a 10 mph limit zone on a multi-use trail. :shock:

protagonist
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Re: Transporting bikes with an SUV?

Post by protagonist » Tue Jul 03, 2018 11:24 am

2pedals wrote:
Tue Jul 03, 2018 9:25 am
protagonist wrote:
Tue Jul 03, 2018 8:54 am
queso wrote:
Tue Jul 03, 2018 8:28 am
protagonist wrote:
Tue Jul 03, 2018 8:23 am
I never considered the insurance issue....then again I don't have $20K worth of bicycles.
I don't either, but we take turns driving and a couple of the guys I ride with (Ironman competitors) have much nicer bikes than I do. :happy
I don't mean to seem cold and heartless. But their bikes are their responsibility. A Saris Bones 3 is a perfectly reasonable way to carry bikes. If you buy something like a Saris Bones 3 and it doesn't work for them because of liability issues (understandable when their bikes are worth more than many cars), IMHO they need to come up with the solution, not you.
With a truck mounted rack you have to worry about two things how you mount the rack to the car and how you mount the bike to the rack. Trunk mount type racks tend to scratch up your car. You have to to be very careful and it is unavoidable if your are using the mount frequently. Also I have yet seen a secure way to lock your bike down. The bike can be locked to the mount but the mount can not be locked to the car. With a trailer hitch your bike can be locked to the hitch and your receiver locked to your car. Yes a Sarus Bones 3 is reasonably inexpensive and reasonable way to carry bikes but just be careful with how you mount the rack to your car unlike a trailer receiver and I would not want to do this frequently.
Your comments are fair considerations. However, I have had no problems with scratching my finish with the Saris Bones- I've had it for about a year. I'm not particularly cautious. Wirecutter's review of the product, if my memory serves me well, recommended it over other trunk mount racks partly based on that the rack did not tend to scratch your paint as others might. They also did a good job explaining the advantages and disadvantages of various mounting systems....worth a read. https://thewirecutter.com/reviews/best- ... -for-cars/

Regarding roof racks, they made the point that: “A roof rack is the only way you can hurt yourself, the bike, and the car all at once.”

I think I'll get offline and go for a ride. Good luck.

xenochrony
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Re: Transporting bikes with an SUV?

Post by xenochrony » Tue Jul 03, 2018 2:29 pm

I've had the Yakima roof rack system for my SUV for years. While it is expensive, it is bomb-proof rock solid (short of driving into a garage with it on), I have not had any wind/noise issues, and regarding it being too high, on my SUV, I just stand on the step up on the door frame to unload/load (this is the normal place one puts their foot when climbing into the car). I avoided the rear hitch as I was always worried about getting rear ended; I also see rear mounted bikes bouncing on other cars; on the roof, I've never had this problem. There are keyed-locks to prevent theft for Yakima roof mount set ups. But the biggest detractor is the cost, they are not cheap, but can also be used/cost justified if you plan on hauling other things on the roof-skis/snowboards, roof-top gear boxes, surfboards, etc.

xenochrony

Dinosaur Dad
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Re: Transporting bikes with an SUV?

Post by Dinosaur Dad » Tue Jul 03, 2018 2:51 pm

Thule hitch-mounted rack. Had it for ten years. I use coil locks to secure the bikes to the hitch, and there's a separate lock around where the rack connects to the hitch. Works great. I used to have a roof rack but it was a pain to lift and secure the bikes that way.

Additionally there are a number of variations on the racks now - they can fold out, fold down etc. Plus there are some that are more like trays...just lift the bike up and secure in the cradle.

Up front it will cost some $$ but then it last a long time.
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stlutz
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Re: Transporting bikes with an SUV?

Post by stlutz » Tue Jul 03, 2018 3:03 pm

Bikes should go in the car. People can go on top or they can make other arrangements.

At least that's how it works in my household.

I am single.

fourwheelcycle
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Re: Transporting bikes with an SUV?

Post by fourwheelcycle » Tue Jul 03, 2018 3:47 pm

2pedals wrote:
Tue Jul 03, 2018 8:53 am
Get a trailer hitch and a bike rack that works with your hitch (1.25" or 2" receiver). I have the Kuat Beta 2 and have seen nothing better. It is lightweight (aluminum) has a internal clamp in the receiver to reduce receiver play and rattle.
The Saris Bones is an excellent strap-on mount that would probably work fine. We previously used another Saris strap-on mount and we were very happy with it. We just bought a new SUV and ordered it with a 2" hitch so we could start using a hitch rack. After a lot of web research I bought the Kuat Beta 2 and we are very happy with it. Made from non-rusting aluminum, it weighs only 14 lbs, compared to 25 - 35 lbs for most other hitch racks. Remember, you have to hold the hitch rack steady in your hands while you slide the rack into the hitch's receiver!

I put a Kryptonite U Lock through the locking hole in the trailer hitch, a heavy cable and a medium-weight Kryptonite lock around the bikes and the hitch during the daytime, and a very heavy Kryptonite chain and lock around the bikes and the hitch during motel overnights. Getting our bikes stolen on a trip would not only mean a financial loss, it would also mean an end to our cycling plans for the rest of the trip.

z91
Posts: 238
Joined: Fri Mar 07, 2014 1:19 pm

Re: Transporting bikes with an SUV?

Post by z91 » Tue Jul 03, 2018 6:23 pm

Thanks all. Looks like I'll be shopping around for a hitch mount, then a bike hitch. etrailer looks great..They seem to be beating all the prices I can check so far so it's pretty safe to say I'll be buying everything from them.

motorcyclesarecool
Posts: 490
Joined: Sun Dec 14, 2014 7:39 am

Re: Transporting bikes with an SUV?

Post by motorcyclesarecool » Tue Jul 03, 2018 9:08 pm

munemaker wrote:
Tue Jul 03, 2018 9:04 am
motorcyclesarecool wrote:
Tue Jul 03, 2018 4:43 am
Get a universal trunk mount bike rack. Quick. Easy. Cheap. Effective. And if you place the straps well, you’ll still have trunk access. Go for Thule or Yakima.
On a SUV, wouldn't a trunk mount type rack prevent you from opening the rear hatch? I borrowed one of that style from a friend one time and that was my experience (could not open the hatch with the rack in place).
Did it for years with a minivan. I put the bottom padded arm against the license plate, and the top one against the back window. Hooked the straps around the edges of the hatch and good to go.
Understand that choosing an HDHP is very much a "red pill" approach. Most would rather pay higher premiums for a $20 copay per visit. They will think you weird for choosing an HSA.

motorcyclesarecool
Posts: 490
Joined: Sun Dec 14, 2014 7:39 am

Re: Transporting bikes with an SUV?

Post by motorcyclesarecool » Tue Jul 03, 2018 9:19 pm

Jack FFR1846 wrote:
Tue Jul 03, 2018 5:56 am
motorcyclesarecool wrote:
Tue Jul 03, 2018 4:43 am
Get a universal trunk mount bike rack. Quick. Easy. Cheap. Effective. And if you place the straps well, you’ll still have trunk access. Go for Thule or Yakima.
I'm going to say NO to this. We have one of these and rarely use it because I've got an old hitch rack. This past weekend, I installed the rack on our crosstrek for my son to take his bike back to his summer intern job. The straps were quite tight and bike very secure on the rack. The hooks that go to the top of the hatch fell off (4 of them) and the whole thing fell off the car. This thing is garbage. If you're local to me and want this rack, you can have it for free. I plan to bring it in with my scrap metal as it's such junk.

We've had the hitch rack for at least 30 years and it is solid and works great. I've had 4 bikes on it quite a few times and never had an issue.
4 straps to the top of the hatch? That doesn’t sound like a configuration I’ve seen. I’ve seen 4 and 6 straps total, either 2 top, 2 bottom, or 2 top, 2 sides, 2 bottom. If you’re in my region of the country I’ll gladly take it off your hands.
Understand that choosing an HDHP is very much a "red pill" approach. Most would rather pay higher premiums for a $20 copay per visit. They will think you weird for choosing an HSA.

livesoft
Posts: 61944
Joined: Thu Mar 01, 2007 8:00 pm

Re: Transporting bikes with an SUV?

Post by livesoft » Tue Jul 03, 2018 9:33 pm

z91 wrote:
Tue Jul 03, 2018 6:23 pm
Thanks all. Looks like I'll be shopping around for a hitch mount, then a bike hitch. etrailer looks great..They seem to be beating all the prices I can check so far so it's pretty safe to say I'll be buying everything from them.
Doesn't REI sells the same things as etraile? If so, one gets the REI dividend next year.
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