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Old August 14th, 2013, 07:58 PM   #1
howell_jeep
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Default Need help finding a good bike rack

I'm looking to transport 5 bikes for my family to ride trails and such.

All bikes are adult size or take just as much space as an adult bike.

I was looking at Amazon at bike racks for 5 bikes and the reviews on them are not very promising that they will fit 5 adult bikes.

Does anyone know if any of the bike racks can actually fit 5 adult bikes?

Or do I need to get two racks, one for roof(?) one for a hitch(?)?

any ideas?
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Old August 14th, 2013, 08:42 PM   #2
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Old August 14th, 2013, 08:50 PM   #3
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You'll likely need a combination. Most of the quality hitch racks can only hold 4 bikes (except the northshore rack but I am not a huge fan (we used 2 all week in British Columbia last week and they work well, but I am not a fan of the way the rack contacts the frame of my bike) , you could get long enough load bars from Yakima or thule to fit enough roof racks to hold 5 bikes.

I have a 4 place hitch rack Thule T2, it works just fine for 4 adult sized bikes.



I had 72" load bars and 5 Yakima King Cobra Racks as well as this T2 hitch rack on my truck, it worked well.



Only 6 bikes pictured but we had done 5 across the bed many times.

The other 1 rack option is the northshore rack.



In my opinion those are your best options, and I have had a number of different combo's over the last couple of years and often carry 4-10 bikes on trips.
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Old August 14th, 2013, 11:09 PM   #4
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Thanks Kickstand!

I guess then you have the 2-bike Thule t2 and then the thule 2 bike add-on:
http://www.amazon.com/Thule-916XTR-P...ck+hitch+mount

http://www.amazon.com/Thule-918XTR-A...ck+hitch+mount

Is the Northshore rack pretty sturdy? I have an suv and would rather not like to put up a roof rack. It seems like it would be a big hassle to put them up on the roof. Were you just worried about scratching it your bike, or was it just not very secure tie down? I don't have fancy bikes to worry about scratching them, but I don't want them falling off and causing an accident.

I will look into the yakima roof racks. Are they easily transferrable from one car to another? Or do you buy them for a specific vehicle?
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Old August 15th, 2013, 08:16 AM   #5
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Yes, I have the 916 and 918.

The Northshore rack is very sturdy. Probably more sturdy than the Thule T2 set up. I just don't like how the rack holds the bike frame and can scuff/scratch it. Otherwise it is a very sturdy set up and very popular.

The roof rack systems are module. They have "loop clamps" for lack of a better term. You have to purchase a fit kit that allows the bars to be mounted to your vehicle, depending on your vehicle and current roof rack system you might be buying different things. Once you do that you buy the load bars, and then the individual roof racks to clamp to the load bars.

I've had roof racks, and they are a pain in the ass to load, add wind resistance, as well as noise, initially this was my first choice for a rack system, but over the years I have decided that I prefer the hitch rack set ups.
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Old August 15th, 2013, 08:29 AM   #6
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I just don't like how the rack holds the bike frame and can scuff/scratch it.
On mountain bikes?
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Old August 15th, 2013, 09:04 AM   #7
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On mountain bikes?
Do you like your clothes getting dirty when you are not wearing them?

Do you like your guns to wear out when you are not shooting them?

Do you like the tread on your tires to get worn down when your car is parked?

Do you like door dings on your car? Scratches?

Did you like it when your jeep got dented not on the trail?

My bikes take a beating, but I don't want to fukc them up when they are on a bike rack, I spent a fair amount of money on my bikes, if they get scratched or dented while riding shit happens, but outside of that I care for them like I would any other purchase that I spent money on.
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Old August 15th, 2013, 09:38 AM   #8
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Thank you sir. You gave me some good idesas/options that I can now explore.
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Old August 15th, 2013, 09:50 AM   #9
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Do you like your clothes getting dirty when you are not wearing them?

Do you like your guns to wear out when you are not shooting them?

Do you like the tread on your tires to get worn down when your car is parked?

Do you like door dings on your car? Scratches?

Did you like it when your jeep got dented not on the trail?

My bikes take a beating, but I don't want to fukc them up when they are on a bike rack, I spent a fair amount of money on my bikes, if they get scratched or dented while riding shit happens, but outside of that I care for them like I would any other purchase that I spent money on.
Touche. My mountain bike frame is several years old, and I just stopped caring.
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Old August 15th, 2013, 11:00 AM   #10
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I'm pretty sure kickstand has more money into his bikes than I do in my jEep...
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Old August 15th, 2013, 12:07 PM   #11
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I'm pretty sure kickstand has more money into his bikes than I do in my jEep...
I really don't want to know the answer to that. There are 12 bikes in the bunker....
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Old August 15th, 2013, 12:18 PM   #12
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Thank you sir. You gave me some good idesas/options that I can now explore.
My next option.....

I have the thule T-2, what I don't like about it is that its a bit flexible over bumps, the piece used to bolt the trays to is a 2x2 peice of steel, much thinner than a receiver tube (tube thickness), but also is mounted to a cantilever set up that allows the rack to fold up/down.

I am considering just buying a longer peice of tubing and bolting my racks to that, I could also make it longer to fit 6 bikes instead of 4.

I would lose the option of folding my rack up or down, but for me that's not a big deal because I already customized my rack to be far enough back that I can open the tailgate of my truck and would just do the same with this setup.

It would also lower my bikes down about 6" maybe helping wind resistance but possibly making them more prone to getting hit by stones on the road?

Overthinking this I am....but its very often that I am hauling combinations of bikes around on the weekends, be it 1 bike or 6, trying to optimize my set up.
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Old August 15th, 2013, 01:43 PM   #13
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Why not just get a small trailer?
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Old August 15th, 2013, 03:47 PM   #14
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That one looks like it blocks the tail lights.
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Old August 15th, 2013, 03:58 PM   #15
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Most all hitch racks with enough bikes on it ends up blocking or limiting visibility to the tail lights, prior to your post I have never had an issue. Now I'm gonna get a ticket.
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Old August 15th, 2013, 03:59 PM   #16
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Why not just get a small trailer?
If you're asking me, or howell jeep for that matter, the answer is simply because a trailer is a pain in the ass, an additional expense, needs license plates, harder to store, is a pain in the ass, another thing to break down on the roads, is a pain in the ass, and is a bit of overkill.
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