Bike Rack on SUV: Roof Rack or Spare Tire?

Discussion in 'Cycling Equipment' started by southwind, Mar 11, 2006.

  1. southwind

    southwind New Member

    Joined:
    Sep 27, 2004
    Messages:
    57
    Likes Received:
    0
    I'm looking to purchase a sturdy bike rack for my SUV that will securely hold my road bike without damaging the finish. I've read reviews on roof racks and spare tire racks and haven't reached a consensus as to which way to go...any suggestions? My vehicle is an Isuzu Rodeo that has a spare tire mounted on the back.
     
    Tags:


  2. John M

    John M New Member

    Joined:
    Jun 21, 2005
    Messages:
    1,404
    Likes Received:
    0
    I think that a hitch-mounted rack is the way to go. Doesn't touch your vehicle and models are available that fold away to allow access to the rear door. Also mounting bikes to a roof rack on a tall vehicle like an SUV is difficult for shorter people, and you will never rip your bike of your hitch rack with a garage door.

    Whatever style you finally end up choosing, get a good sturdy one. It amazes me when I see pople with a $5000 bike on a flimsy cheapy rack.
     
  3. southwind

    southwind New Member

    Joined:
    Sep 27, 2004
    Messages:
    57
    Likes Received:
    0
    Thanks for the tip on roof racks. I don't have a receiver on my vehicle so if I don't go with a roof rack I would have to go with one that attaches to my spare tire.
     
  4. remdog

    remdog New Member

    Joined:
    Aug 4, 2004
    Messages:
    54
    Likes Received:
    0
    I'd go with Johnny. Hitch receiver is the best way to go with an SUV. I've had spare tire racks. If I'm not mistaken the spare tire mount on your SUV is offset a bit. That will cause problems.

    Putting a roof rack on an SUV is a little weird if you ask me. Getting the bikes up that high is a task & you'll be subject to a lot more wind affects as well.

    Installing a hitch shouldn't be expensive. Invest in a good rack.


     
  5. RickF

    RickF New Member

    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2005
    Messages:
    646
    Likes Received:
    0
    I did not have a hitch on my CRV, and looked into many options including a roof rack and having a hitch installed on my car. What I found to be best was the Thule Spare Me rack and have been very pleased with it. This model is adjustable to compensate for whether the spare tire is mounted on the left, center, or right.
    http://www.thuleracks.com/thule/product.asp?dept_id=22&sku=963

    I would not get the racks that clip to the tire itself, but the ones that connect to the spare tire mount and can compensate for the position of the spare tire are a good option if you are only going to carry one or two bikes. If you need to carry three or four bikes, then the best option is to have a hitch installed.
     
  6. Windbreaker

    Windbreaker New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 12, 2006
    Messages:
    17
    Likes Received:
    0
    Gotta add a vote for anything but a roof rack. Two problems I've experienced w/ roof racks:

    1. At least my gf and I had the good sense to carry a small stepladder with us to get the bikes off the roof of her Focus wagon. I've seen people struggle like mad to get their bikes off the tops of Subaru's; I can't imagine trying to get one off an SUV w/o a stepladder.

    2. Making a left turn from a standing stop one day, we heard a gawd-awful racket from the roof. Planning to pull off in a grocery store parking lot so I could investigate, I noticed the guy in the van behind us laughing. Sure enough, when we made it to the grocery store the luggage rack on the Focus that the bike rack was attached to had failed and our bikes were lying on their side on the roof--that is, the car part of the rack had failed. Amazingly enough, there were only some minor scratches on one of the bikes and none to the car. We took the bikes off the rack and the front wheels off the bikes, shoved 'em in the back, and went to the trail anyway.

    I drive a Honda CR-V, and there's enough room to stand two MTBs up in the back with the rear seats down and the front wheels off.
     
  7. southwind

    southwind New Member

    Joined:
    Sep 27, 2004
    Messages:
    57
    Likes Received:
    0
    I've looked at the Thule Spare Me rack and am also looking at a BVG spare tire rack. It has an adjustment for offset tires and looks sturdy. Runs about $150.00.
     
  8. triguy98

    triguy98 New Member

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2004
    Messages:
    319
    Likes Received:
    0
    I used to have a Rodeo. I bolted fork mounts onto the back of the seats. I could carry two bikes and tons of of cargo, all inside. Other than that, I'd go hitch.

    Since it currently doesnt have a hitch, get yourself down to uhaul and have them put one in. Doesnt take too long, and doesnt cost too much.
     
  9. inSANe DIEGO

    inSANe DIEGO New Member

    Joined:
    Apr 19, 2004
    Messages:
    13
    Likes Received:
    0
    Just do like mentioned above and put the bikes inside the vehicle. No worries about somebody messing with bike(s). No worries about mashing them into something.

    Roof rack = Less gas mileage ( I had a Sebring and when I added a Yakima two tray WITH fairing and aero cross bar covers it lost 4 mpg! :eek: ), low overhead danger, exposure to elements.

    Hitch rack = exposure to elements, back up danger ( I know people that have backed into parking bollards that are already hard to see when in a high SUV and trashed nice bikes in the process).

    Big spacious SUV = a nice safe place to put your bikes. Why else did you buy the thing?

    Roof rack says,"Pro team rider inside." Just add brand stickers to windows. ;)
    Hitch says,"My bikes are my rear collision protection supplement."
    Then again, you probably aren't looking to make a statement with the racks.

    Cheers
    John
     
  10. cyclerest

    cyclerest New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2014
    Messages:
    2
    Likes Received:
    0
    The other option is to consider an interior rack, which for an SUV overcomes many of the issues with roof and hitch racks. I invented CycleRest as a way to solve this problem for SUV and hatchback owners. You can read more about it here: http://www.cyclerest.com/#!A-New-Ideal-Rack/c14tu/CDDC3E24-EE86-49C2-B307-B4B1E66B327C

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
Loading...
Loading...