Enclosed hitch mounted bicycle carriers

Discussion in 'Cycling Equipment' started by tek1, Sep 28, 2010.

  1. tek1

    tek1 New Member

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    I have searched and do not see anything to my liking. I do have an enclosed trailer but in an instance on just wanting to throw the bike(s) on the truck or suv and protect them from theft and the elements. I don't want to have over 10k in bikes sitting on the back of my truck in the middle of the lot when I want to stop by the store to pick something up. I do see there are several large looking hitch mounted boxes (meant for traveling/storage) used for storage on the back of a motor home. I would like something stylish and functional. I already have several hitch type mounts but the idea is to protect my investment from the elements and the bad guys.

    Requirements;
    hitch mounted.
    something that is legal (lights and must be able to mount my license plate)
    semi permanent
    a stand alone security system and lockable
    to be used year round and will protect my bikes from the elements
    hold two mountain/road bikes
    oem look

    Wondering if some of you out there have made your own? if so how.
    I am thinking about an aluminum frame with fiberglass enclosure. I want the fiberglass enclosure to maintain the lines of my vehicle.
    flush mounted oem style lighting with a third brake light. Painted the same color as the vehicle. a stand alone security system, with pager and GPS. Lockable is a must! No touch frame mounting (thinking Saris Pro mounting inside the enclosure), my bikes are carbon. I am thinking about an enclosure that lifts upward and to the left. I am thinking the whole assembly will weight 70-80 pounds with a small battery (lighting and charging will come from the vehicle power). I am also considering adding an electric actuator that will lift and lock the enclosure to the lower hitch mount (that will add around 15-20 pounds to the already heavy rack. Anyone have any input it would be greatly appreciated. Your pictures would be a plus.
     
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  2. dhk2

    dhk2 Active Member

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    tek, agree it's better to carry bikes inside. So, why not just put them in your SUV/truck? Isn't the reason people drive an SUV or truck so that they can haul their stuff?

    I drive a VW Golf, and it's easy to load one or two bikes inside. A couple of buddies here have Honda Fits, which can hold two bikes upright. Lots of small vehicles can carry bikes, so I'm having trouble understanding why you wouldn't just put them inside rather than build a fancy rack.
     
  3. davereo

    davereo Well-Known Member

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    This is a great idea until you get rear ended. Way overboard IMO.
     
  4. tek1

    tek1 New Member

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    I understand about the rear end deal. I have insurance and to be quiet honest. I don't care about the bikes or my vehicle if I am rear ended. The property is not my concern - I am more concern about physical damages to both parties.

    In response to just putting them in the vehicle - I am looking at my own time and putting a bike in my vehicle. It seems like a real hassle to take the bike apart and reassemble it. I don't like taking the wheels off and fiddling with the bike. I have a Saris hitch rack on my SUV now. I can riding on the road in less than a minute. It takes other 5 minutes plus to get rolling. How about transporting your bike in the rain? (although I do not ride in the rain) How about stopping by the store and worrying about the bike getting stolen (I don't want to pull of my Garmin everytime I stop)

    I guess I am really particular and every minute to me counts. Albet convinience and enclosing the bikes seems like a good idea. Am I the only cycler out there that thinks this way?
     
  5. dhk2

    dhk2 Active Member

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    tek, there's no need to take your bike apart to put it in your SUV. All I do is take my front wheel off, which takes about 10 seconds, turn the bike on it's side and lay it in the back of the Golf, then set the wheel on top. Haven't timed it, but I'd say a minute would do it. Note, I do have a quick-release, and no "lawyer tabs" on my dropouts. If the rear seatbacks are up, that's another 30 seconds to drop them down. Can't really be much longer than messing around securing a bike to a hitch rack.

    If your cargo area is tall enough to keep the bikes upright inside (like our minivan), that's even better. You can make a secure inside rack just by cutting a 2x4 stud carefully to fit across the cargo floor, then attaching a couple of skewer-mounts. Knock off the front wheel, back the bike in with the front fork facing you, drop it in the mount and lock the lever down. Quick, nothing touches the bike, it won't move and it's secure inside.
     
  6. tek1

    tek1 New Member

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    I am sure I am probably overthinking all this.

    I do not want to take the bike apart at all. I see people do it all the time. I don't want to do that. I also don't want to fabricate a make shift stand for my vehicle. I have my mind set on something custom and rather nice looking. I have a truck with a topper, I have an SUV with a hitch mounted rack, I have a van and I have a trailer for my bikes. I was just thinking it would be nice to have an enclosed hitch mount that could tote my bike around. Price is not really a concern and wanted the carrier to match the vehicle lines and color. I will probably use oem tail lights and the third brake light on the rack
     
  7. sitzmark

    sitzmark Member

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    Have you checked out the Rola GearSpace enclosed carrier with bike options? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FcJJolnfXlg Not as sleek as you are envisioning, but as close as anything I've seen. The bike option is a fork mount, but if the lid system is high enough, you might be able to mount a wheel capture tray rack in the bottom to avoid removing the front wheel.
     
  8. geezerjock

    geezerjock New Member

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    Why not get a length of 2x4 and put a fork mount on it, on the lengthwise position? Then fasten it or velcro it in the back of your SUV. Or do same thing in back of pick up. I have seen this done by local bike club member in the back of his Honda mini-van and I'll probably do the same thing. I currently have one middle row seat out, roll the bike in, bungee it and put a towel or blanket between bike and any surface it will rub against. Works great and it's out of the elements. That big box for rear of vehicle looked cumbersome, dorky, expensive and has a high lift over height. AND you still need to remove front wheel. AND you can't see traffic out back window.
     
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