How do you transport three bikes around?

Discussion in 'Bike buying advice' started by bikerbiker, May 14, 2014.

  1. bikerbiker

    bikerbiker New Member

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    I have three bikes I need to get from place to place. I wanted to buy a bike rack for my car, but the one at Walmart, and I saw only one, was around 90 bucks. Way more than I want to spend! I remember when I was much younger I had one and it was a real hassle to deal with and also flimsy. Can I get a recommendation on one that I can find cheap, and where I can find it (craigslist used, ebay, etc.) and one that's also reliable and easy to install without tons of straps and the like?

    I also need to know if buying used is a big risk.

    Thanks!
     
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  2. AyeYo

    AyeYo Member

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    Doesn't not exist on this planet.


    What kind of car do you drive? Does it have a tow hitch?


    Finding something like this used is your only hope:

    http://www.amazon.com/Allen-Sports-Deluxe-3-Bike-Receiver/dp/B001M4KXDM/ref=br_lf_m_1001406021_1_1_ttl?ie=UTF8&s=automotive&pf_rd_p=1767875542&pf_rd_s=center-3&pf_rd_t=1401&pf_rd_i=1001406021&pf_rd_m=ATVPDKIKX0DER&pf_rd_r=1W6B73XPNVQ079JJNRY5


    If you have no hitch, prepare to spend lots of money and deal with lots of straps.
     
  3. jhuskey

    jhuskey Moderator

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    I use a rack that fits into the hitch receiver but a good rack is more than $100.00 from my experience. Don't buy junk as you will be disappointed.I would rather have a good used than a new cheap rack any day. Used would be fine since there is not a lot that go wrong with a rack as long as the strap are not dry rotted or corrosion has set in.
     
  4. bikerbiker

    bikerbiker New Member

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    What other options are there? Bungee cording to the rack on top of your car? Stacking them one on top of the other in the back of an suv? All bad/dangerous/damaging?
     
  5. jhuskey

    jhuskey Moderator

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    You can always ride from home. I have seen some racks as low as $80 for a hitch mount but roof racks are higher and we still don't know which type you need.
     
  6. AyeYo

    AyeYo Member

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    I stack bikes in the hatch all the time, no issues there. Put a heavy blanket or a couple old pillows between them.
     
  7. bikerbiker

    bikerbiker New Member

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    Now that's an idea!
    By the way, I have no hitch. We have an SUV with built-in racks on top.
     
  8. oldbobcat

    oldbobcat Well-Known Member

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    Back in the day when cars had rain gutters we made our own roof racks from gutter-mount supports we could buy at the local auto parts store, some nuts and bolts, and a couple of 2x3s. We fastened the bikes upside-down at the handlebars and saddles using elastics made from old inner tubes.

    But apparently those days are gone, because I couldn't find the supports at JC Whitney (jcwhitney.com). Good luck.
     
  9. maydog

    maydog Well-Known Member

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    You can find some pretty cheap roof rack options online. Try e-trailer.com.
     
  10. bikerbiker

    bikerbiker New Member

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    Can anyone recommend reliable brands for my search on Craigslist? Also, how little can I expect to pay for a used one? Again, I need one for three bikes.
     
  11. bikerbiker

    bikerbiker New Member

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    Also, there seem to be many styles. Which is easiest to use on an suv? Which is most versatile (for a variety of cars)? Thanks!
     
  12. bikerbiker

    bikerbiker New Member

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    Here's a link to see the product if that helps.

    http://www.target.com/p/bell-triple-back-3-bike-rack/-/A-10407093#prodSlot=medium_1_1&term=bell+triple+bike+rack
     
  13. bikerbiker

    bikerbiker New Member

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    Can someone help?
     
  14. AyeYo

    AyeYo Member

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    This is the easiest to use because it's the easiest to adjust and easiest to get tightened down into a very secure position.

    http://www.amazon.com/Saris-Bones-801-3-Bike-Rack/dp/B00AW6XL8K


    The kind you linked from Target sucks because the giant foam pads don't even let you get the rack sufficiently tight, so you end up with three bikes bouncing around on the back of your car. The cheaper racks also have no downtube clamp so the bikes swing back and forth and smash into the back of your car every time you stop.
     
  15. bikerbiker

    bikerbiker New Member

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    The problem with the Saris is that it's twice as expensive. My main concern about my rack is the bikes falling off. Is that likely to be an issue?
     
  16. AyeYo

    AyeYo Member

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    It's entirely possible if they're heavy bikes and the rack isn't triple checked. Those racks are just barely stable enough to be considered safe. The design is terrible and the foam pad ruins all stability. Put the rack on and make sure it's snugged down. Load the bikes up and snug it down again as hard as you can. If you're going far, stop after 30-60 minutes and snug it down again. If it's still tight, you can probably forget about it. If you're able to pull a decent amount of strap through, you better stop again in another 30-60 minutes and continue to do so until you can no longer pull up any slack.
     
  17. plag

    plag New Member

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    Depends how much you value your bikes if you have expensive high end bikes i would never be cheap about your bike rack, even if you have some inexpensive cruisers you can cause some major damage if you have a poor rack, i opted to go with a hitch rack for my honda accord. i installed a tow hitch i bought for $80 and found a nice Thule hitch rack for another $80. not bad considering roof racks can be very expensive over $300.
     
  18. bikerbiker

    bikerbiker New Member

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    Good points. I'm not really woried about a few scratches on my wife's SUV. Again, the main thing is stability. And when we are ready to invest a lot in fancy bikes we'll spend more on a rack. Are hitches a pain in the butt to install? They look like it.
     
  19. maydog

    maydog Well-Known Member

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    A SUV without a hitch is just a fancy, overweight grocery getter.

    I have installed numerous hitches, it usually takes less than an hour and only requires a torque wrench, sockets and something to lie on. Jacking up the rear end won't likely even be necessary on a SUV.

    I even have a 1 1/4 receiver on my Prius and can tote around 4 bikes no problem.
     
  20. plag

    plag New Member

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    with your SUV since they are already higher up off the ground it should be easier to install, the one thing i really like about hitch options is you can remove them easily and dont have to drive around everywhere with a bike rack on your SUV.

    http://www.performancebike.com/bikes/CategoryDisplay?categoryId=400005&catalogId=10551&storeId=10052&langId=-1&pageSize=&orderBy=&categoryId=400031



    Lots of variations. i would just avoid the Walmart stuff.
     
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