what kind of bike carrier do you like?

Discussion in 'Cycling Equipment' started by MMMhills, Jan 23, 2012.

  1. MMMhills

    MMMhills Active Member

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    What type of carrier do you like best and why? I need a bike carrier for a long trip (15 hours). I will need to hold a full suspension 29er and a weight weenie road bike. I am torn between the tire support and the frame support. I am worried that the frame support might cause friction on the frame causing possible paint damage or lossen up on the suspension bike. I am also worried that the tire mount could cause excess side torque on the wheel of my road bike.

    Here are the two carriers I am considering. Please give me your thoughts on the two especially any problems you might have had with one.
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
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  2. sitzmark

    sitzmark Member

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    No experience with those two exact models.

    I do have a Yakima HoldUp, which is basically the same as the rack first pictured. Have used it 2 seasons without any problems. Many 5 hour trips to/from mountains which is longest time of travel with rack so far. Loading/unloading literally takes less than 1 minute. The bikes are held securely. There appears to be little lateral force on the wheel when static - most of the force is absorbed by the tire. Shaking the bike to simulate travel forces seems to indicate the same. My guess is no forces generated that aren't seen during riding.

    The second model pictured does contact the frame, but as long as you don't "gorilla it" you can keep frame pressure reasonably light. There is the issue of grit and possible scratching/wear.

    Some versions tip down for tailgate access with bikes loaded, but it's pretty cumbersome. Also vehicle design and handlebar width may limit how far the rear hatch will open. Taking bikes off is so quick and easy I just do that - or access rear cargo area from back seat.

    The biggest negative is rain travel. Airflow behind the vehicle sucks grit into that space when roads are wet. Everything - chain, derailleurs, cassette, cranks, hubs, rims, brakes, etc - gets gritty after wet travel. I don't like to run my bike with that gunk working its way through my drive train and rotating parts. Lots of clean up before riding. The same happens with top mount racks, but not as bad.
     
  3. kdelong

    kdelong Well-Known Member

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    Presuming that one of the bikes is your Photon, I would go with the tire support. I think that it would be better to possibly have to tweak the spokes on the wheels rather than take a chance of damaging the frame or even marring the finish of the frame on that bike. And considering that it is a Guru Photon, I think that you should rent a van for the trip so that your bike won't have to sit out in the elements, even if it is only for 15 hours. Remember, you will probably be driving on the highway where the speed limit is 55+. Would you let your bike sit outside for 15 hours in a hurricane?
     
  4. davereo

    davereo Well-Known Member

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    Have you considered getting a trailer hitch cargo carrier. If possible move the luggage outside and transport the bikes inside the vehicle.
     
  5. MMMhills

    MMMhills Active Member

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    OK I try to get unbiased opinions but you guys just know to much.

    The real story is this rack will be a complete custom rack. I will take the main unit (or units) and mount them to a 8' section of reinforced 2" tubing, it will hold 8 bikes ( there will be two of these). They will serve two purposes. One I am the event coordinator for the MMM a hill challenge event for road cyclist and I need two mass transport vehicles to get fatigued cyclist of off the route. The other the more important every spring I plan on a road trip south (I live in a snow belt that does not allow for winter riding) for some early spring riding. This trip will involve 4 riders and 8 bikes so putting the bikes inside is not an option. Although I hate the idea of hanging my bike of the back of my van this is the only option.

    Money is not an objection I want the best system, so is the tire mount or frame mount the best!!!
     
  6. alienator

    alienator Well-Known Member

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    I use a Saris Bones 2 rack. Our car doesn't have a trailer hitch or a roof rack. Sometimes the bike goes inside. If I had an SUV, van, or summat, I'd put the bike inside the vehicle.

    Of the two you've got posted, I'd use the first one. With a mechanical restraint at the top of the front tire and with restraints at the bottom of each wheel, it should be more stable and secure.
     
  7. CyclinYooper

    CyclinYooper New Member

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    I have the top model (wheel hold), and I love it. I've used it only for road bikes; it holds the tires absolutely rock solid.

    I too was worried other racks damaging my paint. The only damage you might note is a slight marring of your rear wheel rim (where the ratchet strap makes contact). To me, wheels are kinda made to take some abuse, however. /img/vbsmilies/smilies/smile.gif

    Pros:
    1. Bike is mounted in ~ 2 seconds. Nice.
    2. Holds the bike rock solid, no frame contact

    Cons:
    1. Expensive! Got mine at REI during their Labor Day sale and saved a ton!
    2. Heavy ... this rack is large and heavy. I ended up mounting it on the wall of my garage at waist height, with some big hooks, so I could move it to the car without breaking my back. Additionally, there is a two-bike add-on for this rack. It would be very difficult to manage at that size and weight!

    Scott
     
  8. swampy1970

    swampy1970 Well-Known Member

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    I got a Thule rack and really like it. Easy on, very secure and easy to get the bike off... and leaves enough space to open the trunk without having to angle the bike rack.

    [​IMG]

    The only thing I don't like about it is that it kills the aerodynamics of the car and the mpg drops through the floor - typically 45mpg on the freeway, ~36mpg with the rack on at 75 to 80mph.

    The rack was a couple o' hundred on sale and the bolt in receiver kit was just over $100

    If you get the biggest hitch receiver you can get a model that'll take 4 bikes - but I haven't seen one that'll take 8. That'd be interesting to see. Pics!
     
  9. sitzmark

    sitzmark Member

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    Class III receiver hitches have tongue weight limits starting at 350lbs. 8 weenie bikes won't come close. 8 downhill rigs can be more. Rack manufacturers are really uptight about hitch specs.

    I called Yakima about a couple of options for the 1.25" model HoldUp.

    1.) I wanted to add the plus 2 spine and put on a third wheel mount assembly. You'd think I had asked to take one of their children. They wouldn't even discuss it. "Not possible!!" (It is.) I just needed a couple of dimensions of the plus 2 extension. I told them my app was for two 15lbs bikes and one 20lb bike. 60lbs total with a hitch rating of 300lbs tongue weight.

    2.) I asked about the plus 2 spine dimensions to know if the Kuat Trail Doc adapter would fit both the 1.25" and the 2' receiver model HoldUp. The Trail Doc is an extendable work stand that can be used to work on bikes when the rack is in the up position. Oh my god, you'd think I had asked for a second child!!

    both options work fine ... engineers and lawyers ...gawd love 'em :)


    There is a rack manufacturer than makes rear hitch rack with a 5 bike vertical orientation. Draft Master - but requires removal of front wheels.
     
  10. jpr95

    jpr95 Active Member

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    If you're worried about scratching paint, use blue painter's tape on the bike at whatever contact point.
     
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  11. alfeng

    alfeng Well-Known Member

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    FWIW. The ideal rack may exist, but ...

    "I think you're going to need a bigger boat."

    As you have described your situation, it sounds as if you need to consult Ringling Bros. if you really want to transport "4 riders (+ driver?) and 8 bikes" with a normal (?) passenger vehicle.

    Otherwise, a stretch van (do they still make/sell these?) with the unnecessary rear seats removed should fit the bill ...

    • dirver + shot gun passenger + 3 bench seat passengers == 5 people
    • unnecessary-for-the-moment bikes should probably be crated/boxed

    N.B. the rear extension's overhang is potentially very dangerous if there is too much weight in the back & the driver is not appropriately aware of how the vehicle can fishtail ...

    If money is truly not a factor, then get realistic about what you probably need -- EITHER two-or-three "regular" vehicles instead of one-or-two OR a suitable "commercial" trailer which vendors & balloonists use to cart their stuff between venues OR the fore mentioned van ...

    • a "short bus" with the unnecessary seats removed can probably be used, too -- either the school bus type or the type they use for courtesy vans at airports
     
  12. dhk2

    dhk2 Active Member

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    Suggest you consider a trailer for hauling 3 or more bikes. I used one last summer to get up north to central MN to escape the heat and humidity here. It was a standard small commercial trailer frame which my buddy modified to hold his tandem plus another two bikes with skewer mounts and rear wheel clamps. We pulled it with a 2010 Focus, didn't have any problems. Only issue was the stiff suspension which caused it to hop over road joints on rough sections, and some clunking noises from the hitch.

    I'm not a fan of hanging bikes outside the vehicle either. Mileage and performance take a hit, and the bikes get dirty or wet. With the front wheel off, bikes fit in lots of cars. My Golf easily hold my bike, laid on it's side. Actually, two will fit in that way, with a blanket in between. Works fine for short trips for one/two.
     
  13. MMMhills

    MMMhills Active Member

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    My plan is to get 6 Thule 2bike add on units and have 2 6 place racks. I can get them at cost from a sponsor. I will have a local machine shop get me a 6' and an 8' section of heavy Gage 2" square tube. I will mount the three units to the tube having a stationary 6 place carrier. This will be structurally safe and easy to use. Once a year I will mount 4 units on the 8' section creating an 8 place unit. This unit will be put on the back of my minivan for a spring trip down south wear it is warmer. 4 people in the van with 4 captions chair will be very comfortable. The rear of the van will be for gear and the 8 bikes will hang of the back (4 road & 4 mtb). Yes my fuel economy will go down and yes we will have to clean and re lube everything after the drive.

    The main purpose of these will be for SAG vehicles that can transport 6 riders and their bikes. I will have two 7 passenger minivans that will have the SAG driver and 6 riders and their bikes that need to be sagged back to the start. The MMM ride is very difficult and getting riders back to the start gets overwhelming. My route SAG drivers get the downed riders to a central food stop where they wait for the 2 vans to get them to the start. This keeps my SAG drivers on the route and gets the riders back as quick as possible.

    I originally thought I would get a enclosed trailer and pull it with a 15 passenger van but finding a van to rent and storing the trailer would be costly so I guess money is an objection. I also felt the hitch type platform carriers would be easier for my SAG drivers to use compared to a trailer and having 2 transports means a shorter wait for the riders.

    The weight of the units will be heavy and very cumbersome. I estimate the 8 place to weigh close to 250 LBS without bikes. My hitch has a 500 lbs tongue weight rating so even with bikes this is OK. The MMM has a storage unit that these can stay at when not in use. and for 2 times a year the weight will be manageable.

    I was torn between the two types frame vs tire but leaning towards the tire mount. from the post above I am even more sure this is what I want to do.

    If anyone has another idea I would be glad to listen.
     
  14. MMMhills

    MMMhills Active Member

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    This is funny because it took me 5 calls to figure out what questions to ask to get the dimensions needed. One wrong question and oh no you can't do that.
     
  15. CyclinYooper

    CyclinYooper New Member

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  16. Scotty_Dog

    Scotty_Dog New Member

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    Are you sure that's safe? I don't think you are considering the added torque of effectively adding a 6' hitch extension, because your tongue weight rating will be greatly reduced.
     
  17. davereo

    davereo Well-Known Member

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  18. MMMhills

    MMMhills Active Member

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  19. jpr95

    jpr95 Active Member

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    Keep in mind, too, that if you stick a rack 6' or more out the back of a receiver, it won't take much of a change in incline for it to scrape the road.

    At that point you may as well get a cheap, fold-up trailer and attach a frame for securing bikes, like this:

    http://www.amazon.com/Northern-Industrial-Folding-Trailer-4-80-12in/dp/B0017XMTIA/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1327456839&sr=8-2
     
  20. davereo

    davereo Well-Known Member

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    Good point. Eight bikes and one vehicle is going to be really difficult to manage. Then taking into consideration that the OP is concerned about physical and cosmetic damage issues. Renting a U-Haul box truck may end up being the best bet.
     
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