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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've been going around and around about what type of racking system I will need to transport my bike. Trunk racks have always been out as I had one a few years ago and hated dealing with the straps, marks on the car, seemed less stable, more of a pain to take on and off and adjust, etc.<br><br>
So the choice would be between a roof rack and a hitch rack, and after the thread a week or so ago, I decided a hitch rack would seem the way to go for ease of use, stability, not driving my car in the garage with a bike on the roof <img alt="wink.gif" src="http://files.kickrunners.com/smilies/wink.gif"> My use would likely be driving on the weekends to a place that is more 'bike traffic friendly', and we will be driving from NC to MI in August for my HIM.<br><br>
DH, bless his thrifty little heart, cannot possibly see the logic in spending the money to have a hitch installed (he has one on his vehicle already, so if we pull a trailer, we use his) when I could get a decent trunk rack. I've explained that I hate the strap issues, etc with the trunk rack, and I keep getting the rolling eyes thing from him. To give you some history, every time we shop for something more than $100 or so, I tend to lean toward better quality (yes, more expensive) and he goes the other way. Oh, and I should add that we both work, so seldom does he win an argument about how I should spend my play money but the debates are always fun <img alt="biggrin.gif" src="http://files.kickrunners.com/smilies/biggrin.gif"><br><br>
Sorry this ended up so long....what I'm looking for is either a bolster in my argument for a hitch rack, or a simple 'you're being childish, suck it up and get the trunk rack, princess'.<br><br>
What say you?
 

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Go for the hitch rack. I have had vehicles that I have put hitches on just for this purpose. Honestly, the installation can cost as much, or more, than the hitch itself. If you or your husband can use a wrench, or know a neighbor that can, they really are simple to install. They, literally, bolt on.<br><br>
A round bar hitch tucks up under the rear bumper of the car, can be capped when not in use, and is not unattractive. The racks will be more stable, lockable to your vehicle, and easier to handle than a trunk rack. Spend the extra $$ and get a hitch...you'll be happy that you did.
 

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What kind of car do you have? The reason I ask is that if it is at all possible, the place for your bike is inside your car. Otherwise you have to worry about road grime, bugs, and rain. Rain may not seem line a big deal, but when your driving 65+ mph rain gets itself into places it should not be on your bike.<br><br>
In our familly, we have a roof rack for our Subaru and a trunk rack for my Prius. Even so, my race bike never goes on a rack. It goes inside my Prius. But then I don't bring my familly to races. Then its just me and my gear.<br><br>
Victor
 

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I also didn't like the idea of the trunk rack at first... but now I think it's the easiest and the best. Takes me 1 minute to put it on/off. When we got the bigger truck, my rack isn't even guaranteed for that, so I wanted to get a hitch rack... but before doing that I had to use the trunk rack a few times and realized it's still the best solution. I just loosen 2 straps when I take it off, so I just have to give it two tugs when I put it on.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I have a subaru outback. I have actually been putting it in the back of the car, but it seems like I'm always bending something on the bike when I take it in and out, and it's so awkward. Plus I have a child seat in the back, so that really needs to come out so I can fold the seat down.
 

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I would just say use his vehicle when you need to take your bike, but I realize that may not work for every situation (depending on what type of vehicle he has, etc...). I use DH's car when I'm going somewhere without the kids because it is more fuel efficient. I don't know how you can win the argument, but I know people like that (they want whatever is cheapest, even if it means sacrificing quality). Fortunately, DH and I are both like you.<br><br>
I think there is a way to get a good quality rack cheaper, though. Look for sales. We got our roof rack 50% off at Sports Authority (we got lucky, though, as we had to buy one anyway). You can also look for a used one on craigslist (if you have one) or on ebay. Maybe even the bike shops know of people who have racks they want to get rid of. I'm sure they are out there. As others have said, install the hitch yourself. Maybe if you find a good deal, DH will go for that, even if it costs a little more because you are getting a better product for just a little bit more.<br><br>
I think you are better off going with the hitch rack in the long run. I had the trunk one for a while, and it was fine but not the best. Eventually, you'll just have to buy another one, and you will have spent the same anyway. That's what people like your husband don't get. Either you'll spend the same in the long run OR it will just be a big pain in the a$$ the whole time you have it.<br><br>
Good luck winning the battle! <img alt="biggrin.gif" src="http://files.kickrunners.com/smilies/biggrin.gif">
 

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I think he may have a point as well. It depends on the trunk rack. There are SO many different ones. Maybe you can find one you like better than your previous one. We have multiple bikes, so we will be going the hitch rack route eventually.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Oddly enough, he did offer to install it for me (he installed his own), so I'll save money there. I'm sure I can get a decent rack off of e-bay or craigslist - I'm not in a huge rush, so I have time to look for sales. I'm all for saving a bit of money here and there, but I'm always trying to think about whether or not I'll be happy with what I bought in 5 years. Somehow after my experience with the trunk rack, I think I'll be mighty cranky with it by then <img alt="smile.gif" src="http://files.kickrunners.com/smilies/smile.gif">
 

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With an Outback, I would get a hitch. If you've got the factory sport rack, you could get with Thule and just get the parts needed to install a one bike rack on top of your car. This can be expensive. For the same amount of money, minus the hitch, you can get a 4 bike hitch rack that can tote the whole family's bikes. Plus, the bikes are on the back of the vehicle, not being blasted by wind and rain, not prone to damage from garages. etc.<br><br>
If you lived close enough, I would come and install the rack for you!
 

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I think the outback requires you to drop the exhaust to install the hitch, but that's pretty easy as they use rubber mounts. Getting the nuts on the inside of the box frame in the back can be tricky, I had to glue the nut onto an open end wrench, tighten it up then break the wrench away. Removing the rear bumper is generally helpful.<br><br>
If all you will be using this for is bikes, you can get an inexpensive, lightweight hitch. Just make sure the size of the reciever is the same as the rack you buy, there are two different sizes.
 

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Here is a miscellaneous link to a site that offers Class II hitches for an Outback. I just did a Google search and opened the first site that I found. $150 is a starting point. I am sure that they can be found for free shipping on the Internet.
 

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Sorry, I can't offer much help on this issue. Next time you may want to get a minivan. I can carry about 4 bikes in there!<br><br>
You said you were coming to MI for HIM??? Steelhead?
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Thanks for all of the input!<br><br>
Doug, I didn't see the link, but I'm assuming this is the one that would be preferrable?<br><br><a href="http://search.cartserver.com/search/search.cgi?cartid=s-4935&bool=AND&category=class2&maxhits=1&keywords=hh1300&GO=GO%21" target="_blank">http://search.cartserver.com/search/...h1300&GO=GO%21</a><br><br>
Oh, and thanks for the offer to install <img alt="biggrin.gif" src="http://files.kickrunners.com/smilies/biggrin.gif"> I definitely think DH would install this as he did his own, and he said it wasn't too bad except for the light kit, which I wouldn't really need at this point.<br><br>
I'm guessing there are bike covers or something I could use for traveling longer distances with the bike? I swear I've seen this on roof racks....
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
<br>
Yes ma'am!!! My family lives in the Holland area, so I thought it would be fun to do my first HIM close to 'home'.
 

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The link was just what I found by quick search. What you have posted looks fine. Pay attention to the receiver size vs the bar size of the bike rack. It's going to be either 2" or 1.25".<br><br>
You are right about the light kit. It is not needed for a bike rack. Surprisingly, depending on your particular car, the light kit (wiring harness) can be a simple plug-it-in deal. This harness would only be needed for trailering.
 

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First I am so excited that you are coming to Steelhead-w/you and Ron this is going to be SO fun<img alt="smile.gif" src="http://files.kickrunners.com/smilies/smile.gif"><br><br>
I have a roof rack and really like it--except that I wish I had the one that requires you to take off the front wheel, it's more stable.
 

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the bike covers used for roof racks would not work with the bike mounted sideways. If you are driving through lousy weather you may need to wash you bikr or at least clean and lube the chain.
 

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I use a trunk rack because it's what I have. I kind of want one on the top of my car because I'm not afraid that I'll run into the garage (I won't) but I am TERRIFIED everytime someone stops short behind me that I'm going to be rearended. And kill someone for hurting my bike. And then getting a life sentence in jail. I think the finances of the roof rack work out there, but DH does not agree so much <img alt="biggrin.gif" src="http://files.kickrunners.com/smilies/biggrin.gif"> But he did promise next car would be one I could put my bike inside of, safely.<br><br><br>
If you have a good trunk rack put on properly, it should not markup your car. I know the cheap ones do, but I didn't have an issue with that.
 
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