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I've finally decided to spend the extra bucks (over a trunk bike rack) and have a Draw Tite 1.25” Trailer Hitch installed on my '13 Optima. I know they also come in 2" models but the 2" isn't recommended for my car.

The trailer hitch/installation/rack is much more money up front but after all is said and done I think I'll be much happier (and it will be more versatile) in the end. Unfortunately this extra cost is going to mean an extra season or two of riding the roads on my mountain bike.


To attach to my soon to be installed hitch I'm searching for an affordable (under $200) Hitch Mount 3 Bike Rack. I'm not too picky: under $200; good quality; built solidly; keeps bikes secure, safe and away from hitting the car; and is easy to use. :)


After looking at a couple of the hitch mount racks on the market, I'm sure my car won't fit in my garage with the bike rack extended. For that reason I would also like one that can be easily removed or can be folded up/down to make the distance it sticks out less. They may all do this but I saw one by Hollywood Racks (it's a tall one) that folds down so I could open my trunk and it also has the ability to fold up so it might fit in my garage.


So in looking at my many wants, what 3 bike hitch mount rack would you suggest?


I appreciate everyone's patience, help, and advice!!!


Triple
 

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Look at Performance Bike.com, etrailer.com, and auto anything.com. They all sell all the major rack brands and you can compare prices.

Good luck.
 

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You can run a 2" hitch technically but they don't recommend thinking that somebody will end up trying to tow something as heavy as the hitch rating itself is. Despite the car not being able to handle it and in turn damaging the frame or cooking the transmission or not being able to brake (hence hitting something).

Either one is fine since you won't be towing (and if you ever sell warn the new owner if it is a private party about the hitch being for bikes only and not towing).

Also, if I had to buy a new hitch rack, I'd get the 1UP USA one. It is spendy but everyone who owns one gives it rave reviews and I've never seen one go for sale on the used market (craigslist, eBay, forum classifieds). The only reason I don't is I already have a decent Thule hitch rack and don't use it on regular basis (yet as I usually just throw my entire back in the back of my Subaru Outback since most of the time it is just me only transporting a bike).

I will see plenty of all the other brand hitch racks go for sale though used. Thule, Yakima, even Kuat NV's I've seen go for sale on my local craigslist which will save you quite a bit of coin versus new.
 

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I've finally decided to spend the extra bucks (over a trunk bike rack) and have a Draw Tite 1.25” Trailer Hitch installed on my '13 Optima. I know they also come in 2" models but the 2" isn't recommended for my car.
That's only because of the tow rating. A 2" receiver allows for towing larger trailers. If you're not going to tow, there's nothing wrong with a 2" hitch on your car. A 2" hitch is also nice if you're going to install a larger bike rack as they're more stable. Also some larger racks don't come in 1.25" size.
 

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There is a huge thread, "Car & Biker", over at mtbr.com. Do some research over there, you will find a ton of great information.

Car & Biker - Mtbr.com

I agree with loxx00550 on the 1UP USA rack. I have one and it is awesome. The only problem is that it does not fit into your under $200 budget. (They are $300 for a single silver rack). That said, I would seriously consider it. It is built so well, you could easily have it for decades to come. I ended up getting it based on it's reviews and ease of use. The 1UP USA rack goes on and off the hitch in seconds. I store it in my trunk or garage and throw it on quickly and the bike goes on the rack in seconds also. Just a great, simple design that gets you out the door quickly.
 

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Also, if I had to buy a new hitch rack, I'd get the 1UP USA one. It is spendy but everyone who owns one gives it rave reviews and I've never seen one go for sale on the used market (craigslist, eBay, forum classifieds). .
I have sold the only used 1 Up in history I think. It was crashed into and the other driver's insurance paid for full replacement. The adjuster was supposed to take it with him when he came out but he said "I don't have room for that so you can just keep it".

I posted on our local MTB forum and had 4 people who wanted it on day one. Ended up selling it for $250. It was definitely crooked but the guy said he could care less.

I have owned 3 of their racks now and love them.


 

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I'd save the extra 100 and go for the 1up usa. 300 will get you one that you can expand as needed.
 

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Not to derail this thread, but someone recently told me the police pulled them over and gave them a ticket because their rear bike rack obscured their license plate.

Has anybody had this happen or know anybody who had this happen? This would be a good enough reason to keep my roof bike rack. :)
 

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Not to derail this thread, but someone recently told me the police pulled them over and gave them a ticket because their rear bike rack obscured their license plate.

Has anybody had this happen or know anybody who had this happen? This would be a good enough reason to keep my roof bike rack. :)
Yes it's possible. Technically you're not supposed to have your plate blocked. But it's something police rarely enforce. I've used a hitch rack for many years. Never had a problem. Although, my rack doesn't block the plate. Only when a bike is mounted.

I did get pulled over once, in NYC, because of my hitch rack. Not to give me a ticket.... the cop wanted to know where I got it from!
 

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Not to hijack the thread but the locks surrounding the wheels is a concern to me,, I would hate to scratch a carbon rim.. Is this a true issue or if y have carbon rims should you buy a carrier that supports the frame.
 

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Up until recently, I had the Yakima Hold up. You can find that rack used for your budget. I recently upgraded to the 1UP USA rack since this one allows me to use the rack on my Sprinter Van and be able to open the rear double doors when unloaded. Like everyone says, it's a freaking awesome rack. I bout the 1.25/2 inch version to use on all three of my vehicles. It's light enough and easy to use enough that I sold all other racks I had when I got it. Yakima Hold up, gone. Yakima Roof rack with front loaders, gone. Fiamma 2 bike carrier for sprinter van, now on sale :)
 

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... To attach to my soon to be installed hitch I'm searching for an affordable (under $200) Hitch Mount 3 Bike Rack. I'm not too picky: under $200; good quality; built solidly; keeps bikes secure, safe and away from hitting the car; and is easy to use. ...
Hi TripleB,

I don't think you can achieve all three goals in the same carrier (carry 3 bikes, good quality, under $200). I searched long and hard for a new carrier after my family added two road bikes with carbon frames. These bikes are best carried with a platform-style carrier that supports the bikes entirely by their wheels.

I wanted to spend under $300 for a two-bike carrier and I purchased a Küat Transfer. This carrier is also available in a three-bike version. The carrier easily folds up so you can probably fit your vehicle in your garage without removing it. The list price for the three-bike Küat Transfer is US$389 but you can probably do better if you wait for a sale.

It works with both 1-1/4 and 2 inch receiver hitches and it has a hitch pin that is threaded at one end and screws into the tongue, so the carrier is not loose in the hitch and does not rattle. From what I could determine, it is the highest quality in its price range. I'm very happy with mine.

Kind regards, RoadLight
 

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Hmm. For 1-2 bikes I'd go 1upUSA hands-down.
But for 3 bikes, I'm not sure...
 

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Not to derail this thread, but someone recently told me the police pulled them over and gave them a ticket because their rear bike rack obscured their license plate.

Has anybody had this happen or know anybody who had this happen? This would be a good enough reason to keep my roof bike rack. :)
I had a PO give me a warning about mine a decade or so ago. He did say that if I had a bike on it, he would probably let it slide. No bike on the rack and he would be more inclined to write up a ticket if I was pulled over for something else. YMMV

A good thing about hitch racks are that they can be installed and removed in less than a minute.

You can also buy suction cup things to relocate your plate to the rear window if the rack is obstructing it.
 

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You can also buy suction cup things to relocate your plate to the rear window if the rack is obstructing it.
I believe in some states, it is illegal to have any object obstructing your rear window or windshield. Just saying.
 

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Not to hijack the thread but the locks surrounding the wheels is a concern to me,, I would hate to scratch a carbon rim.. Is this a true issue or if y have carbon rims should you buy a carrier that supports the frame.
If you are talking about the holding arms then no, not an issue. All four of our bikes have carbon wheels. Now if your exhaust pipes exit at wheel height, you will have a big problem and will need to but new wheels after each trip.
 

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Not to hijack the thread but the locks surrounding the wheels is a concern to me,, I would hate to scratch a carbon rim.. Is this a true issue or if y have carbon rims should you buy a carrier that supports the frame.
Hi n2deep,

No. If your bike frame is composite carbon, then you typically do not want a carrier that supports the frame. Follow the bike frame manufacturer's instructions. They will tell you what not to do and what to do. Almost all other frames (steel, aluminum, titanium) can handle a carrier that supports the frame directly.

The Küat Transfer carrier that I have, for example, contacts the tires only with its support arms. And the portion of the support arm that touches the tire is plastic. The rear wheel is cradled in a trough and there is a nylon strap that goes around the rim to hold it down. This is the only contact with the rim and you could easily put a pad under the strap if you are concerned about it rubbing the finish.

Most of the good-quality platform-style bike carriers are similar. They support arms do not contact the rims. However, I've seen some cheap carriers that I would not trust. Don't ruin your expensive bikes to save $100-200 with a cheap carrier.

Kind regards, RoadLight
 
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