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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Howdy folks. For the past few years, I've transported my bike in the back of my pickup. This Friday, I am getting a Toyota Camry. I would like your suggestions of what bike rack I should get and where I should get it. I am looking for something economical (I am cheap-hee hee) and something that is easy to use. Please either email me or post here with suggestions. Your help is GREATLY APPRECIATED!!
 

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Game on, b*tches!
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Performance. Check out their racks @ www.performancebike.com Much cheaper than the name brands and they get the job done. I've had one for several years on my wife's Subaru Forrester. No problems. It has some rust on the skewers but that's an easy $20 replacement.
 

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$4000 bike - two bit legs
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Don't go cheap

Personal story: I bought a cheap trunk mounted rack years ago. My wife and I went to the local bike trail for a ride. On the way home, I looked into my rear view expecting to see two bikes hanging onto the rack. Gone! Apparently when I hit a pothole, the rack bent and cracked. The bikes didn't fall off due to the straps - but they were being dragged on the pavement. All that was lost was two tires and one rim. No big deal since I was new to cycling and the whole bike only cost $150! But I did have to get my shorts drycleaned. So don't go cheap. Don't hang a $3000 bike on a $50 rack. It isn't worth the aggravation.

On that note, I have the Saris Bones 3 bike rack. Indestructible. I've carried three heavy mountain bikes without problem. I even have entrusted my beloved Ti Colnago and my CF Aegis to the rack. Of course, I am constantly peeking in the rear view mirror and I tie extra lines to the frame from the van's roof rack...just in case....
Good luck. Paul
 

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Strained coccyx etc etc
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trunk, hitch, or roof?

i've used trunk and roof.

roof is vastly superior IMHO, though more expensive.

agree that performance brand racks (www.performancebike.com) are good quality. i think the roof racks sold under the performance moniker are made by thule, and some or all of the performance hitch racks are hollywood brand.

i've had a saris roof rack, used on a sedan (97 civic coupe), and am now using a performance aftermarket add-on roof rack on a utility vehicle (2003 honda element). roof racks get the bike securely on the vehicle, out of the way, allow full trunk access, and are "cleaner" than trunk racks, again IMHO.

the saris was a fair rack; i bought it used hard and it lasted several years before the rear bar wouldn't center anymore. i emailed saris and they were less than helpful. it was still a nice enough rack. if i remember right, they're fairly expensive (new). the USPS team uses saris on some of their domestic support vehicles.

the performance xport add-on roof rack is very well made (also bought second hand), shows no signs of wear except the already mentioned rust on the skewers (easily replaced), and is very sturdy. if i had to replace it today, i would do so with the same rack.

hope this helps. happy to answer any specifics.
 

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Non non normal
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I'd go with a Hidden Hitch. Put that on your car yourself. They cost around 100 bucks. Then I would look for a bike rack to slide into the hitch. I think the car would look a lot cleaner without the roof setup and when the rack is off all you see is the square hitch receptacle.

If you have any welding buddies you can have them make the rack. All you have to buy is the bike tights and the stock.
 

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Banned forever.....or not
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Search for the Thule web site to see if they make a roof top rack for your car.
 

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Why not use your trunk?

In the past I had an Accord and an Infiniti G20, both had roof racks. However, I put the bike in the trunk more often that I used the rack. Sure, it takes a bit more time, but you can't get the bike much more secure than in the trunk. If you are getting a new Camry, those things have huge trunks. I was able to get two bikes and three wheels in the trunks of both my cars.

Anyway, the advantages are that they are out of harms way, better MPG, MUCH less wind noise. The cons are you use your trunk space and it takes a few more minutes to get rolling.

One more thing, in the trunk, you'll never slam the bikes into a low overhang.
 

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Arrogant roadie.....
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I drive a Camry..

I had an old trunk-mounted rack from about 10 years ago, and I tried putting it on. What a disaster! If I got the straps tight enough, it would dent the metal. The plastic on the back of the lid looked like it would crack, too. Finally, I just bit the bullet and bought a Yakima roof rack.

The Yakima rack is superb. It's stronger and cheaper than Thule racks (but not by much). They also make less wind noise, although the wind deflector should be considered absolutely essential if you have a sunroof. Even without a sunroof, it's gonna make a good bit of noise on the highway, so buy one anyways. Get the full set of locks, too.

Altogether it cost me about $400, maybe a bit more, but it works. I always know where my bikes are-I just need to look up.
 

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Sportworks

I like my Sportworks hitch rack on my Camry.

They require a 1 1/4 or 2 inch square hitch. Here's one:

http://www.bikepartsusa.com/product_info.phtml?p=03-250129&large=1

In addition to the unit above, you have to buy the part that slides into the hitch.

Advantages:
- It takes less than 10 seconds to load and unload the bike.
- You don't have to take the wheel off
- It will accept most any bike, road or mtb and even some recumbents
- You can fold it up when not in use
- You don't have to worry about driving under something
 

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pack fodder
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442 Posts
I prefer a roof rack over a trunk rack. And a Thule over a Yakima.

I've had 3 Thules, 1 Yakima, and 1 Saris Bones. Compared to the other trunk racks I've seen in use (friends'), the Bones is the best. Even though I never put more than 2 bikes on, I bought the 3-bike Bones since it had 4 arms instead of 3, for more stability. It was a pain to mount/remove from my trunk for every use, I'd have to be careful about scratching the trunk or bumper with either the bike or the strap buckles, and most importantly, I couldn't lock my bike to it. But it was fine as far as trunk racks go.

Thule vs. Yakima can resemble a Campy vs. Shimano or Grip Shift vs. RapidFire debate. They're both good. I found the Thule to be slightly easier to install and I really like the VeloVise (now V²) tray, which can also be used with Yakima bars. On the Yakima, I used to have the AnkleBiter clamp, which was stable enough to hold my 25-30 lb mountain bikes at speeds in excess of 90 mph. I'm currently using a manufacturer-specific Thule rack, which is the easiest of all since it just bolts directly to the roof of my car. Takes practically no time at all to install/remove.

A friend of mine used to have the Saris roof rack, and it was easy to install and was stable, but at the time there was no way to lock the bikes to the rack (short of using a long cable). I don't know if the newer ones have a lock function now. This same friend is now using a SportWorks hitch rack on his SUV, and it seems like an efficient way to go if you want to use a hitch.

You could always try to find a rack in good condition at a good price on eBay, and just put your bike in the trunk for any rides you do between this Friday and whenever the eBay transaction concludes. I'll actually be selling my spare Thule rack soon, but I haven't gotten around to it yet.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Hitch Bike Racks

I went down to REI to check out bike racks, and the salesman suggested a hitch rack. What do you folks think about those? I have a 2000 Camry. I guess the rack will need to fit a 1-¼ inch hitch.

Any suggestions of what rack to get and where to get it? Best deal?

Where should I get the hitch?

Life was so much simpler when I had my pickup.
 

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I don't know any bike racks big enough to carry a Camry. You should also consider upgrading your brakes b4 you try towing one. Seriously, I like Thule.
 

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1upusa

I have a 1upusa hitch rack. It's well built, sturdy, quick and easy to install and easy to put the bikes on, and you can use it on a 1 1/4" hitch. I'm sure the Sportworks is a very good rack, they use them on buses in bike-friendly cities such as Seattle, but the 1upusa is considerably cheaper. Be wary of some other bike racks similar to the 1upusa (and Sportworks) that don't tilt down -- but on a sedan like a Camry, that might not matter.

The only weakness of the 1upusa is that it does extend pretty far out behind the vehicle -- about a yard. I don't know how that compares to similar racks.

You can read reviews of the rack at MTBR.com. You can buy one at http://www.1upusa.com/. Good luck.
 

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Arrogant roadie.....
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Forget EBay!!!

HouseMoney said:
You could always try to find a rack in good condition at a good price on eBay, and just put your bike in the trunk for any rides you do between this Friday and whenever the eBay transaction concludes. I'll actually be selling my spare Thule rack soon, but I haven't gotten around to it yet.
Yeah, lots of racks and parts for sale on ebay-for 80% of the cost new!! By the time you pay for shipping, you're paying new prices for used equipment, and having to deal with some dork to boot! Forget it-just buy stuff new. You ain't gonna find any deal on ebay.
 

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Yakima

I used to work at a shop where we carried Yakima and Thule. Everyone that worked there in the 4 years i was there (lots of turnover) had a yakima rack, and or good reason. IMHO they are stronger, look better, and more user friendly.

Just about everyone that started out with a trunk mount, ended up chucking it in favor of a roof mount. My reasons for a roof mount were versatility: bikes, kayak, skis, ect... and the fact that my car insurance wouldn't cover the bike if someone rear ended me! The roof is safer in that regard as well as security. My only real experience has been between Yakima and Thule and found Yakima much better :D

Just my $.02
 

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switching feet can be cheap with Thule ...

Check out what the rack retailors in your area offer in the way of used stuff. I've owned a Thule rack for 9 years, and used it on 4 different cars. When I needed to change over to the newer car, I simply went into a certain retailor in Vancouver and traded the feet I had plus a few dollars for the feet I needed (2nd hand). Can't beat the distribution of Thule products plus their wide ranging compatibility for many cars. Still, now, I'd love to have a hitch rack instead because I now live on an island and they charge me mucho dinero for overheight penalties ($20 extra each way!). :eek:
 
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