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Bike Racks

post #1 of 16
Thread Starter 
I need a new rack for my RAV4, only to carry a bike or two, and mostly in town, or short out of town trips. Looking at a roof mount.

I'm looking at an upright likely vs a fork mount. I won't profess to being as into biking as I am skiing; like to get out in the fresh air once in a while, and use biking to keep in shape during the off season.

That said, does anyone have experience and opinion (no kidding!) about uprights vs fork mounts. Is there something I need to be aware of when comparing my choices??

Also, any guidance on Thule vs Yakima, and/or am I missing anyone significant out there that has a rack I should be looking at. I won't say price is no object, but I believe in buying what will do the job right, and keeping it for a long time. (My "ol'Flexon Comps" will attest to that)

Thanks in advance for any tips and hints.
post #2 of 16
Thule and Yakima share about 90% of the market share of rack systems, both being very good rack systems. Thule is about 20 or so bucks less on average. As for the differing from the fork mounts to entire bike mount, the fork mounted bikes have a lower center of gravity and end up being more stable, the benifit to the whole bike rack is that you don't have to take the 30sec to pop off the front wheel if you have quick release.
post #3 of 16
What Spyder said.

I can tell you this. Whatever you buy, you will start to notice more on cars as you drive down the road. If you buy an upright vs. a fork mount you will see a lot of movement of the bike on those uprights that go the other way. If you buy a fork mount, you will look those cars and feel smug.

jd<FONT size="1">

[This message has been edited by jd (edited July 18, 2001).]</FONT>
post #4 of 16
Bike forks are intended to have things clamped to them, bike frame tubes are not. Therefore, i only use fork mount bike racks.

Had 3 bikes blow off a yakima rack once, and they were only willing to replace the little doohiki that broke causing the problem, not the bikes. Thule only for this kid now. BTW, i promised yakima ten years ago that i would never recommend anyone buy their product, and still keep that promise.

Free your heels, poke your eyes out!
post #5 of 16
Although I only have a Thule for a ski rack, which I haven't used since I got my Blazer (I throw skis and bikes inside it), I like the idea of a hitch mount. Gill has one on his old 4Runner. It's a LOT easier to get the bikes on and off, and you can get ski rack attachments and other attachments for them. You'll spend a couple hundred bucks on the hitch, but it's probably the same cost as a Thule or Yak. And if you ever need to tow anything, you've got the hitch. Installation is fairly straight forward. the hitch just bolts on, and putting the bike rack on it, once the hitch is there seems like it would be a lot quicker than mounting a roof rack. You'll probably get better gas mileage too.
post #6 of 16
#1. Fork Mount

#2. Yakima

I have both Thule and Yakima Fork Mounts and used to have a Thule upright attachemnt. Driven far and near with bikes on top. Personally, I like the Yakima better even though I have had the Thule longer. Without a doubt fork mount is better.

Just remember you bikes are on top when you pull into the garage.
post #7 of 16
Agree with John H we had a roof thule , it was a pain. We have a Baur Hitch for bikes and skis. A nice feature is that it swings away so you can get into your vehicle even when its loaded. I could not put the bikes on the Thule myself with a hitch its very easy. Also if you get a new vehicle you can use the same rack.

And yes watch the garage.
post #8 of 16
you can even get a hitch rack now that swings out of the way so if you need to get into the back of your vehicle, you can do so without unloading your bikes. no garages to watch out for. no balancing on the runners or doors to lift your bikes off.

and the wife or kids can even do it because it's lower..
post #9 of 16
Check out www. sportworks.com.

That's what I have. I believe they make a rack for both 1" and 2" trailer hitches. I can put my bike on it or take it off inside of 10 seconds and it's very stable.
post #10 of 16
Remember you've got bikes on top with that roof rack. Carports and drive throughs are killers (voice of experience...)


post #11 of 16
Just this week I got to replace a quality frame from a floor bike that was being used to demonstrate a frame mount. The mount dented the frame. While this was avoidable (done by a customer familiarizing themselves with the rack) it was so easy to do.

Do yourself a favor and avoid the frame mounts.


What part broke?
post #12 of 16
Thread Starter 
Thanks all for the help.

JohnH, I agree with you completely. Have a hitch mount on my Grand Caravan, which is what we use for family hauling. It's great for the big stuff, but I'm just thinking of throwing one or two bikes on, and going out for an evening. I do note that now that we have 4 full size bikes, nesting them together on that rack is getting tough. Especially since my daughter has a square tube frame.

Once again, thanks everyone for your input. As usual, the experts are out there, and it's nice to get such well informed opinion. I'm out of town now til Monday.

Have a great weekend, all.
post #13 of 16
FYI, Jimmy,

There's a guy on eBay selling new class 3 hitches pretty cheap. I can get one for my '95 Blazer for $60! He also sells hitch mounted bike racks. Looks like it's made by DrawTite (DrawTite and Reese are the big names in hitches). He sells a 4 bike, swing down rack for $100. So for $160 you can be out the door. Or, if you use your minivan, all you need it the bike rack. Either way, it's still cheaper than a Thule or Yak.
post #14 of 16
I would recommend a trailer hitch. Check this company out.


post #15 of 16
Hitchmounts are a good option. Plenty versatile, too. Here's an accessory you can get for those times when you aren't carrying bikes. http://www.bumperdumper.com/

<FONT size="1">

[This message has been edited by jd (edited July 19, 2001).]</FONT>
post #16 of 16
One thing you may want to consider, something that My girlfriend and I are looking into for her Wrangler is a 2" reciever rack (hitchmount) that holds the bike by the forks in trays. To me it gives the best of both worlds for securly holding the bikes, as well as the ease of the hitch. I personally have been using a Yakama fork mount on my Jetta for a few years and have no compaints.
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