View Full Version : Bicycle Hitch Mount
06-03-2008, 05:04 PM
Greetings and Salutations,
I recently discovered that my bike no longer easily fits inside my truck (FJ Cruiser) and was thinking of buying a bicycle hitch mount. (I think I roof rack is probably out of the question, especially when I lift it.) Does anyone have any recommendations or suggestions as to what brand works best and is most durable? What are people currently doing with their rides?
the Other Matt
I have had good luck with Yakima and Thule products (esp. Yakima).
I think you're going the right direction with a hitch mount. I had a tire mount for my FJ40 for some years, and it was not a quality product.
06-03-2008, 05:15 PM
Is your bike anything unique (some may say weird)? I'm talking like some fancy, silly full suspension? I ask only because my Santa Cruz Blur does not fit on all styles of hitch racks. Standard double diamond frames are very universal, but different full suspensions can be a headache and would require a visit to a bike shop for a test fit.
Anyway, I use a Thule Hitching Post. I'm happy with it, made in USA, sturdy, cost like $120 for the 2-bike version. I can open my tailgate with it in the upright and locked position. The other truck in this photo has a Yakima and my bike would not fit on it. But both Yakima and Thule make various models that would fit the bill. I have always used Yakima roof racks, though I would probably go Thule if I had to start a new system.
06-03-2008, 07:12 PM
I use a Thule Hitching post and have been pleased with it. Easy to put on the truck and remove. Easy to put the bike(s) on and off. Holds them secure on the road. The only shortcoming cradle and straps that secure the bike. They are a single unit and over time the rubber strap becomes frail and will eventually will break when you cinch it down. The first couple of times I bought replacements, but now just carry some bungee cords.
I'm not sure how the back window/gate opens on the FJ Cruiser, but you may want to make sure there is clearance to get access to the back cargo area. While most of the racks will fold away from the truck, this is not easily done when it is loaded with bikes. In my case, the LX 470 the back hatch has enough clearance to open, but the tailgate does not.
I've got one I have been planning to get sell! 2 or 4 biker! Pm me if your intrested.
06-05-2008, 08:50 AM
Good timing on this post. My wife and I were talking about taking 4 bikes with us on our August trip, and I was thinking about the different hitch mount options.
Dave - good info on the fit issues. My wife's bike is full suspension, so I guess we need to be aware and do a test fit.
1. What are peoples opinions on the 2 bike versus 4 bike setups. Any negatives to a 4 bike hitch other than size?
2. If you look at the Thule or Yakima sites, seems like they have 5-10 different products that are seemingly all doing the same thing. Other than having the option to swing out the bike carrier with bikes still on the rack, are there other differentiators to be aware of?
06-05-2008, 09:00 AM
Hmmm, 4 vs 2, a couple of things to consider.
First, it's quite a bit of weight. Even with just two bikes hanging that far back I notice the truck bounces a little more. Two is within livable, 4 carried more than occasionally might mean you actually need to consider springs and shocks suitable for it. This is particularly true of a pickup because the hitch is way beyond the rear axle.
Another thing about 4 bikes with a rack that flips, it can be tough to lower and raise. I know a manly man like you can handle it, but a wife or kid might not. Even 4 super fly, high dollar bikes will be better than 100 lbs.
But the main problem with having space for 4 bikes, you always end up being the support pig for all your dirt bag friends. Since you have a Double Cab, that would mean you don't have a legitimate reason to say no I can't shuttle you 3 dorks. :-)
All that said, I've a couple of times wished I'd have sprung for the 4 bike version of mine...
06-05-2008, 10:11 AM
I know a manly man like you can handle it
Good point! ;)
Seriously - good info. In my case, the extra two bikes would be mini's (kid bikes), but still.... They are much easier to stuff into the back of the truck/car than full size bikes + camping gear + food, etc.
It's amazing how easy it is to run out of room.....
06-05-2008, 07:58 PM
I've got a Santa Cruz Blur, so yeah, the triangle is a bit weird. I seem to remember that it did fit a friends Thule. I spoke with a seemly knowledgeable fellow at REI and he complained that Yakima was getting a little too plastic-y. It seems that with any of these hitch mounts that it's hard to fit more than two adult MTBs. I think I will check out the Thule and see if my SC fits on it. Has anyone tried these off road? (Not serious stuff.)
the Other Matt
P.S. Anyone interested in biking Bill Moore or Argentine Pass?
06-05-2008, 08:11 PM
Blur...good choice! Mine's a Blur LT, Fox Vanilla 140 on the front, standard X.9/XT build, Thomson and Easton bits, Cane Creek wheels (from when they still made MTB wheels). Mine's large and it fits on the Hitching Post like it was made for it. I've heard the small and medium might be a tighter squeeze, so definitely roll into the shops and give a few a try. But with the Blur a two post style is really necessary since the upper shock mount and shock are in the way of the one piece cradle type.
As far as testing it off road, my Blur (and Terry's Salsa for that matter) have been around the White Rim on the Thule and nothing bad happened. The biggest problem with a hitch mount in my experience is that if someone needs a tug you have to pull the rack out of the receiver if you don't have separate shackle hangers. Oh and your bike gets really dusty hanging off the back as you drive down dirt roads. The Thule I have is pretty tall and doesn't impact departure too bad, so it's really not a problem to do milder stuff. You have to take care if you carry two bikes to pad them from banging into each other, that's really the only gotcha.
06-05-2008, 08:42 PM
I think the brand is Surco...it's all metal, and technically fits three bikes, But really it comfortably fits two. You have to do a real-life tetris experience to get three full size bikes on there. But I could totally see two grown up bikes and one kid bike on there. It also folds down about 45 degrees. It does rattle, but there's some kind of "anti-rattle coupler" they sell, jeessh, I bet it works, but come on. :rolleyes:
here's a pic (I put the reflecto-tape on it):
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