Bicycle Rack Solution 2010 Prius

Discussion in 'Gen 3 Prius Accessories and Modifications' started by JollyOllie, Sep 10, 2009.

  1. SagradaFamilia

    SagradaFamilia Junior Member

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    Good Day Mate,
    The attached photos show the bicycle solution that we came up with. The rack is a Thule Doubletrack 990 and it is connected to a Hidden Hitch. It seems to be a reasonable, although expensive solution.

    Notice the rack resides far enough from the vehicle that the hatch can be opened after a little push on the handlebar. Without the bikes it folds up pretty neatly. I was seeking this wheel support, rather than a frame hanger, because it is said to be better for composite frames. (Maybe when we're rich, eh?) It does only carry two bikes.

    I opted for the Hidden Hitch for two reasons. First, the advertisement did at least mention a Class I rating and gave some detail about load. Not that I plan to ever tow. Second I read a couple of replies which spoke of cutting or bending the heat shield for the muffler which left me cold. (No pun intended) From the pictures I could see that this hitch had a notch cut in the mounting plate on the forward inside edge of the right side. Sure enough this fit neatly around the heat shield. I did get a couple of ramps to elevate the rear of the car which made installation much easier. As the youtube videos indicate it is a simple nut and bolt installation.

    The Thule rack comes with an adapter to a 2" hitch as well. Either configuration uses a bolt to anchor it to the hitch. This makes for a nice, solid, mount but it is not locked. That's another option.

    Best of luck!

    Oh the name 'Sagrada Familia'? It's a must see architecture in....where else....Barcelona.
     

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  2. rrolff

    rrolff Prius Surgeon

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    I also have a random (some company in PHX) class I - I bought it for the same purpose - good to see it being used :)

    Now to mount it.... Fun part is there are so many class I things to plug in (ski racks, bike, 4x6 hitch platform).

    I don't get why this isn't the defacto standard...
     
  3. chimo

    chimo Junior Member

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    +1 on the Hidden Hitch - that's what I put on mine.

    I use the Swagman XTC2 bike rack with it. Only used it once so far this season - still too cold for the wife to cycle so I mostly just get to cycle to work so far.
     
  4. nickfromny

    nickfromny Member since 2007

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    Thule Aero roof kit. Will hold any thing once you get either type of bars and feet. With ski box only gave up a few mpg.
     
  5. wannabegreen

    wannabegreen New Member

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    I ordered the Saris Bones 3 for my 2010. I read that there can be some rubbing off of the finish on the spoiler (I think). Did you experience anything like this? Saris also make this Hatch Hugger straps. Did you purchase extra straps?

    Saris did not recommend the Bones 3 for the Prius 2010. I am hoping it will work out...it is already ordered and en route! That is the beauty of online shopping-click! and it is on order whether it is right or not.

    Thanks :)
     
  6. john1701a

    john1701a Prius Guru

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    No rubbing if you insert a piece of foam pipe insulation underneath the strap.

    As for not recommending, that's odd. Probably some liability thing. It fits great on mine! See... photo page
    .
     
  7. exbauer

    exbauer Active Member

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    Here are some pictures with my Thule T2

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  8. Judgeless

    Judgeless Senior Member

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    I wish someone would create a hitch that was made out of something that did not rust.

    Every hitch I have ever owned needs repainted ever 2-3 years. I have tried powder coating and it still rusts. A hitch on any vehicle is in a bad spot. Every rock and stone hits it. In the winter it collects salt and rusts.

    It would be nice if there was one made out of thicker aluminum, stainless steel, or some kind of composite plastic.
     
  9. mmichaell

    mmichaell Member

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    I have the Saris Bones 2, which looks very similar to john1701a's Bones 3. Basically there's no way to stick it on the 2010 Prius without the top straps rubbing the spoiler. I'd rather not take that chance since I'm worried that even 1 bike's weight might eventually make the spoiler a bit loose by putting downward pressure on it.

    If I place the lower legs on the license plate instead of the top of the bumper, then of course the fit is mediocre since the lower legs put pressure on the license plate (causing scratches, and having uneven pressure on the license plate area).

    An fyi - it looks like the Bones 3 (according to john1701a's pic) is different, since the lower legs can be placed further apart, so you can stick the lower legs left and right of the license plate, whereas the Bones 2 you have to stick it right on it in order to avoid the spoiler rub.

    So if I had a Bones 3, I think it might work, but the Bones 2 is a definite no-go.

    I think I'll have to get a different rack to replace my Bones 2, anyone want to buy :)
     
  10. john1701a

    john1701a Prius Guru

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    Look closer, the upper strap doesn't actually support any weight. All it does is hold the rack snug against the car. In other words, it just pulls.

    I've carried 2 fairly heavy bikes about 700 miles that way without any spoiler concern whatsoever... because virtually all the weight is on the lower legs. The uppers and straps are really just for stability.

    Of course, if it was a concern, you could just raise the rack with a rubber footing.
    .
     
  11. RodJo

    RodJo Member

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    Thanks, I did and ordered the Kuat Alpha. It looks like it should work great.

    I do have a question about the Curt hitch though. I noticed that the instructions warn that a stabilizer strap must be used when using anything other than a trailer (eg a bike rack). I assume that's because the hitch may not be able to handle the torque caused by bike rack. Do you (or others) find the strap necessary? I'm not even sure how I would thread a strap without damaging the car. Maybe I'll switch to one of the other brands....
     
  12. Much More Better

    Much More Better Active Member

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    I used to own an Accord and the hitch I had was no where near as sturdy as the Curt on the Prius. The Curt is heavier gauge and most importantly, it bolts into dedicated holes in the frame rails. The Accord hitch needed me to drill thru the spare tire pan under the car, so it wasn't even a dedicated (or even load bearing) location. I also have a Thule 2 bike rack that is not exactly light (maybe 40lbs). Still, with 2 mountain bikes on the Accord, it was okay, but not confidence inspiring. I haven't loaded the bikes on the Prius yet, but it'll be a damn shame if it wasn't better.

    I would not worry about the straps.

    I could load it, drive around, and report back if it helps you make a decision.
     
  13. RodJo

    RodJo Member

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    Thanks, but no need to make a special trip. I assume it's just an out for Curt if they wanted to void the warranty.... It seems like lots of people are using the Curt and I haven't seen any complaints.
     
  14. KenzoTH

    KenzoTH Member

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    I haven't had a problem with the Curt hitch at all on either my Prius or my Camry. I did find ratchet straps (any auto supply store) reassuring when long-distance highway traveling last summer with my Camry and bikes loaded on the rear rack (Thule roadway 4 bike). I hooked the straps on the rack and at the leading edge of the trunk and tightened to really stabilize the load. I don't plan to carry more than one bike on my Prius. I did make a 100 mile highway trip with the Prius and bike with no straps and no problems. I think the four bolt-to-frame design of the Curt is very secure, and with a light rack like the Kuat and my 15 lb bike, I am not worried about stressing the rack or hitch.
     
  15. RodJo

    RodJo Member

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    Thanks.

    I did install the Curt hitch today. Total time, including gathering tools and putting everything away was about 1 hour (with the help of my 13-year old daughter). I just backed the car up on ramps to get better access to everything. I did not have any issues with the exhaust heat shield. The hardest holes to line up and get the bolts into were on driver's side. For the exhaust side, I couldn't find my swivel coupler but I found that the exhaust could be moved out of the way, so it wasn't a big problem.

    I will be carrying up to 3 bikes, which I know is probably stressing the Class I hitch. But I suspect it will be fine for short trips. I'll see how that works and maybe use straps on longer trips if I think there could be any problems. I've found a couple of strapping suggestions to try out. The rack should arrive Monday, so maybe I'll have time to hook it up during the week and give it a try.


    I think it is great that the Prius accepts a hitch with such little effort -- they could have made it very difficult.:cheer2:
     
  16. PaulRivers

    PaulRivers Junior Member

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    I just have to respond to this, even though I have a 2009 Prius not the 2010.

    On my old car, a 1995 Buick Century Sedan, I had a Saris Bones 3 rack. I would test that I had tightened it down fully by grabbing the rack with my hand and pulling it sideways. If the back of the car moved, the rack was on right. If the rack itself moved, it wasn't on right.

    Right after I bought my car I went in for a bike fitting and brought all 4 of my bikes with me - 3 on the rack, 1 inside the car. The rack would not pass my test - the hatchback design put the top bars of the carrier in a different position, not matter how tightly I cinched it down if I grabbed the rack and pulled it sideways, the rack moved not the car.

    Well, I was running late as it was so I said "Screw it, I'll just drive carefully". I installed the rack so that it was as close to hitting the spoiler as possible without actually hitting it.

    So I was driving down the highway with 3 bikes on the rack and looked in my rearview mirror to keep an eye on my bikes - and saw that the upper strap on the carrier had worked it's way under the upper feet of the rack!! The weight of the bikes was enough that it pulled the upper feet off the glass.

    My bikes did not fall off. They did make it to their destination in one piece. But I would not trust it unless I'm being very, very, very careful. Certainly not on a regular basis. The hatchback design seems to change the dynamic that keeps the rack securely attached to the car on a sedan, which I suspect is the reason Saris does not recommend the rack for the Prius on their website.
     
  17. LKB2012

    LKB2012 New Member

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    Any more experiences with Saris bones 2/3 and Prius 2010?

    I think it's not recommended, because you either have to violate rule 2 (on page 2 of the instructions) by not setting the lower legs on the bumber, or rule 10 by having the top straps touch the spoiler.

    I've been wondering which way to install it, and came to the conclusion that I will set the lower legs on the bumber so that the downward pressure is on the bumper instead of the straps. I will try a piece of foam under the top straps as suggested earlier.

    Has anybody tried hooking the bottom straps to the metal loops inside the trunk?

    Has anybody seen any long-term issues (wear on the carrier or the car)?
     
  18. PaulRivers

    PaulRivers Junior Member

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    I'm the same previous poster, but the Bones rack just isn't designed for the Prius or any hatchback. It isn't about the glass, and it isn't about the bumper. The rack simply does not attach to the car solidly.

    Like I said, on my previous sedan-shaped car, you could put the rack on the car, grab the rack, and move the car side to side (in the same manner that pushing on the side of the car would). With the Bones rack on the Prius, doing the same thing moves the rack, not the car.

    The "strap style" racks recommended for the Prius seems to use a shorter top arm, and have a different physical design to put more weight on the top arm.

    Like I said, I don't know about putting just 1 bike on it, but with 3 bikes on the Bones rack the top arms would not even stay in contact with the glass on the hatchback. On a sedan the top arms solidly anchored to the top of the trunk, on the Prius they did not even stay in contact with the hatch.
     
  19. john1701a

    john1701a Prius Guru

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    Have you actually tried it?

    The Bones rack worked great on my 2010 and I just recently took up a trip up north using it with my PHV...

    [​IMG]


    There hasn't been any trouble whatsoever for me, even while driving through the rain on the highway at 70 mph. It's been quite solid.
     
  20. PaulRivers

    PaulRivers Junior Member

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    As I mentioned in an earlier comment - yes, I did.
     
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