Bike Rack / Carrier

Discussion in 'Gen 3 Prius Accessories and Modifications' started by Antnee20x, Aug 7, 2009.

  1. Antnee20x

    Antnee20x New Member

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    Hello all...

    Has anybody installed a bike rack / carrier on their 2009/2010 Prius?

    I am looking mainly for a roof rack hat will fit 2 bikes - the entire set up (bare roof now).

    Any ideas? Tips?
     
  2. DianneWhitmire

    DianneWhitmire High PRIUStess

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    We get a lot of XPORT bike racks in here. Google that: XPORT bike rack carrier.
     
  3. jestoy7

    jestoy7 New Member

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    Also, use the search function before you post. PLENTY of threads and infor with pics on this subject!
     
  4. lunabelgium

    lunabelgium Member

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    Hi Antnee20x,

    Have a glance at my album.
     
  5. jcgee88

    jcgee88 Member

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    Yes, I have a receiver hitch on my 2009, and to it, I
    attach a Saris 3-bike bike rack. With this combination,
    it's very quick and easy to load bikes.

    I briefly considered doing a roof rack, but decided the
    trailer hitch kind is better (but, I did already own the
    Saris rack, so I was already biased).

    For a roof rack you have the following issues:

    1. You have to reach up a fairly long ways to
    load/unload a bike.
    2. It's easy to forget you have bikes loaded when
    you are driving along. I know people who have
    smashed their bikes driving into their garage.
    3. I believe that roof-mounted bikes have a higher
    impact on your mileage, since the bikes are directly
    in the slipstream. I can't prove this, though,
    but it seems likely. For my rear mounted rack,
    I have been seeing a reduction of 1-2 mpg.
     
  6. David Beale

    David Beale Senior Member

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    As this question is posted in the GIII part I would assume that is the preferred car info is requested for.

    So it begs a further question, how different is the GIII from the GII? Hitch different? Roof rack models different?
     
  7. Slovewell

    Slovewell New Member

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    I agree with your post, but I would prefere the hitch for two more reasons. I would always be afraid of scratching my car while putting the bike on the roof and if you have the hitch, you can use other things that can plug into the receiver. I see people using those trays that plug into the receiver. You can carry a cooler or beach chairs. I even saw a guy that had a couple bags of mulch on his. No chance of getting the inside dirty. You can't put real heavy things on it but it will carry most things.




     
  8. timo27

    timo27 Member

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    FWIW--and I know this is anecdotal--I have a friend who had a Saab somethingorwhattzzit--I think an older 9-3 or even a 900 series--who reported that having a roof rack with a bike on it cut into his highway mileage much worse than having snow tires on it. He said it was much better with a trunk-mounted rack. This was an older car that didn't have an instant mileage read-out like the Prius, so he was doing it by calculating mileage on long trips (mostly in northern New England).

    Again, not exactly hard data, but hope it helps.
    ~T
     
  9. bmott

    bmott New Member

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    I recently had UHaul install a hitch on my 2007 Prius, bought a hitch mounted Thule bike carrier for 4 bikes and had no problem for the first few weeks with two bikes. Then I put on four for a short trip, and later that day transported two, one adult and one kids bike. The kids bike somehow came off the rack but didn't drag b/c lock kept it off the ground. I was perplexed b/c I knew I had strapped it on safely. That night, driving home down interstate, I carefully strapped on two bikes again. This time my bike came off the rack and dragged on highway for about 200 meters while I tried to pull over. Needless to say the bike got heavily damaged, and I'm returning the bike rack to the store b/c I don't think I can trust that type of rack on the back of my Prius knowing I'd done it all properly. I'd never heard of this before and would assume if someone told me that they'd obviously been a bit careless with the straps but I know 100% that I strapped the bike/s on very tightly and yet it still somehow came off. I'll not be using that hitch on the Prius ever again. One other thing, I noticed a huge drop in gas mileage with the bike rack. Usually on highway, at least, I get about 50 mpg; with the hitch and only two bikes, I got about 33 mpg.
     
  10. Jeremy Harris

    Jeremy Harris New Member

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    First off. You have a 2007 Prius. This is the 2010 Prius section...........

    Next, adding a bike rack loaded with bikes is going to increase the car's Cd by a fair bit, so you can expect a significant change in economy (drag is directly proportional to Cd).

    My guess is that the "bikes falling off" problem may be down to the design of the rack, or the fixings. Best bet might be to take it back to the dealer and get it checked. It's not an endemic problem, as I have the Thule rack on my 2010 Prius and it works just fine.
     
  11. bmott

    bmott New Member

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    yeah, my bad for posting on '10 section but thought it was important enough to share widely. The rack discussed, Thule Roadway for 4 bikes, has been used by many and usually highly trusted so all the more shocking to have this problem. Smooth roads, no big bumps, and so wondering if somehow the vibrations in 1.25" hitch may have somehow caused this issue.
    Also, I just mentioned the mpg loss b/c while I knew there would be some loss in mpg, it seems that a 60% drop in mileage with only two bikes on the rack is worth sharing. I guess I'll be riding my bike from home more often!
     
  12. SpikeVFR

    SpikeVFR New Member

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    Yakima or Thule. The cheap ones don't last. I have had my Yakima cross bars and towers for probly 20 years and several cars now, you just have to change out the clips when you get a new car. And they both offer a ton of mounts for whatever you want to put up there and come on and off easier. If you belong to REI, every couple of months they offer like 20 or 25% off either brand.

     
  13. SpikeVFR

    SpikeVFR New Member

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    On a Prius you have to reach up high to mount the bikes? Really? I am not super tall at about 5' 10-11" or so , but I stand taller than my Prius roof. And I am not super buff or anyhing. If you have a full size SUV, sure; or even on my wife's Sienna (where I use a hitch rack) getting the bike(s) on the roof would be a pain, but on a Prius? Really?

    It isn't too hard to rmember your bike up there, but if it really is a problem for someone; Yakima sells a little magnet thing you can put on your hood to remind yourself.

    No idea about the mileage impact, but haw the air exits your vehicle matters too. Yes the roof rack is more in the air from a frontal view, but they are bikes, so the air can get around them. You can even buy an air dam for the front of your roof rack to help direct the airflow and a neoprene bra for the front of your bike to ease airflow and help keep off the bugs. If you are driving cross country with your bikes, roof vs. hitch might matter for gas mileage, but for occassional short hops, it is unlikely to be that big a deal.

    With the roof rack
    1) you have no interference getting into or out of the back of the vehicle, without having the buy the more expensive fold away hitch models (of which I have one)
    2) there is no visual interference out the back window
    3) you can easily still park in a normal parking space without worrying about your bikes sticking out or the rack being blocked in, or when backing into a spot, you don't have to figure out how close the bikes are to the pole/wall/other car
    4) your bike pedals will never scratch your bumper (I have experience with this with the ones that you mount on your hatch, well I was younger and it was my mom's car, but still). I have never done this with a roof rack.
    5) if you have nice bikes, you don't have to worry about them knocking together as you drive along like you do with a hitch carrier. The roof top racks offer the opportunity to separate out your bikes.
    6) the roof racks, at least with Yakima or Thule, can be used to carry almost anything skis, canoes, kayaks, extra luggage, etc. None of that can be done with the hitch rack as easily and in some cases not at all. Heck when I needed an extra tall ladder to do something on my roof, I rented on and tied it to the Yakima on my roof, could not have done that with the hitch rack.
    7) with the roof racks you can get ones that lock pretty firmly to deter theft, most of the hatch and hitch ones you are left using a cable lock. Most of which are pretty easy to defeat and you have to make sure doesn't slap against your nice bike or car.
    8) roof rack puts the weight up high, which can be bad, but the Prius is so bottom heavy it isn't a big deal - IMHO. But fairly centered in the wheelbase. Where the hitch puts the weight out back, behind your rear tires by quite a bit. This is going to have a impact on the stance of the vehicle, lifting the front up and not cutting thru the air as well.
    9) roof rack can be completely removed in 15 minutes or less, with the hitch rack, you can remove the rack, but you still have the ugly hitch hanging there. Catching on driveways. Rusting. And you are now carrying around that extra weight all the time.
    10) at least in my owner's manual, admittedly previous edition, Toyota specifically says the car is not rated/made for use of a tow hitch

    I have used both, I currently own both. Both have pros and cons, but I greatly prefer the roof top rack on any car. If you have a truck/SUV/Van than it may be different. Or if you are particularly short or have limited mobility of your arms.


    Yakima and Thule have baskets available for their roof racks for extra cargo. With the hitch, I would be worried about the tongue rating of the hitch. With it being a class 1 hitch, it can't be much. Now you move that weight out a few inches and your carrying capacity is even less.

     
  14. Swellgal

    Swellgal Junior Member

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    I have a 2010 III with solar so I cannot add a roof top rack. I want to have a class 1 receiver hitch installed on my Prius to attach a 2 bike rack to the back.

    I do not know anything about what I want to do except people tell me that I need to get a class 1 hitch and 2 inch receiver? I need recommendations:
    1. Where to get the hitch installed? UHaul?
    2. What brand of bike rack? Yakima? does it fit the 2 inch receiver ball thing?
    3. Where would I find out if adding this hitch receiver will invalidate my extended warranty?
     
  15. john1701a

    john1701a Prius Guru

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    Who told you that?

    I beg to differ....

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    .
     
  16. hsumaomao

    hsumaomao Junior Member

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    Amen. Having a rook rack certainly makes the Prius sportier; scarifies MPG for the look is discretionary.
     
  17. Much More Better

    Much More Better Active Member

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    You don't need a 2" receiver for a bike rack. My Thule 2 bike rack is heavy and the Curt Class I 11469 is more than adequate. The only question I cannot answer is who will install it for you if you lack tools or the inclination to DIY. But any handyman/woman should not find it difficult.

    Check out my install:
    http://priuschat.com/forums/gen-iii...ons/79810-my-curt-1-1-2-receiver-install.html
     
    1 person likes this.
  18. SmellyTofu

    SmellyTofu Average punter

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    Can you take a more closer photo of the feet? I'm curious as to how they go on without having to cross into the sunroof/solar panel section. Yakima don't sell down this way but Thule, Rhino and Rola do.

    I've got 2 of the Thule bike holders I want to use on the roof again but there's not a lot of info out there that says it's OK for the sunroof/solar panel variants to have racks. I know Toyota Europe that make their genuine racks (made by Mount Blanc) don't allow sunroof variants to use them.
     
  19. Xjaddiction

    Xjaddiction New Member

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    I have a Yakima, and as stated earlier, they have many benefits. They are easy to remove and put back on once set up. Easy to lock, no trouble seeing out the back of the car.

    I've made a 600+ mike trip, and the MPG's did drop. I avg about 53 with just me in it. With the roof,rack, bike, and faring, I get about 45 MPG.. With the rack a bike, 4passengers, and a weekends worth of gear... I have a wife and two daughters, I got about 42 MPG.

    I too have had Yakima roof racks for 20 years. They are awesome.
     
  20. john1701a

    john1701a Prius Guru

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    Always check my website for detail. I typically only provide small versions of photos here.

    In this case, the larger are on photo album page #137.
    .
     
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