Carrying bikes on a Prius

Discussion in 'Gen 2 Prius Main Forum' started by JamesG, Jun 29, 2010.

  1. JamesG

    JamesG New Member

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    Hi there

    I'm about to buy a new car. It can be a Prius if there's a way of safely carrying 4 bikes, as we do a few family cycling trips each year. I really don't want to buy a big estate or other large gas-guzzler if I can avoid it but I also don't want to rule out these trips.
    Any help on whether this can be safely and easily done or if it's too tricky, or too unstable, would be very gratefully received!

    Many thanks.
     
  2. AkustaVirtaa

    AkustaVirtaa Sähköistäjä

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    4 bikes is a lot for Prius. You can easily (and safely) put two on roof with Thules..
     
  3. qbee42

    qbee42 My other car is a boat

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    Several of us have SportsRigs, which are small trailers specifically designed for carrying light loads such as bikes, canoes, and kayaks. The SportsRig is essentially a roof rack riding on its own wheels. It has the same tubular bars found on the major roof rack systems, so you can use normal accessories. Towing behind keeps the bikes in the slipstream, so mileage is improved over a rack.

    As a bonus, I use my SportsRig to move building supplies and other bulky loads. Because of it I was able to sell my old van and become a Prius-only family.

    I'll warn you in advance that they aren't cheap, at least when compared to small utility trailers. On the other hand, utility trailers aren't in the same league. The SportsRig has advanced suspension and high speed motorcycle tires. It also folds for easy storage.

    SportsRig Micro Trailers: Kayak Trailer. Bike Trailers. Lightweight trailer for kayaks, bikes, canoes, cargo, camping gear, boats, storage boxes. Manufacturer and dealer. USA Made trailers for your vehicle. Eco-friendly trailers for fuel efficiency.

    Tom
     
  4. a_gray_prius

    a_gray_prius Rare Non-Old-Blowhard Priuschat Member

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    The Toyota United cycling team often carried far more than 4 bikes on the top of their Prius team car:

    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]
     
  5. snijd

    snijd DIY or die

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    I use a 4-bike Yakima hitch rack with a 1.25" hitch. I've carried three adult bikes at once, using a nylon strap from the top of the rack to the upper hatch lip for extra confidence. However, I'd make this mod if loading four bikes at once.

    A positive aspect of the hitch rack is that it probably creates less aero drag than a roof rack.
     
  6. AkustaVirtaa

    AkustaVirtaa Sähköistäjä

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    Hey, these carbon beauties weight something like 6 kilos (13 pounds)! Somehow I think that in this case bicycles weight little bit more. :D
     
  7. sa68ta

    sa68ta Junior Member

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    Same problem here, our four member family loves to bike. I think our choices in EU are pretty limited.

    1. Hitch carriers are out for the moment, because there is no hitch (EU homologated). At least to my knowledge. Forget the nice youtube presentation for thule euroclick. There is no Brink/Thule hitch available at the moment.

    2. Rear mounted carriers aren't an option too. I checked Thule and MontBlanc, they don't have solutions for Prius III.

    3. There are "Toyota" and Thule roof carriers available. The reason I would choose Thule are longer crossbars, I suppose it's easier to fit four bike holders to them. I forgot where (maybe toyota techdocs on the web), but I've seen somewhere that max load capacity is 75 kg for roof carriers. If I remember correctly Thule allows 50 kg only.

    I personally don't like roof carriers. It increases your aerodrag and there is possibility of crashing into some low obstacle (I crashed my Scenic with 3 bikes into my own garage :redface:).
     
  8. AkustaVirtaa

    AkustaVirtaa Sähköistäjä

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    You can install hitch to Prius in EU, you just can’t use it for towing.

    So it’s possible to buy hitch and use Thule hitch platform for bikes. And if you leave electric plug for lights uninstalled, no-one can’t say that your hitch is towing for trailer.

    Edit: Hmm.. this thule euroclick sounds very interesting…
     
  9. Tomel51

    Tomel51 Junior Member

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    If the only thing preventing you from getting a Prius is the occasional biking trip, have you considered simply renting another vehicle for those trips. I've taken that approach in the past when, for instance, I needed to move furniture or pick up lumber. Sure beats buying a pick-up or an SUV which isn't really needed 99% of the time.
     
  10. ronbeck

    ronbeck Junior Member

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    I have a similar question. Can I put 3 bikes on the hatch? Thule says you can use 9002 3 bike rack on the Prius 2010.
     
  11. john1701a

    john1701a Prius Guru

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    Saris Bones has worked well for me...

    [​IMG] . [​IMG]
    .
     
    Robo-driver likes this.
  12. gdbelden

    gdbelden Gator Hator

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    The Saris is what I use also. Works perfect!...
     
  13. subarutoo

    subarutoo New Member

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    Here are a couple more Prius bike carrier pictures from the 2008 Tour of California. This rack says Yakima on it. I only carry one bike, so it goes inside, out of harm's way. I recently bought a CT200 hybrid, and it has a lot less space inside, but the bike still fits (kinda). I'm not really a fan of racks. I have strap on rack made by Rhode Gear that only takes two bikes, but haven't used it on the Prius.
     
  14. Skoorbmax

    Skoorbmax Senior Member

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    I posted this in another thread, but I'm using a Quality S hitch on my 2010 Prius, because it has a 2" receiver and I believe that's a safer route for hitch-mounted racks. With this hitch I'm using a $99 Allen Walmart-sold 4 bike rack. I have made several trips using this setup with no problems carrying two adult bikes (placed closer to the hitch) and two kids' bikes (which are not much lighter than adult). Driven on the highway as well. This does present a lot of torque to the hitch so the rear wheels do sit a bit lower (but not prohibitively so) when setup like this.

    I do not drive it like it's not carrying anything, though; I take corners slower and I am more careful over bumps like on railroad tracks.

    If you wanted the ultimate in confidence you'd mount two bikes on the hitch-mounted rack and then two more on the roof with a thule or yakima setup (you could get wide bars and fit four on the roof but not sure I'd want to unless it was drilled).

    Or you could get one of those trailers mentioned earlier, but they are not cheap.

    The benefit of a hitch type approach is that there is nothing whatsoever that comes in contact with the body of the car, so you can avoid scratches easily.
     
  15. priusguy469

    priusguy469 Junior Member

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    Hello all,

    My wife and I ride at least once per week. We have recently purchased a Thule rear-mounting bike rack (raceway - 9002) rated for 3 bikes. We are only placing 2 bikes on it. Both of these bikes are carbon-fiber and so are pretty light. We tried it for the first time this past weekend and it worked great. Thule recommends this bike rack for the Prius and we have found it to be durable and well-thought out.

    Good luck.
     
  16. Ana Hernandez

    Ana Hernandez Junior Member

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    So with the prius there is minimal recommendation for carrying 4 bikes I see. I have a Thule 4 bike rack & I am planning on getting the hitch needed for it, not too sure which hitch I should go for. I've been told I can't carry 4 bikes on a class I hitch I'm guessing is because the tongue weight is only 200lb. But on the Class II hitch is up to 259-300lb I believe, yet I'm not sure the prius can hold more than 200 lb on its back by suspension. Anyone has ideas, advice, or experience on this case?
     
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