Cyclists - Roof Rack or Install a Hitch & Thule Rack?

Discussion in 'Prime Main Forum (2017-Current)' started by geguia, Jan 5, 2017.

  1. HypersonicPrime

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    I've had issues on previous cars where hitch-mounted racks can scrape the ground in situations with a change in road angle (such as my driveway) even if you try to mitigate it by driving diagonally. Since I need to carry a kayak anyways, I opted for going on the roof (just watch for low-hanging ceilings!). Because the roof is low, it's really easy to put bikes or a kayak on. I can have a bike from the ground to fully strapped in less than 60 seconds.

    I went with the Toyota roof rail option (cheaper than aftermarket and I like the look better). It did create some wind noise, so I bought a 46" Yakima Fairing, which helps tremendously. I bought 2 bike racks on Amazon called "Cyclingdeal 1 Bike Car Roof Carrier Rack Bicycle Racks With Lock". The racks are surprisingly sturdy for $49. I'm very happy with them.

    For carrying my kayak, I went with "ROLA (59912) J Style Kayak Carrier Roof Rack".

    Total cost for Toyota roof rack ($300), fairing ($92), 2 bike racks ($49 each), and 1 kayak rack ($58) is $548. I think I'd have spent over $1000 on full Thule or Yakima. I don't know the drop in MPGe yet, but I'm sure it is notable. If I don't need the space, I'll put my bike inside on a long trip.

    Edit: I forgot to mention I bought a second tow hook (first is with jack handle kit) for $50 from Toyota. This way I can tie the ends of the kayak to a front and rear tow hook eyelet (installed behind those little square panels) and not have straps touching my car's paint/body. This brings the total to $598.

     
    #61 HypersonicPrime, Oct 15, 2017
    Last edited: Oct 15, 2017
    nednvermont and Jon Senum like this.
  2. PNWbiker

    PNWbiker New Member

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    THAT'S AWESOME!
    May I ask how you like it so far? This looks like exactly what I will want when I get my Prime. I hope to find an installer in Portland - mind if I ask what specific model this is so I know what to ask for when I contact a local Torklift dealer?
    Thank you!
     
  3. PNWbiker

    PNWbiker New Member

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    I put my 54cm road bike in the back and it fit fine, and sat in the back for a short drive to the bike path just fine. I tried it both ways: rear wheel first and front wheel first and it didn't touch the sides of the car or the hatch, and I didn't have to remove the front wheel or pedals.
    Still going to get a hitch like PriusPostus2 has - hoping a Prime owner in Portland is able to tell me where they had theirs installed. I have had a Thule hitch mount rack on my Outback for 10 years and I use it every day - I live on a 20% hill and most days I'm just too dang lazy to climb it, so I drive to the bottom of the hill any time I want to ride :p
     
  4. pyramidbuilder

    pyramidbuilder New Member

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    I'm wondering if the hitch plus rack scrapes easily on driveway's etc. On my 2007 Prius, I was generally OK except on steep curbs. But the Prime seems lower to me so I am concerned that the rack will be an issue.
     
    SeattleBicycler likes this.
  5. prairiedog53

    prairiedog53 New Member

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    Was this a roof-mounted or hitch-mounted bike rack?
     
  6. joachimz

    joachimz Senior Member

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    Hatch mounted, it was a Thule, loved the rack, very sturdy, but only used it when carrying 2 bikes due to mileage decrease
     
  7. SHDL

    SHDL Junior Member

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    FYI, Torklift Central now lists a 2 inch hitch for the Prius Prime on their website, "Stealth Eco Hitch", Part Number 7369. Torklift Central | 2017 Toyota Prius Prime Stealth EcoHitch

    The hitch is pricey, at $339.99 USD, plus tax and shipping! But it has a 2 inch receiver, and based on the pictures in post #59, it is designed specifically for the longer bumper of the Prime. It extends to the edge of the bumper, instead of being recessed about 3 inches like the hitches made for a regular 2017 Gen 4 Prius that "also fit the Prime".

    Alas, my bike carrier that I used with my '05 Prius is 1-1/4 inch, not 2 inch. I called Torklift Central in Kent, Washington and asked in they also made an 1-1/4" hitch for the Prime. They do not, but said they could custom make one for an additional $210 to $250. Ouch!

    I also asked what they would charge to install the hitch at the company's home site in Kent, and was quoted $281.

    Me thinks this hitch and installation is way out of my price range, but thought others might want to know it is available.
     
  8. SeattleBicycler

    SeattleBicycler Junior Member

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    I use a Thule roof rack. Living in Seattle (rain capital of the world!) I can't ride all the time and don't want to carry that extra weight of the hitch around all the time due to mpg. Just my two cents.

    Posted via the PriusChat mobile app.
     
  9. PT Guy

    PT Guy Active Member

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    Not really. Only averages 38" a year. Seattle does have a lot of drippy days, about 150+ yearly.
     
  10. geguia

    geguia Active Member

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    okay reconsidering a hitch - but right now tossing my bike in the truck.

    Why not just get the magnets for the roof?
     
  11. SeattleBicycler

    SeattleBicycler Junior Member

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    I use a Thule roof rack on my Prime so I can remove it during the winter here in rainy Seattle. If I do go riding in the winter I just fold down the backseats and throw the bike in the back. I guess I just don't want to carry the extra weight of a hitch around all the time due mpg.

    Posted via the PriusChat mobile app.
     
  12. MikeDee

    MikeDee Senior Member

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    The weight of the hitch is so minimal, it won't affect the mileage. I think roof racks would cut your mileage a lot more than a platform rack, especially with no bike on it. Roof racks increase air resistance dramatically.
     
  13. m8547

    m8547 Active Member

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    Thanks for volunteering. I bought one of these, and it's awesome! Far superior to the weak 1 1/4 hitch I had on my last small car. It carries two mountain bikes about as well as my SUV. I haven't tried three, but I assume the suspension would sag with 150lbs (bikes plus rack) levered off the back.

    I installed it myself, and it was a huge pain, but nothing a DIYer couldn't handle.

    I haven't scraped the receiver on anything yet. It's nice that it's removable in case I want to go off-roading or something, I guess.
     
  14. Ascegan

    Ascegan Junior Member

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    Hitch mount, 100%. So much easier, more stable and less worrying than roof mount, I recommend 1upUSAdotcom.
     
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