I'll have to pick up a decent rack one of these years. It's not going to be a high priority though as my preference is to just head out the front door on my bike. But I realize that's not always "do-able"...in most cases involving traveling to a cycling event I hitch a ride with someone else and share travel costs.
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I've sold both Yakama and Thule racks and they were both excellent on most vehicles. For certain vehicles one or the other would work better but on most cars both were rock solid. I also sold lower end racks like Minoura and Grabber and for most vehicles the cheaper racks were fine, especially vehicles with rain gutters. My Yakima hitch rack is 10 years old and still works fine. There is some wear and tear but nothing that puts our bikes in danger. Good racks last a long time so it is worth it to invest in a good one.
I've had a Yakima (top of the car) bike rack for about 5 years. I can lock it and it comes down real easy. There is always the risk of forgetting that you have the bike on top and entering a garage. For me, it's easy since I leave my car outside.
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We do have a cheapo one, too. But for traveling distances, we put them in the back of the truck or in the van (our new adventure vehicle). I really don't like my bikes hanging out on the back of the car.
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