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HEYPUTTHATDOWN's Photo HEYPUTTHATDOWN Posts: 261
7/31/07 7:43 A

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Greetings all ...

VW4LIFE,

I drive a GTI and was amazed to find a hitch that works ... http://www.etrailer.com/hitch-2002_Volkswa
gen_GTI.htm ... it requires drilling into the trunk (no matter what the instructions say) so you can't remove it (but then why would you?).

I bought a Thule Roadway 2 from REI when they were having a sale (sale price plus first purchase discount). The arms fold down and there are levers to let you lower the rack for accessing the back hatch.

In order to make everything fit exactly right, I bought a 11" 1-1/4" hitch extension and had a buddy cut and weld the extension to the hitch so that the rack sits just right on the back of the car.

It was all worth it. I can unbolt (get a locking bolt) the rack in 30 seconds and stow it in the trunk when not used (I find I just leave it on). Loading my bike is easy and the added bonus is that I have an ad hoc bike stand to clean and adjust my bike.

I probably spent about $300 to get everything in place ... since I keep my cars, this seemed like a good investment. I just ordered a hitch for my wife's Subaru so that we can take her car and our bikes on vacation.

Good luck ... Bob


I'd rather be sitting on my bike thinking about God than sitting in church thinking about my bike ...
PLANAR's Photo PLANAR Posts: 122
7/30/07 12:50 P

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I love the Saris Bones rack but, one thing I have noticed, they don't seem to age real well when exposed to weather. They become discolored and the plastic loses it's elasticity and tends to break easier. I would be careful to not leave on the trunk for extended periods, especially in extremely sunny hot climates. One thing in general about racks that mount onto painted surfaces, no matter how careful you are your paint will be damaged to some degree.

Edited by: PLANAR at: 7/30/2007 (12:51)
Life is a storm, my young friend. You will bask in the sunlight one moment, be shattered on the rocks the next. What makes you a man is what you do when that storm comes. Count of Monte Cristo
BRUCEW's Photo BRUCEW Posts: 726
7/30/07 8:32 A

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Believe it or not, I'm riding. Riding well, I have a new schedule and it's a little aggressive. I'll be riding 20 to 30 miles for the next two weeks 3 times a week, the following weeks I go to 40 miles twice a week, and middle of september I have a 70 mile ride coming up.
I'm trying to brake in the new saddle and it's not that bad. I have to go for another 25 miles before I get fitted by one of the pro bikers who visits the local bike shop where I bought my bike. They are going to set me up on the trainer and make adjustments. Best part, its free... woo hoo.

Still working with the clipless pedals, I really love those things.

“Little drops of water wear down big stones.”
Russian Proverb

Visit my pics on http://www.flickr.com/photos/wonkawear

Visit my Blog on http://el-bruque.blogspot.com/


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KJEANNE's Photo KJEANNE SparkPoints: (39,576)
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7/25/07 10:15 A

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Hey Brucew, how’s the training coming along for the September cannonball 2007?

Do not look where you fell, but where you slipped.
African proverb


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BRUCEW's Photo BRUCEW Posts: 726
7/24/07 7:53 A

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I just got one from SARIS, it's a great rack with all kinds of groovey parts for bike and wheels. Hope this helps.

“Little drops of water wear down big stones.”
Russian Proverb

Visit my pics on http://www.flickr.com/photos/wonkawear

Visit my Blog on http://el-bruque.blogspot.com/


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MAGELLAN1's Photo MAGELLAN1 Posts: 550
7/13/07 6:31 A

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here is a link to the site that my friend got her light wt hitch rack from, she said that her's was made by 1up, but now they are selling other brands. the "raxter" looks the most similiar to what she has, being light weight and the design is similar. here is the link:

http://www.1upusa.com/raxterrack.htm

more info:

http://www.mtbr.com/reviews/Bike_Rack/pr
oduct_125326.shtml

Edited by: MAGELLAN1 at: 7/13/2007 (06:34)


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DRC2205's Photo DRC2205 Posts: 8,845
7/6/07 11:57 A

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Just an FYI on convertibles--they are built differently than other small cars, to distribute the weight and provide support without a roof. So I would guess that even if there are issues about the weight of a hitch mount on a small car, that would lessen on a convertible.

I drove convertibles for 16 years, and actually found then more stable than most other vehicles because of the design in general.

REBCCA's Photo REBCCA SparkPoints: (269,796)
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7/3/07 7:43 P

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MAGELLAN1 thank you!

"Learn from nature: See how everything gets accomplished and how the miracle of life unfolds without dissatisfaction or unhappiness."
Eckhart Tolle



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MAGELLAN1's Photo MAGELLAN1 Posts: 550
7/3/07 7:11 P

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i have a friend that has an aluminum hitch rack on her pria. its the kind that you put your bike wheels into well and then there are arms that keep your bike in place and not wobbley. it also folds up out of the way. it isn't heavey thats why she got it. she is out of town this week, i will have to ask her when she gets back. its the only one i have seen like it, it may be a custom one.



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REBCCA's Photo REBCCA SparkPoints: (269,796)
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7/3/07 5:36 P

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My 450 sl is a stick (standard) shift race inclined vehicle with wide low tires and I do like to have top agility for the mountain corners etc. I really don't like the idea of a hitch or anything that would affect the performance. I won't be transporting my bike very often as there are lots of trails that I can easily ride my bike to access.

"Learn from nature: See how everything gets accomplished and how the miracle of life unfolds without dissatisfaction or unhappiness."
Eckhart Tolle



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DMB777's Photo DMB777 Posts: 38
7/3/07 3:51 P

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I agree about trunk mounts being a pain. However, from unhappy experience of my own (Toyota Celica) and two friends, hitches mounts are heavy enough that they can affect the back end handling on smaller cars. They don't throw it off to the point of being dangerous but it's noticeable.

I don't know if it would show up as much on the SL450 because it's rear wheel drive but I wouldn't do it. You can't recoup the labor charge from hitch installation if you don't like what it does to the car's feel or patch the holes, a real consideration on a vintage (that might be stretching a term) car.

FWIW, I didn't have a paint issue with the trunk mount that I bought. It went during a yard sale after we bought an SUV and I can't remember the brand.

 
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KJEANNE's Photo KJEANNE SparkPoints: (39,576)
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7/3/07 2:36 P

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DMB777
What type of difference in handling would REBCCA have with a hitch mount on her car? I haven’t noticed any difference with my hitch mount. I didn’t want a trunk mount because it would get in the way of accessing my trunk (not a problem with the hitch mount) and could mess up my paint.


Do not look where you fell, but where you slipped.
African proverb


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REBCCA's Photo REBCCA SparkPoints: (269,796)
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7/3/07 1:59 P

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Thank you very much DMB777, I will check my local bike shop emoticon

"Learn from nature: See how everything gets accomplished and how the miracle of life unfolds without dissatisfaction or unhappiness."
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DMB777's Photo DMB777 Posts: 38
7/3/07 1:27 P

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You have the choice of a hitch or trunk rack. I wouldn't go with a hitch on that car. You'll have to add a hitch mount, and I would bet that you'll feel a difference in handling even when the rack isn't mounted.

Which leaves trunk mounts. Saris and Thule both make excellent ones. You may have to go to a bike store and try racks on. Both companies publish make/model fit guides in books and on their websites, but I don't know if they go back that far.

 
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REBCCA's Photo REBCCA SparkPoints: (269,796)
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7/3/07 12:18 P

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I would like to have a bike carrier for two bikes maximum. Does anyone know of a carrier that would work for my 1974 Mercedes 450sl hardtop/convertible? I am taking the hardtop off for the rest of the summer so a roof carrier is not an option. TIA emoticon

"Learn from nature: See how everything gets accomplished and how the miracle of life unfolds without dissatisfaction or unhappiness."
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VW4LIF's Photo VW4LIF Posts: 638
6/28/07 11:59 A

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The Bones 3 is the model I was considering. Right now I am just kind of lurking on the local Craigslist to see if something used pops up.

I want to be half the man I was, so I can be twice the man I am.


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ALIKELYSTORY's Photo ALIKELYSTORY Posts: 2
6/26/07 1:08 P

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I think hitch mounts are great if you can go through the trouble. If you don't and opt for a hatch mounted rack (speaking from experience), the Saris Bones rack is a *VERY* good choice. It's strong, tight, unique, and does better than most at keeping the bikes from scratching the trunk. It comes in 2 and 3 bike models. Just get the three even if you only will transport two bikes most of the time. The 3 bike model is extra stable.

http://www.saris.com/p-175-bones-3-bike.
aspx

 
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KJEANNE's Photo KJEANNE SparkPoints: (39,576)
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6/26/07 10:58 A

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DCR2205 is right; you can get a hitch installed on your VW. We have one on our Dodge and Pontiac. We had our hitches installed at U-Haul. We don’t use them to tow anything but just for our bike rack. I love our Hollywood brand bike rack. I had a roof rack on our Toyota and they are a pain. I’m 5’7” but always had problems getting my bike on and off the roof rack. I would never use a roof rack on a SUV. I can just picture myself dropping my bike!



Do not look where you fell, but where you slipped.
African proverb


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DRC2205's Photo DRC2205 Posts: 8,845
6/26/07 10:16 A

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I believe you can get a hitch base installed on your VW, and continue to use what you like,and are comfortable with. My neighbor has a roof system on his SUV, and has no problems with loading, but I (at 5'3") can't imagine ever using it. He says it is easy, and his car is definitely not scarred from it...

MAGELLAN1's Photo MAGELLAN1 Posts: 550
6/24/07 10:11 A

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my friend has a hitch mount on a honda pria (spelling). its a light wt, 2 bike carrier.

but otherwise, i had a roof rack in college, and was able to get my bike on and off with some difficulty, a rack that goes over the hatch was easier. but if you and your wife aways ride together and you dont mind the roof rack, it is less restricting of trunk and you don't need to remove it and put it on all the time.
The other draw back with the roof rack, is you must always remember to take the bikes off prior to going in the garage, and must watch overhangs!
we almost lost a few high end mountain bikes when heading into a hotel when we were on a trip. we were preoccupied with finding the hotel and trip details that we werent thinking about the bikes. luckily a on looker called out and saved us!!!

Edited by: MAGELLAN1 at: 6/24/2007 (10:14)


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VW4LIF's Photo VW4LIF Posts: 638
6/24/07 9:22 A

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A hitch mount is what I have, but we can only use it on my parents SUV. I plan on using this carrier on my VW Golf, so I don't think a hitch mount is a possibility. I just wonder how hard it is to actually use a roof mount for loading and unloading bikes without damaging the car or the bikes...

I want to be half the man I was, so I can be twice the man I am.


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MAGELLAN1's Photo MAGELLAN1 Posts: 550
6/24/07 8:39 A

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how about a hitch mount. thats what i have, i am 5'1" and its really easy to get the bikes on and off and also is sturdy. simple design. i think what i have is a swagman-when you go to the site, move your curser over the words and a photo will come up.

http://www.swagman.net/bike.php?b=1&cat=2

if that link doesn't work, just google swagman. i have a 4 bike hitch. it folds up, but i usually take it off. I have a friend that has a more expensive aluminum type same design, she leaves her's on all the time.

Edited by: MAGELLAN1 at: 6/24/2007 (08:42)


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CHRISSMITH's Photo CHRISSMITH Posts: 1,232
6/24/07 8:22 A

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The problem with anything other than a roof mounted rack is that your are restricting your access to the storage compartments in your car.

"If everything is under control, you are going too slow." Mario Andretti




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VW4LIF's Photo VW4LIF Posts: 638
6/24/07 7:29 A

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We used to have a large SUV and had a hitch based carrier to transport our bikes. We now have a smaller car, and I think I am ready to make a purchase again for another bike carrier.

I feel like I have 2 obvious options. I can get a rough system which I think over the long haul might be beneficial except that my wife would never be able to load the bikes up. Or I can go with a hatch "mounted" type of carrier that is much less expensive, lower mounted, but less practical in particular if we go on vacation or something with our bikes.

Any recommendations from those of you that are seasoned?

TIA

I want to be half the man I was, so I can be twice the man I am.


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