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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
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    2,495

    Best value hitch platform bike rack?

    I've been borrowing a rack for a year or two but my buddy needs it back. What is the best value for a hitch mount platform bike rack? Would like a minimum of 2 bikes with the option to add 2 more later.

    Carrying road bikes and 29er and 26er mountain bikes. No fat bikes (yet) and can throw the kids bikes in the bed of the truck.

    The 1up looks amazing but I can't justify the price. Northshore style not an option because I'm often carrying boats on the roof rack so stuck with platform hitch mount.

    What is working well? What should I stay away from?

    Seth

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Location
    Southeast New York
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    6,680
    Brand new, should start shipping end of this coming week - http://www.swagman.net/product/sitkka-2/

    I've been using one for two weeks now and it kicks ass. Easy to use, stout, ya know all the things you want it to be. Best of all <> $299 <> 3 bike is $425. Oh and it fits every bike you have and some you don't (yet ) from kids 20" to 29 fat.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
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    4,874
    Ditch the boats and get a North Shore. It's worth it.
    Quote Originally Posted by XXX-er View Post
    the situation strikes me as WAY too much drama at this point

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
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    Three-O-Three
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    Other than the Swagman rack that gravitylover mentioned above, they're all about the same price.

    Trust me, the 1up rack is TOTALLY worth it. After using one, I'll never go back to anything else.

  5. #5
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    Sep 2007
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    Quote Originally Posted by reckless toboggan View Post
    Ditch the boats and get a North Shore. It's worth it.
    Ha.

  6. #6
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    Sep 2007
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    2,495
    Quote Originally Posted by smmokan View Post
    Trust me, the 1up rack is TOTALLY worth it. After using one, I'll never go back to anything else.
    I'm sure those things are awesome, but I'd honestly have to choose between my kids skiing next year and getting that bike rack.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    Carbondale
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    10,376
    Sportrack has some cheap stuff on amazon

  8. #8
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    Apr 2004
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    Three-O-Three
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    Quote Originally Posted by sethschmautz View Post
    I'm sure those things are awesome, but I'd honestly have to choose between my kids skiing next year and getting that bike rack.
    Am I missing something? They're $529, including shipping... just about every 2-bike rack is $500 these days.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
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    4,874
    Quote Originally Posted by smmokan View Post
    Am I missing something? They're $529, including shipping... just about every 2-bike rack is $500 these days.
    Yup. And the extra 2 bike add on extensions Seth mused about in the op run about another $400, regardless of brand.
    Quote Originally Posted by XXX-er View Post
    the situation strikes me as WAY too much drama at this point

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jan 2017
    Posts
    38
    What am I missing? I found thishttp://m.kotulas.com/deals/ProductDi...VAXGgLhjfD_BwE after about 8 seconds on google. Who the hell is paying $900 for the ability to carry 4 bikes on a hitch? "Just because we're bereaved doesn't make us saps!" -Walter

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Oct 2002
    Location
    Shadynasty's Jazz Club
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    8,247
    Requires lots of strapping. Janky wheel loops that look pretty limited as far as width. I'd like to see it holding 4 adult mtn bikes without some bike yoga. Doesn't fold up. What am I missing?
    Remind me. We'll send him a red cap and a Speedo.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
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    2,495
    I think it may just be sticker shock in general, but it looks like you can get Thule T2 classic for about $350 for two bikes. 1up is $530. That's a $200 spread between base units. 2 bike add on for the Thule is $250. 1up send to be more than $250 per bike. I'm not arguing that it isn't a great rack, but it's out of my price range. :-/

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Vacationland
    Posts
    2,869
    Love the functionality of this one, no idea what the quality will be. https://www.rockymounts.com/products...orm-hitch-rack

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    Virgina (It's humid here)
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    4,448
    http://www.performancebike.com/webap...2106_-1_catNav

    OR

    http://www.performancebike.com/webap...2138_-1_catNav

    I'd try one of these solely because of Performance's generous return policy. Entry level hitch racks are all about buyers remorse.
    If you want me to take a dump in a box and mark it tubeless, I will. I got spare time.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Location
    LV-426
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    Any Thule or Yakima one will be available at 20% off from one of REI sale. There also Active Junky discount for other retailers. There's always Craigslist for used ones too.

    I haven't owned a 1up rack, but in fiddling with them, I'm not that impressed. My favorite remains the North Shore Rack, but I also have a 2-bike Kuat for my car. I don't really like the length of the tray racks when they are set up for 4 bikes.
    Quote Originally Posted by powder11 View Post
    if you have to resort to taking advice from the nitwits on this forum, then you're doomed.

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Posts
    8,227
    Quote Originally Posted by El Chupacabra View Post
    Any Thule or Yakima one will be available at 20% off from one of REI sale. There also Active Junky discount for other retailers. There's always Craigslist for used ones too.

    I haven't owned a 1up rack, but in fiddling with them, I'm not that impressed. My favorite remains the North Shore Rack, but I also have a 2-bike Kuat for my car. I don't really like the length of the tray racks when they are set up for 4 bikes.
    ^^ This, got my T2 for about $250 and it had been used once. Check the used market in your area for sure. Cheap racks are just that. You can't put bikes that are worth $1-2k+ on a cheap ass rack. If your bikes are cheaper, then disregard and just get a cheap rack.

    FWIW, the T2 I have gets a lot of use and very few problems.

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
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    2,495
    Quote Originally Posted by jm2e View Post
    Entry level hitch racks are all about buyers remorse.
    This is a fair statement. :-) I typically feel that you get what you pay for, but there are exceptions and you can end up spending a lot more than you need to.

    Thanks for the reminder.

    Seth

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Location
    Three-O-Three
    Posts
    13,909

    Best value hitch platform bike rack?

    It might not be an issue with two bikes, but I absolutely cannot stand putting four bikes on any rack that's not a 1-up.

    I love it when I see a few $5,000 bikes on a total POS rack. Oh, the irony.

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    Whistler
    Posts
    1,786
    Quote Originally Posted by smmokan View Post
    I love it when I see a few $5,000 bikes on a total POS rack. Oh, the irony.
    I've been putting $10,000 worth of bikes on a cheap $150 Sportrack hitch for almost 10 years now. Not a single issue, or scratch on any of the bikes.
    I use if for on road transport to trail heads or city to city transport. If I needed a rack for bombing up logging roads and shuttling I would go for a different rack.

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Posts
    4,240
    I've been dreaming about these racks. http://www.isi-carriers.com/products.html

    (They've been weird dreams)

  21. #21
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Posts
    2,830
    Quote Originally Posted by Dee Hubbs View Post
    I've been putting $10,000 worth of bikes on a cheap $150 Sportrack hitch for almost 10 years now. Not a single issue, or scratch on any of the bikes.
    I use if for on road transport to trail heads or city to city transport. If I needed a rack for bombing up logging roads and shuttling I would go for a different rack.
    I bought that 2-bike rack with the X-sport name on it from Performance 10 years ago and use it mainly for carrying bikes for 12-18 hours at 85 mph, a half dozen trips on the nasty roads of Southern Utah and home again. It's probably seen 15 of those trips and 50-75 short jaunts up fire roads close to home. It's a little rattley now but I can't find any signs of impending failure.

    I'm likely to shim the joint for the central post to stop the movement, but I'm not terribly worried. I can't see a few thousands dollars worth of toys representing a significant portion of the risk if a rack fails on the freeway, though, so if you are carrying an irrational connection to that investment you should probably spend at least 10-15% of the price of a bike so you will feel better about it. Or you could rationalize it the other way: heavy guage steel is cheap so there's no incentive to make a cheap rack unsafe.

  22. #22
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    LA
    Posts
    147
    I've had the predecessor to this rack for several years now. Same arm design. It's plenty stout, and priced well under similar racks from Yakima or Thule. It doesn't operate as smoothly as the spendier options, but it works just fine, and doesn't rub on the top tube like the Performance hitch racks that I had before.

    Quote Originally Posted by gravitylover View Post
    Brand new, should start shipping end of this coming week - http://www.swagman.net/product/sitkka-2/

    I've been using one for two weeks now and it kicks ass. Easy to use, stout, ya know all the things you want it to be. Best of all <> $299 <> 3 bike is $425. Oh and it fits every bike you have and some you don't (yet ) from kids 20" to 29 fat.

  23. #23
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
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    here and there
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    Quote Originally Posted by reckless toboggan View Post
    Ditch the boats and get a North Shore. It's worth it.
    AFAIK does not work with road bikes but buy once cry once.
    watch out for snakes

  24. #24
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Posts
    2,495
    Right now, the front runners are the Thule T2 classic, the Yakima holdup, and the Kuat NV 2.0 base. I've found great deals on the latter two, otherwise they wouldn't be in the running.

    I like the Swagman and looked at other, similar options from saris and even rockymounts monorail but have four bikes between my wife and I, not to mention the kids. We are carrying four bikes a lot of places.

    Thanks for the feedback. If anybody has any pros/cons on the models listed above, I'd appreciate the insight.

    Seth

  25. #25
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    Location
    cow hampshire
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    4,242
    Quote Originally Posted by gravitylover View Post
    Brand new, should start shipping end of this coming week - http://www.swagman.net/product/sitkka-2/

    I've been using one for two weeks now and it kicks ass. Easy to use, stout, ya know all the things you want it to be. Best of all <> $299 <> 3 bike is $425. Oh and it fits every bike you have and some you don't (yet ) from kids 20" to 29 fat.
    very similar to the thule isn't it?

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