Bike Rack For Car

I want to resurrect my trusty bicycle and start riding again, making use of the extensive bike trail network in the area.Any suggestions for whether to have a hitch with rack installed on the car or go with one of those bike carriers that straps onto the car trunk lid??? Requirements: least likely to damage the car; can carry a heavy 47 year old classic Schwinn Cruiser; need to keep EASY dailyaccess to the car trunk.

To clarify, I cannot manage a bike rack on top of the car even if I were to get a new super light weight bike. No way I could lift a bike up and down from that height. I am thinking of either the carrier thst straps to the trunk lid or the type that has a vertical pole rising from a rear trailer hitch.

I think the hitch mount would work best and be easier to mount the bike. But they still use a strap going to the trunk lid which makes access a little bit of a hassle. Interestingly I made my own hitch mount bike rack before they came out on the market. Would have worked better if I would have had a welder then. The only thing was there might be a little sway side to side depending on how tight it is in the hitch. Also had one back and front on the camper and re-made a trunk mount one for that, but that would be a little more weight on the trunk than I would like plus the potential damage from the suction cups.

Thanks Bing. Any idea where is best to have the hitch installed? I know I can get the rack at any cycling shop.

The hitch mount would be best most likely buy they are not cheap. Plus you have to have the hitch installed. Using the trunk mount you could move it to a different car if needed. Go online and read reviews. Thule seems to be one of the better ones.

Thanks Volvo. I’ll check out the online info. I started here because I know most of you are knowledgable about trailer hitches and other such car attachments and that some regulars are or have been avid bike riders. :slight_smile:

A hitch rack worked well for us (had a roof rack before).

My son and his wife, both very fit, switched to a hitch mounted rack from a roof mounted Thule. rack.

You have to make sure your back springs are up to scratch since a heavy bike on a hitch-mounted rack has tremendous leverage, and might sag the rear springs significantly.

Thanks texases and Docnick. Hadn’t thought about the springs. But my 2014 Camry was brand new April 2014 and currently has only 12k miles on it, so the weight of a rack plus bike won’t be more than what I often load in excess of in the trunk. It’s been years since I weighed the bike but seem to recall it weighs about 20 pounds or so. It is an old steel frame, one speed, coaster brake model with chrome fenders front and back.

I’m guessing it’s more like 30 lbs, 20 lbs is pretty light. Either way, shouldn’t be a problem.

Edit: Ooops, bad memory. Just weighed the bike. 40 pounds! And I gotta admit that is a heavier 40 pounds than it used to feel like. I may need to rethink all this.

On the other hand, I often load 60 to 100 pounds of cat litter in the trunk along with a week’s worth of food and several months supply of cleaning and laundry supplies, so it is not unusual to have well in excess of 100 pounds cargo in the trunk. But I do have to ask, how much extra leveraged load does a hitch mounted 40 pound bike bear on the suspension given its location several inches beyond the car’s back end?

LOL, that’s EXACTLY what I was going to guess the bike weighed! Typical for those bikes.
I’ve never known the weight of a bike to affect a car, but I HAVE known of a hitch rack coming off on the highway with four bikes with an average value of about $2,000 each. I strongly recommend a roof rack. Or, start by riding around the neighborhood. If you really get to enjoying cycling, you’re going to want to get a better ride anyway.

You might also join a club. There are clubs in every state affiliated with the League of American Wheelmen, and I learned a great deal riding with the club, not only about riding but also about bikes. We’d get into discussions about various aluminum alloys, chromo, fiberglass (carbon fiber hadn’t been invented yet), “Y” bikes, fully suspended vs. hardtails vs. rigid forks, even titanium. I got to ride a version of just about everything available at the time, including titanium. Eventually I built my own bike, but by then I knew what I was doing.

40 lbs. sounds right. One advantage of some hitch racks it that you can attach the bike while it’s on the ground, then lift and lock the rack in position.

Mountainbike, in younger days I practically lived on my bike. It has had thousands of miles on it. I quit counting how many sets of tires and brakes worn out at about a dozen, many years ago. I will start out just around and around in the subdivision until I am in shape to take it farther afield. I am horribly out of shape, older and stiffer, and weigh sadly more than once upon a time. I also have a Giant brand 10 speed given me about 15 years ago. But it is difficult to get on and off and I hate using hand brakes. I may try selling it and getting a simpler, easy to access modern lightweight bike. The old Schwinn is a lovely ride and has great sentimental value. But I confess that if I get back into regular riding I would benefit from having some modern suspension forgiving to aging bones. As to a roof rack, no can do. I cannot lift anything bulky overhead even if considerably lighter than a bike because of my arthritic hands and one damaged shoulder.

I wouldn’t give 40 lbs on a hitch mount a second thought. Except when backing up!

Where would be best to have a hitch attached to the car when the time comes? Independent mechanic? RV/camper dealer? Other?

I looked on line at pictures of a trailer hitch attached to a 2014 Camry. It looks low. Are you sure the hitch won’t bottom out? Certainly not all the time, but it might when you go over speed humps or enter a driveway. Do they still sell trunk mount bike racks? That’s another alternative, but you will have a hard time using the trunk with the bike rack mounted.

I have a trunk mount rack I had on the Oldsmobile for awhile. It just is awkward and I worry about damage to the trunk lid. I have time to think on this. First step is begin with brief rides in the neighborhood and work up endurance again. When I am ready for bike trails I will actually deal with the bike rack. Just trying to plan ahead with some research. I hadn’t thought about bottoming out the back end. See, this is why I am running this question by y’all; everyone is providing such informative feedback!

We had uhaul install a hitch, and bought a bike rack. We had the 2"x2" installed so we could use the rack on both vehicles. The van we put it on lost enough ground clearance that on certain driveays it would scrape, so I think you will get by fine with the smaller sized hitch if ground clearance is a concern. The fold down racks are my preference, the one we bought came with a bar that connects between the seat and handlebars to make locking in a girls bike a gajillion times easier.