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  • Jun 13th, 2021 3:16 pm
[OP]
Newbie
Dec 26, 2012
74 posts
15 upvotes
RICHMOND

Opinion on bike rack

Hi! I’m looking for advice on hitch bike racks

Currently drive a 2019 rav 4 with a curt hitch and Thule vertex 4 bike rack. We will be loading 2 adult bikes, 2 kids bike. These types of bike racks are a pain to use with kids bikes. I’m looking at either north shore bike hanging bike rack or a platform rack. Any recommendations? We just want convenience and easy to attach and go. Last year even just putting 3 bikes on took forever, mostly because of the 20” bike. Which one would you go with?
27 replies
Sr. Member
Dec 25, 2006
616 posts
535 upvotes
Winnipeg
IMO platform is the easiest and most stable. No hanging/swinging bikes to worry about.
People will believe what they want to believe whether fact or fiction.
'tis most frustrating when they aren't open to see and/or learn which is which.
Sr. Member
Aug 17, 2018
742 posts
510 upvotes
Platform bike rack, it'll make your bikes happy, but we only use it for two of our adult bikes and use our trunk for two folders.

We have a 2017 rav4 as well.
Deal Fanatic
User avatar
Oct 12, 2007
5832 posts
3392 upvotes
Ottawa
I agree with the others that platform racks are best for transporting bikes.

I have the first generation of the Kuat NV and love it but mine is only a 2 bike system. The NV 2.0 is expandable to 4 bikes BUT it requires a 2" hitch and with the expansion module, it is very very pricey - like close to 2 grand including taxes all-in. There are WAY cheaper options for a platform carrier so a lot depends on the value of the bikes you're transporting (IMO) and your needs for things like security. I personally think that the Thule T2 Classic is a lot of value in the premium platform segment.
Deal Addict
Oct 12, 2006
1943 posts
394 upvotes
Alberta
I use a 1Up rack that I'm quick happy with but they do get pretty pricey once you get up carrying 4 bikes.
Moderator
Sep 27, 2003
10563 posts
2946 upvotes
Newmarket
Very happy with our Thule T2 Pro XT rack
RFD Forums Moderator
Jr. Member
Dec 1, 2007
110 posts
44 upvotes
Any idea where to find these racks in stock? Seems like stock is low on Amazon and on Thule's website.
Sr. Member
Sep 30, 2004
726 posts
115 upvotes
Markham
We current have a 2019 Rav4 and use a Curt hitch as well.

We use swagman xtc 4 platform bike rack- used it since we got the car. Very stable, relatively easy to load by 1 person. Just need to play with the configurations when switching bikes. We load 2 adult bikes and 2 kids bikes (from 12 inch up to 24). If you can find it I recommend that one.
Deal Addict
Aug 15, 2010
2020 posts
433 upvotes
I have the Swagman XTC. No complaints for the price. I wish it had some other features like folding down for hatch access, but its a solid platform. I have no worries about my carbon bike on it.
How can an ant carry twenty times its body weight, but root beer floats are still delicious?
Deal Fanatic
User avatar
Jan 17, 2002
7456 posts
785 upvotes
Toronto
I have a Swagman XTC as well, quite happy with it, relatively cheap, very stable and secures all our adult and 20"+ wheel kids bikes. The weight limit isn't very high but none of our bikes are over 30lbs. Easy to get replacement parts as well if needed.
Deal Addict
Aug 15, 2010
2020 posts
433 upvotes
T2 and Saris use wheel clamps to hold the bike down. 990XT use a frame clamp.

T2 and Saris also tilt away so you can open the hatch without taking the bikes off.
How can an ant carry twenty times its body weight, but root beer floats are still delicious?
Member
Dec 30, 2008
341 posts
62 upvotes
Bradford
I ended up going with shuttlerack.ca. Loading and unloading is really fast, but it's huge and weighs a ton. I'm happy with it so far.
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Member
Oct 6, 2012
267 posts
96 upvotes
alberta
anybody has experience of sportrack 4 bikes Platform Rack ? Found one at canadiantire for $399. wasn't sure about the quality and price.
Deal Addict
Aug 16, 2009
1419 posts
471 upvotes
Toronto
saw_mui wrote: We current have a 2019 Rav4 and use a Curt hitch as well.

We use swagman xtc 4 platform bike rack- used it since we got the car. Very stable, relatively easy to load by 1 person. Just need to play with the configurations when switching bikes. We load 2 adult bikes and 2 kids bikes (from 12 inch up to 24). If you can find it I recommend that one.
Can I ask how you are fitting all 4? I recently got this rack and having trouble with the kids bike (14 inch and 16 inch). The adult bikes go on fine and is latched down but the kids one are giving me a headache.

Side question for all, what a good string/strap to use to tie the kid wheel to the rack (gap of around 6") so that it doesn't move?
Deal Addict
User avatar
Nov 26, 2003
1270 posts
272 upvotes
Platform is best, but they are expensive. Before you spend money though, are you using a bar adapter for the 20" bike? It may be helpful. Also remember kids grow fast and these small bike problems will go away eventually
Deal Fanatic
User avatar
Jan 17, 2002
7456 posts
785 upvotes
Toronto
michiebaby wrote: Can I ask how you are fitting all 4? I recently got this rack and having trouble with the kids bike (14 inch and 16 inch). The adult bikes go on fine and is latched down but the kids one are giving me a headache.

Side question for all, what a good string/strap to use to tie the kid wheel to the rack (gap of around 6") so that it doesn't move?
Sorry, never tried putting the 16" tire bike on our XTC, just put it in the cargo area for the one year we had it. I can see why it might be an issue. I'm pretty sure in their specifications they say it is for 20-29" wheel bikes.
Deal Addict
Aug 16, 2017
1796 posts
870 upvotes
Toronto
i just got a Swagman Chinook, I'll post again after I have tried it.
Sr. Member
Sep 30, 2004
726 posts
115 upvotes
Markham
michiebaby wrote: Can I ask how you are fitting all 4? I recently got this rack and having trouble with the kids bike (14 inch and 16 inch). The adult bikes go on fine and is latched down but the kids one are giving me a headache.

Side question for all, what a good string/strap to use to tie the kid wheel to the rack (gap of around 6") so that it doesn't move?
You need to play around with it. You will most likely shift off center for both a little. We needed to put every in perfectly for it to work this includes how the pedals are - try adjusting pedals, saddles, hooks and wheel bar. We also rotate between the bike orientation.

For the adult bikes we use the shorter hooks and the kids bike used the long ones. Remember you may end up putting the hook on the second one before the first in order to get it in place and securely. We even had to turn the saddle before.

There shouldn't be any gaps for the bikes including the kids ones. I've put 16, 20 and 12 on before without an issue. All latch on snuggly.

As reference my latest set is: 2 adult mountain (29 and 27.5) bike both with shocks, 24inch and 20 inch kids bike.
Deal Addict
Aug 16, 2009
1419 posts
471 upvotes
Toronto
I'll need to fiddle around with it again.... It's like a puzzle!

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