Car racks-roof or trailer hitch?

Used to ride my Giant A/C from Beaver Bank, to Whopper, ride Whopper for a few hours, and ride back UP to the 'Bank. Epic. And the best roofracks I ever had were the ones I made for the Kia. QR fork mounts BOLTED to the roof over the rear seat area, and home made troughs on the trunk. Good visibility out the window, no obscured lighting and rally tested and approved!

Hi All
I’d love to hear your pros and cons of roof vs. hitch mounted racks. I’ve had Thule roof racks for years but can change it up with the new car!

Thanks

You can’t drive your bike into a overhead garage with a trailer hitch. Plus trailer hitches don’t get in the way of air, so better gas milage.

I love my roofies, however as a fairly short person I’d probably feel differently if my car was taller. The things I love are the permanence, the versatility for other sports gear, and the fact that I can easily lock the bikes to the roof, go have a post ride bite and beer, and not have to worry about losing my bike.

I have a hatchback and frequently load 2 big dogs in and out when I go riding, so the bikes on the roof make that easier too.

Hitch rack takes about 10 seconds to install. You can use it as service bike stand at the trail head.

It does get in the way of the rear hatch, which is a pain when the bikes are loaded, but if they’re not, it’s super-easy to remove. I lost a bike off my old rack on the road, but that could happen to a roof rack, too. At least with the hitch rack, it’s easy to use an extra safety strap just to be sure.

Bikes on a roofrack don’t get trashed when some fool rear-ends you in traffic?

They both have pluses and minuses, you just have to figure out what works for you. I used a strap on $50 rack from MEC for many years and never had a problem, I also fabricated bike holders for a roof rack out of an old set of skis.

When I bought a new car a few years ago, I had the cashflow to invest in a good roofrack system, and it gets lots of use for stuff other than bikes as well.

Try strapping a 4X8 sheet of plywood to a hitch rack.

I have often questioned the legality of rear mounted bike racks as they tend to restrict the visabilty of the brake and tail lights.

As mentioned above, there’s no simple answer. It depends on your
activities and vehicle. What is the new car? How many bikes do
you need to haul? Will you need to load it up with bikes and gear
at the same time?

I have both types of racks. I tend to use the hitch mount the
most as it’s easer on fuel, easier to add/remove from vehicle.
Downside is there’s the cost of the receiver to take into acct if
you don’t plan on hauling a trailer and added weight cantilevered
over the rear of the car. If you need to haul several bikes and
have a small car, that’s a fail waiting to happen.

When I camp or go on trips, I have no choice and use both as
there are 5 bikes + gear to haul. I’ve got a wagon & often
need to access the hatch with bikes on & a tilt down hitch
mnt rack is a necessity. It’s not pretty, but I can still get to
the back with bikes on.

I have often questioned the legality of rear mounted bike racks as they tend to restrict the visabilty of the brake and tail lights.
Funny you mentioned that. I use to have a trunk mount Saris rack on a 2 dr car when living in ON several yrs ago. I never received a HWY407 toll when going to the MTB trails.

I have often questioned the legality of rear mounted bike racks as they tend to restrict the visabilty of the brake and tail lights.
I’ve seen people ticketed in BC for having bikes/racks that obscure the license plate. Usually the lights line up reasonably well with the wheels so the lights aren’t as much of an issue.

what ever happened to riding your bikes to the trail, or meeting spot if you’re a roadie? try cramming three bikes, three people, and gear into a 2 door ford fiesta, unfortunatly i was the sucker in the back with the bikes.