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Bikes > Bike Racks
We are taking a trip to Yosemite and would like to take
everyone's bikes. Adult bikes fit on the roof of our Prius,
but the kids' bikes are too small to fit on a bike rack, and
getting too big to stuff inside the car. Any Prius owners
have advice on how to transport 4 bikes?
Yakima sells a bar that clips to just under the handle bar to the seat post.
It's made for placing children's bikes and women's bikes that don't have
that bar that goes across like on a men's bike. It's worked great for us.
Loves to ride too
Hi all. I'm looking for a bike rack to go on the back of our
Honda Pilot (2004 if it matters). It needs to hold 2 or 3
bikes. I would like to be able to leave it on the car
(without the bikes attached) and still open the hatch back
in the summer months when we do more biking. I definitely
don't want one for the top of the roof. Any suggestions?
Ready to ride
Go to Costco.com (it's not at the stores) if you are a
member. They have great ones that are more affordable than
Thule and can carry 4 bikes. You can swing it away to get to
your Pilot trunk. You will need a trailer hitch to connect
it. You can buy and get a trailer hitch installed from any
UHaul place. Honda pilot mama
We have that exact vehicle. There are many racks that work
with the '04 Pilot, we had to be able to open the lift back
without off loading the bikes, it had to be solid, and it
had to clear the transition to a fairly steep driveway
without bottoming out. So we narrowed down to two: The
Yakima Swing Daddy and the Thule Revolver. Both require the
installation of a 2' box receiver on your truck. We used
the Draw Tite hitch:
We installed it ourselves with no problem. You will just
need to do it when your car is cold since you will have to
undo the rubber hangers for the exhaust pipe and that would
not be fun when it is hot. Both racks are solid and hold
bikes pretty well. We went with the Yakima since it cleared
our driveway better. A caveat: small children's bikes have
very tight angles in their frames and frequently will not
fit onto the racks because the support bars are pretty
substantial. We ended up buying about ten feet of webbing
from the climbing department at REI to tie our son's bike
on. It sounds crazy, but that method has withstood a 4 hour
highway trip with no problem. Furthermore: keep a wrench in
your car to tighten the lock bolt that keeps the rack in the
trailer hitch - a tight bolt will keep the rack from
wobbling - especially with a heavy load. It will loosen
with road vibration, bouncing and the weight of multiple
bikes: figure 50 lbs for two bikes on what amounts to a
lever. Finally, pay special attention to how you lash the
bikes to the rack. Obviously, the rubber fasteners have some
give. If carelessly fastened, a bike can slip off the end -
something that happened half way on one occasion. During the
off season, the rack unfastens easily for storage. We are
We'd like to start taking our bikes around on the car for
rides further afield, both adult and kids bikes (4 total
bikes). I would appreciate some feedback on using roof-top vs
trailer hitch racks. What you prefer and why. We also have a
rooftop storage unit, but I don't think we'd use it while also
carrying bikes.In the past I've preferred Thule rack
components and we have their cross bars. Thanks.
We have a minivan and went with the Thule trailer hitch because the car is too
tall to deal with racks on top. We had to go to UHaul to have the hitch put on
our car. It's really heavy to it adds weight to the car. And the Thule itself is
pretty heavy. And it's a PITA to open the back of the van. So we have ended up
putting bikes in the back of the van when the four of us are going on a bike
ride. We use the Thule when we go on a big family trip and the back of the van
is packed with stuff.
5 bikes + 5 people + 1 minivan?
Is it possible to fit 5 bicycles into/on the back of a minivan, and 5 people
3 kids under 8 in carseats) inside? My 7 year old is finally willing to give
a serious try, so we're getting her a bike for the holidays. The trouble is, we live
in the hills on a narrow, bumpy street that's too busy and steep to ride on. We'll
have to drive to the flats to a trail to ride.
Does anyone have helpful tips on how to do this without too much stress, and
without putting bikes on top (I don't think I could get them up there!) The 2 little
bikes (for almost-3 & 6 year olds) in the back of the van, and 3 on a bikerack on
the outside back? Thanks for any suggestions.
We currently have 4 bikes, 5 people and 1 minivan. Our just
under three year old rides in a bike seat. The 9 and 7 year olds
have their own bikes with 20'' wheels and 16'' wheels.
This swing away rack has worked well for us. It is adaptable so
you can put any bike on there from the smallest to the largest.
We will have to put the 5th bike in the back or on top. The rack
swings open so you don't have to take all the bikes off to open
the hatch door.
I used to drive a Dodge caravan and could only fit one full sized bike and two kids
sized bikes in the back, max. For five bikes, I'm guessing two/three in back,
on a bike rack. You need a bike rack that fastens to the back of your minivan. We
have a Thule rack that holds three bikes and fits on the back of our Subaru Forester,
which I now drive (and love). Check before buying to make sure that the rack you want
will fit on the specific model of your car. I researched the bike rack online and
it at REI.
I have a 2002 Honda Odyssey minivan. I would like to put a bike rack
on the back of the van, not on the roof. (I can't imagine how I would get
bikes up and down from the roof by myself...) The bike rack I've been
using for many years, until I got this minivan, can't attach to the back
of the van because there's a plastic rim glued to the rear door and
nowhere to attach the top of the straps. I'd like to take 3-4 bikes,
and they won't all fit inside the van, even with the rear seat folded
down, so I need a rack. Any suggestions? Thanks!
p.s. I don't have a trailer hitch.
you can get a trailer hitch mounted on your minivan & then put
a rack on it.
Go to REI and talk to them about your options on bike racks. I
saw a roof mount system that folds down to make it easy to
reach. Also, you might check out adding a trailer hitch. I
received a quote for $300 to have one installed.
Try Yakima.com for several options.
Sorry I missed your post last week. We have a 05 Odyssey and Honda sells a bike rack that gets
mounted onto the luggage rack. I think it's about $500 plus - we got it ''free'' - well, they
threw it in when we purchased the car. They have a list of aftermarket products for the van and
the bike rack is one of them. Good luck.
We just bought a HOnda CRV and had a roof bike rack installed by
the dealer. It makes so much noise! I was enjoying the car,
keeping the sun roof open almost all the time and it was so
quiet. Now, even with the sun roof closed there's a whistling
noise coming from the air resistance against the roof rack.
Anyone else have this problem? How can I fix it? I'm almost to
the point where I want it removed! IT's terrible! Any ideas how
to fix it? The dealer just said, ''Oh yeah, we get a lot of
complaints about that.'' Well, don't you think you should warn
customers about it then? I'm really angry and upset about this.
I find the noise almost unbearable! Any suggestions or ideas are
greatly appreciated. Thanks.
We had the same problem with our Yakima kayak racks until we
bought and installed the matching fairing, which is that strip of
plastic (about 6'' wide) that runs at an angle across the front of
the car right above the windshield. It really cut down on the
noise--that's what it's for. You may want to ask your dealer if
they sell those, or see if you can get one aftermarket from REI
I am looking to purchase a good quality, sturdy, non wobbly bike rack
that can hold 4 bikes so that our family can venture on some rides
beyond the usual paths around here. I finally have a 2" hitch installed
onto my Toyota Sienna minivan and at this point have catalogs from REI
describing racks from Yakima and Thule. Yakima's top of the line model,
the Roc'ngate, seems nice with the swing away feature for. Wondering if
it's worth the high price ($459). My own bike has the woman's drop bar
which seems more awkward to hang on our other bike rack. I would
appreciate input on experiences with 4 bike capacity bike racks. Yakima,
Thule, any other brands plus the particular model that you have.
You're not obliged to put all four bikes in the same place. We have
a rack that attaches to the back window of the car that takes two
bikes and another that fits to the packrack on the roof takes the
Our family, and many people in our cycling club (not just families) use
Yakima roof rack systems. One of their advantages is that you can get bike
mounts for all kinds of bikes individually, rather than rely on "one mount
fits all" that the trunk racks have. We have different mounts for our road
bikes (same mount works for mountain bikes), kid bikes, and tag-along. You can also get a tandem mount for a roof rack. (Try putting a tandem on a trunk rack!)
The disadvantages of a roof rack are:
1. Wind drag.
2. You have to be aware of the total height of your car with bikes on it when entering parking structures.
3. If you have a van, it may be too awkward to put a bike on top of it. (This isn't such a problem with SUV's.)
4. If you are small and not strong, you would have trouble putting bikes on the inner two mounts. When I ride with my son alone, I can put my own road bike on the rack and put his heavy kid's bike in the car.
The total cost of a Yakima or Thule roof system is probably higher than that of a trunk rack system, but the cost is outweighed by the flexibility of the system. Above I mentioned different kinds of bike mounts, but you can take off the bike mounts and put on a roof carrier (Yakima makes very capacious ones), ski mounts, kayak mounts, surfboard mounts, or just tie things to the rack for hauling.
this page was last updated: Sep 28, 2013
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