Trunk Bike Rack & Securing Bike in Garage?

Discussion in 'Beginners Forum' started by PGirl, Jan 10, 2010.

  1. PGirl

    PGirl Guest

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    I am new to biking via triathalons. I just got a road bike and I am looking into bike racks for my car (Saturn 2-door) as well as how to store my bike securely in my garage. I have been reading a lot about people stealing bikes off your car as well as out of your garage. Does anyone have an suggestions on secure bike racks for your car or secure bike storage/racks for your garage?
     
  2. HandsomeRyan

    HandsomeRyan ♥'s Bicycles

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    If you are willing to install a trailer hitch (usually costs about $150) the Saris Thelma 2 is a great rack that will protect your cars paint from scratches. I installed a hitch on my wifes car with basic hand tools in the parking lot of our apartment; it isn't generally too hard. If a trailer hitch is not an option, the Saris Bones 2 is a good trunk mounted rack.

    Locking your bike to an unmovable object with a U lock or thick chain will help but honestly- if someone wants your bike, they'll take it. Your best defense is not leaving your garage door open where someone can just walk in and take it.
     

  3. synack

    synack The Back Row

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    I keep my bike in my house. :)
     
  4. Industry_Hack

    Industry_Hack Total noob (& forum admin) Admin Staff Tavern Member

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    Fail.
     
  5. TxCyclist

    TxCyclist Administrator Staff Member Admin Staff

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    How do you store your bikes in your garage right now? A ceiling hook?
     
  6. funetical

    funetical Slowin it up.

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    That's what I use and I love them. Also the thought of it being a hassle for me to take down and near impossible if the jeep is in the garage makes it near impossible to potential thieves.

    I don't know about your car. I have a rack on top of my jeep that I can strap things to.
     
  7. camilo

    camilo New Member

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    Based on my 30+ years of experience messing around with bike racks on my cars, the ONLY way to go is to install a trailer hitch receiver and then buy one of the many options that hold the bike upright by the wheels (as opposed to hanging by the top tube). The ONLY way. My reason is based on what's best for the bike. There's several options, many have their favorites. Look at a few: Saris, Tule, Yakima at least and pick the one you like best that fits your price range. Some don't work with fenders if that's ever a concern (We have bikes w/ and w/o fenders so we have to have one that works with both). FWIW

    As for security,, you then get a locking hitch pin to secure the rack to the hitch receiver and then secure the bikes to the rack using whatever method you prefer, depending on how hard core you need to be.

    In the garage, I just can't imagine an garage that isn't at least as secure as a house. My house, for example, has many back windows which means it would be easier to break into than my garage. How does one break into a garage door anyway? Chain saw? If I were concerned at all (which I'm not), it wouldn't be rocket science: just secure your bike to something immovable in the garage with a break-proof chain or U-lock or such.
     
  8. Georgewerr

    Georgewerr New Member

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    I have the Saris Bones 3 It has scratched the trunk where the arms rest on the trunk.
     
  9. mike047

    mike047 New Member

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    Why would that be?

    I keep all three of mine in my house. I don't have a garage and I am sure others do not also.
     
  10. Industry_Hack

    Industry_Hack Total noob (& forum admin) Admin Staff Tavern Member

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    His original post was:

    Just one? ;)
     
  11. funetical

    funetical Slowin it up.

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    I get it. ;)

    What are you going with Pgirl?
     
  12. HandsomeRyan

    HandsomeRyan ♥'s Bicycles

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    4 singles and a tandem currently live in the living/dining room of my 900sqft apartment. When I ask my wife if she wants to eat dinner on the "kitchen table" what I mean is "should I pull out the folding card table from under the couch?"

    MD is a nice state but expensive as hell compared to living in east TN. I miss my garage!
     
  13. mike047

    mike047 New Member

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    apparently doesn't have the "disease" yet:D
     
  14. PGirl

    PGirl Guest

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    I appreciate the information. I was hoping not to have to go with the trailer hitch, but maybe that is my best bet. I thought they cost more than $150. As for the garage, I guess it is a matter of keeping the door closed all the time.
     
  15. camilo

    camilo New Member

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    For a trailer hitch/receiver installation, be sure to call UHaul. In my town they were about $100 less than the dealer for a receiver hitch. IIRC, it was closer to $125 than $150 for the receiver w/o wiring (didn't need wiring, using it for a bike carrier only. The dealer wanted well over $200 (Subaru Outback).

    Also, for what it's worth: on most cars installing a hitch receiver is usually a pretty simple bolt-on task. Not a complicated mechanical issue. You can buy the parts specific to your car (auto stores, U-Haul, etc.) with instructions and it's a 30 minute do-it-yourself.

    Good luck!
     
  16. Industry_Hack

    Industry_Hack Total noob (& forum admin) Admin Staff Tavern Member

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    UHaul wired my hitch incorrectly, nearly setting my car on fire.

    Note that there is probably a difference between a bolt on receiver for a bike rack, and a proper receiver for a trailer.
     
  17. funetical

    funetical Slowin it up.

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    Closed and locked. I'm only comfortable due to the nature of removing my bikes (and everything else) from my garage because everything will have to come out with it if the car is in it. I would still lock my bikes to something large and immovable in my garage.
     
  18. camilo

    camilo New Member

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    There is no distinction like you're suggesting: a receiver is a receiver. They use the same part and the same installation whether it's for a bike carrier or trailer because after all, the manufacturer and/or installer certainly doesn't know what it will actually be used for in the long run.

    There are of course differences in the carrying capacity between types (classes) of receivers. But given the limitations of the specific class of receiver installed they're all capable of pulling a trailer up to their particular limitations and the car's limitations. None are made to carry just the extremely light load of a bike carrier. If I'm not mistaken, the "weakest" Class I 1 1/4 " receiver is rated to at least 1,500 lbs towing capacity and a couple hundred pounds tongue weight. This can easily pull a significant trailer, of course if the car is capable of it. This what I have on my Subaru because the car can't pull much more than that and I don't think they make a heavier duty receiver that fits my car (because of that).

    Obviously, if a person is going to just carry bikes, he/she wouldn't over spend on a heavy duty receiver regardless of the car's capacity (although the price difference isn't huge), and would go with a class I or II receiver, and like me, probably wouldn't bother with the expense or extra work of installing the wiring for lights. But that receiver would be fully capable of pulling a trailer within its and the car's specificaitons, if the occasion should arise.

    And yes, a lot of them are a relatively simple DIY to install whether they be capable of 10,000 lbs or 1,500. The simple ones simply bolt onto the frame (with the right kind of bolts of course). Some aren't so simple though... but it isn't related to the capacity, more so the design of the car's frame and you can't predict without knowing the particular car and/or pre-reading the installation instructions for a particular receiver.

    I'm just going on and on about this so that people know that a receiver isn't necessarily a huge expense or hassle. Even with pro installation it can be a $150+/- job.
     
    Last edited: Jan 19, 2010
  19. Industry_Hack

    Industry_Hack Total noob (& forum admin) Admin Staff Tavern Member

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    I wouldn't use a bolt-on receiver installed at home for pulling a trailer.
     
  20. camilo

    camilo New Member

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    Regarding the "bolt on" concern - I have three professionally installed hitches on my cars, two done as part of the original package, one after market. All are bolt on. I'm not familiar with other ways of installing, although I don't doubt there are welded ones. Most parts on your car are bolted on.

    As for "at home", of course everyone's inclinations will vary, but in general, the attachment points are already on the frame, and the instructions that come with the parts (including the correct grade of fasteners) are very simple to follow.

    Just for fun go to go to one of the websites that sells trailer hitches (drawtite, valley, or etrailer.com, etc.) and look at instructions. These aren't fly by night operators. Of course some are more difficult than others and there are many of us who simply don't care to do stuff like this (myself often included) regardless of how simple. But the difficulty is often (maybe even usually) not great - mostly having to do with how many other parts (muffler hangers, etc. etc. ) you have to move to get at it rather than the technical aspect of placing and tightening a bolt to a torque spec.

    My Suburban and older pickup truck would be dead easy. I can easily see and touch the bolts. I have absolutely no doubt in my mind that I could install them properly. The Subaru - that's a different story because there's stuff that has to be removed to get at the attachment points. I didn't hassle with the Outback because it would be so much easier with a little experience. Not that the job would be done better, it's just that an experienced person would approach it more efficiently.

    Sorry if I sound argumentative, but it's just not rocket science if one is so inclined. On the other hand, the "shop time" cost of having a pro do it is probably less than an hour, so probably not worth it unless a person is a real die-hard DIY'er.
     
    Last edited: Jan 19, 2010