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Roof Rack -vs- Trailer Hitch(5 posts)

Roof Rack -vs- Trailer Hitchcelliott
May 15, 2002 12:15 PM
I have a both a Yakima Roof rack and a Hollywood hitch rack. Both racks are fork mount. I am currently using the hitch rack and I think I am noticing more dirt on my bike than I did with a roof rack. Is this my imagination???? Any pros/cons to one or the other? Is one rack safer or more secure than the other?
re: Roof Rack -vs- Trailer Hitchjtolleson
May 15, 2002 4:39 PM
Witness from the thread above one of the perils of roof racks, but generally I prefer them.

It is not your imagination. Your bike with gather much more debris on a hitch mounted rack. Closer to the road spew, closer to the exhaust.

A good hitch rack (like a lockable Yakima) can be every bit as safe and secure as a roof rack, though (IMHO) and it is easier to load bikes. You pick.
Both Have Pros & ConsScot_Gore
May 15, 2002 5:43 PM
Roof Rack
- Cleaner connection to your frame or crank arm available on roof racks. i.e. Yakima Lockjaw or AnkleBiter
- Bike and gear are up and away from curious or prying fingers
- Trunk is still available.
- See Allison's post above. It's not a matter of if, but when it's your turn for the big whack.
- Generally more expensive than other options.
- The big lift up

Hitch Mount
- Bikes are low and easy to lift on and off
- The rack goes on and comes off the car easier
- Generally less expensive
- Getting rear ended or unintentionally backing into an object with your longer backend.
- I too think the bikes get dirtier, I think the wind vortex collecting and dropping dirt in the back of the car. You ever notice how your bumper is covered in dust after a dirt road even if the rest of the car looks clean.
- I don't like systems that strap around the top tube. Many don't seem to grab securely enough to avoid slipping around in-transit.

my 2 cents

Both Have Pros & Conslemmy999
May 16, 2002 5:37 AM
I like trailer hitch fork mounts the best. I think they do get dirtier. The rear of a car is always the dirtiest place on it. However, I was on a trip and borrowed a friends car and mtn bike and it was on his rack, I destroyed the rack, it scuff up his paint and damaged the bike. It cost me lots of money and embarassment. I don't care how clean it stays, roof is just not worth it to me.
my experienceDougSloan
May 16, 2002 6:17 AM
I have both, too. I much prefer the hitch rack for ease of use, gas mileage, much less danger of destroying the bikes, and cleaner bikes.

I got tired of cleaning bugs off the bikes when on the roof. Hit a good swarm of them and it's a real mess.

I also don't like driving around 99% of the time with the roof rack on but not in use. It lowered gas mileage on the highway by at least 1-2 mpg, compared to the hitch rack with no effect.