Good Sam Club Open Roads Forum: Tech Issues: Front Bike Rack
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profdant139

Southern California

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Posted: 03/20/19 09:24am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I've been thinking about a front bike rack because putting the bikes on the back of the truck means that even without the trailer, I still have to unload the bikes in order to get clear access to the cargo area.

And I don't want to mount the bikes to the trailer -- we often drop the trailer at the campsite and then take the bikes on the truck to go mountain biking elsewhere.

Just to be clear, at my age "mountain biking" no longer means "screaming adrenaline death defying single track adventure." It now means "gently rolling along a wide dirt road looking at the scenery." [emoticon]


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owenssailor

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Posted: 03/20/19 02:06pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

The rack on the front of our truck does not obstruct visibility. It also has not been a problem with the lights. It does obstruct the front licence plate. I mount the rack in Nov before we leave for the winter and take it off when we get home in Apr. It is easy to load and unload the bikes. When not hooked up it is easy to take the bikes to an area we wish to ride in. The swagman rack is designed that the wheel support rings can fold up when no bikes are on the rack.

After many years and many many miles we have found this works very well.


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6door74

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Posted: 03/20/19 07:27pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

When i was planning our vacation last year, i had to figure out a way to carry 5 bikes. They make a 5 bike carrier but it was $$$$ and i had heard putting 5 bikes would be quite difficult anyway. It was suggested i look into a front hitch and that was the winner. I carried 2 bikes up front and 3 in the rear. Both bike racks were picked up on craigsist/letgo and I paid less than $150 for both! (plus $140 for front hitch) Both racks are older and discontinued but work well so search the classifieds! At least you'll spend less if you find you don't like it. The 2 bike rack required the adapter to 2". I haven't had any problems with it thus far.

Front Rack - Thule Roadway 2 bike
Rear Rack - Thule Trailblazer 4 bike

Here are some pics of the setup. Visibility isn't bad but I do remove the front seats to make the wife "happy". I also included screenshots of video from my dashcam. Headlight output does not seem to be affected. I still use the 2 bike rack on the front with one bike on any given day. People give me funny looks but i like it and it's convenient. I can get in and out of the back as needed.

[image]

[image]

[image]


view w/ seat

[image]

night view

[image]

view w/o seat

[image]

Photo taken from driver's seat (was only trying to get sign but should give you an idea of what to expect.)

[image]

rear rack

[image]


rear rack w/bikes

[image]


rear rack swing

[image]

* This post was last edited 03/20/19 08:44pm by 6door74 *   View edit history


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stevenal

Newport, OR, USA

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Posted: 03/21/19 09:04am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

6door74 wrote:

[image]



This is why I abandoned the idea. Headlight reflection off the rims messed up my night vision.


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profdant139

Southern California

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Posted: 03/21/19 09:19am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

6door74, thanks for posting those photos -- very helpful!

And I have a solution for the glare off the rims -- just allow the rims to get dirty! No more reflection. [emoticon]

rhagfo

Portland, OR

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Posted: 03/21/19 09:52am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

The headlight glare off the front bikes would drive me nuts!


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NEnative

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Posted: 03/21/19 10:05am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Well the best of the best rack on the market is a 1UP USA rack. Google Bicycle Magazine and Mountain Bike Magazine reviews. They are not cheap, but they are the best. I got mine from Craigslist.

6door74

Maryland

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Posted: 03/21/19 12:30pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

It might be the angle of the dash cam but the glare isn't bad. I do realize that people's glare tolerance can vary but the pic is exaggerated.

ajriding

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Posted: 03/22/19 04:09pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

If you want a real bike rack, something an experienced cyclist would use, then you want one that cradles the wheels and hold them down instead of these that have the bike frame hang on the rack. That Swaggared one is a poor imitation.
Bicycle shops will have the good stuff.
RV stores will have ones you can toss in the trash on the way out after being ripped off.
Walmark will have junk.
But if your bike is junky then no point having a nice rack.

Kuat
Saris
Thulue
and others
It should be heavy because the good ones are.
Sturdy
folding
and expensive.
pay $400 or more.

crosscheck

Coldstream, BC

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Posted: 03/22/19 08:43pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

ajriding wrote:

If you want a real bike rack, something an experienced cyclist would use, then you want one that cradles the wheels and hold them down instead of these that have the bike frame hang on the rack. That Swaggared one is a poor imitation.
Bicycle shops will have the good stuff.
RV stores will have ones you can toss in the trash on the way out after being ripped off.
Walmark will have junk.
But if your bike is junky then no point having a nice rack.

Kuat
Saris
Thulue
and others
It should be heavy because the good ones are.
Sturdy
folding
and expensive.
pay $400 or more.


We used a Swagman that came off of a 4 runner that was situated in the rear and flopped down to open rear door. I adapted it to work in the front receiver when we had our TC's for over 8 years. Was made for 4 bikes but generally we just had 2 but sometimes there were 4. Our touring bikes hung by the top tube and since our MTB have a crazy angled top tube, we just picked up 2 Thule top tube adapters that could fit any bike and hung the MTB so they stayed level. Before this system, we had a custom welded front rack that carried 2 MTB, a road bike and 2 small kids bikes.(early 1980's) Bolted to the frame, no receiver. When not hauling bikes, put my 30HP Mariner on the rack for my Zodiac that was on top of the Bigfoot.

Just make sure that no matter what rack you choose, the bikes do not move around if on rough roads.

An experienced rider? Would 18,000 KM touring in Europe with all your gear over the high passes qualify. How about last 8 years MTB in the some of North Americas finest riding areas. How about touring in Mexico, Cuba, Northern BC, Hawaii?

There is not one rack that fits all. We happened to use a very strong rack that we had and adapted it to the situation.(Swagman) We also have a newer rack for our Rav that is a Thule which cradles the wheels. Also a good unit.

Dave


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Some Of Our Fun:http://daveincoldstream.blogspot.ca/

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