Want It Wednesday: Thule 916XTR T2 Hitch Mount Bike Rack

6:42 AM

Sometimes Want It Wednesday is all about the big dream, sometimes it is for more practical considerations (want to join?  Click here to go to Jez’s site!)…

We currently get our bikes around town on a roof mounted Yakima rack.  It generally works well as it gives us complete access to the rest of the car, but there are some definite drawbacks.  It kills our gas mileage even when we just have the rack on top of the car (and that is pretty much 10 months of the year).  Get the bikes up there and you might as well hand over your entire savings account to the gas station.  We have the type that you remove the front wheel of your bike to get it on the rack, which means better security because the fork is locked.  This also means wheels in the trunk.  And with my new thru axel wheels it is a bit of a pain to keep taking the axel out and then putting it back in without the wheel to get it on the rack.  Finally, there is the ever-present fear of driving into the garage with the bikes on top of the car – something we have successfully avoided through a ritual of calling out “Bikes!” or “No bikes!” every time we drive up, but come on, it isn’t exactly a fool-proof system. 

Lately I’ve been eyeing the Thule hitch mounted bike rack, which appears to take care of some of my issues with the roof mounted system.  Though I am no engineer, I have to believe the gas mileage wouldn’t suffer as much with the bikes mounted behind the trunk.  A hitch mount would still give us access to the trunk, and add the advantage of keeping the wheels on the bikes at all times.  The fear of a garage vs. bike incident is taken away, and you don’t have to heave your bikes up over your head to get them into the rack.  The one disadvantage that may exist is the rumors I’ve heard about cops giving tickets (particularly Wisconsin cops) for hitch mounted racks because they can obscure your rear license plate – a definite concern if true.  Still, I think the rumors cannot take away all of the elements of the hitch mount that are in its favor…

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