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Discussion Starter #1
I bought a 2012 Limited Outback a couple of weeks ago and have taken a couple of mountain biking trips. I have Yakima King Cobra trays and find it to be a pain when loading bikes due to the height of the Outback. This was expected, as I've loaded them on my wifes Ford Escape, but I'm wondering if anyone has tips on how they load their bikes. I end up leaning on my car to get the bikes up and am afraid I'm gonna scratch it (which I did with my wife's escape).

I see so many Outbacks with roof racks and often wonder if it's just me. I'm 6' tall, so it's not that I'm short...maybe just a wimp :).

Hopefully this hasn't been covered, I spent some time searching and found a lot of cool bike and rack info, but no real tips or comments about it being such a pain to get the bikes up on the roof.
 

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Grab the bikes low. Like at the fork and the chain stay. Then lift them up. I can get my meaty Marin east peak up with a small struggle. The kestrel talon, I have to try not to toss over the car!


Sent from my Autoguide iPhone app
 

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2011 Outback 2.5i Premium, CVT, Steel Silver, all-weather package. Upgrades: Tweeter kit, BlueConnect, media hub, remote start, Curt 2" receiver hitch.
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Or get yourself a folding step.
 

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Outback 2011 2.5 Premium AWP 6MT
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I'm 5'7" so getting the bike up there is a struggle


My bikes are quite light so, like DZD mentioned, grabbing low at the fork and the chain stay I'm OK.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks for the tips. I especially like the step idea. However,I think I'm going to invest in the torklift hitch and the Thule t2 rack. It will be pricey, but worth it for me in the long run. I have a specialized enduro sl, not extremely heavy, but like i said, its a pain to load and unload with the king cobra racks. The hitch will also allow me to load up 4 bikes (2 on the hitch and two on the roof, or even 4 on the hitch if I get an extender, but it will be pretty rare for me to carry 4 bikes).

I can get the bikes up on the roof, but it's not worth the struggle or fear of scratching my car (some of my mountain bike shorts have zippers, that's what I scratch my wife's escape with).
 

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I regularly load two 30+# bikes that really aren't an issue for me at 6'2. Like others have said, grab the fork low, and I usually grab the bottom bracket. Guide the back tire in the tray first, then drop into the fork mount.

I open the rear door and step up inside to load a bike in the middle.
 

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2012 Outback, 3.6R Limited
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Thanks for the tips. I especially like the step idea. However,I think I'm going to invest in the torklift hitch and the Thule t2 rack. It will be pricey, but worth it for me in the long run. I have a specialized enduro sl, not extremely heavy, but like i said, its a pain to load and unload with the king cobra racks. The hitch will also allow me to load up 4 bikes (2 on the hitch and two on the roof, or even 4 on the hitch if I get an extender, but it will be pretty rare for me to carry 4 bikes).

I can get the bikes up on the roof, but it's not worth the struggle or fear of scratching my car (some of my mountain bike shorts have zippers, that's what I scratch my wife's escape with).
This is the route I took, first I was using a Thule apex, but the bikes would move around on long trips. I switched to the T2, and really like it. With a 1.25" hitch the t2 is limited to carrying 2 bikes. With a 2" hitch the extender can be added. The t2 is a solid (heavy) choice.
 

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2014 Forester Premium 2.5i
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Before I got my hitch and Thule T2 I used an upright roof rack for my mountain bike. Even though I'm 6'2" it was still awkward to load so I just kept on of these in the back of the OB for riding days. Cheap, light, and indestructible - $15 at HD.

 

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I just put first real scratch on my 2 day old car thanks to roof racks. That probably beat my past records, and why I'll go get a Saris CycleOn after lunch.

I set up one of my Yakima Cobras with the universal mount and will still use it on occasion, just be more careful about my near downhill bike's spiked pedals!

:)
 

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Discussion Starter #10
I ended up ordering the 2" torklift hitch and T2 rack last weekend. I can get the bikes on the roof with little struggle, but I like the convenience of the hitch rack. My brother has one on his silverado and it makes it so quick and easy to load and unload the bikes.

I'll still have the roof racks in case I ever need to carry more than 2 bikes, but the t2 will be my primary rack.

Thanks for the tips and suggestions.
 
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