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Discussion Starter #1
We have a 2012 Outback and want to carry our road bikes (2) using either a roof carrier or a carrier at the back.
Does anyone have preferences as to which is best. Don't really want to get a hitch at the back, just something that fits onto the trunk

Thanks

Martin
 

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2013 Outback 2.5i Limited CVT w/ SAP, Brilliant Brown Pearl
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If you're okay with taking the front wheel off. Most people here will say the Rockymounts Tie Rods for the roof. I don't have mine yet but I'm planning on picking one up this spring once ski season is over. It has a very easy and universal mounting setup, which is nice in case you want to transfer it to other cars. And it also has a sleek low profile design although some have said they had some issues with the pedals touching the roof of the car since it's so low.

A nice sturdy two-wheel roof rack is the Thule Side-arm or Criterium. The side-arm is a bit bulky but there is no frame contact. The 'side-arm' wedges down on the wheel. The criterium is nice too but the mount grabs the frame. A lot of people with carbon frames aren't too trusting of a frame grab setup so most road cyclists opt for the fork mount in which case my untested recommendation would be the Tie Rod mentioned above. Another argument for using a fork mount as opposed to a two-wheel setup is that often times there is a bit less road wobble in the wind and bumps since the bike is situated lower and secured a lot more tightly when mounted by the fork. I've seen people use the Subaru bike roof racks (which are rebranded Yakimas) and they seem to sway a lot in the wind and bumps.

I don't have any recommendations for a back carrier although back carriers are generally sometimes cheaper than roof racks. however, unless reaching up to put bikes on the roof will be pain if you're a bit shorter, I'd say go with a nice sturdy roof rack. I'd also imaging that people would be less inclined to steal a bike on the roof of a car as opposed to a back carrier but I digress. haha
 

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2003 Outback Limited 2.5L H4 5MT Regatta Red Pearl w/ lift and audio system
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I prefer my hitch rack because of how amazingly simple it is to install and remove (one bolt, 20 seconds) and how easy the bikes are to put on (the wheels go in cradles and you push a ratcheting arm on top of the top tube. Done like dinner.) but between the trunk rack and the roof rack, I'd take the roof rack.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks for all the information

I've also been looking at the Yakima sprocketrocket which looks like it fits onto the subaru cross bars whereas the rockymounts don't


Martin
 

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2012 Outback 2.5 CVT All-Weather/Alloy Package, Graphite Gray
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I really like the Rockymounts Tirerod. Sits very secure on the crossbars.
 

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2003 Outback Limited 2.5L H4 5MT Regatta Red Pearl w/ lift and audio system
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The other thing about trunk racks is that on some hatchbacks/wagons, they will necessarily obstruct the rear wiper. That kind of sucks. Depending on the slope of the hatch and how the rack can be installed, it may not,
 

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Today I researched either a hitch or a roof mounted solution. The common things that were brought up for hitches were: having to purchase a hitch, obstruction of the rear hatch, or the rack being too heavy to move out when loaded to open hatch, the bikes getting dirtier when compared to being on the roof (???), being rear ended and having bikes destroyed. The vehicle being longer, and having to account for the extra width when bikes are loaded. Blocking camera/rear view.For roof top racks it was gas mileage, bike falling off due to not being secured or rack not strong enough (???). mounting combinations.While I am still getting a stealth hitch, I ended up purchasing a TieRod in black. After I get some use out of it and like it I will order my second one, if not I will shop around (I was looking at Thule, and Yakima).I based my decision on being able to use the factory bars, I am tall enough to lift and easily mount the bikes.I prefer the bikes on top compared to in the rear, and I did not want to buy a hitch right now (hoping prices drop a bit). The price was right, and the roof mount rack had pleanty of positive reviews and appears secure.
 

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I've also been looking at the Yakima sprocketrocket
Martin
I have a friend who has those. They haven't aged well. They are great when putting the bike on, but a real pain to release. I usually end up prying the mechanism back with a pocketknife. Not a big deal, but I wouldn't buy one new personally.

James
 

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2011 Outback 3.6R limited, Gray
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Yakima Swingdaddy, 2" hitch mount and trailer harness

Yakima Swingdaddy
So I just installed a Yakima bike rack called the “Swingdaddy” $299 from CracksandRacks.com, Aspen Colorado (best price I could find). http://www.cracksandracks.com/hanging-style-bike-racks-c-141_116_173.html

I like the swing model because you can open your tailgate or rear hatch without taking off the bikes. This model will work with any 2" hitch mount and the best part is that I can also use it on my Toyota Tacoma and my Jeep CJ 5.

2" hitch reciever
The 2” frame mounted hitch is specially made for Subarus and can be ordered from eTrailer.com $184 free shipping. Hidden Hitch Trailer Hitch for Subaru Outback Wagon 2011 - 87568

The bike rack is easy to install but the hitch took me 3 hours under the car. eTrailer.com has a video on how to install on a 2011 Outback which will work for 2010 as well. It took me a little longer because I have a 6 cylinder which means I had to lower the two mufflers and cut away at two heat sheilds to bolt on the Hitch with four bolts
T-One Vehicle Wiring Harness with 4 Pole Trailer Connector
eTrailer.com also has a 4 pole wire trailer harness that plugs into to an open harness near the spare tire (tucked up under ther driver side wheel well). There is a rubber gromet underneath the spare tire where the wires can exit. There is also instructional video for this on thier website.

Tow Ready Custom Fit Vehicle Wiring for Subaru Outback-Wagon 2011 - 118467

If you have any questions or want photos you can email me directly at [email protected]
 

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I'm new to this forum and finding the info helpful. Thanks. My husband and I are planning a cross country trip and want to take our hybrid bikes. We only have the strap on carrier and know we need to get a better method. Rooftop or hitch? Worried about noise and gas mileage as well as being able to lift the bikes easily with the rooftop and being able to easily access the car with the hitch option (plus the expense of adding the hitch). Any thoughts?
 

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Roof racks vs. rear carriers - a few advantages and disadvantages:

Rear carriers make your car longer. Parallel parking can be difficult. You may need to buy and install an expensive tow bar to mount the bike rack. Back into something or get rear ended - even at low speeds like 5mph in stop & go traffic, and your bikes and rack might be toast - plus more extensive damage to the rear of your car may occur.

You have to be extremely conscientious with roof racks. I have twice sent a bike flying off the top of my Murano, which sat pretty high up.

Once I thought had clearance enough - just nipped it by about a half inch, and bike went flying, with major sheet metal denting to the roof, and some damage to the bike. Luckily, no one behind me. A pedestrian or motor cyclist can get killed by a flying bike.

Another time, there were some very long eves on a building that hung way out - not that visible, as my car's roofline hindered the view. Slow speed, but the bike tore off. Some damage to my roof rack, requiring replacement of crossbars. Bike was OK.

It's also very easy to hit low hanging tree branches, especially on the right side of the vehicle. When I carry a single bike, I keep it on the drivers side for that reason.

If you end up with a Yakima roof rack, don't buy the Universal Mounts they recommend for this car (they are designed universally to fit many different crossbars). Yakima makes a low-profile, exact fit mounting clip, available seemingly only from the Subaru dealerships. It's the same clip that comes with their official accessory bike roof racks, and are available separately. This will lower the height by about an inch over the Universal Mounts. You may end up very thankful for every inch you lower, and may not even know it saved your butt.

I'd recommend keeping a folding step stool in your car to get at the top and unload bikes more easily. A pair side by side is even more stable to stand on. I got mine at Bed Bath & Beyond.

Fortunately, my new Outback is a few inches lower than my Murano as well - something I am thankful for.

Cheers, Jeff
 

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I've seen a few of the Seasucker racks around and they are getting good reviews. They are very flexible in their use.

SeaSucker | Vacuum Mounting Systems
Just took a look at this. In California at least, it is require that you tie a red flag of some sorts to anything that protrudes from the back of the care beyond 18". It's a good idea no matter where you live or travel. It can be hard for a motorist following you to get a good sense of depth on a narrow item (such as a bike, lumber, etc.) sticking well out past the car. A great deal of damage to your bike and car can occur if someone misjudges the distance or doesn't spot the item. Be sure to make it as obvious as possible. A reflector or light would be good at night.
 

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I had the same question, except we are planning to take our bikes on a cross country trip and are concerned about being able to lift our hybrid bikes to the roof, gas mileage and drag for the roof mounts and then security for the hitch mounts. Which way should we go?
 

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i posted in another thread about bike hitches but i want to participate here, too :)

i bought this a few weeks ago...



and i just received the 1up usa this week...



i bought and installed (myself) the subaru factory hitch when i bought the outback.

i only need to carry one bike and i was looking for something that was easy to load.

the 1up is super easy... not the cheapest, though.

i have the subaru/yakima basket with extension so that goes on the roof and i did not want to put the bike up there anywayzzzzz.

iphone pics at night so excuse the quality.

joel
 

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If we went with the hitch mount rack, how secure swill our bikes be when we leave them on the car while we're in national parks? Can they be locked to the rack? Do we remove the front wheel?
 

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With a background in Law enforcement and working at a bike shop. Never, ever, trust the cable locks that come with racks. They are a deterant, not security. High end heavy U locks and heavy duty steal chains are the best for security. The Ulocks are probably the best.

If a thief wants what you have, they will find a way

Sent from my LG-LS970 using AutoGuide.Com Free App
 

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With a background in Law enforcement and working at a bike shop. Never, ever, trust the cable locks that come with racks. They are a deterant, not security. High end heavy U locks and heavy duty steal chains are the best for security. The Ulocks are probably the best.

If a thief wants what you have, they will find a way

Sent from my LG-LS970 using AutoGuide.Com Free App
i absolutely agree with the above!

if they want it... they will get it.

for me, the bike will go with me to the trail head and then back home.

joel
 
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