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2013 Subaru Outback Premium 2.5i All-Weather+Moonroof Venetian Red Pearl W/ Ivory Coth
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
We are putting a 2" Receiver hitch on our 2013 Outback 2.5i today and now I am looking at hitch mounted bike racks. Currently our family has my wife's (womens down tube frame) mountain bike, my men's mountain bike and then my son's 16" BMX bike. The following hitches I have looked at online and I was planning to look at REI to see what they look at and maybe try some of them on the Outback. Ones I have looked at are: Yakima Doubledown Ace 4 Bike, Thule Hitching Post 4 Bike, Thule Vertex 4 Bike and the Yakima Bighorn 4 Bike. Out of all of the racks the Thule Vertex 4 Bike looks to be the nicest, but I have no idea. I really do not want to spend a whole lot and I do see them from time to time on craigslist. There is actually a previous generation Yakima Swingdaddy (One that swings away from the vehicle) on there, but the SwingDaddy racks seem to be too bulky looking for the Outback. Im probably sticking with the fold down ones so I can get into the hatch.
 

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Best prices I found for hitch racks were on Amazon. We bought a Swagman for grandma had to be very easy to use and support the bike well. This is only the two bike set up not sure what they have for 2+ bikes but worth looking. Quality and price is very good

Amazon.com: Swagman XC Cross-Country 2-Bike Hitch Mount Rack (1/1/4 and 2-Inch Receiver): Sports & Outdoors

Watch it on the bike rack weight some of them are very heavy - add two bikes and your getting close to your 200lb max in some cases.

When our Kids start riding we will probably run with the parents bikes on the roof and the kids bikes on the back.
 

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2005 3.0 R n totaled
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I have Yakima for 4 bikes, hitch mounted, for several years now. It sways a bit because the 2" received is a bit wider thant Yakima's square receiver.. but etrailer.com sell an item that you jam there iand it stays firm... some people complained about the screw in pin but I don't mind that...
 

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2013 Limited w/EyeSight
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We are putting a 2" Receiver hitch on our 2013 Outback 2.5i today and now I am looking at hitch mounted bike racks. Currently our family has my wife's (womens down tube frame) mountain bike, my men's mountain bike and then my son's 16" BMX bike. The following hitches I have looked at online and I was planning to look at REI to see what they look at and maybe try some of them on the Outback. Ones I have looked at are: Yakima Doubledown Ace 4 Bike, Thule Hitching Post 4 Bike, Thule Vertex 4 Bike and the Yakima Bighorn 4 Bike. Out of all of the racks the Thule Vertex 4 Bike looks to be the nicest, but I have no idea. I really do not want to spend a whole lot and I do see them from time to time on craigslist. There is actually a previous generation Yakima Swingdaddy (One that swings away from the vehicle) on there, but the SwingDaddy racks seem to be too bulky looking for the Outback. Im probably sticking with the fold down ones so I can get into the hatch.
IMO friends only let friends buy 1Up USA or a Saris Freedom if you can't afford that or don't use it often.

I did have a Saris with the arms that stretch out that was good for what it is but once you have a rack that holds by the bike wheel the alternatives are like getting a car with cruise control or cold showers as replacements for sex.

Saris is a really good company for post sale support, US made, and the family that runs the firm does a lot to help biking opportunities all over.

1 Up is just a whole other league, nothing compares whether it's design, parts, weight, configuration options, ease of use, storage, I'm sure the list could go on.
 

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I've got a Yakima Doubledown 5 that I picked up on Amazon in late December. It has all of the same basic features as the Doubledown Ace but is cheaper.

The price has gone up about $75 since I bought it. For some reason, the 5 bike version is cheaper than the 4.
 

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I really do not want to spend a whole lot
That makes it kinda tough..... I don't know the cost of your bikes but I figured my Santa Cruz deserved a nice rack. imwjl's recommendations are some really nice racks. I went with a Thule 916XTR T2 with the extra 2-bike attachment. It's not cheap either but with my REI dividend and waiting for a 2-day sale it was very reasonable.

I have used it 2 - 3 times a week for the past 5 years with ZERO problems. I've used it in the 4-bike configuration twice for an LA-to-Utah run with four, 30 lb rigs and again no issues.

The retention systems won't scuff up paint jobs and are very quick to load up. I made a little adapter that allows the 2-bike attachment to slide into a 2nd car if the need arises. The 2-bike won't pivot up like the 916 but once we're at the trailhead, few riders bother to fold them up anyways.

Good luck shopping. There are a lot of options.
 

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I use this, while not exactly cheap I've owned a handful of cheaper hitch racks over the years and nothing beats it. As for the third bike, I have a +2 that expands the capacity to 4 bikes, but I only use it on my truck and wouldn't be comfortable with that much weight leveraged off the back of my Outback that far. I picked up a stranded biker once and bungeed the third bike between the first two and that worked fine, although not a long term solution. I would really recommend watching Craigslist, I paid full price for the +2, but I lucked out and got the base rack off CL for < $200.

 

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Ok, let's back up a bit. You have 3 bikes. Many of the options provided, like the 1UPUSA, are great but if you want 3 bikes on the thing it sticks out really far. This means you will put a lot of torque on your hitch and into your car. The Outback isn't a body on frame SUV and can't take lots of tongue weight so it's important to watch how much you put on the bike rack. Because of this I got the Thule Apex 4. It costs less than the wheel mounted bike racks and places the bikes a little closer to your hitch (this means less torque on your hitch). The "Snug-Tite" receiver connection works better than any other I have seen, no way that thing is wiggling in the receiver. Also, it comes with locks for the receiver and your bikes so make sure you take that into account when pricing each option.

I know why people like the wheel mounted options, they are nice and won't have a chance of scratching the bike. In my opinion though it's only worth the extra price for these racks if you have an expensive carbon fiber bike where the top tube shouldn't be used to hang the bike. Keep in mind that both my and my wife's bikes are about $1500 a piece (both aluminum road bikes). Still no scratches from the rack.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Ok, let's back up a bit. You have 3 bikes. Many of the options provided, like the 1UPUSA, are great but if you want 3 bikes on the thing it sticks out really far. This means you will put a lot of torque on your hitch and into your car. The Outback isn't a body on frame SUV and can't take lots of tongue weight so it's important to watch how much you put on the bike rack. Because of this I got the Thule Apex 4. It costs less than the wheel mounted bike racks and places the bikes a little closer to your hitch (this means less torque on your hitch). The "Snug-Tite" receiver connection works better than any other I have seen, no way that thing is wiggling in the receiver. Also, it comes with locks for the receiver and your bikes so make sure you take that into account when pricing each option.

I know why people like the wheel mounted options, they are nice and won't have a chance of scratching the bike. In my opinion though it's only worth the extra price for these racks if you have an expensive carbon fiber bike where the top tube shouldn't be used to hang the bike. Keep in mind that both my and my wife's bikes are about $1500 a piece (both aluminum road bikes). Still no scratches from the rack.
The Thule Apex looks similar to the Vertex. Both have the tightening mechanism. Do you know the difference
 

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2012 OB 3.6R Prem, RSWB, PR Full Armor, PR .5F/.75R Spacers
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Re

i would recommend the Kuat NV.

Have done many trips with it on the back of my '12 OB since getting it. last summer did two separate road trips from LA to Whistler BC (5200 miles RT) with two $8k rigs...not one single problem.

the fact that it swings away from my OB's trunk, includes a bike lock, and bike repair stand are all nice touches, you can add on another module to get 4 bikes on there. It is expensive but i have found it to be worth it.

the rack is still very tight and does not bounce around outrageously like some of my other racks in the past

EDIT: looking at their website they have introduced a more moderately priced option as well, can't speak to that one tho
 

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2011 Outback 3.6 premium, rear sway bar, and way too many accessories. Anything that can make Boston winters more tolerable (e.g. remote start, molded wintertech snow mats etc).
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I was trapped in a dormitory at U. Colorado one weekend last summer (long story) and spent 10-15 hours online researching platform bike mounts and hitches. For my needs I found the Kuat NV Core to be best. Expensive but very good quality. Not as heavy as others - weight matters for me. Strongly recommend it. Very impressed with it, works well with the Subaru, can still open the hatch, though there is not much clearance.

Christopher
 

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Ok, let's back up a bit. You have 3 bikes. Many of the options provided, like the 1UPUSA, are great but if you want 3 bikes on the thing it sticks out really far. This means you will put a lot of torque on your hitch and into your car. The Outback isn't a body on frame SUV and can't take lots of tongue weight so it's important to watch how much you put on the bike rack. Because of this I got the Thule Apex 4. It costs less than the wheel mounted bike racks and places the bikes a little closer to your hitch (this means less torque on your hitch). The "Snug-Tite" receiver connection works better than any other I have seen, no way that thing is wiggling in the receiver. Also, it comes with locks for the receiver and your bikes so make sure you take that into account when pricing each option.

I know why people like the wheel mounted options, they are nice and won't have a chance of scratching the bike. In my opinion though it's only worth the extra price for these racks if you have an expensive carbon fiber bike where the top tube shouldn't be used to hang the bike. Keep in mind that both my and my wife's bikes are about $1500 a piece (both aluminum road bikes). Still no scratches from the rack.
The 1Up is light compared to the competition and none of my associates who have them with Outbacks and other 4 cyl cars have problems. It's not about scratching the bikes. We treat our mountain bikes like dating Miss America vs some fred racer in a Lance-A-Like suit.

The 1 Up is just fast handling, secure, easy to store, works with anything. The 1 Up puts the next bike higher than the one before so they fit better and have better clearance from ground. Our Kuat friends are ditching their heavy racks for 1 Ups. I said it before, friends only let friends buy 1 Ups, Saris Freedom or some total bargain from craigslist.

:)
 

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If I could do it all over again, I'd probably get a 1up rack. People seem to be really impressed by them so it's got to be worth a look. I ended up with a Kuat Sherpa, which I like very much. At 27 lbs it's just over half as heavy as comparable Thule and Yakima racks.

I've also got a pair or Inno bike fork mount trays for the roof. I had to buy them for the OB because I needed to go on a bike trip before I had a hitch. I really like the roof trays and use them first over the hitch rack. Now I can carry two on the rook and two on the Kuat. I also plan to get a roof box so it'll be good to have choices.

Ahhhh cycling... I miss it dearly (have a 4 month old at home that consumes us right now).
 

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The Thule Apex looks similar to the Vertex. Both have the tightening mechanism. Do you know the difference
It's a different mechanism used to hold the rack to the hitch. The Vertex uses a simple bolt that threads into the hitch. This tightens it to the side of the receiver but doesn't do a lot for up and down motions. The Apex uses an expanding tongue and sprung pin, making the connection tight and secure. Check out the videos on etrialer.com

Thule Vertex 4 Bike Carrier for 1-1/4" and 2" Hitches - Tilting Thule Hitch Bike Racks TH9029
Thule Apex 4 Bike Carrier for 1-1/4" and 2" Hitches - Tilting Thule Hitch Bike Racks TH9025
 

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T I said it before, friends only let friends buy 1 Ups, Saris Freedom or some total bargain from craigslist.

:)

I love Saris and as you stated before, the company is unbelievable to work with if you have a problem. Their customer service is top notch!
 

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I love Saris and as you stated before, the company is unbelievable to work with if you have a problem. Their customer service is top notch!
Funny you say that. I originally purchased a Saris Bike Porter Hitch 4. After installing it on the car I noticed a lot, and I mean a lot, of play both in the receiver connection and the pivot point that allows the hitch to angle for trunk access. I emailed the company asking if this was normal and didn't get a response for over two weeks. By the time they did respond I had already returned the item and purchased the Thule Apex. The response I did get from Saris was that play in the joints is normal but to return the item if not satisfied. Thanks for the help. Their product just wasn't made to the same tight tolerances as the Thule, at least for this one.

Addition: I also didn't like the plastic ratchet strap used to secure the bikes. It was impossible to make them tight enough so the bikes held tight. There is a reason the other big companies use rubber straps, it works. This is all a moot point if you want a wheel mount type system.
 

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Interesting. I had an issue with our bike rack in that the second one slid into the first. The tension wouldn't hold the bike stable. i called them and they said no problem and shipped me an entire replacement kit, straps and all the next day.

They also used to make roof racks and I still have a set of theirs and everytime I switch vehicles it was quick and easy to get different clips to attach to the roof.

Now, I have never corresponded with them through email, so I can't comment on that.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
If I could do it all over again, I'd probably get a 1up rack. People seem to be really impressed by them so it's got to be worth a look. I ended up with a Kuat Sherpa, which I like very much. At 27 lbs it's just over half as heavy as comparable Thule and Yakima racks.

I've also got a pair or Inno bike fork mount trays for the roof. I had to buy them for the OB because I needed to go on a bike trip before I had a hitch. I really like the roof trays and use them first over the hitch rack. Now I can carry two on the rook and two on the Kuat. I also plan to get a roof box so it'll be good to have choices.

Ahhhh cycling... I miss it dearly (have a 4 month old at home that consumes us right now).
I completely understand the kid thing. We have a 4 and 2 yr old. I used to head out into a State park foor some mountain bike riding often, but havent dont that for a while. I have a 25 lb Gary Fisher Ziggurat 1999 model non disc brakes. I love the bike given that its so light. My Wife just has a girls Giant Sedona which weights probably 40 lbs.
 
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