Recommendations to Transport Bike on Long Car Trip

You should be able to DIY a hitch and buy it for $150 usd. I did it on my sedan body car and took about 1hr following a YouTube (you only need utility knife and a basic ratchet set). Thule rear hitch bike rack where the bikes secure to the top tube should cost about $250-300 (I got a discounted model new for $200). So you’ll be in for $400 usd. If you had to pay for hitch installation, prob make that $500-600 usd.

If you can’t do that, sure get a roof before you buy one of those hanging rear. But certainly hitch rear > roof

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Very few cars do not have an aftermarket hitch available for them. My mom has one on her Prius, my girlfriend on her Accord, I had one on my Fiesta (RIP), and now have on my Jeep.

Sea Sucker is an option for anything as well.

I have a Sea Sucker as well as a Kuat. I view the Sea Sucker as the rack of last resort. One of our vehicles doesn’t have a good hitch option, which is my strong preference.

I used the Seacker on a long, multi-day trip. It’s plenty secure for transport, but you have to remove the bike and the rack at night, as there isn’t much in terms of theft deterrent. The lock solution is fine for leaving the car while at a restaurant, for example, but not much more.

Pro tip for anyone in North America. If your car doesn’t come with a hitch, u haul sells them and installs very cheap. On my old outback it was $150 CAD all in for hitch and installation.

Never, ever, ever pay a vehicle rack specialty place to do it; they absolutely price gouge. I was quoted $550 for the exact same hitch and install as u haul.


100%…I had a hitch installed by them a couple of years ago. Quick and cheap.


1)Maybe put it in a bike box and then transport the bike on its side.

  1. Get a 2in Curt hitch for $180 and a hitch rack. Not 1.25in in any cases- the rack will wobble left right the whole trip.

3)That or mail the bike to the hotel.

Still a better deal than the dealership, but where I live (Houston, TX) U-Haul is more like $350 all in.

If you’re gonna try to install a hitch, on most cars it is relatively easy to do it by yourself. is a great source. For your car they will have a few options as well as instructions, videos and a rating of difficulty.

Post #2 here was spot on. I’ve road tripped across the country pretty much annually with my bike locked up in my 1up. Best bike & vacation investment I’ve made.

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I’m in the “Buy a Hitch Rack” camp. Even if you have to have a hidden hitch / stealth hitch installed on your vehicle.

If you do use one of those Bike Condoms on your bike on the roof - make sure it is very snug. The last thing you want is any vibration or movement that can damage the paint and frame. This is in general why you don’t use a cover on a car if it’s being towed unless it’s shrink-wrapped on. Easy to damage the paint if the cover flaps or vibrates in the wind at highway speed.

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While the pricing is reasonable, it really will depend on the car. While I do my own work so don’t have to worry about labor, I know some cars are more complicated than others, including potentially cutting bodywork to fit.

I’ve been lucky that my vehicles were all easy bolt ons.

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When I got a hitch (tow bar in uk) it ended up permanently upsetting the reversing alarms :cry:

So I felt very secure when I was actually using it, but for the majority of normal driving without my bike it was a regret.

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Is anyone using this?

Does anyone know of a 1UP style rack that is available in Europe?

At the moment I have a old rack that has straps around the frame and wheels. I really don’t want to clamp something on a carbon frame like the Thule racks. But the 1UP racks only hold on to the wheels, which is absolutely perfect in my opinion.

Thule do an upride rack Thule UpRide | Thule | United Kingdom

I suspect Thule should be an option with their T2 being a wheel held design that is well regarded.

Saris may be available with their MHS model as a 1UP copy.

That’s a good option indeed. Unfortunatly my car doesn’t have roof rails. I do have a hitch however.

Both the Thule and Saris models you mention are not available in Europe (according to my search, maybe I just looked in the wrong places).

I think they only make those with the American style hitch and not the “ball-style” hitch that is most common in Europe.

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