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Carrying 3 Bikes on a 2015 Volkswagen GTI

Question:

Will this rack work with my 2 Door VW GTI 2015? Thule Helium Aero 3-Bike Rack - 1-1/4inch and 2inch Hitches - Tilting - Aluminum

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Expert Reply:

The Thule Helium Aero bike carrier # TH9043PRO does fit Class I trailer hitches like what would be on your 2015 Volkswagen GTI (# C11412) but you would be limited to 2 bikes.

Trailer hitch and bike carrier manufacturers agree that Class I hitches can carry no more than 2 bikes. This is because the distance from a third and subsequent bikes puts too much leverage on the hitch and vehicle and could damage both.

So you could use the 3-bike model but would be limited to 2 bikes. If you have the Curt hitch then Curt also says you have to use stabilization strap # 18050 when using this hitch for any non-trailer load (such as a bike rack or cargo carrier) per their warranty requirements.

What I recommend and that will allow you to carry 3 bikes on your GTI is to use the Thule OutWay trunk mount carrier # TH56BV. I own an older version of this carrier and the Raceway series is by far the best trunk mount carrier I have used.

The OutWay uses only 2 retractable cables to secure to the vehicle rather than the 4-6 straps of other racks. The cables are more durable and they store inside the carrier. Access to the cable controls can be locked to deter theft of the carrier.

The OutWay features cradles with road dampening technology to better protect the bike frames. The rack locks and it has the built-in cable lock in the last bike position to deter theft of the bikes.

The arms can also move to be closer or further away from each other and move independently of one another and the rest of the carrier. This feature allows the OutWay to carry bikes with alternative frames without having to use an adapter bar.

Should an adapter bar be needed you can use # 64005. I have linked some helpful videos on the Raceway and adapter bar for you.

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