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Trailer Hitch Mount Platform Bike Rack Recommendation for a 2014 Chevrolet Malibu

Question:

I own a 2014 Chevrolet Malibu. I know that I need a rack that holds two bicycles. Friends have suggested that I get a platform rack rather than a hanging one because they say that its better for the bike to have it secured by the wheels rather than the frame. I was leaning toward the Thule T-2 line, until I saw them at a local retailer. I like everything about them except for the size and the weight. I was hoping to store the unit in the trunk of my car on days when I dont ride- or, maybe in my basement, then put it on the hitch on the days that I ride. But, theres no way it would fit in my trunk.....and, they weigh over 50 lbs, making it very inconvenient to remove and put away. So, now, I feel like Im back to square one. Are platform racks that much better than hanging ones that are lighter and not as large? Are there quality platform racks that are lighter and smaller that you think I should consider? Thanks so much.

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Expert Reply:

If you like the Thule T2, but you aren't thrilled with the weight and size, I recommend looking at the Kuat Sherpa 2.0 bike racks. The Sherpa 2.0 is available in gray, # SH12G, pearl, # SH12P, and black, # SH12B. These bike racks weigh almost 20 lbs less than the T2 at 32 lbs and they are smaller in size. When folded, the T2 Pro measures 55" wide x 34" tall and the Sherpa 2.0 measures 42-1/4" wide x 27-3/4" tall (see photo). Kuat is a premium brand that competes with Thule when it comes to quality and they are known for their lightweight and high quality workmanship.

If you are okay with the weight and size of the Sherpa 2.0, then I definitely recommend platform bike racks over hanging bike racks. The main advantages are that they are easier to use when loading and unloading bikes, they will secure the bike at three points rather than two, which eliminates the potential for movement, and if you have a bike with a carbon fiber frame or a custom paint job, you will want to look at a rack that holds the bike by the tires and wheels rather than the frame to eliminate the potential for frame scuffs or scratches. I have attached a review video of the Sherpa 2.0 for you to check out.

If the size and weight are your main concern and the Sherpa 2.0 is still too big, then you are better off looking into a hanging bike rack. I don't mean to sound like a sales ad for Kuat, but they have a good option here as well. The Kuat Beta Bike Rack, # B202-114, only weighs 12-1/2 lbs and it will fold up small enough to fit in any trunk. It also comes with many features similar to the T2 bike racks and the Sherpa 2.0 such as anti-sway cradles to keep the bikes from swinging (not as effective as platform racks, but it will keep your bikes from hitting each other), an anti-rattle system to keep the bike rack from moving while driving and the same lifetime warranty as the other racks I mentioned.

If you want to add a lock to the Kuat racks, then you will want part # HL1. I have attached review videos for the Sherpa 2.0 and the Beta for you to check out.

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John H

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