What are my Options for Bike Racks for a 2017 Toyota Prius C?

Question:

How do I determine which size rack to purchase? I have a 2017 Prius C/Toytoa

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Expert Reply:

You have a couple of options for the 2017 Toyota Prius C, both hitch mounted and trunk mounted racks are available. A hitch mounted rack requires installing a trailer hitch onto your vehicle, but adds flexibility to your vehicle's abilities to haul loads in addition to conveniently carrying your bikes. Conversely, a trunk mounted rack doesn't require any additional components or modification of the vehicle to install.

If you want to have a hitch mounted rack, you will want to pick a hitch. The 2017 Toyota Prius C has Class I hitches, like the popular Draw-Tite Hitch, part # 24967. A Class I Hitch can never carry more than two bikes at one time because of the way that the weight rides on the shorter shank and receiver. I've included a link to the full range of options for your vehicle below.

Then, you'll want to pick a rack that fits your budget and needs. I recommend the Thule Helium Pro 2 Bike Rack, part # TH9042PRO. It provides a solid base for the bikes as well as anti-sway technology to help limit the risk of damage to the bikes.

For a less invasive option, you'll want to look at a trunk mounted rack. These operate in the same way as a hitch mounted, but hang off the trunk or hatchback of the vehicle. Their main advantage is that they can carry 3 bikes if need be, as opposed to the just 2 of a hitch mounted rack. Class I Hitch mounted racks can only carry 2 because the distance of the weight of the 3rd bike can cause too much torque, damaging the rack's shank or the hitch receiver.

For the 2017 Toyota Prius C, you'll want to pick the trunk mount based on if you have a spoiler or not. For your vehicle, most do fit factory spoilers, so I've included a link to their list below. I recommend the Hollywood Racks Over-The-Top rack, part # HRF2-3. This rack carries three bikes and fits over most factory spoilers.

To either of these racks, I'd recommend adding a Deadbolt 10' Cable Lock, part # CAB-10, to increase the security of your rack.

Finally, if you're planning on moving any step-through, childrens or aggressive (BMX or Mountain style) bikes, I recommend a Thule Bike Adapter Bar, part # TH982XT. This will allow your bikes with alternative frames to ride straight across the frame, rather than at an angle, further reducing the risk of damage to the tires or spokes.

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