Recommended Easy to Use 2 Bike Rack for use on 2017 Prius w/ Curt Class I Hitch

Question:

Attention: Thule Hitch-Mount Bike Rack Guru Im looking for the best Thule Hitch-Mount Bike Rack for my Sister who is 60 years old. The goal is to find a bike rack that she can easily install and remove by herself after each trip on the weekend. The bike rack will be installed on a 2017 Toyota Prius Two - 4dr Hatchback with a Curt Class I 1.25 Trailer-hitch Part# 11473. Also, Can you tell me why it is necessary to use Stabilizing Straps on the Curt, but not on the Draw-Tite. Is it mandatoryinch to use the Straps for the Curt hitch? If I dont use the Straps on the Curt hitch does this affect the warranty? I am concerned that the Stabilizing Straps will make the installation too rigid which could damage the Hitch Receiver. Also, attaching the Straps could scratch the paint on the Rear Tailgate/Trunk Lid. A majority 99.99 of the time she will only transport one 1 33lb Mountain Bike to the local trails in Phoenix. Ive narrowed our ion down to a Thule Apex XT 2 Part#9024XT and a Thule Helium Pro 2 Part#9042PRO. Please advise which of these Thule Bike Racks that you recommend for and why. Thanks and best

1

Helpful Expert Reply:

(He puts his Guru hat on....)

Thule makes a great product, either of those racks would be a great choice. This being said, I'd eliminate the Apex XT # TH9024XT, because it's fairly heavy at about 35 lbs. The Helium Pro, part # TH9042PRO would be a better choice, because it has all the features the Apex does, such as fully adjustable anti-sway cradles, a built in cable lock and a tool free anti-rattle locking hitch pin system but it weighs 15 lbs less because of its aluminum construction, which I think is worth the small price premium compared to the Apex XT.

Have you looked at the Kuat Beta, part # B202-114? If light weight is what you're looking for, this is the rack. Out of the box, this all-aluminum rack weighs only 12.6 lbs. This rack lacks some of the upgraded features of the Thule rack. In order to tilt the rack away from the vehicle or fold the arms flat, there are pins that need to be pulled instead of a latch that would just need to be lifted. The rack features an anti-rattle knob, but doesn't provide a cable lock. A locking hitch pin is available separately as part # HL1. The rack might lack a few features, but it's attractively priced.

Which to choose? The Kuat or the Thule? Thule might have more name recognition, but Kuat makes an EXTREMELY strong product and their customer service and warranty support are second to none. The right choice for your sister will depend on her priorities..is light weight more important or is ease of use? The Beta won't be hard to use by any stretch of the imagination, but it does has less features than the Thule rack.

As far as your hitch question goes, Curt no longer requires the use of the stabilizing strap as a warranty condition. No need to use the strap.

I've linked you to product demonstration videos for the two Thule racks and the Kuat Beta.

helpful expert reply by:
1
Mike L

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