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Trailer Hitch, Bike Rack and Roof Rack Recommendation for a 2012 Mazda 3 Carrying 3 Bikes

Question:

I am curious about whether or not this hitch will work with my Mazda3 hatchback without LED taillights and this bike rack.

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Expert Reply:

I recommend going with the Draw-Tite Class I Sportframe Trailer Hitch, # 24843, for your 2012 Mazda 3 Hatchback without LED taillights. This hitch can carry any bike rack that is designed for use in a Class I hitch and allows you to tow a small trailer, should your needs change in the future.

With a Class I hitch you will be limited to 2 bikes because the weight of the 3rd bike that for out from the rear of the vehicle will allow too much torque to be applied to the hitch, much like adding a pipe to the end of a wrench to increase torque.

For your vehicle, I recommend going with the Swagman Trailhead 2 bike rack, # S63360, which has many great features, like anti-sway cradles, fold down arms for easy storage and forward tilt for access to the rear cargo area of the vehicle. This rack is compatible with Class I hitches.

The Thule Helium Pro 3 Bike Rack, # TH9043PRO, will work with any of the hitches that are available for you 2012 Mazda 3 because it is designed for Class I or Class II trailer hitches. However it is more expensive and you will still only be able to carry 1 bike on your class I hitch so I recommend the Swagman Trailhead.

If you need to transport a 3rd bike, you could do so on the roof of your vehicle. I recommend going with the Thule WingBars, # TH711200, Thule Podium Foot Pack, # TH460R, and the Thule Fit Kit for Podium Foot Packs, # THKIT3069. Once you have the roof rack installed you can choose a roof bike rack, like the Thule UpRide, # TH599000, which is one of our best selling roof mounted bike racks. The bars are also available in black using # TH711220.

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