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Options for Carrying Three Bikes with 1999 Acura CL


Can the Thule Helium fit my 1999 Acura CL 3.0 and what hitch do i need for it ? thanks


Expert Reply:

The Curt Class I receiver, part # 11397 is a fit for the 1999 Acura CL. Although the Thule Helium PRO you mentioned, part # TH9043PRO is capable of carrying three bikes, it is limited to carrying two bikes when used in a Class I receiver. This is due to the low tongue weight capacity of the Class I receiver and the fact that having three bikes on the rack places too much weight too far away from the receiver. This additional weight creates leverage that could damage the hitch or the vehicle, possibly resulting in the loss of the rack during transport.

To carry three bikes, I would recommend a trunk mounted rack like the Thule OutWay, part # TH56BV. Instead of the 6 straps and buckles most racks use to attach to the vehicle, the OutWay uses 2 retractable coated steel cables that allow the rack to be installed or removed in seconds. Going with the OutWay would provide a considerable cost savings over going with a receiver and receiver mounted bike rack.

For women's bikes or bikes with sharply angled top tubes or step-through frames, using a frame adapter like part # TH982XT is recommended. The adapter spans the distance between the seat post and the handle bar gooseneck, and provides a level attachment point to the bike rack so the bike has greater ground clearance and is not carried at an angle.

For install details and some product demonstration videos, click the provided links.

expert reply by:
Mike L

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