Comparing Thule Apex XT 4-Bike and 5-Bike Racks

Question:

i am getting a 2 inch hitch for my gmc terrain. i want to get a bike rack for our 4 bikes, which are all trek adult bikesfx1, fx2. i was thinking of getting the apex 5, but a local bike shop mentioned the apex 4. it seems like the length of the arms are the same for both racks28. The spacing for the apex 4 is 7 inches and the apex 5 is 5.5 inches. I currently have a saris bike rack for 3 bikes, but it only really fits 2 bikes. Since the length is the same, will the apex 4 fit all 4 bikes comfortably? Will the 5 fit all 4 bikes also? im just wondering Which one I should get? thanks

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Expert Reply:

If you only plan on ever carrying 4 bikes and you're looking for ease of use then the Thule Apex XT 4-Bike Rack # TH9025XT is the better option. It has 28" arms and the cradles are spaced 7" apart which should allow you to load up all 4 Trek bikes just fine. The 5-Bike Apex XT # TH9026XT also has 28" long arms so the cradles are 5-1/2" apart which is the more traditional spacing, but it will make loading up your bikes a little more of a hassle. Your only real benefit of the 5-Bike version is that you can transport that 1 extra bike.

Other than the spacing of the cradles these bike racks are the exact same. They use the same features and have a weight caapcity of 37.5 lbs per bike so it really boils down to is whether or not you need that extra set of cradles.

From what I could find it looks like there are a few different bike frame designs for the FX1 and FX2. if you have a horizontal top tube (or fairly horizontal) then the bikes will sit pretty level, but if any of your bikes has more of a severe slop on the top tube then you'll need to use the Adapter Bar # TH982XT.

If you don't already have a hitch then I recommend the etrailer Hitch # e98865 if you have a 2010-2017 GMC Terrain, the Draw-Tite # 76419 for a 2018-2020 Terrain non-Diesel, or the Draw-Tite # 76217 if you have a Diesel 2018-2020 Terrain.

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Jon G

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