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Compatibility of Thule Helium 3 Bike Rack # TH9043PRO with Class I Receiver on 2007 Honda Civic

Question:

Hello- I have a 2007 Honda Civic Si 4-dr and have just installed the Draw-Tite Sportframe Trailer Hitch Receiver - Custom Fit - Class I - 1-1/4inch 24763. I really like the 3-bike helium rack due to its lower weight and locking features. However, it seems that 3 bikes do not work for Class 1 hitches. Would it be ok to simply carry 2 backs on that rack, or would I need to actually get a smaller rack as well built only for 2 bikes? Would it be ok to carry 3 bikes in a pinch? Also, I read that the Helium 971 XT would not fit in a Draw tite Class 1 hitch either due to the stinger length or where the back stop is inside the hitch , but my friends was able to go in just fine. Is that an anomaly? Thanks for any other suggestions you may have.

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Expert Reply:

According to our friends at Thule, the Helium Aero # TH9043PRO three bike rack will indeed fit in a Class I receiver. The stinger or shank is short enough so that the hitch pin holes will align before the end of the shank hits the stop punched into the receiver that prevents Class II accessories from being used.

Due to the limited tongue weight capacity of a Class I receiver, you will unfortunately be limited to carrying two bikes. Carrying three bikes will place too much weight too far away from the receiver. This can place enough leverage on the receiver that the hitch, its attachment points or the vehicle itself can be damaged. It is the same principle as slipping a breaker bar over a socket wrench to loosen a stubborn bolt. The longer handle exerts more leverage. Because of the potential for damage, I would not recommend carrying three bikes on the rack when used in your Class I receiver.

I have linked you to a video showing the Helium being installed on 2012 Honda Civic.

The Helium is also available in a 2 bike model, part # TH9042PRO.

To carry womens 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.

expert reply by:
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Mike L

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