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Thule Hitching Post Pro Hitch Bike Rack Review

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Review of the Thule Hitching Post Pro Hitch Bike Rack


Randy: Hey, guys! It's Randy here at etrailer.com. Today, we're taking a look at a four bike rack from Toule. This is their Hitching Post Pro. This is an extremely popular bike rack. It's recommended by our experts all the time for customers that are looking for a very high-quality rack that is cost effective. This fits the bill really well.

Toule does an exceptional job with designing and testing their racks to help ensure that you're not going to have any issues with them what so ever.Keeping this one pretty basic keeps it at a cost-effective price, so it's going to give you an excellent way to transport four bikes, get it to your favorite spot, whether it's going to be friends heading out to the park, you and the family heading out to the park, maybe going out camping. It's going to keep us from having to put them up on our roof or try to pile them in the back of the van, or pile them in the back of the truck.Now, if you're new to bike racks, this is what's considered a hanging style bike rack. So you can see, we've got out bike that's hanging down from our dual cradle arms here. We also offer platform style racks.Now, to get a four bike platform style rack, it's usually much more expensive and it's generally going to be a lot heavier so those are two things to keep in mind. But platform style racks are what we recommend for use with carbon bikes.

The frames as they head down the road can kind of be stressed and prematurely fatigued so, we recommend platform style racks for that. Or, if you don't want your bikes to make contact. If you have nicer bikes and you're worried about maybe the pedal on one hitting the frame on the other or something like that, a platform is generally a better option to go with.Outside of that, if you just have entry level bikes and that's what this rack is mainly suited for; families or people just getting into biking, just getting out there and getting out on the trail. Not really concerned if their bike gets a couple scratches on it here or there from making contact.Something else I appreciate about this rack and a lot of our customers do too, it's going to be it's ability to tilt out and away from your vehicle when you don't have your bikes loaded up. Just going to have a pin and clip down here in the bottom, pull that out, allow the rack to rest out and away, and at that point you're going to have full access.

You'll be able to get anything in or out of here that you might need, whether it's going to be for your ride, snacks, anything like that.Then once your door gets down and out of the way, we're just going to lift back up on mast. We can replace that pin and clip. I like that the pin and clip is attached, that way we won't drop it and not be able to find it. Then just bring that around, clip it back in.Now to hold our bikes in place, we've got three cradles. You can see one here and here.

This is going to be for our top tube. That's what really keeps our bike held in place. You'll notice, if we look here, you can see the groves that are designed into the cradles. That allows our cables someplace to go. You can see we don't have to worry about them getting pinched. We're not going to have to worry about any damage being done and then we've got our nice, heavy-duty rubber strap. That's going to come down and over the tube of our bike. We just stretch that down to secure it.Overall, really easy and straight forward. You can see we also have an anti-sway cradle. This helps to keep our bikes from moving forward and back too much. They can sometimes make contact which, with each other like we've talked about or even go up and make contact with that center mast. So, it's a really good way to keep that from happening. Keep our bikes from moving around.Now the Hitching Post Pro is also designed to handle most bikes except for maybe electric bikes. We have a capacity of 35 pounds. Most bikes are going to fall underneath that range so you really shouldn't have any issues getting your bikes loaded up. That's going to be 35 pounds per cradle, so you should have plenty of room there and get the whole family down the road.The Hitching Post Pro's a bike rack that we've had here at etrailer for an extremely long time and we really like it. If you look through the customer reviews, it's the same thing being said there. They think it's a great bike rack, does the job really well, holds up really well, been using it for years without any issues, which are all great things. We also get a lot of questions about the rack. Will it fit my vehicle Is it something that I can use in my hitch and, really, two inch by two inch, inch and a quarter by inch and a quarter, it's adaptable both ways. There was a question about the actual adapter here and lot of years ago that was more of a polymer material, like a nylon reinforced plastic, but we've had them change that. We've designed it out of aluminum. That's going to give us a lot more structural support.You can also see the anti-rattle device there. It's going to keep everything from moving around so we don't have any movement and don't have any shake in there, which you'll see in the test course footage.Now to determine if it's going to work on your vehicle, we're going to measure from the center of the hitch pin hole to the closest point right here. That gives us about, about 10 and one eighth of an inch. So as long as your hitch pin hole isn't further underneath your vehicle than that, you're going to be in good shape. To the mast here from the center of the hitch pin hole, it's about 12 and three eighths of an inch. The overall measurement's a little bit harder to get but I think we can do it. Looks like there we're going to be looking at about 44 and a half, 44 and three quarter with the arms extended so, if you had your bikes loaded, you'll need about that much room from your pin hole to be able to close your garage or what have you.We do, of course, have the option to rotate these arms down in the storage position. Now this will help you out if you want to leave the rack on your vehicle. Maybe it won't fit in the garage fully-loaded but at least you won't have to take the rack off and put it back on. In that position, we're going to be right at about 21 or 21 and a quarter, so, really able to reduce it by quite a bit there.Now another question and comment we see with the Hitching Post Pro, at least a couple times from our customers, are that they really like the rack but they'd like a way to secure their bikes to the rack and also secure the rack to their vehicle. So we have the Toule cable lock that's available and also the Toule Snug-Tite bolt. It's going to thread in just the same as this and it just has a lock that's going to go on the end.For the cable lock, you'll run that through the frames of your bike and you can see we've got the metal loop right here on the backside. If you run that cable right through there, you're not going to have to worry about the bikes disappearing. We can lock it up here on the other side and with our bikes being locked here, and then our rack being locked to the vehicle, really gives you great security if that's something that you're concerned about.As far as overall construction quality, it's a very, very nice rack. Toule does a really good job with all of their coatings and everything to ensure we're not going to have to worry about rust and corrosion and this is actually one we've been using out here for a couple months doing test fits, so, we've put a lot of miles on it and there aren't really, or haven't really been any scratches or knicks or anything like that to deal with. It's got a heavy-duty steel construction and all of our cradles here, nice rubberized texture to them and the rubber straps seem to last for a very long time.Overall, I think you'll be really pleased with it and this will be one that'll last you really as long as you want to use it.As far as the installation process is going to go, since we're dealing with a two inch by two inch receiver tub opening, we're going to leave the rack just how it's going to come. If you do have an inch and a quarter by inch and a quarter hitch opening, you'll use the provided Allan key. You want to remove this screw right here, then you can slide that aluminum adapter off and that'll allow it to give you just the inch and a quarter by inch and a quarter which you can slide right in.In any case, though, you're going to get that in the receiver tube and begin to slide it in and pull it out a little bit. We want our threaded hole to line up with the hitch pin hole. We'll thread in our anti-rattle bolt. Then we'll use a three quarter inch wrench and socket to get that tightened down. There's also the included tool that you can use but sometimes that's kind of limiting and the areas you can get it in. Sometimes it's tough to get it in there, especially with like the reinforcement collars around some of the hitches.So we do have available on our site a ratchet and socket combo, relatively inexpensive. You can just keep it with your rack or in the back of your car so if you need it, you'll have it there.As far as extending the cradles go, we're going to have a pin and clip here at the top. Remove that otherwise. That allows us to then rotate the arms up and then we just put it back in place. It's a really straight-forward and easy to use system which is something I like. Although, with the dual arms coming up, and with the tilt away for the mast, Toule does offer one that you'll just lift a lever. Be a little bit easier, but really with the pin and clip system, it's not all that difficult. But once we've got our arms locked in position here, we're ready to load up our bike.To load your bikes up, you want to make sure your cradle straps are open. With these, you just kind of pull down and out on them. Then we'll get out bike loaded. The anti-sway cradle, or the cradles that hang down here, you want that to be on the down tube of your bike so as we place it up on, we're going to have our seat over in that direction. You can see this frame is a little bit smaller, this is a small, mountain bike frame, essentially and with that anti-sway cradle hanging down, you kind of have to work it back and forth a little bit to get your bike up and on. Larger framed bikes we don't seem to have as much of an issue with it, but definitely something to keep in mind.Once we got our bike up there, strap comes over our top tube and we just pull down, stretch it around the connection point there. The anti-sway is then going to come right to the tube and kind of the same process. Once you have that one loaded up, you'll do the exact same thing for the other bikes you plan on taking with you.Here you can see the rack fully loaded and if you'll take a closer look, you will notice the bikes are really in close proximity to each other. This is going to be something very, very common with hanging racks, like here you can see our mountain bikes making contact with the handles here on our road bike. It's something with racks of this style that it just kind of comes with that territory.Now, if you really are on a hanging rack and you, that's what you've decided to go with, the Toule Camber might be a little bit better option. It's going to spread that cradle spacing out to seven inches. Now, that doesn't mean the bikes still aren't going to touch, but it's not going to be as severe as what we have here. As an alternative to that, if you wanted no contact whatsoever from bike to bike, a platform rack would be a good option as well.In a lot of instances, whether it's an alternative frame bike, whether it's a kids bike like what we have here, a ladies bike that has a drop tube on it, a bike adapter bar is going to be a really good idea. Essentially, it mounts around our seat, mounts around our handlebar post here and it gives us a nice level surface to mount it. This frame geometry here is too small to fit around and on a ladies bike, while the frame is going to be bigger, with that major tilt down, your back tire gets way up in the air so, and adapter bar is a good idea in some of those situations.Now that we've got all of our bikes loaded up, we're going to head out to the test course and give you a really good look at what you can expect from the rack when it's fully loaded. We'll start by doing the slalom. This is going show you when you're evasively maneuvering or changing lanes the side to side movement you can expect in the rack when it's fully loaded. Then we'll get into our alternating speed bumps. This puts more of a twisting action in it, like hitting a pot hole or maybe a curb. As you can see, everything stays pretty nice and solid.Next up, we've got our solid speed bumps. This is going to be raising the back of the car up and down so speed bumps in parking lots, entering and exiting parking garages and things like that. They'll give you an idea of the movement you can expect.Now, all-in-all, this is an excellent bike rack. This is one we've had here for a lot of years and really, I don't have any complaints about it at all. I would definitely own this rack and you can see it in the reviews, too. Our customers really like it. It does an excellent job for them.


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