Posted by Rack Attack on 05-05-2013 under Bike Racks
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How to put womens and kids frames on your bike rack without adapters

A call we get probably weekly during the summer is "How am I suppose to fit my 4 bikes onto our new Yakima, Thule, or Softride Hitch rack?" or "My bike doesn't have a level top tube, will it still fit?" Well here at Rack Attack we pride ourselves on having lots of answers for tough questions and we take lots of pictures to make it really, really easy.

  1. If you look at the length of th earms for a 4 bike hitch rack - it really is a tight space to fit 4 bikes comfortably. The manufacturers are limited by the requirements of different states usually and what's allowed (and how far) something - ie:bike rack, can stick out. They do there best to build something that is acceptable across the board regardless of where it's sold.
  2. The manufacturer is anticipating mis-use.

Turning a 3 bike into a 4 bike carrier (especially the strap on racks) is not uncommon - we've seen it many times. A 4 bike into a 5 bike......and so on. If this is you and I happen to be driving behind you, I will not stay there for long. Overloaded equipment rarely fails parked in the driveway - it fails on the freeway at 65 MPH. We do not wish that experience on anyone (and yes, we've taken those calls. It's called JRA Syndrome - "I was just RIDING RIDING ALONG when all the sudden my bike rack broke and all my bikes fell off..." Use your equipment the way the manufacturer intended for everyone's sake please.

Kids bikes and traditional Women's frames seem to be the most troublesome with sloping top tubes and small geomotry. Keep the bikes weight balanced with the center of gravity down and get creative - both the arms rarely fit into the "triangle". Keep the larger easier bikes to mount closer to the vehicle.

All the new racks have gone with the 2 arm supports and small cradles specifically to give a more modular design to carry a variety of bikes. People often buy used bike racks of yesteryear and wonder why they don't work with the bikes of TODAY. Technology and frame building changes just like everything else.

If you look at the cradles on this old Yakima Rack you will see quickly that those large "ROC Cradles" would not fit any of the frames pictured above easily. These folks that get a great deal from their neighbors old hitch rack usually end up regretting their purchase when they find out they have to purchase sometimes $100+ in TOP TUBE ADAPTERS pictured below.

If you have to use one - there are those rare cases where these are a viable option - otherwise buy new technology in a new hitch rack and save yourself the grief. It makes the bikes harder to lock - and they also hang lower on the rack (the wheels are closer to the ground.

Here is another option for kids bikes--the Yakima Hold Up. While not perfect (kids bikes have shorter wheelbases than an adult's), it sure is easy. The smaller of these bikes has 16" wheels.

Get the right stuff and use it correctly! Any other questions - call the Rack Attack Experts 1-888-777-2257. Or EMAIL US. This is all we do - Let us help. Thanks

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