View Full Version : Hitch-mounted carrier

Joe Chapline
09-13-2010, 03:31 PM
I just started using a new, expensive bike carrier (for the car). Bikes rest on their wheels instead of hanging from the top tube, they don't swing, and they don't touch each other. Somewhat complicated to assemble, but very easy and reliable to use. I just realized a big downside: it blocks the license plate. I don't think police ticket people for that very often, but I do think it's illegal. It worries me enough that I won't leave the carrier on when I'm not carrying bikes, which makes it less convenient. Has anyone been ticketed for blocking their car's license plate or taillights with bikes or rack? Any other thoughts/comments on bike carriers?

09-13-2010, 03:43 PM
Benefit #9 (or is it 11?): Very little chance of Ms. Tire getting scorched by Mr. Tailpipe.

I haven't heard of anyone being pulled over for JUST that. I think most cops will give you the benefit of the doubt. Believe me, the topic will come up if you get pulled over for anything else, however. You'd really only get cited for it if you behave very, very badly.

I'll ask a few friends in law enforcement what their reaction is. If I hear anything good, I'll let you know.

Happy Monday.


Joe Chapline
09-13-2010, 03:57 PM
Thanks, Pete. Another benefit: this will carry four bikes (with additional parts not shown). Carrying four people and four bikes with my little truck seems like a good deal.

Mark Blacknell
09-13-2010, 07:01 PM
I wouldn't worry too terribly much about it. These sorts of racks are used by lots of people, a portion of which are the kinds of people that seem to interact with law enforcement from time to time. I've never heard of a ticket for this. That said, I'd probably not roll around with this *and* a BAD COP, NO DONUT bumpersticker.

(And agreed on the merits of this approach to hitch mount. I had an old Saris hitch mount on my last car that sent the bikes swinging so much that every drive seemed a test of faith. If I went back to hitch-mount, I'd get the kind of rack you have.)

Joe Chapline
09-13-2010, 07:16 PM
Thanks Mark, I had a hitch mount that held the bikes by the top tube. If the top tubes weren't horizontal, the bikes would be at crazy angles. It offended my sense of neatness. And, the bikes came loose from the rack one time. I haven't tried carrying bikes on top of the car, it seems like it would be difficult to get the bikes up there, and I don't know if I could remember to avoid overhanging branches.

Now that I think about it, I think the bikes came loose from the rack before that one, but I still don't like the top-tube thing.

09-13-2010, 07:19 PM
Awww Joe. now you got me all sentimental for my 1983 Oldsmobile Custom Cruiser station wagon. It was a gas guzzler, but dang was it fun doing mountain/road bike road trips with 6 people and 14 bikes on the car + gear.

I love living car free. :D I kinda miss wrenching on freak mobiles though. Gonna get back to working on my car soon so that I can drive it some time if I want to. :D

Sorry to go off topic. I was enjoying a little road trip down memory lane. :D