Mountain Bike Reviews Forum banner
1 - 20 of 41 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
10 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi all,

I'm looking for a tray-style 1.25" hitch rack with the highest possible ground clearance. After my Kuat Sherpa was destroyed in a hit and run, I replaced it with a Thule T2 XTR Pro. I, sadly, discovered that the Thule does not have enough ground clearance to clear my steep driveway, dragging on the ground even when folded up. There is some sort of little metal flange that appears to be there to protect the tightening handle that sticks down below the height of the hitch that is grinding when exiting or entering my driveway, even if I drive as slowly as humanly possible. Luckily, REI let me return the rack. What is my best bet for ground clearance regarding a hitch rack? Even with my Sherpa, if the T-shaped handle was turned vertically and it was loaded with 2 bikes, it would drag on the ground. If I had it oriented horizontally, it wouldn't drag. So, it was always ~1" away from dragging when entering or exiting my driveway fully loaded. Can I do better than the Sherpa? Or is that still going to be my best bet?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,866 Posts
If you want to replace the entire rack, 1up elevates nicely. Not only directly from the hitch, but each tray is elevated higher than the previous. As an example, on an SUV like a full sized Tahoe, the bike on the 4th tray actually extends past the roof. But... 1up's are 2", not 1.25's. You'd need an adapter.

Another option... something like these... No need to replace the entire rack. Just need to find a 2.25" version.
1940778
1940779
1940780
1940782
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
10 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
If you want to replace the entire rack, 1up elevates nicely. Not only directly from the hitch, but each tray is elevated higher than the previous. As an example, on an SUV like a full sized Tahoe, the bike on the 4th tray actually extends past the roof. But... 1up's are 2", not 1.25's. You'd need an adapter.

Another option... something like these... No need to replace the entire rack. Just need to find a 2.25" version.
View attachment 1940778 View attachment 1940779 View attachment 1940780 View attachment 1940782
Thanks - I'll take a look at 1up.

Unfortunately since my hitch is only class 1 hitch, I can't use a hitch riser.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
10 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
You can't use a hitch riser for towing, but maybe you could use one for a bike rack.
All these risers I'm looking at reduce the tongue weight capacity of the hitch by 50%. Since the tongue weight of a class 1 hitch is 200 pounds, that would drop to a 100 pound tongue weight capacity max. Given these racks can weigh 60 pounds, adding two bikes could likely exceed the 100 pound limit.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
43 Posts
I'm not really sure you need to be looking for the greatest ground clearance. Instead, I think you should be looking for the rack which carries the bike closest to the back of the vehicle. The ground out you had on the Thule rack came from a piece of metal that sits .5 to 1 inches below the level of the rack. That's pretty good ground clearance.

Although the OneUp rack has good clearance at the far end of the rack, it doesn't seem that you actually need that type of clearance.

You either need a rack that is going to go up directly from the trailer hitch, which is going to reduce the weight your hitch can take anyway. Or, you need to figure out a way to hit the transition from the street to your driveway in such a way that you don't ground out the rack. As a guy who has had a number of very low cars over the years, learning angles to approach big slopes is way more important than just driving slow.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
316 Posts
If you want to replace the entire rack, 1up elevates nicely. Not only directly from the hitch, but each tray is elevated higher than the previous. As an example, on an SUV like a full sized Tahoe, the bike on the 4th tray actually extends past the roof. But... 1up's are 2", not 1.25's. You'd need an adapter.

Another option... something like these... No need to replace the entire rack. Just need to find a 2.25" version.
View attachment 1940778 View attachment 1940779 View attachment 1940780 View attachment 1940782
1up can be ordered with a 1.25" hitch
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
10 Posts
Discussion Starter · #12 ·
I'm not really sure you need to be looking for the greatest ground clearance. Instead, I think you should be looking for the rack which carries the bike closest to the back of the vehicle. The ground out you had on the Thule rack came from a piece of metal that sits .5 to 1 inches below the level of the rack. That's pretty good ground clearance.

Although the OneUp rack has good clearance at the far end of the rack, it doesn't seem that you actually need that type of clearance.

You either need a rack that is going to go up directly from the trailer hitch, which is going to reduce the weight your hitch can take anyway. Or, you need to figure out a way to hit the transition from the street to your driveway in such a way that you don't ground out the rack. As a guy who has had a number of very low cars over the years, learning angles to approach big slopes is way more important than just driving slow.
Right - due to the way my driveway works, backing out of the driveway means that the effective ground clearance is a factor of both the lowest height of the bike rack, as well as how far back it sticks out horizontally from the hitch. The 1.25" version of the Kuat Sherpa essentially has an upward curve in the base, which increased that clearance for me.

Unfortunately I literally have to back straight out of my driveway. There is a wall on one side and an even steeper slope on the other side.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
10 Posts
Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Any experience with the Rocky Mount SplitRail LS?

It also looks to have the upward curvature and nothing dangling below it like the Thule did.

 

·
Guest
Joined
·
1,065 Posts
I have a Kuat Sherpa 2.0 on a Rav4. It strikes the ground occasionally, which I hate. It also took a hit from behind, and it is a bit bent up as a consequence, but still works fine.

I do wonder if a One-UP would work better, but when I look under other people's cars who have the One-Up rack, I see this:

1940817


I worry about that under-hang by the red arrow snagging on the ground.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
10 Posts
Discussion Starter · #16 ·
I have a Kuat Sherpa 2.0 on a Rav4. It strikes the ground occasionally, which I hate. It also took a hit from behind, and it is a bit bent up as a consequence, but still works fine.

I do wonder if a One-UP would work better, but when I look under other people's cars who have the One-Up rack, I see this:

View attachment 1940817

I worry about that under-hang by the red arrow snagging on the ground.
Thanks - yeah I think it seems like I should just get the Sherpa 2 again since that's what I had and it wouldn't strike my driveway as long as the T-handle was in the horizontal position.

The 1ups look really nice but I too worry about that underhanging part as you identified. Nearly all racks (other than the 1.25" receiver Kuats with the handle in the horizontal position) have some sort of underhang to them.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
74 Posts
If you would be open to a non-tray style rack, the NorthShore racks seem to offer the best ground clearance. I'm often driving over rough 4WD mtn passes in the summer and see most of the tray style racks dragging and bouncing. The NorthShore racks seem to keep the bikes safer..
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
690 Posts
All these risers I'm looking at reduce the tongue weight capacity of the hitch by 50%. Since the tongue weight of a class 1 hitch is 200 pounds, that would drop to a 100 pound tongue weight capacity max. Given these racks can weigh 60 pounds, adding two bikes could likely exceed the 100 pound limit.
talking about something entirely different when considering tongue weight of a trailer. the hitch system will have a multi thousand lb dynamic force of a trailer twisting, pushing, and pulling on the receiver. i wouldnt blink running a hitch riser on a 1..25" receiver. for bike rack purposes.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,254 Posts
1940841


My driveway is steeper than your driveway. ;)

The problem isn't usually the ground clearance of the hitch rack, but the departure angle as dictated by the rearward-extension of the hitch rack at the hitch level.

I have had experience with a Kuat NV Base 2.0 1-1/4" and a 1-Up Super Duty Double 2" (what's on there in the photo, and now) on a mid-low-clearance (5.3") car.

For departure angle, the 1-Up rack (probably any version) has the Kuat NV beat hands-down, due to it immediately rising up and away from the hitch level. The departure angle of the 1-1/4" version of the Kuat NV is marginally better than the 2" version (I have inspected that version on another rider's setup), but the problem for both is the straight-rearward extension of the hitch "stem", then capped-off with a hitch-tightener knob.

I do wonder if a One-UP would work better, but when I look under other people's cars who have the One-Up rack, I see this:

View attachment 1940817

I worry about that under-hang by the red arrow snagging on the ground.
1940889

(The painted line is roughly aligned to the centerline of the car to help visualize the ground clearance. The lump that protrudes downwards forward of the hitch lip is a 10mm security chain w/sheath transversely looped through both eyes of the hitch.)

The noted portion of the 1-Up does not protrude significantly lower than the lip of my Torklift 2" Eco Hitch, and whatever amount it does is still significantly radiused. You would need a knob protrusion on the ground that misses lip of the hitch yet engages deeply with the plate of the 1Up to have any real issues.

Fun Fact From The Photo:

The two dark patches in the foreground on the ground are from when my significant others' car loses traction and spins the drive wheels a little before traction control reels it in. It makes into the garage with <1" of breakover clearance UNLADEN.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
154 Posts
If you want to replace the entire rack, 1up elevates nicely. Not only directly from the hitch, but each tray is elevated higher than the previous. As an example, on an SUV like a full sized Tahoe, the bike on the 4th tray actually extends past the roof. But... 1up's are 2", not 1.25's. You'd need an adapter.

Another option... something like these... No need to replace the entire rack. Just need to find a 2.25" version.
View attachment 1940778 View attachment 1940779 View attachment 1940780 View attachment 1940782
1up available in 1 1/4 but limited in the number of bikes
 
1 - 20 of 41 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.
Top