Clarity - Any ideas on a bike Rack?

Discussion in 'Clarity' started by cowgomoo, Jan 9, 2018.

  1. After reading through the installation instructions, that sounds like a fair price. I’d guess a couple hours all in, maybe half that if you’ve already had practice.

    I’m going to give it a shot in the next day or so. I spent $6 at NAPA for a collection of trim removal tools designed to make those trim pins easier to lever out without damaging them. Look for a post-install report soon.
    Carolyn likes this.
  2. Tonight it took exactly one hour to strip off all the body parts:



    1) The body panel tools were helpful popping out a few of the pins.

    2) The only difficult part was getting the taillights to pop free. I was nervous about breaking the locking ears, but with enough wiggling they finally worked their way free.

    Next step is removing the bumper bar and then inserting the hitch between it and the frame. Seems straightforward. Will likely get back to it in the morning and give a progress report after.
    Pushmi-Pullyu and Carolyn like this.
  3. Mounting the hitch and torquing it down properly took about 30 minutes:


    Did not have to trim the belly pan.

    About 15 minutes to trim the bumper cover, using a Dremel tool with cutoff disk:


    Now just waiting for Karen to get home to start throwing everything back together later today.
  4. Bender

    Bender Member

    I figured I was spending $240 on the hitch already and valuing my install time and effort/risk at another few $100 -- so let's say ~$600 total just to get the hitch installed.

    So if I'm only getting the hitch for a bike rack I wanted something decent. I really liked the Kuats but they're $$. Went with a Rockymounts Monorail solo I ordered for $190, plan to get an add-on for a 2nd bike at a later date, usually will be just 1 bike and I figured single bike carrier is lightest and most maneuverable. If I don't like the Monorail, I'll look for a Kuat NV 2.0 sale, main problem with that rack is it's 52-56lbs.

    Now just to wait for the hitch and rack to arrive. And figure out how to take my car apart and back together :).
    Domenick likes this.
  5. Bender

    Bender Member

    Got my hitch installed this past Saturday!

    Like some others: For some reason the tail lights were pretty uncooperative to remove..... but eventually got them off. Additionally, the instruction "lift up and away" for the bumper cover was a little vague.... Eventually I popped off the bumper cover though. I started at a wheel well and then slid hand under that part of the cover along the edge to get it to pop away from the tabs (with lots of loud "Pop! Pop! Pop!" sounds). I did lose one of the nuts from the taillights and will have to replace. Hopefully wherever it fell it does not rattle.

    I had bought a tool for removing plastic tabs but it was unnecessary. They were all pop rivets rather than the plastic plugs I was figuring I would break a few of -- the pop rivets were super-easy to remove and replace.

    The cutout I made had about 1/4" extra on the sides and less than 1/16" extra on the back.

    20191221_151431.jpg 20191221_185631.jpg 20191222_184241.jpg
    Pushmi-Pullyu and KentuckyKen like this.
  6. Good job!

    Getting the taillights out was the most frustrating part for me. They take some force and come loose with a “pop” that’s a little scary.

    This might be a good time for a mea culpa. When popping the left taillight back in, I must have been off on the angle when I bumped it with the heel of my hand. I managed to break one of the locating pins, and part of the tab that lies flush with the trunk lid. Nothing visible from the outside, and the locating pin seems redundant since the taillight is bolted in. I could not initially find the broken piece, but have been meaning to look again so i can clue it back.

    I’ll take a picture in a few to help clarify what broke.

    The right one slid in perfectly, BTW.
    Pushmi-Pullyu, KentuckyKen and Bender like this.
  7. Broken piece:


    Unbroken right side for comparison:

    Pushmi-Pullyu and KentuckyKen like this.
  8. Bender

    Bender Member

    I forgot to also mention, I also didn't use any floor jack. (I did have the rear up a little because my driveway is slanted and the was all I backed into the garage. )

    There didn't seem to be anything that difficult to reach for me, anyways. There were just the pop rivets under the car, pretty near to the edge. I used cardboard + a strip of carpet I had picked up for ~$10 to try to improvise a trunk liner (did not work for that purpose).
    Pushmi-Pullyu and KentuckyKen like this.
  9. Pushmi-Pullyu

    Pushmi-Pullyu Well-Known Member

    Thanks to everyone providing detailed descriptions and photos of installing the hitch. This is exactly the sort of thing that forum threads ought to be used for! I'm guessing everybody is using a Torklift hitch?

    @ Bender: I've never seen that type of minimalist bicycle rack before. I hope it does hold the bike securely? If so, I'd like to shake the hand of whoever designed that! I love the simple elegance (elegant in terms of form following function) of the design.

  10. Bender

    Bender Member

    All of the current generation of higher end racks i've seen are pretty close to the same design. There's an arm that swings out with a part that clamps down on the front tire in front of the fork and some sort of strap on the rear wheel. The differences are all pretty subtle between the different ones I looked at (Thule, Kuat, etc), mostly styling, sturdiness of the platform, adjustability, and some variation in the deterrent "locks"(if i remember right, Thule and yakima both had the worst lock designs -- a metal cylinder but only held on by thin pieces of plastic. Break the plastic -- lock cylinderdoesn't do anything :) Kuat looked the "nicest" and the lock cylinders were also all encased in metal). But they all hold the bikes in the same manner. Most of them tilt up 90 degrees when not in use, and some tilt down while bike(s) are loaded to allow trunk/rear hatch access.

    The Rockymounts Monorail solo I purchased seems about the same as the others I was considering so far as stability. I had no issues at 70 on the highway. (The others weren't available in a 1 bike configuration, though...) It was also the lowest cost option I found, around $200 net cost for me (that sale is still available AFAIK). If I buy the add-on later for a 2nd bike I will update.
    Last edited: Dec 23, 2019
  11. Bender

    Bender Member

    I agree, that's why the "hitch crash guard" products are all bunk. Its like people don't think there's a reason why crashes are so much safer now than 20 years ago and don't realize it's not a good idea to focus the impact on one point. The more surface area it's spread across, the better. Those guard products can't be good in an actual crash. Sure, maybe a parking lot bump hits the guard instead of scratch the bumper cover. But the main point of a vehicle's expense is to lower chances and extent of injuries in a collision.

    However, Im not too worried about the hitch itself reducing safety. Reason is I'd guess most accidents will hit the vehicle higher (at least in my area). And the receiver itself should just be embedded in another vehicle's bumper, meaning the main force of the impact will hopefully still be spread out. Unlike with the "hitch guard" products that intentionally stick out from the vehicle and could serve to combat the safety features.
  12. Steven B

    Steven B Active Member

    Ditto on the tail light removal. It should be recommended as a two-person job. I tried to do it by myself. One hand squeezing the tabs inside the trunk and the other hand pulling backward on the light assembly from its leading edge. Result: assembly suddenly breaks loose and falls to the concrete. This broke the black plastic flange that's also hidden by the trunk when shut. The break was complete and approximately 6 inches long. Rebonded with RTV.
  13. craze1cars

    craze1cars Well-Known Member

    FWIW, this type of bike rack (no-strap/no bike contact except tires retention system) is the standard design among all major bike rack brands, once you get outside of the department store junk...I have a Yakima that’s about 15 years old and it essentially looks and functions the same. Literally takes 15 seconds to remove or load a bike and have it secured. This style works extremely well I have driven thousands of miles of interstate and many rough roads with mine. I’m not brand loyal to any of them, but the style indeed I highly recommend. They are rather pricey. My favorite at the moment, if I were in the market for a new one, would be this brand:
    Last edited: Dec 24, 2019

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