First, a little background. I'm a single female under 5 feet tall, and 59 years of age. The car that this product is used on is a Ford Escape SUV. The bike has non-conventional bars between the seat and handlebars. I had to purchase a bar that is placed between the seat and handlebars to use all carrying methods, except #1.
I love to bring my bike to different parks to ride. Transporting it has been challenging for me.
I have tried many different methods.
1. Putting the back seat down and putting bike in rear of car. This works, but I don't like having to put the seats up and down constantly. Also getting the bike in and our of the car is a little awkward, at times.
2. I have hitch. I purchased one of those bike racks that have a pole that inserts into the hitch, extends upward to about 6 inches from top of rear window. It accommodates 3 bikes, has locks, and conveniently can allow for the opening of the hatch door when bike is not on it, since it folds downward. I am unable to use this method for a few reasons. Once the bar is placed on the bike, the space where the bike rack arms are to be put into is not large enough to accommodate the the arms of the rack. Secondly, even if the space were wide enough, being short, I am unable to lift my mountain bike high enough to be put on the rack arms.
3. I bought a sort of tray that attaches to the hitch and has 3 loops to accommodate the front wheels of three bikes. This works pretty well, as it is low enough for me to lift the bike on to. However, I have to put multiple tie down straps to secure the bike. Also, since the tray is quite heavy, once it is put on the hitch, I leave it on. This presents a problem when backing up the car, as I cannot tell where the farthest end of the tray is. I also, really don't like having to keep it on the back of the car all riding season long.
4. And finally, the Allen Sports MT-1 Folding One-Bike Carrier. The best product ever! It doesn't have to be kept on the car for the duration because it installs and uninstalls in minutes, whenever I need it. I can adjust how high the rack arms are by adjusting the straps that hold the rack to the car. It is no longer too high for me to lift the bike onto. The arms are small enough to fit in to the space left on the bike after the bar is placed between the seat and handlebars. I don't need any additional tie downs to secure the bike. I use the length left over from the bottom strap to secure the front wheel by threading through the spokes and tied onto the strap. The bike does not move at all during transporting. And the price is right. I think I paid over $100 for each of the other 2 carriers I wrote about. Also, I bought online at Walmart, knowing that if I had to return the product, I could just bring it to the store. - WON'T BE DOING THAT!
Happy riding! - from shorty!
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