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I'm looking for a bike rack for my Smart, and wondered if anyone had recommendations on a specific brand and the best place to purchase. If there are any brands I should steer clear of, that would be helpful too. An easy on/easy off feature would be helpful.
 

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I have the official smart base/bike rack. Once you get it installed it is very easy to remove and reinstall. It takes about 1 minute. It is also one of the higher priced models, but you can strap a cooler to it!
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Free2Go Bike Rack

The Free2Go looks pretty cool. Does anyone know if it's available and where I can get it? I've looked online and I see reviews, but no purchase information.
 

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After a pile of research, I came to the conclusion that buying a hitch ($150 shipped) and a cheap hitch bike rack (harbor freight, $40) was my best and most versatile option. I also now have a trailer I pull with the car for long trips, which holds two bikes and roof box. That cost around $500 to build, start to finish, and will fit anything a Yakima rack would. Edit: the Freetogo rack seems like a really cool budget option though. I like the general idea. I don't like how many tie down straps you need for it to be stable. Hitch is still a better option for me, and I wouldn't use the freetogo rack for long trips. Also, you need to completely unstrap your bike to open the hatch.

Edit 2: If a mod sees this, could we move this thread over to a more appropriate topic?



 

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After a pile of research, I came to the conclusion that buying a hitch ($150 shipped) and a cheap hitch bike rack (harbor freight, $40) was my best and most versatile option. I also now have a trailer I pull with the car for long trips, which holds two bikes and roof box. That cost around $500 to build, start to finish, and will fit anything a Yakima rack would. Edit: the Freetogo rack seems like a really cool budget option though. I like the general idea. I don't like how many tie down straps you need for it to be stable. Hitch is still a better option for me, and I wouldn't use the freetogo rack for long trips. Also, you need to completely unstrap your bike to open the hatch.

Edit 2: If a mod sees this, could we move this thread over to a more appropriate topic?
What did you use for the base for the bike racks and which racks did you use? I have my trailer done already, just looking for the right set up to carry 2 bikes(without the luggage carrier). Thanks!
 

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I'm still in love with my Swagman folding bike rack for two bikes. When not carrying bikes, the two side arms with the wheel rests fold up. Pull two pins and the two arms fold down. Pull the remaining pin on the middle upright and it folds over too, so the tailgate can be opened. It also makes it easier to remove the inner most bike. The middle upright has two ratcheting rubber cushioned arms that ratchet down and clamp each bike in place. No bungees or straps. A single padlock will lock the upper most ratcheting arm preventing either bike from being removed from the rack.
The swagman is a very well thought out design.



The wheel loops that the bike wheels rest in are adjustable and slide upon the folding rail (to fit each bike) until clamped firmly in place with a clamping knob.
I carry two bikes, one is an oversized bike suitable for a 6'5 rider and the other is a pivot jointed trail bike more suitable for a 5'7 rider. The two bikes are very different in construction and would mount at crazy angles on our old rack. Now they both ride level in the wheel loops and the clamping arms adjust to the very different frame geometry. Each clamp has a push release trigger that makes mounting and unmounting the bikes fast and easy with very little lifting, and no fear of dragging the rack or receiver on the curt hitch. E-trailer sells it for 160.95.
 

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After a pile of research, I came to the conclusion that buying a hitch ($150 shipped) and a cheap hitch bike rack (harbor freight, $40) was my best and most versatile option. I also now have a trailer I pull with the car for long trips, which holds two bikes and roof box. That cost around $500 to build, start to finish, and will fit anything a Yakima rack would.

ColonelPan1c, can you tell me where I can get the hitch you bought? "$500 to build", you mean you had to modify things, or you bought a stock trailer?
Thanks...
 

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I have the official smart base/bike rack. Once you get it installed it is very easy to remove and reinstall. It takes about 1 minute. It is also one of the higher priced models, but you can strap a cooler to it!


jefferios, do you happen to have the "user manual" for the bike rack? I seem to have misplaced mine, and I have a couple of parts, an aluminum cyclinder about 1" in diameter and 4" long and a threaded rod with washers and nuts attached to it, both of which I had packed away and now forget what they were for.


Thanks...
 

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ColonelPan1c, can you tell me where I can get the hitch you bought? "$500 to build", you mean you had to modify things, or you bought a stock trailer?
Thanks...
If you look in the smart towing section, I have a thread in there titled "uhaul refuses" about the hitch and trailer I just got.

But to summarize- I got the 40x48 1090lb capacity harbor freight trailer for something like $229. Got an LED lightkit to upgrade the one that came with the trailer for about $40. I then spent about $100 on lumber and hardware to finish out the trailer(decking, siderails, tiedown spots, bolts and screws, etc). And just as a CYA I got a spare tire and a spare tire mount(for road trips) for about $85 total. Add in a ball for $8 and the 5" rise hitch thing for $20. I spent just under $500 on my setup(and whatever the great state of illinois wanted for licensing).

But well worth it. Took the trailer on a 250 mile road trip to pick up a couple bikes. Drove like a charm and hardly effected the mpg with it empty or loaded up.
 

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I'm still in love with my Swagman folding bike rack for two bikes. When not carrying bikes, the two side arms with the wheel rests fold up. Pull two pins and the two arms fold down. Pull the remaining pin on the middle upright and it folds over too, so the tailgate can be opened. It also makes it easier to remove the inner most bike. The middle upright has two ratcheting rubber cushioned arms that ratchet down and clamp each bike in place. No bungees or straps. A single padlock will lock the upper most ratcheting arm preventing either bike from being removed from the rack.
The swagman is a very well thought out design.



The wheel loops that the bike wheels rest in are adjustable and slide upon the folding rail (to fit each bike) until clamped firmly in place with a clamping knob.
I carry two bikes, one is an oversized bike suitable for a 6'5 rider and the other is a pivot jointed trail bike more suitable for a 5'7 rider. The two bikes are very different in construction and would mount at crazy angles on our old rack. Now they both ride level in the wheel loops and the clamping arms adjust to the very different frame geometry. Each clamp has a push release trigger that makes mounting and unmounting the bikes fast and easy with very little lifting, and no fear of dragging the rack or receiver on the curt hitch. E-trailer sells it for 160.95.
I'm looking at this option, too. The only issue I'm going to have is an adult size kick bike I'm getting ready to order(google amish kick bike, it's awesome!), which doesn't have a crossbar like a traditional bike. So that slide down clamping arm may not do the trick for me when I haul that thing, in which case I'd have to get pretty crafty in securing it to the center post. I need to research it a bit more, and I'll probably just get this rack. Just wanted to see what my options were for something to mount directly on my trailer. But the free 2 go thing is completely out, since I'd mainly be hauling 2 bikes anytime I needed to haul ANY bikes. I'm getting quite the collection of 2 wheeled toys. lol
 

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I checked on my Swagman and think you may find that the ratcheting clamp goes low enough on the upright that it may just be the ticket for the kick bike and may clamp it as well. At the very worst you may need to order a spare ratcheting clamp and modify it to clamp the kick bike in place.
 

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Yeah I bought a swagman yesterday at my local bike shop.

I love it with the "normal" bikes. I'll figure out how to deal with the big scooter when I get it. Lol
 

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Here's another option for a smart bike rack

The Smart Car Bicycle Rack | 2×2 Cycles

Takes 5 minutes to attach and put the bike on. Only quirks I found were that the piece that holds the front wheel tends to slide down but I position the bike pedal underneath the wheel to keep it from doing that and the piece that holds the front wheel bar needs to be pointing horizontal toward the right so that the bar does't loosen and slide down toward the left. To ensure everything stays in place after these two adjustments I have a lock that I put thru the front wheel bar, thru the front wheel and thru the rear wheel and it keeps anything from moving while I drive. I like the minimalist design because I can take it off and easily throw it in a dry bag I have and carry it anywhere I go in the car.
 

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What did you use for the base for the bike racks and which racks did you use? I have my trailer done already, just looking for the right set up to carry 2 bikes(without the luggage carrier). Thanks!
Sorry for the late reply. The base is 3/4" iron gas pipe with threaded ends, 24 inch, a T, and then 10" bars on the outsides, and a 4 inch going from the T to a flange. Fits Yakima gear perfectly. Same size as the Yakima brand cross bars. Make sure you bolt the flanges at least partially through the trailer frame. Currently in the middle of an 1100+ mile road trip with it, with no problems.
 

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After much deliberation, I decided to purchase the official Smart "Base carrier" and "Bicycle rack 1". I bought from eBay. They just arrived and I must say I'm very disappointed in the instruction manuals they came with. Clearly one was supposed to get it fitted by your dealer! Quote the manual "To enable you to attach the base carrier to your vehicle, the holders are mounted on the bumper in the smart center". I think I have all the parts, but I haven't determined how the "holders" are mounted on the bumper. Is it obvious or should I book the car into the service center and get them to do it? I'm mechanically competent but I've never worked on my Smart (2009, ForTwo Passion).
 

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You have to take off the back bumper panels to drill the two holders to frame of the car. I would have someone do it for you.
 

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"Clicker" has pics up on his smart USA insider site of his smart bike rack install. There is an excellent youtube video of the bike rack install also, done by smart technicians. The support sockets mount to the rear frame so they are reachable thru the vent holes beneath the tailgate. Therefore the rear clip most come off to install those support sockets. Clicker mentioned that measuring the distance to locate the sockets was one of the more challenging issues.
The curt hitch and swagman bike rack are an easier alternative. I was all in for the proper smart bike rack until I read on SCOA that one of the tow point bolt nuts in the bumper (used with the smart rack) failed! due to the weight from the bike rack.
I do use the tow bolt holes to secure a turn buckle on each side to stabilize the swagman on the curt hitch, and have no problem so far.
 
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