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Discussion Starter #1
If anyone is looking for a cheap and easy bike rack for their Element, I just picked up the Allen basic trunk mount rack at Walmart for $40. It fits perfectly, holds 2 or 3 bikes, and is even listed on the install guide as a direct fit. I can post some pics if anyone wants them. I couldn't afford to install a hitch, and don't have roof racks.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
See => http://www.allenracks.com/subpages/instructional/videos/Video1.mov

After watching the video, I'd only recommend this to someone who very infrequently needs to carry a bike and is not overly concerned about damage to either their E or bike.
Have you actually used one? Sorry, but I disagree 100%. Installed, there is nothing that touches the Element, except for the two upper nylon clips and the bottom clip. It's secure, and fits perfectly in my situation. I don't have a 3 or 4 bike carrier, I purchased the 2. I need the room inside the Element for other things, and prefer to carry the bike elsewhere. For me, it works perfectly. I was attempting to offer help to those in need of a cheaper way to carry the bikes, not for someone who needs to carry a $4000 Gary Fischer. :rolleyes:
 

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While I can appreciate the need for thrift, at some point when I get the cash, I plan to get a class 2 hitch, and a hitch mount rack. Till then, I carry the bikes inside.

I had a strap-on for a while, but it put small dents in the metal of the upper hatch, and I forgot it was on once, and fried the rear wiper motor - should've pulled the wiper fuse before installing it - D'oh!!

So, though they're cost-effective, I'm steering clear till I've got the cash...
 

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Hey roadie, can we get some pics of the rack attached to your E? I've been thinking of getting one cause I dont have the money for a hitch mount and the wife has way too much stuff to put both bikes inside... :rolleyes: Thanks! :)
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Hey roadie, can we get some pics of the rack attached to your E? I've been thinking of getting one cause I dont have the money for a hitch mount and the wife has way too much stuff to put both bikes inside... :rolleyes: Thanks! :)
Here you go. Regarding another post, I don't see how you can possibly dent the hatch with this mounting method. If it's installed correctly, and the weight limit isn't exceeded, it works perfectly as designed. The Allen rack also mounts completely on the upper hatch, so you can open/close it without taking anything off. I keep the rack on all the time. That's another reason I went with this method, I can store more stuff inside, and it's very easy to remove if needed.





 

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I've been using a "Hollywood" 4 bike, strap-on hatch rack for 4 years = $80
Never had any problems with it.
I only mount one large bike and have plenty of distance from the bike to the rear of the E.

I was only going to use this rack until I could purchase a roof mount rack but the Hollywood has performed so well and worked so fine that I've decided to stick with it.

I've traveled thousands of miles with this on my E on all kinds of roadways and speeds.
There's no rubbing or scratching the paint, it's very strudy and has never been a problem.


 

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roadie114:

I like the rack and how it sits on the hatch. The only thing I would be concerned with is the part where it makes contact with the metal. If dirt and grime gets under there, it could ruin the finish of the car. I assume that is a spongy rubbery material? Does the rack budge at all when it gets jarred around while loaded?

I suppose one can always wipe it down and pad it with a microfiber cloth or something.


Miss Ellie & Co.:

I couldn't tell from the picture. Is your rack tall and goes from near the top all the way down to the bottom of the tailgate? Or does it lower than the one roadie has and starts from near the bottom of the hatch down to the the bottom of the tailgate?
 

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roadie114:


Miss Ellie & Co.:

I couldn't tell from the picture. Is your rack tall and goes from near the top all the way down to the bottom of the tailgate? Or does it lower than the one roadie has and starts from near the bottom of the hatch down to the the bottom of the tailgate?

Snuffy - It's sorta like a small folding ladder.
The top section is a tall fold out, adjustable, locking U arm that leans into place directly under the rear windshield wiper nozzel.
A large HD sponge like brace at the top of the U arm protects the glass against scratching and centers the position of the rack at very top of the rear glass.
(right under the nozzel)

The bottom rung is two legs - again with large sponge braces for the legs to rest on the rear bumper.

It has 6 HD nylon adjustable (rubber coated) hook straps = Two on top, two on the bottom and two on the sides.

It's very secure. I love it.


Here's a better photo - Two days of driving and over 1000 miles to Yellowstone.
I forgot to bungie cord the front wheel to the water bottle bracket on the bike, so the front wheel moves freely in this photo but still won't hit the rear of the E.

The only draw back is that I can't open the rear hatch with the bike on the rack - but the E has plenty of doors.
When traveling I load stuff that I frequently need access to next to the sucide doors.
I can get to everything I need with no problem.
 

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Snuffy - It's sorta like a small folding ladder.
The top section is a tall fold out, adjustable, locking U arm that leans into place directly under the rear windshield wiper nozzel.
A large HD sponge like brace at the top of the U arm protects the glass against scratching and centers the position of the rack at very top of the rear glass.
(right under the nozzel)

The bottom rung is two legs - again with large sponge braces for the legs to rest on the rear bumper.

It has 6 HD nylon adjustable (rubber coated) hook straps = Two on top, two on the bottom and two on the sides.

It's very secure. I love it.
Based on the pictures, it looks like nothing actually touches any metal finish, just the glass and the top of the bumper/bottom of plastic tailgate. Is that right? That is cool. I like that. Going to look for it. Thanks for the info.
 

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Thanks for the pics roadie! I like the fact that you can still open the top part of the tailgate without having to take the bikes off. Though I have this image in my head of accidentally hitting someone in the face with a muddy tire as I swing up the tailgate :D

Miss ellie- I totally didnt realize you didnt have a hitch mount rack. and for 80 bucks, I'll have to take a look at the next campin fools hoedown! :)
 

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Thanks for the pics roadie! I like the fact that you can still open the top part of the tailgate without having to take the bikes off.
I think he meant you could open the hatch without taking the rack off. I guess you could try it with the bikes still on there but I doubt that the hatch springs would handle the weight.
 

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Based on the pictures, it looks like nothing actually touches any metal finish, just the glass and the top of the bumper/bottom of plastic tailgate. Is that right? That is cool. I like that. Going to look for it. Thanks for the info.
Yuppers - you are correct sir.
Three points of contact... one on top, two on the bottom and no contact with the paint.
 

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I found a rack from Hollywood Racks at Amazon that I like. It looks to be very similar to the rack you showed. It is called the F6 Expedition. I'll shop around for prices.

http://www.amazon.com/Hollywood-Racks-F6-Expedition-3-Bike/dp/B000QJC472/ref=sr_1_8?ie=UTF8&s=sporting-goods&qid=1254860811&sr=1-8

Thank again.

Yes! The Hollywood F6 Expedition is my rack.
(check out your local bike shops too - they sometimes have great deals on Hollywood products - mine did)
 

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Discussion Starter #17
roadie114:

I like the rack and how it sits on the hatch. The only thing I would be concerned with is the part where it makes contact with the metal. If dirt and grime gets under there, it could ruin the finish of the car. I assume that is a spongy rubbery material? Does the rack budge at all when it gets jarred around while loaded?

I suppose one can always wipe it down and pad it with a microfiber cloth or something.


Miss Ellie & Co.:

I couldn't tell from the picture. Is your rack tall and goes from near the top all the way down to the bottom of the tailgate? Or does it lower than the one roadie has and starts from near the bottom of the hatch down to the the bottom of the tailgate?
No, the rack doesn't budge at all. Where the mounting location is on top of the hatch, even if it were to get a little scuffed up, you really couldn't see it. However, I'm also not that picky, I use my Element for what's it's designed for, to have fun. ;-)

If I get a scuff or a small scratch it's not the end of the world. With that said, the brackets are coated with a soft nylon, and they don't slip or move at all when tightened down.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
I think he meant you could open the hatch without taking the rack off. I guess you could try it with the bikes still on there but I doubt that the hatch springs would handle the weight.
Correct. I haven't tried with the bikes on, but the weight would make it difficult and you would have to hold it up even with only one light bike on. The top hatch easily stays open and can support the rack alone.
 

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damn, thats what I was trying to avoid, having to take the bikes off every time we want to get crap out of the back... :-( It still looks good though. its on my e to do list right after new shoes. :)
 

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The first bike rack I ever owned was a Saris Bones two bike strap-on and we had a Dodge Neon at the time. The first time I put the rack on and tightened the straps and put two sub 20lb bikes on it almost folded the trunk lid in half. Once I trussed up the flimsy sheet metal it seemed to be super. We took off on a 200 mile trip back home to the farm and after a half hour the straps had loosened up to the point that the lower clips were flapping in the wind. So I tightened them down and tied the ends off so they could not slip. After another half hour it was the same thing all over again except the straps did not slip, they were stretching! I have been afraid of temporary racks ever since. I don't care if I have a $4000 GF or a $200 Trek, I wouldn't want to lose it on the highway! So my advice is just to be careful and check the rigging often.
 
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