Best Car Hitch (Bike) Unicycle Rack?

My family just got a new car with the Cash for Clunkers program, and we need a bike rack for it, but with our 15+ unicycles, it needs to work well with unis too. We want a rack that attaches to a trailer hitch, and we have one of the small size trailer hitches (1.25 inches instead of 2, I think). If you have a bike rack that works well for unis, please let me know what it is.

This style works really well, I love mine. Very easy to fit and also pack away. I have had 4x36" on it but that was not good really, I would have said the max is really 3. Not good if you want to tow at the same time, the ones that fit to the plate behind the ball are best for that.


I forgot the link. :-S


I had one in the late 80s. I don’t remember the brand but that’s not relevent, other than perhaps if it was the company that invented that style of rack. I had not seen one before. It involved me mounting a trailer hitch on my Subaru, and subsequently me and nearly everyone who ever loaded stuff into the back of the car whacking their shins on it. It would not be the model I would recommend, for numerous reasons. I’ve seen much better ones since then. :slight_smile:

I’ve been looking at racks, settled one a Yakima Doubledown:

Fits both hitch sizes, so it’s a little more versatil. You need to install a hitch.

The roof options are also available to you, but you will suffer decreased mpg, some height problems possible, more expensive, less versatile, etc… The rear trunk/lift mounted racks suck, just nightmares of strapping.

Go for a 3-bike rack with prongs designed to rest the bike frame on. With a lot of effort I’ve managed 5 unicycles of varying sizes and a Penny Farthing on one.

Here’s a photo of 4 uni’s on the back of my bug using a Thule Parkway trailer hitch.

I really like the supports used on the Parkway. They cradle the rim really well. With a little bit of work, I was able to get 5 wheeled vehicles on this rack.

A little off topic, but does anyone use a roof rack for their 36er? A friend has a roof rack he can give me, but I would need to buy the bar for the roof of my car to connect it to. I usually just throw my 36er in the backseat of my car, but it would be nice to be able to secure a bike and a unicycle up top.

I like the Thule Big Mouth for transporting uni’s on the roof rack. I just put the seatpost in the clamp and the wheel sits in the runner just like a bike. Just a tip… set it up so the wheel is in front. That way you won’t get bug guts all over the top of your saddle.

Unicycle car rack redux

It seems to be a few years since this came up.

Does anyone have a recommendation for a car rack that will carry a few unicycles. I had a trailer hitch receptical installed on my car planning on getting a good bicycle rack that would fold out of the way when I load or unload the car. Yakima has a good one for that. I sure with enough bungy cords or straps that I could make unicycles secure.

My family bicycles and unicycles. This rack works perfect for both, will carry up to four cycles, and requires no extra straps to secure a uni.

It folds down and will also fold out for trunk or tailgate access.

Excellent thanks for the tip.


Consider looking on craigslist for one of those Thule racks. Save some cash.

I just had a 2" HiddenHitch receiver installed on my Jeep Wrangler so now I am in the market for a bike rack to haul my 36er and I’m trying to decide between these four:
Thule’s 954 RidgeLine is steel and a lot heavier (doesn’t bother me) than the aluminum Helium line from Thule. This one looks good on paper but who knows how it’s strap system will adapt to a uni.
This is the DoubleDown that Nurse Ben settled on. I would be interested to hear how that is working out for you, Ben.
My LBS only carries Saris racks. He told me Saris had the best (longest warrantied) straps. I went in and mounted (this one comes with a stand to display uni when not in use) my wheel on their display model. It’s a really nice rack but, in the end, all of them are made for bicycles so a uni will fit but nothing is going to be ideal. I’m concerned putting anything “between the spokes” for fear of bending or loosening them. The arms and straps fit OK but that Jeep bounces around on all terrain so some of the weight might end up on the spokes.
As Roger said, UDC UK sells a rack for a heck of a lot cheaper.

So which one do you guys use? Please chime in and help me decide. The three major brands all cost well over $300. I’ve already spent $90 on the hitch receiver. What is a good cargo (KH36G + N36 Impulse = $) to “cost of vehicle rack” ratio?

Update! This rack will also carry a 36 with a handlebar with no problems!

are the straps long enough to go around the tire?

Thank you for your reply. If I could trouble you for a little more info I’m leaning toward this model with the only thing holding me back being that my LBS only carries Saris for me to test mount in the store and the straps were just barely long enough to go around my NightRider (certainly not long enough for Ben’s friend Larry) tire. How long are the straps on the Thule? Can you describe, in detail, exactly how you would go about mounting it? My Jeep has a lift kit so it is tall enough that I could probably leave the frame to dangle and sway upside down (seat/handle pointing to the ground) or even better with the frame strapped into one of the “anti-sway” straps. But, on a normal car, I would think you are mounting it seat up and leaning to one side or another.

P.S. have you ever bent or damaged a spoke when transporting your 36er?

I am out of town at the moment, and my 36 is in pieces until my new tube and tire arrives, but I did take a few pictures of my 24 mounted, which I will post later today or tomorrow.

I have the thule two bike hitch rack, can’t remember the name, but it has four cradles and a center stand with two hooks. It works great for tires up to 2.5", larger tires require a longer strap or a bungee cord. I use bungees at the seat post to hold the unis to the center stand/hooks.

Big enough for two 36er on each side or two 26er munis per side.

It’s heavy, all steel.

I am going to have a rack made, 6000 series aluminum, single upright rising from the draw bar, a lower lateral bar with three trays, upper later bar with padded straps. So the unis will run in tandem, enough room to pull one out without distrubing the others. This is the one I’ll use on the back on my Scamp camper :slight_smile:

I’m glad I stumbled upon this thread. My wife and I have one car and it’s pretty easy to over pack, so the roof rack comes in handy. HOWEVER, the bike rack we have is a fork mount only and the rear wheel strap is too short to fit my fat trials tire.

If only there was a roof rack for uni’s? :sunglasses:

there are roof racks and hitch racks that use bike carriers which grab bicycle fork tips. I made something for the T7 bars, I can make something similar for the shadow, and I’m working on things that attach to the seat post and rear bumpers… I think there’s a market.