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Best bike racks for a Volvo XC60?

I'm trying to research different bike rack brands/styles that might be best for a Volvo XC 60, and wondering if you have any insight in that regard?  Hitch vs trunk mounts?  Thule vs Yakima?  

Thanks so much!

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5 Replies

@Nickb Thanks for reaching out!

There are a lot of factors that go into making the right choice for transporting your bike on your vehicle. We have a few questions that can help us narrow down the best option for you:

  • What kind of bike are you transporting? As an example, a heavier bike like a full-suspension mountain bike, fat tire bike, or an ebike will work better on a hitch mounted rack. A lightweight road bike could be just fine on a trunk rack. If you have a carbon fiber bike you will want to think about whether or not you want the rack to be touching the frame or if you want the rack to secure the bike by the wheel. Additionally, if your bike's top tube drops down significantly you may need to purchase an aftermarket adapter to make the bike fit on a trunk mounted bike rack.
  • How far are you planning on driving? The further and longer you drive the more secure you want your bike to be. A trunk mount could still work, you'll just want to make sure you check the straps often to make sure they are still taught.
  • How often will you be transporting your bike? If you are using your rack for a once-weekly ride and value the ability to put it on and remove it quickly then a trunk mounted rack may work better. If you are going to use it multiple times a week/day, as in driving your bike to a park and ride and then commuting from there, then a hitch mounted rack may be a better option.
  • What size hitch do you have? Most hitch racks come in 1.25" and 2" options, but some are only available in one size.

In terms of Thule and Yakima, both will give you similar options, features, performance, and quality. It really comes down to which style and specific feature set you like with each rack. If you're planning on adding any other car racks to your car, it is also worth considering whether you want them all to match in terms of brand and style.

If you have questions about specific bike rack models we'd be happy to answer them. Or if you want to fill in some details of what you're looking for we can assist there too!

Hopefully this helps, thanks!

At REI, we believe time outside is fundamental to a life well lived.
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I have a Yakima roof rack, a thule trunk mount, and just last year upgraded to the Thule XT Pro hitch mount. 

Without a doubt the hitch mount is FAR superior in terms of convenience and piece of mind. I would never recommend a trunk mount unless price is an issue. As for Yakima vs Thule, it is probably more of a coke or pepsi question but I liked the XT Pro the best in my research and have been happy so far. I  do not have the  2 bike add-on. If you need to carry 4 bikes that would concern me a bit as it doesn't get the best reviews.

I'm team hitch-mount: much more of a secure attachment to the vehicle (both in terms of not rattling around and for theft with a locking hitch pin, you can't lock a trunk rack and thieves can easily just cut the straps rather than cutting through metal), and not as much a pain to lift bikes up onto a roof-mount. Specifically, platform/tray style racks rather than hanging racks, because trying to thread multiple bikes frame triangles over the prongs of a hanging style is a huge PITA especially for mountain bikes with very sloped top tubes. The bikes are also less prone to swaying and usually there's no frame contact on a platform. Unfortunately, platform hitch racks are probably the most expensive kind...

As for brand, don't forget there's more than the big two! The Saris Bones might be the most popular trunk rack out there, and their hitch offerings aren't bad either. I have their Superclamp Ex4, which I can heartily recommend for it's 4-bike capacity, relative light weight that to me is even easier to take on/off the vehicle than fussing with trunk straps, and very compact design that means it doesn't block the rear window when folded up. They have a 2-bike version as well if you don't need to carry as many. Some other riders here in MN where I live swear by 1Up racks because their solid aluminum construction resists our road salt well. There's also Kuat as another big player I see a lot.

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I'm going to give a shorter answer than the others and just say you should go for a hitch mount. Thule vs Yakima is really just semantics, honestly, I use a cheapo from Harbor Freight and it functions just fine. I used to have a Yakima roof mount when I drove an Audi A4 (couldn't have a hitch) but boy, does the wind HOWL when you have a bike on top and are doing 70 MPH. It's really loud. The hitch is virtually silent, they're easy to remove to store. Wheels stay on. I wouldn't leave your hitch on if you street park. 

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@Nickb - If you are still undecided...I also prefer a hitch mount.  I had a cheap one for a while and well, you get what you pay for.  It rocked side to side somewhat and no way to mitigate it and having to clamp down the frame always concerned me.  I upgraded to a brand called 1 up...1up-usa.com.  They are much lighter and easier to manage than a Thule or Yakima but cost about the same.  Takes seconds to attach to hitch or remove, is very stable.  You can buy it as a single or add up to 3 additional units. The lock(s) are extra, but good insurance.   

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