Review of the Thule Apex 4 Hitch Bike Rack on a Toyota Corolla - etrailer.com
Today on our Toyota Corolla well be test fitting part #: th, the Thule Apex 4 bike carrier for both inch and quarter and 2 inch hitches. This bike rack is capable of being used in a class 1 hitch, however, if using in a class 1 hitch you are limited to only 2 bikes. To begin our test fit well install the bike rack shank into the hitch, well pull the integrated locking hitch pin and while our shank is sliding into the hitch, the pin will engage the hitch pinhole. With the hitch pin secured, we can go ahead and tighten down our anti-rattle knob securing the bike rack to the vehicle. And now we can give you a few measurements. Our ground clearance with this bike rack is 11 inches and from the closest point of the bike rack to the back of the vehicle is 5 inches. Well now go ahead and pull the hitch switch at the bottom of the bike rack to tilt the mast down out of the way where we can then open our trunk. And as you can see, we can gain full cargo access with this bike rack.
We can now pull the hitch switch at the top of the bike rack to bring the cradle arms out, well undo the straps on the cradles to expose them, we can then set the bike into the cradles and bring the straps around securing it to our bike rack. And there you have it, in those few easy steps our bike is loaded and were ready to hit the road. And that completes our test fit of the Thule Apex 4 bike carrier part #: th on our Toyota Corolla.
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Bike Carrier / Bike Racks for Toyota Corolla Touring Sports ( onwards)
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Toyota Corolla Touring Sports ( onwards)
Toyota Corolla Touring Sports ( onwards)
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We would like to have a " hitch installed on our Toyota Avalon to be used only to carry 2 bikes on a Thule XT T2 Bike carrier. Our mechanic says we can, NAPA dealer says hitches are available for the car, husband says there is nothing under the car to attach it to.
Is this a good or bad idea and is there enough support under the Avalon to do this?
Assuming your Avalon has a tow rating, of course you can attach a hitch. If it’s going to be used for a pair of bikes with total weight of 70 lbs for example, that should not exceed any tongue weight limit. Would hubby concede if the dealer said OK ? IMO, hitch bike mounts are much more secure than trunk mounted bike racks and I prefer them.
There’s no reason not to use a hitch rack, but I find myself wondering…have you considered a roof rack?
I see lots of Corollas and Camry’s with hitches used for bike racks. Twenty years ago I did not mind lifting a bike up on a roof rack; now, like many others, I prefer a less strenuous lift on to a rear mounted rack.
Agree that trunk mounted rack raise havoc with the trunk lid, and should only be used for very short distances.
With a roof rack one must remember the low clearance…many have cleaned off their bikes going into a parking garage…
True. But on the other hand, four riding buddies of mine were headed down the highway and the rack fell off the back with the bikes attached…two Kleins, one Litespeed, and one Fat Chance. $$$$$$$$$$$$$
Thanks for all the comments - I forgot to mention that the Avalon manual explicitly says “Toyota does not recommend the installation of a tow hitch or the use of a tow hitch carrier for a wheelchair, scooter, bicycle, etc. Your Toyota is not designed for trailer towing or for the use of tow hitch mounted carriers”. That is why my husband says nothing to attach it to, they didn’t design it that way.
I agree with the roof mount, I could not lift the bikes up - and I am familiar with the driving into the garage with the bikes on top!
We had an aftermarket hitch on a different car, and found ground clearance loss a problem in certain driveways and places. Not that I would take it off, but if your wife does the heebbie jeebies like mine every time we scrape be forewarned.
What do you have for bikes? If they’re dime store bikes they’re probably in the 40 pound range. But you can get some good bikes at the bike stor for under $ each that would be closer to the 20 pound range. Perhaps they’d be easier to hoist up onto a rack? You can stop by the bike store and try one.
One other idea: if the rear seat backs go down, you should be able to drop the front wheels (they should have quick-releases), turn the handlebars 90 degrees, and load everything in. Any shop can show you how to release the calipers and loosen the QRs. I’ve put bikes in cars that way.
I forgot to mention that the Avalon manual explicitly says “Toyota does not recommend the installation of a tow hitch or the use of a tow hitch carrier for a wheelchair, scooter, bicycle, etc. Your Toyota is not designed for trailer towing or for the use of tow hitch mounted carriers”. That is why my husband says nothing to attach it to, they didn’t design it that way.
Maybe I missed the answer, but
Regardless of what the manual says…what does the Toyota dealership service department say ?
I know dime store bikes have a bad rep, but if the bearings are re-packed, and some shimano derailers are installed, and good tires what the heck. Depending on the terrain of course. is there no rear bumper on this car that you can bolt a rack too?
My feeling is; you don’t want to mess with the bumpers. They are not bumpers in the traditional sense and not made for vertical loads and are made more of energy absorbing material than structural components.
Very strange, fairmac. My Toyota Corolla, a lot smaller car has a lb TOW rating, and allows a lb weight on the hitch! That would easily hold 2 bikes. I see many cars much smaller than yours with those hitch mounted bike carriers.
Th Avalon must be unique in that respect.
Well, our Toyota dealer says they put " hitches on all the time, the parts guy said he even pulls a small trailer with his Camry. So we are set to have one installed. Thanks for all the help!
As to whether or not this is a good idea, I don’t think it is. My reason is that I don’t think this is worth the expense of a trailer hitch installation. There are so many good bike racks out there that don’t require the additional expense of a trailer hitch. Find a good bicycle shop and look through their catalogs. I bet you can find the right bike rack and not face the hassle and expense of installing a trailer hitch.
If you already had a trailer hitch, I would say “go for it,” but since you will only be using the hitch for the bike rack, just get a bike rack that doesn’t require a hitch.
Dime store bikes are great for the occasional rider, especially around town or at the beach. For those purposes spending hundreds of dollars would be foolish. My only point was that bike store bikes might be light enough for the OP to load them on a roof rack, solving the transport problem.
Almost all dime store bikes have Shimano drivetrains. Shimano makes all levels of gear, from kids’ stuff to pro stuff, and has 90% of the bike market including the dime store bikes. They’re also one of the largest fishing gear manufacturers in the world and that industry provides more of their revenue than bikes do.
Good friend of mine tore the roof rack off his roof and did about $ in damage to his Subaru when he went into a parking garage with bikes on his roof.
I use to have a roof rack also…Now have a hitch bike carrier (which also can tow). Much easier to use…
While a Toyota hitch is fine…Check out a place that sells trailers. They usually install hitches also. Reese and Draw-tite are about the best you can get. And they do make hitches for your vehicle…and probably a lot cheaper then the dealer hitch.
The problem for me as a avid bicycler for years, is that I’ve yet to find a trunk bike rack or roof rack since the demise of gutters, that is as study as receiver hitch rack.
Mine all pass the “bar dip” test. Full body weight, one bar dip. No trunk mounted rack will do that. Granted, a car " won’t be as strong, but give me bolt mounting and not strap tighteners every time.
Now that we “finally” know the dealer we gladly install one suitable for trailers, I vote go for it. Forget the bike and cost of hitch, it’s as much the car following behind I’m concerned for. Besides, when not used, put one of those cool propellers on back…
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Toyota CorollaBike Racks
Stop struggling with your bike! We know you've been trying to get it into the back of your van, SUV, truck bed, and even your car. RealTruck carries bike racks and hitch bike racks from the top brands you've come to trust like Curt Hitch, Highland, SoftRide and Lund. Hitch bike racks fit onto the front or rear of your vehicle, providing you with the ability to carry up to four bikes! Don’t worry about rear access to your vehicle. Many of our bike carrier models include a feature that allow you to easily remove the hitch rack and gain access to the rear of your vehicle after unloading your bikes. RealTruck also carries bike rack carriers that mount on the roof of your car, truck, van or SUV. These allow you to load your bicycle upright and transport it while keeping cargo space open in your vehicle. Added features on our bikes racks include rubber stops to reduce sway, single piece trays for support, folding arms for stowing while not in use, and locking knobs for security on select models.
Corolla bike toyota rack hitch
Best Hitch-Mount Bike Racks For
A hitch-mount rack system is the most convenient way to haul bicycles if your vehicle has a tow hitch. They’re easier to load than rooftop alternatives, won’t raise the vehicle’s height clearance and can haul up to six bikes at a time. Hitch-mounted bike racks fall into two different categories: platform and hanging. Platform models are more stable while hanging racks provide more carrying capacity.
Platform racks transport bikes by securing the tires in wheel cradles and the top of the tires or frame to an adjustable arm. This eliminates potential abrasion of the bike’s finish. Platform racks do better carrying heavy bikes (such as cruisers or e-bikes), those with step-though frames and full-suspension mountain bikes. They generally cost more. Hanging racks suspend bikes by their frames, which creates for increased carrying capacity. They’re easier to mount and unmount and generally less expensive. Disadvantages include potential damage from frame-to-frame contact. Also, hanging racks can’t accommodate heavier bikes or those with unusual frames.
The selections below include a combination of platform and hanging styles suited for a wide range of needs and budgets. Here are five of the best hitch-mounted bike carriers:
Best Overall: Thule T2 Pro XT
Why We Picked It:
Thule’s T2 Pro XT model is the most versatile and ergonomic hitch-mount rack for hauling up to two bikes at a time. An intuitive tilt release mechanism lowers the system to the ground to allow for trunk and hatchback access. Robust ratcheting arms and wheel clamps function to secure bikes in place. What sets the T2 Pro XT apart from its competitors is the ability to haul a vast array of two-wheelersincluding fat bikeswithout adapters.
- Built-in robust locking system; optional two-bike add-on accessory
- Carries two pound bikes with ease; fits tires up to five inches wide
- Fits 2-inch and inchhitch receivers; features tool-free attachment and removal
- Heavy at 51 pounds
- Some assembly required
Best For Hauling Many Bikes: Yakima Hang Over 6
Why We Picked It:
Yakima’s Hang Over 6 hitch-mounted rack is the most secure way to transport up to six bikes at a time. Especially suited for gravity trail and enduro riders, it hauls mountain bikes with ease. The vertical carrying tower takes up minimal space and has two pedal-operated tilt angles that enable users to adjust the bikes’ distance from the vehicle. It holds bikes in place by the rear tire and fork base and offers easy rear vehicle access.
- Huge carrying capacity; adjustable mast heights optimize ground clearance
- No handlebar/seat post interference
- Built to last; robust construction
- Only works with suspension forks; low weight limit of pounds per bike
- Heavy; not easy to transport and store
- Fits 2-inch hitches only
Best Budget 4-Bike Carrier: AllenSports Deluxe 4
Why We Picked It:
The AllenSports Deluxe hitch mount rack offers the best combination of price (about $) and security for hauling four bikes together. Installation is simple: secure four bolts and position the pound rack into place. Two arms feature four sets of padded cradles that rotate as needed for hauling a wide variety of bikes. While the rack must first be unloaded, the pin-locking tilt mechanism swings down, making it easy to grab gear from the rear.
- Great price tag for a rack that carries four bikes
- Folding carry arms ensure a low profile when not in use
- Easy mounting and un-mounting process
- No security features included
- Frame contact carry and minimal space between bikes may require purchasing extra equipment to securely fit and transport bikes
- Fits 2-inch hitches only
Best Budget 2-Bike Carrier: MaxxHaul
Why We Picked It:
The $90 MaxxHaul 2-Bike Carrier is a convenient way to haul up to two bikes at once without breaking the bank. Adjustable, padded hooks and tire cradles fit bikes with 20” 26” wheels. Quick knobs allow for proper positioning of multiple bikes along the horizontal arms. This product also includes a hitch tightener, which serves to reduce vibration and wobbling when you’re on the move.
- Easy installation and tool-free assembly
- Vertical post is removable, making for easy storage
- Affordable; one of the most consumer-reviewed products available for under $
- Fits 2-inch hitches only.
- Limits rear vehicle access.
Best for inch Hitch Receivers: Kuat Racks Sherpa
Why We Picked It:
The Sherpa is solidly built for smaller vehicles with inch hitch receivers. It holds two bikes, 80 pounds combined, with to inch wheels and tires up to 3 inches wide. The bikes rest on trays, then secure with ratcheting hook arms (front wheels) and plastic straps (rears). Locks are included for the hitch and bikes. It’s not cheap at $plus, but cheaper than Kuat’s top-line NV system. There’s a separate Sherpa model bike rack for cars with 2-inch hitches ( is the rack version for both carriers, not hitch size).
- Quickly tilts away when SUV tailgate opens, folds up for no-bikes travel
- Light (34 pounds) versus the competition
- Well-made Kuat adapter D ($15) fits rack to 2-inch hitch receivers
- Included bike lock is best for rest stops not overnight security
- Clear setup guide but challenging setup (blind-threading two inch bolts onto hidden nuts)
- Two-bike add-on works only on Sherpa with 2-inch hitch connector
- Patented design fits sedans, hatchbacks, minivans, and SUV's consult manufacturer web site for specific vehicle fit information
- Side straps for increased lateral stability. Single configuration design eliminates setup hassles and headaches during installation
- Individual tie downs secure and protect bicycles
- Includes two foam-padded hooks to secure and stabilize bikes to the rack without scratching bike's finish. Hooks and tire cradles adjust to fit most bikes frames with 20" to 26" wheel sizes
- Vertical post can be quickly removed for compact storage
- Bike tire cradles can be adjusted along horizontal bars using quick knobs for convenience and includes rubber straps for added stability.Material:Steel
- 4 bike rack fits vehicles with a 2 inch trailer hitch only. Vehicle will require professionally installed Class III or IV 2 inches hitch to use this product
- 22 inch long carry arms individually secure bicycles with Allen's patented tie down system
- Rack sets up and installs in less than 5 minutes; Included no wobble bolt secures rack inside of receiver hitch with a movement free installation
- Verify product compatibility with vehicle
- Customer must supply all mounting hardware
- Assembler will not install vehicle hitch
- Space Saving Indoor Bike Storage :: Featuring an innovative low-impact stand design, the Michelangelo 2 bike rack garage simply leans against the wall and uses gravity to secure up to 2 bicycles.
- Hassle-Free Assembly :: The Michelangelo garage bike rack takes minimal effort and expertise to install, all you need is a screwdriver. Assembly hardware and a wall strap is included to create a secure wall bike rack in minutes.
- Fully Adjustable Bicycle Storage :: Arms accommodate any bike size or style, up to 40lbs. Support arms are repositioned with a simple twist, no tools needed, which means this rack is easy to adjust once assembled.
Forbes Wheels reviewed dozens of hitch-mounted bike carriers for features and capabilities. We focused on options designed to carry different quantities of bikes and fit a variety of hitch sizes. We narrowed the field to companies with strong reputations in the auto accessory market and a high quantity of positive consumer reviews.
Prices range from under $ to $, not including accessories. We tested five hitch-mounted bike carriers and rated them for carrying capacity, versatility, ease of installation and loading, hitch receiver requirements and security features. We also compared them for price-performance.
FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)
Why should I get a trailer hitch bike rack over a roof-mount rack?
Hitch racks are ideal for hauling more than two bikes. The loading process is easier and doesn’t require overhead lifting. For tow-hitch equipped vehiclesespecially those that have other rooftop accessoriesa hitch-mount bike rack is the way to go.
How do I know if the bike rack fits my hitch?
The hitch receiver is the square black steel tube under the back of a hitch-equipped vehicle. It’s what the trailer hitch (ball) attaches to. Take the hitch ball off. Measure the inside of the tube. It’s either inches square or inches square. Many racks come in separate models for the two hitch sizes.
Can I use a hitch rack on a vehicle with a different size hitch receiver?
In short, yes. There are to-2 and 2-to adapters in case you want to fit the rack to different vehicles, or you got the wrong hitch. Check first for an adapter from the rack maker.
Can I get in trouble if my rack obscures my license plate?
Its unlikely but yes it could happen. Hitch-mount bike racks and the bikes can obscure a vehicle’s license plate (or a tail lamp), which is an infraction in many states. (Recreationalist-friendly Utah is an exception.) States generally allow police to stop, then ticket for anything that obscures a license plate or makes it unreadable, including grease or road grime. (Police could use an obscured plate as a pretext stop to check for other illegal behavior.) Bike racks are not the only possible plate-obscuring culprit: A license plate could be obscured by a trailer hitch, a trailer, a wheelchair-carrier, or a hitch-mount luggage rack. It’s possible to buy license plate extenders and light boards; one could also place a color photocopy of the plate in the rear window. One cyclist says overworked cops don’t see a person with a $ rack and $1, bike as a likely bad guy.
Would a roof-rack bike carrier suit me better?
Roof-mount carriers are better to use on cars with low heights and those without hitch receivers, especially if you’re only carrying two bikes, if you need easy trunk or hatch access, or if you’ve already got a cargo carrier or trailer attached to the hitch receiver.
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Light sarafan rose to the waist.
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