Car Rack advice for Specialized Como on a Subaru Forester

emilyb

New Member
Hi all – New poster, happy e-biker of the past two years. My bike is a Specialized Como 2.0 and I'm finally getting around to buying a rack to transport it on my 2012 Subaru Forester. But I'm finding the choices sort of overwhelming and I hope that someone on this forum might be able to advise me on what to get. Some parameters:
  • The car's receiver hitch is 1 1/4"; the bike is about 50 lbs. Is the size of the tires something I need to take into consideration?
  • I will only need to carry this one bike. Is it true that most racks are for two bikes anyway?
  • Are there models that make it easier to lift the bike on and off? I'm kind of a weakling.
  • I'd also be willing to pay more money for a rack that is easy to take on and off the car...I won't be doing this very often, and I can see myself forgetting how to do it in between times.
Thanks so much for any recommendations you can share!

Emily
 

Sierratim

Well-Known Member
We have two Vados and use the Thule Easyfold XT2 rack. It has a folding ramp that eliminates lifting the bike up onto the rack. An extended version of the ramp is also available, but you probably won't need it for a Forester. As fas as I know, it is the only rack with a ramp that can carry heavier ebikes.

It is rated to carry 2 bikes up to 65lbs each. It will drop out of the way of the rear hatch, even with bikes loaded. It folds and rolls away for storage. It comes ready to go for a 1.25" receiver and has a 2x1-1/4" hitch adapter in the kit. It attached to the receiver with a toolless clamp.

The main disadvantage? It is a bit on the pricey side.

Most racks carry up to 2 bikes. A few are available for a single bike but the weight rating becomes an issue for some. The Thule T1 is rated for up to a 60lb bike so it would do it for you, but no ramp.
 

Over50

Well-Known Member
Hi all – New poster, happy e-biker of the past two years. My bike is a Specialized Como 2.0 and I'm finally getting around to buying a rack to transport it on my 2012 Subaru Forester. But I'm finding the choices sort of overwhelming and I hope that someone on this forum might be able to advise me on what to get. Some parameters:
  • The car's receiver hitch is 1 1/4"; the bike is about 50 lbs. Is the size of the tires something I need to take into consideration?
  • I will only need to carry this one bike. Is it true that most racks are for two bikes anyway?
  • Are there models that make it easier to lift the bike on and off? I'm kind of a weakling.
  • I'd also be willing to pay more money for a rack that is easy to take on and off the car...I won't be doing this very often, and I can see myself forgetting how to do it in between times.
Thanks so much for any recommendations you can share!

Emily

Is the receiver hitch dealer installed? If so, beware. Particularly any Thule product. I posted of this extensively here. Me, not knowing anything of hitches: I took my 2015 Forester to my Subaru dealer and had them install their hitch (1.25"). Their showroom display is littered with Thule products. I had purchased the Thule Easyfold. Well, there was a bit too much play in the rack for my liking so I consulted the trusty Thule instructions. They clearly say to not use their heavier, hitch mounted racks, if your hitchpin hole is not a minimum of 1.5" deep into the receiver. The dealer-installed hitch had the hitchpin hole about .25" into the receiver. I returned to the dealer. It was the first they had heard of this. I opened a ticket with Subaru and they concluded it was a Thule problem. I went to my LBS and they immediately said "oh sure, that was a bulletin that Thule issued awhile back - you can't use the Easyfold with that hitch". The Subaru dealer said it was the only hitch they sell/install. So I went the after-market route. I had to pay the dealer to uninstall their hitch and install a 2" hitch that I purchased from eTrailer. Very costly overall but I'm happy now using the Kuat 2.0. Folks on this forum will tell you the Kuat doesn't work with fenders. It is a myth and I can post plenty of pictures with the Kuat and my 2015 Forester. I sold the Easyfold. It was also a very good rack but I prefer the Kuat because it folds up against the tailgate when not in use. I think you can also get a ramp that will allow you roll the bike up.
 

Sierratim

Well-Known Member
Good point re the distance to the hitchpin hole. The Thule manual does call out the 1.5" minimum distance from the face of the receiver to the hitchpin hole. This wasn't an issue for our Outback as we'd installed an aftermarket 2" receiver by Torklift to be compatible with our other rack and towing accessories.

Pays to download the manual before buying I suppose.
 

vincent

Well-Known Member
If you need to have the hitch put on i would highly recommend getting a 2 inch hitch from etrailer and NOT get a subaru hitch, my 2018 came with the subaru stock 1.25 hitch and i think it is junk

also a 1.25 will limit you on most racks weight carrying where a 2 inch will not
If i did not plan to get rid of the car pretty soon i would pull the subaru hitch off and put on an etrailer 2 inch
 

FezUSA

Member
We have two vehicles, one with a 2" and one with a 1.25" receiver. I wanted a carrier for 2 ebikes that would fit both receivers. I also need to be able to carry both a 20x4 wheel step-thru bike and a 26x4 wheel bike, which complicates things a little. The Thule was the one that made the shortlist, except good look finding one in stock!! The good news was that the Curtis receiver hitch for car #2 does have the pin hole set far enough back for the Thule, so it would work. However I've just ordered the Motow carrier along with the lift!! The basic carrier met all of my needs, the manufacturer took the time to discuss the specifics of fitting the different wheel sizes and also wheelbases, as well as providing both a 1.25" stinger and 2". The lift, while not cheap, will make it really easy to get the bikes on/off too. And the cost isn't that different from the Thule if you also spring for the longer loading ramp. All I'm missing are the locking abilities. I opted for the non-motorized lift as having my 5/16" drill with the vehicle is not an issue.

I know others on the forum have the Motow, so they can probably chime in with direct experience. The carrier + lift is 50lbs. The two bikes without batteries are 110lbs. So total is still under the 200lb rating limit on the receiver.

Check them out. https://motowus.com If you go with just the carrier you'll be saving money, using a US made product, and it's in stock!!

Mine should be here within the week, so can't yet comment on use.
 

vincent

Well-Known Member
Forgot about the motow, if I was really using my hitch rack much would totally go for one of those
Good suggestion

keep us updated on how you like it