Fat Tire Bike Hitch Comparo: Saris, Hollywood and Thule

Gregory Benner

New Member
After purchasing my Rad Mini last fall, I looked for an platform hitch suitable for the fat tires. I initially purchased the Saris Freedom 2, with the extra fat tire wheel holders. I found it to work very well, easy to load and secure. It is rated for up to 60 lbs, 5 lbs less than my Mini. I decided this was not crucial, and have experienced no issues.

A couple weeks ago, we purchased another EBke, very similar to the Rad Mini, the E-Lux Sierra. Both bikes have 20" tall, 4" wide fat tires They are similar, but the Rad has the battery vertical behind the seat post, whereas the E-Lux has it horizontal inside the cross tube. I found that mounting both bikes on the Saris to be be difficult. The main issue is that the wheel rails are only 9" apart, and both bikes are wide. The vertical tube on the Saris seemed to be in the way, Darn!

So, I decided to try something else. After a bit od research I got both the Hollywood Racks hitch and the Thule Easyfold XT2. Both of these are more robust (and more expensive) than the Saris.

The Thule hitch is easy to attach to the car, and very upscale in appearance (at its price point it should be). However, I found the same problem with the Thule as with the Saris, the rails too close together, 9". Also, what bothered me on the Thule is there are no wheel chocks. There are plastic tires straps which look robust, but that is all that stops the bike from rolling off the rack. Also, due to the configuration of my two bikes, it was very difficult to attach the top mounts. There are two of them, one for each bike, and though it seems like there would be a way to attach then to any bike configuration it didn't work for me. The first bike loaded is easy, securing the 2nd bike very fiddly.

The Hollywood Rack hitch is a little more difficult to put on the hitch receiver (more like a normal hitch), and it is more utilitarian than the Thule. However, the rails are a bit farther apart by maybe an inch or so, and the fat tire wheel chocks are wonderful in that no wheel straps are needed. Also the top mounts worked much better on my two bikes. It is priced in between the Saris and the Thule, and is the one I am keeping. I am returning the Thule, and the Saris will be for sale.

https://www.saris.com/product/freedom-2


https://hollywoodracks.com/collecti...t-rider-2-bike-hitch-rack?variant=15862462726


https://www.thule.com/en-us/us/bike-rack/hitch-bike-racks/thule-easyfold-xt-2-_-903202
 
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CodyDog

Well-Known Member
After purchasing my Rad Mini last fall, I looked for an platform hitch suitable for the fat tires. I initially purchased the Saris Freedom 2, with the extra fat tire wheel holders. I found it to work very well, easy to load and secure. It is rated for up to 60 lbs, 5 lbs less than my Mini. I decided this was not crucial, and have experienced no issues.

A couple weeks ago, we purchased another EBke, very similar to the Rad Mini, and E-Lux Sierra. Both biles have 20" 4" fat tires, and are similar, but the Rad has the battery vertical behind the seat post, whereas the E[Lux has it horizontal inside the cross tube. I found that mounting both bikes on the Saris to be be difficult. The main issue is that the wheel rails are only 9" apart, and both bikes are wide. The vertical tube on the Saris seemed to be in the way. Darn!

So, I decided to try something else. After a bit od research I got both the Hollywood Racks hitch and the Thule Easyfold XT2. Both of these are more robust (and more expensive) than the Saris.

The Thule hitch is easy to attach to the car, and very upscale in appearance (at its price point it should be). However, I found the same problem the Thule as with the Saris, the rails to close together, 9". Also, what bothered me on the Thule is there are no wheel chocks. There are plastic tires straps which look robust, but that is all that stops the bike from rolling off the rack. Also, due to the configuration of my two bikes, it was very difficult to attach the top mounts. The first bike loaded is easy, securing the 2nd bike very fiddly.

The Hollywood Rack hitch is harder to put on the car, and it is more utilitarian than the Thule. However, the rails are a bit farther apart by maybe an inch or so, and the fat tire wheel chocks are wonderful in that no wheel straps are needed. Also the top mounts worked much better on my two bikes. It is priced in between the Saris and the Thule. It is the one I am keeping. I am returning the Thule, and the Saris will be for sale.

https://www.saris.com/product/freedom-2


https://hollywoodracks.com/collecti...t-rider-2-bike-hitch-rack?variant=15862462726


https://www.thule.com/en-us/us/bike-rack/hitch-bike-racks/thule-easyfold-xt-2-_-903202

Gregory: Thanks for posting. You have saved me a great deal of time. I'm going to buy the Hollywood rack.
 

Gregory Benner

New Member
After reading my initial post, I thought I might add a few more comments.

The Thule rack had several really nice features, lighter weight, a unique and easy to use hitch pin concept makes putting it the receiver easier. I am 70, and don't leave the hitch in full time, so this was an issue to me. It is also easier to lower if the bikes are loaded and in the way of a rear hatch (such as our Honda Oddyssey). I really wanted this one to work, and it probably would with some other two bike combinations. Downside is the wheel straps, easy to get dirt/grease on your hands when fastening/unfastening (one strap traded thru right by the chain). If it's good characteristics appeal to you, I'd suggest making sure you can return it if it doesn't work (love Amazon).

The Hollywood rack is heavier, and there are "quick release" pins for the upright post as well as folding it up when no bikes are in. Its just all basic steel, meaning heavier (and heavy duty). I seem to always get some dirt/grease on me, need to wear some gloves when loading.What I like most is that there are really no straps or other ties downs required (I do use a couple bungee cords, but they are not needed).

I think a really good solution would be for someone to space the two rails further apart. 9" (Saris and Thule) is pretty tight for 60 pound E bikes, particularly if you have racks, side bags, etc. The Hollywood is 10", 12" would be a bit better perhaps.

I'll post a couple pics when I load it next (we're having record heat today in SoCal, but Oceanside is only low 80s which I can handle (lol). Will stay local today.
 

NickHark

New Member
I have two Haibike XDURO Fat 6.0s and I want to take them places to ride. I have a 2017 Volt and I can't attach a a trailer hitch that will hold two 44lb bikes (sans batteries). I purchased a Seasucker Mini Bomber bike rack and I am sure it will work, even though I haven't used it yet, since I am still learning how to ride my bike since I've had it for two months, only. Seasucker's rating is 45 lbs for each bike. Check out the videos on YouTube (search Seasucker) and I think you will be amazed at how well they work.
 

vincent

Well-Known Member
those haibikes must be a lot lighter than my fat bikes and you must be much stronger
no way i could lift my bikes on top of my car

but this is cool and might work for others
 

NickHark

New Member
Mine are 44lbs without the battery. They are heavy and it will take us both to get them mounted. We have folding stools that will help. We had to "Fork Up" which also makes it easier to just drop the fork on the front mount.
 

Gregory Benner

New Member
We all do what we have to. I agree with Vincent. If I tried to put my bikes on the roof, I'd end up scratching something sooner or later.
 

Gregory Benner

New Member
Thules are nice, the XP Pro looks good, if pricey. For me, the videos didn't help much since they are, by necessity based on two specific bikes, which may be slightly different than yours. Made a big difference for me. Until you load your bikes on the rack, no way to really know. Just make sure you can return it (love Amazon prime).

After several weeks of use, I would add that the Hollywood Racks, for my two 20" fat bikes, is perfect. What I have come to really like it I don't have to use any tie down straps on the wheels, like I did on the other racks. Feeding the strap thru the wheels looks super easy for the white glove lady in the Youtube (lol), but in reality is a good way to get grease/etx on my hands. Pretty minor, until I realized how nice it is not to have to do it. Incredibly easy to load and unload.
 

Alaskan

Well-Known Member
My Riese & Muller Nevo and Homage fit perfectly on the Thule Easyfold xt...very solid and secure. Another feature I really like is how secure the bikes are once clamped down and locked on the Easyfold.

20180722_115711.jpg

20180722_115711.jpg
 
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rockstarinlife

New Member
I really like that Thule EasyFold XT rack. I would get it if I didn't need to fit at least 4 bikes on it. My family keeps growing... haha

My Riese & Muller Novo and Homage fit perfectly on the Thule Easyfold xt...very solid and secure. Another feature I really like is how secure the bikes are once clamped down and locked on the Easyfold.
 

MetroDuck

Member
I had a friend recommend the Hollywood Ebike rack. He was referred by a LBS owner who said it is the brand he personally uses. The more robust ebike version will hold two bikes up to 60 lbs each. It is very similar to the OP photo but is a bit more hefty. It easily folds up and only extends 17 inches from the hitch receiver in this position. It went together very easily.

The thing I like best is that it specifically says it is engineered to carry only one bike using the outermost holder. What this means is that if I am just taking one bike I can bring it parallel to the holder lift up just the front wheel and set it in the holder. Then pick up the read of the bike and set it in the back holder. I can load and unload a single bike is less than one minute by myself, never having to lift up the whole weight of the bike. It is very easy. The bikes lock in rock solid.

Now for loading two bikes it really deserves having two people to load the second bike although it is pretty easy. I have never tried doing a second bike by myself but it is doable, I just would not prefer to try it unless necessary.
 

rockstarinlife

New Member
Here are the 3 racks I am now looking at:

Saris Superclamp EX 4 Bike Rack $469 for 2 bikes - $849 - $879 for 4 bikes (Says it works with fenders)

Thule T2 Pro XT 4 Bike Rack $462 for 2 bikes - $797 for 4 bikes (Doesnt work with fenders)

Hollywood Sport Rider Rack for Electric Bikes $431 for 2 bikes - $650 for 4 bikes (Works with fenders)

For those also looking at the Saris Superclamp, keep in mind that many reviews online are for the older model named the Saris Freedom Superclamp which is different.
 
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CodyDog

Well-Known Member
Here are the 3 racks I am now looking at:

Saris Superclamp EX 4 Bike Rack $849 - $879 (Says it works with fenders)

Thule T2 Pro XT 4 Bike Rack $797 (Doesnt work with fenders)

Hollywood Sport Rider Rack $650 (Works with fenders)

For those also looking at the Saris Superclamp, keep in mind that many reviews online are for the older model named the Saris Freedom Superclamp which is different.

My Hollywood ebike rack was for both a fat bike and standard and works with fenders but pricing was $459 versus $650. You can buy them from Rad Power Bikes on line and shipped in a week. A lot of other places were out of stock. Rad has it shipped directly to you from Hollywood Racks.

I highly recommend the rack. It folds up easily as well as tilts down for loading. Also has a “no wobble- no tools” hitch tightening system.

I would make sure the Sport Rider model rack can support heavy ebikes.
 
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rockstarinlife

New Member
The fat tire version (up to 5" tires) is $431 for 2 bikes for those with fat tires in case you are looking at it.

The Hollywood Rack I got was their Ebike rack which can handle tires up to 3" wide and bikes up to 80 lbs each. It also works with with bikes with fenders. I'm not sure why it was less but it was about $395 from both Amazon and direct from the manufacturer. Here is a link in case anyone is interested.

Hollywood bike rack for ebikes.
 
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