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      03-24-2011, 11:25 AM   #1
halohead52
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BMW Bicycle Rack

Has anyone used the BMW bicycle rack? In particular, I'm interested in how the advertised "lifter" works, and whether it works well--thanks!
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      03-24-2011, 12:09 PM   #2
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I have no experience with the specific rack you mention, though I have seen it. The lifter mechanism seems unecessary IMHO, unless you are a tiny/short woman or have an unusually tall vehicle. I'm more about simplicity.

I have tried the "race cycle" rack, which requires the BMW base plus the race-cycle attachment. The bike mounts by removing the front wheel and using the fork. It's a pretty low-clearance design (due to wheel removal), which seems to work well. I traded it out for a custom hitch and rack.

My solution was to have a custom hitch built by Master Hitch for my 325i. It's a modification to a hitch designed specifically for the 325xi. The modification involved forming a bend somehow, not sure if by cutting or welding, to accomodate a slight difference between the i and xi model. The hitch rack I installed is the Yakima Holdup, which desirably holds the bikes by the wheels, without contacting the frame. The rack folds up when not in use. When folded up, the top of the rack does not extend above the trunk.

I've toyed with adding the race-cycle rack again. An advantage of the race-cycle rack is having the bike aligned with the wind. With the hitch rack on the rear, the bike is oriented perpendicular to the wind. My TT bike catches alot of wind for that reason (a TT bike has alot of surface area in aero components like disc wheels and frame tubes).
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      03-25-2011, 11:30 AM   #3
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Interesting idea to do a custom job. Raising a bike above my head to get it onto the X3 would be difficult; requires more strength than I have. But like you I like the idea of having the bikes aligned with the wind. Plus, if I want to tow the boat *and* take the bikes....

The hitch rack is a good one and that may be the final plan. However, dealers will not now install a hitch on the 2011 X3, they don't know when they will be available, I don't really like the one they're using in Europe/UK. But it appears that the lifter is just a bar that attaches to the top of the bike and swings up and down--for ~$400! Each! Maybe I can get a custom lifter made....?
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      04-01-2011, 10:43 AM   #4
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This thread got me re-interested in the BMW Race Cycle rack. I recall thinking it was a little too conspicuous when my car was new, but now that I have 80k miles on it I was open to the changed appearance.

So, I bought it with the intent of replacing my hitch rack. However, I got halfway thru installing it before I realized it won't work for me. One significant reason (but not the only reason) is that the strap used to secure the rear wheel is inferior by today's standards. It's a flimsy little nylong strap with a metal buckle, which are very awkward to use compared with today's standard ratcheting straps found on Yakima and Thule racks. The rack base crossbars were also quite bulky. The manual advised removing the rack when not in use, and that it would negatively affect fuel consumption. My overall impression is this is not the rack for a cyclists who regularly and continuously uses a bike rack throughout the year. This would be a better rack for a recreational cyclist who does not transport a bike frequently, or a cyclist who only occasionally uses this particular vehicle to transport his bike.

I am returning this and looking at a Yakima or Thule rack system. But those are quite an investment, probably costing upwards of $500 depending on options.
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      04-02-2011, 05:36 PM   #5
rs6655
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This is the Yakima HoldUp 2 on my 2009. I couldn't be happier. I can't imagine BMW not providing a hitch for the new X3's soon.
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      04-04-2011, 12:46 PM   #6
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That's actually my current rack. It's a great rack, probably the best I've owned. Except on my 325 it sorta' obscures the license plate and doesn't look all that great.
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      04-04-2011, 09:24 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rs6655 View Post
This is the Yakima HoldUp 2 on my 2009. I couldn't be happier. I can't imagine BMW not providing a hitch for the new X3's soon.
This is exactly what I need. Thanks for posting the picture!
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