12/07/2024

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Thule Spare Me Spare Tire Bike Rack

3 min read
Thule Spare Me Spare Tire Bike Rack

When you start bicycling usually you begin by your home. But when you get more serious about biking you might want to ride in different areas. That means you will probably need to get a bike rack for your vehicle to open up your bicycling opportunities.

There are many types of bike racks and they all work well but it depends on what type of vehicle you have. There are racks that attach to the trunk or rear hatch of a car. There are racks that attach to the roof of your vehicle (these racks offer more versatility for other items such as skis or cargo but can be rather expensive). Also there are bike racks that attach to receiver hitches. These racks are very convenient because you can remove them easily after use but you must have a receiver hitch to use this type. Again that adds expense. And if you have a pickup they also make bike racks for the bed of the truck.

The type that I have been using for the last couple of seasons is the type that attach to the spare tire of my vehicle. These types of Bike Racks only work if you have a spare tire on the back of your vehicle. Usually these vehicles are SUV’s. And my vehicle is a Jeep Wrangler so this was the type of bike rack that I decided to purchase. Specifically I purchased the Thule Spare Me bike rack. It attaches with a plate that goes behind the spare tire and has a threaded square tube that holds the rack in place. Then a lockable bolt tightens the rack against the tire and keeps it from falling off the end. The rack also folds down when not in use to keep it out of the way.

I have been satisfied the this bike rack since I purchased it a few years back. I have no complaints, it has served it’s purpose and it does exactly what it is supposed to. But I wish I had bought a receiver hitch bike rack. I already had a receiver hitch on my Jeep and the spare me bike rack adds extra weight to the spare tire that was not designed to support extra weight. I must note I haven’t seen any problems with the spare tire on my truck but I’m still a little concerned. Also if I sell my vehicle and buy something without a spare tire on the back of it the bike rack will no longer be of use to me. If I had bought a receiver hitch bike rack I could move it around from vehicle to vehicle (assuming they have a receiver hitch). The other reason I wish I have bought a receiver hitch bike rack is the number of bikes you can get on the rack. The spare tire bike racks are limited to two bikes.

You can get versions of receiver hitch bike racks that can hold 3, 4 or even 5 bikes. It’s not that big of a deal when you are bicycling by yourself but when you start hanging out with other bicyclists it is nice to be able to get more bikes on your bike rack for getting away from your usual bike rides. I would also suggest getting a receiver bike rack that fits both Class 2 and Class 3 hitches. You cannot get Class 3 hitches for all vehicles and if also makes it easier to move the hitch to other vehicles, such as your friends car because it’s their turn to drive.

Some other issues to keep in mind when using bike racks. First when you have 2 or more bikes on you bike rack they will probably rub together and scratch you bikes. There are accessories that will help you keep your bicycles away from each other but I have not used them “yet”. And second, some smaller mountain bikes will not fit on your bike rack. But don’t make the same mistake I did and go get a bigger bike to fit on the bike rack. They make what is called a “bike beam” that goes from the handle bar stem to the seat post. The only downside to the bike beam is your bicycle will move more but it does what it is designed to do. Make your bike fit on your bike rack.

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