I bought a new bike and the shop didnt feel comfortable using my carrier because it was shaky. I went home and tightened all the bolts (some were loose and I never checked them like an idiot) and I still have a little bit of play in it. It appears its where the tongue enters the hitch. It tilts left or right (slightly, MUCH more slightly than before) and I know its coming from the where the carrier enters the hitch.
Is this normal to have a little bit of play? I have no experience with items like this and a search of the site didnt return anything.
I have some silencing pad at work that Ive thought about using as a shim for the tongue of the carrier but I wasnt sure if that was even worth doing.
Last Edit: Mar 1, 2011 10:07:40 GMT -5 by bikerpanda
What brand and model of rack are we talking about? An $80 Performance Bike cheapie or a Thule/Yakima/etc?
My ONE and a 1/4" bike rack is an extremely stout Sportworks brand that I have owned for probably close to ten years. It is always on the back of my Explorer. Cranked down tight in the receiver hitch of my Explorer, it has side to side and up and down movement. It has had movement from day one, and now that it has seen 205k miles of traveling, it still moves quite a bit. Wanta get skeered? Watch the bikes rock while traveling down Key Rd (on the way to Turkey) or heading down the paved road toward Horn Creek. It has never failed me though. Not even close, to include many cross country trips.
Does yours move too much? Can't tell you that. Is movement normal. I can definitely say yes. Don't know which bike shop you went to, but I would have them look it over again. Perhaps even have someone else check it out. If they didn't trust your bike on the rack, there's probably something to that!
Ive put my Haro and the Specialized on it and driven a few miles. It moves side to side slightly now that I have tightened the bolts. The bikes never moved while driving and Ive driven on the interstate at 65mph with just one bike on it and it only moved when i would change lanes or whichever way I was turning (the carrier, not the bike). I doubt it would fail, but Im unfamiliar with these types of carriers. I think a small amount of play is normal. To me its not 'excessive'. I will have someone look at it bc I truly just dont know.
I use a small accessory that fits over the 1 1/4" bike rack tongue - which has a large diameter screw / handle - when turned - it torques the tongue firmly against the receiver box - removing all play. The accessory is heavy steel, "open square" with the screw / handle on one side.
I like the rack I use - but have also found different brand receiver hitches have slightly different inside dimensions. On my wife's car, our hitch is firm without the accessory, I just tighten the bolt. On my car - the accessory is used to remove the side play - both hitches by same mfg.
I will also offer - I use a bolt connection to receiver, vs. a quick release type pin - that offers a more secure / less play connection - takes only a few seconds to attach / remove. It also has been a habit since I had a rack "removed" (theft) in `97. Learn by experience.. Bolt isn't a lock, just a deterent....