Car hitch and bike rack

Hello all,
Hope everyone is able to get out and ride safely…cool enough weather that I am still bundled up on my rides.
Anyways, I need some suggestions.
In the future I hope to buy something more bike-transport friendly, but until then I am stuck with my Nissan Altima.
I have a trunk rack…but I really do not like these. As well, it is such a hassle to take it off and re-strap it everyday (I do have a “lock” for it, but am still not trusting it). And, removing the front wheel each time is kind of a hassle (but this might be the best way for me to do this).
So, I am thinking of investing in a hitch + rack.
Here are my questions:

  1. How much are these usually? Looking for a 2-bike rack
  2. Any suggestions of the rack type…Thule (thule expensive…haha), Yakima, others?
    2A) Would a regular bike rack hold a Kona MinUte? I heard the MinUte can fit on buses, so I hesitantly assume these would fit on a normal bike rack? If not, are there bike racks that extend?
  3. Where can I have the hitch put on (I am pretty limited on a lot of things mechanical)?
  4. Are there hitches that can fit multiple autos (since I do hope to buy the Honda Element or something other than a sedan)? I read about the Curt multi-fit trailer hitches…anyone know about something similar (Curt’s are for trailers…so a little more than what I need)?
  5. Other suggestions?
    Thank you all for your responses.
    May the wind be at your back…if that is your thing.
    Khaitan

1 and 2 are up to you. :wink:

On the hitch itself (3, 4) there are two choices: 1-1/4 inch or 2 inch receiver. There are adapters back and forth both ways but if you’re only going to ever use it for a bike rack, then decide on the bike rack first and get the corresponding receiver size. 2 inch receivers are more common and rated for higher loads but that’s not going to be a factor for a bike rack, and probably not for anything you’d tow with an Altima. There are locks to secure the rack into the hitch.

Almost any place that sells hitches will also install them. The part of installation I’d be most concerned with is proper connection of any wiring to the car’s wire harness. For a bike rack you might not need any wiring (most bike racks don’t have lights). If needed, I prefer such wiring to all be connected at the car manufacturer’s connection points without breaking into the wire insulation at any point.

Here’s a video of installing a 2 inch receiver hitch on a 2002 Nissan Altima Trailer Hitch Installation - YouTube (It does not cover the wiring for tail lights.)

I’ve never done business with them but Rack Attack has been around Portland for a long time and seems to have lots of customers. Its website offers an easy step-by-step fitting guide.

Hello Alan_1.0,
Thank you for the info.
On a positive note, these are the same answers I came up with.
On a negative note, these are the same answers I came up with.
I was hoping for a less expensive venture into this (which there are, but not as convenient).
Luckily, looks like there are people selling rear bike racks online. So, I think it might not be as expensive as I first predicted.
Again, thank you for the information.
Khaitan