Thursday, March 08, 2007

Thule 916-T2 2 Bike Hitch Rack: Out Of The Box

When you have bikes, you need a way to cart them around from place to place. As my need for testing and reviewing products has gone up since becoming editor over at Twenty Nine Inches, I felt the need to get a rack that would allow me to cut down on the time it takes to get to the trail head and also allow for remote location testing. In comes the Thule model 916-T2 two bike reciever hitch rack.

This rack was something that caught my eye for a couple of reasons. First off, it's 29"er friendly, which you can't say of all racks. The wheel tray holds tires up to 3" wide, so fatties are okay with this rack. The big plus to this rack for my needs is that the rack doesn't contact the frame of the bicycle. It holds the bike up by the wheels, leaving the frame finish unscathed. This is important to me in the case that I have a bicycle on review that isn't my property. (You can't imagine how I sweated over having that Badger Dorothy in the cargo area of my SUV!)

The rack comes in an ungainly box that might require you to have a friend come and help you with. Once out of the cardboard, you have three main parts to assemble together. The instructions are not too bad, and you even get tools to assemble it with. Everything you need is there with the exception of a large standard bladed screwdriver.

I had my T2 together in about half an hour, but those that can read faster than me would probably take less time. (I'm an extremely slow reader!) The parts fit together without any hassle and the hitch rack is pretty straight forward to use. I plan on getting it on my vehicle later today and giving it a test whirl by hauling a bike I just sold across town to it's new owner. (Rich, if you read this- today is the day!) I'll report back on my initial impressions tomorrow.

This rack should be a great benefit to me in getting more riding done on my 29"ers in more places with less time spent by trying to ride up and back to the Boy Scout Camp, in particular. Not that there is anything wrong with riding to the trails and back home again. It just eats up too much time to the point that I don't ride because of it. I can't afford not to ride these days! Plus, the rack will keep the bikes looking great and keep them secure The big test of this will be our 2700 mile round trip to El Paso, Texas and back next week! Stay tuned for an update from that marathon drive!

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