Options for Carrying Three Bikes with 2013 BMW X3


Wondered which of the less expensive options under $200 would be best for a trunk mounted 2-3 bike carrier for a 2013 BMW X3. I am most concerned with protecting the paint. Will mostly be used for only 2 bikes-one adult mountain bike, one female childs bike. Thanks!


Expert Reply:

We have several different trunk mount bike rack options for a 2013 BMW X3, but I recommend the Hollywood Racks Over the Top 3 bike rack, part # HRF2-3 because its designed to be compatible with the spoiler that's on the top of your hatch lid.

However, since you've stated that your biggest concern is that the vehicle doesn't get scratched, I honestly don't recommend a trunk mounted bike rack for you. Reason being- any time you have a piece of equipment (like the bike rack) in direct contact with the painted surface of a vehicle, the possibility exists that the vehicle could be scratched. The chances of this occurring can be reduced but not eliminated by ensuring that the surfaces of the vehicle and rack that touch are 100 percent free of dirt and grit, by installing the bike rack according to the manufacturer's instructions, by observing and not exceeding the 35 lb per bike weight limit and by removing the rack when it's not being used.

Although a hitch and a hitch mount rack would exceed your stated budget, it would be your best choice to avoid scratching the vehicle. I recommend the Draw-Tite Class III hitch, part # 76226 along with the Swagman Trailhead 3-bike rack, part # S63365. The hitch also provides an attachment point for hitch mounted accessories such as a cargo carrying tray like part # C18153 which might come in handy in the future.

If you'll be transporting women's bikes or bikes with sharply-angled top tubes, you might also consider a frame adapter bar like part # 64005. The bar spans the distance between the handlebar gooseneck and the seat post, which provides a secondary attachment point for the bike rack. This allows the bike to be carried level, which maximizes ground clearance. I'll link you to a video showing how the adapter bar works.

expert reply by:
Michael L

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