Recommendation for Carrying 3 Bikes on 2011 Toyota Prius

Question:

We want to buy the Thule 9043 bike rack 3 bike-rack for our 2011 Toyota Prius that we just had a Class I 1.25inch Receiver hitch installed. We have a grand-daughter who has a 20inch bike of her own that we would like to include with our bikes when we take a ride to the park so we can all ride together. We saw a note on this web site that states that we can only carry 2 bikes on a Class I hitch, and now we feel that we may not be able to buy this bike rack... Can you give us any suggestions on what we can do? Thank you!

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Expert Reply:

I have a solution for you to carry 3 bikes on your 2011 Toyota Prius, however it is correct that Class I trailer hitches are limited to carrying 2 bikes on a hitch mounted bike rack. A 3-bike rack like the Thule Helium Pro 3 # TH9043PRO will still fit on a Class I hitch, but is limited to carrying only 2 bikes.

One option is to use a trunk mount bike rack to carry 3 bikes instead of a hitch mount bike rack. I recommend the Thule Archway XT 3-Bike Rack # TH9010XT. This rack includes Hold Fast anti-sway cradles that will help prevent bike-to-bike and bike-to-vehicle contact while traveling. The integrated locking cable will secure the bikes to the rack and the included TrunkLocker strap will secure the carrier to the vehicle when the truck is shut and locked. I have attached a review video of the 2 bike version of this rack on a Prius for you.

Another option is to use a hitch mount bike rack, like the Thule Helium Pro 2 Bike Rack # TH9042PRO, to carry 2 bikes on the hitch and use a roof mounted bike carrier for the 3rd bike. For a roof mounted bike carrier, you will need a roof rack, like the Thule SquareBars # TH712400 with Evo Clamp Feet # TH710501, and the Fit Kit # TH145001. The Thule Sidearm Wheel Mount Bike Carrier # TH594XT is a great option to carry a bike on the roof of your Prius. Your granddaughter's bike with 20 inch wheels will fit well in the Sidearm, as the carrier has a capacity of 20 inch - 29 inch diameter wheels. I have attached a review video of this carrier and roof rack for you.

When carrying women's or children's bikes on a hanging bike rack, often a bike adapter bar is needed to carry the bikes level. I recommend the # 64005 bike adapter bar. I have attached a video showing this adapter for you.

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Victoria B

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