Subaru Ascent Forum banner

1 - 20 of 40 Posts

·
Registered
2019 Ascent Premium
Joined
·
16 Posts
The link went to all the Thule racks that LL Bean carries, but I have the 3 bike trunk mount one, and the answer is yes...but....

it will fit, but it’s a pain to mount with the power liftgate. Also, trunk mount racks on hatchbacks have a tendency to dent the liftgate when heavily loaded. I’ve done that now on two different cars (no I didn’t learn my lesson the first time). So I’d only load two bikes on either of those racks.

And honestly, I’d get a roof or hitch mounted rack if I was planning to move more than one or two bikes more than a few times a year.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
68 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
The link went to all the Thule racks that LL Bean carries, but I have the 3 bike trunk mount one, and the answer is yes...but....

it will fit, but it’s a pain to mount with the power liftgate. Also, trunk mount racks on hatchbacks have a tendency to dent the liftgate when heavily loaded. I’ve done that now on two different cars (no I didn’t learn my lesson the first time). So I’d only load two bikes on either of those racks.

And honestly, I’d get a roof or hitch mounted rack if I was planning to move more than one or two bikes more than a few times a year.
Any good recommendations? I want to avoid the tow hitch because its $$$.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,199 Posts
You're better off with a hitch-mounted bike rack (if you have a trailer hitch). These work much better and will not damage your bike or car. If you don't have a hitch and don't want to pay for one, then at least try to find a high-quality liftgate mounted model.

I'm sorry but I can't in good conscience recommend any cheap ones as they're mostly junk in my opinion. If you value your car and bike(s) you need to purchase a quality bike rack.

If you only need to transport one or two bikes and don't mind a bit of maneuvering, the Ascent is large enough to safely store at least two bikes inside, provided you don't need to use the rear seats.
 

·
Registered
2019 Ascent Premium
Joined
·
16 Posts
I’ve been just using the back when I only need to move one bike at a time. I generally don’t “drive to ride” with more than just myself and when we go on long trips where we might typically want all 3 bikes, we also have the dogs, who are not conducive to biking with. But I am planning on getting a hitch mount rack at the next REI Anniversary sale.

But, like I said, the Thule ones are good racks and will work. They just have limitations that you need to be aware of
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
998 Posts
A common problem with trunk mount racks on SUVs like the Ascent is the top straps having to pass over the rear window visor, which may be by the straps when the rack is loaded with a couple of bikes hanging off it. And as reported in some other threads, the outer sheet metal skin of the hatch is fairly easily dented. Finally, putting the rack on/off and hanging bikes off it is a real PITA.

By far the best option is hitch mount rack. For bike rack purposes, a number of inexpensive and relatively easy to install aftermarket trailer hitches will suffice.

For hitch racks, I strongly recommend getting a platform type, where the bike is supported by its wheels. These are way easier and quicker to put bikes on and off and better for the bikes.

Anything that makes it easier to get the bikes to where you want to start riding is good as there will be less impediment to go riding.

Check out etrailer.com for suitable hitches and bike racks.

For towing, there is no substitute for the factory hitch, so if you anticipate doing any significant towing in the future (travel trailers, utility trailers, boats, ATV/motos/snowmobiles...) get the factory hitch.

You don't want to spend too much, but you definitely don't want to spend too little either.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
68 Posts
Discussion Starter #7
You're better off with a hitch-mounted bike rack (if you have a trailer hitch). These work much better and will not damage your bike or car. If you don't have a hitch and don't want to pay for one, then at least try to find a high-quality liftgate mounted model.

I'm sorry but I can't in good conscience recommend any cheap ones as they're mostly junk in my opinion. If you value your car and bike(s) you need to purchase a quality bike rack.

If you only need to transport one or two bikes and don't mind a bit of maneuvering, the Ascent is large enough to safely store at least two bikes inside, provided you don't need to use the rear seats.
For the Hitch Mounted Rack, do I have to make any Ascent modifications? Do I need to do this --
or is it simple as
?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
998 Posts
^^^ that's for the installation of the factory hitch, which is by far the best option. However, there are less expensive and easier to install aftermarket hitches which are suitable for bike rack use. etrailer.com has several and has the installation instructions and installation videos on their site so you know what's involved.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
68 Posts
Discussion Starter #9
^^^ that's for the installation of the factory hitch, which is by far the best option. However, there are less expensive and easier to install aftermarket hitches which are suitable for bike rack use. etrailer.com has several and has the installation instructions and installation videos on their site so you know what's involved.
But it seems I have to pay for that option. I don't believe on my Touring I payed for the hitch option. Its so confusiing.
 

·
Registered
2020 Ascent Touring
Joined
·
340 Posts
If you get a hitch, get a class I or class II receiver hitch. These are light duty and have a 1 1/4 inch receiver which is compatible with most bike racks. By getting a lighter duty hitch you'll spend less and won't accidentally tow a heavy trailer. Only the Subaru class III hitch should be installed if you will ever tow a heavy trailer.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,199 Posts
But it seems I have to pay for that option. I don't believe on my Touring I payed for the hitch option. Its so confusiing.
If you don't have the factory hitch (easy to check) then you'll need to pay either for it or an aftermarket hitch. You can install either one yourself if you have decent DIY skills.

I recommend the factory hitch. This way, in the future, if you ever need to tow any trailer, then you'll be good to go. I use mine all the time. I even use it for a winch. Well worth the money.
 

·
Registered
2019 Ascent Touring (CWP)
Joined
·
2,311 Posts
But it seems I have to pay for that option. I don't believe on my Touring I payed for the hitch option. Its so confusiing.
Premium, Limited and Touring have everything for towing standard except for the hitch receiver and 4/7 pin connectors. Yes, there is a cost to add the hitch receiver, whether you do the OEM unit or a third party product. The nice thing about the OEM hitch receiver is that it fully integrates with the vehicle and is also hidden behind a panel when not in actual use. It also doesn't hang down below the bumper and reduce approach/departure angles when on uneven terrain or surfaces. Having a 2" hitch receiver on your vehicle gives you the flexibility to do more than just a quality bike rack, too...there are other accessories, like a cargo carrier which is handy when traveling as an alternative to a fuel economy reducing roof rack container, etc., as well as little things like a shackle for recovery purposes.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
68 Posts
Discussion Starter #14
dealer charging me $850 for labor and parts. Its out of the question for me but was curious if thats a fair price.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,199 Posts
dealer charging me $850 for labor and parts. Its out of the question for me but was curious if thats a fair price.
The hitch itself costs around $300, so yes, $550 for labor seems very high.

Can you install it yourself? If not, can you hire someone with the right skills to do it for you?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
68 Posts
Discussion Starter #16
i looked at the videos. I don't think I can do it myself. Looks like I need a lot of tools.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,199 Posts
i looked at the videos. I don't think I can do it myself. Looks like I need a lot of tools.
Do you know a handyman or a DIY'er friend that could help you? Or you can bring it to a car mechanic that might charge less than the Subaru dealership.

U-Haul installs hitches of all sorts for very reasonable costs. Talk with them, they might install the factory hitch for you.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
68 Posts
Discussion Starter #18
Do you know a handyman or a DIY'er friend that could help you? Or you can bring it to a car mechanic that might charge less than the Subaru dealership.

U-Haul installs hitches of all sorts for very reasonable costs. Talk with them, they might install the factory hitch for you.
Good idea. I will try that. Worst case, I may just get a roof carrier.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,199 Posts
Good idea. I will try that. Worst case, I may just get a roof carrier.
Unless you're 6'6" or have a ladder or something, a rooftop bike rack is going to be hard to use because the Ascent is very high.

I have a Specialized Turbo Levo Expert e-mountain bike which is beyond awesome, but it weighs 47 lbs. I would never want to try to hoist that up on top of the Ascent.
 
1 - 20 of 40 Posts
Top