Most helpful positive review
82 of 86 people found the following review helpful
Great bike rack
on August 23, 2008
I bought the rack for a vacation trip to Maine with 4 bikes (2 adult, 2 small children) using a 2006 Toyota Tacoma with rollup tonneau cover. I was able to open the tailgate about a foot without tipping down the frame (can't do it with bikes on it), so that was handy at the hotel when we just needed a suitcase and cooler. The tip-down feature wasn't really useful because you can't lower it with bikes on it. It took some effort to figure out how to fit all the bikes on the rack, but got easier with practice. The attachments are adjustable, and I found I could make everything work by turning the smallest bike upside down to avoid conflicts with the pedals and handlebars with the bigger bikes.
I also got the Thule 950 Zipstick to better secure the bikes, but found it wasn't really effective or necessary. The 956 Parkway came with one strap, and the 950 Zipstick came with 3 straps. I was able to secure the four bikes easily with 2 straps, but used three just to make sure they didn't swing around and rub against each other. The 950 Zipstick is cheap enough, but not really needed. Maybe it's more effective with 4 adult bikes.
My only complaint is on the design they chose to secure it to the hitch. They welded a bolt to the inside of the frame, making it impossible to use a standard hitch pin and lock. I didn't buy the Thule lock (thinking I'd use the lock I already had), and couldn't find one locally before my trip. I would have felt better with a lock to keep the rack on my truck, but didn't have a problem. Just toss an adjustable wrench in your stuff if you don't spring for the Thule lock. I also found it necessary to buy a 9' cable and lock, since a 6' cable was not long enough to reach through the lock point and all 4 bike frames.
Overall, a great bike rack that served me well on a recent 2,400 mile round trip, to include highway, gravel and off-road surfaces.