Gear Guy

Which bike rack is right for my SUV?

Do you know where I can get a bike rack for a Montero 2002 SUV? I don't want it place it on the roof and need it to carry two kid bikes and a mountain bike. Alvin Joaquino Parlin, New Jersey

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No, you don’t want to place it on the roof. I’ve owned two Monteros, and those roofs are a LONG way off the ground. Makes getting bikes on and off the roof rack an adventure.Several options for you. Two bikes, you say, or three? If two, then you can put a rack on the Montero’s rear-mounted spare tire. Yakima’s Spareroc ($189) is a good one. That’s actually a very workable solution. A company called Allen Bike Racks (www.allenracks), with which I’m not acutely familiar, makes a three-bike version for $99. It’s a pretty Spartan device, but looks totally functional.

Otherwise, by far the best alternative is a mount that fits into the trailer hitch. Got a hitch on the Montero now? If not, they’re easily installed for about $250. Softride’s Access DC holds up to four bikes, fits easily onto a towing ball, and goes for $299. It pivots away from the vehicle so you can leave the bikes on board and still open the tailgate-even the Montero’s somewhat awkward side-swing one. Performance makes a rack that works in a similar fashion and holds three bikes for a more affordable $150. Yakima’s three-bike RimRoc ($299) holds the bikes by the wheels, making it easier to manage odd-sized bikes or full-suspension mountain bikes.

Happy biking!