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I just orderd a 01 V70T5 (manual,nautic blue/sand due in June) without roof rails and would like to able to put up to three bikes on the back of the car somehow. I would prefer to not put our bikes on top of the car if possible (via roof rack).<P>I'm not to sure about a hitch-type option and not sure if this would take away from the look of the car (not to mention the potential clearence issues with an already lower riding 17" wheel).<P>Has anybody ordered one of the strap on types bike racks that keeps the bikes far enough way from the back hatch that it will not bang into it? I would most likely put a heavy blanket to over the back hatch area regardless, just to protect my baby.<P>Any recommendations out there?<P>all the best,<P>Gary<P>
 

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Hi Gary--<P>This is of course only "my" opinion so take it for what it is worth:<P>I personally try to stay away from strap-mounted bike racks especially when you are talking about multiple bikes on a rack. Granted bikes nowadays probably weigh less than 30 pounds each on average but still you cannot beat having a hitch mounted rack for several reasons. One, it is the most stable of all the racks including the roof racks. Secondly the access to the bikes is far easier than the roof. Thirdly, you avoid scratching the roof and sides of the car by not having to lift a heavy bike up above your head after a long ride (ask me how I know this :mad <IMG SRC="http://www.swedespeed.com/ubb/smile.gif"> Not to mention the whole aspect of having the bike lower than the roofline when driving along through various places that could potentially harm the car and the bike!<P>There are some down sides such as the fact that they are more susceptible to damage when parked and that there might be an element of danger of being snatched but there are locks that might just prevent that.<P>My two cents.. <IMG SRC="http://www.swedespeed.com/ubb/smile.gif"><P>[email protected]
 

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The other downside to hitch-mounting is limited access to the rear hatch. But I second Paul's hesitation about strap-mounts. Scary.<P>my .01<P>-d
 

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I've got to second what Paul and darell said about strap mount carriers. I'm an avid cyclist and have experimented with strap, hitch, and roof mounts. (My garage looks like a bike shop with all the racks and bike gear lying around!)<P>The worst of the three was the strap mount. Try as I might, I could never secure it tight enough to prevent bikes from wobbling. One bike was fairly stable, but increase that number to two or three and you were asking for trouble. I won't even mention the scratches to both the back of the car or the frame of the bikes. Lastly, with the way drivers in NJ/NY tailgate, I always feared for the safety of my bikes.<P>I'm currently using a roof rack solution with fork-mount carriers. It seems to be stable, though the disadvantages are that your bikes are exposed to the elements (bugs, chickens from the truck in front of you <IMG SRC="http://www.swedespeed.com/ubb/smile.gif"> , etc.) The racks also make a bit of noise unless you remove them when not in use.<P>-Eugene
 

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I think roof mounts are the way to go, specifically fork mounts considering all the new frameset designs these days.<P>A few problems with rear mounted:<BR>1. On two separate occasions I have seen people taco their bikes' rims on speed bumps. Sure they were careless in the first place for overloading their trunks and driving too fast... but hey, it can happen. <IMG SRC="http://www.swedespeed.com/ubb/redface.gif"><BR>2. Carelessly loaded bikes can rub against one another damaging the bike frames.<BR>3. For strap type racks, travelling long distances can scratch the car at the contact points due to constant vibration, especially on a wagon where dirt build up is more of a problem.<P>4. Sport specific. Yes, it's possible to get a ski adaptor for some rear mounts, but the roof rack is much more versatile.<P>OK, and drawbacks of the roof mounts? Well, I heard of one guy who drove into his underground parking lot with the bikes on the roof... the roof rack did not give. Instead, the roof rails were ripped from the car and both bikes were written off.<P>That's my take at least...
 

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Talking from painfully earned experience, a fork mounted Yakima rack is so good, it is easy to forget the bikes are up there...once...OK, maybe twice <IMG SRC="http://www.swedespeed.com/ubb/smile.gif">
 

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The best solution in my ever so 'umble opinion is a hitch-mounted dual bike rack (expandable to 4) designed to swing out (not tilt) to give unobstructed access to the tail gate. Optional restraining straps for the wheels prevent swinging and banging against the rack. A lock prevents theft. I think I have covered objections mentioned previously. Once you hit an overhang with the bike(s) on a roof rack, you will always drive with nervous foreboding! It is also easy to remove and store a hitch-mounted rack. Just remember that if you insist on a Volvo hitch, you will not find a rack that will fit in North America without a custom welding job. You may want to consider a non-Volvo hitch with a square receiver.
 

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OK, I have to share my roof-mounted bike experience. Actually, it's my best friend's experience...no really.<P>Two Mt. bikes on the Thule-equiped roof of his rain-guttered Honda Accord. After driving 300 miles non-stop, he pulls into a parking garage, and hears a "shooouush, thunk, thunk." Nothing to really scare him, but enough to tell him he should take a peek and see if anything is amiss. He gets out and the car looks fine. Nothing seems out of place. Then he hears the horn of the car behind him. The guy following him is pointing to the sign at the garage entrance that says "Max vehicle height 8'-2". From that sign, dangle the two bikes (by their handlebars) still firmly attached to the entire rack assembly that had cleanly slid off the back of the rain gutters. But did my friend have a camera with him? NO. <IMG SRC="http://www.swedespeed.com/ubb/frown.gif"><P>I still use the roof for everything though.<P>- Darell<P>
 
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