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Thule 990XT Doubletrack Platform Hitch Bike Rack Review

Thule

We purchased the Thule 990XT Doubletrack Platform Hitch Bike Rack over a year ago to transport our two mountain bikes using the 2” trailer hitch on our truck. The rack came with an adaptor which allows it to be used with a 1 ½” hitch. The rack was new and we paid $299.99 for it. An employee at the Houston bike store we purchased the rack from installed it for us and it took him less than 30 minutes to put it together and mount it on the truck.

Using the hitch around town was easy. Luckily, our two mountain bikes are relatively light so lifting them up and onto the rack is not that difficult. To do so, you must lower the upright tube and hook assembly which is a square tube with two padded hooks at the top that slide down over each bike’s top frame. Each hook slides up and down the supporting arm when you depress a locking button. It is designed so that the hooks can be at different heights for different sized bikes. Just be sure to place the smaller bike at the back of the rack and the larger bike at the front.

This design is one of the weakest of the rack. In order to release the upright tube, there is a small gray grey lever at the bottom that you have to lift up and then fold the tube down to the right. With the tube bolted down tightly, so that it doesn’t rock back and forth, the lever is impossible to lift which means the tube will not move. We had to loosen the bolt in order to lift the lever, but doing so also meant that the tube itself was loose and it leaned forward and rocked back and forth when driving. The rocking motion caused the rubber hooks to rub the paint off of both of our bikes – right down to the metal. An internet search of this issue revealed that others had the same problem with the paint rubbing.

After a few months, we sold our truck and bought a Jeep Wrangler. The Wrangler has the spare tire mounted on the back. When we moved the bike rack from the truck to the Wrangler, we were unable to open the Wrangler’s tailgate door because the spare tire hit the bike rack. With both the spare tire and the bike rack on the Wrangler, we are only able to open the tailgate door a couple of inches. If we need access to the back seat portion of the Wrangler, we have to remove the spare tire.

Although the rack is rather heavy and a bit awkward, we are able to install and remove it easily. The rack comes with a sliding pin and lock and both hooks on the upright tube also lock. You use the same key for both.

Overall, we love the rack except for the damage it caused to our bike paint. We have tried using pipe insulators to keep the paint from being rubbed off but that didn’t work. We have now wrapped ace bandages around each bike frame in hopes that it will prevent further damage. We have not contacted Thule about the damage and don’t intend to.

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