Given the surge in popularity for hitch-mounted bike racks like Thule’s popular line, we’re starting to see them all over the road. Most of the time, they’re on a vehicle you’d expect to be armed with a hitch and a rack, like an Xterra, an H3, or even one of those awful Azteks. Lately, though, we’ve seen some ridiculous vehicles with an unnaturally added hitch simply for having the hitch-mounted bike rack. We’ve collected the top 5 worst instances we can remember and ranked them in factors of hideousness and hilarity. We’ll start at the bottom with a classic hatch.
5. The Geo Metro
This one was spotted in the parking lot of a local lake near the beginning of the bike trial. A nice mix of off-white and rust with ashy grey bumpers flashing buffer burns, this Metro had a 1 ¼” receiver jutting from a hacked hole in the plastic. Pinned into the receiver was a Swagman 4-bike carrier, with all saddles empty. Still, the weight of the rack alone was causing major rear-end sag. How this sweet ride got around town with any bikes attached is beyond our comprehension.
4. Chevy S-10
Deceased as a nameplate for more than 3 years now, the once-proud S-10 became a sad, plastic, rounded shell of its former self toward the end. This model happened to be one of the few crew cab models to roll off the line, with the cavernous 4½’ bed. In order to carry a couple of bikes, this guy needed to grab a hitch and a hitch-mount Thule rack. Call this sad, call it awkward, or call it whatever you want. We call it Inept Bed Syndrome.
3. Ford Focus Hatchback
Again, a hatchback appears on the list. The logistics of adding a hitch-mount bike rack to a 3-door or 5-door seem unfathomable. Doors hitting bars, bars hitting doors, many paint chips. Anyway, this may have been the most unprofessional DIY hitch installation we’ve ever seen, with an Allen rack haphazardly jammed into the tiny receiver. This not-so-hot-hatch also had a rigged roof rack, and about 1/8” of space left between the wheels and the panels. We could build another list off of this vehicle: when someone really should have gotten a new ride, but instead mutilated the one they have to fit needs it was never intended to fit.
2. Cadillac CTS
Seeing a Caddy dishonored in such a way actually made us cry. The back story on this weathered black CTS (or at least the plausible one we’re willing to make up) is that it was inherited by the 50-something couple we saw park it at the Ralph’s. The man’s dear departed parents had to punch the hitch onto the back to handle a carrier for the wife’s rascal. But when daddy left the Caddy to his son, he couldn’t handle insurance on his truck and the new sled, so he ditched his truck and added a bike rack to the back. This should be highly illegal.
1. Toyota Prius
Someone with a mint-colored Prius attempted to extend their smugness in low smog-ness by adding an infinite MPG vehicle to the back of their high MPG cruiser. Well, Mr. nose incline, adding all of that weight to the rear of your bean-on-wheels (and even tasking this Toy to tow) defeats the purpose of your hybrid’s miserly petrol consumption ways. Here’s a solid plan we would offer to these environmental elitists: instead of carrying your bike places, ride your bike there. Then, you’re using absolutely no gas, and have the right to call out other people’s hefty carbon footprints. Granted, this site is more of a attitudinal ill-fit than the hideous hack-jobs above, but this concept just mystified us. Turning your hybrid into a hauler effectively turns it into a regular Corolla or Civic, which wastes all the extra loot you dumped down just to save a few bucks.
As the years go by and cars get smaller, I’m sure we’ll see some crazier Franken-style combinations of bike racks and inappropriate vehicles. Which is good, because then we’ll get to waste time assembling a new list and taking unqualified cracks at people who don’t deserve the insult.