Originally Posted by draggootom
Thank you all for your input and suggestions, pictures and links. Most didn't work for one reason or another -- or I just didn't want to spend that much money -- so I ended up buying a front hitch for my 2003 Yukon XL for about $140, installed it myself and was able to retain the front tow hooks. It'll support 500 lbs which is way more than our Bike Friday tandem so we're good to go. I had to promise my wife I'd clean all the bugs and dirt of her end of the bike before she got on it and I guess that's doable!
Not such a bad solution. I've been carrying our bikes that way for 15 years on three different tow vehicles with no problems at all yet.
No perfect answer,
- very easy access,
- no risk of damage to trailer
- easy to keep an eye on the bikes,
- can use on the back of the truck when not towing.
- possibly not legal technically - could be said to obstruct vision and/or headlights.
- bikes may get dirtier than some other methods
- might not be as suitable with a smaller tow vehicle.
From my standpoint, I have cut and re0welded the bike carrier to drop it down and I barely see the handlebars above the hood line. If bike wheels cut light from headlights, it is minimal - we rarely are on the road at night anyway. Over all the years I have never had any issue with police about the bikes being there - could happen I suppose though.
Our bikes are inexpensive mountain bikes about 15 years old, so a bit of dirt or a few bugs isn't an issue for us. I'm sure it would be for serious bike riders with very expensive bikes.