|This is the Thule T2, it also comes with an attachment to add two more bikes|
I've been there. I've bought the cheapy. Then I've loaded up my bike and traveled to races in neighboring states and had to white knuckle it the entire way there-- constantly checking my rear view mirror. I've watched helplessly as my tires spin for hours and hours in the tailwind of my car. And watched in utter dismay as the bikes clanked against each other, wearing the paint thin and leaving ugly little scars on my beautiful babies. Hit after hit after horrible hit.
It's just not worth it.
If I had my druthers I'd put my bike inside my car and travel with it as my most precious cargo. But since that is usually not an option, I've found a GREAT solution. I love my Thule T2 bike rack!!! It's like a little cradle for my Guru and Trek Funky Mama. The bike(s) sits on the rack and nothing touches the frame. The only securing contact points are at the wheels. I've never felt so stress-free with my bikes on a trip. Ever.
I know there are probably other great racks systems out there. But what I am saying is spring for the TRAY CARRIER type system. Avoid any racks where you HANG your bike, allowing it to swing or move. It's so much nicer when a bike sits on a stable surface. Don't buy a rack that has you bungee cording everything in place. You might get it tight and immovable. You might not.
And it's really great if you can get a rack that allows up to four bikes - so you can take a friend or two or three with you to your next event.
'Cause it's always better with a friend.
*my opinion, once again. take it or leave it.