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-   -   X3 and Bicyles (http://www.bimmerfest.com/forums/showthread.php?t=676834)

pharding 02-17-2013 09:05 AM

X3 and Bicyles
 
My wife and are looking at the X3. One of its purposes is to carry 2 bicycles on a roof mount bicycle carrier. My wife and her friend are both 5"7". Can 2 people of this hieght put 2 bicycles on the roof rack with bicycle rails? An earlier poster did not believe that it was possible with the BMW lift mount for bicycles.

Another option is to get the 3 Series Sport Wagon or 3 GT.

zerovector 02-17-2013 09:42 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by pharding (Post 7386608)
My wife and are looking at the X3. One of its purposes is to carry 2 bicycles on a roof mount bicycle carrier. My wife and her friend are both 5"7". Can 2 people of this hieght put 2 bicycles on the roof rack with bicycle rails? An earlier poster did not believe that it was possible with the BMW lift mount for bicycles.

Another option is to get the 3 Series Sport Wagon or 3 GT.

How about a hitch mounted bike rack? That's what I'm doing... didn't want to bother about anyone not being tall enough to manage the bikes on the roof.

Vortec4800 02-17-2013 09:52 AM

Maybe I don't understand - but isn't the point of the lift mount so that you don't have to put the bikes on the roof yourself?

kennyw 02-17-2013 04:12 PM

Hitch mount bike racks are easier, safer, more stable, better for your bike and you don't have to worry about tearing your bike off with low clearance garages. Thule and Yakima both make incredible products.

noka 02-17-2013 05:57 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by kennyw (Post 7387322)
Hitch mount bike racks are easier, safer, more stable, better for your bike and you don't have to worry about tearing your bike off with low clearance garages. Thule and Yakima both make incredible products.

I thought the hitch solution: a) was relatively expensive, and b) requires s/w configuration (e.g. to adapt PDC). I wish the inside mount for previous generation X3 was still available.

mikereyno 02-17-2013 06:50 PM

Ok, I do admit I am 5' 11", but have never had an issue with putting the bikes (nor items in my Thule box) on top of the roof of the X3 (nor was it an issue on my wife's previous SUVs; a Nissan Murano, a Honda Pilot, and a Jeep Grand Cherokee, which were all taller than the X3). Attachment racks and holders for bikes are much cheaper than rear hitch cost (plus I can share much ot bike holders on by 5 series).

pharding 02-17-2013 08:13 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Vortec4800 (Post 7386676)
Maybe I don't understand - but isn't the point of the lift mount so that you don't have to put the bikes on the roof yourself?

You still have to latch it on the top of the car.

This poster, http://www.bimmerfest.com/forums/sho...d.php?t=676151, said that if one is 5"7" tall that the bicycle rack is slightly too tall for the bicycle lift operation on a X3.

My wife and I went to the Chicago Auto Show this afternoon and confirmed as much. We considered changing our X3 order to 3 Series Sport Wagon, which we saw there also, and the 3 Series GT, which starts production July 1. We stayed with the X3. I ordered two of the following footstools so wifey and her best friend can load bicycles on the roof of the X3.

http://www.amazon.com/Ideaworks-JR55...f=pd_sbs_hpc_6

invisihitch 02-18-2013 07:45 AM

3 Attachment(s)
Quote:

Originally Posted by noka (Post 7387503)
I thought the hitch solution: a) was relatively expensive, and b) requires s/w configuration

If the hitch is going to be used strictly for a rack and not for towing, you can avoid the cost of the wiring harness and the reprogramming fees. The invisihitch for the X3 is available with or without the OEM wiring harness, and it is completely undetectable when not in use. BMW offers this hitch overseas as a dealer option. Here in the states, we provide the same hitch as an "aftermarket" solution for the X3.

For those interested, there is a Group Buy in effect right now on the invisihitch for bimmerfest community members. Here is a link to my post from last week about the Group Buy:

http://www.bimmerfest.com/forums/sho...d.php?t=675950


Cheers,
Daryl
daryl@invisihitch.com

noka 02-18-2013 07:55 AM

Thanks for the information. If you don't reprogram, isn't the rear PDC going to sound all the time with bikes when backing up? I guess you can hit the button to silence it. I saw one of your posts indicating the X3 gravel guard needed to be removed. Is that still necessary?

invisihitch 02-18-2013 11:04 AM

1 Attachment(s)
Quote:

Originally Posted by noka (Post 7388368)
Thanks for the information. If you don't reprogram, isn't the rear PDC going to sound all the time with bikes when backing up? I guess you can hit the button to silence it. I saw one of your posts indicating the X3 gravel guard needed to be removed. Is that still necessary?

Actually, even if you do install the OEM harness and reprogram the vehicle, the rear PDC will still alarm when you reverse with a bike rack. You will have to silence it manually.

This is because the tow harness only communicates back to the vehicle when a trailer is plugged in. Using a bike rack, you will never trigger this situation. So the OEM harness will not tell the vehicle to silence the rear PDC if you use the hitch only for a bike rack and not for towing.

(Note: We have done a couple of custom installations for bike-rack customers that included the OEM harness plus a trailer emulator to auto-silence the rear PDC, but such an approach strikes me as a fairly expensive workaround to manually silencing the PDC or simply putting up with it during reverse with a bike-rack attached).


As for your other question about the gravel guard, yes, you do need to either trim a small rectangular opening in the plastic gravel guard underneath the vehicle OR you can remove the gravel guard entirely and save it for replacement just prior to selling the vehicle. Either way, there must be a way to access the opening of the invisihitch receiver from under the vehicle. A poster pointed out a third option.... you could purchase a replacement gravel guard and save it, while trimming an opening in your current gravel guard. Personally, I am a trimmer because the opening is completely underneath the vehicle and it is a small opening. However, I can see the merits of the other suggestions.

Attached is a photo showing the gravel guard and the amount of trim required.

Daryl

kennyw 02-18-2013 11:11 AM

Save yourself a ton of money by ordering the Curt trailer hitch...took me 3.5 hours to install it by using the video from etrailer as a step by step. You could easily pay labor for a hitch shop to install. Only $172 delivered. Looks very neat and tidy. See my thread in this forum for a couple of photos. Hidden hitch and BMW hitches are expensive for what you get.

noka 02-18-2013 11:47 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by kennyw (Post 7388791)
Save yourself a ton of money by ordering the Curt trailer hitch...took me 3.5 hours to install it by using the video from etrailer as a step by step. You could easily pay labor for a hitch shop to install. Only $172 delivered. Looks very neat and tidy. See my thread in this forum for a couple of photos. Hidden hitch and BMW hitches are expensive for what you get.

Unless I linked to the wrong item, the current price of the Curt is $286. I don't know all the technical differences but that seems to have savings of roughly 50% over the InvisiHitch!

raleedy 02-18-2013 02:13 PM

I don't like hitch racks generally -- in addition to the technical and cost problems of the set-up, with light harnesses, PDC and all, the bikes are vulnerable to dirt and damage. If I were the OP, I would be looking at two options: (a) interior storage with the rear seats folded down and the bikes upright, if they will fit that way; and (b) the roof rack and a step stool to facilitate putting the bikes up and fixing them to the mounting rails. I'm thinking here of road bikes weighing ~ 10 - 11 kg, not heavier bikes, and I'm assuming a quick-release for the front wheel. When I had a roof rack and a garage, I found a semi-elegant way of covering or moving the garage door opener when I had the bike on top, to remind me of the clearance issue. There's no perfect solution; having the bikes inside the car, if you can, is the best

noka 02-18-2013 02:43 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by raleedy (Post 7389113)
...having the bikes inside the car, if you can, is the best

Too bad BMW abandoned that solution for the F25:cry:.

invisihitch 02-18-2013 03:33 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by noka (Post 7388870)
I don't know all the technical differences [between hitches of different price points] but...

The technical differences are many. I am not going to disparage a company for their strategy or their products when, by their own admission, their focus is to hit the absolute lowest-possible price point. Walmart has obviously demonstrated that a company can make billions by establishing itself at the lowest-possible price point. It is a reasonable market strategy. But you necessarily sacrifice quality, safety, and features when your corporate goal is to hit the lowest-possible price point with a hitch. It is simply not economically feasible to do otherwise.

As to some of the many technical differences.... you will not ever see the OEM harness offered with the lowest-price hitch because BMW will not permit the sale of the harness except through OEM-qualified suppliers. You will not ever see a 4,400 lb towing capacity on the lowest-price hitch for the X3. One thing you will see are load-bearing welds, which you will never see on an invisihitch.

You won't get a snug, precision-machined latching mechanism for your ball mount with the lowest-price hitch. Instead, you will experience significant forward/aft play while you drive. With the lowest-price hitch, you will not get a hitch that passed dynamic load tests or salt-spray tests because such testing adds significantly to the cost. And with the lowest-price hitch, you will not get a hitch that passes crash-safety testing for rear-end collisions. Because designing hitches to distribute crash forces through the crumple zones is expensive.

I have respect for the different market strategies of different companies. But I don't shop for my dress shirts at Walmart. And I don't put my family into a well-engineered BMW vehicle and then strap a crash-force concentrator on the rear. Even if it costs me $300 more to put something back there that will protect them.

Yes I do have a horse in this race. But that doesn't disqualify me from being able to see clear differences between two very different products.

Daryl
daryl@invisihitch.com



noka 02-18-2013 04:58 PM

Thanks for pointing out the differences. As I mentioned, I did not know what they were. Your points about the harness and towing capacity don't matter to me because I will only be transporting two bikes :). The point about the fit and freeplay, etc might very well matter to me. I certainly will consider your product although I am not fond of having to cut material out of the gravel guard and would have to factor that into the cost of a replacment. For me, the ideal solution would be an internal mount like BMW has for the previous generation X3.

fugitive666 02-18-2013 06:07 PM

Invisihitch
 
I had the invisihitch installed on my 2011 X3 a year ago and have been completely satisfied with it. It is safe and secure. I have a Thule hitch mounted bike rack and there is absolutely no noise or rattles when transporting 2 bikes. Would recommend invisihitch. It is worth the extra money to have peace of mind.::

hhgolf 02-21-2013 06:59 PM

Installation
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by fugitive666 (Post 7389613)
I had the invisihitch installed on my 2011 X3 a year ago and have been completely satisfied with it. It is safe and secure. I have a Thule hitch mounted bike rack and there is absolutely no noise or rattles when transporting 2 bikes. Would recommend invisihitch. It is worth the extra money to have peace of mind.::

Sounds like what I'm looking for. Who did your install? Do you think BMW service would do it for me?

fugitive666 02-22-2013 04:24 AM

Invisihitch
 
:) BMW service in Fort Pierce, Florida, did the installation for me.
Hope you can get it done in PA as well.

pharding 02-22-2013 04:28 AM

I am having one installed at a BMW approved body shop for approximately $100 to $150, much less than the BMW dealer. BMW service's install price was astronomical. The bumper support on the car is pre-drilled for it and it is rather simple to install once the rear fender cover comes off.

noka 02-22-2013 04:29 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by pharding (Post 7397205)
I am having one installed at a BMW approved body shop for approximately $100 to $150, much less than the BMW dealer. BMW service's install price was astronomical. The bumper support on the car is pre-drilled for it and it is rather simple to install once the rear fender cover comes off.

They have to cut an access area in the gravel guard to, correct?

invisihitch 02-25-2013 04:25 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by noka (Post 7397206)
They have to cut an access area in the gravel guard...?

Yes, all hitch receivers require access to the receiver's opening. Assuming you want a hitch, and assuming you don't want the type of hitch that requires you to cut directly through the bumperskin, the opening to the hitch receiver will have to be via an opening in the plastic gravel guard (located underneath the vehicle). Unlike the X1 & X5, the X3 has no factory opening in its gravel guard, so installing any hidden hitch receiver on the X3 requires that you notch an opening in the gravel guard under the vehicle. (Or, if you prefer, you can simply leave off the last 4-inch wide section of the gravel guard, like BMW did on the X5).

All of the preceding assumes you want to add a hitch receiver to your X3. There are a couple of other ways to carry bikes, and they come with their own issues.

Cheers,
Daryl
daryl@invisihitch.com



pharding 02-25-2013 07:38 PM

What are the dimensions of the notch opening that needs to be cut into the gravel for the invisi hitch? Do all hitches require you to cut either gravel guard or the rear bumper?

How does the BMW F25 X3 Trailer Hitch Kit stack up against the invisihitch?

bigsarge 02-25-2013 11:42 PM

I had the BMW hitch put on my X3 and use it mainly to haul bicycles. The only reason I went with the BMW hitch is because the dealership had 25% off. I paid around $825 installed. I would have gone with invisihitch if I didn't get the BMW at "reasonable" cost.

pharding 02-26-2013 06:05 AM

Does the BMW hitch require cutting the gravel guard? Does it stick out all the time when not in use?


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