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X5 E70 (2007 - 2013)
E70 BMW X5 produced between 2007 and 2013. Discuss the E70 X5 with other BMW owners here.

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  #1  
Old 05-02-2012, 07:02 AM
Tex94 Tex94 is offline
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Mein Auto: 2012 X5 35i
Bikes - roof, hitch or door mount???

I'd like to use my 2012 X5 to carry 2-4 bikes. What is my best option?

1) Trailer Hitch Mount - this would be my first choice but I don't have a trailer hitch. Do they cost a lot to install after market?

2) Roof rack - I don't think this is an option for 4 bikes and besides I doubt my wife could lift the bikes up top without scratching the paint.

3) Rear door - any experience with these? Seems like I could find at least a 3 bike capacity for the rear door.

Any advice is appreciated.
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  #2  
Old 05-02-2012, 08:37 AM
bxmxwx bxmxwx is offline
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I second that, same question. I am not considering door mount (do not want anything to hang and touch and scratch the door), so I am in between the hitch and the roof. The roof mount on X5 is going to be pretty high, not like a sedan, so consider that. The hitch mount, while more convenient, requires, well, the hitch, and my dealer is quoting close to $1400 to install it They also say it takes two days b/c they need to reprogram the computers (BS detector goes off the chart) despite the fact that my 2013 says is pre-wired for the hitch. But since it is also so new I am not so sure about aftermarket install.... Oh, all those choices... And none of them perfect.
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  #3  
Old 05-02-2012, 08:43 AM
rodnjen rodnjen is offline
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You made some good points so I think you already know the answer. Take your time to do it right. You will need a good class three hitch and a bike rack that swings away to allow the hatch to open and will carry four bikes. I believe Thule makes one.

I will eventually go the same route. I just bought the Thule 45058 racks and the Atlantis 1600 pod for vacations. I will soon add the hitch, to launch and retrieve my boat, then a bike rack for 4 bikes. I want the vehicle to be the family mule for years to come. I do not intend to camp but if i want to be gone for a week with bikes for a family of four, this should be a good setup.
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  #4  
Old 05-02-2012, 09:12 AM
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quackbury quackbury is offline
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The cost of the hitch will give you a coronary. BMW makes a really slick rack that screws into the tow hook holes on the rear bumper. Only holds 2 bikes, but is the best alternative.

Do a search. There are several threads on this, some with pics.

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  #5  
Old 05-02-2012, 10:17 AM
bxmxwx bxmxwx is offline
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I need more than 2 bikes. And cargo box goes on top so it looks like I will have to spring for the hitch. Still need more time to research the aftermarket thing...
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  #6  
Old 05-02-2012, 10:30 AM
blue dragon blue dragon is offline
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If your wife is going to be lifting the bikes onto the roof, you are better off with a hitch mounted rack. We take the boat to the cottage, and the bikes have to go on the roof (no easy way to secure them inside the boat). I can get the bikes up on the roof easily, but it may be tough for someone shorter than 5'10"

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  #7  
Old 05-02-2012, 10:40 AM
bxmxwx bxmxwx is offline
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@ blue dragon

Nice looking X5. Yummy.
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  #8  
Old 05-02-2012, 10:41 AM
Garik Garik is offline
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I would recommend hitch mount version. Actually the hitch it self is not that expensive http://www.etrailer.com/hitch-2012_BMW_X5.htm If you will use it only for caring bike rack and not trailers (you can skip the wiring expense).

For the bike rack i would recommend Thule T2.
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  #9  
Old 05-02-2012, 10:54 AM
bxmxwx bxmxwx is offline
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The hitch is just such a thing that needs to be done properly, IMHO. Who knows what will be attached to it, eventually? It's not just my convenience but also safety of the people behind it. And I have seen my share of blind and flying off trailers...
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  #10  
Old 05-02-2012, 01:31 PM
m3the01 m3the01 is offline
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U can't really screwup the OEM hitch install, 8 bolts and torque accordingly.
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  #11  
Old 05-02-2012, 01:42 PM
bxmxwx bxmxwx is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by m3the01 View Post
U can't really screwup the OEM hitch install, 8 bolts and torque accordingly.
And why do they need to reprogram the car after that? Takes two days, and I am not the only one being told that...
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  #12  
Old 05-02-2012, 03:26 PM
couper93 couper93 is offline
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I have the tow hook mounted bike rack from BMW. It's good but pricey($650USD). I will try to get a pic.
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  #13  
Old 05-02-2012, 05:27 PM
AndyX5d AndyX5d is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bxmxwx View Post
And why do they need to reprogram the car after that? Takes two days, and I am not the only one being told that...
because when you are pulling a trailer and have a plug in for lights / electric brakes, it changes settings in the vehicle. Such as it disables the rear radar so you don't have to listen to the annoying buzzer going off when you are in reverse because it thinks your trailer is something you are about to back into. It also adjust the stability control to aid in sway control. This is why the comment was made that if you don't intend to every actually tow anything then you could possibly skip the reprogramming. If you only intend to use the hitch for bike racks then it isn't really necessary.

Also I've read quite a few threads on here about how BMW didn't have all the coding worked out for the newer X5's yet. So the added time might be because of this.

Last edited by AndyX5d; 05-02-2012 at 05:29 PM.
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  #14  
Old 05-02-2012, 08:30 PM
artvandalay artvandalay is offline
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Hitch Mount

Several friends have driven their cars, with roof mounted, bicycles into the garage, with lots of minor, but expensive damage. (one friend has done it twice) Add to that the lift up and down near the car exposes you to scratches and dents.

Kuat trailer hitch racks are the BEST.


http://kuatracks.com/
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  #15  
Old 05-02-2012, 09:05 PM
bxmxwx bxmxwx is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AndyX5d View Post
Also I've read quite a few threads on here about how BMW didn't have all the coding worked out for the newer X5's yet. So the added time might be because of this.
For some reason this explanation makes a lot of sense to me, unlike some others.
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  #16  
Old 05-02-2012, 10:36 PM
RPsX5d RPsX5d is offline
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Many may already know this . . . a hitch mounted bike rack with bikes on it will cause the PDC alarm to go off . . . i.e. every time you back up, you will have to manually switch off the PDC - which also cuts off the rear and side cameras.

One, rather clumsy solution - plug in a set of trailer brake lights . . . and trick the car into thinking it is towing a trailer.

Last edited by RPsX5d; 05-03-2012 at 08:48 AM.
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  #17  
Old 05-03-2012, 08:22 AM
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quackbury quackbury is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by artvandalay View Post
Several friends have driven their cars, with roof mounted, bicycles into the garage, with lots of minor, but expensive damage. (one friend has done it twice) Add to that the lift up and down near the car exposes you to scratches and dents.
Time to upgrade your friends. One of my friends' wives backed their Jeep with 4 bikes on a hitch mount rack into their garage wall. So don't jump to the conclusion that hitch mounts are any more idiot-proof. As Forest Gump would say, "Stupid is as stupid does."

BTW if hoisting bikes to the roof is a challenge, there are several rack systems which hoist the bikes up and down for you. Here's BMW's system. Like all BMW accessories, it's spendy, but you can always shop around and use your BMW CCA discount:
http://www.shopbmwusa.com/ProductDet...s&ProductId=74

Another poster said he could not use a roof rack, because he carries a Cargo Box: Unless it's a ridiculously wide cargo box, you should be able to fit one or 2 bike racks on the roof next to the box. I am willing to bet that 2 roof racks, used occasionally, and 1 screw in rear bumper rack, would cost significantly less than adding a hitch and hitch mount rack.

Plus this would obviate the need to cut the trim under the rear bumper, which is the single worst thing about a hitch.

By the way, if you lease and attach ANY hitch other than BMW's, you need to remove it and repair all damage (i.e. the bumper cutout) before returning the vehicle. So add those costs into your calculations as well.
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Prior BMW's
2011 535ix MSport
2011 X5 35D
2008 ///M3 Vert
2008 X5 3.0
2007 X5 3.0
2006 X5 3.0
2006 550iA SP
2003 540iA M-Technic
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  #18  
Old 05-03-2012, 09:32 AM
bxmxwx bxmxwx is offline
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@quackbury

While true, some of the points are a bit stretched, IMHO. Yes, you can drive into a wall/door, bikes attached or not. It happens. However, forgetting that you have something on your roof is so much easier, especially since you do not see it. Returning from a trip, tired, mechanically pushing the garage opener button and driving in, just like a million times before coming from work. Oops. I had a roof mount on my passat for a few years and had those very close calls. And it is so easy to scratch the sides with those frigging pedals - one wrong move is all it takes. And while it was still the best option for a sedan, for an SUV I am going with a hitch. Yes, more expensive. But it is also cleaner in some way and universal. You can actually use a trailer, if you realize that roof box is too small, or the bikes do not fit. Just my view on it.
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  #19  
Old 05-03-2012, 09:42 AM
RPsX5d RPsX5d is offline
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I went with a hitch mounted bike rack for two reasons - one, I already had hitch mounted bike rack, second, I didn't want to lift the bike and in the process run the risk of damaging the paint job on the car. I also *read* roof mounted bikes catch a lot of wind.

I went got the Dealer to install the trailer hitch and electricals (~$1,200 parts + labor) . . . I wanted BMW parts . . . you could go with after-market hitches like ExecuHitch and not have to cut the bumper. Yes cut-bumper is an eyesore - I saw it as the price I pay for insisting on BMW parts.
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  #20  
Old 05-03-2012, 10:41 AM
bxmxwx bxmxwx is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RPsX5d View Post
you could go with after-market hitches like ExecuHitch and not have to cut the bumper. Yes cut-bumper is an eyesore - I saw it as the price I pay for insisting on BMW parts.
That is actually so cool. I went to the website but it is not clear whether this is a DIY or they have technicians that help. They only list contacts in South Africa and Georgia. Has anyone in the US done this?
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  #21  
Old 05-03-2012, 10:47 AM
RPsX5d RPsX5d is offline
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Can't locate the post . . . but I do recall reading - if you don't take the bike rack on and off often, it is best to go with the manual ExecuHitch (versus the automatic) . . . last thing you want is the electronics of this hitch to run afoul with the BMW electronics.

If I had known about this hitch prior to installing BMW designed one, I would definitely considered the manual version of this hitch.
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  #22  
Old 05-03-2012, 11:04 AM
junji98 junji98 is offline
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nice setup bluedragon!

im looking to mount 2 bikes up top and 2 via the rear bumper proprietary mount. lots of bucks but i need to transport 4 bikes and i the hitch isnt an option for me.

what brand of roof mount do you have?

cheers!



Quote:
Originally Posted by blue dragon View Post
If your wife is going to be lifting the bikes onto the roof, you are better off with a hitch mounted rack. We take the boat to the cottage, and the bikes have to go on the roof (no easy way to secure them inside the boat). I can get the bikes up on the roof easily, but it may be tough for someone shorter than 5'10"

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  #23  
Old 05-03-2012, 11:09 AM
junji98 junji98 is offline
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im really curious to know if anyone has experience with this bike lift? how effective is it?

worth the cost?

thanks.


Quote:
Originally Posted by quackbury View Post
Time to upgrade your friends. One of my friends' wives backed their Jeep with 4 bikes on a hitch mount rack into their garage wall. So don't jump to the conclusion that hitch mounts are any more idiot-proof. As Forest Gump would say, "Stupid is as stupid does."

BTW if hoisting bikes to the roof is a challenge, there are several rack systems which hoist the bikes up and down for you. Here's BMW's system. Like all BMW accessories, it's spendy, but you can always shop around and use your BMW CCA discount:
http://www.shopbmwusa.com/ProductDet...s&ProductId=74

Another poster said he could not use a roof rack, because he carries a Cargo Box: Unless it's a ridiculously wide cargo box, you should be able to fit one or 2 bike racks on the roof next to the box. I am willing to bet that 2 roof racks, used occasionally, and 1 screw in rear bumper rack, would cost significantly less than adding a hitch and hitch mount rack.

Plus this would obviate the need to cut the trim under the rear bumper, which is the single worst thing about a hitch.

By the way, if you lease and attach ANY hitch other than BMW's, you need to remove it and repair all damage (i.e. the bumper cutout) before returning the vehicle. So add those costs into your calculations as well.
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  #24  
Old 05-03-2012, 12:13 PM
blue dragon blue dragon is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by junji98 View Post
nice setup bluedragon!

im looking to mount 2 bikes up top and 2 via the rear bumper proprietary mount. lots of bucks but i need to transport 4 bikes and i the hitch isnt an option for me.

what brand of roof mount do you have?

cheers!
I'm using INNO racks http://www.orsracksdirect.com/inno-i...bike-rack.html

Holds perfectly fine , will even hold a 29er.
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Last edited by blue dragon; 05-03-2012 at 12:18 PM.
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  #25  
Old 05-08-2012, 04:06 PM
bxmxwx bxmxwx is offline
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So while I really think that something like execuhitch is a better solution overall, the issue with brand new car and resistance by the dealer to work with other than BMW hitches forced me to go the towing holes mounted bike rack (by BMW) way. It's been ordered, I will post pictures with an update when I put it on. Roof box goes on top with BMW crossbars, multiple people here mentioned those are very quiet at reasonable speeds. Will test the whole setup pretty soon. Cheers!
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