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Discussion Starter #1
I am not happy with a hitch solution. I don't carry my bike around everyday so it just adds weight to the car which in turn would affect my milage.

After frantically researching and looking at multiple trunk bike mounts (and talking to their support departments) the concern is the huge spoiler on the Niro. I saw some online videos from etrailer.com and they have some similar cars with the same spoiler using the Saris SuperBones 3 bike rack. The upper straps are located on the upper section of the upper arms. I am hoping to form an angle so the straps avoid putting any weight on the spoiler by mounting it high enough. I will know by today after I get my shipment.

Wish me luck.;)
 

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Yes - Keep us updated.

I might prefer the trailer hitch as could also use it to pull a light trailer. Not too worried about the trailer hitch weight reducing MPG. It would have to be negligible.
 

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I am happy to report that the Superbones 3 was a great success with my Kia Niro. I mounted it so it was about a half to 1 inch clearance from the spoiler. This allowed a perfect angle so the straps did not add any weight or pressure to the spoilers. I drove with 1 bike for 5 hours (NY to MD), then 3 bikes for 1 hour, and finally 2 bikes for another 5 hours back. I added a supporting strap (Saris Hatch Huggers For Trunk Bike Racks) on the top left and right through the back door hinges as a precaution. These straps were not tight at all so they did not help the SuperBone 3 perform it's function. The rack did it all by itself. No scratches and bends. Very secure. Everyone else on the road had their bikes dancing on the highway on their hitches which I think adds stress to the chassis.
 

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Trailer Hitch

This is the list of products I used:

Curt Hitch: Class III 2" receiver
https://www.etrailer.com/Trailer_Hitch/Curt/C13329.html

No wire cutting trailer light kit:
https://www.etrailer.com/Custom_Fit_Vehicle_Wiring/Tekonsha/119250KIT.html

RV Wiring kit for 7 pin connector:
https://www.etrailer.com/Accessories_and_Parts/etrailer/ETBC7.html

Brake controller: (My trailer has a braking axle)
https://www.etrailer.com/Brake_Controller/Curt/C51140.html

Universal brake controller connector:
https://www.etrailer.com/Accessories_and_Parts/Curt/C51515.html

My setup is the max out way of doing this.
You can get by just fine with just the trailer hitch. The Curt is an absolute perfect fit.

I have a 6'x12' trailer that I put a brake axle on and an electric tongue jack.
Since I decided to go with the Tekonsha no cutting brake light kit, it has to have a power wire run to it from the front(fuse box). So since running a power line to the light adapter I figured I might as well just put the RV kit on there also, it provides power and brake controll, and reverse lights(almost never used).
 

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Just want to point out the alternative to a bike rack for those who may not consider the options. Put the bicycle inside the car! No messing around with installing bike racks and the added weight. No extra drag (will cost several mpg). No bugs and dirt on your bike, and vastly reduced theft risk. The only downside is if you need more than two occupants.

I've also discovered that you can put a bicycle in a Niro upright! Tried it at a dealership. That gets you one additional passenger, or much easier packing of other things.

Two ways to do it and both involve going front wheel first (seat folded) and turning it 90 degrees so it drops into the rear passenger footwell (may require removing passenger headrest - easy). The seat will impact the headliner so it will have to be dropped. Alternatively, you can cut a hole in the storage floor for the rear wheel to sit into. The below storage floor area has enough room where you can simply put the bike in the car upright without any fussing with anything.
 

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This is the list of products I used:

Curt Hitch: Class III 2" receiver
https://www.etrailer.com/Trailer_Hitch/Curt/C13329.html

No wire cutting trailer light kit:
https://www.etrailer.com/Custom_Fit_Vehicle_Wiring/Tekonsha/119250KIT.html

RV Wiring kit for 7 pin connector:
https://www.etrailer.com/Accessories_and_Parts/etrailer/ETBC7.html

Brake controller: (My trailer has a braking axle)
https://www.etrailer.com/Brake_Controller/Curt/C51140.html

Universal brake controller connector:
https://www.etrailer.com/Accessories_and_Parts/Curt/C51515.html

My setup is the max out way of doing this.
You can get by just fine with just the trailer hitch. The Curt is an absolute perfect fit.

I have a 6'x12' trailer that I put a brake axle on and an electric tongue jack.
Since I decided to go with the Tekonsha no cutting brake light kit, it has to have a power wire run to it from the front(fuse box). So since running a power line to the light adapter I figured I might as well just put the RV kit on there also, it provides power and brake controll, and reverse lights(almost never used).
I have discovered that I needed just one additional part:
3 Pack Micro2 ATR APT Add-A-Circuit Lumision Fuse Tap Lot Dash Cam Radar Install | eBay

The fuse block by on the dash has nearly a dozen spare fuses, actually labeled spare. Incredible! I have the LX and it has the fuses and circuits all live for every thing you can think of, heated rear seats, heated steering wheel, heated mirrors, sun roof, power seats, every circuit is there!

My initial thought where to run the power lines to the fuse block in the engine bay. There are some very large 12V bolts there that you can tap into. However there is practically no space to fish the power wires through the firewall. Yes it can be done, but I don't need very much amperage. I have decided to just tap into the fuse block on the dash inside the cabin, and with the "Add-A-Circuits" it's a plug and play operation.

This is not a very easy job to do, but nothing is really overly challenging either. There is a big rubber grommet already in the middle by the license plate that I fed the 4 trailer light wires through. In the left rear side compartment, behind the panel is a rubber grommet that I utilized to send the brake and trailer power wires through.

Take note, that the owners manual, indicates that this car should not be used to tow a trailer. I find it amusing in the fact that Kia has a commercial literally towing another car. And there are trailer hitch mounting points designed into the car and welded in place from the factory.

Just remember that there is no GCVW rating, just GVW rating and exceeding it is not recommended. I have no doubt that the rating is based on the brakes, this car has more than enough power to pull a 2000 lb trailer.

I am very comfortable with what I am doing. I have installed a brake controller for the trailer which has brakes itself also. I have been towing trailers for many years and am very confident this car will look very silly pulling my mowing trailer.
 

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Thank you!
Just got my Niro this week and heading out of town next week.... with bikes! Thanks for the info on the Saris rack.
 

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2018 Niro Plug in hitch for bike rack

Has anyone installed a hitch on a Niro plugin? I have found a hitch for the Niro on etrailers.com but it states "excluding Plug-In Hybrid". Any suggestions? This is just for a bike rack.
 

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The PHEV technically CAN tow up to 1300 kg, see German site:
Der Kia Niro Plug-in Hybrid ? technische Daten | Kia Motors Deutschland
Expand Aussenausstattung, see Anhängelast bis 1.300 kg. The PDF specs on the same web site agrees, and the pricelist lists the option as well, both for the regular hybrid and for the plug-in. The upcharge is the same in both. I suppose, but don't know, that the hitch is the same in both cases.

Whether it is legally allowed to tow in any particular country outside Germany may be another thing. Salesman ensured me that it is allowed in Slovenia as well, but I only have his word because the Slovenian web site doesn't list the PHEV yet.
 

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I am happy to report that the Superbones 3 was a great success with my Kia Niro. I mounted it so it was about a half to 1 inch clearance from the spoiler. This allowed a perfect angle so the straps did not add any weight or pressure to the spoilers. I drove with 1 bike for 5 hours (NY to MD), then 3 bikes for 1 hour, and finally 2 bikes for another 5 hours back. I added a supporting strap (Saris Hatch Huggers For Trunk Bike Racks) on the top left and right through the back door hinges as a precaution. These straps were not tight at all so they did not help the SuperBone 3 perform it's function. The rack did it all by itself. No scratches and bends. Very secure. Everyone else on the road had their bikes dancing on the highway on their hitches which I think adds stress to the chassis.
I have the old Bones 3 and from what I can tell, there aren't many structural changes from the Bones 3 to the Superbones 3. The changes I've read about are to do with the arm mechanisms. When you bought the Superbones, did they say anything about the Bones 3 and whether or not it would work on a Niro?
 

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I am happy to report that the Superbones 3 was a great success with my Kia Niro. I mounted it so it was about a half to 1 inch clearance from the spoiler. This allowed a perfect angle so the straps did not add any weight or pressure to the spoilers. I drove with 1 bike for 5 hours (NY to MD), then 3 bikes for 1 hour, and finally 2 bikes for another 5 hours back. I added a supporting strap (Saris Hatch Huggers For Trunk Bike Racks) on the top left and right through the back door hinges as a precaution. These straps were not tight at all so they did not help the SuperBone 3 perform it's function. The rack did it all by itself. No scratches and bends. Very secure. Everyone else on the road had their bikes dancing on the highway on their hitches which I think adds stress to the chassis.
Now that you have a year using this rack do you still like it? And any problems?
 

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I have the old Bones 3 and from what I can tell, there aren't many structural changes from the Bones 3 to the Superbones 3. The changes I've read about are to do with the arm mechanisms. When you bought the Superbones, did they say anything about the Bones 3 and whether or not it would work on a Niro?
Did the bones 3 work? I have a 2017 Kia and someone listed the old bones 3 on my local yard sale page.
 

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I've used this trunk mounted rack on Honda Fit, Subuaru Outback, and now Niro;
Allen Sports Deluxe 2-Bike Trunk Mount Rack
It is relatively inexpensive ($62), easy to install remove, stable at 70 mph and works well with 1 or 2 bikes. Probably not as robust / deluxe as the Saris but at a quarter of the cost of the Saris it floats my boat -- err bikes.
 

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@raoultenazas

Similar to other people, I am wondering whether there was something between the SuperBones-3 and the previous Bones EX-3, that made you choose the SuperBones, and if you still recommend it.
 

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Bike rack update, I purchased the Superbones-3 a while back but only recently had the opportunity to put it to the test. Verdict: Excellent.

3 adult sized bikes = no problem. The rack attaches easily and is very stable. You definitely notice the extra weight at the rear while driving but it never feels shaky.

6425


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Everyones requirements are different to each other. I am writing here to give my take and why I went with a trailer hitch mount over all the other alternatives.

I ride a mountain bike. it's not a cheep bike and I wanted to make sure it lasted me as many years as I could realistically get from it. My last bike cost just over $3000 and i rode it for 16 years before repairing it was going to cost more than the value of the bike and was getting difficult due to parts no longer being manufactured. I keep my bike a pretty long time.

I have had a trunk mount bike rack that I had for a Volkswagon Fox and ended up adapting it to work with my Ford Explorer. it required that you mount the bike across the top tube onto the arms of the bike rack. This worked at the time as bikes didn't come with any suspension that would put too much critical components into the middle triangle of the bike. As new bikes seem to work on different geometry compared to older bikes, this isn't an easy task now. You can buy a helper bar that attaches to the seat post and handle bar stem, but I have found this actually causes more damage to the bike . As well this design doesn't hold the bike steady and allows it to swing back an forth against not only the back of the car, but any other bike on the rack. If you look at the photo above, when you are driving down a road, the bumps and movement of the car with the wind against the bikes, they will sway back and forth grinding the paint off each other. As well the rear derailleur will get constantly bashed against the bike next to it and cause it to break. (Generally while you are riding).

I have had a roof rack that I bought for my Ford Escape, but found that it was far to difficult to put a bike onto and take off of the rack. It does solve the problem of the bikes movement as they are now aligned with the direction of the car so they tend not to move. You can get ones that you are required to remove the front wheel and the front fork is bolted to the rack to hold the bike steady. This does work if you don't have a modern suspension fork as the better quality forks don't have any quick release for the wheels rather have a solid axle as it's much stronger. Add onto this hydraulic breaks and this mounting by the front wheel just doesn't work. As well, you might think that securing the bike by the front fork is sold. it does in fact put the forks under a tremendous amount to torque and I have read of them breaking welds that hold them together. If you are driving in a straight line with no cross wind you'd be fine, but as soon as you get cross wind or a big transport truck driving past you at speed the suction on the bike it incredibly large enough to damage the welds not only on your forks but the bike as a whole.

This has brought me back to the trailer hitch rack. I have the Swagman XTC2 as it holds the bike in pace by the wheel. there is a vertical bar that then clamps onto the frame of the bike so that it cannot sway at all. I use a folded towel between the bike and the bar hold-down hook so the frame doesn't get damaged. this I have found is the most secure way to hold a bike so that it can't move without applying any damage to the bike. But to be able to do this you will need to have a trailer hitch.
 
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