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2015 Forester XT Premium
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61 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I just bought a '15 Forester XT Premium and also got the OEM hitch. I am looking to buy a bike rack, but based on what I have been reading here and on etrailer, the OEM hitch is not compatible with many bike racks. It looks like the location of the pin hole(center) being half an inch from end of the receiver is the main issue. I looked inside the receiver, and do not see any stops that would prevent a longer tongue to go in.

I have a couple of questions.
-Did the pre-2014 models have the same issue with the center of the pin hole being so close to the end of the receiver?

-Does anyone have the OEM Subaru bike rack(E361SAJ400), and if you do, can you please measure the distance from the end of the tongue on the bike rack to the center of the pin hole on the bike rack?

-I have seen several posts here for Kuat, or 1UP USA bike racks being compatible with this OEM hitch, and they look really nice, but they are above my budget. I need a bike rack for 2-3 bikes and want to spend less than $200. Do you have any recommendations for bike racks that worked with your OEM hitch without any modifications/machining?

Thank you for your help
Oz
 

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2015 Forester
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2 Posts
I'm considering the OEM hitch myself. Is the receiver an odd size, shape? Last thing i want is something that isn't standard and is difficult to find for accessories. I too am looking at a bike rack for this hitch.
 

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2015 XT-P
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630 Posts
I have the OEM hitch, self installed, and use a Kuat alpha 3 bike rack. The beta rack is similar, but a 2 bike rack. Kuat recommends only carrying 2 bikes with the Alpha and a 1.25" receiver. For whatever reason, the trailer hitch pin hole is located near the back of the receiver. I've been thinking of drilling another hole to slide my racks in further, either drilling the hole in the hitch receiver or in the accessory itself, depending if you want the cargo closer to the wagon tailgate or further. There is no stop inside my hitch to prevent you from sliding something in further. After almost a year, there have been no issues carrying stuff with the OEM hitch, mostly I use a Kurt 20 x 50" cargo rack for gas cans, coolers, yard waste, etc.

Do an advanced google search for "kuat" bike racks on the site "craigslist.org", you might find a bargain.
 

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2017 WRX Limited
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228 Posts
OEM Hitch and OEM Bike Carrier

Oz,
I'm in the same boat that you're in. I too have the OEM hitch, which I'm convinced is the best available for our Foresters. I also want a two bike carrier and am about to pull the trigger on the OEM one as I have to believe it will be fine and work well with the rather shallow holes in the OEM hitch. However, I also would like to hear from another forum member who has this set up that could advise what they think of it and how they like it. Surely some member that has both OEM parts can chime in with opinions and comments? Thanks.
 

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2015 Forester XT Premium
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61 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Sooneru - I ended up buying a Yakima Double Down bike rack for 4 bikes from Craigslist. I bought it for $100. Included brand new straps, and was in very good condition. This one is compatible with both 1 1/4" and 2" hitches. I have used the rack with 2 bikes so far without issues, but haven't tested with 3 bikes. Why did I choose this bike rack? It was relatively cheap. Seems very sturdy. And, the center of the pin hole is 1.5" to the end of the shaft. So, the shaft of the rack goes into the hitch receiver 1.5". Other bike racks I looked at had the pin hole closer to the end of the shaft.
I do have 2 minor complaints.
1 - Once you remove the metal sleeve to use for 1 1/4" hitches, the bolt becomes a little long. Not a big deal. If you are going to keep removing it and putting it back on the car, it might bother you.
2 - The cradles that you put the bike on do move a bit during driving. But I can probably put some tape to stop this from happening. I had read before that this was common on this type of Yakima racks.

I can post pictures this weekend.

I wish somebody who owns the Subaru OEM Bike rack would chime in and tell us what the distance from the center of the pin hole to the end of the shaft on the bike rack is. That would help a lot of us looking for bike racks and wanting a reference point what Subaru designed on their bike racks for the OEM hitch.

The Kuat's are definitely nice, but the cheapest I could find on CL was $450.
 

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2014 Forester Limited CVT
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96 Posts
I have the OEM hitch. I bought the Yakima Highlite Bike Rack 3, because it was very light weight. I then drilled an extra pin hole so the bike rack shaft would extend further into the hitch. Worked out great.
 

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2015 Forester 2.0XT-P CVT
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129 Posts
The Kuat's are definitely nice, but the cheapest I could find on CL was $450.
For what it's worth, I got my Kuat Sherpa on ebay for $302 shipped. It was basically brand new. Not sure if you're looking for the NV or if you'd settle for the Sherpa, but I love mine and feel like I got an alright price. You just gotta keep looking for a deal.
 

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61 Posts
Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thanks Copperhead51. After using the Yakima DoubleDown for a few weeks, I ended up selling it on Craigslist and even made 10 bucks on it... :) The bikes kept moving during driving. I found a good deal on a Yakima Holdup 2. I am really happy with this one so far. Very easy to put the bikes on it and secure them. It comes with hitch lock and cable locks. Only issue is I can only carry 2 bikes with this, not the 3 I originally wanted. There is a add-on that let's you add 2 more bikes, but that is not compatible with the version meant for the 1.25" hitch.


For what it's worth, I got my Kuat Sherpa on ebay for $302 shipped. It was basically brand new. Not sure if you're looking for the NV or if you'd settle for the Sherpa, but I love mine and feel like I got an alright price. You just gotta keep looking for a deal.
 

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2015 Forester XT CVT
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17 Posts
Factory 1-1/4" hitch. Yakima Hold up bike rack. No problems. Works perfect. Amazing setup, use it on 2 8-9K$ downhill bikes confidently. was more than 200$ though.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I spent $300 for the Holdup that I bought on Craigslist. I think it sells for $500+ new. This one was in pretty much new condition.
I am going to try to attach some pictures.

One con of this type of bike rack is that the backup camera is pretty much useless when the rack is attached.
 

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2011 Touring 4EAT
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307 Posts
First time I mounted my 1UP on the OEM hitch on my 2011, I made the mistake of inserting it too far into the hitch since my OEM is open on both ends. Now I just put my hand back there to confirm it's flush with the back. 1UP also sells a collar you can secure to the hitch to ensure the rack is always inserted to the same point.
 
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