Even though I see it all the time, I wasnít thrilled with how a bicycle blocked taillights. It seems unsafe. I recognize the blocking of license plate is illegal but a detective friend of mine said cops canít be bothered to stop people for that. I guess criminals donít have bike racks. Blocking the lights, though, could leave you liable should someone rear end you.
I checked with two places in town for receivers. U-Haul and a local place. The price was the same, U-Haul offered a lifetime warranty so I went with them. The total price, including wiring and installation, was approximately $320 + tax.
I settled on a platform style bike rack and went with the Thule Doubletrack 990xt. I liked that it can be easily locked with built in locks (I know, locks only protect from honest people), accommodate bikes with full fenders, and is Made in USA. I purchased through Campsaver.com as they almost always have a 20% off coupon available. Anymore if I shop online before making the final purchase I google ďstore name couponĒ and see what pops up. The total price with 20% discount was $240. Free shipping.
For the lights. First I searched to see what legal requirements might be. AAA.com has some good info. Standards vary by state but putting them all together it comes to: keep the lights between 20 and 60 inches off the ground and within 12 inches of the extreme corner. This is actually for a travel trailer but I figure thatís close enough. I purchased travel trailer lights, square aluminum tube, angle aluminum, square u-bolts, paint, etc. I donít have an exact figure but I probably spent around $150. I could have gone cheaper but I wanted submersible LED tail lights and to make it look as professional as I could. I wonít show off the flaws (and there are a few).
A local taxi company has as their slogan ďwe guarantee to be cheaper than a DUIĒ. I figure the taillight set up I went with is still cheaper than getting rear ended regardless of who is at fault.