Towbar mounted bike racks.

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  • Towbar mounted bike racks.
  • Shopping on ebay as a £300 thule/pendle rack is out of my league, but the same rack for £50 isn’t.

    I’m fitting a flanged towbar at the weekend, anyone got any tips for which ones to search for?

    Needs to be quick and easy to install as it’s mostly for short trips to group muddy group night rides, so no straps to the car, and no tools to attach it, and nothign so fiddly it can’t be done in the dark.

    Thinking of the ‘wheels on a platform’ style racks as they probably require less strapping down (I’ve scratched boot doors/bikes before with bikes swinging on hanging type racks).

    Preferably with room for as many bikes as posible (4), but also preferably modular to make it easy to install several times a week for just one bike. Not sure how common this is, only seen it on pendle 3+1 racks.

    Anyone got some recomendations?

    Premier Icon stilltortoise
    Subscriber

    I bought one from Halfords that I think is this one and I can’t say a bad word about it. Easy to fit, secure, not too expensive, includes lights and takes up to 3 bikes. It can also be tipped so you can get in the boot.

    Not modular though, but to be honest I never find it a pain if I’m just taking one bike out.

    legend
    Member

    What’s your budget? I’d be looking at the likes of Pendle or Aiston over Thule

    EDIT: post makes more sense now

    Premier Icon steveh
    Subscriber

    aistoncycleracks.co.uk are a lot less than pendle and better in every way. Definitely worth a look.

    Premier Icon jam bo
    Subscriber

    Thule express 970. Takes seconds to fit. One bike is easy, two is fine.

    Lives in the boot of my car.

    Should run a light board with but but rarely bother locally.

    Premier Icon geoffj
    Subscriber

    Consider how many bikes you NEED to carry – faffage increases exponentially with more than 2 bikes IME.
    And for ease, I’d avoid the wheel carrier ones – something like Jambo’s recommendation is good, but get one that has the bracket which permanently attaches to the tow bar flange.

    Putting them on the roof with a couple of 591s is still a million times better IMHO.

    Considdered roof bars, but seemd more of a faff taking them on/off and didn’t want the added fuel costs. My experience with trailers implies boot mounted will add almost nadda to the fuel.

    And the works car park has a 1.8m limit, and is secure enough i’d not wory about leaving bikes down there.

    Premier Icon The Pinkster
    Subscriber

    If you’re using a flanged towbar I’d go for a MaxxRaxx I’ve used one for years no probs. No tools needed for fitting, takes moments and does the job quickly & simply.

    Only reason I don’t use mine now is that my current car has a swan neck tow-bar and I can’t use the swan-neck mount with the Alko hitch on my caravan.

    They can be picked up cheaper elsewhere, e.g. Roofbox.co.uk who also have other types of towbar mount for reasonable prices.

    legend
    Member

    And for ease, I’d avoid the wheel carrier ones

    Not sure I get that comment, wheel support racks are much easier to use with far less chance of damaging anything than two bar racks ime

    Premier Icon geoffj
    Subscriber

    Not sure I get that comment, wheel support racks are much easier to use with far less chance of damaging anything than two bar racks ime

    My experience is the opposite – I’ve only used a couple of Thule ones though.

    The wheel support ones have to be strapped at both wheels and to the frame. With the one I linked to, you only need one strap to tigthen. Prevent them mating using perforated foam flooring mats between the bikes (strapped through the perforations) and Robert is your mother’s adopted sibling.

    fivespot
    Member

    Been using a Pendle for last 5 years, takes seconds to fit to car, and a few more seconds to drop bike in wheel slots, bungie crank arm to upright on Pendle. No frame contact and no damage to bike, simples 😉

    orangeboy
    Member

    I have a twinny one that works very well with my road bike and older mtb but struggles with modern fat crank arms
    I got mine years ago so may have changed now
    Easy to use and fit and has lightning board build in

    oliverd1981
    Member

    Aiston – without a doubt.

    You will need a spanner to nip up the securing hooks, but they’re a solid bit of kit.

    My experience with hanging racks is the bikes rattle into each other and the pedals into the back of the car. That was my reasoning for looking at ones that suppourt the wheels. That and they look more likely to suppourt silly designs with dropped top tubes and BMX’s better than the hanging type.

    It’ll be used two or three times a week so anything involving tools is out due to faffage and odds of loseing the tool.

    Idealy I want a van, but that’s not going to happen any time soon!

    Premier Icon bruneep
    Subscriber

    Aiston rack user here. Bomb proof not the lightest.

    Bryan is a top bloke, needed new wheel supports for fat bike. He sent them to me before telling me how much I was due him.

    Worth a lookie

    Premier Icon zippykona
    Subscriber

    Has anyone got any better pictures of the aiston single bike rack. Can’t see how it attaches to tow bar.

    Premier Icon bruneep
    Subscriber

    STW thread

    depends on what tow bar you have if its the flange type the just bolt on behind the tow ball. If like me you have the detachable swan neck I had to use an adapter that attaches to the ball from pendle. However this seems to gone from their site.

    Can do pics of my rack if you want later.

    mattzzzzzz
    Member

    Ive got this one
    http://www.decathlon.co.uk/allroad-3-bike-carrier-id_8207705.html

    £154 quid

    Ive modified mine though to have a permanent swing arm on top to attach to downtube
    Like this

    I also have an Atera Strada (3 bike model, with additional tray for 4th bike).

    Sometimes a bit fiddily to fit the support arms to the top tubes, but it’s a great quality rack. Really stable, and holds the bikes securely. Easy to fit onto car, but does weight ~15kg.

    In the past I’ve had Atera roof bars and a Hollywood tailgate (strap-on) rack. The tow ball mounted rack is the most convenient to use so far, and I have no plans to change that.

    Only downside is the cost – v. expensive – but you get what you pay for.

    For anyone thinking about a tow ball mounted rack remember to check the permitted nose weight of your car. It has to be greater than the combined weight of the rack and bikes you’re going to carry.

    Premier Icon mtbfix
    Subscriber

    Do the wheel cradles on Atera Stradas bolt into place? I quite fancy one of these but cannot face the hassle of resetting wheel cradles when ferrying different bikes.

    Premier Icon zippykona
    Subscriber

    I bought a Thule 970 today.Takes seconds to fit to tow bar and my 3 bikes of varying frame designs fit in seconds also.
    Not driven with it so can’t comment if it will fall off.
    Tow bar, light board,fitting and rack came in at £260.

    rudedog
    Member

    I bought a Thule rideon 2 bike carrier a couple of years ago for about £80 which has been brilliant for the money – comes with a lightboard and can be tilted if you need to get in to the boot (they also do a 3 bike version). Seems to be a bit pricier these days though at around £140. If I had to buy another I’d probably go for the decathlon 3 bike carrier posted earlier.

    coxy17
    Member

    Look up,Maxxraxx brilliant peace of kit.no straps 5 min and your up and in your way.

    mattzzzzzz
    Member

    Mines for sale if anyone is interested as I have bought a Mondeo estate thats as long as along thing and dont need one anymore, check my threads for info
    #shamelessplug#

    rudedog
    Member

    I think you’ll find a Mondeo estate is actually longer than a long thing 😉

    Those with 4×4’s in pics above did you not consider a spare wheel mount?
    had 1 on my Freelander and Defender, found it easy to use and could open the door with bikes on

    spooky_b329
    Member

    My vote goes for the wheel support type, if you have funny suspension frames/dropped top tubes etc I always found I had to have bikes at odd angles, or for slightly smaller frames with suspension linkages in the way, sometimes one prong has to go under the downtube behind the fork crown or under the seat stays where it gets wedged.

    Add in putting padding between bikes and it can be a faff, wheel support types may have a few extra straps but you can just plonk the bikes on in alternating directions, and everything looks tidy too.

    I’ve seen the maxxrack in action (the 5 bike model) and although it does a top job of carrying the maximum number of bikes, it looked to be a bit of a jigsaw puzzle getting them on. Seem to remember one bike having to go on upside down to get 5 on there 🙂 Also, I guess each bike has to be balanced on the seat whilst they are all loaded before being ratcheted, which could be a pain if one wants to keep its front wheel on the floor.

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