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  • Bike Rack Options
  • Premier Icon doorman
    Free Member

    Hi STW,

    Recently I have been having problems with a tow bar mounted witter bike rack. One or two bikes on and its fine but once you start putting more bikes on it drops over time until it is not far form the road. Despite witter sending new clamping mechanism and the original towball having play which was replaced the issue persists and I find myself looking for new racks. However, every rack i look at has the same weight rating and state that the final 2 bikes cannot come to more than 20kg combined weight – an unrealistic figure for 2 adult mtb – ads show children’s bikes.
    Can these suspended racks take 4 adult sized bikes or does it rely on a more trailer style approach with wheels to support the weight?

    Premier Icon wzzzz
    Free Member

    What car is it?

    Most cars are rated for 50-75kg noseweight

    Thats vertical weight on the ball.

    Say 20kg for the rack that doesn’t leave a lot for 4 bikes. Hence why you might struggle to find rack designed for any more.

    Also the further out, the more leverage on the ball its not really designed for.

    I’d get a trailer, or stick 2 on the roof. Or you could buy a proper 3.5 ton tow car with a 350kg nose weight like a Discovery and a rack that bolts on rather than on the ball like an old Pendle.

    Premier Icon spooky_b329
    Full Member

    Are you holding the rack too high when clamping the tow ball? My Thule won’t clamp if it’s too high, you have to lower it until it cams over. So you might be clamping the ball instead of the mechanism correctly cantilevering itself under the shoulder of the ball.

    Premier Icon doorman
    Free Member

    Its a volvo xc60 D5 engine that on Volvos website is rated for 110kg towball weight. When having the problems with the previous ball both Witter and a trailer specialist saw it loaded with 4 adult bikes on there and didn’t mention it.
    I am fairly certain is seating correctly as the clamping mechanism wouldn’t appear to shut if it wasnt.
    With both the clamping mechanism of the rack replaced and the tow ball assembly itself it appears to be something to do with weight – its fine with one or two bikes but it drops slowly over bumps with 3/4.

    Interestingly it also appears to be alright with the xc90 but not with the xc60.

    Premier Icon 5lab
    Free Member

    The 4th bike rail for my altera rack came with 2 little ropes that hook from the rear most part of the rack up to the top of the boot door (thus removing most of the rotational load off the ball). Might that kind of set up work for you?

    Premier Icon doorman
    Free Member

    We use a very similar arrangement with a hook that attaches into boot lines and attaches onto the rack yet still it drops

    Premier Icon TheBrick
    Free Member

    The 4th bike rail for my altera rack came with 2 little ropes that hook from the rear most part of the rack up to the top of the boot door

    I was going to say something like that.

    For less than a fiver something like this is worth a go. Secured to outer most part of the rack high up or may the bike if its secure.

    Premier Icon TheBrick
    Free Member

    What kind of a shit system converts link so they don’t work on a computer?

    The link was to an amazon listing title “Peruzzo 400 Straps, Black”

    Premier Icon susepic
    Free Member

    Only use on the XC90 perhaps, or cut your losses and buy a Thule rack?

    Premier Icon DickBarton
    Full Member

    Just checking – you haven’t greased the towball, have you?

    Premier Icon doorman
    Free Member

    Towball isnt greased 🤣 – we checked that by adding disc cleaner to remove any if that was the case. I looked at racks today and it looks like it might be Thule option.
    Those straps are very similar to the type we use with the same style of hook on the end – still it drops.
    Saw tow-bar services today who fitted it all and they confirmed the car is rated for 110kg and that the replaced warranty tow-bar was rated even stronger so shouldn’t be having problems there. He said he stocks both MaxxRaxx and Thule and said that the maxx is a very basic system and would end up costing similar to the Thule and he also said hes never had Thules returned- i guess therefore Thule is best option.

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