Tell me about tow bar mounted carriers for bikes
Does anyone regularly use a tow bar mounted thingy to carry their bike/bikes?
Im currenty using a roof rack system which is cool but whenever I sepnd time on the motorway the noise drives me bonkers even without any bikes on it – and it saps 5mpg too even without a bike on it
As I have a tow bar I have been thinking about swapping for a gizmo that would attach to this – Thule etc etc
But Im not actually sure if its what I really want
The thing I like about the roof bars is that I have it mounted most of the time and if I fancy driving with the bikes I just stick them on and Im away
My worry is that a tow bar system wont allow me to get out so quickly and it would need to be stored off the car when Im not carrying any bikes
Anyone have an opinion?Posted 9 years agodave_aberMember
I used one on my last car – very quick to clamp on and remove, and it folded up in the boot when it wasn’t being used. Excellent kit really. Don’t know if you can still get them like this one – Was Paddy Hopkirk branded – about £30 10 years ago.
Using a roof rack now, since it will cost me at least £500 to stick a rowbar on the new car. Can’t justify it really since I have a pickup for the tip run etc so don’t use the trailer much now.
The towbar rack was definately more convenient though. It would only take 2 bikes, but then so does my roofrack at the mo.Posted 9 years ago
This is a good ‘mate of mine’s which, as you can see, is capable of hauling three obese bikes all the way to the alps and back.
He also rides a couple of times a week a drive away and just clamps it on when needed. It also folds and goes in the boot.
As far as I am concerned it’s the next best thing to a van.
Posted 9 years agodruidhMember
I have a Thule 902 – with the 3rd bike adapter. In use, it’s very simple. Loading/unloading is easier than a roof rack and you don’t have height clearance issues. I’m not convinced there’s a lot of difference as regards fuel consumption. The 902/903 is expensive, but it all folds away into a very neat little unit for easy storage. Coupled with Thule’s reputation & build quaility, that’s what finally swung it for me,Posted 9 years agogarage-dwellerSubscriber
Got a pendle one. It’s mostly used an extra shelf in the garage but then I have got a bl**dy great estate car.
Solid as you like
Very convenient for putting bikes on and off
Much better fuel consumption vs. roof racking
It just fits on the rear seat of the mondeo when out riding without folding any seats (oddly it doesn’t fit in the boot!)
I reckon it is more secure from a locking point of view (big eyebolt attached to towbar for proper locks)and
The bikes are less likely to make a bid for freedom while driving along the M4
-‘sPosted 9 years ago
You can’t open the boot with it on (some of the Thule ones you can but depends on boot shape)
You’d have to fold seats to put it inside a hatchback
It’s a bit of a sod to fit until you get the nack (doesn’t take long)
If you get rear ended by some dozing school runner/ the next Lewis Hamilton wannabe your bikes are going to get f***** which may be worth more than the carchakapingSubscriber
I’ve got the 902 as well. It’s strong, secure and well-made, the electric couplings could be better though.
It might go in the boot of some cars, but most you’d need to put the seats down. It’s bulky and heavy.
Takes about five minutes to haul out of garage and attach to tow-bar.Posted 9 years agoPeterPoddyMember
I’ve just bought one of those ones that Flamejob has posted the pic of. It’s a Thule 946 or 947 (They are the same as far as I can find out) Not used it yet, but it should fit to the towball in seconds, and I’ve tried fitting bikes to it
It seems very well made, but I wish it was a tad more adjustable. Like he says I’ll be needing some foam to stop bikes rubbing, unless we only have 2 on it and leave the middle slot empty.
They aren’t cheap, though. RRP is £300 but I got mine off Ebay for under £200 delivered.Posted 9 years agomrsflashMember
we have a pendle 3 bike rack.
Re garage dweller’s points
Solid as you like – absolutely solid – I can stand on ours. Also kept the bikes damage free in a rear shunt.
Very convenient for putting bikes on and off – yup
Much better fuel consumption vs. roof racking – never used a roof rack but would imagine so
It just fits on the rear seat of the mondeo when out riding without folding any seats (oddly it doesn’t fit in the boot!) – not tried this
I reckon it is more secure from a locking point of view (big eyebolt attached to towbar for proper locks) – yes
The bikes are less likely to make a bid for freedom while driving along the M4
You can’t open the boot with it on (some of the Thule ones you can but depends on boot shape) – depends on the car, we can on ours (not fully but enough to get stuff in and out
You’d have to fold seats to put it inside a hatchback – never put it inside the car
It’s a bit of a sod to fit until you get the nack (doesn’t take long) – we find it easy to fit
If you get rear ended by some dozing school runner/ the next Lewis Hamilton wannabe your bikes are going to get f***** which may be worth more than the car – see above. Obviously depends on the speed of impact but our bikes were fine.
I would add that ours lives permanently either on the drive or on the car and is still solid – our previous one lived outside for 7 years and was only replaced after the shunt mentioned above.
Cannot recommend it highly enough.Posted 9 years agostevehSubscriber
I’ve had a few towbar racks (pendle, no name, used a thule etc) and these is by the far the best http://www.aistoncycleracks.co.uk.
The best bit is solid mounting and little effect on mpg with mine anyway. Takes under 5 minutes to fit. Drop it into the slot and do up 2 bolts, put bike on do up one more bolt and that’s it. I tend to add a strap or 2 for long journeys but not local stuff. You do need somewhere to store the rack when you’re not using it though and can’t get into the boot with it on but you soon learn topack to get things from the seats. I just lock the rack to the car when riding, don’t bother removing it and putting in the car or anything due to it’s size.Posted 9 years agocxiMember
I’ve got a Tradekar Silverbike quick-fit but I think that’s been superceeded by the Oynx now.
Fitting onto the towball takes 15 seconds – drop over the towball, push down the locking lever and slide locking-bar across. The locking bar which stops the lever coming up can then padlocked shut.
My Silverbike and the Oynx both tilt to allow boot access on hatchbacks.
http://www.roofbox.co.uk/bike-carriers/ is a good place to look at a good range of models.Posted 9 years agoJunkyardMember
I have one like the 3 one above from AistonPosted 9 years ago
Takes about 1 minute to fit including bike as the clamp bit is allways bolted inplace and you slide the top bit on….guess it fits in the boot never tried.
Can also attach a trailor when I go camping but be aware you need a longish bar on a trailor. Many mount in a way that prevents you using the towbar.
Was about £30 of the bay iircnickheadMember
Mine IS the one posted by flamejob above 🙂
A Thule 903 – now replaced by a newer model which looks even better
Love it – sometimes can be a minor annoyance when i just want to load the bike and go, but i can fit or remove it in only a couple of minutes – and once it’s on, its staying on. As stated – done a couple of high speed trips to France, around France and back with 2 or 3 hefty DH bikes on. Reason i went for this one is because it’s one of the few i could find actually rated to carry 3 bikes of the heft of a proper DH bike… 3 x 45lbs ish
If I’m using it regularly, i may just leave it on the back – doesn’t bother me much… conscious of extra fuel cost due to weight, but certainly not the drag you get with roofbar mounted racks (as i had on previous motor)
i can’t see myself changing, and would definitely get another (detachable) towbar fitted on my next car just for this purposePosted 9 years agostevehSubscriber
Muke – Please buy an Aiston instead! I’ve had both and the aiston is better in everyway and cheaper. About £160ish by the time you’ve bought a light board from memory. Also with 3 bolts it can be converted into a 2 bike version which is great for my use most of the time.
The website isn’t great but I promise it’ll be just what you want if you think you want a pendle. Sturdier, no rust, wheel support hoops take proper tires and don’t bend i could go on and on.Posted 8 years ago
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