Tow ball mounted racks – Giving up on Thule – what now?

  • This topic has 41 replies, 31 voices, and was last updated 7 years ago by  jeff.
Viewing 40 posts - 1 through 40 (of 42 total)
  • Tow ball mounted racks – Giving up on Thule – what now?
  • Got a 9503, and fed up of the way bikes are too close together. It’s fine for 2, but 3 bikes is a pita. Had enough.

    Anyone use a buzzrack quattro?, look good vfm, and takes 4 bikes, so should be better with 3 on than my Thule?.

    Premier Icon chakaping
    Subscriber

    Is the Thule Euroclassic too pricey?

    380 is a bit much tbh.

    Premier Icon chakaping
    Subscriber

    It is a bit pricey.

    They’re very good though, in case you see a secondhand one or an offer.

    b r
    Member

    Pendle, they make them here and you can get longer rods with consequentially greater gaps between the bikes.

    Premier Icon desboy3
    Member

    A new car so you can go back to the good old roof bars and carriers! I could do you a deal on a 2005 Astra!

    My dad has a pendle rack. Very good.

    Killer
    Member

    Aiston bike racks.

    Have a friend who swears by them.

    well built, sturdy cheap.

    Roofbars are sooooo 20th century Desmond 😉

    Gasman Jim
    Member

    Atera Duro XL

    The bikes are well separated and the sliding mechanism allows easy access to the boot.

    oldbloke
    Member

    Atera Strada carrying 4 bikes round all summer & was great. easy to fit & use. Bikes well separated and secured.

    Premier Icon flap_jack
    Subscriber

    Pendle very secure but boy does it trash fuel consumption. Big estate car is the only answer (I now have a 1994 Merc into which I can put bikes without taking the wheels off).

    docrobster
    Member

    Had an atera strada last yr but it cracked around the clamp part so now using an automaxi allroad £280 from decathlon. seems ok

    Try puting the crank arms of the outer bikes against the rack’s risers. This creates more space between them.

    Have a look at the bak-rak. They’re pretty adaptable and can be set up however you want.

    Stoner
    Member

    following a chat with a guy from the roof box company while at the cycle show at NEC earlier this year, an Altera Strada is what Im going to go for soon. I have a Fiamma one on the back of the T4 but its too shandy poof. The struts have bent, the fittings weather badly and seize.
    So I shall fit a tow ball to the chassis and then stick a strada on it to cart 4x family bikes around for the next 15 years.

    rudedog
    Member

    I’ve got the 2 bike version of your Thule and have found that if I rotate the cranks on the outermost bike so that its resting against the divider of the rack, there is much more clearance between the bikes and rubbing isn’t an issue.

    I just make sure I strap both the crank and the downtube of the bike to the upright of the carrier for a bit more security.

    I’d imagine the same would work for the 3 bike version – worth a try at least before shelling out on a new rack.

    Premier Icon Nick
    Subscriber

    I’ve never had a problem with my 9503, at least not once I’d worked out which way round the bikes have to go, where the cranks need to be and so on. Hard to fault for the money.

    I can get three bikes onto my Thule ride on 3. Only £160 of course bikes need to be put on with thought so as to avoid handle bars and pedals clashing but I am yet to resort to use of an Allen key to sort that issue.

    OK, its meant to tilt out the way so you can open the boot but it doesn’t tilt enough. ho hum.

    Premier Icon takisawa2
    Subscriber

    Worth bearing in mind that 4 bikes, plus the rack, could be over the max nose weight for some cars…

    b r
    Member

    Pendle very secure but boy does it trash fuel consumption

    Never had a roof mounted rack c/w bikes? My Thule roof bars/rack took 3mpg off the car even without the bikes…

    Tow bar racks seem to be variable on mpg impact, on previous Omega and Vectra no impact – current 5 series, about 3-4 mpg.

    paulosoxo
    Member

    How do these actually fit? I have a witter detachable tow bar.

    Do these racks work with detachable bars?

    Mark N
    Member

    They clamp down on the ball. The witter will be a swan neck and will be fine. The thing to be careful of is the max nose weight. This varies from car to car. The total weight of the rack and the bikes should not exceed this.

    rudedog
    Member

    I had a detachable towbar on my focus and the Thule went on with no problems.

    paulosoxo
    Member

    Do they mark or damage the ball? We have an ALKO hitch on the caravan, so I don’t want the ball getting wrecked.

    Ive got a buzz rack buzzrunner which takes 3 bikes and is absolutely spot on. Takes 3 bikes easily and is much better than thules of a similar price – was about £200

    Premier Icon steveh
    Subscriber

    Aiston racks all the way. I had a pendle before my aiston and the aiston is a lot better in every way and cheaper as well. The way the bikes are held and rigidity of the rack when driving are much better.

    steveh, how are the bikes held? you got any pics? The Aiston website doesn’t show this well at all (I know it’s just one guy)

    Premier Icon bruneep
    Subscriber

    I can do some pics later of Aiston rack, they don’t fit onto the tow ball you need this http://www.pendle-bike.co.uk/shopping/ta-bm-adapt.php. Again can do pics later.

    Had no issues with either the Aiston or the TA to BM adaptor.

    B

    My Aiston is absolutely spot on – I had it made to mount directly on to the tow-hitch an as it didn’t need all the tow bar gubbins Bryan did it a little bit cheaper!

    Premier Icon steveh
    Subscriber

    The bike wheels sit in a groove each side and these can be slid in and out depending on the size of the bike. Each bike position has a vertical pole as well (that can be fitted in two positions, approx. 6″ either side of centre). A coated u shaped bracket fits over this vertical pole and the U shape section fits over a frame tube, a single bolt then does this up securely to the upright. It’s super solid and much better than the pendle where the bikes are just strapped to an upright.

    woots787
    Member

    Hi Bruneep, I’ve used an Aiston rack happily for years (funnily enough recommended by Steve H – he must be on commission) but have recently changed to a car with a removable rather than flange mount towbar. While googling to work out which Thule to buy I found this thread.

    The adapter you’ve linked to would save me £200 on a new rack so is very tempting, especially as I like the Aiston. What weight of bikes have you used with the adapter and what sort of pace of driving (i.e. it would give me loads of confidence if while driving with heavy dh bikes on you regularly hit the bumpstops through compressions but the rack doesn’t slip)! Cheers,

    John

    In response to the ops op: witter.
    Hth

    xcentric
    Member

    sorry for slight thread hijack, but do people use lighting boards with these? need to get towbar etc on my car to fit a rack, and a towbar would be cheap but the lightng connection kit is expensive (S-Max uses canbus so makes it an expensive fitting). Can I just bolt the towbar on and get away with just that?

    xcentric – I’m just using a plate on my Aiston – the lights on the Rav are nice and high, so they’re not obstructed (well apart from maybes the fog). All I can say is fingers crossed, your layout may vary etc.

    Premier Icon Dave E
    Subscriber

    Pendle with uprights from Aiston (No straps)

    Radioman
    Member

    With Pendle racks the spaces between bikes are independently adjustable as is the wheelbase of each bike..had mine for a few years..very happy with it.

    jet26
    Member

    Buzz runner v good – done pyrenees and back with three bikes no prob. And light board is part of rack.

    Premier Icon bruneep
    Subscriber

    Woots,

    I was in the same situation, new car with detachable. . New rack or £30 for adaptor.

    I’ve had 2 DH bikes on it with no issues at all. Obviously I stay within the speed limits and drive very carefully on public roads. The adaptor has never slipped or moved once.

    It is a a extra lump of metal on the tow ball, but I only use my tow bar for my bike rack I leave it on the detachable ball. If you want pics I can do some.

    B

Viewing 40 posts - 1 through 40 (of 42 total)

The topic ‘Tow ball mounted racks – Giving up on Thule – what now?’ is closed to new replies.