Tow bar mounted carriers – A new level of convenience?

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  • Tow bar mounted carriers – A new level of convenience?
  • nomakoman
    Member

    bar mounted carriers are the dogs danglies! better for fuel economy too!

    Yes. Done right, this is exactly what a tow bar mount will give you. I miss mine.

    Premier Icon alexpalacefan
    Subscriber

    To save cleaning, just go though a car-wash with the rack and bikes still on 😉

    APF

    Premier Icon Garry_Lager
    Subscriber

    I find them the best yeah – wouldn’t use anything else given the choice.

    Used roof and boot racks before and they’re fine, but the tow bar rack is just that bit easier / better to use in a few different ways.

    mrchrispy
    Member

    I think the law states that if you have tow bar fitted but still use roof bars then you are a douchbag 🙂

    cossyrush
    Member

    Ok, great replies, just what I wanted to hear.
    Can anyone recommend a good 2 bike carrier, that’s quick to fit.

    thomthumb
    Member

    get a van.

    Premier Icon geoffj
    Subscriber

    Errr, depends on the model.
    Loading a bike onto a Thule 591 takes 20 seconds.
    I have a 3 bike Thule euro something or other tow bar mounted job and t takes at least 10 minutes to fir rack and then bikes – bit of a faff.
    Obviously, if you dont take the roof bars off then you are not comparing properly, but for ease of use, leaving the roof bars and carriers on the top is the quickest and easiest IMHO

    I’ve got a Witter one. Just the job.

    Premier Icon jam bo
    Subscriber

    Thule express 970. Fits in seconds, stashes in the boot. Only about £45 online. Superb rack.

    Premier Icon geoffj
    Subscriber

    For speed, get one which has the attachment permanently connected to the tow bar.
    Then a bar holding one rather than wheel support model is quicker.
    Something like a Thule express would work, but you’ll still have to piss around with a light board.

    Premier Icon jam bo
    Subscriber

    For speed, get one which has the attachment permanently connected to the tow bar.
    Then a bar holding one rather than wheel support model is quicker.
    Something like a Thule express would work, but you’ll still have to piss around with a light board.

    Never bothered with a light board, never been stopped yet. Devon rules…

    antigee
    Member

    only inconvenience is storage space
    2 mins on, & bike on in 2 mins
    Thule here with integrated number plate / light board sorry don’t now model number though
    though I think the past STW world big vote is for Pendle

    (had one of the ones bikes hang on for a while- not convenient or quick and potential damage to bikes)

    legend
    Member

    Then a bar holding one rather than wheel support model is quicker.

    not in my experience, much more faff involved sorting out bikes (making sure they’re secure, not rubbing, etc) with a 2-bar rack.

    Something like a Pendle wheel support takes seconds to mount and load (and then the light board is a non-issue too)

    Premier Icon stratman
    Subscriber

    I’ve got a Thule euro something. It’s got lockable grabs to hold the frames, and it takes 4 bikes with an add-on. Has lights built in, but needs continental electric socket.

    Quite heavy, and fitting 4 bikes on is a bit intricate, getting them to fit and not rub, but I’d not be without it, used it regularly for long trips.

    One or two bikes really easy

    cossyrush
    Member

    Want to avoid leaving the roof bars carriers on, found them noisy at speed.
    Hence the attraction of towbar mounted ones.
    But 10 minutes to fit the towbar mounted one, not quite as quick as I wanted.
    Also thinking the wheel supporting ones are best for support and safety.

    Premier Icon geoffj
    Subscriber

    not in my experience, much more faff involved sorting out bikes (making sure they’re secure, not rubbing, etc) with a 2-bar rack.

    I’m basing it on only loading one bike.

    legend
    Member

    But 10 minutes to fit the towbar mounted one, not quite as quick as I wanted.

    sounds like you bought the wrong one

    I’m basing it on only loading one bike

    Even then a wheel support one is quicker imo (probably by seconds though when it’s only one bike) due to the ease of securing the bike

    Premier Icon geoffj
    Subscriber

    Wheel Support 2 Bike Behind the Ball Mount would be quick ish

    http://www.pendle-bike.co.uk/shopping/Wheel-Support-Behind-the-Tow-Ball-Mounting-Rack.php

    Won’t work with a swan neck or detachable towbae though.

    Winter = Expensive bike covered in salt.

    IMO you can sling a bike in the back quicker than you can fit a carrier and load a bike.

    project
    Member

    got a thule euroclassic 905, with built in lights and number plate, for sale, never used, won it in a competition.

    cossyrush
    Member

    Troutwrestler, have been doing that, but kids seat out, wheels off, bike in bag, ride, wheels off, back in bag, back together to clean = loads of hassle.

    Project, saw your add, bit too far away for me and a little more than I was planning on spending.

    cossyrush
    Member

    Just had a tow bar fitted to my car, and I’m wondering about a tow bar mounted carriers.

    Like many of you, due to family commitments my ride time is limited, but I’m lucky enough to get out once or twice a week or so I can’t complain.
    But I’m also lazy so I want to load my bike, drive 20 miles, ride for a couple of hours, pack up, drive home, clean the bike, back in the garage and then back to reality. The more time I can save at either end of the ride the better.

    I’ve got roof mounted carriers but i don’t find them very convenient, no roof rails on the car, so there’s a bit of hassle first etc..

    Are the tow bar mounted carriers the answer?
    Or am I just trying to find levels of convenience that don’t exist?

    Cheers
    Ben

    Can you use a tarp draped between the front and back seats. Take out the front wheel and put the bike in across-ways, then flip the tarp over the top from the front.

    I have a Berlingo which will take 3 fully assembled bikes, and 3 riders, so I don’t have to deal with the hassle.

    st
    Member

    Mine is like this http://www.thule.com/en/GB/Products/Bike-Carriers/Towbar/Thule-EuroWay-G2-923 Had it since Christmas and really like it. Fitted in under 5 minutes including fitting the detachable tow ball. I now have a Mini so bike in the back is tricky (but not impossible)

    chrismac
    Member

    Definitely the best thing I have for carrying bikes. So quick and easy. I went for a 3 bike carrier even though I usually only take 2 because of the flexibility but also because I can spread the bikes out a bit so they cant touch each other without having to faff about it

    cossyrush
    Member

    ST – looks nice 5mins = perfect.
    Chrismac – which one do you have?

    Elmo
    Member

    I put my bike in the car until a change of car meant it wouldn’t fit.
    I got a rack and put it on the roof, another change of car and i now have a towbar.
    Is there a bracket that will let me fit a roof mount style Thule to a towbar?
    I’m thinking it would just be a simple bracket, but Google doesn’t help.
    Perhaps i need to get another set of roofbars!

    trail_rat
    Member

    Legend – with correct use of old inner tubes my old pendle 2 bar rack pisses all over a number of wheel mounted racks…..

    Bike on . Wind tube round frame onto opposite bar then do the same with other inner tube – bikes going no where

    Racks are the work of the devil i hate them so i bought a van

    Konastoner
    Member

    Ive been using my Thule 2 bike tow bar rack for 4 years now on 2 cars, never had any trouble with salt, fitting speed etc. I also got better fuel economy going from a roof mounted rack. I even prefer the rack to putting the bike in the car (Estate).

    i love mine… i have a 2-bike thule jobbie which i use on the back of my vwt5… i can quite happily fit two bikes in the back behind the seating, but in reality, that is where i store the bike rack when out of use (fits perfectly, alongside all the camping chairs and other kit that lives there)… it takes about 20 seconds to set up and then about a minute to mount a bike… i tend to use re-usable zip-ties.. nice and cheap and very secure… have driven to the s.of.france and back with two bikes on the back at 80mph with no problems at all.

    wouldn’t ever consider changing from this arrangement… once again.. 20 seconds and the rack is off and in the back of the van… another 10 seconds and the removable tow bar is off too.

    Premier Icon coolhandluke
    Subscriber

    Yep, 3 bike Thule ride on here, although I don’t think I’d actually ride the bike on!

    If I am on my own though, I do sling the bike in the boot, it’s quicker plus thieving scumm cant see what bike you have and probably won’t follow you home to see where you live.

    Also a Whitter bar mounted carrier as well, now spare if anyone is interested. £30 vertical bar and 2 prongs type, for 3 bikes.

    Premier Icon mtbfix
    Subscriber

    I have a Pendle 2 bike wheel support sitting in the shed that we no longer have a use for. It is a tow bar version with the plate to bolt behind the hitch. It has the std wheel loops so takes tyres up to 2.4″. £50 if you want it.

    Premier Icon igm
    Subscriber

    alexpalacefan – Member
    To save cleaning, just go though a car-wash with the rack and bikes still on

    APF

    To save cleaning, just re-direct the rear wash/wipe jet…

    cossyrush
    Member

    Thanks for the answers guys, I’ve got a swan neck tow bar, so need to make sure I get the correct one.
    How do they attach to the ball?
    I read that the cheaper Thule ones have a bolt to tighten up, is it similar for other makes?

    Premier Icon martinhutch
    Subscriber

    My thule only takes a couple of minutes to stick on. Just one bolt to tighten up and stick the plug in for the electrics. Putting the bike on takes about a minute.

    Not sure about the difference between swan neck/other.

    Premier Icon mtbfix
    Subscriber

    Have a look at some of the videos on the roof box.co.uk website to see how easily some models of rack fit to your type of tow ball.

    Premier Icon DaveRambo
    Subscriber

    I bought a Atera STRADA to take 4 bikes to the south of France last summer and it’s very good.
    Well made, very easy to fit on the towbar, very easy to add bikes and rack and bikes all lock together.
    It also swings away from the car with the bikes on so you can access the boot.

    It’s not cheap but worth it for me in transporting several thousand pounds worth of bikes (unless the wife reads this – I meant hundreds)

    Left of field suggestion, a dirtworker? Keeping it in the car is always going to be more secure than on it, and it’s one less job to do when you get home. And my experience of racks is despite what anyone claims it’s never 5 minutes to fit. If you live in the average semi-detached with a shed round the back it’ll take longger than that to get it form the shed to the car, and however quick it is it’s never going to be as quick as taking the wheels off.

    For short journeys to/from evening rides where MPG isn’t an issue I’m tempted by a roof rack, but the boot’s still more convenient as I’ve not got any kids needing the back seats so they’ve been semi-permenantly removed.

    My next car is definately going to be a berlingo though, (almost) car mpg and (almost) van space. Then again my C-max with the seats out will take a normal* bike without taking the wheels off.

    *Not my pitch or 29er though as they’re both too long.

    IR refers to my rack. Drop me a line at pimpmasterjazz at yahoo dot com if it’s of interest. 🙂

    Very good condition etc. etc. 😉

    Premier Icon chakaping
    Subscriber

    And my experience of racks is despite what anyone claims it’s never 5 minutes to fit.

    My experience is that it’s usually less than five minutes to fit and drive away.

    Thule Euroclassic highly recommended.

    Just don’t forget to plug the electrics in!

    cossyrush
    Member

    Hi PMJ, I might be interested in that, I’ll take a look at the spec and then drop you a mail.
    Thanks also IR.

    Was also thinking about some form of mobile cleaner, but putting the bike in the back of the car for local rides just doesn’t work for me.
    If I’m travelling longer distances then I totally agree bike in the back is good, means theres no problem with security of bike. Driving to Les Arc in July, bike is going in the back for that trip, unless the tow bar mounted carrier proves to be a revelation.

    Premier Icon ir_bandito
    Subscriber

    I drove from Northumberland to Limoges last summer with 3 bikes on my tow-bar rack (and an awful lot of stuff in the car). Even at French motorway speeds, I averaged just shy of 50mpg (2.0 TDCI C-Max) for the whole trip and back. Tow-bar racks are great!

    Put a couple of big fat locks through all the bike frames and wheels. for service-station security. No problems at all.

    ittaika
    Member

    I have an altera strada rack – very convenient and the sliding option means you can still access the back door (I used it on a camper van) but as an earlier poster said, salt damage in the winter is a real concern.

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