- Tow hitch bike racks?
As above, detachable towbar is your friend. Just be aware that on some cars with bodykits, which the Zetec S might be one, you can end up with a big hole in the fake diffusers they mould into them.
…she reckons small cars with tow bars look really naff….
Totally balanced out by the cool look you have with a muddy bike on the back.Posted 6 months agossboggySubscriber
The Atera Strada is great, and I got a witter detachable Swan neck towbar fitted to a smax for less than £400 iirc last year.
The buzz racks that tilt are good value but I still couldn’t get the boot open on the smax with one of those
Have a look on roofbox.co.uk they are really good to deal with and will exchange racks if you are not happyPosted 6 months ago
I’ve been tasked with the job of finding a bike carrier for my wife’s Ford Fiesta (Zetec S if that’s relevant). She likes the idea of a tow bar mounted carrier that can tilt or swing away to give boot access – but doesn’t like the idea of having a swan neck tow bar sticking out the back of the car (she reckons small cars with tow bars look really naff….like you’re about to hitch up to a huge twin axle caravan – i can kind of see her point)
Anyone know if you can get more discreet mountings for rear mounted bike carriers? (I vaguely remember an ex colleague having an Subaru with something like a box section tube under the rear bumper that he could plug a lightweight tow ball or bike carrier into – dunno if this was a DIY job or off the shelf thing tho)Posted 6 months agocraigbroadbentMember
Completely understand the desire for a nice tucked away fitting as US. We are trying to get car manufacturers to see the benefits.Posted 6 months ago
In the meantime, beware of the nose weight of Fiesta towbar as you may approach the limit if the rack is too heavy.
If you want a carbon friendly rack come and look at ours with no frame clamps.
I have an Atera Strada DL3 and despite the huge number of favourable reviews, I really don’t like mine. Its a right bloody mission to get more than one bike on – forward planning on getting arms through/under frames and when you’re fitting an Alpine and two different size Islabikes on it, its even more of a chore. I just simply wouldn’t reccommend one…Posted 5 months agobenp1Subscriber
I went all in and bought a new bike carrying set up (I already have a THule roof carrying set up and a boot rack) as I needed to be able to carry a roof box, bikes on the back, and still be able to open the boot
I bought the Atera Strada Evo – slide is an excellent function. I agree with the comments on getting the arms right, it’s a faff at the start, but removable arms do help a lot. Then put it on and take them off the same way
I also got a detachable tow bar fitted with the proper electrics pack – cost £570 but I was paying more for a quality detachable tow bar and the proper factory style electronics kit (plus it was on an E class merc)
So far so good, meant we could take the bikes on holiday, and it’s probably quicker to fit than the roof rack (if you keep the rack and bars separate)Posted 5 months agopdwMember
+1 on the Evo vs DL3. I tried a DL3 and sent it back because it didn’t have removable arms. Getting a new combination of bikes on for the first time can be a real PITA, but once you’ve got the arms and wheel supports in the right place, getting them on and off again is very quick and easy.Posted 5 months ago
Thanks for the replies. More of a minefield than I’d anticipated. unfortunately, as the car is a 2016 and still under warranty, we’ve got to have vehicle specific wiring rather than generic harness for the tailboard – pushes cost up a fair bit. Still going to be a darn sight cheaper than changing the car though!Posted 5 months agohot_fiatSubscriber
If you hack into the wiring loom of any car under warranty with non-specific wiring, I’d fully expect the manufacturer to invalidate your warranty.
Skoda did this to me, having had one of their dealers fit a Witter tow bar to my Yeti, as they claimed they couldn’t find an approved westfalia unit. When it all went Pete Tong, catastrophically within days with alternate headlights flashing, doors randomly unlocking, numerous bulb failure errors; Skoda didn’t want to know. The dealer had to remove everything they had fitted, replace the whole rear wiring loom and fit a new body ECU before skoda would reinstate my warranty.Posted 5 months ago
we’ve got to have vehicle specific wiring rather than generic harness for the tailboard – pushes cost up a fair bit.
If your car is less than 10 years old and you’re not using manufacturer-specific towbar wiring, then you are certifiably insane. You don’t need to use the actual OEM kit, but you should absolutely use one that properly integrates to the car and, 90% of the time, into the canbus.
If you find yourself trying to scotchlock onto an indicator wire in the light cluster, then you are doing it wrong and will not go to space today…Posted 5 months agoscruffMember
Hijack question- my Thule electric adapter is a bit dodgy, sometimes doesnt work the left or right indicator at random, wiggle it enough and it works. To replace it, is it just both 7 pin male/female need replacing? Car was used for towing by previous owner, there’s a second adapter below the one I use for bike rack.Posted 5 months ago
Hijack question- my Thule electric adapter is a bit dodgy, sometimes doesnt work the left or right indicator at random, wiggle it enough and it works. To replace it, is it just both 7 pin male/female need replacing? Car was used for towing by previous owner, there’s a second adapter below the one I use for bike rack.
If it’s the older style 7-pin connectors (newer ones have 13 pins) then they are notorious for getting moisture in and corroding. Spray some switch-cleaner in and use some wet and dry sandpaper, an emery board or even a toothbrush to get in and clean some of the corrosion off. Probably worth doing on both the car and trailer sides of the connector.
If you have two 7-pin sockets on the car, just ignore the second, grey one – this is only used when towing caravans.Posted 5 months agospooky_b329Member
Some removeable swan necks are invisible, others leave a plate visible under the bumper. (so it avoids bruised shins but still looks a bit crap)
Dodgy 7 pin sockets…check the terminals. The pins have a slot, use a screwdriver to gently prise open any that are pinched together…in both plug and socket. If you get a wiring diagram, you can work out which ones are responsible for the faulty lights (remembering that the image is mirrored when you compare socket and plug alongside each other)Posted 5 months agomolgripsSubscriber
Pretty sure Thule make a non-towbar that only contains a fitting for their racks rather than a towball, so you cannot tow with it.
May not be available in the UK though but certainly saw them in Germany.
Re the dodgy plug – if you fancy it, replace the 7 pin with a 13 pin – they are far better connectors and lock in place properly. It’s easy to swap the connector over for the lights only as it’s a 1-1 switch. However wiring the other grey connector pins into it is NOT straightforward as you kind of need to know how it all goes together so probably just remove it and zip-tie it out of sight or something.Posted 5 months agoMarkoMember
but doesn’t like the idea of having a swan neck tow bar sticking out the back of the car
You need to educate her. Fixed towbar is an additional parking aid. Just reverse until you hear the crunch of the ball hitting something. No need for those new fangled parking sensors 😆Posted 5 months ago
You must be logged in to reply to this topic.