DH Bike Carrier Advice

trickbooter Posts: 23
edited May 2010 in MTB buying advice
Hi Folks,

Right, I posted here before...


I ended up going with the Thule 908. Total spend was about £550. That was £200 for the towbar, then £350 for a Westfalia Portilo, which I then changed for the Thule 908 without a cash refund.

So, basically it cost me a mint, it is < 6 months old and it drives me nuts. The things I have come to realise are...
1) It is heavy. I effectively have to lug a towball clamp and two bike rack carriers with me every time I want to take 1 bike on the car.
2) I live on the third floor, in a very cramped apartment. The 908 is big. So after the weight has p**ed me off, lugging it through the car park and up the stairs, I then scratch the walls as I walk into my flat. The 908 doesn't know how to keep its arms and legs in. It is like feeding a cat through a cat flap when it doesn't want to go.
3) The beeping electrics for the turn signals get on my nerves (minor point)
4) It is no better than a roof mount for fuel efficiency. It might be because the bike is wider than the car - not sure.
5) Since the bikes are lower to the ground, they tend to get sessioned - especially true in winter with all the road salt. Everything on my bikes went rusty real quick - much more so than a roof mount.

Before anyone asks - I don't want to leave it clamped to the car cause the kids on my estate will use it as a trampoline. Don't get me wrong, this rack is functionally good. If I had a garage / lived on the ground floor, it'd be ok.

Right - moaning complete - the boot of my Nissan Micra is still to small to fit the bikes in. Even if I take f/r wheels off, the rear mech rests on the boot door and the front seats need to be moved forward, not to mention mud over the inside of the car.

So, my only option I think is a roof mount. They are comparatively small and light. I'd love the Thule 594 Sidearm - but the are not meant to be shipped outside the US. I'd be happy with a 20mm fork mount, but Pendle and Thule are no rated to a high enough weight. The Pendle tops out at 17.5kg and I need 20Kg. I ask pendle about it and they told me I shouldn't overload. Boot access is usually required, so a clip on or saris bones isn't really what I want.

Anyone know how I can get a Thule 594? Or does anyone have any better suggestions?