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Car rack - 4 bikes

secretsamsecretsam Posts: 4,549
edited October 2013 in Family & kids cycling forum
Need a rack for 4 bikes - 2 grown ups, 2 x 26" kids' bikes

Needs to be rear mounted, don't have a tow bar, car is an MPV (Seat Alhambra) so roof not practical

Help please, Mrs SecretSam's beginning to panic

It's just a hill. Get over it.

Posts

  • baudmanbaudman Posts: 757
    Thule make an additional add-on you can put onto a Euroway - so that adds one more bike to the 3 the Euroway can carry, making it 4.

    However...

    Depending upon the bikes you have on there, that's quite a bit of weight. Even if you put the heavier bikes closer to the car, and the lighter ones further away so the leverage isn't as bad, you still may exceed the max weight the tow hitch is rated for.

    Consider 3 on the back, and one on the roof (the lightest one). A small folding step can make life a lot easier to get it up there. That's what works for us.
    8191341623_e77aebcaca.jpg
    Commute - MASI Souville3 | Road/CX - MASI Speciale CX | Family - 80s ugly | Utility - Cargobike
  • lostboysaintlostboysaint Posts: 4,369
    Plenty of rear mounted carriers for four bikes. Go to Decathlon or Halfords and you'll find one. However, you'll fear for the straps that hold them on, you won't be able to get into the boot with the bikes on or off until you've undone the bottom strap, you'll fear that your back window is going to implode when you see it flex under the pressure and it's not secure (one knife through all the straps and it's gone.

    Get a tow bar fitted and get a decent carrier for that. Make sure it tilts so that you can access the boot even when it's completely loaded, get the lock for the tow hitch and a decent cable lock to thread through them all and it's more secure. It's not the cheapest solution but it's by far the best! (Did it on a Galaxy, Grand Voyager, Touareg, Passat estate and Golf).
    Trail fun - Transition Bandit
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  • UnderscoreUnderscore Posts: 730
    I have a Ford Galaxy and will soon face this question: I currently put 4 bikes on the roof but in a year or so I'll need to add a further bike and the maximum roof load will not permit another bike.

    I've looked a strap-on racks and, because of the shape and construction of the tail-gate, they don't work on the Galaxy. That leaves tow-bar mounted and the problem there is a) cost (~£1k for the tow-bar plus wiring loom from Ford or ~£700 to supply my own tow-bar and have the dealer fit it with the proper Ford wiring loom - and then you've still got to buy the rack!); and b) the maximum weight that can be put on a tow-bar is fairly limited so I don't think you could put more than 3 full size (MTB) bikes on one without exceeding that limit.

    Please let me know what you end up doing; I'm very interested!

    _

    Edit: BTW, I use one of these:
    5591_1?$380$
    to get the bikes on and off the roof of the Galaxy and it's not too bad from a practicality perspective.
  • nicklousenicklouse Posts: 81,520 Lives Here
    Underscore wrote:
    I have a Ford Galaxy and will soon face this question: I currently put 4 bikes on the roof but in a year or so I'll need to add a further bike and the maximum roof load will not permit another bike.

    I've looked a strap-on racks and, because of the shape and construction of the tail-gate, they don't work on the Galaxy. That leaves tow-bar mounted and the problem there is a) cost (~£1k for the tow-bar plus wiring loom from Ford or ~£700 to supply my own tow-bar and have the dealer fit it with the proper Ford wiring loom - and then you've still got to buy the rack!); and b) the maximum weight that can be put on a tow-bar is fairly limited so I don't think you could put more than 3 full size (MTB) bikes on one without exceeding that limit.

    Please let me know what you end up doing; I'm very interested!

    _
    prices sound way too high.
    http://www.towsure.com/category/Ford_Ga ... 06_onwards
    http://www.towsure.com/product/Wiring_K ... 1666233605

    about 225 in bits.

    https://fbcdn-sphotos-d-a.akamaihd.net/ ... 5635_n.jpg

    big bike is about 30kg ;)
    "Do not follow where the path may lead, Go instead where there is no path, and Leave a Trail."
    Parktools :?:SheldonBrown
  • oxomanoxoman Posts: 8,199
    My local towbar fitting company charged less than £300 to fit a bar and electrics to my Kia ten months ago. It's not as expensive as you think, you still have to watch nose weight and notify your insurer.
    Too many bikes according to Mrs O.
  • Levi_501Levi_501 Posts: 1,105
    Get a tow bar and one of these:

    http://www.roofbox.co.uk/scripts/rbvehs ... ure5Jvj%60

    If the link does not work, search for a Buzz Rack Quattro
  • Our solution is a towbar and one of these:

    http://www.roofbox.co.uk/scripts/rbvehs ... C4ure5xbIp

    We did have an Atera towbar mounted rack which was OK and a fair bit cheaper, but we were never entirely happy with it. It was rather creaky and wobbly, and the tilting mechanism was hard to use. The Thule is rock steady and tilts very easily. It's also more forgiving in terms of loading, as you don't need to get pedals and bars perfectly aligned as you do with the Atera.
  • Our solution is a towbar and one of these:

    http://www.roofbox.co.uk/scripts/rbvehs ... C4ure5xbIp

    We did have an Atera towbar mounted rack which was OK and a fair bit cheaper, but we were never entirely happy with it. It was rather creaky and wobbly, and the tilting mechanism was hard to use. The Thule is rock steady and tilts very easily. It's also more forgiving in terms of loading, as you don't need to get pedals and bars perfectly aligned as you do with the Atera.
  • Have just been around and around this one myself, ended up with towbar at £200 plus second hand Thule 902/903 4 bike rack from ebay £200

    Roof is not an option as to many height bars on Mway services and parks.
    James

    Coffee fuelled, 365 mountain biker and off road at night most often.
  • nicklouse wrote:
    Underscore wrote:
    I have a Ford Galaxy and will soon face this question: I currently put 4 bikes on the roof but in a year or so I'll need to add a further bike and the maximum roof load will not permit another bike.

    I've looked a strap-on racks and, because of the shape and construction of the tail-gate, they don't work on the Galaxy. That leaves tow-bar mounted and the problem there is a) cost (~£1k for the tow-bar plus wiring loom from Ford or ~£700 to supply my own tow-bar and have the dealer fit it with the proper Ford wiring loom - and then you've still got to buy the rack!); and b) the maximum weight that can be put on a tow-bar is fairly limited so I don't think you could put more than 3 full size (MTB) bikes on one without exceeding that limit.

    Please let me know what you end up doing; I'm very interested!

    _
    prices sound way too high.
    http://www.towsure.com/category/Ford_Ga ... 06_onwards
    http://www.towsure.com/product/Wiring_K ... 1666233605

    about 225 in bits.

    https://fbcdn-sphotos-d-a.akamaihd.net/ ... 5635_n.jpg

    big bike is about 30kg ;)

    Sorry, Nick - didn't notice this when you first posted.

    From what I can see a detachable towbar (so the parking sensors work when the bike rack is not fitted) would be £350-400 once fitted and the dedicated wiring kit would be another £110. That means we're looking at close on £500: ~£200 cheaper than having the dealer use the Ford wiring but providing my own detachable towbar (the Ford branded one is a folding towbar, which is one reason why it is a lot more again) but, combined with the cost of the rack, it's still a lot of money...

    _
  • I'm looking at the same issue at the moment - the days of being able to put the small kids' bikes in the boot to drive a few miles to the local showground for cycling practice (with my wife and I walking the dog) are now behind us. So I need something which can cope with two adult bikes and two (rapidly increasing in size) kids' bikes.

    I have roof bars and a single Thule bike rack for them. I'm not a big fan of that as a whole as I get quite a lot of wind noise, I'm paranoid about forgetting and going under a low bridge/barrier, and it's a censored to get a road bike up there as it's a Volvo XC60.

    And a tow bar for the Volvo is £650ish - it needs to be the Volvo one to connect with the electrics properly and avoid voiding the warranty. Add a tow-bar rack and we're up to £1k! Seems almost cheaper to just hire bikes when we're on holiday and use a boot-mounted rack for shorter, local trips.

    But I suspect I'll have to bite the bullet and pay for the towbar - the other solutions just aren't as good. I can put one of the kids' bikes on the roof to avoid overloading the tow-bar rack.
    Never be tempted to race against a Barclays Cycle Hire bike. If you do, there are only two outcomes. Of these, by far the better is that you now have the scalp of a Boris Bike.
  • I have a Ford Galaxy and will soon face this question: I currently put 4 bikes on the roof but in a year or so I'll need to add a further bike and the maximum roof load will not permit another bike.

    I've looked a strap-on racks and, because of the shape and construction of the tail-gate, they don't work on the Galaxy. That leaves tow-bar mounted and the problem there is a) cost (~£1k for the tow-bar plus wiring loom from Ford or ~£700 to supply my own tow-bar and have the dealer fit it with the proper Ford wiring loom - and then you've still got to buy the rack!); and b) the maximum weight that can be put on a tow-bar is fairly limited so I don't think you could put more than 3 full size (MTB) bikes on one without exceeding that limit.

    Please let me know what you end up doing; I'm very interested!

    I have a Ford S-max and had the same issue earlier this year. Paid a man from a Tow bar fitting company around £225 to supply and fit a tow bar to the back together with 7 pin electrics and then a further £200 odd for a 4 bike rack that tilts away from the car to allow accesss to the boot. Did 2 trips to France with it and have done several with 2 adult and 2 kids bikes on the back. A bit of a fiddle to get on at times but it works really well and very glad I did it.
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