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Roof bars or tow bar carrier??

mathematicsmathematics Posts: 453
edited August 2014 in MTB buying advice
Hi all

I'm after some sort of cycle transport.

Which do people think are a better option? I would need to transport 2-3 MTB and road bikes.

I need to bear in mind my car (Honda crv) has neither tow bar or roof bars yet.

Thanks

Chris

Posts

  • oxocube1oxocube1 Posts: 651
    I have a Ford Focus with a towbar and use this Thule one. I tend to remove the wheels from the bikes to keep them thinner than the rear of the car but its fantastically easy to use and store, and it's very cheap compared to the roof bar setup or bigger towbar carrier. I can easily fit 3 bikes and 3 people in the car with 2 of the bikes being on the rack. Highly recommended if you do end up getting a towbar.
  • Mate I decided this summer to opt for the Thule Wingbar with 3 Thule 591 Pro Ride carriers, and I have to say its been amazing. I'm going to buy another so I can carry 4 bikes on the roof. The system is very sturdy, I forgot I had the bikes attached and ended up traveling a little too fast on some of the back roads without any problems.

    I have also just taken the family away for a weeks worth of camping so decided to buy a roof-box, found one local and cheap on ebay that was long and slim so i could still fit 2 bikes on the roof with all the tenting equipment.

    It is a hard decision to make but horses for courses I guess....
  • ColinthecopColinthecop Posts: 996
    If you're planning on doing long drives, I read somewhere that stuff on your roof can knock 10 - 15% off your MPG.
  • batmobatmo Posts: 277
    I had roof mounted carriers before, and with MTBs you have to have the means and motivation to clean the bikes quite well before you load them up (or not care about your car paintwork, I suppose!)
    I currently use one of these, mainly because our bikes won't readily fit the hang-on type of carrier. It is extremely stable and I've used it driving from Herftordshire to NW Scotland and back with four bikes on it and no problems. As my vehicle is a Navara Pick-up, I don't have any aerodynamics to ruin!
    Viscount Grand Touring - in bits
    Trek ZX6500 - semi-retired
    HP Velotechnik Spirit
    Brompton M6
    Specialized Camber Comp
  • RockmonkeySCRockmonkeySC Posts: 15,247
    If you're planning on doing long drives, I read somewhere that stuff on your roof can knock 10 - 15% off your MPG.

    I get 55mpg without roof bars and 52mpg with 2 bikes on the roof.
    Tow bar mounted carriers also have an effect on fuel economy.
  • nicklousenicklouse Posts: 81,520 Lives Here
    Towbar mounted over anything else.

    Unless in the car.
    "Do not follow where the path may lead, Go instead where there is no path, and Leave a Trail."
    Parktools :?:SheldonBrown
  • RockmonkeySCRockmonkeySC Posts: 15,247
    nicklouse wrote:
    Towbar mounted over anything else.

    Unless in the car.

    For what reason?
    I find my roof carrier very good. Not saying it's better or worse than tow hitch mounted but don't see whats worse about roof mounted.
  • mathematicsmathematics Posts: 453
    Thanks guys this gives me a good starting point.

    I'm leaning towards tow bar mount due to having to lift the bikes onto the roof of a crv being difficult for a short censored like me. But I could get roof bars for our vw golf???
  • nicklousenicklouse Posts: 81,520 Lives Here
    nicklouse wrote:
    Towbar mounted over anything else.

    Unless in the car.

    For what reason?
    I find my roof carrier very good. Not saying it's better or worse than tow hitch mounted but don't see whats worse about roof mounted.
    How many do you want?

    I have roof on one and tow on the other. But would always put inside if the option is available.

    img1251uq.jpg
    562339_10150660443908171_696915635_n.jpg
    "Do not follow where the path may lead, Go instead where there is no path, and Leave a Trail."
    Parktools :?:SheldonBrown
  • FishFishFishFish Posts: 2,152
    Towbar cost me £230fitted with number late - you will need a board with cable for the lights and plate and some bungees. I've not used a roof rack - but don't fancy lifting the bike. Towbar is very easy to use and to store.
    BTW although it is not a modification to the car you must tell the insurance you have fitted one - and tell them you are carrying a bike - I discussed this with Direct Line and they said they 'might not pay out' if I had not told them.
    ...take your pickelf on your holibobs.... :D

    jeez :roll:
  • GiraffotoGiraffoto Posts: 2,078
    A factor to take into account is that a roof-mounted bike means you won't be able to get under height restrictions (so unloading outside the carpark) whereas a towbar mounted one may mean that your car is too long for a lot of parking spaces. So you take your pick.
    Specialized Roubaix Elite 2015
    XM-057 rigid 29er
  • WindyGWindyG Posts: 1,099
    Tow bar mount all the way and a proper stand on one, so easy my wife can load all the bikes up.
  • stubsstubs Posts: 5,001
    I use a tow ball mounted rack. Got it because I had a bad back about 18 months ago and was struggling to lift bike on roof and putting it in the boot wasnt an option because I could get it in to go riding but coming back home I couldnt bend and twist to get it in.

    FishFish is spot on about informing the insurance dont give the custards any excuse not to pay out.
    Fig rolls: proof that god loves cyclists and that she wants us to do another lap
  • mathematicsmathematics Posts: 453
    FishFish wrote:
    Towbar cost me £230fitted with number late - you will need a board with cable for the lights and plate and some bungees. I've not used a roof rack - but don't fancy lifting the bike. Towbar is very easy to use and to store.
    BTW although it is not a modification to the car you must tell the insurance you have fitted one - and tell them you are carrying a bike - I discussed this with Direct Line and they said they 'might not pay out' if I had not told them.

    Great thank you for that / I'm insured with DL. I would have assumed it was just 'luggage'
  • andy81andy81 Posts: 118
    Another option is the Saris Bones (3 bike model). I've had the 2 bike model for a few years now and been very happy with it for both MTB and road bikes. It's got a lifetime guarantee as well.
  • exlaserexlaser Posts: 228
    Tow bar carrier every time.
    Van Nicholas Ventus
    Rose Xeon RS
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