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Transporting bikes on cars.

friedpizzainbatterfriedpizzainbatter Posts: 166
edited March 2015 in MTB general
Wondered how people generally get their MTBs around the country with cars.
I have Thule roof carriers, but I've found that several times I've been coming back from a holiday with relatives and have had to leave my bike there because of high winds. Usually I just chicken out, but this time I decided to man up and just go for it, got 15 miles and found that the wind had moved the front wheel enough to nearly rip the front wheel holder off the rack, the bike was at a bit of a jaunty angle.
Is a towbar mounted rack a safer option? I can't carry it in the car because of luggage and child.
Trek Domane 4.3. Merida One.forty 7.700. Merida CX 3. Voodoo Bizango
"When the vulture flies sideways the moon has hair on his upper lip"

Posts

  • Well - it's in the lee of the car as you travel along. Can be a bit disconcerting to see it shoogling about in the rear-view mirror - but I wouldn't carry mine any other way (like you - luggage (& dog) & child preclude interior carriage).
  • nicklousenicklouse Posts: 81,520 Lives Here
    Wondered how people generally get there MTBs around the country with cars.
    I have Thule roof carriers, but I've found that several times I've been coming back from a holiday with relatives and have had to leave my bike there because of high winds. Usually I just chicken out, but this time I decided to man up and just go for it, got 15 miles and found that the wind had moved the front wheel enough to nearly rip the front wheel holder off the rack, the bike was at a bit of a jaunty angle.
    Is a towbar mounted rack a safer option? I can't carry it in the car because of luggage and child.
    sounds like you have very poor bike carriers.

    never had any issues with my roof mounted carriers when travelling anywhere. even at crazy speed on the Autobahn.
    "Do not follow where the path may lead, Go instead where there is no path, and Leave a Trail."
    Parktools :?:SheldonBrown
  • Never had a problem with Thule roof bar carriers (the Freeride 530? and the 591) but still ended up with a towbar carrier. Just so much more sensible - unless you get rear-ended of course! Make sure whatever you get has a tilt function as it makes access to the tailgate so much easier (you will realise how useful this is VERY quickly). Loads of good ones out there from Thule but my current fave is the Atera Strada DL.
    Trail fun - Transition Bandit
    Road - Wilier Izoard Centaur/Cube Agree C62 Disc
    Allround - Cotic Solaris
  • nicklouse wrote:
    Wondered how people generally get there MTBs around the country with cars.
    I have Thule roof carriers, but I've found that several times I've been coming back from a holiday with relatives and have had to leave my bike there because of high winds. Usually I just chicken out, but this time I decided to man up and just go for it, got 15 miles and found that the wind had moved the front wheel enough to nearly rip the front wheel holder off the rack, the bike was at a bit of a jaunty angle.
    Is a towbar mounted rack a safer option? I can't carry it in the car because of luggage and child.
    sounds like you have very poor bike carriers.

    never had any issues with my roof mounted carriers when travelling anywhere. even at crazy speed on the Autobahn.


    It's the Thule ProRide 591. It was pretty windy but also gusting well above wind speed. Wasn't driving particularly fast, but wind was hitting side on.
    Trek Domane 4.3. Merida One.forty 7.700. Merida CX 3. Voodoo Bizango
    "When the vulture flies sideways the moon has hair on his upper lip"
  • nicklousenicklouse Posts: 81,520 Lives Here
    nicklouse wrote:
    Wondered how people generally get there MTBs around the country with cars.
    I have Thule roof carriers, but I've found that several times I've been coming back from a holiday with relatives and have had to leave my bike there because of high winds. Usually I just chicken out, but this time I decided to man up and just go for it, got 15 miles and found that the wind had moved the front wheel enough to nearly rip the front wheel holder off the rack, the bike was at a bit of a jaunty angle.
    Is a towbar mounted rack a safer option? I can't carry it in the car because of luggage and child.
    sounds like you have very poor bike carriers.

    never had any issues with my roof mounted carriers when travelling anywhere. even at crazy speed on the Autobahn.


    It's the Thule ProRide 591. It was pretty windy but also gusting well above wind speed. Wasn't driving particularly fast, but wind was hitting side on.
    so how was the wheel being turned if you have the strap tight it cant move.

    one of my set ups.
    "Do not follow where the path may lead, Go instead where there is no path, and Leave a Trail."
    Parktools :?:SheldonBrown
  • The RookieThe Rookie Posts: 27,748
    My towbar mounted rack is Thule made (but not badged) and has the same wheel mountings, mounted properly it can't do what you describe.
  • The Rookie wrote:
    I've never head of a gust of below wind speed.....
    Neither have I, does a fart count? Stupid wording though, apologies.
    Trek Domane 4.3. Merida One.forty 7.700. Merida CX 3. Voodoo Bizango
    "When the vulture flies sideways the moon has hair on his upper lip"
  • For sure I don't trust it to the standard straps - the carrier is coming off the car before the bike comes off the carrier... two of these (http://www.decathlon.co.uk/3m-straps-tw ... 02263.html) well-wrapped and pulled very tight used in addition on each bike carried
  • so how was the wheel being turned if you have the strap tight it cant move.

    one of my set ups.

    The wheel mount strap was tight round the wheel, but the mount had been half pulled off the carrier, allowing the wheel to turn. It may just be a duff mount.
    Trek Domane 4.3. Merida One.forty 7.700. Merida CX 3. Voodoo Bizango
    "When the vulture flies sideways the moon has hair on his upper lip"
  • We use a boot mounted but find you have to stop after a bnit to tighten it up no matter how tight you think you have pulled the straps that hold the carrier to the car.

    We are looking at getting a tow bar and a carrier for it but not sure what to get. Wondering where to get the tow bar fitted, a caravan place, a tow bar / trailer specialist, ordinary garage or there is a towbar and roof bar./box company near Tebay that I think do them. I heard of a good place near Middleborough where you call up and book in then the put a top brand towbar on for really low prices while you wait like a kwikfit tyre place.

    I think Thule are among the best of anything to attach to the car like bars, boxes, racks, etc. I remember seeing friends lose their paddy hopkirk roofbars with 4 kayaks on them whilst driving up the M6. It pays to get the best you can afford and preferably spend more on a Thule.
  • It's worth keeping a beady eye on eBay & Gumtree for racks - especially after there's been a model change, because some people seem to want the latest-greatest model regardless that the 2-3 year old model they already have is both sound and does all they need... I was delighted to pay £30 for my Thule Ride-On (9400-series "old" model compared to the 9500 current model) late last year.
  • MaroMaro Posts: 226
    Despite driving a van I often use a tow bar mounted rack, particuluarly in winter when the bikes get caked in mud, I use a Witter rack much like the Thule ones.

    Find a good auto electrician or towing speciallist and they might well fit the row bar and supply a suitable rack too.
    Bird Aeris. DMR Trailstar. Spesh Rockhopper pub bike.
  • nicklousenicklouse Posts: 81,520 Lives Here
    so how was the wheel being turned if you have the strap tight it cant move.

    one of my set ups.

    The wheel mount strap was tight round the wheel, but the mount had been half pulled off the carrier, allowing the wheel to turn. It may just be a duff mount.
    Sounds like incorrect fitting of strap.
    "Do not follow where the path may lead, Go instead where there is no path, and Leave a Trail."
    Parktools :?:SheldonBrown
  • HertsGHertsG Posts: 129
    High winds?

    Don't they start with the 70mph breeze from your road speed (81 mph or more in some of the foreign)?

    Unless there is an actual hurricane blowing, all professional racks, properly fitted and properly secured bikes, should be able to handle whatever comes along.
  • Sounds like incorrect fitting of strap.

    Possibly. I usually put the bike on, clamp the arm onto the frame, about two inches below the bottom bottle cage bolt. I then strap the back wheel on, pull tight, and repeat with the front wheel. Then give the bike a good shake to check it seems held firm.
    When it's mounted like this though the front wheel mount is usually just below a quarter over the front of the carrier, is it possible that caused the instability? To position the bike further back I'd have to drop the clamp postion so that it's touching the rear shock, would that be better?
    If I'm doing something stupid with the carrier I'd much rather rectify that than splash out on towbar mounted rack.
    Trek Domane 4.3. Merida One.forty 7.700. Merida CX 3. Voodoo Bizango
    "When the vulture flies sideways the moon has hair on his upper lip"
  • fizikfizik Posts: 247
    I don't personally like frame clamp systems as weird shaped frames and long wheelbases can make it awkward to actually get the bike on and secured. I bought an inno tyre hold rack, which clamps over the wheels, apart from a catastrophic failure it would be impossible to lose the bike. I have had a bike fly off my roof on the m6 so decided to get the best I could this time. It is also a 5 sec job getting the bike on and secured :D price was steep (150) but worth it for more peace of mind. Works with all types of bike.
  • Sounds like incorrect fitting of strap.

    Possibly. I usually put the bike on, clamp the arm onto the frame, about two inches below the bottom bottle cage bolt. I then strap the back wheel on, pull tight, and repeat with the front wheel. Then give the bike a good shake to check it seems held firm.
    When it's mounted like this though the front wheel mount is usually just below a quarter over the front of the carrier, is it possible that caused the instability? To position the bike further back I'd have to drop the clamp postion so that it's touching the rear shock, would that be better?
    If I'm doing something stupid with the carrier I'd much rather rectify that than splash out on towbar mounted rack.

    Can you post a pic of your setup as that doesn't sound right, the front wheel mount shouldn't be hanging over the font of the carrier.
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  • nicklousenicklouse Posts: 81,520 Lives Here
    Sounds like incorrect fitting of strap.

    Possibly. I usually put the bike on, clamp the arm onto the frame, about two inches below the bottom bottle cage bolt. I then strap the back wheel on, pull tight, and repeat with the front wheel. Then give the bike a good shake to check it seems held firm.
    When it's mounted like this though the front wheel mount is usually just below a quarter over the front of the carrier, is it possible that caused the instability? To position the bike further back I'd have to drop the clamp postion so that it's touching the rear shock, would that be better?
    If I'm doing something stupid with the carrier I'd much rather rectify that than splash out on towbar mounted rack.
    you know you can move the arm up and down the rail so that everything fits correctly.
    "Do not follow where the path may lead, Go instead where there is no path, and Leave a Trail."
    Parktools :?:SheldonBrown
  • The RookieThe Rookie Posts: 27,748
    On mine the strap goes through the wheel mounting cup AND the frame so what you described can't happen, looks like user error to me!
  • nicklouse wrote:
    Sounds like incorrect fitting of strap.

    Possibly. I usually put the bike on, clamp the arm onto the frame, about two inches below the bottom bottle cage bolt. I then strap the back wheel on, pull tight, and repeat with the front wheel. Then give the bike a good shake to check it seems held firm.
    When it's mounted like this though the front wheel mount is usually just below a quarter over the front of the carrier, is it possible that caused the instability? To position the bike further back I'd have to drop the clamp postion so that it's touching the rear shock, would that be better?
    If I'm doing something stupid with the carrier I'd much rather rectify that than splash out on towbar mounted rack.
    you know you can move the arm up and down the rail so that everything fits correctly.

    No, but that would be a good thing to try, bit stupid not to have noticed that, thanks.
    Trek Domane 4.3. Merida One.forty 7.700. Merida CX 3. Voodoo Bizango
    "When the vulture flies sideways the moon has hair on his upper lip"
  • i usually put my bike in the back of billys van and hope for the best
  • cooldadcooldad Posts: 32,601
    i usually put my bike in the back of billys van and hope for the best
    Is that a euphemism?
    I don't do smileys.

    There is no secret ingredient - Kung Fu Panda

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    Parktools
  • timpoptimpop Posts: 394
    I have two, a Saris for the Honda estate and a Halfords rear spare wheel mounted one for the Toyota, which I use most of the time. Both work really well and are quick and easy to get on and off. I've never had any issues and never had one fall off. This also frees up the roof for a bigger roof box.
    Many happy trails!
  • Joe_PineapplesJoe_Pineapples Posts: 1,718
    1450721_10152664748112538_1888658090_n.jpg

    Never had an issue with 591 Proride carriers. Solid as a rock with road bikes, trail bikes, downhill bikes, even at (as has been mentioned) questionable speeds. Gave the "will the bikes stay on in a full panic attack emergency brake maneuver" function a try on Saturday afternoon!
  • IMG_4966_zpsoyvxzjot.jpg
  • MattharrierMattharrier Posts: 173
    I picked up some second hand Halfords roof mounted carriers, and after some tinkering I got them set up for the two (very different sized) bikes. However, when I got my bike mounted onto the carrier, it was a bit wobbly - I gave it a wiggle to make sure it was secure, and there was a fair amount of lateral movement. I'm guessing this is not ideal?
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