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Towbar Bike Rack

asprillaasprilla Posts: 8,440
edited March 2017 in Commuting chat
Anyone know of any reason why I shouldn't get a Atera Strada DL 3 as a towbar mounted bike rack?
Mud - Genesis Vapour CCX
Race - Fuji Norcom Straight
Sun - Cervelo R3
Winter / Commute - Dolan ADX

Posts

  • ben-----ben----- Posts: 573
    I have no idea about your question but just noticed this which you might possibly be interested in:
    Peruzzo Cruising 2 Bike Tow Ball Mounted Car Rack - £27 - 59% off
    https://www.rutlandcycling.com/101401/p ... -rack.aspx
  • FishFishFishFish Posts: 2,238
    There is one reason. A towbar is classed as a modification by some insurers - Tesco for example - who don't insure modified vehicles. Others - Direct Line require you to declare it - one reason given was that having one would invalidate the insurance if undeclared - the other reason offered later on was so that they could source an alternate vehicle with a bar if your car was hors de combat.

    My insurance moment degenerated to utter pedantry when the lady had to note that I would have a bike rack and a bike on the towbar - the absence of that declaration rendering the vehicle uninsured in the event ...blah blah...

    But they (Direct Line) did not charge any extra and of course none of the bike related stuff is insured.

    The other reason is the car resale issue.

    OK?
    ...take your pickelf on your holibobs.... :D

    jeez :roll:
  • asprilla wrote:
    Anyone know of any reason why I shouldn't get a Atera Strada DL 3 as a towbar mounted bike rack?

    I have the Atera Strada, which I bought based on some really good reviews. But I've always been a bit disappointed by it: the fourth rack was almost impossible to add (I used a hammer in the end).

    More importantly, the mechanism which allows it to slide back and forth is very flaky - it's hard to unclip to slide out of the way (to access the boot) and it's even harder to clip back into place properly. The green button often doesn't pop up properly and you have to make a real effort to unclip and try reclipping to make sure it is properly in place to avoid it sliding away when you're driving.

    But others do seem to like it ...
    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.
  • asprillaasprilla Posts: 8,440
    asprilla wrote:
    Anyone know of any reason why I shouldn't get a Atera Strada DL 3 as a towbar mounted bike rack?

    I have the Atera Strada, which I bought based on some really good reviews. But I've always been a bit disappointed by it: the fourth rack was almost impossible to add (I used a hammer in the end).

    More importantly, the mechanism which allows it to slide back and forth is very flaky - it's hard to unclip to slide out of the way (to access the boot) and it's even harder to clip back into place properly. The green button often doesn't pop up properly and you have to make a real effort to unclip and try reclipping to make sure it is properly in place to avoid it sliding away when you're driving.

    But others do seem to like it ...

    Interesting. Any idea what you would get if you were to replace it?

    I need to go with the towbar mount as I've got a dog; most of our luggage is now in the roofbox so I've only got space for one bike left on the roof. On holiday journeys we'd need regular access to the boot, to let the derg out and I'm not a big fan of boot mounted racks because of the weight on the boot (and the paintwork damage).

    Oh, and whilst 3 bikes will be ok this year, next year I'll need to be able to mount 4.
    Mud - Genesis Vapour CCX
    Race - Fuji Norcom Straight
    Sun - Cervelo R3
    Winter / Commute - Dolan ADX
  • oxomanoxoman Posts: 8,182
    The Thule ones are best especially the ones that the wheels rest on. The L shape ones that bikes hang on are ok but you will still probably need a lightboard to stay legal. Atera are a cheaper copy of Thule you can get Pendle but these are a bit agricultural in comparison, I've got the pendle 4 bike version but will be swapping at some stage. As someone has mentioned think about the insurance angle as well, roof racks come under this as well I beleive with some insurers.
    Too many bikes according to Mrs O.
  • asprillaasprilla Posts: 8,440
    The Ateras aren't that much cheaper than the Thules and the weight of the Thules is a disadvantage for me; the Atera is a third lighter which is a lot easier for my EPO to shift about if need be.
    Mud - Genesis Vapour CCX
    Race - Fuji Norcom Straight
    Sun - Cervelo R3
    Winter / Commute - Dolan ADX
  • DJFishDJFish Posts: 49
    We've got a Thule G6, it stays on using witchcraft but I have to admit it's brilliant and well worth the cash.
    FDD33BE3-46AC-4D03-BB2A-21CF11DFC5DC_zpsbzusfihr.jpg
    I bought it from this bloke directly (ie not via ebay) http://stores.ebay.co.uk/skid-1972?_trksid=p2047675.l2563 for a very good price and can thoroughly recommend him if you're anywhere near Suffolk.
    Access to the boot is a doddle as the whole thing pivots TU909_02G.jpg
    You just have to make sure the weight of bikes plus the rack doesn't exceed your max nose weight.
  • Drew123Drew123 Posts: 61
    Good timing - I'm expecting one of these...

    http://www.roofbox.co.uk/scripts/rbvehsel4_tab.php/car-specific-accessories/buzz_rack_buzz_quattro_tilting_4_bike_carrier_no_brp204/Qx%40w%2C6M42VAwp3%40Rb%7B~cC4ure5Jvj%60

    to be delivered tomorrow. Cheaper and more basic looking than the Thule and Atera but should be find for my occasional use.

    I'll post back when I've had a chance to fit and load it...
  • asprillaasprilla Posts: 8,440
    Doesn't have reverse lights does it? I have no issue but most of our holidays are in France and I always worry about French Police picking on the English for minor things. Not that its happened to me yet so it's probably ill-founded.
    Mud - Genesis Vapour CCX
    Race - Fuji Norcom Straight
    Sun - Cervelo R3
    Winter / Commute - Dolan ADX
  • Drew123Drew123 Posts: 61
    asprilla wrote:
    Doesn't have reverse lights does it? I have no issue but most of our holidays are in France and I always worry about French Police picking on the English for minor things. Not that its happened to me yet so it's probably ill-founded.

    Good question. Not sure. Will confirm when I get it.
  • secretsamsecretsam Posts: 4,549
    I've got one, bit heavy but then I guess these things are

    PITA to fit 4 bikes on it, particularly bl00dy mountain bikes with their ridiculous handlebars

    And as noted above, the tilt mechanism is a bit odd. Plus attaching it is a bit of a faff.

    If I did it again, I'd get a Thule.

    It's just a hill. Get over it.
  • secretsamsecretsam Posts: 4,549
    Drew123 wrote:
    asprilla wrote:
    Doesn't have reverse lights does it? I have no issue but most of our holidays are in France and I always worry about French Police picking on the English for minor things. Not that its happened to me yet so it's probably ill-founded.

    Good question. Not sure. Will confirm when I get it.

    It can do if you have a 13-pin connector on the 'bar

    It's just a hill. Get over it.
  • asprillaasprilla Posts: 8,440
    secretsam wrote:
    Drew123 wrote:
    asprilla wrote:
    Doesn't have reverse lights does it? I have no issue but most of our holidays are in France and I always worry about French Police picking on the English for minor things. Not that its happened to me yet so it's probably ill-founded.

    Good question. Not sure. Will confirm when I get it.

    It can do if you have a 13-pin connector on the 'bar

    Well that rack only uses 7 pin and requires an adaptor to connect to a 13 pin bar, so I guess that's a no.
    Mud - Genesis Vapour CCX
    Race - Fuji Norcom Straight
    Sun - Cervelo R3
    Winter / Commute - Dolan ADX
  • tgotbtgotb Posts: 4,714
    I have an Atera. I chose it specifically because of the sliding mechanism, which makes it easy to move out of the way of the boot even when fully loaded with 4 bikes; my concern with the tilting ones was that they seemed to tilt down fairly easily, but were hard to tilt back up when fully loaded. I'm very happy with it; I'd happily buy the same again.

    7 vs 13 pin - I've driven tens of thousands of miles through France, Switzerland and Italy with bike racks and various boat trailers, and never been picked up for issues with the trailer; that includes hand-written number plate in black marker on white paper, number plate not matching the car, and various blown bulbs. My observation, particularly in light of friends who have been stopped, is that the police are far more worried about dangerous driving, speeding etc. I was once stopped in Sweden for driving too slowly, but I think they suspected I'd been drinking (I hadn't).
    Pannier, 120rpm.
  • DJFishDJFish Posts: 49
    I'm pretty sure my Thule has either a reverse light or a fog light but not both, I honestly can't remember, but I think that's because it needs an adapter (which my chap threw in for free) for the electrics as my car only has 7 pins.

    However as stated above I've also never had my spare bulbs & reflective vests scrutinised in France, even when I got stopped for speeding (I was framed) the tiny Gendarme in absurd leather trousers was more interested in the fistful of euros I was counting out.....
  • FishFishFishFish Posts: 2,238
    You can get a board with all the lights from Halfords which has a lighting cable which will plug in to the towbar electricals. Although some people are remarking that they have never been stopped / prosecuted for 'issues' that does not legalise not having what you need which in the UK is unobscured lights and number plates - facilitated, in my case, by a retro fit lighting board.
    ...take your pickelf on your holibobs.... :D

    jeez :roll:
  • Drew123Drew123 Posts: 61
    Received the Buzzrack Quattro and have now got round to assembling it and attaching to the tow bar and adding one bike. All pretty straightforward although the included tool to use for tightening the nuts attaching the support posts was awkward - would have been better getting a socket and driver from the garage but couldn't be bothered. Attaching to the tow bar was quick and easy - although at 20kg it is an awkward lump to manhandle into position. Bike attached very easily and felt secure. Not been for a test drive yet.

    Tested the lighting board and rear lights, brake lights, indicators and number plate lights all worked fine. No reverse light as suspected due to the 7 pin connector but I'm not bothered.

    All in it feels and looks like a decent bit of kit and at £270 it got approval from the missus which I would have struggled on with a Thule... unless I had gone the second hand road.
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