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Bike rack advice

Dr_PipsDr_Pips Posts: 10
edited January 2018 in MTB buying advice
Hi all,

New to the forum and looking for some advice. Next summer we're planning a road trip through Europe to coincide with a friends wedding in Germany. I want to take the bikes and do some cycling while we're over there. We're not massive cyclists, but just want to have the bikes as we'll be camping and easier to get around etc. My son will be 5 and I have one of the tag-along bikes that fixes to my MTB and he also has a kids bike. My wife has a traditional upright bike (not sure what the correct term for them is.)

I have a Citroen C4 Picasso, which doesn't have a tow-bar, but I'm probably going to get one fitted. I can't have one of the strap fitted racks as the back end of the car is composite so wouldn't support the weight and I don't fancy lifting the bikes onto the roof.

With regards the tow-bar, I need to get one that won't interfere with the parking sensors and camera. That's fairly easy (I think).

The actual bike rack seems to be more problematic. It seems I can spend anything from £50 to £500 and apart from tilting to allow boot access, I'm not sure what the difference is. I obviously want the bikes to be secure in terms of not falling off, and not able to be pinched as we will be staying on campsites. I'll probably want one that holds 3 bikes, as either the tagalong or my sons little bike will probably go in the boot and it seems like carriers that hold 4 bikes get a lot more expensive.

I'd really appreciate people's input, as I don't want to spend more than I need to. The tow-bar will cost about £200 (I have a mechanic friend, who can fit it) so would rather not spend more than about £400 in total for tow-bar and rack. If you could recommend something for less than that, then even better.

Thanks in advance,
Dom

Posts

  • FishFishFishFish Posts: 2,152
    I have only had a two bike tow bar rack from Halfords. Very good it is too. I think that any of them will interfer with the sensors - but only when reverse gear is engaged - camera will be fine.

    My lesson learned is do not get the tow bar fitted without telling the insurance. Generally it is not a modification but with Tesco ins it is - and they will not cover the car! Annoyingly you need to tell them about the tow bar, the rack and the bikes or you are not covered.Obviously you will need a lights and number plate board.

    Good luck.

    ...and happy new year...
    ...take your pickelf on your holibobs.... :D

    jeez :roll:
  • FishFishFishFish Posts: 2,152
    ...and if you are from Cambridge then the traditional term for the bike is 'sit up and beg'. I assume you are referring to the bike and not the wife. If not then I would not use the aspiration 'sit up and beg' about her in her hearing.
    ...take your pickelf on your holibobs.... :D

    jeez :roll:
  • sextoke1sextoke1 Posts: 133
    FishFish wrote:
    ...and if you are from Cambridge then the traditional term for the bike is 'sit up and beg'. I assume you are referring to the bike and not the wife. If not then I would not use the aspiration 'sit up and beg' about her in her hearing.
    I have a rack like the Thule 9503. It takes time to get three bikes on it and when not in use you then to remove it. Other more modern ones fold up vertically when not in use which is handy, but you will be able to open the booth door. Hard to get a good one for around £200.
  • oxomanoxoman Posts: 9,719
    If your getting a towbar fitted then probably something like the thule one in the link below. There are other makes but some are a bit agricultural and heavy. You will need to notify your insurance as already mentioned and it costs extra when on the ferry or eurostar. Can you not get roof bars fitted to the C4, i ditched my towbar when i changed to my C4 cactus. Try ebay for a second hand bike carrier as well.
    https://www.tredz.co.uk/.Thule-9503-Rid ... ONEALw_wcB
    Too many bikes according to Mrs O.
  • FishFish wrote:
    I have only had a two bike tow bar rack from Halfords. Very good it is too. I think that any of them will interfer with the sensors - but only when reverse gear is engaged - camera will be fine.

    Yeh I know it will interfere with sensors and stuff when the rack is on, but want to make sure the tow bar won't interfere.

    I'd really rather not go with roof bars, I'm not particularly tall, and they just seem like a pain in the censored !

    What's the downside to something like http://www.wiggle.co.uk/thule-9708-hang ... igodigital

    Seems much cheaper and tiltable etc.
  • oxomanoxoman Posts: 9,719
    Started with one of these when I had a fiesta, downside is you need a lightboard as the bikes obscure the lights and number plate. I ended up getting extra straps to stop the bikes moving about as much. If I had a town at it would be one like the one in the link.
    Too many bikes according to Mrs O.
  • Hanging type are cheapest. The problem is your wife's bike top tube sounds like it slants, and they fix to this, so her bike with slant down too, which can mean ground clearance is poor. You can buy some extra parts, but really the better solution is a platform type.
    If you are going to Germany you want a TUV approved rack just in case the police take an interest. It's the law there.
    Other thing to remember is the electrics setup. 13 pin will be needed to comply with regulations and is a newer/better system.
    Please see some guidance on link.
    https://auxtail.com/about-cycle-carriers/
  • Dr_PipsDr_Pips Posts: 10
    13 pin will be needed to comply with regulations and is a newer/better system.
    Please see some guidance on link.
    https://auxtail.com/about-cycle-carriers/

    Oh really? I was under the impression that7 pin would be fine. Miss that because I’m going abroad?
  • Oh really? I was under the impression that7 pin would be fine. Miss that because I’m going abroad?

    Please see extracts from UK law. Daytime 7 pin OK. Nighttime need the reverse and fogs working
    https://auxtail.com/2017/12/14/acts-regulations/
  • Dr_Pips wrote:

    What's the downside to something like http://www.wiggle.co.uk/thule-9708-hang ... igodigital

    I have this one, quick to fit, very sturdy on the towball. Have used with 4 mountain bikes no problem.

    You can tilt it to open the boot, with no bikes on this takes a minute or so to unscrew and release. With bikes on it is a real pain so not advised unless absolutely necessary

    Would recommend it though. Worth a look on ebay for a second hand one, that's where i got mine, £40 like brand new
    GET WHEEZY - WALNUT LUNG RACING TEAM™
  • natrixnatrix Posts: 1,111
    Been happy with my Buzzrack from https://www.roofbox.co.uk/bike-carriers/

    Check that you don't exceed the nose weight for your car (see owners manual)
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  • kingdavkingdav Posts: 416
    I have a buzzrack from there too. They have a page where you can see returns etc. and get a few quid off.
    https://www.roofbox.co.uk/bike-carriers ... s-sale.php

    If I was buying again, I would go for one of the platform type, rather than the sticking out arms. 3 bike ones of these seem to be available for under £200

    buzzwing

    Buzzrack-Buzzwing3-tow-bar-bike-carrier-13Z.jpg
  • chrisw333chrisw333 Posts: 695
    I have a good quality tow bar one. It's still heavy as censored and significantly less convenient than roof bars. The rear racks are quite tight for space so fitting the bikes on can be a bit of a challenge, but with a kids buke you will be fine. If it's primarily for one big journey then yes tow bar is better. For day to day use I prefer the roof carriers.

    If you're set on a tow bar one you definitely need one that tilts for a long journey, otherwise you wont be able to get at your stuff without removing bikes etc which is a real pain.

    The roofbox co linked above is a really good shop. If you hunt around you may find a discount code.

    The atera strada is excellent and gets great reviews everywhere.

    https://www.roofbox.co.uk/scripts/rbveh ... C4ure5iWX2
  • POAHPOAH Posts: 3,369
    I'd just use a roof bar system. I use a couple of thule pro 598 units on thule bars.
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