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Thread: Bike Racks - Talk to me

  1. #1

    Bike Racks - Talk to me

    I need to be able to transport four bikes (two kids Frog bikes and two adult MTBís), obviously Thule are the daddyís but there are other brands out there so the first question is does anyone recommend any brands other than Thule?

    Secondly what type? I have a tow bar (if I can get it on) so do I put all four on the back? Or do I put three on the back and one on the roof? (I need to save enough roof space for the Kamei roof box). Also any other combo for carrying four bikes considered! I drive a 2011 Octavia estate if that helpsÖ

    The majority of journeys will be up to two hours to get to rides out of town but a couple of times a year we visit family and that is approx 6hrs (if that makes a difference).

    Any advice or recommendations welcome as Iím sure people here have tried all the options at one time or another!

    Thanks.

  2. #2
    Master
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    I had the Thule 9503, 3 bike carrier which fits to the tow bar. Great bit of kit (tips forward so you can still open the boot without having to remove the bikes), only sold due to changing cars (no tow bar on new one) and my girls getting older and no longer interested in bikes. 3 on the back, one on top and you'll still have room for the roof box

  3. #3
    Master
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    Forgot to say, check the electrical connections as I had to buy an adapter to fit the carrier to the cars electrics (was quite cheap).

  4. #4
    i have a Thule 3 bike tow bar one, we have strapped four bikes to it a few times, it doesn't get used I was going to stick it on ebay, where in the country are you

  5. #5
    Journeyman
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
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    I had an Atera Strada which worked very well. I never used the 4th bike adapter though!

    Cheers
    Rory


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by adrianw View Post
    i have a Thule 3 bike tow bar one, we have strapped four bikes to it a few times, it doesn't get used I was going to stick it on ebay, where in the country are you
    Hi Adrian,

    Thanks, Iím in SE London but also have family in North West.

    Thanks.

  7. #7
    Craftsman
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Location
    Sheffield, UK
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    I have recently bought this tow bar mounted 4 bike carrier for £200 and would recommend it. Only downside is once the bikes are on there's no access to the boot but for another £50 there is a model that tilts to allow boot access.

    https://www.roofbox.co.uk/scripts/rb...7B~cC4ure7yanU

  8. #8
    Craftsman
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    Jul 2013
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    Crosby
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    I have a Thule one that accommodates three bikes. Attaches to the tow bar easily and folds up when not in use. Got it at the roof box company in their bargain section. Said it had been display but it clearly hadnít been opened let alone used. Had to get a detachable tow bar fitted to the xc60 but it is a great bit of kit and the rack just folds and goes in the back of the car when not in use. I have a trans k9 double dog crate in the back at all times so needed something that could tip forward and allow access and also fold small enough to go on the back seat when out. This does that.

  9. #9
    Master
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    Oct 2007
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    I've previously owned a 'Buzz Rack', which was ok but isn't a patch on Thule for quality of build and ease of use. Mine's heavy, but fits in a matter of seconds and is absolutely solid. Holds the bikes securely and tilts away from the car for access to the boot.

    I've always been a bit wary of roof mounting bikes. I know it looks all Tour de France, but think you'll end up damaging your car at some point whilst lifting bikes and there's a heavy hit on fuel economy if you're doing long runs.

    Cheers


  10. #10
    Master
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    Mar 2013
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    Thule for sure.
    As you have the tow bar definitely get that type.
    I got one per the link below plus the adapter so it takes 4 bikes (2 adult mtb + 2 kids).
    Absolutely awesome but of kit. Rock solid, no rubbing, pretty good security (though I add a cable if parked) no issue when doing 4-6hr drives etc.
    As mentioned this folds up as well which is useful for storage etc.
    Highly recommended.
    In fact one of the best things I have ever bought. Just works really well and looks as though it will last.

    https://www.thule.com/en-gb/bike-rac...7-pin-_-927002

  11. #11
    Quote Originally Posted by adrianw View Post
    i have a Thule 3 bike tow bar one, we have strapped four bikes to it a few times, it doesn't get used I was going to stick it on ebay, where in the country are you
    Hi Adrian,

    Your inbox is full. Thanks again for the offer. Do you know the model and Iíll google it? Does it have the integrated lights?

    Cheers.

  12. #12
    The Atera range is certainly worth looking at. They offer a few models that can carry 3+1, are tow bar mounted and all swing out to allow for boot access.


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  13. #13
    Grand Master 100thmonkey's Avatar
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    Aug 2008
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    Surrey
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    17,374
    I use a Thule Proride Roof based

    Rock solid, allows roof access, less obstructive on rear vision and access and slightly less likely to be robbed (well more visual)

    Never had a problem or wanted for more they just work perfect.
    "When You Go Home, Tell Them Of Us And Say,
    For Their Tomorrow, We Gave Our Today"

  14. #14
    Craftsman gerard's Avatar
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    Aug 2009
    Location
    Suffolk, UK
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    981
    I have used both....



    Tow bar is the preferred. Easier to load bikes, no worries re low trees and the like. I think (and wish I had one) the folding (for storage) Thule 3 bike tow bar is probably the best. Not sure the do a folding 4 bike.
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    Last edited by gerard; 8th May 2021 at 08:46.

  15. #15
    Iíve yet to see praise for a non-Thule bike carrier that didnít have a caveat.

  16. #16
    Quote Originally Posted by JGJG View Post
    Iíve yet to see praise for a non-Thule bike carrier that didnít have a caveat.

    The Atera one quoted above really is that good.

  17. #17
    Craftsman
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    London, UK
    Posts
    635

    Bike Racks - Talk to me

    I have the Atera and although no longer used it was a well designed and solid bit of kit. If I recall, there wasnít an equivalent Thule that matched it for features and capacity (4 bike). It wasnít a cheap option either.

    I havenít had a car with a tow bar for a number of years and was only used a couple of times before being tucked away in the garage. The kids are grown up now so willing to sell if anyone is interested.

    I canít remember the exact model but I think there is only one. It is definitely an Atera, most likely a Strada. It is tow bar mounted with uk electrics, takes 4 bikes and slides/tilts away for access to the tailgate. Great piece of kit.
    Last edited by Spy; 9th May 2021 at 07:29.

  18. #18
    Master
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    Iíve got a Thule which clamps to the down tube which works well. I wouldnít recommend, however, the Thule that clamps to the front fork dropouts. I experienced the alarming vision of seeing my bike bouncing along the dual carriageway in my rear view mirror. The tightening nut on the clamp, despite being as tight as I could get it at the start of my journey, had gradually unscrewed itself and eventually let go of the bike. There was no lock nut. The Thule racks donít fit on my current roof bars so I attach the bikes the old fashioned wayÖI turn them upside down and attach three toe straps, one to each brake hood and one around the seatpost where it meets the saddle. Adding a few bungies just in case. This will probably only work if youíre attaching road bikes.

  19. #19
    Master jukeboxs's Avatar
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    Another vote for the Atera Strada here - the 3-bike version with 4th bike extension. Tow bar mounted and plugs into my car's electrics - I regularly use for 4 adult bikes. More than a match for Thule - despite the comment above.

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