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Old 19 May 2008, 08:07   #1
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Bike Racks

Thinking of getting rid of a few pounds... and some 's too by taking up cycling again. Anyone got some advice on a good bike rack to go for, i.e. ones that hang off the boot lid or ones that sit on the tow ball ? what makes are best that wont damage the car ? (X5)
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Old 19 May 2008, 11:03   #2
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I've had both types (ie attached to boot lid / attached to tow ball) and I reckon the type which attach to the tow thingy are the best by a long way. I have a Pendle rack which is fantastically well made - http://www.pendle-bike.co.uk/nulldet...l Support Rack . Mine bolts to the towbar behind the towball using a bracket like this - http://www.pendle-bike.co.uk/nulldet...val%20Mounting - if you have a BMW clip-on towball you may need the towball attachment - http://www.pendle-bike.co.uk/nulldet...w%20Bar%20Rack
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Old 19 May 2008, 11:12   #3
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I've got a Weber thing that drops a tube into a pipe that bolts on with the tow hitch. It's brilliant, but wont fir to an X5 hitch. The best way to not scatch the car is with a roof mounted effort, but you'll need to be 7ft tall to get the bikes on and off an X5. Best of all, buy a suitable trailer.
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Old 19 May 2008, 11:56   #4
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I have the Thule tow hitch mounted version and it is head and shoulders above the other types.
I have had the roof bar mounted versions and the strap on hatch mounted versions and hated both of them for various reasons.
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Old 19 May 2008, 12:22   #5
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i also have a tow bar mounted Thule, prounouced (toolay) i think , anyway, brilliant bit of kit!!
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Old 19 May 2008, 18:57   #6
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The tow ball jobbies are great... unless you want to take your bikes and your RIB someplace at the same time.... I have found myself using the boat as a bike trailer on a few occasions but I am always concerned about the sharp bits "annoying" the toobs!
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Old 19 May 2008, 19:12   #7
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Bike racks have always been a compromise for me.

I have an expedition style Roof basket for my shogun which I can strap Four bikes down in upsidedown.
Once they are up there its great, but I climb up and walk around whilst Mrs Nasher has to pass them up to me.

The rack I have that attaches to the spare wheel is only really any good for one bike, or at a push two kids bikes, I wouldn't want any more weight on there. Its great when one of the kids wants a bike taken to a friends house etc as its quick to put on and importantly allows the boot door to open fully even with a bike on it.

The one we've aquired recently to fit the pug 206 attaches to the hatchback and is a little inconvieniant.
It stops the boot opening, is a pain to put on and off, carries the bikes too high. I wouldn't want too much weight on it either.

I've thought about the towbar mounted ones before, but always shyed away as you can't open the boot.
Do those that attach to a plate behind the hitch itself stop you towing?
We'd like to have the bikes with us when going away camping so also need to tow the boat.

Big thing for me really is to be able to open the boot/rear door.

Nasher.
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Old 20 May 2008, 02:15   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nasher View Post
Do those that attach to a plate behind the hitch itself stop you towing?
The plate itself doesn't stop you towing, I couldn't say if the bike rack does once fitted as I've never tried - I guess it may depend on which version you have as you can get them up to four bikes deep. I reckon the hitch may not clear the two main support bars though.
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Old 20 May 2008, 06:26   #9
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Best of all, buy a suitable trailer.
? and then be restricted in speed limit, have extra tyres/bearings to maintain, as well as taking up space to store. Unless you are trying to move lots of bikes don't see a trailer as being the best solution.

Roof rack is possibly the best way to go - but it might restrict your ability to get into a lot of car parks - particularly in rural areas where they are trying to stop caravans staying overnight.

I have gone the towball route with a Thule rack which required no mods to the standard tow ball and I am very happy with it. There is a bonus that you can lift the whole rack off and leave it (padlocked to something) on the ground at your destination if you are away for a few days which saves finding somewhere to store bikes or dragging them with you every time you go to the pup/shop etc.

Have tried various rear door hung racks in the past and they were all a bit of PITA if you had more than one bike on them to prevent them rubbing against each other.
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Old 20 May 2008, 06:32   #10
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I've thought about the towbar mounted ones before, but always shyed away as you can't open the boot.
Do those that attach to a plate behind the hitch itself stop you towing?
We'd like to have the bikes with us when going away camping so also need to tow the boat.

Big thing for me really is to be able to open the boot/rear door.
The Thule one I have tilts to let you open the boot without removing the rack - but you can't tow with it in place. I assume you could find away to mount the bikes securely inside the boat if required.
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