Bike Carrier

Submitted: Monday, Nov 25, 2002 at 01:00
ThreadID: 2453 Views:4601 Replies:7 FollowUps:1
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I am going to buy a Bike Carrier (one that fits on the Tow Bar of a Car)
can anyone suggest a good brand to buy or a brand to stay away from, it would have to fit 3 bikes, I am going up North for Christmas and I don't want it falling apart on the trip. Thanks Mike.
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Reply By: GPA - Monday, Nov 25, 2002 at 01:00

Monday, Nov 25, 2002 at 01:00

There are a couple of types - the ones that allow you to put your bikes on the horizontal 'tubes' in any position that most people have (I have one of these) - and ones that have 3 or 4 'cut-outs' that holds the bike in a fixed individual position. Both have advantages and disadvantages.

With the tube type - you need to pack rubber or rags in between your bikes to prevent rubbing - this is not a problem with the other type - however, the spacing etc, may not suit all bikes - we have a road bike, a mountain bike with over-sized tubing, a 26" girls and a 16" boys - so the frames are all different tubes sizes and angles.

Brands are neither here nor there - just check the quality of the welding. On the tube type - a four bike model is just the same as the three bike model, although there is additional steel re-inforcing on the 'bend'.
AnswerID: 8934

Reply By: P.G. (Tas) - Monday, Nov 25, 2002 at 01:00

Monday, Nov 25, 2002 at 01:00
I bought a new Toyota Echo for the (loving) handbrake a couple of months ago and specified a new towbar with the vehicle so she could take her bike with her on one of those carriers. After we took delivery of the vehicle I went to Toyota spare parts to see if there was a genuine bike carrier available and ... surprise, surprise ... I was told in no uncertain terms ... if you fit a bicycle carrier to the towbar it will void the towbar warranty! Why, I asked? Apparently, towbars are not designed to have these devices fitted and can crack under the different stresses applied by the weight of the bicycles up high in the carrier! I was told that no towbar manufacturer in Australia makes a bar that is ADR rated when using one of these bicycle carriers! I doubt a carrier would crack the hitch on my 100 series, but there you go! I haven't gone any further yet, but if someone has anymore information I would be interested to hear it. Cheers!
AnswerID: 8951

Reply By: Emjay - Tuesday, Nov 26, 2002 at 01:00

Tuesday, Nov 26, 2002 at 01:00
I have one of the towbar 3xbike mounts but it was too much of a hassle to get to the wagon's rear door. I also heard that it's illegal to have the bikes protruding behind the vehicle. They now go on roof racks and are more secure and convenient, although they have to be lifted and you need to avoid carparks. For what it's worth, the racks and bike fittings are Australian-made Rak (they sell direct at and the racks can go from one vehicle to another, unlike most alternatives. Thoroughly recommend them.
AnswerID: 8979

Follow Up By: Steve L - Wednesday, Nov 27, 2002 at 01:00

Wednesday, Nov 27, 2002 at 01:00

Which state do you live in? Must be QLD!!! In NSW, the RTA will make up a bike rack number plate for fitting to rear mounted bike racks that obscure the original number plate. They wouldn't officially provide such a service if these racks were illegal in the first place - and if they were illegal, how come no-one is trying to stop people making and selling them?
FollowupID: 4504

Reply By: Stuey - Tuesday, Nov 26, 2002 at 01:00

Tuesday, Nov 26, 2002 at 01:00
First of all, stay away from the roof mounted at all costs (sounds like you have decided that anyway). I have three friends who have wrenched $5000 bikes off the roof of their cars in garages and carparks.
I have a steel carrier with capacity for three bikes. Advantages: strong, bikes are accessible and can be secured with a padlock on the towbar and on the securing plate. This is essential if you want to keep your bikes from getting stolen. Disadvantages: be careul walking around the back of the car, they can be dangerous. They also really limit the ability to get into a rear door. Around $100 bucks
There is a better model on the market now that is made of steel but has fittings made of toughened plastic with cam locking devices to really secure the bikes and is the best tow bar mounted device I've seen. Its a bit more expensive but worth it. Around $200
I also have another carrier that hooks under the lip of the boot and under the bumper on the boot of a two door sports car. It is tightened with straps. It carries three bikes and is really excellent. It folds up quickly, lightweight and can fit in the boot easily. You also don't need a towbar. Around $100.
They all have their advantages and disadvantages so depend what you need. I use mine everyday and wouldn't be without the folding type.
AnswerID: 8997

Reply By: Truckster - Tuesday, Nov 26, 2002 at 01:00

Tuesday, Nov 26, 2002 at 01:00
if you go a MACRAC one of the towbar ones, you can find other problems with corrigations damaging the bikes frame tubes...

We had a few come into the bike shop when I worked there.

Good for around the city

Check with some of the larger more reputable bike shops around your area.
AnswerID: 9009

Reply By: Emjay - Wednesday, Nov 27, 2002 at 01:00

Wednesday, Nov 27, 2002 at 01:00
Steve L: I'm in NSW and the "nothing can protrude beyond the vehicle limits" thing was something that I heard or read some time ago. It may be a furphy. Certainly I and most others regularly ignored it if it's true. I stopped using the towbar-mount because it was just too difficult to get access to the rear door, even though the rack was one of the swing-down ones (you still had to remove the bikes).

Stuey: You could equally have friends who lost all their expensive bikes in a simple rear-ender that would otherwise have been confined to a dented back bumper.
Not much anybody can do about those who run their roof load into carpark entrances except offer a not-very-sympathetic "Doh"! I reckon roof racks are the better way and offer better security than anything hanging out the back (my Rak roofracks and the bike-mounts are all key-locking). My towbar mounted rack could be removed, complete with bikes, by simply undoing the main towball nut.
AnswerID: 9039

Reply By: ExplorOz Team - Michelle - Wednesday, Nov 27, 2002 at 01:00

Wednesday, Nov 27, 2002 at 01:00
Guess what guys, ExplorOz is about to launch a new feature on bike carriers - cause we've just got ourselves one and have found one we like. Full feature coming up soon - maybe before Xmas even!
AnswerID: 9064

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