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Towbar fitting

Discussion in 'Local Services' started by tek-monkey, Mar 2, 2020.

  1. tek-monkey

    tek-monkey wanna see my snake?

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    Looking at options for carrying 2 bikes around, and it seems a towbar rack is least faff. Problem is I don't have a towbar! The guys on astonfields quoted £305 fitted for my car (Focus mk2), I have no idea if this is good or not and if they are recommended for the work.

    Any ideas?

    EDIT: Been told to get a 3 bike rack, as it will fit 2 bikes without adjusting the handlebars.
     
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  3. Gramaisc

    Gramaisc Forum O. G.

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    On occasions, you can get hassled by jobsworth coppers for having stuff hanging behind the rear lights and number plate, they may require you to mount a trailer board for unobscured visibility.
     
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  4. proactive

    proactive Behind you with a big stick!

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    Easiest way to carry bikes is with a towbar mounted bike rack. You don't want any of that lifting bikes on the roof rubbish.

    £305 for fitting a bar is a good price, check that includes the electrics as you will need a trailer board with lights and number plate to fit to the back of the rack. We have a four bike rack to carry three bikes so you don't need to mess about with the handle bars, so a three bike rack for two bikes is deffo the way to go.

    I strongly suggest getting a tilting rack that tilts away from the rear of the car when you want it to in order to enable hatch/boot opening. Far easier accessing boot contents that way than folding down a rear seat and scrabbling about.

    Halfords have a good selection of racks and if you speak to Dave or one of the other guys in the bike section they'll give you decent advice.
     
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  5. Thehooperman

    Thehooperman Well-Known Forumite

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    I may have something in my garage somewhere that you can have if it fits. It's not a towbar mount but I can't remember how it fitted.

    Let me know if you're interested and I'll try to dig it out for you.
     
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  6. Thehooperman

    Thehooperman Well-Known Forumite

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    Ps wouldn't a tandom be too wide to strap on the back of a car?
     
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  7. proactive

    proactive Behind you with a big stick!

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    Also remember that a tow bar is considered a permanent modification to a car, so you will to notify your insurer. Makes no difference to my insurance cost. As you're a newbie to this horseless carriage business though, I expect you'd need to check first.
     
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  8. Gramaisc

    Gramaisc Forum O. G.

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    Tandom?

    Is that wearing two condoms in tandem, just to be extra safe..?
     
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  9. Thehooperman

    Thehooperman Well-Known Forumite

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    Yes but you have to wear them instead of a cycle helmet.
     
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  10. proactive

    proactive Behind you with a big stick!

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    Sounds dangerous to me. How will he know if he's cumming or going?
     
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  11. Withnail

    Withnail Well-Known Forumite

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    I'd take a bit of time to think, and work out how much you'd be using it, and do a few sums in your head before making the decision.

    I have a simple carrier that just hooks on to the car - this sort of thing - that's exactly the kind of thing that has trailing straps and potentially bad positioning that can obscure the number plate alluded to ^above, but needn't be a problem if you are aware of said issues. Bit of a faff to put it on, but not overly onerous. They have the added advantage of being the cheapest option available, though you're always a bit worried that the whole thing's going to fall off at any moment, and of course once it's up and on, you cant open the boot. Tbf this has never been a problem for me, and i've driven bikes up to the Lake District and Wales like this.

    Roof rack mounts are also worth considering, though they also have down sides - fiddly as f**k for one thing, the roof rack is an expense in more ways than one for another, and you have to remember it's there when going under low things, a thing quite easily forgotten - my brother carries his bikes on the roof, but then he is quite tall...

    Tow bar mounts are unquestionably the best option - but they have quite a price tag -

    • Think £300+ for the tow bar + installation
    • Probably the best part of £200 if not more for the carrier itself
    • Insurance implications that i would never have thought of - good shout @proactive

    Would you be using it so often that quite a significant outlay would be worth it to reduce the hassle?

    I'd be tempted to start with a rear mounted cheapish option to start with, see how much you use it, get pissed off with fiddling about with it, before splashing that kind of moolah on it.
     
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  12. RJS

    RJS Big Little-Guv

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  13. RJS

    RJS Big Little-Guv

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    Tek

    I have some experience with a towbar mounted bike rack.

    [​IMG]

    This is my setup using a detachable towbar with full electrics, visible numberplate, room for 4 bikes manufactured by Thule. I drove to the French Alps with 4 friends/bikes.
    I was like you not sure what to buy, roof or tow bar system. I'm glad I went for the towbar solution. Make sure you get the type which drops and allow you to access your boot space. Tow bar solution allows me to put the same bike rack on my wife's Disco, all I need to do is swap the number plates over.
    Towbar mount allows you to see the bikes at all times. You don't have the fear of hitting low bridges etc. Perhaps more fuel-efficient too. I bought this setup from Stafford towbars.
     
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