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Do you lift your bikes onto the top of the car?

(28 Posts)
lavendersun Sun 20-Dec-15 17:04:11

We have got a Thule proride on top of the car but I don't use it.

I am fairly robust but not good at lifting things high up, broken neck some years ago, and still retain the memory of dropping my bob stroller and gauging my car when lifting it into a roof box.

I did have a tow bar mounted carrier just for me to avoid the lifting but sold it six months ago because I can fit two bikes in the car with the seats down which was easier than putting the tow bar on and then the bike carrier.

Anyway, long intro I know but now that I have got two newly painted frames and DD has moved onto a bike that is not much smaller than mine I was a bit reluctant/found it a bit of a struggle today.

I put mine in first, back wheel in, derailleur facing upwards, thick wool dog blanket and then the smaller one on the top, same way.

Wondering if I should just get on with trying to make myself use the roof top thing again.

Any tips if you use one would be great, not sure if I should think about taking a folding stool thing in the car to help me get it on/off. DH thinks it is 'easy', I have tried once or twice and didn't.

I don't like riding from home with DD that often as we have to go on a fairly busy A road so they have to go in the car if I want to avoid the hairy bit.

Bubbletree4 Sun 20-Dec-15 17:07:07

You can get some Thule rails that slide out so you don't have to reach up and over the car, but you still have to lift the bike high.

But really, unless you are tall and strong, putting bikes on the roof can be really difficult.

TeaPleaseLouise Sun 20-Dec-15 17:12:28

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

lavendersun Sun 20-Dec-15 17:13:30

I think it is too Bubble, not sure I want to invest in anything else tbh, god we have had so many over the years I have lost count and even this month have bought another one to transport our tandem (which I will not be lifting).

I suppose I could make it easier by not using the middle bike holder or just lifting the smaller one up there, other one in the car. I can lift the bikes high (tried it earlier), it is just lifting, holding and manoeuvring it into place that is the problem.

I thought that maybe I was being a wimp!

lavendersun Sun 20-Dec-15 17:17:22

See, I am 5'8 tea but my old injury hurts when I lift things high up and the bob axle gauging my car still haunts me. Fiddling about with it and getting that arm thing up is the bit that bothers me.

I have got a really sturdy mounting block I could use come to think of it.

YeOldeTrout Sun 20-Dec-15 17:20:46

What about a hydraulic lift, expensive, but well worth it. I don't have one, but I would do if I had to (bad shoulder). DH is the one who crams many bikes into the Touran for competition events.

Back to tow bar mounted one is Ur next best option.

Fireblademum Sun 20-Dec-15 17:24:35

Don't know what sort of car you have bu we have one of these, We can get 2adult plus one child's mountain bike in, and still have space for a,rear passenger.

Dead easy to slot even relatively heavy mountain bikes in

We just fixed it to a piece of plywood that drops in the well of the boot

Google 'axle mounts'

Castrovalva Sun 20-Dec-15 17:28:25

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Castrovalva Sun 20-Dec-15 17:28:58

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

lavendersun Sun 20-Dec-15 17:37:02

I am not sure that would fit (Volvo estate) castro.

I hated the tow bar one, didn't like the way it moved when travelling and found it a complete faff, to put on, when parking etc., etc.. I hated it in short, that was when I resorted to putting them in the car.

I have googled a hydraulic bike carrier but can't find anything. We bought something with a lift to get the canoe on the car last year because of my weak upper body so I am not adverse to the idea even though I don't really want another bloody bike carrier!

VeryPunny Sun 20-Dec-15 17:59:01

I know you said you don't want to buy any more but we have a Saris Bones rack which is fab. Yes, it's boot mounted but I can put the whole thing on in about 5 Mins flat with no swearing and can easily pop all our bikes on and off it. It's rock solid.

I didn't even consider a roof mounted rack as it just looked such a nightmare getting bikes on and off.

CMOTDibbler Sun 20-Dec-15 18:05:59

We have roof racks and a tow bar mount. DH has no probs getting bikes on the roof, though when we had a Discovery we kept a caravan step in the car to make the process easier.

The Thule tow bar mount is so easy to put on though, and is rock solid when driving, and is vastly my preferred option.

lavendersun Sun 20-Dec-15 18:16:49

I had something like a Saris (was thule though) a few cars ago - maybe I will look at those.

I hated my Thule tow bar thing CMOT, partly because I went for the detachable towbar option on my car I think, if it was a normal one it would be lower and closer to the car. But taking it to a car park and/or parking in town with it on was a pain and I always have to get on the wet ground to put the tow bar on. It moved as well.

Interesting how no one else really uses a roof rack - are they just used by men do you think?

I really wanted the roof thing to work and everyone tell me they lifted them on no problem at all smile.

bobinsky Sun 20-Dec-15 18:25:29

I have 3 roof supports for bikes and tbh it is a right pain lifting them up. It is about to get worse as my two eldest are getting small adult bikes for Christmas and the youngest is now out of the seat attached to my bike and on his own. The thought of lifting three adult bikes up everytime we want to go somewhere fills me with dread. I drive a cmax so it isn't a big enough car to put them in the back.....have been thinking about a towbar mounted one - but I'll need to get a towbar too.....expense, expense, expense!

lavendersun Sun 20-Dec-15 18:41:32

I wouldn't recommend a detachable tower bob, mine used to move a lot and I hated it (bike carrier not tow bar). But it was only an entry level one (9503 I think) because it was only for me and DD.

The best thing we have bought is a maxx raxx one for our defender tow bar, that one was absolutely solid. But I sold my defender when I retired my horses last year.

We would have saved a fortune if one size fitted all!

Likeaninjanow Sun 20-Dec-15 18:53:35

I keep a small stepladder in the boot, and use that. It's still tricky, but it does help a lot.

lavendersun Sun 20-Dec-15 20:10:29

I might give it a try with my mounting block over Christmas to see if I think I can do it with everything intact at the end of it - using my portable mounting block.

If not I will have to rethink, I only transport them on my own three or four times a month in the winter. In the summer we tend to ride in another direction on quieter roads (that are quagmire like with livestock/winter harvesting/sowing and a bit of rain).

MsAdorabelleDearheartVonLipwig Sun 20-Dec-15 21:58:03

Volvo do this, a hydraulic bike carrier. It fits to the roof, lowers down to the side where you attach the bike and then it lifts back into place. It works like the hydraulic struts in your boot.

puffylovett Sun 20-Dec-15 22:05:45

No way could I cope with lifting th bikes, I'm strong but not that strong! Dp does ours currently.

We do loads of biking, so when my car gives up the ghost we are replacing it with a Vauxhall vivaro crew cab van, so we can sling the bikes and all our muddy gear in the back.

If you are posh, you could have a VW transporter wink

lavendersun Mon 21-Dec-15 00:45:01

Wow, we were offered a used Volvo hydraulic thing last month by a friend who had just bought a new car which it didn't fit. I thought it was car specific (for our other car) and turned it down. Thanks to the link I can see it would fit both of them, I will phone him tomorrow.

Can't find them in the uk though. Let's hope he hasn't sold it.

grin @ puffy. We have always had a Land Rover as a third car til recently. I am really enjoying not having to drive/park something massive!

BikeRunSki Mon 21-Dec-15 00:51:30

I use a roof rack and a step.

lavendersun Mon 21-Dec-15 09:18:35

Good to know that some people can manage it - I am going to pop into my hairdressers shop this morning to see if he still has the rack. If not I will give it a go.

Mind you I couldn't manage lifting today ...... I fell off my bike yesterday, new pedals. I had unclipped but on the gravel drive to the tea shop clipped back in by accident. I couldn't get them out when I stopped and literally fell over sideways like some comedy sketch in front of the glass windowed tea room and full view of everyone grin, what an idiot!

I regained my poise before I went in by taking my time to find my tool kit and loosening them off but I am as stiff as a board today.

JennyWreny Mon 21-Dec-15 09:35:15

We have Prorides too. I find the trick is to make sure that the arm is ready in the right position and the pedal is also in the right position so that you can rest the wheels in the tray while the bike is about 45 degrees and then push it vertical and then can hold it with one hand and turn the round dial with the other. If I'm using the rack in the middle of the car then I use a toddler step from Ikea that I keep in the boot. Another tip I've found is that if you can park next to a kerb then that gives you a few extra inches height which makes a bit of difference. My best tip by far is not to go under one of those height barriers (speaking from bitter experience).

lavendersun Mon 21-Dec-15 12:54:45

Well, the Volvo thing has been given to someone else after DH said we didn't need it because I can get them in the car and he uses the pro ride (which is/was true), shame, he had first refusal too apparently.

I will give the rooftop thing a few goes and see how I get on.

My car isn't that high Jenny compared to some so the kerb will definitely help (if there is one that is).

MsAdorabelleDearheartVonLipwig Mon 21-Dec-15 15:32:34

Oh that's a shame. Have you had a good look round on the Internet? You might find one on eBay or something.

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