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Another bike transportation one...(5 Posts)
We have a Hyundai ix20 and three bikes. We're not super cyclists so transporting bikes will be random weekends away / holidays etc rather than a regular occurrence.
Should we go for a rear/boot mounted or a towbar bike rack?
Did you wire up the towbar / light board electrics yourself?
I read on a previous thread a towbar is considered a modification (for insurance purposes) so this puts me off slightly.
Any other advice before I make a purchase and find my wire cutters?
If you get a tow bar with power fitted, then a good bike rack (like one from Atera
cheaper than Thule ) will have a plug to fit into it that means that your brake and indicator lights work as per your car. All you need to do is go to a car number plate place with your registration details and get a number plate that slots in to the bike rack.
Although I tell my insurance about the modification, I don't think it has added a lot to my insurance.
If you get a rear mounted bike rack, you then need to be careful that you're not obscuring your number plate (in which case you need to attach a separate number plate somehow) or, more importantly, your lights (which would mean you're back in the scenario of needing a tow bar with power to plug into for the brake lights & indicators).
For 3 bikes I would lean towards a towbar mounted carrier. You do need to inform your insurers but like the PP I have never found it affects my premiums significantly. I do have a single bike carrier that I bought for when my DD takes her brother to races as she's only got a small car with no tow bar and doesn't take him often. Its ok for short distances once in a while, but I don't feel the bike is as secure as on the towbar fitted carrier on my car. When I see multiple bikes on the clip on type carriers they often look a bit precarious and do tend to obscure both the lights and number plate which could get you into trouble. I have a friend who had a bike fall off one of those carriers on the motorway though so I may have an illogical anxiety about them, but I wouldn't fancy 3 bikes on one at all.
Getting a towbar fitted can be expensive though and I can see why you might not want to do that for just occasional use, especially if you don't need it fir any other reason. Could you fit any of the bikes inside the car so you don't need to put all 3 on the back?
A roof mounted carrier might be an alternative but I can't really comment on those as I've never had one. I'm really short and have a tall car so I would probably need to carry a step ladder around to get bikes on the roof! But they do have the advantage of not getting in the way of lights etc or impairing rear visibility.
I have the towbar 3 bike thule one & I love it - I have a channel I fit on, so I can wheel my bike on to it
for 3 bikes def tow bar.
a door/rear one is too wobbly for 3. good for the occassional single bike though.
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