Carrier help needed please

Wizzelina

Finding my (electric) wheels
Jan 25, 2020
11
5
Good morning all

we are now looking for a bike carrier for the tow ball which must do the following:
carry two ebikes of 25kg each;
one a step thru and one with a standard frame;
be very secure as we drive down to Spain;
enable us to access the boot when on the hitch;
not melt from the twin exhausts;
be easy to load the bikes onto.

we were going to buy the Thule easy fold XT2 but I’ve just read that it doesn’t take stepthru bikes, wheel straps are too short and it requires checking every 30 miles to make sure nothing has become unsecured. There have also been issues with the exhausts causing the carrier to melt.
We don’t really have a budget - just need to buy something that meets the criteria.
Thanks for reading.
 

Glynned

Finding my (electric) wheels
Apr 28, 2021
7
0
Derbyshire uk
I have the Thule XT2 bike carrier and whilst I don’t have a step through bike, I have no problem attaching my bikes to it. You have to move the retaining arms around to find the best place to secure the bike. A step through bike still has a seat tube to fasten to. I don’t know what size wheels and tires your bikes have but mine 27.5x2.4 and the wheel straps are plenty long enough.
Also I certainly don’t have to check my bikes every thirty minutes, once they on they are very secure and locked in position and never move. As for the exhaust melting the carrier, mine sits well above the exhaust when mounted on the tow bar, so the rack never even gets warm.
I find the XT2 a great way of carrying bikes on my vehicle. It is really well designed and well made, expensive but does the job.
 

Wizzelina

Finding my (electric) wheels
Jan 25, 2020
11
5
I have the Thule XT2 bike carrier and whilst I don’t have a step through bike, I have no problem attaching my bikes to it. You have to move the retaining arms around to find the best place to secure the bike. A step through bike still has a seat tube to fasten to. I don’t know what size wheels and tires your bikes have but mine 27.5x2.4 and the wheel straps are plenty long enough.
Also I certainly don’t have to check my bikes every thirty minutes, once they on they are very secure and locked in position and never move. As for the exhaust melting the carrier, mine sits well above the exhaust when mounted on the tow bar, so the rack never even gets warm.
I find the XT2 a great way of carrying bikes on my vehicle. It is really well designed and well made, expensive but does the job.
Thank you. That’s very helpful. I’m going to see if any of our local shops stock them (doubtful) and go have a look.
 

vfr400

Esteemed Pedelecer
Jun 12, 2011
9,012
3,575
Basildon
Whatever carrier you use, never rely on the clamp fixings. Always wrap a velcro strap around to guarantee that the bike is still held. Don't rely on the clamp-locks as security. Whether you have them or not, make sure that your bikes are securely locked to the carrier with a prober bike lock of some sort.

Theives know how easy it is to remove bikes from these racks with simple tools. We've had a couple of instances on this forum where it happened, so be careful.
 

Glynned

Finding my (electric) wheels
Apr 28, 2021
7
0
Derbyshire uk
Thank you. That’s very helpful. I’m going to see if any of our local shops stock them (doubtful) and go have a look.
It’s possible but I ordered mine from a company in Cumbria on the web, they were the cheapest at the time and delivered next day. They were called The Roof Box Company, I don’t know if they have stock or if they are the cheapest at the moment. Decathlon do stock them and others but often stock is in a store hundreds of miles away from home and they won’t always deliver.
Do an internet search and see.
 

RetiredAndRolling

Pedelecer
Mar 30, 2019
33
10
Wizzelina, great name! i have the Thule Easyfold XT2. It’s fantastic. Every time I have the opportunity to use it I have a big grin on my face. It works so well, so simply and so quickly.

Now for the important bit. I carry two bikes and both are what I would describe as step-through. One is a GoCycle. The other is a Riese & Mueller Tinker. There’s no carefully evolved special way to mount the two bikes although I instinctively point them in opposite directions.

I put on the first bike, single-handed, take the shorter of the two clamps and move it across the carrier until the clamp end lines up with a bit of the bike frame. In seconds the clamp is tightened by hand then I quickly attach both wheel straps. For the second bike, I remove the longer of the Thule attachment bars, done in seconds, as it can’t swing up with the first bike in position. Then I load the second bike and quickly reattach the long arm and clamp the second bike somewhere convenient. After tightening the wheel ratchet straps for the second bike, job done. Then I usually realise I forgot to close the large hatch back of the car so I tilt the bikes back after using my foot to allow the carrier to pivot, close the boot and drive off.

At the destination the bikes are off in no time and I quickly fold and remove the rack from the tow bar so I can stow it safely in the boot. If you don’t want to do that you can lock the carrier to the tow bar in the same way that the clamping arms can lock to the bike. As vfr400 suggests, I always use extra locks on the bikes if leaving them unattended on the rack for a while.

Lastly, if you choose to get your rack from the Roof Box Company, who have been good to me in the past, they usually show a discount code in their adverts in Auto Express or the other similar magazine. With the high prices for these racks, a discount brings a welcome saving.

If all this glowing praise makes me sound like I work for Thule, my username confirms that is not the case. I just appreciate well designed stuff. The XT2 is brilliant.
 
Last edited:

RetiredAndRolling

Pedelecer
Mar 30, 2019
33
10
By the way, I don’t know who has suggested that the wheel straps are too short. They are more than long enough for our bikes with 20” fat-ish wheels.
 

Wizzelina

Finding my (electric) wheels
Jan 25, 2020
11
5
Thank you everyone. Amazon do the XT2 and I can also get the loading ramp and carry bag. Excellent price as well but will do a bit more searching. Our bikes have steel in frame locks and we also have some kryptonite ones. I think if a thief is determined they will be able to remove stuff. We used to also use a steel chain and shackle in addition to the locking tow hitch on our horse trailer so may see if we can also put something similar to secure carrier and bikes to vehicle.
 

Danidl

Esteemed Pedelecer
Sep 29, 2016
7,772
11,116
70
Ireland
I have a Thule 3 bike carrier. Towbar hitch. One of the cheaper models. It comes with nylon or polyester tapes with buckles and quick release clamps. However they are rather poor and standard Halford straps are fine .. I cut them shorter than the 1 metre and singed the end with a lighter to stop them fraying additional support for tge centre . I strongly recommend using a bungy cord as well to secure the saddle bar to the upright stanchion on the carrier. My advice is to remove the battery pack and the display controller and leave them inside the car. A 3kg brick getting detached at 70 mph , will make someone's holiday!. A plastic bag will protect the contacts area.
My thule was intended to have 3 fixing points . The wheels sit into a gutter ,and the tapes anchor them. The bungy provides tge third point and in my opinion is more secure tgan the tape. I have brought the bikes in multiple 100 mile trips without a hitch ..pun intended.
 

helentdavies

Finding my (electric) wheels
May 17, 2021
22
8
we have the Thule easy fold too and its great. Takes both a trapeze and a step through Cube Kathmandu Pro no problem but we remove the batteries.
 

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