False crossbar for carrying e.bikes on a bike carrier

Supernan

Finding my (electric) wheels
Mar 13, 2020
10
2
We have purchased 2 Cube Town Hybrid Pro 500 e.bikes which we love, so easy to cycle. Despite the advice they should be carried inside a vehicle (which we hadn't realised when we bought them), we have a small caravan and we carry our cycles on a Witter flange attached tow ball. This will take 60kg in weight so will carry the 2 e.bikes. However finding a suitable false crossbar is a nightmare. We have identified one on Amazon US that might be suitable, but decided to check out this forum to see if anybody else has faced this problem and if there is a solution. Any help would be appreciated.
 

Bluemoon7

Just Joined
Dec 17, 2019
1
0
They sell decent ones in Halfords. They are usually within the roof box and bike carrier section. £19.99
 

Supernan

Finding my (electric) wheels
Mar 13, 2020
10
2
Thank you Bluemoon7, unfortunately the ones we have found in Halfords will only take up to 15kg!.
 

flecc

Member
Oct 25, 2006
46,533
23,367
Thank you Bluemoon7, unfortunately the ones we have found in Halfords will only take up to 15kg!.
They are likely to have at least a third safety factor, but with each bike 24.3 kg it's still too much.

However if you took off the batteries and put them inside the van you'd be getting closer. Perhaps then adding a safety rope or strap as additional security you could rig a safe solution to enable you to use these crossbars.
.
 

Supernan

Finding my (electric) wheels
Mar 13, 2020
10
2
Yes we do have safety straps to tie them to the car, we always did this with our 'normal' bikes, but it is finding a false cross bar adapter that will take at least 25kg/30kg each is the difficulty. We have found one that can be imported from America, but was hoping somebody on Pedelecs might have overcome this problem already!
 

Andy-Mat

Esteemed Pedelecer
Oct 26, 2018
1,632
363
74
If I understand the situation correctly, this false crossbar is used to make a ladies bike easier to attach to a transport frame on a rear tow hitch.
If so, why are you looking for one that (seemingly must) carry the whole weight of the bike (minus battery of course)?
Surely it is there just to "steady" the bike, not carry the whole weight? The bike's wheels and tyres will be supporting most of the weight surely on some sort of platform....?
Furthermore, if I have missed something with my thoughts, why not buy a cheapo one and have a strong piece of tubing (round or square) welded to it to give extra strength? It only needs to be tack welded at 3 or 4 points, on both sides, to more than double the strength of the bar!
Hopefully you know someone with a welder, as its only 5 minute job once the tube is cut to the correct length. (Which is why welders do not want you to see them welding, as they can then charge for an hour!!
Also, the length can be tested before welding using a few strong tie wraps to hold it in place!!
Tie wraps might even be considered as a permanent fix if enough thick ones are used, and some rubber, slipped between the two tubes. An old innertube would do!!
I hope that this gives you a few new ideas.
Andy
 

flecc

Member
Oct 25, 2006
46,533
23,367
Yes we do have safety straps to tie them to the car, we always did this with our 'normal' bikes,
I was proposing a strap or rope going under the bike or from low down on the bike frame and up to the crossbar attachment point, thus taking much of the weight from the false crossbar attachment ends.

Then the 15 kg crossbar would easily be adequate, especially if the bikes batteries are removed to reduce weight.
.
 

sjpt

Esteemed Pedelecer
Jun 8, 2018
1,950
1,384
Surely it is there just to "steady" the bike, not carry the whole weight? The bike's wheels and tyres will be supporting most of the weight surely on some sort of platform....?
That's the case on a towbar rack, but most 'hanging' racks do indeed hang the whole weight of the bike from a support under the crossbar. The hanging racks are definitely inferior in various ways, but much cheaper and adequate for occasional use with a regular bike or two ... not sure about ebikes on them even with crossbar sorted.
 

Supernan

Finding my (electric) wheels
Mar 13, 2020
10
2
If I understand the situation correctly, this false crossbar is used to make a ladies bike easier to attach to a transport frame on a rear tow hitch.
If so, why are you looking for one that (seemingly must) carry the whole weight of the bike (minus battery of course)?
Surely it is there just to "steady" the bike, not carry the whole weight? The bike's wheels and tyres will be supporting most of the weight surely on some sort of platform....?
Furthermore, if I have missed something with my thoughts, why not buy a cheapo one and have a strong piece of tubing (round or square) welded to it to give extra strength? It only needs to be tack welded at 3 or 4 points, on both sides, to more than double the strength of the bar!
Hopefully you know someone with a welder, as its only 5 minute job once the tube is cut to the correct length. (Which is why welders do not want you to see them welding, as they can then charge for an hour!!
Also, the length can be tested before welding using a few strong tie wraps to hold it in place!!
Tie wraps might even be considered as a permanent fix if enough thick ones are used, and some rubber, slipped between the two tubes. An old innertube would do!!
I hope that this gives you a few new ideas.
Andy
Hi Andy, the bike carrier we use is a flange carriwr off our tow ball as we also pull a small caravan! The bike carrier is a post with two forks which go off it for tbe bikes to be carried. It will take the weight of the two bikes as max load is 60kg, although for safety we are considering only carrying one bike on rack and the other in caravan. There is no platform for the bikes to rest on. Furthermore they are 'stepthough' bikes so that is why a false crossbar (which is telecsopic) is required.
 

Supernan

Finding my (electric) wheels
Mar 13, 2020
10
2
I was proposing a strap or rope going under the bike or from low down on the bike frame and up to the crossbar attachment point, thus taking much of the weight from the false crossbar attachment ends.

Then the 15 kg crossbar would easily be adequate, especially if the bikes batteries are removed to reduce weight.
.
I think your suggestion of extra straps to help take the weight from low down is probably the best idea and I will purchase one of the false crossbars from the USA and try with one bike only to see how the bike sits on the carrier.
 
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Supernan

Finding my (electric) wheels
Mar 13, 2020
10
2
Thank you for all your suggestions, when buying the bikes even though we mentioned what we intended to do with them, none of the sales staff ventured an opinion that carrying could be difficult!
 

flecc

Member
Oct 25, 2006
46,533
23,367
I think your suggestion of extra straps to help take the weight from low down is probably the best idea and I will purchase one of the false crossbars from the USA and try with one bike only to see how the bike sits on the carrier.
You might find that method sufficiently secure to be able to use a Halfords cross bar for the second bike, cutting the costs and inconvenience.
.
 

Supernan

Finding my (electric) wheels
Mar 13, 2020
10
2
You might find that method sufficiently secure to be able to use a Halfords cross bar for the second bike, cutting the costs and inconvenience.
.
Thank you Flecc, I think if we can get one bike really stable on the carrier , we can then look at how we can cope with two!
When we are not pulling the caravan, we have a 'proper' platform carrier which easily takes the two bikes.

Incidentally we will remove the batteries before carrying as they are so heavy!
 
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Andy-Mat

Esteemed Pedelecer
Oct 26, 2018
1,632
363
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Great topic, with plenty of good and useful information for anyone who wishes to use such a unit. I have learned a lot.
Many years ago, before I had an e-bike, I used a roof rack mounted carrier and it tested my muscles out!
So I put it on a small trailer I use when not towing the caravan, and it is fine lower down.
When towing the caravan, I simply park the bikes inside. And I pop them in the car overnight with an alarm, when we sleep underway!
Andy
 
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harrys

Pedelecer
Dec 1, 2016
171
23
69
Chicago, USA
I never liked these false bars even on regular bikes. I always had visions of the seat posts coming off, so I would add something extra to hold the bar to the frame if the seat pulled out, or strap that bike to its neighbor.
 
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sjpt

Esteemed Pedelecer
Jun 8, 2018
1,950
1,384
With most caravans, the "payload" is far too challenged to cope with just the basics, to have the reserves for another 50 kgs of e bikes.
I'm amazed about that. Not disputing it at all; just being ignorant of caravan details I would never have thought of it.
 

Andy-Mat

Esteemed Pedelecer
Oct 26, 2018
1,632
363
74
With most caravans, the "payload" is far too challenged to cope with just the basics, to have the reserves for another 50 kgs of e bikes.
Then someone bought completely the wrong caravan.....but I agree, many small, overloaded caravans have no capacity for bikes!!
Also, due to the fact that many are scared of maneuvering with a tandem axle, and only buy single axled ones!
But I will not have anything other than a tandem, but I can also drive in reverse....Many cannot!
Tandem axle caravans are easier to load correctly, they handle more load, are far more stable when on the road, generally have more space, and and and.
The good points list is long!!
Then there are the idiots who drive with full fresh water tanks.....a relatively large weight!
I can only say that in my caravans, correctly loaded and balanced, there has always been a place for bikes if needed. But if the right car was also bought, with some spare load (my car has a max towing weight of 2000Kg) and we keep it mostly empty when driving anyway, then there are many ways to carry a bike with a car, popping off the front wheel can also help further, if you want it inside, for example.