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Boot Cycle Carriers

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 stevieb 10:28 Thu

I’m looking for a bike carrier for 3 or 4 bikes. I’d prefer a boot fitting carrier, but are there any boot carriers that don’t cover the rear lights? I’ve got a Ford Galaxy, so a decent sized car.

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 tomsan91 10:54 Thu
In reply to stevieb:

Not a fan of boot racks as they can damage your paint work and don't feel 100% secure. A towbar rack is a much better option if the value of the bikes is higher than a few hundred pounds. 

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 stevieb 11:04 Thu
In reply to tomsan91:

Thanks. The bikes are all £400 or lower, and the car is 10 years old so not bothered about a scratch or two. Insecure would be a problem though .

I’ve not got a tow bar at the moment, and proper tow bar fitting is pricey. Do you have to have the full electrical connection for a tow bar? 

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 nniff 11:19 Thu
In reply to stevieb:

4 bikes are quite heavy.  To be successful, you need a rack that will rest firmly on the bumper, which therefore needs to be fairly flat and solid.  If that is not the case, then the loads on the top straps will be substantial and you're also likely to get dents in the boot from where the rack rests.  On top of that,  they'll sway and bounce a lot.

We managed two adult bikes and two small kids bikes on a VW Sharan many years ago - it was fine bowling along French motorways, but bouncing and clattering along their English counterparts was not so good.

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 felt 12:05 Thu
In reply to stevieb:

These are great, the RS3.

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Saris-Bones-Bike-Boot-Rack/dp/B001BEHWDW 

No straps, just a ratchet, and can be fixed to your car in much less than minute. If you're worried about scratches you could insert some neoprene, I guess, but I'm past caring. Only takes three bikes. I use it with my carbon ones and they haven't disintegrated yet. Check it fits your car.

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In reply to tomsan91:

+1 for a towbar rack - definitely the best way to go if you're keeping the car for more than a few years. I was fortunate that I discovered that my car already had the electrical socket ready to go but think if it didn't I get one fitted.

The fact you can lock the rack to the car and the bikes to it is a big plus for me.

Post edited at 12:09
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In reply to stevieb:

I'd always use a towbar one now after a nightmare on a motorway when the Halfords strap mounted one fell off with three bikes on it! Nobody was hurt (luckily).

Of course, it could have been user error, or somebody fiddling with it when we weren't there (always check it every time you get back to the car!)

I have an Altera Strada DL3 which is a thing of beauty, very secure and slides away so you can get in boot without removing all the bikes. By secure, I mean it feels solid but also it is all lockable (the whole rack and each bike) which reduces the chance of fiddling or theft.

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 stevieb 12:19 Thu
In reply to felt:

Yes, the Saris Bones was the rack I was looking at getting. 

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In reply to stevieb:

> Thanks. The bikes are all £400 or lower, and the car is 10 years old so not bothered about a scratch or two. Insecure would be a problem though .

With respect, those aren't going to be the lightest bikes.

As Stevieb said, you'll need a rack that rests on the bumper, or it WILL damage the boot lid. My Dad's last car had a dent in it from the rack and my Uncle managed to crack the boot of his old Espace, which turned out to be made of fibreglass. Make sure you get a rack with side straps, to minimise sway. A mate of mine used to put helicopter tape on the attachment points to protect the paint.

You'll definitely need a lighting board because 4 bikes will block the lights and number plate. You can get the electrics done without a tow bar.

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In reply to mountainbagger:

> I have an Altera Strada DL3 which is a thing of beauty, very secure and slides away so you can get in boot without removing all the bikes. By secure, I mean it feels solid but also it is all lockable (the whole rack and each bike) which reduces the chance of fiddling or theft.

My old neighbour had the Thule equivalent, which tilts to allow you open the boot. Solid piece of kit, but pricey and bulky to store.

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In reply to stevieb:

I have a Saris Bones. Very solid. A world away from the generic boot carriers (you do still need to be careful of paintwork damage though).

You have adjustment options but you’ll probably still need a lighting board.

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