Bike Carrier, Roof Bars or Bike Case/Bag?

bpsmith

Veteran
Been doing a few rides recently, that involve carrying the bike in the car. Mostly local, but got a few things planned that are a bit further afield. Anyway, I can't decide what's the best option?

I have a VW Touran and an Audi A2 in the household. I can comfortably get 1 road bike in the Touran with 2 seats down in the back. Not bothered trying with the A2, as a lot shorter!

I want to be able to carry 3 bikes and riders ideally. Don't like the idea of the rear hatch carriers much tbh, as picky about paint and panel damage.

Am not totally against getting a tow bar fitted, if the carriers work well. Don't have any experience of roof mounted options to know how easy they are to get the bike mounted.

I am also doing a charity ride that involves the bikes being transported back in a van, so not against a case/bag option, which could be used in the boot of the Touran with multiple bikes, although think that could be a bit tight and would need others to have bags too.

Any thoughts and experience guys? Help me stop the procrastination! :smile:
 
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bpsmith

Veteran
Just been looking at the Thule 561. Looks much better than frame mounting.

Think the tow bar idea is way too expensive.
 
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bpsmith

Veteran
Cheers @Ffoeg, I have just been looking at those on RoofBox as it happens.

Why pick those over the Thule? Better build, cheaper or some other reason?

I would need to get roof bars too, so trying to factor in something reasonable, but that will also last.
 
I was looking for frame mounted carriers and I'd got my choice down to either the Thule ProRide or Atera AF Giro.

In short (and in my opinion) the Thule is an overlay complicated design, and the Atera wins on simplicity plus it has a few little design touches that just make it better thought out. I feel it's safer than the Thule too.

Thule used to offer free spares for life in exchange for a suitable (optional) donation to a charity of their choosing, but now they started charging and they certainly ain't cheap. Atera spares are reasonably priced. I think I paid a bit more for the Atera carriers though, as the suppliers in the UK are limited to RoofBox.

However I do have Thule Wingbar Edge roof bars on my car, and I wouldn't change those for anything on the market at the moment.

If Thule ends up being your choice, take a look on Ebay as some car dealerships clear overstock 'own branded' carriers, that just happen to be re-branded Thule gear. Last year I could have picked up BNIB ProRides for less than £40 each!
 
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bpsmith

Veteran
I want to fork mount, to avoid clamping my matte black carbon frame. Will certainly look at both the Atera and the Thule more.

Out of interest, how many bike can you fit on the roof of one car? I am aiming for upto 3 bikes ideally, all of which will be road bikes.
 
Although I've only got 2 carriers, I could fit a third on quite comfortably - even MTBs with much wider handlebars than a road bike. But I'd have to have the middle one facing backwards, whilst the 2 outer ones face forwards.

The limiting factor of me is the usable width of the Wingbar Edge, which is quite narrow due to the design...

thule-wingbaredge-belki-bagaznik-lodz-na-relingi9.jpg

not my car BTW

Normal bars tend to extend past the rook brackets, so you get close an an extra foot of usable width
 
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