Which towbar bike carrier?

Questions about purchasing bicycles and parts

Which towbar bike carrier?

Postby BastardSheep » Mon Feb 03, 2014 1:22 pm

Please don't turn this thread into towbar vs roofrack carrier. The roofrack is already taken with other things, leaving a towbar rack as my only option for when I want to carry more than 2 bikes, more than 2 people, or 2 + luggage.

I've narrowed it down to two carriers based on these criteria:
* It needs to be towbar because I can't seem to get after-market hitch for my car which is annoying.
* I would prefer something that can take minimum 3 bikes, if I'm taking 2 bikes I may as well throw them into the car most of the time as it's a hatchback/wagon.
* With the old strap-on carrier I had issues getting full-suspension bikes onto it or squeezing three bikes on regardless of type, so I've pretty much convinced myself a wheel/bottom carrier is required.
* Apparently in NSW it's now required to have a lights-bar on all rear bike carriers, something built in rather than hanging on by loose string/whatever seems better.

All of that means that at the moment I'm basically trying to decide between the Thule EuroRide 943 3-Bike and the Thule 9503 RideOn 3-Bike.

Can anyone spot why the EuroRide would be $70 extra, or any reason I should choose it over the RideOn?

The comparison tool at Thule's website (can't link to it directly, sorry) shows the RideOn as being lighter, holding bigger frames, AND cheaper. I'm mostly worried about being caught out on a gotchya I can't see.

Are there other recommended models/brands that fit 3 bikes, go on towbars & tilt for a rear hatch?
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by BNA » Mon Feb 03, 2014 2:42 pm

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Re: Which towbar bike carrier?

Postby RonK » Mon Feb 03, 2014 2:42 pm

The Euroride has a better system of securing the bikes at the top. Look at the diagrams in the fitting instructions for a better view.
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Re: Which towbar bike carrier?

Postby bychosis » Mon Feb 03, 2014 8:58 pm

Considered a torpedo7 platform rack? Here also in four bike version and a lot cheaper than the Thule. I have one, works well to load and unload, easy enough to put on and off the tow ball. Disadvantage is that it doesn't tilt down to open the rear hatch, less of an issue for us with an opening window in the tailgate. Also need to get a light board separately.

For the higher price I'd be looking seriously at the ISI carriers, I really like the way they angle up so if you ever try getting into a steep driveway it's not going to scrape the back of the rack or cause other damage.
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Re: Which towbar bike carrier?

Postby find_bruce » Tue Feb 04, 2014 2:51 am

I am in a similar position as bastard sheep- new wagon has a tow bar, not a 50mm hitch.

Sadly bychosis I don't think either of your otherwise excellent suggestion will work in his case. Lack of tilt rules out the torpedo7 & as far as I can tell, ISI carriers are only available for a 50mm hitch
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Re: Which towbar bike carrier?

Postby bychosis » Tue Feb 04, 2014 6:31 am

I thought isi used to do one for small cars with a tow ball mount, maybe they didn't sell enough of them. Gripsport also do a hi-ride carrier, locally made and can be customised. http://www.gripsport.com.au/products
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Re: Which towbar bike carrier?

Postby gcouyant » Thu Mar 20, 2014 5:19 pm

find_bruce wrote:I am in a similar position as bastard sheep- new wagon has a tow bar, not a 50mm hitch.

Sadly bychosis I don't think either of your otherwise excellent suggestion will work in his case. Lack of tilt rules out the torpedo7 & as far as I can tell, ISI carriers are only available for a 50mm hitch


Bruce we certainly do offer a tow ball mount on the Extreme Duty and the 4x4x4 off-road carriers. They are a popular option and often purchased in addition to other mounts for different tow bar and mount configurations. The idea is that the 4WD for example may have a 50mm square tube tow bar receiver, the trailer or van one of our weld-on forward tilt pivot bases and the tow ball mount for the other family vehicle. I guess we should make more of a feature of it because the carrier assembly can be moved quickly and easily onto any vehicle in seconds and with no tools.

Some examples:

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A tow ball mount on this Corolla

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Then move the carrier assembly to the 4WD that has a different tow bar configuration.

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And again to a mate's vehicle that you may perhaps regularly share the ride with.

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When it's time for holiday, then onto the caravan.

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Or at the rear of a camper trailer.

Each of the above examples have unique tow bar/mounting requirement. The reasoning behind this modularity is to allow fellow adventurers to use the one bicycle carrier on just about any mounting configuration and to allow everyone to travel wherever they desire and ride whenever it takes their fancy. There is so much more to enjoy when you can make cycling part of the journey instead of transporting from a to b.

Just back onto the tow ball mount for a moment, this component has special tabs welded to the underside in order to ensure that the loaded carrier and bicycles do not turn about the tow ball in the event of an emergency turning manoeuvre. Whilst it's something that very few people will appreciate in normal driving conditions, added stability when sudden weight transfer is experienced is important.

Hope this helps.
George from iSi Advanced Bicycle Carrier Systems
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