Bike Carrier Tow Ball vs Hitch Receiver Types

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MattyK
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Re: Bike Carrier Tow Ball vs Hitch Receiver Types

Postby MattyK » Thu Mar 23, 2023 2:25 pm

Mr Purple wrote:
Wed Mar 22, 2023 2:40 pm
Timely thread.

I'm currently shopping for a single bike carrying solution for my BMW M140i. Towball ones are virtually out because the exhaust runs along the entire back of the car.

Had a think about the strap on ones like the Saris above but honestly they scare the heck out of me! I'm on the verge of ordering some Yakima Roofracks and their HighRoad, which seems to be the best solution.

Now to just somehow avoid crashing the gravel bike into the garage door. Any tips on that? My plan was to put the garage door remote into the boot every time I was carrying the bike.
Everyone seems to think I'm insane but I stand by my suction cup based rear rack for my Golf (that has no roof racks or hitch). Basically a copy of a Seasucker Hornet but using much less expensive 6" suction cups from Amazon.

Image

Takes about 2 minutes to install (once you've figured out where the cups need to go). Strong enough for my road bike or my 16kg MTB. Bike is low enough to get under most low passes, and doesn't sit up in the wind making noise/burning extra fuel. Have used it on a number of long drives with zero issues.

FWIW I also have a Saris Bones 3 that is great. Very sturdy and fits 3 bikes. Zero marks on the car from the rubber feet or the strap hooks. I have zero concerns using it for the road bike or TT bike. But it takes longer to fit and remove, and most important for me I can't mount my dually on it because the rack's bars don't fit though the bike's frame triangle due to suspension.

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Re: Bike Carrier Tow Ball vs Hitch Receiver Types

Postby warthog1 » Thu Mar 23, 2023 2:53 pm

I'd be scared to use it, but if you are, it must work.
Very resourceful!
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MattyK
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Re: Bike Carrier Tow Ball vs Hitch Receiver Types

Postby MattyK » Thu Mar 23, 2023 3:01 pm

These sort of suckers are STRONG! Different configuration, but to give you an idea:
Image
Image

I do run a backup strap as well just in case (not in the picture above). But it's never proven necessary.
Also before anyone asks I have an additional bike rack number plate as the car's plate is partly obscured.

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Re: Bike Carrier Tow Ball vs Hitch Receiver Types

Postby warthog1 » Thu Mar 23, 2023 3:57 pm

That is impressive strength!
I'd just be worried that suction strength relies on a good seal.
Would need a very clean window and suction pad I'm guessing?
A tiny leak may be enough to fail given time. You have that covered with the strap though I guess.

Still, you haven't needed the strap to save it, so it clearly does work.
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MattyK
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Re: Bike Carrier Tow Ball vs Hitch Receiver Types

Postby MattyK » Thu Mar 23, 2023 4:35 pm

The inbuilt pumps have an indicator line that lets you know if they're losing pressure. And I'll usually recheck them each toilet stop if I go that far.

A chamois wipe of the window is enough to clean it, and the cups come with protector plates to stop them getting damaged in storage (they fit in a little bag smaller than a shoe box under my boot).

Again before anyone asks, the bike doesn't swing sideways where it rests on the bumper. And the bumper doesn't damage the saddle, nor vice versa. (For my MTB, which sits a little higher, I use a 3rd cup to support under the saddle)

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Re: Bike Carrier Tow Ball vs Hitch Receiver Types

Postby Andy01 » Sun Mar 26, 2023 10:50 am

Pushys has Thule VeloCompact carriers on sale - 2 bike for $609 and 3 bike for $839. AFAIK there is an add-on for the 3 bike that takes it to a 4 bike.

https://www.pushys.com.au/thule-925-vel ... rrier.html

https://www.pushys.com.au/thule-927-vel ... rrier.html

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Re: Bike Carrier Tow Ball vs Hitch Receiver Types

Postby peter » Wed Apr 26, 2023 6:29 pm

Just a bit of an update...

Almost shell out for Yakima StageTwo, until I noticed a problem. The ebike has fenders, so it is not compatible with arms that push down to secure the wheels.

Then found a lesser known San Hima ebike carrier (cheaper on eBay), looks quite solid from photos, but not a friend of the clamping jaws.

Subsequently found some cheaper alternatives, and went with Cycling Deal's house brand 2 bike carrier from Amazon. It is not ebike rated (only 20kg x 2), but without the battery my ebike is just under 20kg, and the other bike is well under 20kg.

It was delivered quickly, build quality is great, also it has a triangular brace that a cable lock can loop through to lock both bikes (when temporarily out of sight). It rattles a bit at the hitch, my hitch receiver has an anti-rattle bolt, tighten that fixed the problem.

We have went out a couple of times with the carrier, so far so good. We ordered an auxiliary plate and waited for it, then realised that we could just made one ourselves, apparently it is acceptable.

P.S. I have a Bikehand workshop stand distributed by Cycling Deal that is of good build quality, and they were quick to send out a replacement pin when reported missing. They come across as a reputable business, which has influenced my decision.

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Re: Bike Carrier Tow Ball vs Hitch Receiver Types

Postby Aushiker » Thu Mar 14, 2024 11:35 am

Bumping this thread.

I am curious whether anyone has experience with ShingleBack racks, particularly the 2B90. It would be fitted to a Subaru Forester, which does go 'outback. '

It would be used to carry an eBike (~30 kg) and a non-eBike.

Image

My initial choice is a BuzzRack e-Scorpion but I am curious about the ShingleBack racks.

Image

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Re: Bike Carrier Tow Ball vs Hitch Receiver Types

Postby Dave_rh » Fri Mar 15, 2024 9:12 am

In my experience with my MY99 impreza and MY14 Forester, Subaru rear wheel bearings are made of soft cheese which does not respond well to increased loads.

Be very cautious with hanging things on the back of a subaru which increase load on the rear wheels. You may be up for replacement bearings before too long.

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Re: Bike Carrier Tow Ball vs Hitch Receiver Types

Postby familyguy » Fri Mar 15, 2024 9:29 am

There's probably also a reason why I tend to see more of the Buzzrack style carriers in caravan parks and travelling on highways and byways. Often with e-bikes and on medium sized vehicles like the Forester, RAV 4, that sort of thing.

I'm about to spend a weekend and 900km (mostly highway and good roads, though) with one of these hanging off the back of a Triton with 2 large/1 small dual sus MTB on it. Listed 'wheel basket weight' is 35kg (guessing that's per bike?) so should take a big e-bike:
https://www.single-trail.com.au/product ... -rfs-rack/

Will give more feedback once I get it in use, but...

The main hassle I can see is getting them on and off. It folds down (a little) but is still a way off the ground depending on the vehicle, so lifting the bike off the ground is still required. Any kids/less capable adults might find getting a bike onto this troublesome. The rate at which I see this style of rack carting 2/3/4 bikes, they must be reliable and capable of holding and carting. I know it's somewhat stereotyping, but generally the drivers/occupants of vehicles with them on the back appear reasonably fit and strong. I wouldn't expect my 74y.o. father or 10y.o. nephew could load a 15kg mountain bike (let alone anything heavier) onto this comfortably.

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Re: Bike Carrier Tow Ball vs Hitch Receiver Types

Postby Aushiker » Fri Mar 15, 2024 11:49 am

Thanks @familyguy. I will be interested to get your feedback. I am not so keen on the Buzzracks needing to be clamped to the bike frame. My eBike has a battery mounted in the top tube (two batteries) so I am concerned that the clamp will not be wide enough.

The bike has yet to arrive, so I cannot double-check this.

After way too much research, my shortlist has come down to the Yakima Stage 2 (with light board, ramp and fat bike kit); it comes in at $1,232 at my door.

EDIT: I didn't factor in that the e-Bike has fenders so this carrier is not suitable. Now off to look at the Yakima OnRamp or the Buzzrack E-Hornet H2.

It is heavy at 30 kg and the load rating drops if you go 'off-road'. I do not think it is likely I will go off-road as such.

Image

The second option is the ShingleBack B290 vertical rack, which comes in at $1,373 using the Yakima lightboard. Lighter at 21 kg, may be more difficult to load and no built-in ability to lock to the vehicle or the bikes to the rack. There is a video showing it being loaded with an eBike, which makes it look 'easy' but at least one review suggests it takes some effort.

Off-road rated and has a 35 kg bike weight limit.

Image

I think it's time to put the pros and cons together.

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Re: Bike Carrier Tow Ball vs Hitch Receiver Types

Postby Andy01 » Fri Mar 15, 2024 4:17 pm

Is there a reason that you don't want something like this Thule VeloCompact 2 bike rack ? It is a towball type, not hitch receiver type.

https://www.thule.com/en-au/bike-rack/t ... -pin-_-924

It can carry 46kg, and up to 25kg per bike (I might guess that a ±30kg e-bike might be close to 25kg after the battery is removed ?).

I have one for my Outback and it works very well and is easy to fit (maybe 60 seconds), easy to load (relatively low so not hard to lift bikes on), and thus-far nothing has moved at all. It comes with the lights & number plate holder as standard so all you need is an Auxillary plate ($35 in Qld). It also has a pedal operated tilt mechanism that allows access into the back of the car (which is very handy).

The clamp bars are quite flexible in where you place them and how they clamp to the bikes. They "unclip" from the U-shaped black frame bar and can be fitted to either vertical upright or the horizontal section of the rack frame - depends on where you want to clamp it to the actual bike frame (up to 80mm tube diameter). I have clamped to the top tube, down tube and seat tube - you just need to get the best arrangement for the bikes.

The rack locks to the towball and the two bikes lock to the rack. I have no idea how it would go in off-road conditions. I have used mine on a short stretch of gravel and it was fine.

The RRP is about $900 but they are quite often on sale somewhere for as low as $600-ish (I think I have seen less than this last year).

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Re: Bike Carrier Tow Ball vs Hitch Receiver Types

Postby Aushiker » Fri Mar 15, 2024 4:52 pm

Andy01 wrote:
Fri Mar 15, 2024 4:17 pm
Is there a reason that you don't want something like this Thule VeloCompact 2 bike rack ? It is a towball type, not hitch receiver type.

https://www.thule.com/en-au/bike-rack/t ... -pin-_-924

It can carry 46kg, and up to 25kg per bike (I might guess that a ±30kg e-bike might be close to 25kg after the battery is removed ?).

Thanks for the suggestion. The weight limit is the biggest issue. Even with the batteries removed, the bike will weigh around 27 kg.

After all my research, I have gone full circle back to the start and the Buzzrack E-Scorpion 2. Even found them at Big W marketplace for $872 delivered.

Yakima had to be dropped due to mudguards as does the Shingleback.

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Re: Bike Carrier Tow Ball vs Hitch Receiver Types

Postby Aushiker » Fri Mar 15, 2024 9:55 pm

Never mind.

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Re: Bike Carrier Tow Ball vs Hitch Receiver Types

Postby familyguy » Mon Mar 18, 2024 2:35 pm

Aushiker wrote:
Fri Mar 15, 2024 11:49 am
Thanks @familyguy. I will be interested to get your feedback.

Weekend thoughts:

If you can't get a bike upright onto the back wheel, are shorter than the top of the rack, or unable to lift a bike by the fork and seat post, you may have a difficult time loading anything on the Shingleback/Single Trail type of rack. They hinge down, but you still have to stand the bike on the wheel to load them, but even then you are still slightly short of a straight run into the wheel basket. Then you'd still need to push the rack back up to vertical while loaded and operating a foot-release spring.

The bike weight is then effectively hanging from the front wheel, not supported at the rear wheel or BB at all. Maybe not an issue for most bike, but you'd be putting a lot of force through the HT/fork if it was a 27kg ebike.

Hinged down as low as it will go you'll get close to the ground for loading but still need to get that little bit off the ground to put it on, as per website photo. A lower vehicle should make it easier.

Image

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Re: Bike Carrier Tow Ball vs Hitch Receiver Types

Postby warthog1 » Mon Mar 18, 2024 2:53 pm

^^ Is that set up as pictured going to be legal from an axle overhang perspective?
I dont see any issues due to the light weight on a largish vehicle, only the excess overhang from a legal perspective perhaps?

Rear bicycle racks must not exceed rear overhang limits—60% of the wheelbase or 3.7 metres, whichever is less.

https://www.vicroads.vic.gov.au/registr ... late-rules
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Re: Bike Carrier Tow Ball vs Hitch Receiver Types

Postby familyguy » Mon Mar 18, 2024 3:30 pm

Short answer, unlikely.

Another chance to repost this:
Image

This above is an illustrated version of NSW rules as defined here:
https://www.nsw.gov.au/sites/default/fi ... t-2014.pdf

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Re: Bike Carrier Tow Ball vs Hitch Receiver Types

Postby bychosis » Mon Mar 18, 2024 9:24 pm

warthog1 wrote:
Mon Mar 18, 2024 2:53 pm
^^ Is that set up as pictured going to be legal from an axle overhang perspective?
I dont see any issues due to the light weight on a largish vehicle, only the excess overhang from a legal perspective perhaps?

Rear bicycle racks must not exceed rear overhang limits—60% of the wheelbase or 3.7 metres, whichever is less.

https://www.vicroads.vic.gov.au/registr ... late-rules
Pretty much no chance of a vertical rack being legal. From calcs I've done elsewhere the 60% rule hurts longer vehicles more. Unless your vehicle has wheels at the corners like some smaller hatchbacks you'll soon run out of the 60%
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Re: Bike Carrier Tow Ball vs Hitch Receiver Types

Postby Aushiker » Mon Mar 18, 2024 9:28 pm

Thanks @Familyguy. Your post is very informative and reflects what I suspected.

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Re: Bike Carrier Tow Ball vs Hitch Receiver Types

Postby warthog1 » Mon Mar 18, 2024 9:30 pm

A pity. They look convenient if you have a few bikes.
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Re: Bike Carrier Tow Ball vs Hitch Receiver Types

Postby bychosis » Tue Mar 19, 2024 12:18 pm

I've seen so many vertical racks lately they can't be a major problem for fines.
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Re: Bike Carrier Tow Ball vs Hitch Receiver Types

Postby familyguy » Tue Mar 19, 2024 1:19 pm

bychosis wrote:
Tue Mar 19, 2024 12:18 pm
I've seen so many vertical racks lately they can't be a major problem for fines.
The vehicles these are usually fitted to are more than capable of a 50-70kg ball weight load, no worries. They generally don't protrude from the rear of the vehicle more than 1200mm with the seats down, no worries. Watch the outcry if they do start pinging people for it.

The limitations would appear (IMHO, ATMO, etc) to be based more around overhang and turning circles, rather than load-carrying capacity. I watched a couple turning around sharpish corner on the weekend and the bikes actually end up swinging around an arc that puts them on the opposite side of the road if the corner is sharp enough. It generally needs a 90° corner for that to happen, but it does. Wouldn't take much to clip one. That said, I think the rule is a little too restrictive as is, and maybe needs a rethink based on load and rear protrusion rather than overhang from rear axle.

I realise it's getting a little off topic for this one and mixed up with this thread for the legal angles:
https://bicycles.net.au/forums/viewtopic.php?t=108060

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Re: Bike Carrier Tow Ball vs Hitch Receiver Types

Postby Andy01 » Tue Mar 19, 2024 8:12 pm

The Thule 2 bike rack exceeds the 60% rule on my Outback (by a fair margin) and I have had police driving behind me more than once without incident.

I think that if the rack looks good (stable, secure, well designed, lights & number plate etc) the police are very unlikely to worry about it (nothing is impossible though). If the rack looks like a $60 KMart/eBay etc cheapie that is loaded to the gunwales with both adult and kids bikes swinging around (barely restrained) then the likelihood of police interest would be far higher. I have seen some shockers.

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