Tow bar mounted bike rack...kinda review-ish

Discussion in 'Van Accessories' started by KarlB, Jul 3, 2012.

  1. Hello! Wasn't sure where to put this in the product review section so I thought I'd pop it here!

    We have had a Fiamma 2 bike rack for several years and it's ace. Solid, easy to use and light. Alas, as our numbers have swelled over the years we now have 3 'big' bikes and a tag-along bike to carry around. We had resorted to putting one of the bikes inside and the tag along in the back. Not ideal.

    Some things about the Fiamma that annoyed me was were
    1) I couldn't open the rear hatch with the bikes fitted.
    2)It was a bit of a squeeze to access the engine back when bikes were loaded.
    3)Rear visibility (as good as it is with a Westy Continental!) was even more obscured both with and without bikes.
    4)If the rack was 'out' without bikes fitted the rear hatch had a habit of shutting itself -sometimes onto heads and little people's legs!
    5)The rear hatch leaked where the rack was fitted at the top...especially in this Summer Weather!

    It is still a very good rack...but the [glow=red,2,300]FACT[/glow] remained it was too small!

    So the search was on for an alternative. I came to the conclusion that a tow bar mounted rack was the answer and started some research.

    I shall gloss over the fitting of the Westy Towbar I had kicking about...just to say now *all* the captive nuts are in place it is VERY solid and I'm hoping the POR15 will wear off my hands at some point in the next month ;-)

    I found myself on 'The Roof Box Company' Website and was swithering between the Buzz Rack Quattro and the Atera STRADA DL (with a 4th Bike adaptor). I liked the rugged nature of the Quattro but the weight put me off. I eventually went for the Atera, with the 4th bike add on. I managed to get 5% off by going through

    Also, as the Westy Towbar has 7 pin electric they included an adaptor...good stuff! It came next day delivery (other options are available).

    So how is it? Excellent! Like the Fiamma it takes a bit of setting up with adjusting this and that and working out the best way to attach the bikes. Once it's all set up it's really easy. The bikes are really secure and the straps have really cool ratchets built can watch the video on the website...she makes it look REALLY easy!

    Here are the bikes fitted up. The straps are optional if the 4th bike adaptor is fitted. The Roof Box people say they aren't required but I like 'belt and braces!'

    And the racks party trick....push a button, press under the number plate with your foot and viola!

    And you can do this...

    All round...very happy.
  2. Woodylubber

    Woodylubber Obsessive compulsive name changer

    That looks a really good rack and a good reveiw :) Karma
  3. Tuesday wildchild

    Tuesday wildchild I'm a circle!

    I like these as you only need one rack if you have more vehicle I think you may of made my mind up.

  4. Cheers both :)

    Lots of racks 'tilt' but this one s-l-i-d-e-s....and because the frame is a 'Y' you can get into the engine bay and rear hatch easily. I was initially dubious about how on earth these things stay attached to a 'ball'...but it works!
  5. Looks fab. I've got the very similar Thule one which I'm fitting next month, with the same party trick push button. Looking forward to getting it fitted and heading off to Scotland with the family.
  6. Sounds good Baydreams...where in Scotland are you heading to?
  7. I've also opted for a thule one like this after trying the Fiamma one, as the fiamma's are restricted to 2 bikes and also limited to one vehicle.

    Like the look of the sliding mechanism mine just tilts although still gives rear hatch opening space. I haven't tried on a bay yet.
  9. Woodylubber

    Woodylubber Obsessive compulsive name changer

  10. Birdy

    Birdy Not Child Friendly

    Nice review and nice rack too.

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