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Query- correct way to load bicycles with junior bikes


Aadil Adam
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Good day all,

I'd appreciate your feedback on loading bikes onto a rack, specifically a 3 bike hanging rack, Thule raceway 3, with one adult, one junior and one kiddies bike, without any bikes touching.
Additionally, how safe is the Thule frame adapter, and has it ever come loose?

I have found that resting the junior bike on it's bottom tube of the triangle effectively raising it above the rack, with the adult bike on the frame adapter, assists in keeping spacing between the bikes, though the junior bike is then not 'hanging'. Is this recommended for loading or with that much of weight above the rack, does it cause the bike to sway or fall over?

Additionally, is it common practice to turn the bar to align with the top tube, to avoid the bar going through the spokes of the next bike? And do I remove the pedals to avoid them knocking into the vehicle or the next bike?

I'm welcome to suggestions for short, 50km, or 1000km journeys.

Trust my explanation is clear.

edit- pic attached.
the kiddies bike will have the bar turned so as to keep the wheel flush and not protruding.
Ideally, I would like all bikes to be only as high as the first bike, though the wheels rub against the gear selector and levers.

Will play around with a few more setups, with pool noodles or try 'wrapping' the bikes in foam to avoid contact.

20210712_212610.jpg.e6ccb7876247e46f96dc968bb25258bb.jpg

Edited by Aadil Adam
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Others might disagree with me but I found that a 3 bike carrier realistically only really carries 2 bicycles comfortably. If you load three be sure to have a couple of pool noodles, yoga mats or similar and nerves of steel close at hand to prevent the bikes damaging each other.

I did however load 3 bikes on more than one occasion - One Large 27.5 MTB and 2 BMX bicycles. For obvious reasons loading the heaviest bike first/closest to the car makes the most sense. I always wrapped some padding around the closest bike's pedal and also used bungee cords of various lengths in order to limit wheel and pedal movement.

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It all depends on the frame layouts .... some bikes are easy, others less so.

 

The frame hanger workrs nicely, though I only used it with 2 bikes.

 

First bike ... I found the inside pedal to the top typically clears the car.

 

From there it is a matter of pool noodles and experimenting to see what works best for your selection of bikes.

 

From a mechanics point of view ... it help to have the heavier bikes closer to the car, reducing the turning moments and forces on the system.

 

And lots of pool noodles ....

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58 minutes ago, Rolf Hansen said:

Others might disagree with me but I found that a 3 bike carrier realistically only really carries 2 bicycles comfortably. If you load three be sure to have a couple of pool noodles, yoga mats or similar and nerves of steel close at hand to prevent the bikes damaging each other.

I did however load 3 bikes on more than one occasion - One Large 27.5 MTB and 2 BMX bicycles. For obvious reasons loading the heaviest bike first/closest to the car makes the most sense. I always wrapped some padding around the closest bike's pedal and also used bungee cords of various lengths in order to limit wheel and pedal movement.

Yeah, loading 2 bikes, keeping the center loading point empty makes it much easier to clear pedals to frame, and frame to fork contact.
Heaviest bike is closest to the vehicle, and i also utilise straps to secure wheels and pedals from movement.
Will look into pool noodles

Thanks for your input

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52 minutes ago, ChrisF said:

It all depends on the frame layouts .... some bikes are easy, others less so.

 

The frame hanger workrs nicely, though I only used it with 2 bikes.

 

First bike ... I found the inside pedal to the top typically clears the car.

 

From there it is a matter of pool noodles and experimenting to see what works best for your selection of bikes.

 

From a mechanics point of view ... it help to have the heavier bikes closer to the car, reducing the turning moments and forces on the system.

 

And lots of pool noodles ....

I may have the hangers set too low. 
The pedal doesnt clear the top of the boot lid.
The frame adapter I have is not the closed loop, but hook version, Thule Bike Frame Adapter | Thule | UK
It is quite secure, but speed and force can change things quickly.

 

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Jeez, that setup in the picture looks like a disaster waiting to happen, sorry to say. 

I think the arms are set at too steep an angle. Try place then more parallel with the ground. And keep the bikes lower by either moving the brackets/straps to attach to the frame below the bar so the smaller bikes effectively hangs below the arms. You'll need extra bungee cord to secure but this will help place all 3 bikes at a similar level and will put far less force on the rack /car boot. 

Hope this helps. If not, get a tow bar and a platform rack. 

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44 minutes ago, Tomik said:

Jeez, that setup in the picture looks like a disaster waiting to happen, sorry to say. 

I think the arms are set at too steep an angle. Try place then more parallel with the ground. And keep the bikes lower by either moving the brackets/straps to attach to the frame below the bar so the smaller bikes effectively hangs below the arms. You'll need extra bungee cord to secure but this will help place all 3 bikes at a similar level and will put far less force on the rack /car boot. 

Hope this helps. If not, get a tow bar and a platform rack. 

Yip, this won't work even on a 5 km journey. The junior bikes are too unstable in this setup and it all looks like a mangled mess stuck with glue. 

Looking at it again, the arms are too steep for th junior bike, but work with the adult bike whilst using the frame adapter. 

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A very noob qiestion-

Is it possible to have the arms at different heights to match the sloping shape of the frame, so the adult bike effectively sits straight without the use of a frame adapter? If not why not? 

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On 7/12/2021 at 10:58 PM, Aadil Adam said:

A very noob qiestion-

Is it possible to have the arms at different heights to match the sloping shape of the frame, so the adult bike effectively sits straight without the use of a frame adapter? If not why not? 

Not sure if the rack allows it, but looks like it might. No problem doing that if it works better. My saris bones could do that but I never needed to with adult bikes. 

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My honest opinion?

If you want to load 2 bikes, get a hang off the back 3-bike carrier.

For 3 bikes, get a 4-bike ride on rear carrier

For more bikes, get a roof rack carrier or both roof top and towbar racks. Even a trailer top rack? 

The only time a hang off the back rack that can fit 3 bikes reasonably is when you carry three older style road bikes with easy to fit frame geometry. Mountain bikes and especially small kiddie bikes are nearly impossible to carry without damage. 

 

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