Transporting my new lightweight carbon toy

by PurpleDog   July 14, 2014  

Now I've bought a shiny new Trek Emonda, made from gossamer thin eggshell carbon, I was wondering how I get it to all the events I'm undoubtedly going to want to ride in?

I have a convertible so no roof racks, and no room to carry it inside if I want the roof closed so that's a dry-weather only option. I have a towbar with a 'hang by the top tube' type rack, but they're not advised as I understand it?
... leaving the wheel-clamp towbar types like the Thule Ride-On 9502 and similar as the only apparent option, but they still need strapping around the tubes as well, so is that just as worrisome?

All the thousands of carbon roadies out there must be transporting bikes by the thousand - how do you all do it without risking your ridiculously expensive faberge bikes?

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Wheels off, frame and wheels in boot. Sorted.

posted by arfa [542 posts]
15th July 2014 - 9:06

3 Likes

my partner and i bought one of these about a year ago and it has been perfect for transporting our carbon bike around. it holds the wheels so there is less chance of frame damage.

http://www.saris.com/product/eu-thelma-2

it is a bit pricey, but it's better than a broken top tube.

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posted by bikemadjo [53 posts]
15th July 2014 - 9:10

1 Like

You gas mileage will suffer with a rear hitch mount rack over a roof mount ....

I always thought it was the other way round as the aerodynamics of a big bulky object on top of the roof would easily outweigh the extra weight of a towbar carrier at the rear end of a car ? But then, I still shove a newspaper down my front for the desents so I'm probably WAY outta touch.

posted by denerobt [9 posts]
15th July 2014 - 12:55

1 Like

Er - ride the bike?

posted by oldstrath [206 posts]
15th July 2014 - 13:20

2 Likes

oldstrath wrote:
Er - ride the bike?

Kind of restricts me to the annual local event... I'm not riding 50 miles to get to a challenging 65 mile sportive, then riding 50 miles home again!!!

I'm not one of the "I'm really good at cycling so I bought a great bike" brigade... I'm more "I spend all my time at work and I'm getting on a bit, so I have the money for a great bike but no time to ride it" kind of hated middle-aged poseur! Smile If I choose an event, it's because it's a challenge - which means an extra 3 miles would probably be too much...

posted by PurpleDog [37 posts]
15th July 2014 - 13:37

4 Likes

bikemadjo wrote:
my partner and i bought one of these about a year ago and it has been perfect for transporting our carbon bike around. it holds the wheels so there is less chance of frame damage.

http://www.saris.com/product/eu-thelma-2

it is a bit pricey, but it's better than a broken top tube.

Looks great - and so do some other Saris offerings, thanks. Unfortunately I can't find much for sale in the UK. I'll ask around...

posted by PurpleDog [37 posts]
15th July 2014 - 13:39

1 Like

Rutland are one of the few Saris dealers in the UK

http://www.rutlandcycling.com/advancedsearch.aspx?Term=SARIS

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posted by Gkam84 [9040 posts]
15th July 2014 - 13:45

2 Likes

Costco are/were selling Saris Bones 3 for cheapness. OK, it's a top-tube hanger but it also holds the seat tube so it's anchored in place. I use one for my carbon Cannondale and have no problems with it.

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posted by Swami Dave [51 posts]
15th July 2014 - 13:59

1 Like

Have you looked at a Thule tow mount ? It has a bar that rises and the wheels get strapped too. The seat tube gets strapped and there is nothing on the top tube. if I'm not flying and using the bike box alan, I use the towbar Thule - and my bike is full carbon too. Make sure you're insured BTW.

posted by denerobt [9 posts]
15th July 2014 - 14:35

2 Likes

simplest thing is to buy the right car. Get an estate. Put the lovely bike inside.

Did you know that if the bike is on the outside it's not covered by your insurance? Get rear ended and the insurance will pay for the damage to the car but the bike (and this could be an expensive bike) is down to you.

All kinds of cars are available from national and local outlets.

Cycling is like a church - many attend, but few understand.

posted by oozaveared [745 posts]
15th July 2014 - 14:35

6 Likes

Looking at the Saris ones, they appear to mount to something under the car - presumably the bracket my towbar is using? I might be missing something but I don't want to be removing the towbar every time I need the bike rack.

denerobt wrote:
Have you looked at a Thule tow mount ?

That's looking like the best option I think... not sure if my seat mast is clampable (I bought the bike on ride feel, didn't realise it had a seat mast rather than a normal seat post!) so something to investigate, but this is the option I think I need to take.

oozaveared wrote:
simplest thing is to buy the right car. Get an estate. Put the lovely bike inside.

Ha ha!! Ditch my lovely convertible for an estate?!?!?! What sort of mid-life crisis do you think this is? I've got the convertible, the motorbike and now the carbon roadie - crisis complete and no going back! Smile

posted by PurpleDog [37 posts]
15th July 2014 - 14:44

3 Likes

If you're serious about looking after your bike(s) - just get one of these:

http://www.thule.com/en/gb/products/carriers-and-racks/bike-carriers/tow...

It fits 3 bikes with total security (4 with an extension), is rock solid and doesn't seem to hit my mpg much. Not cheap, but the only type I've used that really does the job.

posted by mikeakelly [6 posts]
15th July 2014 - 15:38

0 Likes

+1 on an getting an estate. Even a large saloon or hatch would transport the bike no problem and wouldn't necessarily look any less stylish (and wouldn't show people you're having a mid life crisis!)

Either that or invest in a second, old large car in which you could transport the bike (though that's not very green I suppose)

posted by 700c [587 posts]
15th July 2014 - 15:42

4 Likes

Boonen drives an estate. He's not daft.

media_xl_911852.jpg

Twitter: @velosam

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posted by SamShaw [281 posts]
15th July 2014 - 15:52

1 Like

Add Chris Hoy to that too, saw him getting into his RS6 estate at the velodrome!

Twitter: @velosam

SamShaw's picture

posted by SamShaw [281 posts]
15th July 2014 - 15:53

1 Like

Don't see what the problem is:

image.jpg

posted by FMOAB [238 posts]
15th July 2014 - 15:55

11 Likes

PurpleDog wrote:
Looking at the Saris ones, they appear to mount to something under the car - presumably the bracket my towbar is using? I might be missing something but I don't want to be removing the towbar every time I need the bike rack.

denerobt wrote:
Have you looked at a Thule tow mount ?

That's looking like the best option I think... not sure if my seat mast is clampable (I bought the bike on ride feel, didn't realise it had a seat mast rather than a normal seat post!) so something to investigate, but this is the option I think I need to take.

oozaveared wrote:
simplest thing is to buy the right car. Get an estate. Put the lovely bike inside.

Ha ha!! Ditch my lovely convertible for an estate?!?!?! What sort of mid-life crisis do you think this is? I've got the convertible, the motorbike and now the carbon roadie - crisis complete and no going back! Smile

There is a rule somewhere that your bike should be worth more than the vehicle you hang it on... I take great pleasure in letting work colleagues know that my wheel set is worth more than their cars Devil
Get the estate or hatch from some dubious second hand dealer and you're sorted.

giff77's picture

posted by giff77 [1068 posts]
15th July 2014 - 16:59

4 Likes

We have one of these:

http://www.roofbox.co.uk/scripts/rbvehsel4_tab.php/car-specific-accessor...

It supports the bike by the wheels and then clamps to wherever you like on the frame to hold it rigid. I've put step through frames and kids bikes on it and always managed to get it held firmly. The frame clamps are soft rubber and I haven't noticed any scratched paint (all our bikes are steel or alloy though). The straps have a steel insert so can't be cut by a casual thief and the clamps lock. The whole thing locks to the towbar and is easy to put on. The Atera racks are lighter than the Thule ones and are only 1m wide so you can fit them into larger boots if you don't want to leave it on the car whilst you are away cycling.

posted by gmac101 [35 posts]
15th July 2014 - 17:56

1 Like

Wheels off, back seats down and it goes in the back of my Clio. No problem. Probably cheaper to buy a run-around for the bike than a carrier for the convertible. Anyway what's the point in having a convertible in this country. You only have the roof down for 4 weeks out of 52. Laughing

posted by Hensteeth [53 posts]
15th July 2014 - 18:07

2 Likes

So come on then, what is the convertible?

Midlife crisis=Porsche boxster? BMW Z4?

I did have a hardtop Audi TT - no idea how I would have carried a bike on that...

Last night I would have considered trading a very loud baby for a really nice bike.

posted by notfastenough [3474 posts]
15th July 2014 - 21:17

1 Like

notfastenough wrote:
So come on then, what is the convertible?

Midlife crisis=Porsche boxster? BMW Z4?

I did have a hardtop Audi TT - no idea how I would have carried a bike on that...


Nothing so crisisy - or so expensive! I can afford a bike, not a flash car. I have a nice practical (!) Saab 9-3.
I collected the new bike in it today - front wheel off, still too big to fit in the back seats. Managed to get it home like that (sticking out a bit above head height, but well padded and secured with seatbelts) but it'll need both wheels off if I'm going to do that for any distance.

posted by PurpleDog [37 posts]
15th July 2014 - 22:22

1 Like

Personally I'm very uncomforatable with my bikes being strapped to the outside of the car and being frugal I also think about fuel consumption. I think it's going to become a necesary evil for me with a growing family (unless I buy a bus) but I'm digressing.

As you have a larger convertable with a back seat I would have thought that your bike would fit OK with the wheels off. Treat yourself to a nice bike bag and even some posh wheel bags and you'll be taking care of your bike and your car's interior - sorted.

posted by Matt eaton [498 posts]
16th July 2014 - 10:26

1 Like

"so is that just as worrisome?"

I don't think so, for a rack where the bike sits on it's wheels the bike is supported by its wheels and the bit that straps to the top tube only prevents forward and backward motion. You'd be hard pressed to generate too much force in that direction from acceleration or braking I'd imagine.

Ride in Oxford? Come and join the Cowley Road Condors cycling club, Oxford's friendliest cycling club!

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posted by tom_w [117 posts]
16th July 2014 - 12:53

3 Likes

tom_w wrote:
"so is that just as worrisome?"

I don't think so, for a rack where the bike sits on it's wheels the bike is supported by its wheels and the bit that straps to the top tube only prevents forward and backward motion. You'd be hard pressed to generate too much force in that direction from acceleration or braking I'd imagine.

Unless you happen to run into a Belkin team car Wink

posted by pirnie [198 posts]
16th July 2014 - 13:00

4 Likes

I reckon Matt eaton is right, the 9-3 is a reasonable size so bags are the way forward.

Last night I would have considered trading a very loud baby for a really nice bike.

posted by notfastenough [3474 posts]
17th July 2014 - 14:38

2 Likes

mikeakelly wrote:
If you're serious about looking after your bike(s) - just get one of these:

http://www.thule.com/en/gb/products/carriers-and-racks/bike-carriers/tow...

It fits 3 bikes with total security (4 with an extension), is rock solid and doesn't seem to hit my mpg much. Not cheap, but the only type I've used that really does the job.

+1 - I have a similar style Thule one on my camper (although not tow ball mounted). I have the clamp on the seat post. When I use my carbon bike I put an cheap aluminium seat post in there just for transportation.

I reckon that if you put a long aluminium seat post in and dropped it all the way down you'd also be safe clamping the seat tube as it's supported from inside and so can't deform. I've not tried that though.

posted by Pauldmorgan [185 posts]
17th July 2014 - 19:27

1 Like

Pauldmorgan wrote:

+1 - I have a similar style Thule one on my camper (although not tow ball mounted). I have the clamp on the seat post. When I use my carbon bike I put an cheap aluminium seat post in there just for transportation.

Aargh! Silly carbon seat mast! Still... it's going to be tougher than the down tube (I hope!)

posted by PurpleDog [37 posts]
17th July 2014 - 19:47

1 Like

This could be the solution you are after; tow hitch mounted, only grips the bike by the wheels not the frame:

http://www.saris.com/product/superclamp-2

Ride in Oxford? Come and join the Cowley Road Condors cycling club, Oxford's friendliest cycling club!

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posted by tom_w [117 posts]
18th July 2014 - 11:47

1 Like

tom_w wrote:
This could be the solution you are after; tow hitch mounted, only grips the bike by the wheels not the frame:

http://www.saris.com/product/superclamp-2

Does indeed look perfect, if I could figure out how to mount it on my towball.

posted by PurpleDog [37 posts]
18th July 2014 - 11:50

1 Like

What you want is the INNO INH3050. It appears to be much better than the Saris in that it is U shaped rather than just hooking over the top of the wheels. Go here https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v1AxQdEMlWI to see video of fitting to tow bar, & fitting bike to rack. They also do a roof top version https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GIm46ERcUF8
The roof top version is available in the UK from The Roofbox Company so I guess they could get hold of the tow bar version without too much trouble.

saxman

posted by saxman [2 posts]
20th July 2014 - 21:07

1 Like