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A sturdy steel-framed performer that's easy to fit and fuss-free to use, the ETC Grand Tour is a good budget choice if you're looking for something a bit better built than an own-brand unit from the local auto superstore. It does put some load on the rear window though, and if you want to avoid that you'd be better off paying more for the high rise version.
The rack is constructed from two U-shaped sections which are held together with splined discs that allow a good range of adjustment. Six webbing straps hold the the rack in place – the bottom two are elasticated to make it easier to hook them under the boot – and there's a captive strap to hold the bikes in place. Four rubber feet sit two abreast on the boot and rear window and there's three plastic frame holders on each arm with rubber straps to hold your steed in place.
Fitting the rack is a straightforward process. As usual it's necessary to tie a lot of straps back to stop them flapping and it's useful to stop a few miles in to tighten everything up, but that's true of most rear-mounted racks. The Grand Tour isn't particularly wide but felt stable even when given a good shaking. Given that it loads up the rear window I'd maybe think twice about putting three heavy shoppers on the rack but it holds a couple of road bikes easily, and the captive strap is a nice touch as it means you don't have to remember where your bungee cord is. Obviously your fuel consumption will take a big hit, you can minimize the drag by making sure the straps aren't flapping all over the shop and carrying the wheels in the boot, if they'll fit.
ETC also make a high-rise version of this rack, ostensibly for saloons but I use a similar one by Avenir on my (sensible) Citroen Picasso. It's £30 more but would allow you to fit the rack to most cars – even hatchbacks and MPVs – without any load on the rear screen. If you routinely carry heavy bikes – or you've got a nice car – you may want to shell out the extra.
Good quality budget rack that's a decent performer. Worth paying a bit more if you don't want your rack sitting on your rear window.
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Make and model: ETC Grand Tour 3 bike car rack
Size tested: n/a
Did you enjoy using the product? It performed fine
Would you consider buying the product? Probably I'd go for the high rise
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Maybe
Age: 36 Height: 190cm Weight: 98kg
I usually ride: whatever I\'m testing... My best bike is: Trek 1.5 with Ultegra 6700
I've been riding for: 10-20 years I ride: Every day I would class myself as: Experienced
I regularly do the following types of riding: time trialling, commuting, sportives, general fitness riding, fixed/singlespeed, mtb, Mountain Bike Bog Snorkelling, track
Dave is a founding father of road.cc, having previously worked on Cycling Plus and What Mountain Bike magazines back in the day. He also writes about e-bikes for our sister publication ebiketips. He's won three mountain bike bog snorkelling World Championships, and races at the back of the third cats.