At road.cc every product is thoroughly tested for as long as it takes to get a proper insight into how well it works. Our reviewers are experienced cyclists that we trust to be objective. While we strive to ensure that opinions expressed are backed up by facts, reviews are by their nature an informed opinion, not a definitive verdict. We don't intentionally try to break anything (except locks) but we do try to look for weak points in any design. The overall score is not just an average of the other scores: it reflects both a product's function and value – with value determined by how a product compares with items of similar spec, quality, and price.
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The Atera Giro AF+ is sturdy and secure, fairly easy to use, and a good option for carrying a bicycle on the roof of a car, but there are better choices at this price.
The Atera is constructed from aluminium, so it's light – the whole thing weighs just 3kg – and uses an adjustable and lockable frame holder and two wheel clamps.
The main frame holder is an adjustable arm that clamps around the down tube of the bicycle. It uses a control grip that is twisted to open, so it can fit different size tubes. Atera says it's compatible with up to 80mm diameter round tubes, and 100 x 80mm oval down tubes. I had no problems with regular carbon fibre road bikes or fatter tubed mountain bikes.
With the bike and frame holder positioned into place, the control grip can be locked, so it can't be opened without the key. It's not the most intuitive, though; I had to read the manual and familiarise myself with the action before I used it. Once you know how to use it, though, operation is straightforward and you can fit the bike without any extra assistance. A thick rubber protects the frame and paint work.
The wheel rests, once positioned to the correct place to push against the tyres, can be locked onto the rail so the next time you come to fit the bike they are already in the correct position. The ratchet straps are long enough for most wheel rims, but some very deep section wheels might pose issues.
The rack is easy to fit to the car. It comes with adapters for different aerobars, and fitted my Thule ones just fine. It took all of five minutes to open the box and have a bike on the roof of my car.
The rack is rated for up to 17kg and I've had no problems fitting a range of bikes with different wheel sizes and tyre widths. The rack folds flat when not in use and it's quite compact when folded flat, unlike the Yakima FrontLoader I tested last year.
I normally use a Thule ProRide 591, arguably the benchmark at this price, so is the Atera Giro AF+ as good? Both hold a bike securely in the rack, but I think the Thule feels a bit more secure, the design more intuitive and easier to use. The Thule is also rated to 20kg, which will be useful if you've got a heavier bike to transport.
Secure and sturdy bike rack but there are better options for the same money
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road.cc test report
Make and model: Atera Giro AF+
Size tested: n/a
Tell us what the product is for, and who it's aimed at. What do the manufacturers say about it? How does that compare to your own feelings about it?
Atera says: "The aluminium Atera GIRO AF+ features intelligently designed wheel supports to hold the bike in place during fitting, and to protect the wheels when travelling, as well as automatic shoulder-level single-handed tensioning and locking, leaving one hand to hold the bike steady. Clever stuff. It fits oval down tubes from 80mm to 100mm, and round tubes from 22mm to 80mm diameter."
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
Holds oval down tubes up to 100mm by 80mm, and round tubes from 22mm to 80mm diameter
Weighs only 3kg
240mm wide, with 125mm between the roof bar fixings
Quick release fixings to roof bars, including an integral lock
The bike is locked to the carrier, and the carrier is locked independently to the roof bars (these locks are supplied)
Identically keyed lock barrels are available, which makes sense if you're buying 2 or more carriers; you need 2 per carrier
Thick rubber coating to protect the bike frame
The quick release straps accommodate all common wheel sizes
Easily changed from right hand to left hand mounting
Frame holder folds flat when the bike is removed
Holds bikes up to a maximum weight of 17kg
Fits 32mm x 22mm standard steel bars
Comes complete with 20mm x 24mm aerobar adapters for e.g. Atera, Prorack, CRUZ or Thule aerobars. Also fits many other manufacturers aero bars including Audi, BMW, Mercedes, Vauxhall
A complete range of spares is available.
Has passed the European "City Crash test"
Lightweight aluminium construction keeps the weight low and it's a tough bit of kit, but only rated up to 17kg bikes.
Simple to use and quick to install, and operation is fairly straightforward, but it's not quite as intuitive as the Thule ProRide 591.
No reason to suspect any problems with durability.
The aluminium build keeps the weight down, but it limits the bike weight it can transport.
You can pick up the superior Thule ProRide 591 for around the same money.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
It does a top job of keeping the bike secure on the rack and is easy to use, once you've got the hang of it.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
Lightweight, secure and folds flat.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
Not that intuitive to use, and doesn't feel quite as secure as the Thule ProRide 591.
Did you enjoy using the product? It was okay.
Would you consider buying the product? Not without seriously considering the Thule.
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Probably not.
Use this box to explain your score
On its own it's an adequate rack that is light and mostly easy to use and quite secure, but for the same money the Thule ProRide 591 is a better bit of kit.
About the tester
I usually ride: My best bike is:
I've been riding for: 10-20 years I ride: Every day I would class myself as: Expert
I regularly do the following types of riding: road racing, time trialling, cyclo-cross, commuting, touring, mountain biking
David worked on the road.cc tech team from 2012-2020. Previously he was editor of Bikemagic.com and before that staff writer at RCUK. He's a seasoned cyclist of all disciplines, from road to mountain biking, touring to cyclo-cross, he only wishes he had time to ride them all. He's mildly competitive, though he'll never admit it, and is a frequent road racer but is too lazy to do really well. He currently resides in the Cotswolds, and you can now find him over on his own YouTube channel David Arthur - Just Ride Bikes.