BIKE RACKS AND CARRIERS FOR CARS MEGATHREAD - all questions asked and answered here

Calvin27

Eats Squid
Has anyone installed their own towbar? I am trying to keep costs down at the moment, and I am looking at various kit options. Car is a 2016 Madza 6 sedan, for what it's worth. As far as I can see, the official towbar costs twice what a kit item does.
Looked at it. If you have a common car, get quotes for BTA towbars that include install pretty cheap.

For reference, my car (may or may not be a popular 4wd) cost $1200+installation at the stealership. Quotes for BTA went from $650 to $900 and Hayman bars went for about $150 more from the same folks. Guy comes to your house, they install and it's usually done in 2 hours. I can't even buy the bar for that price.
 
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Binaural

Eats Squid
Hmmm, might be good advice. BTE look like they're Vic only, I'll try and find their equivalent in Sydney. Like the idea they come and go by the weekend to be honest :p
 

Haakon

veni, vidi, volanti
Looked at it. If you have a common car, get quotes for BTA towbars that include install pretty cheap.

For reference, my car (may or may not be a popular 4wd) cost $1200+installation at the stealership. Quotes for BTA went from $650 to $900 and Hayman bars went for about $150 for the same folks. Guy comes to your house, they install and it's usually done in 2 hours. I can't even buy the bar for that price.
Also depends how OCD you are about your car. If you're not a car person and don't care these can be fine. But having seen some of these fitters in action and seen the results on a few cars the quality of the installation can be a little, shall we say, hit and miss...

Also depends how much a tightarse you want to be :) The Alfa bar cost me $360 installed inc the wiring - parts from germany and a lazy weekend tinkering away at it with a few beer breaks.
 

indica

what is a yous
Still loving the two bike gripsport one I bought from last year's tax return. Great bit of kit.
Bikes on and off in seconds. Tilts down if I need to open the boot too.
 

Calvin27

Eats Squid
Also depends how OCD you are about your car. If you're not a car person and don't care these can be fine. But having seen some of these fitters in action and seen the results on a few cars the quality of the installation can be a little, shall we say, hit and miss...
We are talking about a bolt on bar that is intended to carry a bicycle, no?
 

takai

Eats Squid
Also if costs are a consideration Supercheap currently have 20% off store wide, which includes many BTA towbars in their system.
 

Haakon

veni, vidi, volanti
We are talking about a bolt on bar that is intended to carry a bicycle, no?
Yeah, but many need sections cut out of the bumper, holes drilled in the car, wiring spliced into (skotchlok is the work of the devil...) - plenty of ways to mess it up and mess up your car.
 

Calvin27

Eats Squid
Yeah, but many need sections cut out of the bumper, holes drilled in the car, wiring spliced into (skotchlok is the work of the devil...) - plenty of ways to mess it up and mess up your car.
Not sure what the point you're making is? The average DIYer is going to be more likely to mess it up. But my point was that with installation it was cheaper than buying the bar and doing it myself which was what was asked. I mean it's a mazda 3. they bloke no matter how much of a hack is going to have done it at least 20 times compared to the DIYer who will do a grand total of one. Odds are in favor of a professional installer.
 

Haakon

veni, vidi, volanti
Not sure what the point you're making is? The average DIYer is going to be more likely to mess it up. But my point was that with installation it was cheaper than buying the bar and doing it myself which was what was asked. I mean it's a mazda 3. they bloke no matter how much of a hack is going to have done it at least 20 times compared to the DIYer who will do a grand total of one. Odds are in favor of a professional installer.
Sure. Like I said, hit and miss with the “pros”, and likewise with the DIY. Owner doing it themselves is if they’re OCD going to take their time and take more care, so there’s that. The misses are the cowboys rushing jobs, but the hits are honest mechanics who know what theyre doing - bit of a lucky dip which one you get, especially if you got a "great deal"...

I dont know about getting one installed for less than buying it - surely something is being skimped on somewhere? Either way, that sounds odd or at least an unusual situation!

Anywya, I also enjoy the process and it’s satisfying doing these things. Short version it was asked if it's a doable DIY job, to which the answer is yes it is.
 
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Haakon

veni, vidi, volanti
OR was it a chance to let us know you're a far superior craftsman, buy parts in Germany and got to say Alfa again?
Go away. I was just explaining my experience and suggesting options for a Mazda in context.
 
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puffmoike

Likes Bikes
As a longtime member of Farkin/Rotorburn, can I say that I find the current pile-on in this thread unedifying.

I don't know any of the participants personally (either here or in real life) but I have got lots of great info over the years from most—and quite possibly all—of you. I generally enjoy the light-hearted banter that goes on here, but this thread just seems to be getting unnecessarily nasty. Please stop.
 

Calvin27

Eats Squid
can I say that I find the current pile-on in this thread unedifying
I got caught in the crossfire, but a few heads need to cool down I rekon.

First post was about comparing a poorer version of me being a tightass vs spendthrit Calvin dropping dollaroos on decent carriers. Somehow got pulled into 4wds being bad despite my post having nothing to do with that?

Second main point was providing advice to someone regrding a specific brand of tow bar that usually was well priced with installation and then proceeded to get a wall of text about why DIY is better and the pros stuff it so you gotta order and do it yourself.

Tough crowd.
 

Haakon

veni, vidi, volanti
I got caught in the crossfire, but a few heads need to cool down I rekon.

First post was about comparing a poorer version of me being a tightass vs spendthrit Calvin dropping dollaroos on decent carriers. Somehow got pulled into 4wds being bad despite my post having nothing to do with that?

Second main point was providing advice to someone regrding a specific brand of tow bar that usually was well priced with installation and then proceeded to get a wall of text about why DIY is better and the pros stuff it so you gotta order and do it yourself.

Tough crowd.
4WD thing was just a dig at an uninformed comment suggesting a small car couldn't handle a bike rack, and a little veiled social commentary at consumer preferences for vehicles that far exceed the actual needs of their owners. As for your reading of it, read it again - i just said DIY "can" be better or at least isn't automatically worse, but the point is it can be done without too much hassle if you're feeling financially challenged or just like a challenge.

In short, settle down, stop getting all delicate about your tonka trucks. For a community that supports servicing forks and other relatively complex bits of machinery, i find it confusing you're getting all torn up over a bloody towbar? Its about as simple technically speaking as replacing a bike drivetrain, probably more so.
 
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