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Thread: ISI 2 bike carrier 2x4x4

  1. #1
    Senior Member swaz's Avatar
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    Default ISI 2 bike carrier 2x4x4

    Item: ISI 2 bike carrier
    Purchased From: ISI direct
    Purchase Price (approx): RRP nearly $800 for the package I had
    Usage: Mostly highway, suburbs. Some off road fire trails

    Pros Ė
    Well built. You wont break it
    Australian made steel, design and build.
    Powder coated
    Can replace certain parts with off the shelf items. I couldnít find short screws at the big green shed though. Luckily the specialist fasterns place near me had some for about $0.25 each
    Bikes donít touch each other when loaded and you can off set them to a certain extent to avoid this.
    It tilts out of the way (also a con)
    I left the hitch mount in place almost all the time and took the rack part off and put it away.
    the bikes DO NOT move when on the rack.
    The off-set system ISI have designed only becomes apparent if you have used other racks where you have to dick around with bars touching each other or taking a seat post out to have bikes fit. Once you get the wheel hoops in the right spot, it's just a matter of dropping the bikes in and away you go.
    Cons -
    Heavy
    Doesnít fold down or pack away.- yes I realise itís intended use. I found this a bit of a PITA.
    The wheel hoops did not slide easily along the rails which made for quick adjustments a massive hassle. You also need an alen key on hand all the time to cinch up the screws. Not a deal breaker but if youíre keen to get your mates bike on there and too the trails f-ken about like this gets old very quickly.
    My wheel hoops would not slide together and oppose each other until I distorted them. I hit ISI up about this and George sent new wheel hoops but they still did the same thing.
    Fitting a 16Ē kids bike on there didnít work well
    Putting a light bar/license plate with lights on it with the added attachment ($50) wasnít very successful. This was because it tilted to the ground and the light bar scraped on the ground. This was the best I could do because with it out of the way of the ground, it got in the way of the bikes. No win here.
    Pulling the pin out every time I needed to tilt it. Picture this:
    Have everything next to car ready to go in. Put carrier onto hitch attachment (maybe 30 seconds). Load boot of car with bike gear and pull up into place so the lever holds it there (no pin in yet). Put pin in Put bike/bikes on. Discover that I didnít put shoes/helmet/bag/water/dogs in yet. Take pin out which is a bastard because there is load against the pin now (tried diff types of lube with no improvement, only mess). Stand at rear of rack, perform contortion act to flip retention lever, lower bikes all the way to the ground and lay super gently onto the ground. Load forgotten items. Reverse and hope you donít get grease on you.
    It lowers bikes ALL the way to the ground. Fantastic if you have a barn door boot or a van where the clearance is needed, but ultimately why I sold both my racks. A personal thing, yes. However It actually never occurred to me how much of an issue this would be until I started taking other peoples bikes around with me. When lowered the end of the handlebar takes the full load of the bikes + the rack. The final straw for me was putting new grips on my bike, having it laid down whilst in the rack and our two dogs + kids hopping into the car. Scratched the bejesus out of the grip ends. Thankfully it was my bike and not someone elses.
    The other thing that became a bit of a bear is the upright supports for the frame fingers donít fold down out of the way so you can access the boot quickly and easily without bikes loaded. I didnít trust this to stay on the rack whilst at the trail head either so that would have to go into the back of my car.


    Comments:

    As you can see, the cons out weighed the pros and my criteria for spending money on an expensive rack is that it had to be easy to use and not make using it a chore. There appears to be a very simple solution to the issue of it folding all the way to the ground, however I didnít feel like machining something up to fix an issue on an $800 rack.
    Pictures/Videos:

    I made a license plate backing plate from a piece of scrap stainless and bought an LED light bar for a motorbike from eBay for about $12

    I had the two larger wheel hoops on one side because I found that held the 29er heaps better.

    Last edited by swaz; 19-06-2017 at 12:43 PM. Reason: Edited to add more good stuff
    Successful trades: F1234K

  2. #2
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    I've got this rack and agree with some of your cons. It's a beast of a rack and doesn't really collapse so you need the storage space. But after having seen the amount of play that develops in some of the folding racks this was worth it for me to have something sturdy. And also, yeah it would be nice if it stopped an inch or two above the ground when folding.

    Never had any issue sliding the wheel hoops though. And my release pin pulls out easy when loaded. No grease needed. Maybe you got one slightly out of tolerance?

    I love mine but it is what it is. Designed with strength in mind. If it's never going to leave tarmac then there's probably better suited options

  3. #3
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    thanks for the review, very informative! I think its a no-brainer if you need a true 4x4 rack (like B grade 4x4 trail stuff) but I'd guess most of us really only need medium duty stuff at most!

    My wife can only "just" put on my chinese 2 bike rack as it is, no way she could use anything heavier. I've toyed with the idea of getting a better rack.. just not found one that ticks all the boxes yet (plus the $$)!

    cheers

  4. #4
    Senior Member pharmaboy's Avatar
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    I can't remember exactly what was said, but I seem to remember advising swaz against the 4 carrier for his uses (small kids bikes, one person operation with 4 heavy bikes on board)

    If you have all 4 bikes on board and want to lower it without unloading, you need one other person to take the weight off the top pin in order to remove the pin easily. My rack was just taken on a 3000km 10 day bike trip with some friends and they reported back how easy it was, and one of them is buying an ISI as a result.

    If you are ordering, ask for the T bolts for the wheel hoops (and for pretty much everything else)- I think I know why ISI has gone std with Allen bolts, but I'd rather the occasional difficult tightening than having to have an Allen key all the time.

    George, you really should ship both types for the small amount of dollars - the brass coloured T bolts are an awesome thing.

    Light bars are a stupid thing - don't do it, don't even think about it on any rack - they are always a pita and no one gets booked for obscuring lights. License plate is enough.

    For the 4 bike carrier, you also need to know that you should load the bikes from closest to car backwards. Also you need to know it is heaps easier to remove the uprights on position 3 and 4, so you can get bike 3 in easily - just sit it there, put the vertical in and do up the grub bolts (get T's and no Allen key required)

    Do not buy a 4 bike rack if 90% of your requirements are 1 or 2 bikes. The 2 bike carrier has no down sides and is easily the fastest to put on, take off, load and unload bikes of any carrier - this includes grip sorts. This is because the tilt to the ground means you can rest the carrier on the ground, lift with one hand on the top part of the mount and with the other hand insert the lower pin, then it lifts and locks.

    Fwiw, for short urban trips I don't use the second pin, but if you hit a speed bump aggressively the carrier will tilt back and the bike handlebar will hit the road - have done this with same bike twice (lol) little bit of scraping damage to the carbon bars and bar plugs. This leads me to mention that if I have had a bike drop to the road on tilt twice with no damage to the bike, that bars are well strong enough to cope with the tilt action when stationary with absolute ease (roadies with white tape excluded of course)

    ;)

    one of these days I'll sell the 4 bike carrier anyway, it's used by me once a year, not really enough to justify it
    Successful trades with chopsticks McGee, Dirty Dingo, FinancialWar, and gave someone I can't remember a pedal wrench extension.

    And reckons he's going to do 80km per week for 2016 min

  5. #5
    Senior Member swaz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pharmaboy View Post
    I can't remember exactly what was said, but I seem to remember advising swaz against the 4 carrier for his uses (small kids bikes, one person operation with 4 heavy bikes on board)

    If you have all 4 bikes on board and want to lower it without unloading, you need one other person to take the weight off the top pin in order to remove the pin easily. My rack was just taken on a 3000km 10 day bike trip with some friends and they reported back how easy it was, and one of them is buying an ISI as a result.

    If you are ordering, ask for the T bolts for the wheel hoops (and for pretty much everything else)- I think I know why ISI has gone std with Allen bolts, but I'd rather the occasional difficult tightening than having to have an Allen key all the time.

    George, you really should ship both types for the small amount of dollars - the brass coloured T bolts are an awesome thing.

    Light bars are a stupid thing - don't do it, don't even think about it on any rack - they are always a pita and no one gets booked for obscuring lights. License plate is enough.

    For the 4 bike carrier, you also need to know that you should load the bikes from closest to car backwards. Also you need to know it is heaps easier to remove the uprights on position 3 and 4, so you can get bike 3 in easily - just sit it there, put the vertical in and do up the grub bolts (get T's and no Allen key required)

    Do not buy a 4 bike rack if 90% of your requirements are 1 or 2 bikes. The 2 bike carrier has no down sides and is easily the fastest to put on, take off, load and unload bikes of any carrier - this includes grip sorts. This is because the tilt to the ground means you can rest the carrier on the ground, lift with one hand on the top part of the mount and with the other hand insert the lower pin, then it lifts and locks.

    Fwiw, for short urban trips I don't use the second pin, but if you hit a speed bump aggressively the carrier will tilt back and the bike handlebar will hit the road - have done this with same bike twice (lol) little bit of scraping damage to the carbon bars and bar plugs. This leads me to mention that if I have had a bike drop to the road on tilt twice with no damage to the bike, that bars are well strong enough to cope with the tilt action when stationary with absolute ease (roadies with white tape excluded of course)

    ;)

    one of these days I'll sell the 4 bike carrier anyway, it's used by me once a year, not really enough to justify it

    You know this review was for the 2 bike carrier, right?
    Successful trades: F1234K

  6. #6
    Senior Member pharmaboy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by swaz View Post
    You know this review was for the 2 bike carrier, right?
    Ummmm, nope.
    Successful trades with chopsticks McGee, Dirty Dingo, FinancialWar, and gave someone I can't remember a pedal wrench extension.

    And reckons he's going to do 80km per week for 2016 min

  7. #7
    Senior Member swaz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pharmaboy View Post
    Ummmm, nope.
    Copy and paste what you wrote when I write the 4 bike one
    Successful trades: F1234K

  8. #8
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    Review is fair to me and I could see it happening if I don't take the bikes on some proper adventures. Be hard to justify over much lighter/user friendly options.

    I hold rack in one hand, insert lower pin with other, swing retention claw thing over then put in top pin. Trick is doing it in the dark.

    I also run one vertical bar for both sides and put the allen bolts on that one, locked the fck down, and put the four t bolts on the hoops. Still need a good whack to get them moving if needed.

    I've daisy chained both pins and two r clips with safety wire so it's all together, pin-pin----clip-clip. Pharmaboy no second pin?? wtf man?
    Be careful with that, it was new once.

  9. #9
    Senior Member pharmaboy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by schred View Post

    I've daisy chained both pins and two r clips with safety wire so it's all together, pin-pin----clip-clip. Pharmaboy no second pin?? wtf man?
    Haha, the catch holds really well - not so well if the bike is on the inside, so there isn't enough weight pulling it tightly, and you go over a speed bump. TBH, there weren't any instructions when I got it 4 years ago, so I assumed the pin was for heavy duty work/4wd'ing. Now I know how well it works without one, I don't bother. Stick helmets, etc in the back, and it takes 10seconds to get the rack out of the way, get my shit, and be on my way
    ;;)
    Successful trades with chopsticks McGee, Dirty Dingo, FinancialWar, and gave someone I can't remember a pedal wrench extension.

    And reckons he's going to do 80km per week for 2016 min

  10. #10
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    I don't own one of these but I have borrowed one off of a fellow Burner for a number of road trips now.

    From Alice Springs to... well, anywhere is going to 2000 km plus (at high speed) so I like the overbuilt nature of the rack. T handle bolts on the bike holders mean that you only need a 6mm to adjust the rack for different bikes. Throwing a 6mm in the boot has never seemed like a big deal to me.

    The rack that I've used has a steel loop on the front that hits the ground when you tilt the unit and holds the bikes up. I've never had a bike contact the ground. I'm surprised that you rack doesn't have this feature.

    In short. I've been very impressed by the isi rack that i've used and would have to buy one if I didn't have such generous mates!

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