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Towbar Mounted Cycle Carriers

Towbar Mounted Cycle Carriers

General Description...

These type of cycle carrier use the towbar or towball.
Racks will either clamp around the towball itself, meaning that you cannot tow at the same time as using the rack, or they bolt to the towbars towplate, leaving the ball free for towing. This latter type is only suitable for old style bolt on towballs and cannot be used with swan-neck or euro type fixed or detachable towbars.
The racks then either have a pair of arms (or in some cases a single arm) onto which the bikes are hung OR they are platform style and the bikes sit onto the rack.
Most towball cycle carriers are suitable for 2 bikes, some are suitable for three bikes and there are a small number of this style of rack which can carry 4 bikes.
Some better quality racks will have lighting built in to replicate your vehicle lights should they be obscured.
If your vehicle lights and/or number plate are obscured by your bikes, you are required BY LAW to replicate them with an auxilliary lighting kit.

Pros...

Nothing attached directly to any part of your vehicles bodywork.
If your vehicle can have a towbar fitted, you can use one of these racks.
Typically higher weight capacity than boot mounted carriers. (commonly 75Kg)

Cons...

Requires a towbar
Most prevent towing whilst in use.
Check the towball nose weight capacity is not exceeded by the combined weight of the rack and your bikes.
Exceeding the nose weight limit of your towball can be extremely dangerous and is a criminal offense under the road traffic act.
Check that the combined weight of your rack and bikes does not exceed the prescribed limit.

Expect to Pay...

Basic entry level style towbar racks are available from about £40 with top quality models with built in lighting and 4 bike capabilities around £350-£400
If the rack and bikes obscure your lights and the rack does not have built in lighting, you will also need an auxilliary lighting board adding around £25
Image Copyrights
Images depict products manufactured by Thule.
Car towbar mounted cycle carriers are available from a number of other manufacturers and use of Thule images is in no way an endorsement of their products for this purpose.
Permission for use of the images has been sought from Thule UK via Madison and copyright over these images remains with the respective supplier.
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