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Bike racks - Kombi friendly?

Discussion in ''How To' & 'Handy Hints'' started by Dingostrategy, Apr 23, 2008.

  1. Dingostrategy

    Dingostrategy Active Member

    Messages:
    4,322
    Location:
    SW Vic ++
    Dear all,

    Still working on my 'resto for the rest of us' project. Just a tidy-up, here and there. Mod cons, rustwork, fix smelly leaky engine, etc.

    Thankyou to the kombiclub for so much archived advice. Thankyou also to people who have offered specific advice for my enquiries.

    In the process, my EMPI twin muffler has meant I can no longer use the towbar I had - at least not without cutting and rewelding the towbar. That's fine, but the only reason I want a towball is...

    TO FIT A BIKERACK.

    So here's my question. What experience do people have with kombi friendly bike racks? I do like to open my engine hatch quite regularly to smell and feel and just, well, perve. So a towball option has limited merit anyway. The loss of my towball gives me an opportunity to consider other ideas. I have looked, with no success, for a fold-down version, meaning I could use the towball but just fold the rack and bikes down to check the donk.

    I have also tried to figure out if I could get one that is meant for hatches/station wagons, but I don't think it'll fit without mods (and it'd be nice to still use the back door anyway)

    http://www.bicyclestore.com.au/Thule-FreeWay-Bike-Carrier-BA968-pr-20601.html

    Then there's the spare tyre option - handy for kombi drives, but I wanted to avoid bikes in front out of respect for pedestrians, kangaroos and because bugs on my bike would be a drag. But this is what I might end up doing unless y'all have great ideas.

    http://www.bicyclestore.com.au/Allens-Deluxe-3-Bike-Carrier-Spare-Tyre-pr-21067.html

    Finally, the up-top option doesnt work for me at all. Who could be arsed climbing up there to get bikes down all the time?

    Has anyone had any luck with this, or are Kombi's and bikes incompatible?

    Thanks in advance,

    Dingo.
     
  2. Barney

    Barney New Member

    Messages:
    91
    Location:
    Regional Canberra
    Dingo

    We are in exactly the same position and would love to know options, other than the spare wheel hanger on the front....a little distracting and guaranteed to attract a "Roo Impact" on the first outing !!
     
  3. Dingostrategy

    Dingostrategy Active Member

    Messages:
    4,322
    Location:
    SW Vic ++
    Hi Barney - an edit. I have found a fold-down version but it only fits the new fangled 'boxtype' towbar contraptions. It's also 400 clams.

    Let's see what our kombi oracles offer in the way of advice!
     
  4. melissa

    melissa Administrator Staff Member

    Messages:
    15,461
    Location:
    Newcastle NSW
  5. Dingostrategy

    Dingostrategy Active Member

    Messages:
    4,322
    Location:
    SW Vic ++
    Cheers, melissa. But I don't see how those work, because there is no lateral seam or bead for the lower straps. In any case, still doesnt solve the opening of hatches issue. At this stage I am starting favour the fold-down towball option, even at the great expense. The requirement to rig lights and number plates worries me less than not being able to open the engine hatch.

    The hunt continues!

    Dingo
     
  6. kyznet

    kyznet Active Member

    Messages:
    4,671
    Location:
    Ashgrove 4060
    Dingo,

    I'm pretty sure that Jane and Tony (heartland and loco on here) had one on the back of their camper when they did their trip up the East Coast in the last couple of months. Might be worth getting in touch with Jane via PM to see what their set up is.

    I also know that Jules (kombigal) has a scooter on the back of hers, so things can definitely be put onto the back of Campers.

    Best of luck.
     
  7. Aazz

    Aazz New Member

    Messages:
    188
    Location:
    SouthWest Oz
    Option 2: I believe the hatchback style rack will put to much strain on the humble rear door of a Kombi when fully laden.
    Option 3: The spare tyre rack would be illegal in most states when used on the front of a vehicle.
    Option 4: Doesn't work for you.

    Solution... Option 1: Modify tow-bar to allow for the simplest and easiest way to carry bikes. My 2ยข.
     
  8. Dingostrategy

    Dingostrategy Active Member

    Messages:
    4,322
    Location:
    SW Vic ++
    Yep, this is definitely where I'm heading. But in option 1, the modification of the tow bar is not the issue, it's locating a rack that actually folds down. I'm also quite sure that the mod of the towbar would render it unsafe or illegal for actual towing, which is not the end of the world but a drag.

    Will post my final solution when it happens.

    With thanks to all.

    Dingo.
     
  9. jerrys_bus

    jerrys_bus Active Member

    Messages:
    1,187
    Location:
    Hawkesbury NSW
    We use the mac rac style of fold down bike rack, not really fold down with the bikes on, as where are you going to stand/ crouch when the rack is down? it also provides a step for access to a roof rack etc
     
  10. Vanders

    Vanders Active Member

    Messages:
    1,450
    Location:
    Launceston, Tasmania
  11. Leigh77

    Leigh77 Member

    Messages:
    346
    Location:
    Granton Tas
    Dingostrategy, i'm a mad keen rider and love searching around for goodies that are bike related, haha, here is a fold down bike rack from Chain Reaction, a UK distributor, and usually cheaper than buying off the shelf, also another one on Pedalbite, a local Tasmanian Mt Bike site, both fold and are great quality, hope these help you.
    Also check out other Aussie Mt Bike sites, a list below to help.

    Leigh

    http://pedalbite.com/forums/viewtopic.php?f=18&t=11765
    http://www.chainreactioncycles.com/Categories.aspx?CategoryID=166


    www.farkin.net
    www.torpedo7.com

    Use google to find more listed, use "Australian Mountain Bike Sites" in the search bar, this will give you some more sites that may have more racks for sale.
     
  12. Kombi Dad

    Kombi Dad Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    2,447
    Location:
    Bungendore, NSW
    I used a bike rack on the back of my camper on one trip. It was similar to the one in Mel's response in the second link. It simply fitted under the tow ball and could fold down very easily to allow access. I did come to grief though as where I traveled was fine bulldust which got in to every thing on the bike. After the trip I bought a new bike as the bits to repair it cost more. Moral is - if you intend to travel in dusty conditions with a bike on the back make sure all bearings etc are well and truly covered or sealed. The bike I had on the back was a Giant mountain bike which was supposed to have sealed bearings. It's amazing where bulldust can get into.
     
    Last edited: Apr 23, 2008
  13. Dingostrategy

    Dingostrategy Active Member

    Messages:
    4,322
    Location:
    SW Vic ++
    Definitely some interest here!

    Hi folks,

    Lots of good suggestions. I love the kombi specific one, but still can't open the hatch. My decision is made. Like usual, I choose the most expensive option with the largest hassle ratio.

    I'm going to have my towbar re-engineered and get a ball-style fold-down version.

    Then I'm avoiding the bulldust - good advice!

    Great tips and great times ahead. Thanks everyone
     
  14. Leigh77

    Leigh77 Member

    Messages:
    346
    Location:
    Granton Tas
    Lots of great help there for ya Dingostrategy, hope the re-engineered towbar works out well for ya.

    Oh and Kombi Dad, with all the bike bits i've used and destroyed, cheap or expensive, they always break down easy, especially with bull dust, unfortunatly, bike parts are never a cheap thing to replace, weather its on a $500 family bike, or serious $5000+ race bike designed to take the most serious punishment.

    "When your not driving, try riding." :)
     
  15. petenkaz

    petenkaz Member

    Messages:
    36
    Location:
    wynnum
    Hatchback carrier

    Hi
    I travelled recently with a very dodgy setup with one of the hatchback type carriers and would not recommend. The first problem is that the hooks don't sit properly over / under the back door at any angle. I stupidly put the hooks through inside the car and adjusted the straps that way. Ended up with worse rubbers than I started with and scratched paint from my handlebars.
    I would recommend a quick release one on a towbar. It may add a few minutes to your day to check oil etc, but you will ot be worrying about leaving your bikes behind on the pacific highway.
     
  16. Dingostrategy

    Dingostrategy Active Member

    Messages:
    4,322
    Location:
    SW Vic ++
    If im lucky enough to travel on the pac. highway, I'd be stoked.

    But in all seriousness, I've had some further time to work on this bit.

    What i'm going to do is:

    Sort out all the other stuff before chucking my new $340 empi muffler for something that the old towbar fits on. It sounds a lot, but cheaper than a new towbar. So either way I'm a dumbass, but you live and learn.

    But until then, the focus is on rust, engine and trim. Just a few small jobs!

    Dingo
     
  17. Alpal

    Alpal Moderator Staff Member

    Messages:
    8,913
    Location:
    Melbourne Bend of Islands
    Why have treddlies when you can drive a Kombi?
     
  18. Dingostrategy

    Dingostrategy Active Member

    Messages:
    4,322
    Location:
    SW Vic ++
    Good point alpal. Guilt? Gluteal definition? Those are the only ideas I have.
     
  19. Leigh77

    Leigh77 Member

    Messages:
    346
    Location:
    Granton Tas
    the traddlies are great to commut to the shopping centre so you dont have to park your loved kombi in the parkin lot and have some nit wit do damage, as what happened to another KC member. :)

    Leigh
     
  20. kerrikom

    kerrikom New Member

    Messages:
    28
    Location:
    Dodges Ferry, Tas
    We just spent a year travelling the western half of Aus, with two bikes on the back. We lucked out actually and bought a rack from a market for $40. put it on the kombi and found out it was a fold down rack, so we could check up on the engine. turned out to be very useful as the bikes were on there the whole year. Only problem was that with the bikes on the back you couldn't fold it all the way to the ground. but far enough to check engine.

    Bikes definitely came in h andy.. we spent two months working in broome and didin't start Kerri once! rode our bikes everywhere and set her up as home. Ah the memories. who would have thought you'd miss lwaking up and knocking your head on the roof!!
     

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