Monday, 10 December 2012

Rack it up

Since it looks like my bike won't be here until 2013, I thought I would have a try of my Thule 916E EuroPower 2 bike rack. As I said in an earlier post, I needed to buy a new bike rack as the Gazelle Innergy XT is much heavier than a normal bike (25.5 kg with the Gold battery). This rack can hold two bikes with a maximum weight of 30 kg for each bike. I also bought the optional ramp to allow me to wheel the bikes onto the rack. 


However, the ability to hold the weighty electric bikes requires solid engineering and, as a result, the rack is heavy - 18.4 kg. In my past life as an Industrial Chemist, the maximum I was allowed to carry was 16 kg, so you can tell that the rack is a bit of a struggle. Clearly as I get older, this will become a two-person job.

The shape of the rack also makes it very awkward to manoeuvre. It would have been nice if Thule had added some sort of carrying handles to the sides to help carry it.

Another little quibble I have with this rack is that it comes with two detachable bike clamps, but only one of these comes with a lock. As you are supposed to carry a single bike on the mount nearest the car, this means that you need to swap the lock from the longer clamp to the shorter clamp when you go from carrying two bikes to one bike. This seems like a pain to me, so I ordered an additional lock.

On the plus side, the rack is so well-made I can tip it forward and open the back of my XTrail without removing the bikes.

Mr Aggy also picked me up a chain at Bunnings, because while the Thule rack has a lock to secure it onto the towball, Mr Aggy pointed out that an enterprising thief could steal the rack by unscrewing the towbar from the car.

Step by step guide to attaching the rack 

  1. Attach the towbar to the car.
  2. Unlock the rack and pull the black cover toward you so you can see the red 'unlock' symbol.

     
     
  3. Pull up the centre bar.



  4. Lift the rack onto the towball and pull down the centre lever to secure the the rack to the towball.



  5. Then lock the rack to the towball and remove the key.

  6. To stop people stealing the towbar with the rack from the car, I've now wrapped the chain around the rack and padlocked it to the towbar.

     

  7. Make sure the small bike clamp is on the rack. Attach the ramp and roll the bike up it onto the rack.



  8. Close the bike clamp over the bike frame and pull and tighten the wheel straps over the wheels. Lock the bike clamp.


  9. Add the longer bike clamp and add a second bike 'head to tail' with the other bike.
    Voila! The bikes are on the rack.

  10. And one of the best features - finally I can access the boot with a bike rack on the car. How good is that?


An aside for those people in Geelong wondering where purchase this marvel of Swedish engineering, I bought my Thule rack from Pole Position in Gordon Avenue.
   

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