Carrying Cycles - andyp
We would like to take our 2 adult mountain bikes when we go on holiday to the Dales next month, but i am not sure what is the best way to carry them.

If i go for a rear carrier it would have to be a high lift one as i don't have towbar electrics to plug a trailer board in, and to be honest i really dont like the way they seem to fit, with a bar resting on the rear window and straps under the back bumper etc. Has anyone had problems with them causing damage to their car ?

The other option is roof bars and mount cycles carriers on them, but this would work out much more expensive and the bars dont look that easy to fit to my Cee'd, but would it be the better choice ?

Any advice would be gratefully received.

Added in make/model as it seemed appropriate to the question. Rob

Edited by rtj70 on 14/06/2009 at 22:11

Carrying Cycles - Old Navy
The roof is the safest option, the Ceed hatchback has "fixpoints" built into the roof. A Kia dealer is probably the cheapest option for roof bars but try . The roof bars can always be used later if you get caught for an IKEA run!

Edited by Dynamic Dave on 15/06/2009 at 00:52

Carrying Cycles - Old Navy
That tiny thing didnt work,

It was the full stop right at the end that corrupted the link. It didn't actually need shrinking btw. DD.

Edited by Dynamic Dave on 15/06/2009 at 00:52

Carrying Cycles - BB
I had the Saris Bones Rear carrier and it marked the lacquer on the boot where the middle leg rested. I then bought some roof bars and cycle carriers....a whole lot better.
Carrying Cycles - andyp
Thats the sort of thing i was worried i was worried about as i am sure that a rear mounted carrier would vibrate and shift around no matter what make it was or how well it was fitted. I reckon that i will just have to splash out for some bars and a couple of cycle carriers. I will give the dealers a call in the morning and see how much they charge as a starting point.
Carrying Cycles - Brian Tryzers
For two bikes and a normal-height car like the OP's I'd advise putting them on the roof, especially if the car has proper, fixed mounting points for crossbars. (Ask a Toyota owner why they're a good idea!) It helps to be reasonably tall, and for the bikes to be reasonably lightweight, but so long as you're not a jockey with a Pashley Princess you ought to cope.

I've regularly put two bikes on the roof of my Volvo S60 using Thule 530 carriers. The 530 has enough adjustment to take either my 24"-frame monster or my 8-yo son's much smaller bike, and there's no need to remove any wheels. It comes with fittings for square bars, but can easily be converted to slot into aerobars instead. It's also easy to load and easy to satisfy yourself it's all safe and secure; remembering not to visit any multi-storey car parks is up to you.

A jokey comment but it does raise one serious point about cycling for leisure: on your Dales trip you may want to use public car parks in scenic areas, and a lot of these have a 2m height restrictor at the entrance to keep out caravans and the like. (I have a mental image of one like this in Wharfedale; certainly those on the Stratford Greenway near me have them.)

So you may want to go rear-mount after all, but I share your antipathy to the strap-on kind. Even high-mounters don't always seem to leave the lights clear, and you're left with wheels sticking out at crazy angles and no view at all through the rear window. Which is why, when our bike count rose to four this year, I girded my wallet and had a detachable tow-bar fitted to our Verso. (Even I didn't fancy lifting four bikes that high.)
On that sits an Atera Strada DL3 (they also make a DL2 for only two bikes); expensive, yes, but it works a treat. Ours has just returned from a two week, 1200-mile trip to France and even with four bikes (the fourth sits on a bolt-on extension rail) it felt entirely solid all the way. I checked it each time we stopped but never found anything that had come loose. It doesn't wobble, the wheels don't spin and it sits low enough still to give the driver some view in the mirror. Multi-storeys are still a bad idea, but getting onto and off ferries wasn't hard, and you're much less likely to forget about it altogether.
Oh yes, and it may even improve your social life: I was politely accosted on the dockside at Caen by a very nice lady who wanted to know what it was and where she could get one!

Happy cycling,

Carrying Cycles - Jono_99
I am going round in circles on this at the moment....

We have five bikes, and a Mk III Mondeo estate to carry them. At present, we do little more than go off to the reservoir and cycle as a family (kids are 9, 7 & 4), but in time we will go further afield, hopefully.

The problem with the Mondeo is that the lights are vertical, beside the tailgate; therefore even a 'high loading' bike rack will cover the lights, necessitating a set of lights / number plate to be installed and attached outside the bikes.

So, I either go down the roof bar route - buy 3, or even 4 Thule 530's or the like, and put them on each time we go out. They have good reviews, but it feels like quite a long process of putting on roof bars if we 'just fancy' a family bike ride on a Sunday afternoon.

Or, I get a tow bar fitted, and purchase a Thule 9403 (£110 at Halfords at the mo) which allows 3 bikes to go on the back. Two bikes in the car is bearable for the medium term...

This seems a much more 'let's just go off for a ride' kind of solution, but then I get into the realms of having a tow bar fitted. And need to sort out electrics...

And I arrive at indecision not knowing which way to go..

In passing, Will - how much was the tow bar properly fitted onto the Verso?

Carrying Cycles - datostar
5 people and 5 bikes in one vehicle? Wow. I'd be thinking about one of those big double cab Mitsubishi pickups or something on those lines. Transit Crewbus? You get various seating combinations and a big luggage space at the back. Some even have a table to sit at.
Carrying Cycles - Brian Tryzers
Are you sitting down? We paid £574, plus another £15 for the tiny brass locking bolt that stops any passing Tom, Dick or Harriet from taking it home but which we hadn't realized wasn't part of the kit. The dealer did throw in a number plate, and didn't charge us for some replacement roof-bar parts we ordered at the same time, but it wasn't cheap. It's very neat, though, and the mounting point is barely visible once the bar is removed.

On the other hand, if your Mondeo is out of its warranty, you could ask an independent towbar specialist to fit a Brinkmatic, which is the same piece of kit. I think the part would cost much the same (about £275, I think) but you wouldn't be paying main dealer labour rates.

Just a further caution (as if you needed one): once you have four or five bikes to carry, I don't think there's really any such thing as a 'just go for ride' solution. The Atera rack is neat but it's still a 20-minute job to attach it, connect the electrics and fit the bikes together so that pedals, saddles and handlebars don't clash. It gets quicker as your method evolves, but you still have to check everything two or three times to be sure it's safe and there's really no shortcut there. Like you, I imagine (my younger son is 6) I'm looking forward to the time when we can just ride from home through a bit of town traffic, and save the loading up for the long, serious trips.
Carrying Cycles - Glaikit Wee Scunner {P}
The "best" method, IMHO, of carrying cycles(if you can afford it) is a tow bar/ball mounted cycle rack. The one I've got is complete with built in lights and mounts low enough not to obstruct the rear view. Hinges backwards should you need to improve access to the luggage area.
The roof rack company have got quite a range and if you are willing to go for one of their "returns" ,like I did, a three bike rack can be got for half price. £70 IIRC. The detachable Witter tow hitch and electrics was not cheap , but well worth it.
Carrying Cycles - Jono_99
Thanks for all the advice - I think I will go with the Roof bar option. Ultimately cheaper, and more re-cycleable (boom boom), should we change the car. Just have to remember the extra height on entering car parks.

Carrying Cycles - ifithelps

A couple of folding bikes for the adults would ease your carriage problems.

Something like a Brompton would do the reservoir run with the youngsters, although it's not suitable for anything rougher than a well laid cinder path.