HOW YOU CAN BE A CAR­RIER

Mercury (Hobart) - Motoring - - COVER STORY -

AL­MOST all ve­hi­cles can be used to carry bi­cy­cles but the ease of trans­port­ing, the safety is­sues and the se­cu­rity will dif­fer.

The eas­i­est de­vices are ex­ter­nal and re­quire no bike dis­as­sem­bly. That is, a rear car­rier or some roof racks.

But these may not guar­an­tee se­cu­rity and can be sus­cep­ti­ble to dam­age in an ac­ci­dent, or break­age of the car­rier or its teth­ers.

Tow-bar mounted racks are quick and easy to carry and can have quick re­lease de­vices to re­move them en­tirely. Tow-bar bike beaks are priced from about $120 (Buzz Rack), $400 (4bike Yakima) and $649 (Thule Reece-hitch bar).

Strap-on racks can be trans­ferred be­tween ve­hi­cles but will re­quire a lot of ad­just­ment to fit cor­rectly. They also carry a fear of com­ing adrift from the car. Strap-on racks cost from about $100 (Allen) to $250 (Saris Bones).

Roof-top car­ri­ers are handy be­cause they re­duce the risk of theft. But taller ve­hi­cles, in­clud­ing SUVs, can make in­stal­la­tion of the bi­cy­cle dif­fi­cult and in­tro­duce the po­ten­tial for dam­age to the bi­cy­cles from pass­ing low over­head trees or bridges or even driver dis­trac­tion when en­ter­ing a garage. Roof-top car­ri­ers are priced from $70 per bike plus roof rack but can be used to also load kayaks, tim­ber, surf­boards and so on.

Floor mounts — of­ten called cool bars — fit into a ute tray. They are a sin­gle bar with quick­re­lease at­tach­ments for the front wheels.

The front wheel must be re­moved (to be stored else­where) and the bikes are car­ried up­right, mak­ing it pos­si­ble to fit three bikes abreast on the tray. Cool bars for utes, trucks and wag­ons cost from about $90 for a sin­gle-block mount (Thule), $270 for a twobike bar (Yakima) and a three-bike is about $400 (Thule).

Plac­ing a bike within a ve­hi­cle in­te­rior has max­i­mum se­cu­rity but you need a large ve­hi­cle and gen­er­ally only two oc­cu­pants.

Bi­cy­cles usu­ally have to have the front wheels re­moved to fit. The process can be awk­ward but does away with the need for additional car­ry­ing gear. And there’s no ex­tra cost.

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