Australian Mountain Bike - - Tested - WORDS AND PHO­TOS : MIKE BLEWITT

Whether you get stuck on pro­nun­ci­a­tion or not, Thule are syn­ony­mous with bike car­ri­ers for cars. The Swedes have car­ried their de­sign flair and stor­age nous be­yond at­tach­ments for bikes, skiss and surf­boards, cre­at­ing a range of lug­gage, baby seats, bike bags and even phone cases to trans­port your gear safely and se­curely. How­ever it’s their ex­pand­ing range of bike car­ri­ers that are the most in­ter­est to moun­tain bik­ers. We have tested some great bike car­ry­ing sys­tems at AMB, from roof top sys­tems with wheels on, tail gate pads for easy shut­tling, col­lapsi­ble racks that fit with­out a tow­ball, and then fully func­tional racks like the Thule 923AU G2 Euroway. It locks over your tow­ball, fits 3 bikes, has a light board and num­ber plate holder, and can tilt away if you need to open the boot. But all that func­tion­al­ity doesn’t mean it’s too bulky, as the rack folds down and the wheel wells slide in so the rack doesn’t take up too much real es­tate when it’s at home and not in use. I re­ally like that the rack sup­ports both wheels on your bike, and the de­tach­able arms from the Thule rack can be po­si­tioned in the right place to se­cure your bike to the rack. The frame is clamped, so it is worth us­ing a rag to stop lots of lit­tle scratches. Get­ting three bikes on does take a lit­tle bit of Tetris-style mas­tery, but just like you learn how to pack the boot of your car the best, chances are you’ll know best how to pack this rack after a cou­ple of uses. The wheels are se­cured with ratch­et­ing straps, which helps stop the bars from flop­ping around as well. If you are load­ing three bikes up there might be some rub­bing be­tween bikes – it re­ally de­pends on the types of bikes you’re pack­ing. I’d sug­gest pad­ding any con­tact points es­pe­cially for long trips. The arms lock onto the bikes with a key, and the same key locks the rack to the car, which adds piece of mind for pre-ride cof­fee or post-ride burger stops. One of the best fea­tures is the built in light­board. Many states re­quire lights and your num­ber plate to be vis­i­ble by law. And while you can shimmy your bikes around, or string up a bike rack plate, there is no mess­ing around or won­der­ing how au­thor­i­ties might view your setup with the Thule 923AU G2 Euroway, with a wired in light­board and num­ber plate holder. The whole rack has a load limit of 51kg. This means it’s not go­ing to com­fort­ably carry more than one E-MTB (un­less you have pretty light ones) or down­hill bikes – but there are spe­cial­ist racks for both of those types of bikes. How­ever the Euroway rack will carry hard­tails, rigid bikes, full-sus­pen­sion bikes, bikes with Boost spac­ing, Can­non­dales with Lefty forks, gravel bikes, road bikes, cy­clocross bikes and more. The only con­straint is tub­ing size – the arms can’t clamp a tube big­ger than 88mm. And that’s pretty big. My own car has roof racks and I tend to just keep them on, even though they are easy to re­move. Why? For me it’s the best place to store them. And that’s prob­a­bly the only down­side to a rear-mounted bike car­rier like this. Even though this model folds up, it’s still bulky and you do need some garage space to store it. Oth­er­wise it’s thumbs up from me for value, se­cu­rity and road le­gal­ity.

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