Bicycling (South Africa)

Thule Easy Fold XT3

- R17 000 THULE.COM

Althou we’d love to ride from home to the start of every race, it’s impossible. Plus, obviously, you want to take your bike on holiday with you. In my experience, bike carriers are a necessary evil. Can’t live with them, can’t live without them. Many of the carriers I’ve owned have been no better than average – I’ve ended up with scratches on my bike or car, especially when carrying more than one bike. Thule stand-on towbar racks are the exception. They’re easy to mount, and because the bikes are carried on their wheels and held in place by rigid supports, they don’t swing into each other or rub in their holders. Also, because they’re behin he car and not on the roof, you won’t accidental­ly wipe out your Trek on the branch of a tree. The d wnside, however, is that a stand-on rack is big and bulky. That’s where the EasyFold XT 3 comes in. It’s a pleasure to use; but more importantl­y, it’s a pleasure to store he whole thing folds up to not much bigger than a picnic table, and you can drag it around like a wheelie suitca . Stash it against the wall in the garage, and forget about it until your next mission. Unfolding it and mounting it to the tow bar is a 20-second affa , and loading the bikes is just as easy. With good distan between each bike, and extra-long wheel straps, you can transport three kids’ bikes, three fat bikes, or anyth in between. Once the bikes are on, you can still access the boot by tilting the whole contraptio­n out of the way using a foot pedal. It’s Thule simplicity at its best – the only drawback is the p ce tag. If you’re willing to store your carrier in the rafters, the cheaper VeloCompac­t range offers similar functional­ity without the ability to fold.

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