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Bike rack failure

C

Chainline

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44
Just for info. My bike disappeared down the motorway today at 70mph off my new VW bike rack!

Thankfully no one hurt, quiet motorway. Bike not great unfortunately as it’s expensive.

One sliding channel chock was still strapped to the wheel when I retrieved bike from the middle lane, the other is gone except for a clearly failed part where the channel retention lip has sheared.

Clamp was secure and locked and I had checked both straps, that clearly wasn’t the issue.

I theorise the plastic channel that secures the chock failing caused the bike to twist (it has an oval frame tube) and flex/come out of clamp putting undue force on the other chock, causing that to fail too, and bike exit backwards.

I will both contact VW/Campervantastic about warranty for the plastic chock and seek some form of redress. in my opinion that isn’t safe enough if one part (particularly the clamp) fails.

I will also implement a second strap around the channel (there seems to be some kind of second strap retention) for the chock and a 2nd security strap around the bike/bikes over top bar as I can’t have this happen again. Not only for the bike but what if it went through someone’s windscreen or the motorway was busy, someone could be killed.

anyone else had similar issue
And contacted VW.

I used my old T5 rack for 10 years with. O issues! The sliding part on the new one seems much less secure/robust.
 
paradise city

paradise city

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202
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Ireland
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T6 Ocean 150 4Motion
Sorry to hear that.
I put a coiled combination lock through all the bike frames and the main frame of the bike rack just in case something like this happens.
I hope you get a satisfactory outcome from VW.

Sent from my CLT-L09 using Tapatalk
 
C

Calibus

Messages
60
Location
Milton Keynes
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T6 Beach 150
Sorry to hear that.
I put a coiled combination lock through all the bike frames and the main frame of the bike rack just in case something like this happens.
I hope you get a satisfactory outcome from VW.

Sent from my CLT-L09 using Tapatalk
Same here, always 'chain' our bikes to the rack, also saves the worry of being nicked when in the petrol station etc.
 
C

Chainline

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Messages
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Yep clamp and arm in place. Clamp was still closed after event. Was locked too. E91BD566-01A2-491E-B80B-D6287DB4AA70.jpeg
 
C

Chainline

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Those pieces were part of the channel guide on the chock. Can only think chock failed then twisted out of clamp, flexing jaw. It’s an oval used tube so depending on angle could do that but only if a wheel was free.
mall checked before I left.
never had it happen on the old T5 rack.
 
Amarillo

Amarillo

Tom
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I have driven many tens of thousands of miles with bikes on the rack and have found the T6 bike rack to be very secure. Is is possible that one or both chocks were fitted incorrectly, perhaps with just one side correctly in the channel?
 
Meoncoast

Meoncoast

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I have been on this forum since 2012 and can't recall someone having a catastrophic bike rack failure before. I have seen a bike detach from a cars bike rack on the Motorway in front of me, not a pleasant sight lucky it did not hit someone.
 
2into1

2into1

Née T4WFA. Now running 2006 LHD T5 SE 130 Manual
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VW and the TUV should be very interested in investigating this incident.
 
C

Chainline

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I have driven many tens of thousands of miles with bikes on the rack and have found the T6 bike rack to be very secure. Is is possible that one or both chocks were fitted incorrectly, perhaps with just one side correctly in the channel?
Definitely fitted properly. The plastic part has failed for sure.
Exactly why I may never know.
I do know that if any one of the attachments does fail it shouldn’t cause all to release/break.
Hence I’ll use additional straps in future.
I had my gravel bike on and only one, I often carry 3 sizeable mountain bikes.
 
C

Chainline

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I have been on this forum since 2012 and can't recall someone having a catastrophic bike rack failure before. I have seen a bike detach from a cars bike rack on the Motorway in front of me, not a pleasant sight lucky it did not hit someone.
Agreed. Lucky here too,
I’ve seen one come off a roof mounted rack but never heard or seen a VW boot mounted one fail before.
My only other thought was the clamp. But jaws were in the same place, not spread, I had to open them to refit the bike, and still locked, doesn’t look deformed.
 
2into1

2into1

Née T4WFA. Now running 2006 LHD T5 SE 130 Manual
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I think that is another strength for the Fiamma pro as it doesn't use a claw clamp but a Cable tie type strap that goes around the frame.
View attachment 54216
Is it an optical illusion @Loz that the top rail is longer than the bottom one (shown)? If so, would swapping them around aid your drag figures?
(the T6 Quasimodo rack seems to have smaller rails than the Kylie.... Perhaps an intentional change from the T5 derived rack... Which would reduce drag and therefore minimise the fuel consumption hit of leaving the rack on all year? )
 
Volkywagen

Volkywagen

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Sorry but I can’t get my head around this.
If one clip fails, then the other, along with the arm brace should easily keep hold of a bike.
only the bike falling away from the van (with no top link attached) would it start snapping straps etc? Correct me if I’m wrong, but one clip failing shouldn’t lead to this catastrophe?
 
Amarillo

Amarillo

Tom
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Sorry but I can’t get my head around this.
If one clip fails, then the other, along with the arm brace should easily keep hold of a bike.
only the bike falling away from the van (with no top link attached) would it start snapping straps etc? Correct me if I’m wrong, but one clip failing shouldn’t lead to this catastrophe?
I had a look at our bike rack and it would be very difficult or impossible to incorrectly fit a wheel chock and not notice. I think that the most likely explanation is that somehow the frame had become detached from the top clamp, the bike lurching backwards would put a tremendous strain on the chocks and/or chock straps causing one to fail first then the other.

It is possible for a tightened locked clamp to work its way loose. If the arm is not fully inserted into the bracket on the rack itself, it is possible to tighten the clamp to the bike frame and lock it. As the car bumps along the road the jaws of the clamp will have an opening pressure put upon them, this pressure will go along the arm towards the bracket on the rack, pushing the arm towards the bracket and opening the locked jaws. A tiny movement would open the jaws by a disproportionately large amount.

Just a theory.
 
A

aileron346

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Jeez. That’s worrying, as the law is very harsh on liability for incidents caused by insecure loads. I’d definitely secure with extra straps; the one clamp, two tight straps solution seems very secure on the T5 racks. I always strap a brake lever tight too - stops swaying.

I ride a motorcycle and always worry about objects detaching onto my path at speed. I’m always nervous sitting behind roof-mounted kayaks with no nose strap; might avoid cruising too long behind bike racks now! Be very interested to know of the response from VW.
 
C

Chainline

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Messages
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Got to take it to VW to look. Campervantastic being helpful.
I could just fix bike and buy two new £30 chocks but I’m a bit peeved and don’t want it to happen to others so will take the time out to do it.

I checked the jaws, I can spread them more than 5mm with my fingers alone. They are plastic. The old T5 ones were rubber coated metal and are more rigid.

agree with the comment above, if a strap/chock fails the rest should hold.
Also of clamp fails straps should hold.
looks like if tube came out of clamp it was too much for chock retention system in the rail.

with a slim ovaliised top tube like mine if one chock failed causing twist, looking at the jaws it could lever them enough to come out.
My jaws show no damage or breakage but as I say are fairly easily prized apart by a few MM by thumbs alone let alone an ovalised metal bar.

the summary is, use security straps as well I think. I certainly will be. My mtb, which I haven’t used on this rack yet is much heavier but it does have normal shaped tubes to clamp onto.
 
Last edited:
shudycamps

shudycamps

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Messages
326
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T5 SE 140 4Motion
Just for info. My bike disappeared down the motorway today at 70mph off my new VW bike rack!

Thankfully no one hurt, quiet motorway. Bike not great unfortunately as it’s expensive.

One sliding channel chock was still strapped to the wheel when I retrieved bike from the middle lane, the other is gone except for a clearly failed part where the channel retention lip has sheared.

Clamp was secure and locked and I had checked both straps, that clearly wasn’t the issue.

I theorise the plastic channel that secures the chock failing caused the bike to twist (it has an oval frame tube) and flex/come out of clamp putting undue force on the other chock, causing that to fail too, and bike exit backwards.

I will both contact VW/Campervantastic about warranty for the plastic chock and seek some form of redress. in my opinion that isn’t safe enough if one part (particularly the clamp) fails.

I will also implement a second strap around the channel (there seems to be some kind of second strap retention) for the chock and a 2nd security strap around the bike/bikes over top bar as I can’t have this happen again. Not only for the bike but what if it went through someone’s windscreen or the motorway was busy, someone could be killed.

anyone else had similar issue
And contacted VW.

I used my old T5 rack for 10 years with. O issues! The sliding part on the new one seems much less secure/robust.
Thats
 
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