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Taking Bikes Pros & Cons

Aidy P

Aidy P

Don't play that 'What If?' game, you'll never win!
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817
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T6 Ocean 204 4Motion
To date we’ve always hired bikes when we’ve gone on tour with the van. Taking four full size bikes always seems a faff and a security risk. I was always concerned about parking up with them too on a rear mounted rack that we have as you can’t use a normal bay.

For the last three years we’ve just stayed on sites for a few days before moving on. This year we’re thinking of heading to Il de Rae and rather than doing so much of a grand tour. We’re planning on avoiding towns and cities.

Any advice on taking four bikes, security and general making it easier would be appreciated

Also any mistakes that you’ve learnt from would be good too.

I’ve got an Altera Strada tow ball mounted rack. Was thinking about getting an airsafe for the boot door to aid ventilation. Does anyone know if this causes problems with the rack fitted?

Thanks
 
Perfectos

Perfectos

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Hertfordshire
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T6 Beach 150
Hi Aidy

I simply lock my bikes together and around the Altera frame with at least two locks.
Making sure you pass the lock through each wheel and frame.

Each bike is locked to the bike carrier with the support bar (individually)

I carry four bikes

No one will be getting the whole bike off quickly.

Quick release seats can be removed and placing in the van if necessary

When at the site I use the bike rack to store the bikes, again I lock the bikes to the frame and if possible lock the bike rack to a fixed item such a knee rail fencing , tree, railings etc.
 
Aidy P

Aidy P

Don't play that 'What If?' game, you'll never win!
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Messages
817
Vehicle
T6 Ocean 204 4Motion
Hi Aidy

I simply lock my bikes together and around the Altera frame with at least two locks.
Making sure you pass the lock through each wheel and frame.

Each bike is locked to the bike carrier with the support bar (individually)

I carry four bikes

No one will be getting the whole bike off quickly.

Quick release seats can be removed and placing in the van if necessary

When at the site I use the bike rack to store the bikes, again I lock the bikes to the frame and if possible lock the bike rack to a fixed item such a knee rail fencing , tree, railings etc.
Thanks. I hadn't thought of taking the rack off and locking it to a tree or rail.
 
Perfectos

Perfectos

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T6 Beach 150
Mistakes : I always strap my carrier frame to the tailgate hinge, using a tie down strap, it helps to keep the whole set up more rigid and is a fail safe.

I put a bit of helicopter tape on the top edge of the tailgate to protect the paint work
 
Justin Cider

Justin Cider

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1,027
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Fowey
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Just browsing
Hi Aidy

Carry ours on a rack, I used 2 locks to lock them together and to the rack.

On site there is usualy a tree or post to lock them to, never had any problemsCali.jpg
 
Doorbundle

Doorbundle

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Messages
164
Location
S. Worcs
Vehicle
T6 Ocean 150
To date we’ve always hired bikes when we’ve gone on tour with the van. Taking four full size bikes always seems a faff and a security risk. I was always concerned about parking up with them too on a rear mounted rack that we have as you can’t use a normal bay.

For the last three years we’ve just stayed on sites for a few days before moving on. This year we’re thinking of heading to Il de Rae and rather than doing so much of a grand tour. We’re planning on avoiding towns and cities.

Any advice on taking four bikes, security and general making it easier would be appreciated

Also any mistakes that you’ve learnt from would be good too.

I’ve got an Altera Strada tow ball mounted rack. Was thinking about getting an airsafe for the boot door to aid ventilation. Does anyone know if this causes problems with the rack fitted?

Thanks
Ile de re'...Great for cycling, as is nearby mainland coast, surfaced cycle way Great bridge to cross to get to the island - separate cycle paths!
 
T6 CFO

T6 CFO

Mike
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3,790
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Bristol
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T6 Ocean 204 4Motion
Exactly the same as @Perfectos.

Biggest challenge with three bikes is how they fit on the carrier and in which order. Almost always we just have the two so use the rearmost two slots. I have pics on my phone to remind me of the order and which way round.


Mike
 
Peter Roberts

Peter Roberts

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705
Location
Carmarthenshire
Vehicle
T5 SE 140
I suppose it really depends on how much your bike is worth. Until this year we had 2 old bikes that were worth only a few quid so we didnt worry when we left then anywhere but always locked them both together with 2 bike locks.. This year we upgraded slightly and bought a couple of bikes that cost us £480 for the 2 so still not expensive but will buy extra locks and maybe a bike alarm for night time.. My son-in-law has 2 bikes that cost him £4000 each and they dont leave his eyesight and are kept INSIDE the house.. Now thats not a bike I would be taking on holiday..I have to say that when we are away we do use the bikes nearly every day so well worth taking them..Brittany ferries charge an extra £15 each way for bikes on a rear rack...
 
Doorbundle

Doorbundle

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164
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S. Worcs
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T6 Ocean 150
With bike racks BEWARE the Car lane height barriers on the Peage! Better to use the staffed Truck lanes.
 
Perfectos

Perfectos

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With bike racks BEWARE the Car lane height barriers on the Peage! Better to use the staffed Truck lanes.
Not a problem with a tow bar mounted Rack, but you right to highlight this to others with tailgate mounted racks
 
Perfectos

Perfectos

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Exactly the same as @Perfectos.

Biggest challenge with three bikes is how they fit on the carrier and in which order. Almost always we just have the two so use the rearmost two slots. I have pics on my phone to remind me of the order and which way round.


Mike
Loosening the head stock screw and turning the handle bars, then tighten screw back up when bars are turned 90 degrees, can help with loading and position of bikes on the rack.

Position of the pedals / crank is key when carrying four bikes, the pedals need to be set to fit one pedal into the void of the bike frame immediately next to the one you loading, and the other pedal into the gap between down tube and forks or under the crank gear.

Added bonus when turning the handle bar, if someone does get the bike off, they won’t be riding it away!
 
Aidy P

Aidy P

Don't play that 'What If?' game, you'll never win!
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817
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T6 Ocean 204 4Motion
Has anyone had bits stolen from their bikes?
Any specific lock recommendations? I was thinking about using multiple types so harder to break.
 
Ch1pbutty

Ch1pbutty

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769
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Burgess Hill
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T5 Beach
We have VW tailgate rack and works fine with 4 bikes (just need to work out best order to put them on in, take a photo to remind you). We use 3 locks: motorcycle cable and lock frames together & a long thin cable which can go through the metalwork under the saddle, then use another lock to the metal loop on the van chassis, or, ‘spare safe’ makes a good cable point. Don’t rely on the locking knobs as these are very easy to overcome...but obviously better than nothing!

Also had the Altera towbar on our older T4 for a few years which was great, also made a great cycle stand once removed on pitch (lock it to a tree etc), and easy boot access provided that the car Behind you left a bit of room so you still still slide the rack out. We switched to a tailgate rack as I once stupidly squashed part of the electric cable when I clamped the rack onto the towbar (when I switched the ignition on, smoke started coming out of the dash as it burnt the flasher relay out will never forget that smell!..friendly AA man drove me round all the motor factors in town until we found a matching replacement for the relay, and thankfully we still managed to make the ferry!).

My wife prefers the tailgate rack as it’s always ready. She found the Altera was quite heavy to lift off its storage hook, and carry/fit to the van.
 
tuono001

tuono001

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544
For 4 bikes I use at least 2 d locks and a decent length motorcycle chain and lock. On site you can chain the bikes together.
If you can get a second chain & lock, or try your d lock, the carrier can be locked through you wheel, depending on your alloys. This works well if you're not planning on moving for a few days.
A good lock whilst on your bike is a hip lock chain, fastens around your waist easy to carry.
 
ThomasHJ

ThomasHJ

Messages
416
Location
Netherlands
Vehicle
T5 SE 140
Once had my Cube MTB stolen from the back of the van in Montpellier in a residential area. Rang the hotel the night before to specifically make sure the hotel garage was above 2m so the van could go inside. They confimed it was. When we arrived it was 1.90 and the van couldn't go in. Had a stupid discussion with the manager because they wouldnt refund the money we had already paid for the room. In the end we left the van outside, parked in front of the hotel, which was a dumb decision. In the morning it turned out someone had come along during the night, cut the lock and stole the bike.

Luckily enough the MTB was second hand and not too expensive and funnily enough, I had crashed it a few days earlier, so the tief stole a bike with a bent front wheel ;-).

Ever since then and since we bought more expensive bikes, we use 2 chain locks to lock them together and to the bike rack and use the lock that's on the bike rack. We do still leave the van with bikes on restaurant parking places and things like that.
 
Moakesy

Moakesy

Moakesy
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488
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Hertfordshire
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T6 Ocean 204 4Motion
It sounds silly, but don’t underestimate the deterrent of sticking a cover over the bikes.

Weird but true that if the opportunist thief can’t actually see the bikes, they are less likely to steal them, even if it is obvious that there are bikes underneath. .

I’m not saying they won’t get nicked, and of course you should still use multiple locks, it’s just that sticking a cover over them is quick and cheap so why not.
 
J

Jim2007

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44
Location
England
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T6 Ocean 199 4 motion
With regard to lock recommendations, I find the YouTube exploits of the “Lock Picking Lawyer” to be quite illuminating.

This video:

Demonstrates what he regards as the lock he would use for general cycling use. Consequently I got one and, in company with two Krypotonite U-locks and another chain, I secured our somewhat expensive bikes to the rear of the California. On the VW rack. The two U-locks secure the inner bike to the uprights and the chains then secure the other bike and its wheels to the inner bike.

Overnight I used the chain to secure the first bike to a van wheel, and the U-locks to secure the second bike to the first. Careful placement required to avoid contact with paint. The inner bike has a stand and that helps.

While LPL will defeat this lock, he can seemingly defeat ANY lock. To have his qualified recommendation means this is an outstanding lock. It is, though, very heavy.

We have just switched to an Atera Genio Pro. I have not fully worked out my new locking technique for that yet.
 
sbmcd

sbmcd

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802
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T5 SE 180
Loosening the head stock screw and turning the handle bars, then tighten screw back up when bars are turned 90 degrees, can help with loading and position of bikes on the rack.

Position of the pedals / crank is key when carrying four bikes, the pedals need to be set to fit one pedal into the void of the bike frame immediately next to the one you loading, and the other pedal into the gap between down tube and forks or under the crank gear.

Added bonus when turning the handle bar, if someone does get the bike off, they won’t be riding it away!
Especially with modern mountain bikes, bars are getting wider and wider.
 
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