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Tilting rack with tailgate clearance for modern MTB handlebars (780mm)

haydnw2

haydnw2

VIP Member
Messages
249
Location
Loughborough
Vehicle
T5 SE 180
Does anyone out there have a sliding or tilting rack fitted (preferably to a T5.1, but I'm not too fussy) which they're using successfully for two up-to-date bikes, i.e. long wheelbase, 2.4" or above tyres, and 780mm-ish handlebars, and which definitely allows the tailgate to open?

We're looking at towbar-mounted bike racks, and I think my head is about to explode from the variety of options and conflicting information out there. We'll be loading two e-bikes, albeit one a lightweight one (17kg). My only requirement is that the rack tilts or slides far enough backwards to enable the tailgate to be opened.
- The Atera Strada looks good, but it's clear from this video that there's no way the tailgate is getting past the handlebars on a modern bike.
- The Atera Genio Pro might do the trick, but isn't available until August at the earliest.
- The Thule Velospace XT 2 looks great, particularly since it explicitly mentions long-wheelbase and fat tyres on current geometries. However, it seems the XT2 doesn't have enough clearance for the tailgate.
- So the general recommendation is to buy the XT 3 and just leave the slot nearest the van unoccupied. This seems a little strange, and rapidly becomes mega-expensive too.

Any alternative suggestions, or clarification/correction on the above, will be gratefully received!
 
GrumpyGranddad

GrumpyGranddad

Lifetime VIP Member
Messages
2,129
Location
Wendover
Vehicle
T6.1 Ocean 199
Does anyone out there have a sliding or tilting rack fitted (preferably to a T5.1, but I'm not too fussy) which they're using successfully for two up-to-date bikes, i.e. long wheelbase, 2.4" or above tyres, and 780mm-ish handlebars, and which definitely allows the tailgate to open?

We're looking at towbar-mounted bike racks, and I think my head is about to explode from the variety of options and conflicting information out there. We'll be loading two e-bikes, albeit one a lightweight one (17kg). My only requirement is that the rack tilts or slides far enough backwards to enable the tailgate to be opened.
- The Atera Strada looks good, but it's clear from this video that there's no way the tailgate is getting past the handlebars on a modern bike.
- The Atera Genio Pro might do the trick, but isn't available until August at the earliest.
- The Thule Velospace XT 2 looks great, particularly since it explicitly mentions long-wheelbase and fat tyres on current geometries. However, it seems the XT2 doesn't have enough clearance for the tailgate.
- So the general recommendation is to buy the XT 3 and just leave the slot nearest the van unoccupied. This seems a little strange, and rapidly becomes mega-expensive too.

Any alternative suggestions, or clarification/correction on the above, will be gratefully received!
For what it’s worth here’s a couple of pictures of our XT3 loaded up. It does fold flat enough to open the tailgate with the bikes loaded.

9C901503-2FBC-419B-B58A-F0A5C2ABF108.jpeg

342E1698-24CE-4606-A876-4128FC5382D3.jpeg
 
WelshGas

WelshGas

Retired after 42 yrs and enjoying Life.
Top Poster
Lifetime VIP Member
Messages
18,730
Location
United Kingdom
Vehicle
T5 SE 180 4Motion
Does anyone out there have a sliding or tilting rack fitted (preferably to a T5.1, but I'm not too fussy) which they're using successfully for two up-to-date bikes, i.e. long wheelbase, 2.4" or above tyres, and 780mm-ish handlebars, and which definitely allows the tailgate to open?

We're looking at towbar-mounted bike racks, and I think my head is about to explode from the variety of options and conflicting information out there. We'll be loading two e-bikes, albeit one a lightweight one (17kg). My only requirement is that the rack tilts or slides far enough backwards to enable the tailgate to be opened.
- The Atera Strada looks good, but it's clear from this video that there's no way the tailgate is getting past the handlebars on a modern bike.
- The Atera Genio Pro might do the trick, but isn't available until August at the earliest.
- The Thule Velospace XT 2 looks great, particularly since it explicitly mentions long-wheelbase and fat tyres on current geometries. However, it seems the XT2 doesn't have enough clearance for the tailgate.
- So the general recommendation is to buy the XT 3 and just leave the slot nearest the van unoccupied. This seems a little strange, and rapidly becomes mega-expensive too.

Any alternative suggestions, or clarification/correction on the above, will be gratefully received!
You could just turn the handlebars of the nearest bike through 90o.
 
J

Jim2007

VIP Member
Messages
67
Location
England
Vehicle
T6 Ocean 199 4 motion
You could just turn the handlebars of the nearest bike through 90o.
We are currently travelling with two flat handlebar bikes and one drop handlebar bike on a Genio Pro. Whether it fits with the wide handlebars or not, I always rotate the flat handlebars through 90 degrees as suggested as it makes the whole process much easier and takes less time to do than the pfaffing about trying to get them lined up with the handlebars in their normal position - they always seem to catch on each other’s saddles.

The 90 degree move gives a lot more options I think.
 
I

ianm

Messages
11
Location
UK
Vehicle
T6.1 Coast 150
We have just got a Velospace XT3; only used once so far to come back from the towbar fitter who also supplied the rack. I biked over to pick it up and put my Haibike AllMtn 2.0 2020 (800mm bars including grips, 2.8" tyres) on the middle rack for the return trip and didn't notice that it was anywhere near a problem with clearance. I don't know the wheelbase, but you may be able to Google it, and it fitted fine, but was getting towards the ends of the wheel trays. Straps were long enough for 27.5" wheels and the 2.8" tyres.

Whilst the rack does tilt enough to allow the tailgate to open, it's close! The rack needs to be parallel to the bumper, otherwise one side will hit. It's a bit nerve racking but I am sure I will get used to it! The fitter recommended, and I am a great fan of such things, cutting a suitable soft but firm piece of material to the right length and using that as a measure to ensure the rack is aligned properly.

I agree with @WelshGas and @Jim2007 that turning the bars 90° is the answer if you have any problems. It is quick and easy.
 
I

ianm

Messages
11
Location
UK
Vehicle
T6.1 Coast 150
Just a followup. The bike wheelbase is approx. 1200mm (axle to axle) and the width of the rack wheel tray is, again about, 1300mm.
 
haydnw2

haydnw2

VIP Member
Messages
249
Location
Loughborough
Vehicle
T5 SE 180
Thanks all - life's too short to be faffing around with spinning handlebars all the time, but sounds like the XT3 will work with a decent bar width.
 
California4x4

California4x4

VIP Member
Messages
907
Location
Scotland
Vehicle
T6 Ocean 150 4Motion
I use the Thule Euroclassic 929 G6. I don’t know how similar it is to the one you are looking at. I also have no desire to turn handlebars. Seat droppers solve the issue of handlebars catching on the seat of the other bike.

When loading two mountain bikes with wide handlebars, I use the outer two rails. If using the inner rail, the handlebars will touch the rear window. When the rack is tilted the outer bike handlebars will touch the ground but there is enough room to open the door (just!).

Post in thread 'Towbar Bike Rack for 4 bikes T6.1'
https://vwcaliforniaclub.com/threads/towbar-bike-rack-for-4-bikes-t6-1.34816/post-421573
 
GrumpyGranddad

GrumpyGranddad

Lifetime VIP Member
Messages
2,129
Location
Wendover
Vehicle
T6.1 Ocean 199
We have just got a Velospace XT3; only used once so far to come back from the towbar fitter who also supplied the rack. I biked over to pick it up and put my Haibike AllMtn 2.0 2020 (800mm bars including grips, 2.8" tyres) on the middle rack for the return trip and didn't notice that it was anywhere near a problem with clearance. I don't know the wheelbase, but you may be able to Google it, and it fitted fine, but was getting towards the ends of the wheel trays. Straps were long enough for 27.5" wheels and the 2.8" tyres.

Whilst the rack does tilt enough to allow the tailgate to open, it's close! The rack needs to be parallel to the bumper, otherwise one side will hit. It's a bit nerve racking but I am sure I will get used to it! The fitter recommended, and I am a great fan of such things, cutting a suitable soft but firm piece of material to the right length and using that as a measure to ensure the rack is aligned properly.

I agree with @WelshGas and @Jim2007 that turning the bars 90° is the answer if you have any problems. It is quick and easy.
@ianm did you move the wire straps to the second position to give more clearance?
 
I

ianm

Messages
11
Location
UK
Vehicle
T6.1 Coast 150
@ianm did you move the wire straps to the second position to give more clearance?
Yes, I did. Or more accurately, the supplier did when they set it up. The bits that are close to the tailgate are the clips that hold the frame with the locking bars on.

I have wondered whether to try and get another set of wire straps made up a few mms longer: there is room for the rack to tilt back a bit before it hits the ground. However, it does work as it is. Perhaps the straps will stretch a bit!
 
GrumpyGranddad

GrumpyGranddad

Lifetime VIP Member
Messages
2,129
Location
Wendover
Vehicle
T6.1 Ocean 199
Yes, I did. Or more accurately, the supplier did when they set it up. The bits that are close to the tailgate are the clips that hold the frame with the locking bars on.

I have wondered whether to try and get another set of wire straps made up a few mms longer: there is room for the rack to tilt back a bit before it hits the ground. However, it does work as it is. Perhaps the straps will stretch a bit!
Or you could drill another couple of holes to reposition the straps? I have a slight issue that the rack does touch the ground (the black plastic under the lights). I think it’s due to having had the van lowered by 30mm? Carrying a couple of small carpet off cuts to act as a cushion but not ideal.
 
I

ianm

Messages
11
Location
UK
Vehicle
T6.1 Coast 150
I think closeness of the hole to the pivot means that the new hole would probably have to overlap the old. But it’s worth undoing the straps and eyeballing it.

If too close, filing out the hole might work and can be done a little at a time!
 
GrumpyGranddad

GrumpyGranddad

Lifetime VIP Member
Messages
2,129
Location
Wendover
Vehicle
T6.1 Ocean 199
Or you could drill another couple of holes to reposition the straps? I have a slight issue that the rack does touch the ground (the black plastic under the lights). I think it’s due to having had the van lowered by 30mm? Carrying a couple of small carpet off cuts to act as a cushion but not ideal.
Dumb user error !!
I needed to tilt the rack towards the van a little. All now good :)
 
I

ianm

Messages
11
Location
UK
Vehicle
T6.1 Coast 150
Yes, I had wondered whether tilting the rack away/down a little would give a bit more clearance! So easy to outthink these things and miss the bleeding obvious!
 
Chiroshi

Chiroshi

Messages
59
Location
Switzerland
Vehicle
T6 Ocean 204 4Motion
Thanks all - life's too short to be faffing around with spinning handlebars all the time, but sounds like the XT3 will work with a decent bar width.
A friend has the XT3 with a T6.1 and has no handlebar clearance issues with his XL enduro bike. He did need to get the extra long straps from Thule for the wheels as his wheelbase is pretty long (1288mm).
 
JULIANLISMORE

JULIANLISMORE

Lifetime VIP Member
Messages
60
Location
West Highlands, Scotland
Vehicle
T5 SE 180
Yes, I did. Or more accurately, the supplier did when they set it up. The bits that are close to the tailgate are the clips that hold the frame with the locking bars on.

I have wondered whether to try and get another set of wire straps made up a few mms longer: there is room for the rack to tilt back a bit before it hits the ground. However, it does work as it is. Perhaps the straps will stretch a bit!

I have a Thule EuroClassic G6 and found that when tilted it didn't quite clear the tailgate on my T5.1. I replaced the stainless steel wire stays with slightly longer ones (no change to anchor points). In case you are interested, I obtained the replacement stays from S3i Group, 1 Faraday Close, Snape Lane, Harworth, DN11 8RU. The specification of the replacement stays (as invoiced) is: - " 2 no. WR-EE-03 3mm Eye-Eye Assembly - 7x19 200mm Pin Centres". Clearance of the tailgate is now fine.
 
Wildcamper

Wildcamper

Messages
506
Location
T6 High top LWB 150 DSG: Gloucestershire
Vehicle
Please Select
I have the Pro-User Diamant SG2 Plus Tow Bar Bike Carrier from the campervanbits site fits two ebikes and mine is a BH Atomx Cross pro, long wheelbase and 720 mm handlebars with detachable towing hook, Ocean T6 35 mm lowered all works fine.

Same as Glynlock, we also have the Pro-User Diamant SG2 Plus. No problems with lifting the tailgate when tilted with or without turning the handle bars on the first bike. Have found the bikes are easier to mount if the bars are turned.
 
Baldrick

Baldrick

Lifetime VIP Member
Messages
69
Location
Sevenoaks
Vehicle
T6 Ocean 204 4Motion
Does anyone out there have a sliding or tilting rack fitted (preferably to a T5.1, but I'm not too fussy) which they're using successfully for two up-to-date bikes, i.e. long wheelbase, 2.4" or above tyres, and 780mm-ish handlebars, and which definitely allows the tailgate to open?

We're looking at towbar-mounted bike racks, and I think my head is about to explode from the variety of options and conflicting information out there. We'll be loading two e-bikes, albeit one a lightweight one (17kg). My only requirement is that the rack tilts or slides far enough backwards to enable the tailgate to be opened.
- The Atera Strada looks good, but it's clear from this video that there's no way the tailgate is getting past the handlebars on a modern bike.
- The Atera Genio Pro might do the trick, but isn't available until August at the earliest.
- The Thule Velospace XT 2 looks great, particularly since it explicitly mentions long-wheelbase and fat tyres on current geometries. However, it seems the XT2 doesn't have enough clearance for the tailgate.
- So the general recommendation is to buy the XT 3 and just leave the slot nearest the van unoccupied. This seems a little strange, and rapidly becomes mega-expensive too.

Any alternative suggestions, or clarification/correction on the above, will be gratefully received!
If you’ve not yet made your selection we’ve a MaxxRaxx with a swan neck, recommended instead of the factory fitted rack by our main dealer, as we liked the look of the spoiler on the demo we tried. It tilts outwards for easy tailgate access. We have the two/three bike version and don’t have any issues as it has adjustable bike hanger placements (which deals with larger handlebars). Getting the four bike version would give you even more room as you don’t want to turn the handlebars - although we’ve never had to with our smaller one. Regardless hope you find something that works for you.
 
GraemeSmith

GraemeSmith

Messages
40
Location
Bishops Stortford
Vehicle
T6 Ocean 204
Does anyone out there have a sliding or tilting rack fitted (preferably to a T5.1, but I'm not too fussy) which they're using successfully for two up-to-date bikes, i.e. long wheelbase, 2.4" or above tyres, and 780mm-ish handlebars, and which definitely allows the tailgate to open?

We're looking at towbar-mounted bike racks, and I think my head is about to explode from the variety of options and conflicting information out there. We'll be loading two e-bikes, albeit one a lightweight one (17kg). My only requirement is that the rack tilts or slides far enough backwards to enable the tailgate to be opened.
- The Atera Strada looks good, but it's clear from this video that there's no way the tailgate is getting past the handlebars on a modern bike.
- The Atera Genio Pro might do the trick, but isn't available until August at the earliest.
- The Thule Velospace XT 2 looks great, particularly since it explicitly mentions long-wheelbase and fat tyres on current geometries. However, it seems the XT2 doesn't have enough clearance for the tailgate.
- So the general recommendation is to buy the XT 3 and just leave the slot nearest the van unoccupied. This seems a little strange, and rapidly becomes mega-expensive too.

Any alternative suggestions, or clarification/correction on the above, will be gratefully received!
I have the Atera Strada and it works fine with my MTB and gravel bike on my T6 with the standard tow bar. I got the DL3 (the three bike version) which lets me put the two bikes in the furthest two slots, everything clears quite nicely.
 

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