A fifteen hundred kilometer road trip, three riders, five bikes, one Ford Focus hatch and no tow ball.
What do you do?
The most obvious options would include having a tow ball fitted for around $200 then towing a trailer or hooking up a bike rack. The THE Eurorack is a much cheaper and simpler solution. All you need is the rack and you instantly have three bikes sorted out. I solved the issue with the other two bikes by removing the front wheels and putting those bikes and front wheels inside the car standing upright. Even with two of the bikes inside the car there was still plenty of room to have the larger part of the rear seat up for the extra passenger. Before I go any further, the Eurorack isn't just for hatch backs, it's adjustable and made to fit most vehicles including 4 wheel drives, vans, and sedans.
Pulling the rack out of the box it's quite easy to understand. On each of the two sides you have three arms. Obviously there's the arm with the bike mounts that hold the bikes, a lower arm that sits on the rear bumper of the car and holds the weight of the rack and the upper arm that is mostly for stability. The ends of each of the arms which come in touch with the car has a "webbed" pad that reduces the chance of your car being scratched, they are joined in a ball and socket set up. The rack attaches to the car by six heavy duty straps; two for the top, one for each side and two lower. Adjusting the rack to fit the shape of the car is simple with the use of two locking pins, one for each side. It can get a little fiddly getting the right angles, but doesn't take long. After that's sorted, it's just a matter of fitting the straps to the hatch (or boot/trunk lid) and pulling them all nice and tight to ensure that the rack is secure.
The Eurorack is made to fit most bikes, however you may run into trouble if you have an alloy 20" frame with little space in the front triangle. It's an easily solved problem with a special adapter bar that's used to fit women's step through style bikes to standard bike racks. (It attaches to the seat post at one end and the handlebars at the other.) I didn't have any problems with cruisers. The mounts for the frames may appear a little small for some oversized alloy frames, but they are very flexible, and will accommodate most frames. Once you have the bike in place you simply use the rubber straps provided to hold it down and you are all set. The straps have holes in them to fit on the numerous locking positions on each of the bike mounts.
By the end of the trip we were quite proficient at loading up the rack and it literally took only minutes to load or unload.
|Value for money:||5/5|
THE Euroracks are available in five colours; Black, Blue, Red, Yellow and Smoke.
THE products are imported into Australia by ECI (Elite Cycle Imports).