Cycle carrier query

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Has anyone experience in using one of the cheap (£30) cycle carriers that fit onto the tow ball, I'm thinking the three-bike ones?

Are they any good? Do they not wobble etc?

I can't seem to work out how they can clamp to a spherical ball and have the full weight of three bikes on it and not simply rotate round. They don't appear to have additional straps on the side etc.

Before anyone suggests, I'm obviously aware of the more expensive types, with the wheel-rails but there is a significant cost difference as we know.

Thanks
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I can't really speak for the tow bar types but I spent about a year or so considering which type of bike carriers to get (I went roof rack in the end) but what did seem apparent was that you definitely get what you pay for. Thule, whilst expensive they do seem to be the best and can often be found second hand off marketplace or ebay.
 
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I can't really speak for the tow bar types but I spent about a year or so considering which type of bike carriers to get (I went roof rack in the end) but what did seem apparent was that you definitely get what you pay for. Thule, whilst expensive they do seem to be the best and can often be found second hand off marketplace or ebay.
Thank you for replying.
Yep, I recognise that you get what you pay for and in the end I may go for the more expensive type. That said, I do like to make sure I do all of my research. It's only then that I know that I have full VFM and have exactly what I need. Like you, I spend a LONG time in looking into things.
It's for a tandem and to go on the back of a Transit Custom van. I'm also looking at roof-based options but as you can imagine, a bit of a challenge with the height and weight.
 
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What really put me off the tow bar types (apart from the expense of fitting a tow bar but f you already have one that's not an issue) is that you can't access the boot at least with most of them.

I may have had a low headroom issue with one of the bikes soon after I first fitted the roof rack resulting in the rack and carrier being ripped off and bent up beyond use, dents in the car roof and the bike on the floor. But we don't talk about that! :p
 
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What really put me off the tow bar types (apart from the expense of fitting a tow bar but f you already have one that's not an issue) is that you can't access the boot at least with most of them.

I may have had a low headroom issue with one of the bikes soon after I first fitted the roof rack resulting in the rack and carrier being ripped off and bent up beyond use, dents in the car roof and the bike on the floor. But we don't talk about that! :p
Oh dear, oh dear! Sorry to hear that.
 
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I may have answered my own query. Perhaps anyone else can confirm?

I've just popped into Halfords and had a chat. It appears that the carrier fits to the ball and then has a cushion up against the boot and then straps which clip on to the sides of the boot lid which are then pulled tight.

I'll have to see whether it'd work on the barn doors of a van.
 
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I've used roof-mount, and towbar mount systems of different types over the years. When I was holidaying in a camper van with six of us and our bikes (albeit young children, so small bikes), we used a very solidly engineered towbar rack from Pendle engineering. It was fitted on with four bolts to specific torque and was as solid as you like. It was a pain loading bikes as there was no easy mechanism for securing them; it look a lot of strapping and tying down. (Four on the back and two on the roof rack -bikes, not kids!).

Used roof rails for a while on a big estate car, but its quite a job lifting things up there.

These days with just the two of us at home we use a towbar mount from the Buzzrack range and it makes it so easy compared with the old rack. Its not as cheap as the one you show though. It is however really well, and cleverly made so that we can decide to go out, and have the rack out of the garage and the bikes loaded in 10mins. There are versions that tilt too to allow access.

I'd advise being cautious with the quality of cheap ones - bit of a disaster if it fails in use.
 
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I had the 2 bike type that clamped on the tow ball for years when the children were riding.
Nothing else was connected or resting on the car except the lighting board wire . I thought it was a marvelous job compared to the ones that strapped on to car itself, as others have said, access to the boot is restricted though
 
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