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Discussion Starter #1
Hi all. This is my first posting on this forum but feel that this might be of interest to some of you and am hoping for some feedback/comments as to viability. Basically, we have 2 eMTB cycles and can only get one inside an i3 with relative ease. So needed a bike rack that will take a 20kg load and be reasonably legal. Have checked other posts/products and too costly or legally more doubtful than this effort.

Problems areas and attempted work-rounds.
Mounting points; not keen on touching the glass tailgate or hanging hooked straps from top of 'spoiler'. So the bottom of the 'legs' have rubber cushioning and rest on the bumper/fender. There's an existing steel bar under the plastic which easily takes weight after slight deflection of plastic. The top of the legs pull horizontally into the rear edge of the spoiler. Seems very strong in this direction. All held on by quality 25mm straps passing down inside tailgate and out of bottom to make continuous loop.
Legal lighting; not cheaply done properly so have tried to let lights show through the bike as much as possible. Law says no obstruction to lights at all, so fingers crossed. Could remove wheels if necessary which makes a big difference. Note- I realised afterwards that the hatch was cracked open a bit so lower light were on, not main ones. Might try to fiddle switch to keep all lights on.
Number plate; to be legal needs 45 degree viewing from sides and top. This comes close, depending on bike and positioning. I could fit an extra plate with small lamp plugging into 12v lighter socket.
Adjust-ability; bikes come in all shapes days, especially full-sus ones. Best to mount the bike in an optimum position to improve legal chances as above. So legs have separate spurs to hang the bike on and this can move up/down by 200mm and fixed by hand-wheel and dowel in the holes. Gives good flexibility.
Construction is 10mm multiply, 8mm stainless bolts, 5/8” heater hose buffers under bike frame. Finishing paint not great but much cutting/shutting needed which is better covered by paint. Will varnish if I make another. Cost so far about £25.
So if anyone has comments, especially possible snags that I may have missed, please comment. The attached pics were taken on first test trip with light bike and, as expected, no issues, Next will add another 15kg before risking pricey eBike on the back. Peter F

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Discussion Starter #3
Agreed, and in fact I have a towbar rack. Can you point me to a suitable/legal towbar with lighting? Thanks, PF
 

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Thanks for that. Not seen it before. Might be too pricey. Now to cost a Canbus lighting harness. PF
 

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Hi, I love the design of your bike carrier, would you be interested in making one to buy? Thanks david
With the bike as shown obstructing the lights, this has potential for fines from police, not a clever solution. 😗😗😗
Bike needs to be mounted much higher or use a proper lighting board, available from Halfords at low cost. American owners and Continentals fit towing electrics, follow their lead.
 

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From a safety point of view - there's absolutely no way I'd be happy following you on the road with that contraption on the back of your car.

Firstly, I can't see your lights - ie: when you brake or indicate, or let alone when it's dark.
Secondly, how do I know the bike is securely fixed? - looks like bungee ropes around the frame.

Sorry, but I'd urge you to re-think it before you take it on the road again old boy!

Nobody wants a face full of bike.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Sorry if late in responding, not checked posts for a while. Mixed feelings from menbers so far, understandably perhaps. Re. safety the fixing to car is very secure. there are 2 straps (500 kilo strain) looping over tailgate and out the bottom, then joining together. If the rack falls off then the tailgate would have fallen off with it. Bungees are just stopping wheels flapping about. I also run one strap independently to the bike itself. Lighting- due to the wide lights they are clearly visible with most bikes as is. Any doubts and I remove wheel(s). Easily done with bike mounted. Some of my bikes are mounted higher anyway. Re. making more or perhaps a kit it is a possibility. My access to a big band-saw if restricted due to lock-down but will look into it as and when. Ideally CNC cut parts needed but set-up costs mean at least 100 copies if price is to be kept down. Main aim here is an affordable device which if UK 'legal-ish' and safe. Need to test more with heavy bike (Specialized Turbo Levo) and can now make longer journey into Wales (now open) for a proper assessment. Regards, Peter F
 

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Sorry if late in responding, not checked posts for a while. Mixed feelings from menbers so far, understandably perhaps. Re. safety the fixing to car is very secure. there are 2 straps (500 kilo strain) looping over tailgate and out the bottom, then joining together. If the rack falls off then the tailgate would have fallen off with it. Bungees are just stopping wheels flapping about. I also run one strap independently to the bike itself. Lighting- due to the wide lights they are clearly visible with most bikes as is. Any doubts and I remove wheel(s). Easily done with bike mounted. Some of my bikes are mounted higher anyway. Re. making more or perhaps a kit it is a possibility. My access to a big band-saw if restricted due to lock-down but will look into it as and when. Ideally CNC cut parts needed but set-up costs mean at least 100 copies if price is to be kept down. Main aim here is an affordable device which if UK 'legal-ish' and safe. Need to test more with heavy bike (Specialized Turbo Levo) and can now make longer journey into Wales (now open) for a proper assessment. Regards, Peter F
Hey Peter, sounds like you have all angles covered and as you say, with wheels removed, lights should be fully visible.
 

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Yeah - great - However, it worries me when you say 'UK legal-ish', and it only would be slightly less worrying so if you take those wheels off and keep them in the boot... then everyone can see your lights.

But I still wouldn't be happy following you with a home-made prototype contraption of the back of your i3... Surely all bike racks have to pass some form of British Standards safety test?

I know I'd look for some form of official re-assurance, rather than just taking your word for it... If I were buying a child seat or a roof rack, I'd be looking for the BS kite mark and / or CE mark, so a bike rack has to be the same?

What does re-assure me though is that I'm not planning on going down to Wales at the moment. - lol!
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Seems that racks don't need official testing as yet. And I agree with you that I drop back if I follow some of the commercial racks that just hang from the top of the tailgate via a couple of little metal hook, or rubber suckers come to that. Especially with 3 bikes.
 
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