There are a lot of reasons to take a pushbike or two with you when you go off road touring. They’re ideal for making trips around your campsite. If you need to nip into a nearby town to buy something, but you’ve already got your awning set up, you can just jump on a bike. Want to see nature in a bit of peace and quiet? Bikes are great for that, too. In fact maybe your main reason for going off road is to get to some of Australia’s fantastic cycling trails. The question is, what’s the best way to take your bike along?
Some shops will show you a small range of bike carriers, but if you’re seriously into off-roading they’re probably going to disappoint you. Most of them are designed for short trips around cities, and they aren’t really built for the rigours of the bush. They’re usually made of plastic and lightweight alloy, they can obstruct doors and other gear, they let the bike rattle when you’re going over rough ground, and there’s a pretty good chance they’re going to break at some point. At best that means stopping to retrieve the bike that’s waving you goodbye in the rear-view mirror, then finding some alternative way to carry it. At worst you’re going to lose the bike – and maybe even cause damage to your vehicle.
The trouble with bikes is they’re awkward things to transport. They’re not that heavy, but they take up a lot of space. You can fit a couple of them in the back of the average 4wd, but that won’t leave you a lot of space for anything else. If you ride some muddy trails you’ll also make a bit of a mess when you load them back into the load space at the end of the day.
A much better solution is to stow bikes on your roof rack. That keeps them out of the way and stops them dripping mud all over your carpet. You still need to hold them securely in place, though, and a couple of ockies just isn’t going to do it. Bikes just seem to want to move around, and that’s a good way to end up with bent bikes.
Luckily, we’ve found a solution. We’re always looking for the latest and greatest 4wd gear, and one of our greatest finds so far was South African roof rack specialist Front Runner. These are people that build gear for terrain that’s often even more challenging than Australia, so they know how to make something that lasts. We already know the case for their amazing roof racks, and if you’re a cyclist you’ll be pleased to know that their bike carrier is just as good.
The Front Runner bike carrier is a through the axle style unit that bolts securely into the tracks in a Front Runner roof rack. The fork mount fits 100x15mm and 110x20mm thru axles, and a supplied insert will take 110x15mm boost hubs, too. The rear wheel holder fits anything up to and including a 26x4.5” fat tyre, thanks to its adjustable ratchet buckle. The whole thing is made from powder-coated 3CR12 stainless steel, so it’s pretty much guaranteed to survive anything the landscape can throw at it. With this carrier you can take your favourite bike pretty much anywhere