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Cycle rack for M3 with no tow hitch

Lucanesque

Member
Aug 9, 2020
148
87
Brighton, UK
When I ordered our LR M3 back in the Before Times I looked at the tow hitch option and thought to myself "why on earth would I need a tow bar? I've not used one in the last 30 years of driving!", and 10 seconds later I was finalising my order.

Then a global pandemic happened, I spent 6 months working from home, and got fat. Solution? Got myself a bike, and also got the other half a bike too (disclaimer: nothing about fatness, or not, of other half should be inferred from that statement :D).

Now I've suddenly discovered why I might want a tow hitch - DOH!

So, given my car arrives in a couple of weeks without one, and according to the Tesla website they can't be fitted after delivery, does anyone have any suggestions for a 2 bike cycle rack?
 

hmy7k

Member
Nov 7, 2019
95
61
Shropshire
When I ordered our LR M3 back in the Before Times I looked at the tow hitch option and thought to myself "why on earth would I need a tow bar? I've not used one in the last 30 years of driving!", and 10 seconds later I was finalising my order.

Then a global pandemic happened, I spent 6 months working from home, and got fat. Solution? Got myself a bike, and also got the other half a bike too (disclaimer: nothing about fatness, or not, of other half should be inferred from that statement :D).

Now I've suddenly discovered why I might want a tow hitch - DOH!

So, given my car arrives in a couple of weeks without one, and according to the Tesla website they can't be fitted after delivery, does anyone have any suggestions for a 2 bike cycle rack?

I originally considered the towbar for my bikes but in the end I ended up with an M3P so plan B was roofbars and so far it has worked out fine. Bit awkward getting the bikes on but the car is fine with 2 bikes on the roof.
 

house9

Supporting Member
Supporting Member
Nov 16, 2019
383
442
California
I went with the Tesla roof rack and then added the Yakima Highroad - wasn't an inexpensive solution :(

My bikes have disc brakes so I prefer to leave the front wheels on, massive hit to range with bikes on top and if your bikes are heavy don't underestimate the weight to lift above your roof.

- Model 3 Roof Rack
- Broke my M3 glass roof while installing the Tesla roof rack
- Unscientific roof rack efficiency test (Model 3)

There are also trunk based solutions that are less expensive and may work great for you? kind of depends on how expensive your bike is and what you feel comfortable with.

- Bike rack and back up sensors

Other posts you might want to checkout:
- Rockbros Suction Bike Rack
- 1up USA Bike Rack
 
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Lucanesque

Member
Aug 9, 2020
148
87
Brighton, UK
I originally considered the towbar for my bikes but in the end I ended up with an M3P so plan B was roofbars and so far it has worked out fine. Bit awkward getting the bikes on but the car is fine with 2 bikes on the roof.

I went with the Tesla roof rack and then added the Yakima Highroad - wasn't an inexpensive solution :(

My bikes have disc brakes so I prefer to leave the front wheels on, massive hit to range with bikes on top and if your bikes are heavy don't underestimate the weight to lift above your roof.

Having had a look at aftermarket towbars, and some of the threads about damage to paintwork for boot mounted cycle racks, I'm thinking roof might be the way to go - thanks for the suggestions. Our bikes also have disc brakes, hadn't thought about ease of getting the wheels on and off but having just had the hydraulics fixed I'd not want to mess them up again. I'm fairly certain I can lift it up on the roof as I have to lift it up and down from street level to our lower ground door, although getting it up on the M3 accurately without damaging anything (me, bike, car) you raise a good point!

Thinking about the hit to mileage, I'm assuming that this would be the case regardless of whether they were on the roof or slung horizontally on the back?
 
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house9

Supporting Member
Supporting Member
Nov 16, 2019
383
442
California
Thinking about the hit to mileage, I'm assuming that this would be the case regardless of whether they were on the roof or slung horizontally on the back?

The aerodynamics of having the bikes behind the car might be better than on the roof, but I'm not sure?
I haven't seen anyone post about it on here yet.
Would definitely make SuperCharging more of a pain mounted on the rear.

FYI: Once I added the Yakima bike racks to the Telsa roof rack the wind noise increased dramatically.
 

rEV gadget

Member
Jan 14, 2020
142
107
Macclesfield, UK
There’s always the possibility of an inventory car popping up with a tow hitch so you could change by speaking to Tesla. The week before my car arrived in March quite a few appeared with tow hitch.
 

VanillaAir_UK

Well-Known Member
Jun 17, 2019
8,439
5,973
Surrey, UK
So, given my car arrives in a couple of weeks without one, and according to the Tesla website they can't be fitted after delivery, does anyone have any suggestions for a 2 bike cycle rack?

Have you tried contacting Tesla to change the spec? As its not built to your spec, and just puts you in a queue for cars of that spec, they may have a similar spec that they can put you in the queue for. You may have a delay, but it depends on how much you want a tow titch. We went through exactly this process, just not so far down the line.
 

Andrew_SE23

Member
Jul 3, 2019
138
125
London
The aerodynamics of having the bikes behind the car might be better than on the roof, but I'm not sure?

There was thread on this site (may have been on the global model 3 board) a long time ago. In summary, bikes behind the car were horrific for the range. Someone even tried to do some modelling to find out why. Bikes on top is best for efficiency.
 

geordie12

Member
Jul 21, 2020
47
30
Hertford
from the few youtube vids I've looked at you can fit a bike pretty comfortably in the back with the seats down....if there are only 2 of you it could be a solution without impacting your range
 
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house9

Supporting Member
Supporting Member
Nov 16, 2019
383
442
California
from the few youtube vids I've looked at you can fit a bike pretty comfortably in the back with the seats down....if there are only 2 of you it could be a solution without impacting your range

Depends on the size of your bike, my wife and I can fit both our road bikes in the back if we take off the front wheels, but MTB no way.

Also MTB have disc brakes and not as easy to take off front wheel.

Some pics:
- How do you carry your bike?
- How do you carry your bike?
 

Cyclone1

Member
Feb 4, 2020
251
118
United Kingdom
Depends on the size of your bike, my wife and I can fit both our road bikes in the back if we take off the front wheels, but MTB no way.

Also MTB have disc brakes and not as easy to take off front wheel.

Some pics:
- How do you carry your bike?
- How do you carry your bike?
Why is it difficult to remove the front wheel due to disc brakes? If they are quick release then they just pop off and on?
 

hmy7k

Member
Nov 7, 2019
95
61
Shropshire
Why is it difficult to remove the front wheel due to disc brakes? If they are quick release then they just pop off and on?

Probably because there is a risk you press the lever when there is no disk in the caliper, its can be hard to prize them apart to put the wheel back on.
There are spacers that often come with the bike but they normally get lost.


I used a towbar mounted rack on my last car and the impact on mpg was about 25% on a motorway journey, I think roof bars create less drag as the bike are face on rather than side on.
 

Lucanesque

Member
Aug 9, 2020
148
87
Brighton, UK
from the few youtube vids I've looked at you can fit a bike pretty comfortably in the back with the seats down....if there are only 2 of you it could be a solution without impacting your range

Unfortunately not our bikes. they measure 180cm length (with both wheels on), and according to this video the maximum length with the seats down is 170cm

Depends on the size of your bike, my wife and I can fit both our road bikes in the back if we take off the front wheels, but MTB no way.

Also MTB have disc brakes and not as easy to take off front wheel.

Some pics:
- How do you carry your bike?
- How do you carry your bike?

More helpful pics - thank you :)

Why is it difficult to remove the front wheel due to disc brakes? If they are quick release then they just pop off and on?

I’ve have 3 bikes with discs ... it’s easier to removed the wheel than with rim brakes

Our bikes don't have quick release wheels, and I'll be honest I'm as new to owning a bike as I am a Tesla so whilst I'm sure I could figure it out "easy" for someone with multiple bikes is probably easier than it is for me when I rode for the first time today since I was about 20 (*many* years ago :D)
 
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house9

Supporting Member
Supporting Member
Nov 16, 2019
383
442
California
Why is it difficult to remove the front wheel due to disc brakes? If they are quick release then they just pop off and on?

It is extremely rare for disc brakes to also have quick release these days. Most are using threaded through axle.
I carry tool with me and it is not that hard to remove but prefer only if I need to change a flat, don’t want to mess about with it right before and after a ride.

I don’t know the exact physics of it but when the braking is moved to the center of the wheel (disc) it can cause the wheel to move inside the dropouts when using a quick release style of clamp - you do not want this occurring when you are descending on dirt road at over 40+ mph.
 
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