Internal bike rack solution

Discussion in 'Interiors, Seating, Lining' started by Barnstormer, 7 Feb 2017.

  1. Barnstormer

    Barnstormer Member

    If you like me don't fancy leaving expensive bikes on a tailgate or tow hitch rack while you dive into a motorway service station or the pub on a weekend away then you might be interested in the system I'm using in my SWB Kombi.

    It's not a new idea and can be found as old threads on older generation forums but thought it might be a new idea to some 6'ers.

    I'm basically using a pick up truck mount fitted across the tailgate opening. remove the front wheels of the bikes and clamp forks onto mounts which can be positioned along the bar to allow best nesting with the next bike. My set up will easily accommodate 4 bikes behind the second row of seats.

    Here's it loaded up with three bikes to wet your appetites:-

  2. Barnstormer

    Barnstormer Member

    Here's it unloaded for reference, this bar uses a toothed extension and an over centre lock to wedge rubber feet between the tailgate sidewalls:-



  3. Barnstormer

    Barnstormer Member

    I sourced the system in the US where 'truck' mounts are more common.

    This one came from Performance Bikes in California and comes with two clamps as standard. I bought extra clamps and wheel mounts

    TransIt Xpress Truck Rack

    XPORT Xpress Truck Rack - Extra Mounting Kit

    An alternative is available in the UK, made by Saris (of external bike rack fame), pricey but similar

    Saris Kool 1 Bike Van Truck Rack Silver Black : Bikes | Mountain Bikes | Road Bikes| Winstanleys Cycles

    Or if you are tight, google 'cargo ratchet bar' and source separate fork mounts. This is a cheapie on eBay. Make sure you buy a square section one or you'll be fitting flat plates to a round bar.

    Expanding rear bed load ratchet cargo bar for Mitsubishi L200 Pickup rails NEW | eBay
  4. Barnstormer

    Barnstormer Member

    If like me you're riding a 29'er and have a SWB van then you'll need to remove or tip the single seat forward as the wheelbase is too long to fit behind the seat without angling the frame and reducing capacity:


    But a road bike, a 27.5'er or old school 26'er will fit easily behind the rear seats:-


    It took a while to orientate the fork brackets to allow most efficient nesting of the handlebars but both tall mountain bike bars and forward road bike stems don't clash with the tailgate when closed.

    Here's the first bike loaded, note different clamp orientations:


    And now all three loaded in with room for another:

  5. Barnstormer

    Barnstormer Member

    And finally if you've not seen them, the Thule Go Box Express is a fantastic quality fold up boot bag with cover and is available in two sizes.

    The one shown is the smaller of the two, perfect for helmets, shoes and muddy kit. I secured it to the bar so it doesn't slide forward out of reach on the road.

    Buy Thule 800501 Go Box Express at Tredz Bikes. £47.99 with free UK delivery (wait for the £5 discount pop up code and save er, £5)

    It's also available in a larger size from motorhome suppliers, I bought mine from Rose Awnings in Poole for not much more than the smaller one (which is confusingly described as large size by most bike retailers)

    Thule Go Box Large

    Thule Go Express open.jpg

    Thule Go Express 2.jpg
    Braddyboy, Twoguns and Pauly like this.
  6. Barnstormer

    Barnstormer Member

    So there you go, at least your muddy bike won't get covered in road salt and muck and you can open the tailgate to shelter changing in the rain.

    Hope the thread is of interest!
  7. ZipcodeUK

    ZipcodeUK Senior Member VIP Member T6 Guru

    That's a fantastic idea, well researched too!!
  8. Pauly

    Pauly Senior Member VCDS User Admin Moderator

    Awesome info thanks for sharing
    Last edited: 7 Feb 2017
  9. StuS

    StuS Member T6 Pro

    I like that system a lot but realised when I got it last week that my 29er doesn't fit too well and I have the 3 seat bench.

    I am considering swapping it out for the 2 + 1 so that I can remove the single to fit it in and then maybe install something like this.
  10. DaveyB

    DaveyB Funds just don’t support the desires!!! Moderator VIP Member T6 Legend

    Cracking bit of info you've shared there. Couple of questions if I may.
    1. Does it come with the protective foot pads so as not to damage the van?
    2. How does it extend as it looks as though it has the spring loaded nipples that are then limited to exactly where the drilled extender holes are? The alternative you've posted up has a hydraulic pump to make it more adaptable to any width (guess that is why it is so blinking expensive).
    3. Does it come with the front wheel holders or did you have to source those separately as well?
  11. shylock

    shylock Senior Member VIP Member T6 Pro

    Good thread , thanks for posting:thumbsup:
  12. Barnstormer

    Barnstormer Member

    My mate has the bench rear seat and we fold that fully forwards behind the front seats when we use my rack in his van. But obviously riders are contained to the front seats then.

    My 2+1 rear bench Kombi was delivered with a single rear bench! An expensive mistake for the dealer, they had to take the van back from Devon to North Wales and fit a new floor for the extra seat feet fixings. So swapping seats isn't straightforward I'm afraid!
  13. Pauly

    Pauly Senior Member VCDS User Admin Moderator

    Someone else posted some pics a while back (that i cant find now) of a similar setup but the ends of the main bar fixed in place of the lashing points
    If you wanted a bit more of a permanent solution may be the way forwards as seem to remember it was a bit cheaper too
  14. Barnstormer

    Barnstormer Member


    1) Yes, L shaped rubber feet designed to fit on top and in-between a pick up sides. So the whole assembly is rotated 90 degrees forward to fit a vertical wall.

    2) An extending ratchet section- pull out until slightly oversized, break back with pip pin system (all in photos) and then lock straight for a friction fit. Despite potentially being able to shunt forward in a sudden stop it's never moved even loaded up.

    3) Front wheel mounts were purchased alongside bar in Performance Bikes, San Francisco, but don't seem to be listed at present on their website. Concept exists for conventional roof bars so can probably 'mix and match' with other manufacturer's equivalents.
    DaveyB likes this.
  15. Barnstormer

    Barnstormer Member

    Yes, I've seen a few cheapskate versions on the inter web with fork clamps nailed to a shuttering ply base that anchors to the floor with baler twine but this system is so quick to fit and wasn't expensive for an elegant solution. Fortunately I'm in the US most weeks so wasn't a problem to source at a sensible price.
  16. StuS

    StuS Member T6 Pro

  17. Pauly

    Pauly Senior Member VCDS User Admin Moderator

    craigblues, JonB, ehuplad and 2 others like this.
  18. Pauly

    Pauly Senior Member VCDS User Admin Moderator

    Are you offering to be the official UK importer ?
    former member likes this.
  19. ZipcodeUK

    ZipcodeUK Senior Member VIP Member T6 Guru

    @Barnstormer , can you share some info on the 'zipped bag' that your jack is in please? This looks exactly like what i need.
  20. Barnstormer

    Barnstormer Member

    Oh yes, I knocked it up alongside the wall pocket system in the second photo above which holds floor pump, bike & paramotor tools. The jack bag has an eyelet in the underside co-incident with the mounting bolt. Also made some zipped storage bags that fit underneath the double rear seat.

    Made on an industrial sewing machine from PU backed polyester offcuts from hang glider transport bags. My youth was mis-spent designing paragliding & hang gliding kit, used to drag a hang glider around on my old T2 camper in the late '80's.
    Pauly likes this.

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