Thule VeloSpace XT 3 Or Atera STRADA DL 3 - bike rack

czmate1999

Senior Member
VIP Member
T6 Guru
Hmmm. Stuck on these two bike racks.

my needs,

- Obviously robust and good quality
- easy on and off.
- good weight capacity for at least 3 bikes, possibly 2 electric in future.
- ability to mount box or bag if needed
- tilt / slide option to be able to open tailgate without bikes or rack getting in the way

What do people think?


Thule VeloSpace XT 3

or

Atera STRADA DL 3
 
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Jack T

Senior Member
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T6 Pro
We have an Atera with additional 4th bike and it’s great, very easy to use. Light to take on and off. Tailgate opens easy when tilted. :thumbsup:

No experience of the other one though.
 

Eli1264

Senior Member
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T6 Guru
I will be changing my Atera DL3 soon, so I will be looking for a VW OEM 3 bike rack
 

Ayjay

Senior Member
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T6 Guru
I've also been looking at tow bar racks but wasn't aware of a VW one either. That said, it will probably be the same, or very similar, to something else on the market (Thule?) but cost a lot more money!
 

Village

Senior Member
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T6 Pro
I've had both of these racks over the years, having retired the Atera and now have the Thule. The Thule is a much more solid rack; much sturdier (and so heavier) and far less prone to wobble on the tow bar. I used to add an extra strap to the bikes to reduce the wobble on the Atera, but there is no need on the Thule. Thule has detachable arms whereas the Atera does not (or at least mine didn't; i guess they could have changed this since), and this means you can place the bikes more space efficiently. My Atera also had a rather frustrating habit of releasing its slide mechanism mid journey.

Only drawback for the Thule is the fact that you cannot open the tailgate with it on. Not sure whether you can or not with the Atera (edit, apparently you can from post above). However, if i was buying now, i would also consider Yakima
 

Broadside

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T6 Pro
Having used quite a few over the last 5 years for towbar bike racks I think Thule are unbeatable.
 

ThreeBridgeT6

Member
VIP Member
I've had both of these racks over the years, having retired the Atera and now have the Thule. The Thule is a much more solid rack; much sturdier (and so heavier) and far less prone to wobble on the tow bar. I used to add an extra strap to the bikes to reduce the wobble on the Atera, but there is no need on the Thule. Thule has detachable arms whereas the Atera does not (or at least mine didn't; i guess they could have changed this since), and this means you can place the bikes more space efficiently. My Atera also had a rather frustrating habit of releasing its slide mechanism mid journey.

Only drawback for the Thule is the fact that you cannot open the tailgate with it on. Not sure whether you can or not with the Atera (edit, apparently you can from post above). However, if i was buying now, i would also consider Yakima
Only ever had my Atera Strada slide on me whilst moving, and that was the first time I used it and at about 5mph. The arms on mine are detachable so you can optimise positioning of the bikes, and it slides back (when you want it to!) to access the boot. Never had a problem with mine wobbling, even with three adult and one teenager's bike on board.
 

Dilbert

STOPPED traveling...
VIP Member
T6 Guru
We have moved from the VW T6 tailgate mounted carrier to a tow ball mounted Atera Strada DL3. The main reason for the move was that you cannot open the tailgate when the bikes are mounted (and it is less height to lift an e-bike!) This was a pain on our travels when stopping in Aires and wild camping for a night.

We used the Atera Strada DL3 with 2 e-bikes attached on our trip to Spain and Portugal pre-Covid 19 this year. When we first got it I was concerned about the about of movement in the carrier itself. The curved slide mechanism adds to some movement. However, after using continuously on our 4,500 mile trip, it was never removed and did not budge. It was completely fault free and served us very well.

The DL3 is the bike carrier that gives you most clearance with a tailgate van. Especially if you are lowered as you have less height and, therefore, clearance to the ground to hinge back on.

Thule make great carriers (the T6 tailgate carrier is made by them) and I am sure it is more substantial (and of course with that comes weight). If I could open the tailgate with a Thule carrier, I would probably go with a Thule. But I cannot complain that the DL3 does not do the job and there are many happy users. :thumbsup:
 

czmate1999

Senior Member
VIP Member
T6 Guru
I've had both of these racks over the years, having retired the Atera and now have the Thule. The Thule is a much more solid rack; much sturdier (and so heavier) and far less prone to wobble on the tow bar. I used to add an extra strap to the bikes to reduce the wobble on the Atera, but there is no need on the Thule. Thule has detachable arms whereas the Atera does not (or at least mine didn't; i guess they could have changed this since), and this means you can place the bikes more space efficiently. My Atera also had a rather frustrating habit of releasing its slide mechanism mid journey.

Only drawback for the Thule is the fact that you cannot open the tailgate with it on. Not sure whether you can or not with the Atera (edit, apparently you can from post above). However, if i was buying now, i would also consider Yakima
1590251826877.png

Wow, don't know if that would work on a T6 though... also it looks like the bikes could rub together...
 

Mikejee

New Member
I've had both of these racks over the years, having retired the Atera and now have the Thule. The Thule is a much more solid rack; much sturdier (and so heavier) and far less prone to wobble on the tow bar. I used to add an extra strap to the bikes to reduce the wobble on the Atera, but there is no need on the Thule. Thule has detachable arms whereas the Atera does not (or at least mine didn't; i guess they could have changed this since), and this means you can place the bikes more space efficiently. My Atera also had a rather frustrating habit of releasing its slide mechanism mid journey.

Only drawback for the Thule is the fact that you cannot open the tailgate with it on. Not sure whether you can or not with the Atera (edit, apparently you can from post above). However, if i was buying now, i would also consider Yakima
Hi, do you know if the Atera rack would allow barn doors to open when tilted?
 

Village

Senior Member
VIP Member
T6 Pro
View attachment 71103

Wow, don't know if that would work on a T6 though... also it looks like the bikes could rub together...
Yeah that’s not the Yakima rack I’d be considering! For the reason you mention

The just click one looks quite good, although i dont know if it will clear a tailgate Yakima JustClick 3 bike tow bar carrier no. 8002487.

The best bike racks, by a country mile, are the hitch mounted ones you get in the US. Why do we not do hitch mounts in this country?! Or even in Europe
 
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