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Old 10-13-12, 08:49 PM   #1
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Hello! Just bought a new Electra Townie!

I posted a few years ago when I was trying to find a good bike. Well a looooong time went by since then but I finally found one!
My boyfriend took me to a bike shop and this is what we came up with for me. $500 clams too!! Whew!!

This picture is from the day I brought it home. Since then I added a bell, moved the lock cable to under the seat and have a GPS mount on the handlebars for my Garmin (out of my car)..

So, last week we wanted to go to a big park to ride and picnic. I assumed my bike would fit IN my trunk since I have a huge 1992 Buick Roadmaster. Nope.
I took the front wheel off and MOST of the bike fit in the trunk with just one handle of the handlebars poking out. I used bungee cords to hold the trunk down.
Then I drove 20 miles to my boyfriend's house to pick him up. He has a Raleigh bike of some kind. Lots of gears, I think like 21 or so..

Well what came next really freaked me out, we had to put his bike in my back seat!! I put a large towel on the seat but I was still freaking out because 1. the seats are real leather and 2. because this was my mom's car, I inherited it after she passed away last year. We were careful and nothing was damaged but I do NOT like doing this at all!

So what I need to get is a bike carrier. The car does not have a trailer hitch and I can't afford to have one put on it. Those sort of bike carriers are just way out of my budget.
I have been looking at carriers on Amazon but I'm afraid to buy one and it be junk.
I looked at carriers at the bike store and they were $200 !!! That's too much. I don't need to carry bikes across country, just like 30 miles round trip once a month. His bike is easy as it's a man's bike but I know I will have to get an adapter to go on mine. Again, I don't want to buy junk but I can't afford a whole lot either. Most of the ones I looked at, I don't trust because they have springs or rubber bands inside to hold tension. I found one that looks legit, it uses a lock like the seat uses, I think it would be safe. I also don't want one that will scuff & scratch up my bike!

Here's the bike carrier I'm looking at and the adapter.


What do you guys think about this carrier and adapter? Are they any good? They are barely within my budget and I mean just barely! I would like to spend less than $100 for both gadgets. $250 at the bike shop for their stuff is just waaay too much, I took a big hit on the $500 bike (+tax and a few accessories).. Or, if these aren't up to par, can you recommend something else that is quality but within my $100 budget?

Oh, and one last dumb question, why don't bikes have fenders anymore? I kind of wish mine did but, oh well. Just wondering if fenders are a yesteryear thing or is it that corporations just don't offer them to maximize their profits?

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Old 10-14-12, 12:34 PM   #2
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I don't have any idea of where you live, but Craigslist is always a good place to look for bike carriers, and garage sales, though we're pretty much out of season for that.

It sounds like for your use, any trunk mount carrier will be fine. The nicer ones hold the bikes more securely and require less futzing to secure. Shopping at the bottom end of the price range means you have to give up convenience usually, so you'll be able to get the job done, but might have to do a little more work to make sure the bikes don't rub or scratch the car.

I'd expect that you could find a used trunk rack for $50. My local Craigslist has 3 posted in the last 4 days, and only one is above $40. Maybe you should check eBay, too. In any case, I'd advise against new unless it's your only option.

The adapter you'll need in any case, so you should probably just buy that on Amazon. Price is reasonable.

Fenders are not the most hip thing in bikes, but are common. I have no idea what the manufacturers are thinking, but I know Electra offers many choices in fenders, and and companies like Planet Bike and SKS make aftermarket options that would probably work, too.
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Old 10-14-12, 04:15 PM   #3
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If you have a few pawn shops in your area they sometimes have carriers there too, seems someone is always buying them planning on doing lots of biking and then never doing it. Buy what you can and try it and keep your eyes out for something better. Walmarts and Target store sometimes carry them too. The cheaper ones are just that, cheap. The metal is light weight and the straps that hold the bikes down are thin rubber or velcro. I decided on getting a good carrier that cost about $200 because it seemed like false economy to cheap out on a carrier to carry over $1000 in bikes, one slip and your cool bike leaps off the carrier is crushed by the car behind you potentially putting you in liability.

Fenders are old school. can look cool on a lot of bikes and can be bought online or nearly any local bike shop. They are not really necessary unless you ride when it's wet or in dirt / mud.
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Old 10-14-12, 08:23 PM   #4
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Yeah, his bike, I think he's got like $1000 into it with the tricked out wheels, gears, etc..
Mine, so far is nearing $550 and there's still a few things I plan to add to it. Mine will likely top out around $650 when I'm done with it.

I checked on craigslist and found nothing local, nearest was more than a 100 mile drive. That's like $60 in gas. Nope.

Ebay turned up a ton of no name Chinese carriers, everything looked sketchy.. Amazon is not much better.

I guess I'll just save up and get the $200 job at the local bike store. They can show me how to use it and if something goes wrong, I can go down there and go red head on someone..

Besides, I'm mad at my boyfriend right now so we won't be going bike riding anytime real soon. I'll just wait for now.

Thank you for bringing me back down to reality, I came soooo close to buying some cheap carrier that I'm sure I would have regretted in the end..
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Old 10-15-12, 07:36 AM   #5
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$200 is a bit over the top. A good Allen bike rack for 2 bikes can be had for $85, and a good bike shop will help you install it and should show you how to load it. You may not need the adapter bar if you put one arm under the seat tube/seat stay junction and the other under the top tube.

For frequent long distance drives, you may want to invest in a roof rack. Roof racks hold the bikes better and out of the way. Just avoid fast food drive through service and some drive in restaurants.
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Old 10-18-12, 12:19 PM   #6
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Congratulations on the new bike! Should be a super fun toy!
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Old 10-24-12, 05:34 AM   #7
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Check this link for some good ideas on trunk racks. Saris and Allen are good, high quality and reputable brands:
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Old 11-29-12, 05:39 PM   #8
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electra sure has some beaut paint schemes! looks like quality, too! ya gonna fancy it up for christmas? it will be it's first christmas. and ya gotta name it. see my pics for halloween and christmas.

i had a thule or yakima rack that fit 2 cars i had. came with a sheet that showed
how to position parts to fit many cars. the brand i forget, but the model was
freeway. <$100, and the bike shop even bought it back for $45 after 2 years.

i even put an archery deer on it to take to a range. lotsa folks honked/ waved.
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Last edited by ka0use; 11-29-12 at 05:48 PM.
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Old 12-04-12, 11:25 PM   #9
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Townies look just like my wifes Giant Suede. Is it also aluminum? The think looks heavy but iots pretty light so I wonder what yours is like. Electra makes a lot of townie goodies like fenders and baskets etc. I'm pretty sure they're townie specific because we bought some electra fenders for my wifes suede and they didn't fit at alllllllll. She wasn't oimpressed cuz we had to return them but she got a basket out o it
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Old 12-10-12, 12:23 AM   #10
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yeah, me too, Congratulations on the new bike! Should be a super fun toy! thanks for your sharing,
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Old 12-22-12, 12:30 AM   #11
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Adorable bike! Looks like a fun ride.
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