Bike rack on a Trident

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Bike rack on a Trident

Post by Hellyhead on Fri Apr 07, 2017 3:14 pm

Hi - another Trident question as I continue my search for the elusive perfect van!

I need a bike rack, and I have viewed several Tridents and notice that some of them have 'cut outs' in the roof moulding, which presumably are making allowance for the tailgate to be opened with the bike rack in place. Anyone know anything about this? if you get a bike rack on a van without the cutouts does that just mean you can't open the tailgate without removing it first? looks like perhaps you might be able to open it a little. 

Here's some examples of one with the cut outs and one without (but still a bike rack in place).
I'd be really interested in anyone's experience. There don't seem to be many advertised with these cut outs in place.

Thanks, Helen 


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Re: Bike rack on a Trident

Post by repoort on Fri Apr 07, 2017 8:05 pm

...I once had a 54 reg T5 Trident - it didn't have the cut outs. At the time, I never had a bike rack, so cannot say how close the fittings were to the roof...presumably there must have been some complaints about it to make AS modify the high top (IMHO it makes it look worse)
The Fiamma rack on my T5 Trooper takes about 10 minutes to put on or off -  unless you use it a lot, there's no advantage in leaving it on...however good your tailgate struts are, eventually the extra weight will weaken them, then you'll need the hi-tec assistance of a broom handle to keep it open and off your head.
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Re: Bike rack on a Trident

Post by Hoopman on Fri Apr 07, 2017 8:39 pm

Helen
The Fiamma rack will still fit without the cut outs in the roof. You just have to be a bit carful when you raise the tailgate. When it's open fully and assuming your tailgate struts are in very good condition, it can just foul the top edge of the roof. That's why A/S changed the shape with cut outs. Generally the tailgate will not lift to the top as the weight of the rack will prevent it getting there.

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Re: Bike rack on a Trident

Post by -mojo- on Fri Apr 07, 2017 10:01 pm

IMO a towbar and towbar-mounted rack is a better solution - you don't have the extra 40 kilos of 2 bikes hanging on your tailgate hinges, the bikes don't obstruct the view out of the back window, and you don't have to fight the weight of the bikes when lifting the tailgate (or be lifted off your feet by it if you get uprated struts but don't have bikes on board).

However, suitable bike racks that slide back so you can open the tailgate (e.g. the Atera Strada DL3) are pretty expensive...
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Re: Bike rack on a Trident

Post by Hellyhead on Sat Apr 08, 2017 9:19 pm

Thanks for all your useful advice - I did think about the towbar option, but it is a lot of extra expense, to get that fitted plus the electric hookup for a light board as well as an expensive tilting rack if I want to be able to open the tailgate - but I do appreciate the pros and cons of both systems. I came across this old thread  http://www.autosleeper-ownersforum.com/t1207-genuine-t5-volkswagen-bike-rack discussing just this issue and saying that autosleeper make adapters for vans without the slots in the roof so that the tailgate can be raised without any risk of damage. Might follow this up and see if they still do them.
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Re: Bike rack on a Trident

Post by KMRTOPAZ on Sun Apr 09, 2017 10:37 am

It's worth noting that the Fiamma bike rack which is made specifically for T4, 5 and 6 VWs is designed to put the majority of weight directly on the rear bumper, provided that the feet are correctly adjusted. Since it isn't possible to raise the hatch with bikes loaded, there is normally no hinge loading problem.
I have the Fiamma Carrybike rack on a Topaz which has a similar rear end to the Trident, and with no additional cut-outs. I experience no problems.

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Re: Bike rack on a Trident

Post by repoort on Sun Apr 09, 2017 8:32 pm

...I would never adjust the feet so the rack rests on the bumper - whilst the early T4's had a reasonably sturdy rear bumper, later ones aren't quite so strong...and if it's painted body colour as most are nowadays, the last thing I'd want is to put any weight on it, especially concentrated in two small area's via the plastic cups.
All the weight is suspended by the top brackets. I leave about an inch of space between the cups and the bumper.
In the same context, if you use the rack a lot, I recommend an alloy protector strip along the bumper top, either plain, ribbed, embossed with T5, just to avoid the small nicks and scratches inevitable with time.
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Re: Bike rack on a Trident

Post by KMRTOPAZ on Sun Apr 09, 2017 11:04 pm

If your recommend not using the feet, could you explain why they are there?

I removed a VWT5     BUMPER REINFORCEMENT BAR    in order to fit a Westfalia tow bar. The  reinforcement bar is a very substantial piece of steel which offers 100% support to the upper surface of the plastic bumper, which has a secondary protective layer of black plastic where the Fiamma feet are located.  The Westfalia tow bar bracket reproduces and replaces the support.

It is also illuminating to read the Fiamma fitting instructions for the VW Transporter rack.

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Re: Bike rack on a Trident

Post by repoort on Mon Apr 10, 2017 7:49 pm

...as explained ,I would imagine that the rack was originally designed back in the days when you could possibly just rest the cups on the old solid bumpers without causing any damage - on today's painted bumpers any load concentrated in two small areas would risk some chance of permanent marks or dents. A small risk, granted, but no need to risk it at all - let the top brackets take the weight.

All this is IMHO, of course - there's probably an EU regulation stipulating freedom of bumper abuse in all member states....
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