Thule have a great range of mountain bike carriers to get you out on your adventures. We take a look at the 923AU G2 EuroWay 3 Bike Carrier.
Words and photos: Mike Blewitt
Whether you get stuck on pronunciation or not, Thule are synonymous with bike carriers for cars. The Swedes have carried their design flair and storage nous beyond attachments for bikes, skiss and surfboards, creating a range of luggage, baby seats, bike bags and even phone cases to transport your gear safely and securely. However it's their expanding range of bike carriers that are the most interest to mountain bikers.
We have tested some great bike carrying systems at AMB, from roof top systems with wheels on, tail gate pads for easy shuttling, collapsible racks that fit without a towball, and then fully functional racks like the Thule 923AU G2 Euroway. It locks over your towball, fits 3 bikes, has a light board and number plate holder, and can tilt away if you need to open the boot.
But all that functionality doesn't mean it's too bulky, as the rack folds down and the wheel wells slide in so the rack doesn't take up too much real estate when it's at home and not in use.
I really like that the rack supports both wheels on your bike, and the detachable arms from the Thule rack can be positioned in the right place to secure your bike to the rack. The frame is clamped, so it is worth using a rag to stop lots of little scratches. Getting three bikes on does take a little bit of Tetris-style mastery, but just like you learn how to pack the boot of your car the best, chances are you'll know best how to pack this rack after a couple of uses. The wheels are secured with ratcheting straps, which helps stop the bars from flopping around as well. If you are loading three bikes up there might be some rubbing between bikes – it really depends on the types of bikes you're packing. I'd suggest padding any contact points especially for long trips.
The arms lock onto the bikes with a key, and the same key locks the rack to the car, which adds peace of mind for pre-ride coffee or post-ride burger stops.
One of the best features is the built in lightboard. Many states require lights and your number plate to be visible by law. And while you can shimmy your bikes around, or string up a bike rack plate, there is no messing around or wondering how authorities might view your setup with the Thule 923AU G2 Euroway, with a wired in lightboard and number plate holder.
The whole rack has a load limit of 51kg. This means it's not going to comfortably carry more than one E-MTB (unless you have pretty light ones) or downhill bikes – but there are specialist racks for both of those types of bikes. However the Euroway rack will carry hardtails, rigid bikes, full-suspension bikes, bikes with Boost spacing, Cannondales with Lefty forks, gravel bikes, road bikes, cyclocross bikes and more. The only constraint is tubing size – the arms can't clamp a tube bigger than 88mm. And that's pretty big.
My own car has roof racks and I tend to just keep them on, even though they are easy to remove. Why? For me it's the best place to store them. And that's probably the only downside to a rear-mounted bike carrier like this. Even though this model folds up, it's still bulky and you do need some garage space to store it. Otherwise it's thumbs up from me for value, security and road legality.
– Secure bike carrying for you and two mates
– Full light function for your car
– Easy to fit and remove
– Bikes sit close so Tetris skills are paramount
– May not suit the longest and heaviest bikes