Roof Mounted Cycle Carrier

Mar 14, 2005
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Hi All, I have towed a lot of mileage with two cycles mounted on the roof and I have been getting pretty consistantly 20mpg. I recently towed to the Lake District, about two hundred miles and got 25mpg. I thought great, a saving of 20% will be worth while when we tow down to Spain.

The problem is that on the return journey from the Lake district I only got 22mpg, not so positive a saving.

Has anyone tried this comparison and what were the results?
 
Mar 14, 2005
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Hello Clive,

Its not clear from your posting if you are trying to compare traveling with or without cycles on the roof. Can you respecify your test conditions for each journey please?
 
Mar 14, 2005
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Hi John, Sorry for the confusion. We have twice towed to Spain with our bikes on a roof mounted carrier and got around 20mpg with slight variations for mountainous areas as you would expect.

On a recent trip to the Lake District we did not take the bikes and I recorded 25mpg on the way up and 22mpg on the way down.

The van was loaded a bit lighter for the Lake District but the type of roads and my average speed would be about the same.

So what I am trying to quantify is the amount of saving I can expect when not having the bikes on the roof.
 
Mar 14, 2005
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Hello Clive, thanks for the clarification.

I think you have already come to the conclusion that the bike rack seems to make between a 3 to 5mpg difference. This seem quite a lot, and I do wonder if other factors might have made up some of the difference. Speed has a very significant effect on so even a small increase in average speed can make a big difference to the mpg.

The other factor that comes to mind is the wind speed and direction. I recall I had to make a journey from the midlands down to Felixtowe in a fully loaded (30cwt) Ford Transit with a large Luton body. I was driving with a tail wind, and the van managed about 25mpg. On the return journey the van was empty, but it only managed 19mpg. I conclude it was the marked headwind that affected the MPG.

I believe you might expect to see a 2 to 3 MPG saving if you do not have the bike rack fitted.
 

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