“ Brand: Tooltime „
My sons absolutely adore going to a bmx bike track, but fitting two bikes in our car just wasn't working. We ended up buying this from Amazon for £19.22. I had shopped around quite a bit prior to choosing this, and this was the best price I could find any place.
This comes flat packed and assembly is required. My husband normally isn't too bad at this sort of thing - even without instructions, but this ended up being a nightmare to put together. I would estimate he spent a minimum of 3 hours ( not counting time taken out for cursing breaks). He searched online for information on assembly and looked ready to send the pieces flying through the window. I normally rate difficulty of installation by number of curse words - as he stormed outside frequently for swearing breaks I wasn't able to keep count but I'll assume quite difficult. Including breaks and time spent online this took closer to 5 hours from start to finish.
The main problem is the lack of decent instructions. It is quite obvious that whoever wrote them has very little knowledge of English. I believe an auto-translate programme may have been used, but I've said it before and I will say it again - auto-translate doesn't really work. I was able to make the part out about failure to install properly could result in serious risks of accidents, so instructions on how to install properly would have been very helpful. There were drawings as well, but sadly the artist's skills were not much better than the writer's English skills. Guessing what was meant to be shown in the picture reminded me very much of a nursery age child proudly displaying a work of art which they expect you to know what is. Is it cow? No - a dinosaur - no. A car - no. Can't you see it's Granny? In addition to this, the instructions appear to have been photocopied over and over on setting to use the minimum amount of ink. I did check Amazon in the hopes that someone had posted an online version, but no one had. Several people did comment on the poor quality of the instructions though describing them in terms like "useless" and "rubbish", both of which I find quite appropriate.
Once put together though - this is actually a pretty decent product. We used this on an estate car, but it is meant to be able to be used for any type of car, and I have no reason to doubt this claim. It comes with everything you need to secure one or two bikes, but the bikes are just tied on with small bits of rope. I would expect these to get lost easily, but they are easily replaced as well. Once built up this should be able to be installed in 5 - 10 minutes with only a few minutes for removal. This is adequately padded to protect the car and bikes. We have only used this for one bike, with my youngest sons little bike going in the boot, but my husband says this will easily fit two adult bikes if needed. Once you are finished it quickly folds flat for easy storage. My husband has commented that you might not be able to use the rear windshield wiper if this were fitted on a hatchback, and that you need to be careful with the bikes pedals to avoid scratching. Also as the bike sticks out a bit beyond the car, you should be aware you will need more room for parking and manoeuvring. The box does say that you will not be able to use this if you have a spare tire mounted on the outside of your vehicle.
My sons are over the moon with this. It means they can both take their bike to the BMX track, and now that my youngest has a bike that can handle this type of terrain, naturally they want to take two bikes. This means they can go for bike rides in several more interesting places, like nature paths etc... and at under £20 - I do feel this good value. Even my husband will admit it was worth all the frustration once he finally got the thing together. With decent instructions - this would be a 5 star item in my opinion.
However, I do feel very strongly that if an item is to be marketed and sold in the UK, that clear English language instructions should be provided. I can't believe it would cost that much to find some one who could translate the instructions properly. I also feel that if they can not find someone to draw the steps - it would be quite easy to photograph them or even make a video and give consumers a website to look up online. I do believe someone could be seriously hurt as a result of making a mistake due to poor instructions. Can you imagine a bicycle coming off on the motorway in front of a motorbike rider? The results could be catastrophic. Because safety is involved as well, I feel I must rate quite harshly. Still if you are confident with assembling items, and willing to take the time to figure this out, and then check very carefully and frequently, this really might be worth buying. Considering the level of frustration and risk involved though, if I had it to over I would have paid the extra £11 and bought one from Argos that has instructions on the web.