Tow bar bike carrier:
Atera STRADA DL 3 to 4 bike carrier (UK lights)...
This is one of our five "Hall of Fame" all time outstanding products, representing as it does a quantum leap in bike carrier design. The bike platform slides away from the tow ball to allow good access to the tailgate, taking the weight of the bikes. It has an innovative self-adjusting tow ball fixing system which also holds the carrier horizontal as soon as it's placed on the tow ball, a triangular frame shape that allows you to come right in close to the tow ball (so you don't have to lean across the bike carrier to access the boot space, with consequent risk to your back), and even UK legal foglights.
And it's small enough to put into the boot when not in use. And also very light. Click here for a fitting video.
We reckon that Atera's STRADA DL tilting carriers are the best designed and best engineered tow ball carriers on the market, bar none. This page shows the 3 bike version; an adapter (listed below) can be added for carrying a 4th bike. Apart from its all round style, what's so special about the STRADA DL?
(1) Fundamentally, it slides away from the vehicle, rather than tilting, i.e. the bike carrier takes the weight of the bikes, rather than you, and there's tailgate clearance even for vehicles with vertical tailgates. It's by far and away the easiest tilting carrier to use.
(2) It fits to 'bolt on' or 'swan neck' tow balls (including detachable tow bars) without any adjustment; you just place it on the tow ball and push down the handle - no spanners or Allen keys are required.
(3) It's very easy to carry - it won't bump your shins if carried properly - and as soon as you place it on the tow ball the weight is taken, so you can straighten up and rest your back. Other carriers require you to support the platform with one hand while fiddling with the fixing system with the other.
(4) It's much the lightest of the 4 bike tilting wheel support racks on the market.
(5) Furthermore, it's the most compact 3 to 4 bike carrier available. At only 1 metre wide it should fit into most if not all car boots, allowing you to park safely without risk of the bike carrier being damaged. You only need to flick up a couple of cam levers to fold the upright bike holder support.
(6) The bike frame holders are also without a doubt the best available, incorporating a ratchet tightening mechanism. They fit oval and other outsize frames as well as round ones, wrapping a strap right around the frame for safety and security. (This looks like a simple plastic strap, but it is in fact 'sandwiched' around a spring steel core.) All bike holders have swivel joints, and the long holder has a slight curve in the aluminium support rod to increase the opportunities available. We haven't yet come across any combination of bike sizes and styles that can't easily be locked into place (using the same key which locks the whole unit to the tow ball).
(7) The frame is triangular which allows you, when the bikes have been slid out of the way, to stand almost right up against the tow ball. This means you can lift items into and out of the boot both safely and easily. This is not a trivial benefit - most other bike carriers have rectangular frames and although you may be able to open the tailgate easily enough, you usually have to lean across the bike carrier frame to reach the boot space, which is definitely not ergonomic.
(8) The fog lights on this special 'GB' version - which will work if you have a continental '13 pin' socket - are UK legal, i.e. the fog light is on the right / offside of the car. Other bike carriers with fog lights have these on the left / nearside of the car, which is illegal, (even when the car is used on continental roads!) Atera gets around this problem by using the lighting rig which they supply for BMW bike carriers. This includes a fog light on both sides, and there is nothing illegal about this!
It makes sense when using this carrier to place a safety strap around all the bikes and the bike holder support frame. We're therefore providing a free strap with each carrier - one strap per carrier. As well as providing peace of mind the strap will also help to minimise vibration. We've reduced the price of the carrier by 10p to allow for this.
Technical and miscellaneous:
Note for vehicles with a rear mounted spare wheel: You may not be able to fit the STRADA DL to vehicles with a rear mounted spare wheel - you usually need to remove the spare wheel. This will allow you (1) to fit the carrier onto the vehicle (the upright usually hits the spare wheel), (2) to fit all the bikes onto the carrier, (3) to remove the carrier after use (the removal handle usually clashes with a spare wheel).
You'll need a lighting adapter if your vehicle has a standard UK style 7 pin socket - buy a STRADA DL 3 from us by 31st May 2013 and we'll give you this for free, saving up to £20 at typical prices! Tick the Free lighting adapter box if you want one.
Made in Germany.
This video shows off the features of the Atera STRADA DL 2 as well as providing an overview of the fitting process. The STRADA DL 3 has the same features.
Technical specifications at a glance:
Max number of bikes: 3 (4 with adapter 2611, shown below)
Fits bolt on tow ball: yes
Fits swan neck / detachable tow ball: yes
Dimensions: 100cm (width) x 72cm (depth)
Weights: 14.5kg (+2.0kg with 4th bike adapter)
Max load weights: 45kg (63kg with 4th bike adapter). These are the loading weights excluding the weight of the bike carrier (see above)
Max wheelbase: 120cm
Distance between bikes: 18cm
Integral lighting board: yes
Lighting board plug type: 13 pin (7 pin adapter available if required; shown below)
Bike carrier to tow ball lock: yes
Bike carrier to bike lock: yes
Possible to tow when in use: no
Fits with a spare wheel: no
Guarantee: 3 years
The maximum permitted load you can carry is also determined by your nose weight; you will need to check you donít exceed this before using any tow ball mounted bike carrier.
Deciding which bike carriers to buy is not always easy, especially as you may not have had experience of using bike carriers before. We hope that our buying guides provide useful guidance about which bike carrier 'strategy' will be most appropriate for your circumstances, as well as highlighting the best features of particular models. We also have troubleshooting FAQs - for example, some customers struggle at first to fit four bikes onto a tow ball carrier, and wonder whether a different carrier would allow the bikes to be spaced wider apart. (It won't, but we have some good tips which make bike fitting much easier.)
Our bike carriers Exchange Scheme covers roof mounting and tow ball mounting bike carriers only. Rear door mounting / strap on carriers are not included, and nor are roof bars. It allows you to exchange within 90 days of invoice date. Most exchanges are for roof mounting upgrades, or are tow ball carriers with very basic tilting systems being exchanged for easy to use sliding / tilting carriers.
These are the rules of the bike carriers Exchange Scheme:
This is how the exchange scheme works:
To find the spare parts you need, please click here or on the pdf symbol below, identify the product codes, then choose them from the list below. If you need more than 1 of any item, change the quantities in the Shopping Basket. Please not that older versions of the Strada sometimes require slightly different parts - it's best to check your instructions to be sure before ordering. We can still supply most older parts.
We try and keep spare parts in stock but if the part you order is not in stock we will get back to you ASAP to let you know how long it will take to order in.
Spare lights/light covers are available but there are a two different versions. It's important you order the correct version because they are not interchangeable, check the parts diagram (see the link above) to see the difference between the two types of lights.
Two different types of bike arms are available, the parts diagram above shows the current style arms (022 630 - 022 632). Older models of Strada will have different part codes for the bike arms (022 618 - 022 620). Check the instructions that came with your bike carrier to be sure you are ordering the correct part.
Delivery charges and arrangements:
We charge a contribution towards delivery costs, depending on what you order, where you live, and how quickly you want the goods.
For most UK addresses, the charge for our two to three day service is £5.50 (£9.50 for orders including a roof box) and our charge for Next Working Day deliveries is £8.50 (£12.50 for orders involving a roof box). AutoSock, and small spare parts, are charged £3.95 (1st Class post) or £5.50 (express courier, usually Next Working Day).
There are different charges for any delivery including a sea crossing, and deliveries to Skye - we will contact you with a quote on receipt of order.
Orders for Next Working Day delivery need to be received by 4.00pm.
There are no deliveries on Saturdays, Sundays or Bank Holidays. Next Working Day orders placed on a Friday will be delivered on the Monday, Next Working Day orders placed on a Saturday will be delivered on the Tuesday.
We are very flexible with our deliveries and will aim to deliver on a day and at an address which suits you. Goods can usually be left without signature - we prefer this with roof boxes. There's a "Special Delivery Instructions" box in the checkout area where we'll ask you to choose a typical instruction and then amend it to suit your particular requirements.
No retailer or courier company can ever "guarantee" a Next Working Day delivery. All courier companies occasionally have the same transport problems as can happen to everyone else, including snow blocked roads, closed roads, traffic jams, mechanical breakdown, an inability to find the delivery address, or to gain access to it if, for example, it's in a block of flats. We work with some of the best couriers in the business, and overall they provide an outstanding service.