In preparation of our first proper weekend away in the Accordo 120 I thought it would be a good idea to get the bikes on the Fiamma bike rack to see how it worked, how stable they were and, more importantly, what additional bits and pieces we need to make sure everything is secure and not going to damage our new vehicle.
As per usual, the better half thought I was planning too much and that “fitting the bikes would take a few minutes” and that there was no need to have a practice run. Given we are leaving at 6 o’clock on Friday (after a full day at work) and we have a three hour drive (if the roads are clear) ahead of us I had a different opinion – so I made the decision to have a practice run first, and boy am I glad I did.
The Fiamma bike rack is a simple bit of equipment and all you need to do is pull the rack in to the horizontal position, rest the bike in the groove and tighten up the straps. Simples! This is how it works in theory, but in reality it is a totally different story………..
Setting the Fiamma bike rack to the horizontal position is easy and took just a few seconds, as did moving the supporting arms. The problem is the position of the clamp heads to which the bike is attached as they are totally the wrong way around to fit snuggly against the bike’s cross bar. Fiamma claims the bike rack is “fully adjustable” however you can’t rotate the clamp heads so they are up the other way. You can move the clamp heads along the horizontal but you can’t rotate them in situ, which is ridiculous.
After a lot of playing around positioning the bike (being careful not to let it hit and damage the van or scratch the bike rack) and playing around with the supporting arms the best solution is to place the clamp heads on the bike’s upright seat post. Personally, I think this is too far back and would prefer the supporting clamp to be in the middle of the bike (as this provides more stability) but there we go……………………………………
With my bike on the Fiamma bike rack it was then time to get my wife’s bike on. She decided she wanted to take her Brompton (a folding bike) away with us instead of her mountain bike, and boy am I glad she did – what with the frustration (and few blue words) in getting my bike on the back of the motor home.
Since the Brompton is a folding bike it is a totally different shape to other bikes and getting it on the rack, and secured to one of the clamp heads is quick and easy. Getting the Brompton on took a few short minutes. The Fiamma bike rack clamp heads are perfectly suited to fold up bikes but not your standard mountain bike or cyclo-cross – which is not great for us.
I have no idea how we are going to get the wife’s mountain bike on the Fiamma cycle rack with my cyclo-cross in the future – I guess we’ll have to cross that bridge when we get to it. I suppose the only other thing I could do is trade the cyclo-cross in for a Brompton, but then folding bikes are limited by terrain and given the places we plan to go in the motor home (the Lake District, Peak District, Highlands of Scotland, Welsh Valleys and other similar places) a Brompton is not the best option.
About the author
A total motor home newbie with a six year camping background in a folding camper. A keen blogger sharing my experience of researching, choosing, buying and owning a motor home. and every thing that goes with it.
The Motor home