supcrds
Posts: 21
Joined: Wed Jan 01, 2014 4:28 pm

Re: bike carrier

Thu Jun 04, 2015 5:40 pm

siata94 wrote:does this not work? saw this on an older thread, it says fitment for the Spark EV:

http://www.mychevysparkev.com/forum/vie ... f=9&t=3720

http://www.amazon.com/CURT-11334-Class- ... VNPD9D4X6V
The link you have there shows one review stating that it didn't fit the Spark EV even though Amazon shows it as compatible. sure would be nice if it was that easy to add a hitch bike rack.

siata94
Posts: 10
Joined: Mon May 18, 2015 2:37 pm

Re: bike carrier

Fri Jun 05, 2015 9:08 am

ah bummer, I didn't even look at the review. I'm also looking for a solution altho not yet in dire needs as my ICE'er needs to be driven several times a week (to haul MTB) to keep the cobwebs away.

dalysea
Posts: 11
Joined: Sun Nov 01, 2015 2:02 pm

Re: bike carrier

Sun Nov 01, 2015 2:13 pm

If anyone is still interested in a hitch receiver for carrying bikes on the Spark EV, I brought my Spark over to a tow hitch custom fabrication shop. He took a look underneath and found two places at which a hitch receiver could be bolted on. At first he said no way he could fabricate something to hold a bike rack. Apparently, it is easier to make something that will tow rather than hold a bike rack, go figure. Anyway, he looked around some more and found the 2nd place to bolt onto and decided it could be done. For a hefty price though.

I was thinking once he fabricated the hitch receiver itself, duplicating it a welding shop or sending the measurements to Torklift Central to make an ecohitch might be possible. If there is a lot of interest in this, maybe we could figure out a way to do some kind of kickstarter to share the total cost. I'm a nice guy, but creating the first one will cost $860 and that's a bit much.

Dusty
Posts: 66
Joined: Fri Jun 05, 2015 8:18 pm
Location: Bowie, MD

Re: bike carrier

Mon Nov 02, 2015 4:57 am

I've had some experience in efforts like this to make custom motorcycle and sailboat parts. If done correctly, it can be a great way to spread R&D costs around, bringing individual prices down. The most successful efforts got started by gauging serious interest. In one instance, a guy invested in a website and custom molds for casting aluminum, and from my viewpoint less than half of those who said they wanted the parts actually stepped up and bought them. My estimate is he lost a couple thousand dollars.

But let's say there are enough people to make this happen. I'm not sure how Kickstarter would work. Regardless, someone (probably you) would have to approach a fabricator for an estimate for multiple copies of this hitch. I'm thinking at least 10 pieces would be required to get the lowest cost response. For me personally, anything under $500 seems reasonable, but I would want it to be engineered professionally so as not to compromise the structural integrity of my car. It would also have to be shippable to Maryland and come with all necessary installation parts and instructions.
dalysea wrote: At first he said no way he could fabricate something to hold a bike rack. Apparently, it is easier to make something that will tow rather than hold a bike rack, go figure.
This statement makes me suspect since a Class 1 hitch, the smallest commercially available, should have a tongue weight capacity of 200 lbs which is more than enough for a bike rack. I poked around Torklift's website and it seems they have the necessary expertise, but I'm thinking they might not warrant anything they build that's designed by someone else. This means they'll probably need a Spark EV in their shop for assessment. Perhaps there is a shop in California similar to Torklift?

Anyway, count me in as serious if we can work out the details.

Dusty
2015 Chevy Spark EV

dalysea
Posts: 11
Joined: Sun Nov 01, 2015 2:02 pm

Re: bike carrier

Mon Nov 02, 2015 8:13 am

Thanks Dusty for the valuable info and your serious interest. I had talked to Torklift on the phone since their website claims they can make a hitch for ANY vehicle. The caveat is that they actually need the vehicle to do it. They are eager to have another model of car on their ecohitch list though. I talked to a Chevy dealer service advisor a mile down the road from Torklift, but he said they have no regular customers who are Spark EV owners who could volunteer their vehicle for R&D.

So I looked for their equivalent in California and that's how I found Eyers. They claim to carry a large liability insurance to cover any damage incurred if the hitch fails and he said that is part of the reason the labor cost is a lot - they take a longer time to make sure it won't fail. Whether you can believe it or not I leave to you, but I wasn't necessarily suspicious of the tongue weight concerns. Even Curt claims that if you install their Class 1 hitch for bike rack purposes then you have to add the support straps or void the warranty. This guy was essentially saying he would warranty it for bike rack purposes without straps if he could secure it properly.

Also, in case anyone was curious, I did order the Curt part before looking under my Spark. I watched the installation video and was all set to install it. When it arrived, I put the Spark on a lift and looked under it, took off the plastic aerodynamic panel, and didn't even bother to unpack the Curt. No way it would fit. They have photos from me and have said they will update their compatibility information.

Hopefully we can get at least a few more interested!

Thanks,
Sean

Dusty
Posts: 66
Joined: Fri Jun 05, 2015 8:18 pm
Location: Bowie, MD

Re: bike carrier

Mon Nov 02, 2015 7:17 pm

OK Sean, I think I get it now. Perhaps Eyers is right. There is some torsional leverage with a bike rack you don't find while towing. Since he's seen the attachment points, he should have the best idea how to resist those forces. If it needs a strap, it needs a strap. Did you ask about a volume discount or does he even do limited production runs?

More importantly, is anyone else interested?
2015 Chevy Spark EV

Casualsurfer
Posts: 87
Joined: Tue Oct 06, 2015 6:46 pm

Re: bike carrier

Mon Nov 02, 2015 7:34 pm

I'm interested. My Volt wil actually fit 3 bikes in the back (flat stacked, I use thick towels to separate) with the rear seats down but there's is no way the Spark will do that. Cost is an obvious concern, and ease of install is another.
'13 Volt

'15 Spark EV w/Michelin Premier A/S 195/55/15 all around

NORTON
Posts: 1338
Joined: Fri May 01, 2015 5:52 am
Location: KC,MO

Re: bike carrier

Tue Nov 03, 2015 5:45 am

Dusty wrote:... There is some torsional leverage with a bike rack you don't find while towing. ...
This is very true, to the point where the Curt hitch instructions say to use their 'safety strap' with a hitch mounted bike rack.

On my Volt I added 1.5 x 1.5" aluminum angle material to the top of my bike rack to allow the safety strap to reach the forward edge of the hatch without the strap dragging and pressing against the paint.
So even with a hitch mounted bike rack, you are still supposed to use those dang rubber coated S-hooks on the edge of the hatch.

I'm not going that route with my Spark EV.
For one thing you expose yourself to a problem with warranty claims when you have a trailer hitch installed on the car, regardless of what you actually did with the hitch.

But then, the hatch mounted strap-on bike rack I have for the Spark when mounted with the bottom legs taking the weight on the bumper, requires the top straps to press down on that plastic spoiler/wing thing at the top of the hatch. I used soft cloth under the strap the few times I carried my CF road bike, but I didn't want to carry my FS mtn bike like that.

My plan is to add an extension on the rack just to route the upper straps high enough to clear the plastic wing. This will be a hose-clamp on affair, maybe made from pvc pipe... still working on ideas.

The CF road bike is gone. I now have a steel CX/gravel, fat/skinny tire, do-everything bike! Plus I want to be able to confidently load two bikes to the strap-on rack.

Is anyone using a strap-on bike rack that they can recommend that does not place the strap weight on the wingy thingy?
Used '14 2LT w/ DCFC. +85k miles.
Mostly free charging! Only one LONG visit to the shop....
GM needs Modern Troubleshooting tools for Modern EV's.
3 step Trouble Tree, 1st try car died again, 2nd try / cost $800. 3rd try fixed the problem.

dalysea
Posts: 11
Joined: Sun Nov 01, 2015 2:02 pm

Re: bike carrier

Tue Nov 03, 2015 11:25 pm

I'm still basing my information on one conversation with the guy at Eyers, but my impression was that he was not going to install anything unless he was sure it could hold the weight, he never mentioned any support straps. He mentioned the amount of insurance he has to carry, which implied to me that if there is some damage due to failure, he has to cover it. I'm 99% sure that would only be the case if he does the installation.

He broke down the price for me by the cost of the steel and the labor, which would include fabrication and installation. I have to believe that a big part of that labor is getting the measurements correct to create the hitch itself so that it will bolt on in the right places. That cost shouldn't have to be duplicated in creating multiple hitches. And the cost of installation wouldn't have to be included with those hitches. But there would be shipping cost.

So here is what I think we should aim for:

1) a hitch that is under $500 including shipping
2) include the necessary hardware (bolts, nuts, plates) to install
3) instructions including torque wrench specs
4) installation video
5) the hitch itself should be shot blast / sandblasted, washed, prepped and powder coated.

Curt dips each hitch in a liquid Aquence® coating and finishes in a high-gloss or carbide powder coat. "The co-curing of the A-coat and powder coating provides superior rust, chip and UV protection."

Torklift does sandblasting, eco-friendly wash, pre-dry oven heats part to 320 degrees ("This removes moisture and provides optimal temperature for powder coat to adhere."), does an electro-static powder coating, and then the part enters a high efficiency, gas-fired oven at 420 degrees for 30 minutes to completely cure the powder coat finish.

So I'll ask and see what the price would be for multiples.

Dusty
Posts: 66
Joined: Fri Jun 05, 2015 8:18 pm
Location: Bowie, MD

Re: bike carrier

Wed Nov 04, 2015 4:53 pm

Thanks for doing all this Sean. The way I see it, unless you're independently wealthy, you should get a price from Eyers for multiples and they handle the fulfillment. There would be a minimum order they need to justify the discount price, and all those wanting the hitch would submit their order directly to Eyers before actual production is started. If enough people step forward to meet the minimum requirement, it happens. If not, it doesn't happen and you aren't left holding the bag. If he isn't happy with this arrangement, walk away.

The only other way to do this is for you to spring for the minimum and handle the fulfillment. At $500 a pop, that could be a significant investment. In the past, I did the fabrication for one part, but that was a fairly simple bracket out of aluminum I already had the extrusion for. I charged $15 each piece with $5 for shipping, selling 26 pieces altogether. No complaints. This hitch is on a completely different level.

BUT!, before I place my order, I'll want to know the hitch will meet the requirements of the application. Is there any way we can get a schematic, blow-up, or pictures of what he proposes so I can feel confident what he builds will ultimately do what we want? Does he have a website? Or just private message me his number and I can call him. Believe it or not, some people actually say things that aren't true just to get your money! Yeah, I know! Isn't that a b*tch! ;)

Thanks again!
Dusty
2015 Chevy Spark EV

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