A gear carrier should last as long as the vehicle. Bike carriers that deform when driving, products that rust : we all know that and then we always end up regretting it. Especially in a van where this type of equipment always breaks at the worst possible time. We prefer to leave, with peace of mind, with a product that will accompany us everywhere. A material with which we will not be afraid to overcome obstacles and which can stay outside without problems. A product that we are not afraid to use because it is made for it!
This is our goal. Make a gear holder that lasts. Something modular and leaving access to the trunk. It must be quickly removable to keep only the hitch for the week, and the complete gear carrier for the weekend.
But the challenge is great. A gear carrier can stay outside 365 days a year. And it's not nothing. Salt, sand, water ... so many agents that can attack your vehicle. All owners of old vans know that corrosion is a demon.
It was by removing the hitch from my truck that we measured an important thing. Where it can rust, it will rust. My hitch was, however, fully painted. But quickly, the assemblies / disassemblies blow up the painting. I then see the first signs of corrosion appearing in the holes.
To remedy this, we decided to treat our parts by cataphoresis. It is a treatment widely used in the automotive industry, in particular for its protection against corrosion and its resistance to scratches. It is also a very good grip surface for our second treatment : powder coating is essential to obtain a finished aesthetic appearance. It also increases the hardness of the surface and improves impact resistance.
It is the care taken in this entire phase of protection and surface treatment that allows the gear carrier to last despite the adventures that lie ahead.
Aluminum is light and oxidizes much slower than steel. But it has very little mechanical resistance. You just have to see the basic bike racks. In addition, it consumes a lot of energy: 3 times more than steel! To achieve our goal, we have no choice. You need a more rigid and stronger material. The good thing is that vans are made to take weight. They are sized for that! It fits perfectly with our need. It will therefore be steel, for its mechanical properties. It’s not for nothing that the majority of chassis are made of steel.
MADE IN FRANCE
A good study is good. A good quality product is better! To complete the project, we must control the quality of our production.
Having our gear carrier manufactured on the other side of the world is not for us and it does not match our values. We know life in a workshop. Proximity is essential! It is important to us to discuss and share with all of the SKEP community to improve the gear carrier. For SKEP, the "workshop" experience is a real plus. This approach brings many skills to the manufacturing level which will in particular optimize the durability of our product.
This is why the gear carrier is French : from the first drawing to the last assembly.