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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Has anyone tried the Volvo (or thule or any other ) European bike rack that clamps on a tow ball, on an American 2 inch tow ball?

These racks look great but I hate to import one if it won’t work.

Does anybody have any first hand experience?

I have a v90 with the retractable 2 inch Towbar so I can’t use a receiver bike rack.


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I did it! Bought a bosal off of amazon.de.

I was hoping/ thinking it was the new version with the bosal patented mount clip mechanism that our America V90’s with the factory hitch seem to already have.

Sadly, it was not, and it did not work out of the box. The ball area is not the issue, but rather the shank. There is a difference between an ISO 50mm ball and a US 2” ball, and that difference is 98% in the shaft...

I was able to do about 20-30 minutes of grinding/modification with a dremel on the bike rack clamp and now it works perfectly. Also, there’s still enough meat/clamping metal left that I feel it’s perfectly safe.

Jon


PS: The European license plate is funny (at least a bad dad joke), but will likely get me in trouble some day... also, there’s pros and cons to the trailer wiring. I had to modify it to work with the US 7-pin, and Europe has amber turns while the use only has stop/turn combined for trailers. The solution was a Sylvania ZEVO LED red bulb and it worked perfectly. However, when the rack is plugged in and hooked up the car thinks there’s a trailer on the car and BLIS and pilot assist are deactivated. PITA for long trips...










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Updates on EU Bike Rack for Tow Ball v90

Hi Dunlapjc,

I am very impressed by your setup. I'm on my second V90 CC, a 2020 after my 2018 lease expired. I just had my local Volvo dealer install the foldable towbar "tow ball" hitch, with intentions of installing a platform bicycle carrier. Photos linked.

Unfortunately it appears I made a very expensive mistake, as I have now discovered that there are no bike carriers in the US market designed for tow ball mount. I have been reaching out to multiple manufacturers and even Volvo UK awaiting responses.

Your statement: "I was hoping/ thinking it was the new version with the bosal patented mount clip mechanism that our America V90’s with the factory hitch seem to already have." -- Do you have a direct link to this "new" version with a mount clip mechanism or can you better describe it?

I am determined to solve this problem and update this forum on the results!

https://drive.google.com/open?id=1VtCrZnJ1wcz8MTVtLvN3lblsHIETa5yC
https://drive.google.com/open?id=1WfP7irAQbEFBJ5POhRArUnJbUegAPICZ
https://drive.google.com/open?id=1njsZxCDM8jPqF2PeFXgsW8juiQN3NChp
 

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I'm hoping there is an update on this question! Following with interest!
 

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Am I missing something here? Why not just use a receiver mount rack? Cheap - cheap!
 

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Am I missing something here? Why not just use a receiver mount rack? Cheap - cheap!
If you have the foldable towball from Volvo, there isn't a US-style receiver--only the towball. While we liked the idea of the foldable hitch, it's inability to use hitch-mounted accessories is why we installed a Stealth Hitch on V90CC.
 

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If you have the foldable towball from Volvo, there isn't a US-style receiver--only the towball. While we liked the idea of the foldable hitch, it's inability to use hitch-mounted accessories is why we installed a Stealth Hitch on V90CC.
Oddly, for the V60 CC and the XC90, Volvo has come out with a North American foldable hitch that has a removable ball. I was at my dealer recently and inquired with the parts department but the V90CC still has just the old style foldable hitch (with fixed ball) and he had no info that there would be a new one available. I've been waiting - so will likely go with the Stealth as well.

McMatt: How do you like the Stealth and did you do the installation yourself or have somebody do it? I need the tow wiring too, which looked a little involved but might tackle that myself since I might be working at home anyway!

Heres a link to the new style V60 hitch:

https://accessories.volvocars.com/AccessoriesWeb/Accessories.mvc/Images/0000c8af%5C80%5C1f%5C80%5Cc7.jpg

https://accessories.volvocars.com/AccessoriesWeb/Accessories.mvc/Images/0000c8af%5C80%5C1f%5C80%5Cc4.jpg
 

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Oddly, for the V60 CC and the XC90, Volvo has come out with a North American foldable hitch that has a removable ball. I was at my dealer recently and inquired with the parts department but the V90CC still has just the old style foldable hitch (with fixed ball) and he had no info that there would be a new one available. I've been waiting - so will likely go with the Stealth as well.

McMatt: How do you like the Stealth and did you do the installation yourself or have somebody do it? I need the tow wiring too, which looked a little involved but might tackle that myself since I might be working at home anyway!

Heres a link to the new style V60 hitch:

https://accessories.volvocars.com/AccessoriesWeb/Accessories.mvc/Images/0000c8af%5C80%5C1f%5C80%5Cc7.jpg

https://accessories.volvocars.com/AccessoriesWeb/Accessories.mvc/Images/0000c8af%5C80%5C1f%5C80%5Cc4.jpg
I had it installed by a local shop. The integration is fantastic...can't see it at all, and when the receiver or towball is installed, it seems really solid. One downside is that because it's so hidden, it's difficult install the receiver without laying down under the car. I would imagine that as I use it more it will get easier to do by feel, though.

Haven't towed with it yet, but I'm planning on picking up a new motorcycle in the next week or so and that will be the hitch's inaugural journey.

As for the wiring, you'll still need to take it to a Volvo dealer for programming. They were a bit confused by it because the software isn't officially released for MY20 vehicles. They installed the MY19 software and I haven't had any issues with it.
 

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Oddly, for the V60 CC and the XC90, Volvo has come out with a North American foldable hitch that has a removable ball. I was at my dealer recently and inquired with the parts department but the V90CC still has just the old style foldable hitch (with fixed ball) and he had no info that there would be a new one available. I've been waiting - so will likely go with the Stealth as well.

McMatt: How do you like the Stealth and did you do the installation yourself or have somebody do it? I need the tow wiring too, which looked a little involved but might tackle that myself since I might be working at home anyway!

Heres a link to the new style V60 hitch:

https://accessories.volvocars.com/AccessoriesWeb/Accessories.mvc/Images/0000c8af%5C80%5C1f%5C80%5Cc7.jpg

https://accessories.volvocars.com/AccessoriesWeb/Accessories.mvc/Images/0000c8af%5C80%5C1f%5C80%5Cc4.jpg

I'll weigh in with another endorsement of the Stealth Hitch. I had a local Rack Attack shop install it. It works great. I wanted a Class III option because we often carry 4 bikes off the back.
 

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I'll weigh in with another endorsement of the Stealth Hitch. I had a local Rack Attack shop install it. It works great. I wanted a Class III option because we often carry 4 bikes off the back.
I'll second Rack Attack for the install. They did a great job, and we had a nice conversation about Overseas Delivery. The clerk had to explain what it was to the techs when they saw our red plates. :)
 

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Am I missing something here? Why not just use a receiver mount rack? Cheap - cheap!
I already paid the $1700 at the dealer to install the V90 foldable tow-hitch ball, so I'm stuck on this route.

Since I have posted here, I've come across this information that many of you may already know:

Oris Automotive is the manufacturer for the OEM foldable towbar ball. They have it listed on their site. Scroll down to see the current Volvo vehicles that are compatible:
XC40
S60 III, V60 II and XC60 II
V90 II, V90 II Cross Country and XC90 II

They have filed a trademark application in the US for Fix4Bike and FixMatic.

This video of the Volvo V90 with the Fix4Bike carrier clearly shows the system in play.

I've reached out to several dealers in the UK and EU and have found one that will sell me the Oris / Bosal Fixmatic Traveller iii Bike Carrier or the Fixmatic Traveller ii.
The price for shipping to California is £140, bringing the grand total to £540 for the 2-bike or £656 for 3-bike, which is roughly $670 - 811 US. This is not too far off from the $700 I already paid for a Thule bike rack, which I need to return.

The Rep from PF Jones UK quotes the following to my inquiry:

*********
Good day

Thank you for the email, Yes all good and safe currently.

The 070-552 is indeed the correct cycle carrier for your fixmatic system and the cost of £560.00 is the total price.

The usual shipping time is 3 days but I would expect a slight delay of 5-7 days.

Oris are the only manufacturer of this type of system so I can assure you that the cycle carrier is the correct one for your vehicle.
Below is a link with a little more info on the system and confirmation that they are O.E. suppliers to Volvo.

https://www.oris-automotive.com/innovation-technology/fix4bike-fixmatic/

I hope this helps.
********

My last issue is that the Volvo ball does not exactly match the Oris ball, as seen in this gif. The Volvo ball has two loops below the lateral pins that stick out beyond the shaft curve.

I'm waiting for one last clarification from the PF Jones rep on this, and after that I'll most likely order the bike carrier.
 

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I had it installed by a local shop. The integration is fantastic...can't see it at all, and when the receiver or towball is installed, it seems really solid. One downside is that because it's so hidden, it's difficult install the receiver without laying down under the car. I would imagine that as I use it more it will get easier to do by feel, though.

Haven't towed with it yet, but I'm planning on picking up a new motorcycle in the next week or so and that will be the hitch's inaugural journey.

As for the wiring, you'll still need to take it to a Volvo dealer for programming. They were a bit confused by it because the software isn't officially released for MY20 vehicles. They installed the MY19 software and I haven't had any issues with it.
I'll weigh in with another endorsement of the Stealth Hitch. I had a local Rack Attack shop install it. It works great. I wanted a Class III option because we often carry 4 bikes off the back.

Thanks guys. I'm now going to wait for a Stealth hitch sale (and give Volvo a little more time to see if the OEM hitch gets updated) - whichever happens first. Canada is still in pretty tight social distancing - so not going to be going to a lot of places for a little while anyway - so have a bit of time before I'll really need it.

Hope everybody is doing OK and getting out for the odd drive (and cycle)!
 

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So...I bought the flimsy rear rack from my Volvo dealer. Fits fine, but I DON'T like carrying bikes by the top tube. I bit the bullet and ordered a Bosal Traveller 2 Fit-4-Bike off of eBay from a bike shop in Spain. Right rack, but it will NOT fit a 2 inch ball.
 

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Third for the stealth hitch. I use it all the time with a three bike rack from 1upusa and it works like a charm. I have it down so I can install or remove the square hitch receiver in about 30 seconds without even getting on the ground, and of course the 1upusa rack is probably the best rack out there. Also have towed a heavy boat for a 4 hour drive over mountains and was solid as a rock. Sorry you went with the volvo retractable ball. Might be worth having it removed and put the stealth hitch with all the trouble you have to go through just to get a decent bike rack on there.
 

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So...I bought the flimsy rear rack from my Volvo dealer. Fits fine, but I DON'T like carrying bikes by the top tube. I bit the bullet and ordered a Bosal Traveller 2 Fit-4-Bike off of eBay from a bike shop in Spain. Right rack, but it will NOT fit a 2 inch ball.
I also ended up ordering the Bosal Fixmatic Traveller iii, but from pfjones.co.uk. Fingers crossed it will fit!

Update this thread with your results!
 

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I put a hitch on my S90 and use just a standard hitch mount carrier, i didn't even know they made ones that mounted to the ball. this one does look really nice
 

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So the Oris Traveler iii FixMatic arrived from the UK, and unfortunately it does not fit right out of the box. The Volvo US towball is indeed a bit too large, 50.3mm vs 50 mm.

I'll be doing what Dunlapjc did at the beginning of this thread - grinding the tow ball cavity down a few milimeters to get it to fit.

Will update with results.
 
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