I need to occasionally carry a couple of cycles around and had managed fine with a cheap strap on cycle carrier with my previous car, however the Fiesta Zetec S is a whole new ball-game with its smaller tailgate, lack of bumper lip and large roof spoiler!
As I cannot justify the cost of a roof or towbar option, I decided to persevere with the old trusty Halfords high mount 3 cycle carrier, but I needed to do some modifications.
Firstly as my car is Black, I only need to cough on it and it's scratched, so a lot of body protection is needed where the straps meet the car.
I covered the strapping for the side hooks with some rubber anti-slip matting cut to size and held in place with insulation tape.
Where the straps hook around the edge of the tailgate I cut a small section of plastic door edge protector and used some black insulation tape under the strapping:
Door edge protector was also used for the top straps:
The lower straps that are supposed to go under the rear of the car, I had a couple of issues with.
Firstly the lower bumper is not really strong enough to have straps tightened against it, and secondly the foam pads on the bottom of the carrier frame are supposed to sit on a bumper and take most of the weight of the bikes.
I was not prepared to risk this perched on the tiny bumper ledge of the Fiesta and have the whole lot come crashing down as I am travelling!
So I opened the boot, and removed the 2 plastic trim fasteners holding the tailgate latch trim in place, and inserted the lower hooks into these holes.
The straps were then crossed over and looped around the lower carrier frame before being pulled through the clasps very tightly.
The straps are now not only pinning the carrier to the car, but also taking most of the weight of the bikes so there is no risk of damaging the bumper.
Once the bikes were loaded and a final tighten of the straps, I set off, and I am happy to report I got to my destination with all straps in place and tight.
I would only use this set-up occasionally so it suites me fine, but I would not recommend it for more than occasional use.
The Zetec S was never designed to carry bikes!