This, says Swedish accessory maker Thule, is the Next Big Thing in bicycle carriers. Well, maybe that should be the Next Small Thing, because the new Easy Fold two-bike rack simply folds up and disappears when you're not using it.

In just two steps it goes from a towbar-mounted platform rack to a compact bundle: fold up the 'arms' that support each wheel and also carry the tail light clusters, rotate the number-plate holder and you're good to go.

Unhook it from the towbar and sling it in a corner of the garage - or just leave it in the boot of the car, it's always ready when you need it. It's rated to carry 60kg, enough for even the toughest downhill racers; Thule says it is even being used in Europe to carry the increasingly popular battery-powered e-bikes.

YOU CAN TAKE IT WITH YOU

You can even take it with you the next time you fly away to ride in a big race: take it to the airport, check it in as hold luggage (it weighs 16.9kg and measures 614 x 310 x 675mm, no bigger than a golf bag, when folded). Then pick it up at the other end along with your bike - just remember to ask for a hire car with a towbar!

The Easy Fold will be available from Thule stockists in South Africa from early in March at a recommended retail price of R8999.