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Inexpensive roof rack, need help selecting.(9 posts)

Inexpensive roof rack, need help selecting.PL
Jun 4, 2001 11:24 AM
I'm looking for an inexpensive roof rack system. I've looked at Mondial and what ever sells. What would be a good optioin?
I have a sarisJoker
Jun 4, 2001 1:15 PM
Ihave a saris setup I picked up from someone on for $125.00 used (rack and 2 fork mount trays). The bars and rack are excellent on the saris, very easy to install but the fork mounts on the bike racks leave alittle to be desired and are not lockable up at the fork mount so you have to use a cable lock but hey for $125 it's a deal. I would buy again for that price but would recommend investing in a nice Yakima or Thule if you can manage to save up a little. I know you can buy the saris setups new for around $300, try arrdvark(sp?)
I (also) have a (used) sarisHaiku d'état
Jun 4, 2001 1:23 PM
and the rear load bar will no longer auto-center. called saris and they said no problem, send us $100 and we'll send you a new one (DOH).

3 trays/3 wheel holders. the rack will lock to the car, but no, it don't lock the bike to the rack. overall, not bad for a used investment (ebay). do it again? i'd either go with the performance xport add-on for factory bars (likely what i'll get on the next vehicle), or do some serious research and spend the $. i'd really like to have a vehicle that can transport the bikes inside. recently i've removed the rack and put the bike in the trunk, wheels in the back seat, for long trips.

good luck.
Saris=$$$$+high qualityJim Burton
Jun 4, 2001 3:55 PM
Don't look for Saris racks to be inexpensive new. They are in fact the most expensive rack systems I have found. But, they are bulletproof. The rails are about five inches across and two inches deep of extruded aluminum (cross section) and I feel VERY secure with my bikes on top. Plus, they are incredibly easy to install. I do lock my bikes up using the cable lock equipped, but I never leave them out on the car overnight, only for brief breaks in travel (dinner, bathroom, etc.) I think that the Saris brand also looks understated, sophisticated and clean, unlike Thule or Yakima that seem to scream "Hey look at my bike rack!" If you are looking for inexpensive, the performance brand of rack (Export, I believe) looks like the cheapest around. Be ware, however, of the rack systems that fit to existing racks (like on the Jeep Cherokee). These stock racks are flimsy at best and even the seller suggests only two bikes mounted on these at one time. I would only put my bikes on these racks for a 30mph trip across town (a trip that is just as easy riding the bike). There is quite a bit of wind generated at 60mph. You can actually feel the car being wind affected more with the bikes on top. Consider this when shopping for roof racks. Cheapest may not be the best way to go.
Just a question...Horace Greeley
Jun 5, 2001 7:11 AM
If you are looking for an inexpensive system for now, why not purchase a trunk mount rack? My wife was tired of lifting her bike off the roof of our SUV (her bike is a very heavy steel hybrid), so I purchased the SARIS bones 3-bike trunk rack. This rack is very, very sturdy, and actually looks good! I purchased it recently at for $109.00 (cheapest I've seen it). Can't say enough good things about the rack, and I no longer have to climb on my roof or worry about low bridges, garages, etc. I also don't have to deal with bugs hitting my bike at 70 mph and all the noise generated from the bikes up top.
Just a question...Haiku d'état
Jun 5, 2001 7:31 AM
the only rear-mounting racks i've considered for future purchase are hitch-mounted, and carry the bike like a roof rack (not holding the bike by the top tube, but actually with a wheel tray and fork mount).

started several years back with a trunk rack, which screwed up the paint on my car trunk/rear bumper (the bike did, not the rack), and wasn't friendly with multiple bikes. mind you, it was not an expensive rack (probably around $60), but i was pretty careful with it.

haven't used the one you have, but i'd want to make sure that the rack doens't allow multiple bikes to come in contact with each other, that the rack was lockable to the car, and was pretty stable/sturdy. only problem with the hitch mounted option seems to be the fact that you have to get the towing package/hitch affixed to the vehicle.

agreed, though, that i might feel more comfortable with the bike behind instead of atop the car during long/fast trips. i feel most comfy with it in the trunk, but that's alot of in-car storage dedicated to the bike.
re: Inexpensive roof rack, need help selecting.Bill Petrie
Jun 5, 2001 10:35 AM
I recently bought a Performance XPORT roof rack (not the new Express one that is a relabeled SportRack Mondial). Very good quality and is compatible with Thule accessories. It was on sale for $160 when I got it, but they also have reconditioned ones for less. All in all, a good deal and a quality product.

I much prefer a roof rack over a trunk rack for the following reason. If somebody taps you from behind, which has happened to me a couple of times, it's not going to damage your car too much. However, a little tap is certainly enough to crush your bike tubes. Better to have it on top and away from careless idiots.
re: Inexpensive roof rack, need help selecting.LI Biker
Jun 5, 2001 11:34 AM's close outs has a complete system for under $100. I just bought for slightly more two fork mount rails that mount directly onto the factory rails of my SUV.
Performance isn't always the greatest, but I have never found their products not to work or to be shoddy.
One piece of advice...Ian
Jun 6, 2001 1:53 PM
... inexpensive and roof rack do not belong in the same sentence. The reason I say that is that you need a quality rack, either Yakima or Thule (I prefer Yakima). When those bikes are on top of your car and you are going down the highway, that rack has to hold up to hurricane force (70-80 mph) winds. Either try to save a little more money for a good roof rack or go with a trunk or hitch mount.