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bike-on-the-roof-rack-damage(13 posts)

bike-on-the-roof-rack-damageraleigh rider
Feb 14, 2003 7:38 PM
Alright, folks, let's hear it. What have you hit with your bike mounted on the car's roof rack? I almost tore down the drive-thru sign at Burger King with my mountain bike on the top of the car (ironically the sign was stating the correct vertical clearance needed to go through the drive-thru). With my road bike on the top of the car, I hit the top of my garage; no damage, but I nearly tore the rack off the car. It's a Saris rack and it held up remarkably well, I thought.
re: bike-on-the-roof-rack-damagemickey-mac
Feb 14, 2003 8:05 PM
In about '85, I went to Santa Barbara with a friend for a race. We had my '84 Medici Pro Strada and his '84 Gios Torino on the roof rack. After a long search for a hotel with vacancies, we pulled into a little motel with a courtyard at about midnight. Unfortunately, I didn't notice the low overhang and heard that awful sound of metal scraping. Fortunately the bikes had only minor damage. However, the racks were unsteady on the roof and, finding no vacancies, we drove home for two plus hours with an arm out each window to keep the racks from flying off the car.
Ouch !MR_GRUMPY
Feb 14, 2003 8:36 PM
After a two hour drive back from a race, I pulled in the driveway. I was in a hurry, so I hit the garage door opener as I planed to just roll into the garage. With a loud bang, I realized that I had a bike on the roof. The impact caused my Ergo levers to punch two lever size holes into my garage door. The impact also popped the forks out of their holders and pulled the short rear wheel tray out of the rear rack. The bike went straight back and landed on the driveway. The only damage to the bike was that one of the teeth on the 53 ring was bent. The ring worked fine with 52 teeth for another two years before I replaced it.
The garage door held two reminders of my stupidity that would always remind me to take the bike off before entering the garage. As a safety measure, I would always leave the garage door opener home when I went riding.
serial bozoDMoore
Feb 14, 2003 9:21 PM
It wasn't a dark and stormy night, but it was about 20 years ago. I'd arranged to meet a friend at a local shopping mall in the early a.m. I ended up at one side of the mall, and needed to get to the other side. There was an underground parking area that I decided to cut through. Not much clearance, but I looked and it was OK. I didn't really notice the fire sprinkler pipes suspended from the ceiling - or the speed bumps. The rack was the old style that held the bike upright, both wheels on the bike. The bike was a Raleigh Professional Mark IV (and I wish like H--- that I still owned it!)

Anyway. Sure enough, before long I hit a speed bump that was directly under a sprinkler, and heard horrible noises. Stopping immediately, I jumped out of the car and saw my bike rack laying in a crumpled heap on the ground. The rack mounted to the rain gutters, which had chrome trim strips. Both trim strips were now pointing skyward at about a 45 degree angle, although the gutters themselves were undamaged.

Missing from the whole scene was my bike. After a few seconds of utter confusion -- I looked up. The bike was hanging by its saddle from the overhead sprinkler pipe. Amazingly the bike was unharmed, save for some scratches on the nose of the saddle. The clamp on the downtube had broken cleanly and didn't even scratch the paint on the bike.

And - while I'm still standing there, stunned by the sight -- my friend drove up. It's been 20 years, and he still rags me about it every time I see him. Fortunately I moved to a different town, so I don't have to see him that often any more.

Many years later I pulled into my garage with my Medici (what is it about that brand???) still on my roof, but that's a pretty boring story. Scratched top tube, slightly bent rack (Thule) crossbars. The best part of that story was that there were no witnesses.
$#%@! I wish I could afford roof racks!Tacos Jalisco
Feb 14, 2003 11:23 PM
Dernit! I wish I could afford dern roof racks in the first place, but I spent $300 on my 1984 oldsmobile, which rarely starts, and another fifty on "complete roof racks" from good ole ebay, which arrived as aftermarket bike racks "For Use With Any Manufacturer's Standard Racks"....they are still sitting in my cat's litter box room in my trailer, and no, the oldsmobile does not have "Standard Racks"--phooey. I'm still riding everywhere and having the girly drive me to far-away race destinations, like greenville this coming saturday.
Hmm, bikes are tougher than I thought.VertAddict
Feb 15, 2003 12:05 AM
I find it interesting that in none of the stories so far did the bike sustain serious damage, although the roof racks seem to have taken it hard.
Yup.Spoke Wrench
Feb 15, 2003 7:01 AM
I tried to drive under a canopy at a motel entrance to find that the rear saddle on our $6,000 Santana tandem was about 1/2" too high to clear. No damage to bike or rack, but about $500.00 body damage to our Saturn.
re: bike-on-the-roof-rack-damagePDF
Feb 15, 2003 7:50 AM
I used to live in an apartment building that had underground parking. Having to use a card to open the gate would always remind me to think if a bike was on my rack. For a stretch of time, the gate was broken and I would just go in and out of the parking garage without having to use the card. One night I picked up a friend who had riden her bike to work. We got to chatting on the way home and totally forgot her bike was on the rack. I zipped in the garage (downhill entrance) and we heard "the sound". Ripped the rack, with bike still atatched, straight off the back of my car. Dented my trunk and tweaked the gutters such that when ever it rained, the back seat filled up with water. Bike and rack were fine.
leave the garage door opener in the HOUSE!!!!!mazobob
Feb 15, 2003 4:22 PM
did it at my own garage- A tip : leave the garage door opener inside the house when you wanna take the bike out for a trip!
re: bike-on-the-roof-rack-damagedesertmd
Feb 15, 2003 8:18 PM
I had my bike and my wife's bike on the roof rack for our move to Arizona from Minnesota. We left Tucumcari, NM for Tucson, and by the time we arrived it was 105 degrees, and all I wanted was to park in the shade. I pulled into the carport of our new home, and as soon as I heard the grinding sound, I stopped. Too late though. The bikes reletviely unscathed - I had to replace my handlebar, and reattach my wife's break - but the roof rack got ripped off the car (it managed to hang on though without completely falling off the car saving the bikes a spill). We had just bought the rack - $500, and essentially trashed it, and did $2000 damage to the Honda. Things eventually got better here in Arizona.
Ouch. been there.jtolleson
Feb 15, 2003 8:42 PM
Yakima racks are designed (others probably are too) to release and slide when you make such blunder. Not kind to the paint on top of the car, but it probably has saved my bike frames. Both times nothing worse than cut bar tape, though the rack kind of "collapsed."

I now NEVER put the bike on top without moving the garage door opener out of reach (like in the way back), but that doesn't help with fast food joints and other overhangs away from home.

I really believe in roof racks, still do. But I haven't idiot-proofed mine yet.
I also hang a bright orange ribbon on my rearview mirrormazobob
Feb 16, 2003 5:08 PM
IT Says "dumb ass"
re: bike-on-the-roof-rack-damageJerBear
Feb 16, 2003 6:39 PM
OK..I have to admit, I've done it too...I had done a test ride to work with my bike on a Thule rack (my GT hardtail) and found that it wouldn't fit...I forgot I had it up there one morning and hit the entrance of the parking structure at about 10-15 mph..ripped the rack/bike right off the roof and but one heckuva scrape/dent in my roof.. But the whole rack came off in one piece with the bike still locked on. I took the bike off and partially disassemble the rack..but both IN my car for the day. Went home and rack went back on..no problem..only problem with bike was seat was scratched...no other physical damage..I liked my Thule rack before...now I swear by it...