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Roof Rack Questions.(7 posts)

Roof Rack Questions.carpe_podium
Mar 3, 2003 1:47 PM
Just bought a new car and now I get to drive the wife's old one. Lucky me huh? It's an Altima and the trunk really isn't big enough for the bike and race related gear. The trunk mounted racks I've seen look like a hassle - they have to be removed to open the trunk, etc. The question is: Should I get a roof rack? Are they "geeky"? Thule or Yakima? Any opinions or comments are appreciated.
work great, not cheaplaffeaux
Mar 3, 2003 2:10 PM
Roof racks are expensive, but IMO the best way to carry bikes. Be sure to not go into garages or drive-thru windows with the bike on top and you'll be fine.

Who cares if they are or are not geeky, they are very functional.
be carefulRJF
Mar 3, 2003 2:16 PM
Probably not a big concern if you're getting your wife's old car, but I've never had a roof rack that didn't permenantly screw up the roof. It either mars the paint or dents it. I've only used Yakima, but have had this happen several times -- whether I installed them myself or a pro did.

If I got another car, I'd probably go with a rear rack.
go hitch rackSmogRider
Mar 3, 2003 2:53 PM
see if you can get a cheap trailer hitch installed. No trunk hassles and you can still access garage, drive-thru, parking, etc. Take rack off & on easy. Better aero too, less drag.

Jeff (have Thule roof racks on my wagon. They're 'ok')
re: Roof Rack Questions.Bike Fool
Mar 3, 2003 5:00 PM
Never had a problem with mine, and never encountered an opinion as "geeky". I've got a Thule and the SO even said it made my car look kinda sporty ('94 Geo Prizm). So Thule or Yakima is cool, whatever works, and man, it makes carrying around the two-wheels so much easier. Of course, you can get to carried away with the easier and forget what ya got cruisin' into a drive-thru.
I''ve had boththeeatkins
Mar 4, 2003 6:23 AM
I prefer roof racks, especially fork mount. My wife's Jeep has a receiver mounted bike rack. It works great, swings out of the way, and is low enough for her to use. You might consider one for your wife's car. Good luck.
IHead on up to the roof-topEric_H
Mar 4, 2003 9:28 AM
I totally prefer roof racks over the trunk or hitch mount racks. The bikes are mounted very solid on the roof, but with rear mount racks they can swing and bang against each other. Also, the clamps on the rear mounts racks can leave marks on paint or even potentially damage the top tube of a bike. Finally, if one is in an accident and hit from behind....

Roof racks have some drawbacks, such as extra wind noise, a reduction in fuel economy, and the potential to shear the bikes off the roof if one drives under an overhang or into the garage. But the simplicity of mounting the bikes and the solid mounting win out.

If you are planning to haul only road bikes on the roof, definitely go with fork mount trays. They will be fine for most XC MTB suspension forks as well. However, some of the big-travel, big-hit MTB wonder bikes have fork lowers that will not allow the use of a fork mount rack. For these you need upright (full-bike) racks, and sometimes even special clamps to hold the oversize downtubes.

As for manufacturers, I like Thule, but it was mostly because the Thule load bars had a much lower profile on my VW Golf than the corresponding Yakima bars. You cannot go wrong with either system, IMO.