Roof Carrier

Discussion in 'Cycling Equipment' started by davereo, Nov 15, 2010.

  1. davereo

    davereo Well-Known Member

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  2. sitzmark

    sitzmark Member

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    No experience with Rage Racks. It looks functionally strong, but the attachment design is a bit "unrefined". Bolts have a tendency to corrode over time and with little room to work with under the factory bar it could be difficult to remove it that happens. Also, it appears the bolts are fairly long (probably to accommodate the many different factory bar widths) which might create a clearance issue that has to be solved - especially if you have a sliding panel sunroof.

    A similar tray rack is the Yakima Forklift, which has a more streamlined bar capture design. But, it retails for about $80 - $100 more. Depending on your application that may or may not be worth the extra $. Once over $100 there are a variety of bike attachment designs - fork, ankle-bitter, wheel capture.

    Some factory bars are a little flexible and/or curve with the roofline. A curved bar would tilt your bike to the outside slightly. Not a big deal if the bar is solid. If the bar flexes, it might allow some sway. For heavy high-speed use you might want to consider an aftermarket rack system if your bars are flexible, but for basic transportation around town the factory bars should be fine.
     
  3. dhk2

    dhk2 Active Member

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    Look a bit squirrelly to me. Maybe it's just the photo, but the factory bar appears bent under the weight of the bike. If the bars aren't stiff enough, believe aero loads at speed could cause swaying, meaning it could crack and break with time. Cornering would place additional loads on the bars.

    Actually believe the factory bars are designed to be used as "luggage bars", ie, place a flat load between them on the roof and use the bars only to tie it down. Or, with a flat cargo box that spans the bars to distribute the load. Your car owner's manual should have something on proper use; doubt it includes carrying bikes like this.

    If I really wanted to save some money and use these rails, I'd want some kind of stiffener bases under them to distribute the loads. Clamping some foot-long pieces of strong wood under each rack with proper clamping to the bars would do a lot to strengthen the mounting; pieces both under and on top of the bars, clamped with u-bolts should be strong.

    Or, consider laying the bike down on it's side. Maybe buy a "factory-approved" flat cargo carrier and just lay the bike in on it's side (after taking off the front wheel)? I've seen cars carrying slick-looking fiberglass cargo boxes that should hold a bike. If that's overkill for your needs, you could just clamp a couple of 2x4's between the factory racks (front to back) and tie/bungle the bike to those.
     
  4. davidabraham

    davidabraham New Member

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    I like this bike It's a very fast and Very beautiful.



    Thanks
    David
     
  5. davereo

    davereo Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for the tips. I am looking for something that is economical. You cant put a price on safety so I do not want to cause a dangerous situation. I did not take into considerstion the handling of the vehicle or the capacity of the factory cross bars. I will read the owners manual about the factory rack and its use. With that said I came across this today on CL. The listing is close to me and Thule is a better rack system I would presume. Take a quick look at this posting it appears to have all that is needed including the cross bars. The previous owner was using it on the same vehicle I want to use it on. My plan is to wait a few weeks then give them a call. Any Better?
    http://southcoast.craigslist.org/bik/2062943347.html
     
  6. sitzmark

    sitzmark Member

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    Def going in the right direction. While the factory bars are likely to work for "easy duty", a Thule or Yakima rack system will assure you of a level load surface and stronger cross bars. You will still have to pay attention to the max load numbers in your owners manual, since the "feet" will be clamping to the factory rails. But these cross bars are designed to carry a load.

    Check the bar ends (or specifically ask) to make sure they aren't expanded from corrosion. Sometimes water/salt gets under the end caps and causes the end of the bar to "swell" as the metal oxidizes. If it oxidizes too much the bar won't slide through the square opening of the rail foot. The plastic housings look "sun beat", but they are cosmetic. Aerospace 303 or Back-to-black can fix that. More important is that the internal metal clamping parts are in good shape. If the rear wheel retention straps on the trays are brittle from sun damage, you may want to replace those.

    New, that's about $450 worth of rack (list price). Used bars alone sell for $25-$35. The rail feet usually sell around $50 - $75 depending on condition, and the tray racks for $35 - $50. So $125 for all is a competitive price. In spring it would probably sell relatively fast.

    Hope it works out for you!
     
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  7. dhk2

    dhk2 Active Member

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    Great advice from Sitzmark. A buddy here keeps the Thule rack on his Civic coupe all the time, and has had some issues with corrosion on the front skewer locks (fixed by lube) as well as degradation of the rear wheel straps from sun exposure. His rack uses the Thule crossbars; probably not quick to remove and replace every time you want to carry a bike.

    Editorial: I like a rack system that can be easily installed/removed so you carry it only when you need it. Just the bare racks cause some added wind drag and noise, and just look goofy to me. Hitch racks are getting popular here because they are easy to remove and don't risk the damage from driving into the garage or other low-clearance roofs. Actually, my preference is to carry bikes inside the vehicle. I put my bike in the Golf all the time, but of course that eats up a lot of the cargo space.
     
  8. sitzmark

    sitzmark Member

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    Have just been going through all of the "what to do about rack" stuff, so kinda fresh on my mind.

    I have an older sports car that Thule had feet for but discontinued, so was on a hunt for those just in case I ever want to go for a joy ride and take the bike or skis along. Same for a newer cross vehicle - Yakima idiscontiuned the rail grab feet and I had a number of Yak accessories from my last vehicle. Finally found the original rail grabs new in box.

    For bikes, I have always used hitch racks for logistical reasons. Had hang and dangle racks before, but with our new bikes the sloping top tubes dropped the front tire in front of the exhaust. Not good for rim or tire. Finally settled on Yakima HoldUp (use my one key cores), but it was hard to justify the cost ... rediculous! That said, it is nice to load and go in less than 1 minute.

    I like the doiuble wheel grab of the Yak Front Loader, but that attach style not availalbe for hitch mounts. Less torque on wheel and even more secure than ratchedting arm. But, all options have +/-'s.

    Davereo, here's a "wide swatch" search link for bike stuff. Pulls in eBay and CL.
    http://bike.jaxed.com/cgi-bin/bike.cgi?cat=bik&fil=top+rack&itm=&state=XE&ps=&pe=&ys=&ye=&submit=+GO+

    Good luck!
     
  9. steinbachphoto

    steinbachphoto New Member

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    to reduce drag you can put a fairing on.
     
  10. davereo

    davereo Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for the tip on the link. Added it to my favorites will come in handy in the future. I am working on my wife for the rack right now. I am planning on mounting it on here vehicle. If we do come to an agreement it will always be an on off deal. Right now I use my truck to transport my bike and have a trunk mount that I always used for vacations. She just picked up the Morano and I wont be able to take my bikes along on road trips until I get a rack on her roof.
     
  11. Lewie

    Lewie New Member

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    Just be careful. Went into the LBS yesterday, and they were taking the parts of a trashed frame. He had his bike in a roof rack, and had driven into the garage, or tried to. Made me sick to look at that poor frame. Have heard of this happening, but the first time I have seen the results.
     
  12. dhk2

    dhk2 Active Member

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    Lewie, it happens all the time. I know a couple of reasonably-intelligent people who've done this, with expensive damage to the car as well as the bike. After a long bike ride, it's apparently easy to forget on the way home. One way to avoid the garage issue is to lock the garage door opener in the glove box when you've got bikes on top, ensuring you have to turn off the engine first. Of course, low gas station or drive-through roofs can be a problem too. One guy here drove into some low-hanging telephone lines in a parking lot, which proved to be amazingly strong with very little give.
     
  13. Scotty_Dog

    Scotty_Dog New Member

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    My wife also has a Nissan Murano. There is no way in hell that I would want to lift and place a bike on a roof rack that is 6 feet tall. Instead, I would install a $100 receiver hitch and for your limited use, the cheapest hitch rack that suited my needs.
     
  14. Lewie

    Lewie New Member

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    dhk2,

    Good idea about the glove box. I will spread the word. Though I have never seen it with frames, I have with wheels. Went to a century with a good friend. Though the bikes where in the car, the wheels where in racks on the roof. He drove into the garage. The wheels came out of the racks, as they where supposed to, but he had a spoiler on the back of his station wagon. The wheels got caught between top of the garage and the spoiler. The wheels bounced down the driveway, undamaged. But the spoiler was ripped off his car.
     
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