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Old 02-16-12, 02:03 PM   #1
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Building my own bike roof rack

so i decided to build my own roof rack for my bike, using only supplies purchased at Home Depot...

my plan is to use a 4' piece of trex vinyl decking and use right angle metal supports to mount a front axle, and then another Joist support for the rear tire to hold the rear tire, and some nylon straps to hold the thing down, i have a subaru imprezza with a roof rack, the whole thing will be U-bolted to the rack, i have it finished and sitting in my garage, waiting for the weather to turn so i can test it on my beater bike,

anybody else have experience with building there own rack? thoughts? suggestions?
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Old 02-16-12, 02:09 PM   #2
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Pictures or it didn't happen. Welcome to the forum.
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Old 02-16-12, 02:32 PM   #3
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ill post some pictures later, i just finished it over the weekend
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Old 02-16-12, 04:48 PM   #4
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If you park in a garage or carport I strongly suggest that you make up some kind of sign or flag to remind yourself that the bike is on the roof. Tie it to the garage door opener if you have one. A lot of nice bikes have gottten destroyed when their owners carelessly or forgetfully pulled into a garage with a bike on top. I use a rear rack for this reason.
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Old 02-16-12, 06:42 PM   #5
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Been using home made for years with no problem. I'll look around for pics (or go snap a few --on top of van right now).
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Old 02-16-12, 07:38 PM   #6
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If you park in a garage or carport I strongly suggest that you make up some kind of sign or flag to remind yourself that the bike is on the roof. Tie it to the garage door opener if you have one. A lot of nice bikes have gottten destroyed when their owners carelessly or forgetfully pulled into a garage with a bike on top. I use a rear rack for this reason.
Another trick if you have a garage door opener and clip the remote to your sunvisor or keep it where you reach for it automatically is to put it in the locked glove box or other out-of-the-way location. That way you can't by force of habit just open the garage and drive in w/the bike on top. You have to dig out the remote and doing so will remind you why.
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Old 02-17-12, 06:33 AM   #7
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i only use the garage in the winter, when im not riding.. but thanks for the tips... got home too late lastnight to take any pics, ill try to get some today, i actually have it mounted on the car today...
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Old 02-17-12, 08:24 AM   #8
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I made a couple of "homemade" bike carriers for my Yakima crossbars out of 1-1/2"x 4" aluminum U-channel with a Pickup Truck fork holder bolted to the front and drilled to take the Yakima mounting straps. I could have mounted it to the cross bars with U-bolts also.
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Old 02-17-12, 04:48 PM   #9
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I made a couple of "homemade" bike carriers for my Yakima crossbars out of 1-1/2"x 4" aluminum U-channel with a Pickup Truck fork holder bolted to the front and drilled to take the Yakima mounting straps. I could have mounted it to the cross bars with U-bolts also.
Sounds pretty similar. I u-bolt them to my minivan rack. The rack "crowns" a little bit, and I bungi stuff down. It looks a little precarious but I've never lost a bike and have occasionally exceeded some speed limits :-)

For garage reminders, I always grab a patio chair and toss it in the way. This has become second nature. Mount a bike up top and toss a chair in the garage.
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Old 02-17-12, 05:22 PM   #10
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Brings back memories of the early roof rack systems (before anybody produced dedicated bike roof racks)

Simple design, used 2 pairs of Sears aluminum roof rack brackets, a pair of 2x4s. and a bunch of aluminum 5/16" rods about 10" long.

The 2x4s were bolted to the brackets to make a pair of rails, (extra holes allowed transfer to another car) scrap carpet was wrapped around them for padding, and holes were drilled at intervals for the rods which laid flat when mounted.

Road bikes were mounted upside down by seat and handlebar forward and back, and secured with ribber bands made from cut up auto inner tubes. We could get over 10 bikes on a roof, packed front to back, or fewer spaced apart. Cheap, effective and reliable for hundreds of miles. (never a dropped bike).
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Old 02-17-12, 05:22 PM   #11
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Yea but it was a utility delivery 2door wagon, no interior upholstery, but the seats,
so I bolted it straight thru the metal in the roof.
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Old 02-21-12, 07:10 AM   #12
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finally got around to getting pictures...

http://tinyurl.com/7jospwl
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Old 02-21-12, 07:28 AM   #13
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that's crafty.
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Old 02-21-12, 07:42 AM   #14
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actually works pretty well, w/ two straps... one through the back wheel and another across the top tube
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Old 02-21-12, 09:27 AM   #15
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Two bike rack, $40 total.
Mounted to the lateral rails on my old Audi wagon.
Use a bugee cord to strap the rear bike rim to the rail.

2 x $12 fork mount base plate (beant for pick up tuck beds).
1 x $5 1" box section steel
hardware $3
6 pack for lubrication $8

http://pbckt.com/pf.QBAfZ4

Since the pic I changed the wing nuts for nylocks and painted the wooden bungs in the end of the box section black

Last edited by alex jb; 02-21-12 at 09:29 AM. Reason: modification
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Old 02-22-12, 07:10 AM   #16
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Front part looks great. I like the idea of using skewers rather than bolts and wing nuts that I have seen done by others. I do have concerns about your plan for the back end. At the very least, you are going to scratch up the car's roof and I don't think it's going to be as secure as it should be. If you can come up with something for the back that is as clever as your rig for the forks, I think it should work out great.
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Old 02-22-12, 04:39 PM   #17
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We used to do something similar using 2 broom sticks for the rear wheel, and i can't remember what we were doing for the fork but pretty much was almost the same u did but using a block of wood, and axle and a quick release.

Like your design... congrats!
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Old 02-22-12, 05:21 PM   #18
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Do you have pictures of it in action?
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Old 02-22-12, 06:14 PM   #19
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Wish I had, this was like 30 years ago, a friend of mine came with the design, very very basic but held the bike just fine, the rear wheel stands in the roof rack thing then the sticks are used to keep the wheel from any lateral side and then a clip pedals strap and ready to go, as for the front was similar what the OP did but with a block of wood.

For the record back in the day roof racks were different than what it is today, before was like an alumunim bed, now a days are just 2 bars.
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Old 02-23-12, 07:19 AM   #20
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no pics in action yet, but i have used it 3 times already.. works great, i have a toe clip strap through the back wheel, and another strap over the top tube and clipping to the two u bolts, suprisngly very sturdy, going to build another one i think,
whole thing cost me about 38 bucks at home depot, and i had to raid my old mountain bike wheel for the axle the most expensive part was the 8' piece of trex decking that i used, you could probably use just wood, but i wanted it to last and i didn't want any warping...
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