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  1. #1
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    Odd Question about Car Roof Racks

    Geez,

    I don't know where to ask this one, but I hope one of our European Friends will see this and help out.

    I am looking at one of two vehicles to purchase, the 2008 VW Rabbit 3 door or the 2008 Saturn Astra 3 door. My question really is what roof rack system can I use with the Astra. I know Thule makes a system, but I would have to buy all new stuff to do so. As of yet, Yakima does not make one.

    Now there ARE slots in the roof that look like they are for a Factory Rack Rail. These, depending on size, would work with my current Yakima Roof Kit. The local Saturn Dealers have no clue if Saturn will offer roof rails or not.

    Does anyone know if the European Astra's have roof rails?

    Chris
    A Mess of old bikes...
    92 Trek 970
    08 Gary Fisher Paragon

  2. #2
    Road Runner DougG's Avatar
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    Those mounting points seem to be some sort of a European "standard". My BMW 325i has them, and racks are available from Thule and others. I saw a Saab 9-3 with what appeared to be the same rack, and also noticed the mounts on the Astra when we were tentatively shopping for one. It sure looks like my same rack would go on the Astra by just changing the spacing of the feet. But we ended up with a Mazda3 instead, so didn't follow up on the rack-fit issue.

    Since this particular Astra has been out in Europe for several years, I'm sure there are factory and after-market racks available for it -- just not known about over here. Someone in a Saturn forum said they saw a rack available from Vauxhall dealers in the U.K. I would imagine it's only a matter of time before they are available in the U.S. and Canada, but it's probably not a priority.

    Maybe if you went back to the Saturn dealer you could examine the mounting points more carefully and determine if your current rack will work.

  3. #3
    Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by DougG View Post
    Maybe if you went back to the Saturn dealer you could examine the mounting points more carefully and determine if your current rack will work.
    NOPE! Current Yakima Rack would not work.

    Of course I did have a revelation last night. I am keeping the Jeep anyway, so that rack can stay there, and the new car can get a new rack on it, so I could go Thule which is what the shop sells.

    I'd still like to find out about Factory Roof Rails because that is the cleanest way to mount a rack system.

    Chris

    P.S. Where is stepfam when you need him.....
    A Mess of old bikes...
    92 Trek 970
    08 Gary Fisher Paragon

  4. #4
    Road Runner DougG's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ang1sgt View Post
    I'd still like to find out about Factory Roof Rails because that is the cleanest way to mount a rack system.
    I'm not sure what you mean by "factory roof rails". The Astra, like other European cars in particular, comes with what are called "fixpoints" for mounting roof racks. They're built right into the roof, along the drip channel. Looking at Thule's site and selecting the rack for the Astra 3-door, it says:

    460 PODIUM FIXPOINT FOOT
    With the growing trend in automobiles coming from the factory with pre-installed attachments for load carriers (called fixpoints), Thule is proud to introduce the new 460/460R Podium foot packs.


    This is really the cleanest possible removable roof mounting system. The pic below is my Thule setup. There is a "factory" rack available from dealers, but all it is is a re-badged Thule rack.


  5. #5
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    Doug,

    I am NO idiot when it comes to Car Racks. Having been stationed in Europe for a number of years, Owned many cars over there and then sell service and install Bike Racks, Thule currently, I would like to think that I too know something about these things.

    The Thule listing is NEW this week then. As of last Saturday, they only showed the Pads and the uprights, not the system that they now show. So this is new and breaking info. Thanks! I should have checked that before today.

    I like having the Minimum on the surface on my vehicle, that is why I insist that it's either on a hard point like you show and that is now available, or a rack system that mounts to a vehicle like on my Jeep.

    Again....Thanks for that NEW Information.

    Chris
    A Mess of old bikes...
    92 Trek 970
    08 Gary Fisher Paragon

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