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Old 04-01-07, 09:06 PM   #1
chess
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BEWARE when transporting bikes on rear bumper bike racks!

I searched all the forums and did not find a "hit" for a similar posting, so I wanted to post my experience so that hopefully somone else can learn from my experience and not repeat my mistake.

I bought a new Thule 968 2-bike capacity bike rack that mounts to the rear of my Ford Focus hatchback. I then put my Lemond Tourmalet on the outer mount. I used the supplied strap to hold the wheels steady to the bike rack frame and to pull the bike towards, but not touching, the rear bumper to minimize swinging. I successfully transported it several hours to my destination (Solvang California Double Century).

On the way home, I decided to mount the bike on the inner of the two mountings and again used the supplied strap to hold the wheels steady and to pull the bike towards (but not touching) the rear bumper.
I positioned the bike so that it was evenly speced with the back of the car, with the outside of the wheels being about even with the sides of the car.

When I unloaded the bike upon arriving home, I was dismayed to discover the the rear tire must have been directly behind the exhaust pipe, since the tire was melted, the tube flat, and the tire partially melted to the rim.

The lesson from the story is to either remove the tire on the exhaust pipe side or to position the bike in such a way that the rubber tire is not directly in line with the exhaust pipe.

I was disappointed that the rack installation instructions provided no caution to be on the lookout for this potential problem that did not even cross my mind.
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Old 04-01-07, 09:51 PM   #2
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Oh that sucks. Sorry that happened. Another thing to consider is if your bike will clear when you are going up a steep drive way. I've seen the tires of a bike hit the pavement due to tilt.

Thank you for the warning.
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Old 04-01-07, 11:05 PM   #3
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Oddly enough my cheap Bell brand rack from evil-mart warned about that. It's not something I would have thought of. I think it's quite odd that the instructions for my $30 rack warned about this problem, but a well respected (and more expensive) brand such as Thule would leave that out. It's often said we learn something new every day. it just sucks that sometimes we have to learn the hard/expensive way. When I read the thread title I thought you were gonna say you got rear ended and the bike got trashed. I guess you can at least be thankful that didn't happen!!
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Old 04-01-07, 11:19 PM   #4
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While on the subject of racks, since I thought I knew what your problem would be...

I like using the foam noodles that kids use in the pool to go between my bike and the car/rack where they could contact, and between the bikes when I am carrying more than one.
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Old 04-02-07, 02:26 AM   #5
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Sorry to hear about that, Chess. If the wheel got hot enough, long enough to melt the tire, I would seriously consider replacing that rim. Aluminum and heat don't mix well.

Any decent muffler shop should be able to easily relocate the end of the exhaust pipe to wherever you want, just by clamping on a custom bent piece from the muffler, back.
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Old 04-02-07, 04:15 AM   #6
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Well I guess the good news is you're getting a new tire now.

Quote:
Any decent muffler shop should be able to easily relocate the end of the exhaust pipe to wherever you want, just by clamping on a custom bent piece from the muffler, back.
Is that legal?
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Old 04-02-07, 05:30 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by operator
Well I guess the good news is you're getting a new tire now.



Is that legal?
Yep.
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Old 04-02-07, 05:38 AM   #8
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Quote:
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Well I guess the good news is you're getting a new tire now.



Is that legal?
As long as it meets the vehicle inspection requirements in your area, yes. Here in PA you need to exit the vehicle a certian distance behind the most rearward opening window.
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Old 04-02-07, 06:25 AM   #9
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The Saris rack I have came with instructions that warned about the exhaust heat. If you have a trunk-mounted rack, you can usually raise the angle that it sits on your car, thus avoiding the exhaust issue.
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Old 04-02-07, 07:15 AM   #10
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Many years ago, I gave up on rear mounted bike racks. I went to roof mounts and I would never recommend rear mounts to anyone. I have heard so many horror stories, include my hair cutter, who actually lost her bike, and didn't even know it. Obviously, no one was behind her when it happened.

Of course, roof mounts aren't completely idiot proof, as when I forgot my bike was up there and opened the garage door with the opener and drove the bike into the garage door frame. Now I religiously put the garage door opener in the glove compartment when I put the bike on the roof.

We live and learn.
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Old 04-02-07, 07:34 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Little Darwin
While on the subject of racks, since I thought I knew what your problem would be...

I like using the foam noodles that kids use in the pool to go between my bike and the car/rack where they could contact, and between the bikes when I am carrying more than one.
I just use pieces of old inner tubes but that sounds like a good idea too
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Old 04-02-07, 07:52 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chess
I searched all the forums and did not find a "hit" for a similar posting, so I wanted to post my experience so that hopefully somone else can learn from my experience and not repeat my mistake.

I bought a new Thule 968 2-bike capacity bike rack that mounts to the rear of my Ford Focus hatchback. I then put my Lemond Tourmalet on the outer mount. I used the supplied strap to hold the wheels steady to the bike rack frame and to pull the bike towards, but not touching, the rear bumper to minimize swinging. I successfully transported it several hours to my destination (Solvang California Double Century).

On the way home, I decided to mount the bike on the inner of the two mountings and again used the supplied strap to hold the wheels steady and to pull the bike towards (but not touching) the rear bumper.
I positioned the bike so that it was evenly speced with the back of the car, with the outside of the wheels being about even with the sides of the car.

When I unloaded the bike upon arriving home, I was dismayed to discover the the rear tire must have been directly behind the exhaust pipe, since the tire was melted, the tube flat, and the tire partially melted to the rim.

The lesson from the story is to either remove the tire on the exhaust pipe side or to position the bike in such a way that the rubber tire is not directly in line with the exhaust pipe.

I was disappointed that the rack installation instructions provided no caution to be on the lookout for this potential problem that did not even cross my mind.
That sucks, sorry it happened. You may want to get a tail pipe tip to divert the hot exhaust away from the tire. At least it is not to expensive of a repair job.
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Old 04-02-07, 08:00 AM   #13
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Hi rodrigaj-

Quote:
Originally Posted by rodrigaj
"...Now I religiously put the garage door opener in the glove compartment when I put the bike on the roof..."
Even better is placing the automatic garage door opener in the trunk or leaving it at home so that one is forced to exit the vehicle and see the bikes. I know one person who trashed a Viner roadbike by shearing it off a roofrack. Between cooking tires and damaging frames, keeping the bike in the car looks more and more attractive!

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Old 04-02-07, 08:54 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rodrigaj
Of course, roof mounts aren't completely idiot proof, as when I forgot my bike was up there and opened the garage door with the opener and drove the bike into the garage door frame. Now I religiously put the garage door opener in the glove compartment when I put the bike on the roof.

We live and learn.
Ohh man, I came within cm of the same thing. I put the opener in my wedge bag on the bike. That way the bike has to be off the car before I can even begin to think about opening the door.
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Old 04-02-07, 09:19 AM   #15
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Ohh man, I came within cm of the same thing. I put the opener in my wedge bag on the bike. That way the bike has to be off the car before I can even begin to think about opening the door.
This is a great idea!
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Old 02-25-08, 09:53 AM   #16
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I have one of these racks put aside at the store for when I bring my
new bike home.

Anybody have problems with the rack denting their car? After reading
various reports on the net I now know about the exhaust problem and
to think about how the bike is secured, not take for granted that it
will just work, use extra padding and straps if necessary.

---
Chris in Austin, TX
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Old 02-25-08, 11:02 AM   #17
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I've heard about the exhaust and scraping problems before. A modified exaust is surely the way to go. But, what do you do with a car with duel exhaust and there is no way to modify it because the tail pipes go through the lower body panel? It's probably roof rack or in the car.
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Old 02-25-08, 03:52 PM   #18
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Sorry to hear that, chess.

I had and used a rear rack before I got a small pickup, but I was always very nervous when I did. I feel much more comfortable with my bike in the bed of my truck. In fact, it's a one of the main reasons I bought the truck.
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Old 02-25-08, 05:10 PM   #19
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Never had a tire melt from the exhaust but once I had my bike inside my suburu wagon on a hot day, I had pumped the front tire up to 120 psi and was on my way to a club ride when there was this explosion inside the car. The tire had overheated from the sun shining through the rear window and of course exploded, I had to go back home to change the tire and my shorts!
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Old 02-25-08, 05:17 PM   #20
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Back when I worked in a LBS someone would fry a tire every few months or so. That's why we always tried to give them a demonstration of mounting the rack and then mounting the bike on the rack. You can usually avoid tire fry by mounting the bike facing the other direction or if possible mounting the rack higher on the car. with some car/rack combinations there is not much you can do though.
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Old 02-25-08, 05:20 PM   #21
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You can hang the bike higher on the rack in many ways and/or move it over to get away from the tailpipe. If you have quick disconnect wheels or even bolt on wheels the problem goes away when you take a wheel off.
One can also reposition the rack in many cases.

No need to ever move exhaust pipes.
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Old 02-25-08, 09:09 PM   #22
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This is one of the reasons you read the manual carefully. I have a Thule 962XT trunk rack, it mentions keeping the bike and straps away from the exhaust.

"Keep bicycle tires away from hot exhaust."
"Always make sure that straps are out of the way of hot exhaust gases and not in contact with the muffler or exhaust pipe"
"125 Important: Always check to make sure there is no contact between the lower straps and the muffler and/or exhaust pipe."
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Old 02-29-08, 05:25 AM   #23
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This is one of the reasons I drive a hatchback. Bikes go in the car.
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Old 02-29-08, 05:41 AM   #24
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Exactly the same thing happened to a friend of mine last year.
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Old 02-29-08, 06:26 PM   #25
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From seeing the same thing happen to a friend's expensive sew-up, I can tell you that this problem is at least 33 years old.

Like several previous posters, I, too, much prefer roof racks. I haven't had a disaster with one yet (knock on wood), although from seeing what another friend did to his bike back in the day, I can tell you that that problem, too, is at least 33 years old.






What can I say -- my friends tend to be klutzes.
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