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Thread: Car racks

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    Car racks

    Hello all. This is my first posting here. I am a 37 year old Marine stationed at Camp Pendleton, just getting into road biking. What I'm wondering is, what is a good bike rack? I have a Giant roadbike, and a my wife and I have one mountain bike each. I've got a Honda Civic Hatchback and she drives a Dodge Caliber, a 4-door hatchback. What are some pro's and con's of trunk or roof type systems. Ease of operation, road debris, etc. Thanks for any feedback. Clinton

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    Senior Member colombo357's Avatar
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    Here's a thread... Roof vs Trunk Rack

    In your specific case, you'll need 1.5 roof racks if you want to be able to mount the bikes on the roofs of both vehicles. The bike mounts and the cross bars can be moved, but the clips are specific to the car.

    If you guys can agree to use one car for all your bike transportation needs, definitely go for the roof rack.

  3. #3
    Time for a change. stapfam's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by colombo357 View Post
    Here's a thread... Roof vs Trunk Rack

    In your specific case, you'll need 1.5 roof racks if you want to be able to mount the bikes on the roofs of both vehicles. The bike mounts and the cross bars can be moved, but the clips are specific to the car.

    If you guys can agree to use one car for all your bike transportation needs, definitely go for the roof rack.
    And don't put the car in the Garage before taking the bikes off.

    I use a rear mounted rack on my car- and it is loaned out to a multitude of friends on their cars- hatchbacks- 4x4's and whatever else they run. Roof mounted racks- cause Drag and fuel economy on long runs. I have a basic rack that will take up to 3 adult bikes and I hold the bikes on with Elastic Bungees. For security- I have a Kryptonite Hawser that I link through the frames and wheels and then loop into the Trunk. Attachment just about shows the hawser but I have done 1,000 mile trips with this set up and never a problem. And a 2 minute job to set up on the car.
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    Can your wife put her bike onto the roof by herself? Assuming she wants to ride by herself. IMHO roof racks are a pain because you have to lift the bike onto the top of the car, with a minivan or SUV, the roof is even higher. I have used a trunk mount, a cheap one I found during our town clean up day, for several years, and several different cars. I have never had a problem. Just use you head when you put it on the car, and when you put the bikes on it. The down side is if you have some sand, or other grit under the pads, it will scratch you paint. I have also used a hitch rack, my favorite, if you have a receiver hitch. Also the two most popular brands, Yakima and Thule, are overpriced, again IMHO. You can get a good secure rack for less, shop around, and check eBay.

    And, from the bottom of my heart, THANK YOU!

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    Hey thanks. I'm just wondering what the advantages of a roof rack are opposed to trunk?

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    Time for a change. stapfam's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Clinton View Post
    Hey thanks. I'm just wondering what the advantages of a roof rack are opposed to trunk?
    You either like one or the other. With a roof mounted set up- there is more drag and higher fuel economy- If I were to use this system- It would take 30 minutes to set it up on the car as I would not have it on the car when not in use due to wind noise and once again Fuel economy.

    Rear mount- 2 minutes to set up- The quality systems are better than my medium price unit as They will space the bikes out so they don't touch. but My Medium unit -I have had for 12 years and as I said- does get loaned out to friends aswell.(In other words- Don't go cheapest)

    Only disadvantage is rear view as it can get blocked a bit.
    How long was I in the army? Five foot seven.


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    WV is not flat.. brandenjs's Avatar
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    I use roof and hitch mount....




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    Thank you all for your responses. Loeb1, you are welcome. I think I'm concentrating on a rear rack. I'm looking at the Saris Bones or the Thule 962XT, both 3-bike racks. I've read reviews on both. The Saris has a love/hate relationship with the folks that've tried it. All reviews are either great or that it's a pile o' crap. The Thule looks pretty good. Any opinions on either of these two?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Clinton View Post
    Thank you all for your responses. Loeb1, you are welcome. I think I'm concentrating on a rear rack. I'm looking at the Saris Bones or the Thule 962XT, both 3-bike racks. I've read reviews on both. The Saris has a love/hate relationship with the folks that've tried it. All reviews are either great or that it's a pile o' crap. The Thule looks pretty good. Any opinions on either of these two?
    I had a Saris Bones when I had a car and loved it. I think it would easily be adaptable to go from car to car too (just mark your settings on the sprocket thingy).

    Now I have a Thule 998XT (Trailblazer) hitch rack. When I had to get the SUV, I spent the money for a hitch rack.
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    I used (and still have) the Saris Bones rack on a number of cars and SUVs- easy to adapt to anything. Need to lock the rack and bikes to the vehicle though. Wife's new car is a Subaru wagon with the dealer installed rack (Yakima with Subaru logos). Pros- greater security, the rack is bolted to the car, the bikes lock to the rack. Rack is on the car, no time involved in installing the rack. Cons- Height (my wife needs a step stool to reach), wind drag (costs about 5mpg on the highway) and taking bikes off is a pain- I opted for the version that allows the front wheel to stay on the bike. The clamp that attaches to the downtube is no big deal. the ratcheting plastic straps that secure wheels to the trough can be difficult to release.

    With either style, non-conventional shaped tubing may cause some issues.

    Good luck, enjoy the ride, and Thank You for your service.
    Thom

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