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Old 12-01-07, 04:50 PM   #1
dannyq
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Do you leave your bike rack on your car during the winter?

I have a roof rack on my car now, I'm not sure if I'm going to take it off my car for the winter (eastern Canada) or not. I might just take off the bike holder part off and leave the poles on.

Just wondering what other people do and if there is anything that will/could happen if I leave it on.
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Old 12-01-07, 05:31 PM   #2
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I used to leave mine on all winter. This summer I bought a new car that will hold my tandem on the inside so I got rid of the roof rack.

FWIW, if you decide to remove it, I think that it's easiest to leave the rack system all bolted together and remove as a unit. It only takes about 2 minutes to remove and 5 or 10 minutes at most to reinstall.

*Actually, I haven't gotten rid of the roof rack system yet. If anybody's seriously interested in a Thule system, PM me and I'll make you a real good deal.
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Old 12-01-07, 07:07 PM   #3
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I have a Yakima tray rack that mounts to my trailer hitch. Because of corrosion issues, I take it off in the winter. I am not riding especially long rides in the cold, wind and rain that characterizes a Seattle winter. If the weather is transiently good, I will ride around the neighborhood or down to a local MUP. Therefore, I am really not using the rack in the winter.

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Old 12-01-07, 07:36 PM   #4
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we have a T*2 rack on the hitch of the "family" car-
it comes off in the winter and during mud seasons.
in the bed of my Ranger I have a pair of Thule "Instagators"
which I leave in all year around.
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Old 12-01-07, 08:24 PM   #5
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Leave it on, skies on one side, bike on the other. Put fatter tires on the bike.
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Old 12-02-07, 07:46 AM   #6
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No. Because my car is so rarely used, if I need the rack (if I use the car at all) I'll put it on there.
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Old 12-02-07, 08:09 AM   #7
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I bought my car 10/1/2000, and had the bike racks put on the roof 10/3/2000, where they still are today. It makes it easier to find in a parking lot.
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Old 12-02-07, 10:38 AM   #8
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Bike rack, specially a roof rack, adds drag and cuts fuel efficiency. If you aren't using it, don't leave it there.
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Old 12-02-07, 12:25 PM   #9
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Bike rack, specially a roof rack, adds drag and cuts fuel efficiency. If you aren't using it, don't leave it there.
That's not only true but it makes more difference than I would have suspected, at least on my Saturn SL1.

At speeds over 70 MPH with just the roof rack, no bike, I lost around 6 MPG. It would probably make less difference on a car that's not so under powered. Driving around town, which for us is almost all of the time, the mileage loss wasn't noticeable but mileage is pretty hard to figure very accurately in those conditions.
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Old 12-02-07, 02:57 PM   #10
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Maybe my mileage would improve if I took the rack off, but I get between 25 & 27 mpg with it on, and that's about what a 2000 Outback is rated for anyway.
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Old 12-02-07, 03:14 PM   #11
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So maybe you will get 30 or 32.

And you'll be doing an infinitissimal bit to save the planet.
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Old 12-02-07, 05:52 PM   #12
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Yes.
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Old 12-02-07, 06:17 PM   #13
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I ride year round, so yes, eh.
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Old 12-02-07, 07:05 PM   #14
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During the winter, it's off (Thule T2). During the winter, I would only use it on weekends if it's not raining and I'm not working, so I just put it on of needed. But the rest of the year, it stays on.
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Old 12-02-07, 09:44 PM   #15
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I prefer to ride "door to door" so I mostly use racks when going out of town.

I take 'em off.
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Old 12-03-07, 01:04 AM   #16
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a roof rack. A pain to take down. Besides , its somewhat warm all winter.
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Old 12-03-07, 11:20 AM   #17
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This comes up all the time, and nobody ever listens to my expert opinion....
I have a Yakima cartop rack, and I can put it on in about 90 seconds with a helper or three minutes by myself, take it off in 30 with a helper or 60 solo. When it's on, my highway mileage drops from 34 mpg to high 20s, and there's a constant roar from the roof. I can't use the sunroof at all because of the noise, plus the rack is up there getting sand-, grime- and salt-blasted for 2,000 miles a month.
Assuming you have the standard Yakima Q-tower setup, put it on and use a Magic Marker to mark the spots where the clamps go (inside the doorframes where it won't show when the door's closed). Take the rack off and enjoy silent, high-mileage motoring until you want to carry the bike. Then slap the rack back up there, lining the clamps up with the marks you made, lock it down and you're in business.
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Old 12-03-07, 12:33 PM   #18
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It can be removed?
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Old 12-03-07, 02:57 PM   #19
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Quote:
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Bike rack, specially a roof rack, adds drag and cuts fuel efficiency. If you aren't using it, don't leave it there.

Yup. It takes five minutes to install/remove and easily hangs on the garage wall. Frankly, I wonder if half the folks with sports racks merely want people to believe they're athletic. No one here, of course.
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Old 12-04-07, 06:24 PM   #20
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This comes up all the time, and nobody ever listens to my expert opinion....
I have a Yakima cartop rack, and I can put it on in about 90 seconds with a helper or three minutes by myself, take it off in 30 with a helper or 60 solo. When it's on, my highway mileage drops from 34 mpg to high 20s, and there's a constant roar from the roof. I can't use the sunroof at all because of the noise, plus the rack is up there getting sand-, grime- and salt-blasted for 2,000 miles a month.
Assuming you have the standard Yakima Q-tower setup, put it on and use a Magic Marker to mark the spots where the clamps go (inside the doorframes where it won't show when the door's closed). Take the rack off and enjoy silent, high-mileage motoring until you want to carry the bike. Then slap the rack back up there, lining the clamps up with the marks you made, lock it down and you're in business.
Excellent idea. Thanks.
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Old 12-05-07, 06:36 PM   #21
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This comes up all the time, and nobody ever listens to my expert opinion....
I have a Yakima cartop rack, and I can put it on in about 90 seconds with a helper or three minutes by myself, take it off in 30 with a helper or 60 solo. When it's on, my highway mileage drops from 34 mpg to high 20s, and there's a constant roar from the roof. I can't use the sunroof at all because of the noise, plus the rack is up there getting sand-, grime- and salt-blasted for 2,000 miles a month.
Assuming you have the standard Yakima Q-tower setup, put it on and use a Magic Marker to mark the spots where the clamps go (inside the doorframes where it won't show when the door's closed). Take the rack off and enjoy silent, high-mileage motoring until you want to carry the bike. Then slap the rack back up there, lining the clamps up with the marks you made, lock it down and you're in business.
Velo Dog is absolutely correct....take it off in winter.
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Old 12-06-07, 09:59 AM   #22
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I used to take it off but I still needed it about twice each month through the winter. Then I got a panel that goes across the front and that cut down wind noise all the way to unnoticable. Gas mileage doesn't seem to suffer.
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Old 12-09-07, 10:14 AM   #23
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If your concerned about scratching your paint, taking it off and on may cause scratching. You definitely don't want to put a rack on top of a dirty car. If your not going to be using the rack in the winter time, take it off. If you are, leave it on. As far diving is concerned, take off the fairing if your not hauling anything.
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Old 12-09-07, 05:25 PM   #24
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Mine stays on year round.
I'm selling the POS car so the roof rack is for sale (to locals only).
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