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  1. #1
    Eh.... Specialized Kid's Avatar
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    Confused about Roof Racks

    Hey guys. Hope this is a good spot to post, figured it was either here or under gadgets.

    I am looking to get a roof rack for my car, but am having trouble finding one for a decent price. This is the first time I have bought one, so I thought you guys might have some tips/advice for me. I do not have crossbars on my car so I need the whole setup.

    Yakima appears to be a great brand, but the $600 price tag isnt in my budget at the moment. I tried ebay and craigslist, but am having little luck finding a compatible one. Thanks in advance for the help.

  2. #2
    Senior Member alhedges's Avatar
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    Roof racks are pretty expensive. Do you specifically need a roof rack? Hitch racks are, I think, the gold standard, but in second place I prefer trunk racks to roof racks for transporting bikes.

  3. #3
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    I can tell you from experience that you get what you pay for. My four-bike Yakima rooftop rack cost $600 in 1995, but it's been moved to three new cars (with different Q Towers, adding another $400 or so to the cost) and carried my bikes at least 60,000 miles with no problems at all.
    If I had it to do over, I'd probably get a hitch rack, because my highway mileage drops from about 34 to 26 when the rack's on the roof. But it does a great job carrying bikes, and I've also used it for kayaks, skis, boxes when I moved, all kinds of crap.

  4. #4
    Eh.... Specialized Kid's Avatar
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    I have been leaning more towards a roof rack because I dont have a hitch on my car, and I'm not a huge fan of trunk racks. I would prefer to use my trunk without having to take the bikes off. And like Velo said, I'm sure I will end up buying some of the other accesories that Yakima makes for it for other uses.

    However, I suppose I could buy a used one and just buy new Q towers made for my car?

  5. #5
    Senior Member Retro Grouch's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Specialized Kid View Post
    I am looking to get a roof rack for my car, but am having trouble finding one for a decent price. This is the first time I have bought one, so I thought you guys might have some tips/advice for me. I do not have crossbars on my car so I need the whole setup.
    I'd try to buy the load bars, bike mounts and towers on ebay. They are pretty much universal. Then you can get the feet, which are different for each car model, from a dealer.

  6. #6
    Senior Member cyclezealot's Avatar
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    I find roof racks convenient. Especially needed if you find yourself hauling more than two bikes, which I often do for club rides.. Is it possible to try them out before you buy them.. I have a THule.. Thought it was the best. Other Thule models might work better. My Thule. The bikes wobble big time in the wind.. All the joints seem tight, I"ve decided its just the construction of the arm which secures the bikes. Everything has been tightened up and nothing more can be done.. I see other roof racks going down the freeways, the bikes are secure. Why mine.?.... Wish I'd known this before I bought it.
    Pray for the Dead and Fight like Hell for the Living









    ^ Since June 16, 2011

  7. #7
    blithering idiot jhota's Avatar
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    i miss being able to use my roof racks. since i'm not spending another $2-300 for feet and pads on a $500 car.

    i will be putting my Thule racks on my "new" car (1970 Jaguar) when i get it running. it'll be the third car the racks have been on over a 15-year period. they have over 150k miles!

    can't beat a roof rack for security or stability (assuming you're using the "right" type of mount for your bike).

    or bike damage if you forget they're there.

    i use a fork mount bolted down in the back of my current car (1990 Civic Wagon) to carry my bike(s) now.

    two things i like about roof racks are the easy expansion of capacity (by adding rails - it was nice to be able to put four bikes on top and all go in one car) and the multipurpose nature (needed to get lumber in my XJ6? no problem).

    but one solution isn't best for all people. or priced for all people. i've probably got over $1k in my racks at this point. which is a lot! but once again, 15 years/3 cars/150k+ miles.

  8. #8
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    Check out Rocky Mounts at http://www.rockymounts.com/

    They fit any cross bars so you aren't stuck with buying the expensive Yakima ones. Also, the price is right. I've never had any problems with them beyond an occasional whistling sound at highway speeds.

  9. #9
    Eh.... Specialized Kid's Avatar
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    Well I did some more research ( thanks for the links ) and I think I will just save up some money over winter, and next spring buy a new Yakima rack. They seem to have good features and are a popular brand. My car is rated 38mpg on the highway, so im not to concerned with the milage loss.

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