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  1. #1
    Senior Member fueledbymetal's Avatar
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    75mph OK with a roof rack?

    I'm getting a new car soon and have been thinking about giving a roof rack a try instead of dealing with a trunk rack like I have with my current car (no trailer hitch availible). Is 75mph doable, or is that pushing it? Most of the races I enter during the season are 2 hours or so away, so I'd like to be able to crusie at 70+ since it's a lot of highway driving. I had a thule rack in mind that mounts via the front wheel fwiw, but haven't committed to a particular model yet.
    2013 Seven Ti Ex Pat (touring rig), 2012 Seven Singlespeed, 2012 Cannondale SuperSix Evo, 2010 Canndnoale CAAD9 and a few mountain bikes :)

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    I have the Thule Echelon as a fork mount rack, does fine at 80 mph
    Fork mounts are more stable than the ones where you have the bike standing up.

  3. #3
    Mad bike riding scientist cyccommute's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ajayjuneja View Post
    I have the Thule Echelon as a fork mount rack, does fine at 80 mph
    Fork mounts are more stable than the ones where you have the bike standing up.
    I agree. However be prepared for bad gas mileage. And for bugs all over your bike
    Stuart Black
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  4. #4
    rebmeM roineS JanMM's Avatar
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    A fairing on the front of the roof might help some.
    RANS V3 (steel), RANS V-Rex, RANS Screamer

  5. #5
    Determined Survivor ejbarnes's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cyccommute View Post
    I agree. However be prepared for bad gas mileage. And for bugs all over your bike
    Don't forget to take the computer and bottles off the bike.
    Must be a pretty small engine to mess up the gas that bad.
    I use an Astro Van. the bikes stay clean.
    Lots of room for other people.
    Lots of room for gear.
    Lots of room to sleep if needed.
    Better still... American made.
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    I have the fairing, no bugs here!

  7. #7
    Comfortably Numb! BA Commuter's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ejbarnes View Post
    Don't forget to take the computer and bottles off the bike.
    Must be a pretty small engine to mess up the gas that bad.
    I use an Astro Van. the bikes stay clean.
    Lots of room for other people.
    Lots of room for gear.
    Lots of room to sleep if needed.
    Better still... American made.
    American made - spoken like a true Canukian!

    I've hauled canoes at 70+ and wondered if the guy behind questioned my tie down methods!
    “Cycling is like church. Many attend, but few understand." -Jim Burlant

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  8. #8
    Bianchi Goddess Bianchigirll's Avatar
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    just where in MD do expect to drive 70+ there is too much trafic on I95 and I70 and I68 have all those hills LOL. bad gas milage and lots of noise. get a fairing.

    I agree with BA inside is better unless they don't all fit LOL
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    Others but still loved,; '80 RIGI, '80 Batavus Professional, '87 Cornelo, '86 Bertoni (sold), '09 Motobecane SS, '98 Hetchins M.O., '09 K2 Mainframe SOLD, '89 Trek 2000, '?? Jane Doe (still on the drawing board), '90ish Haro Escape

  9. #9
    Senior Member
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    Drive I-95 at 70 mph on a weekday, especially at commte time, and you'll get run over. My son had to take a class when he got a speeding ticket and the VA state police said the average speed on I-95 to Washington is 77 mph.

    I installed a fairing with my Thule rack and while it reduced the noise, it didn't do anything for the bugs. I use a trunk rack now and no bugs at all.
    You're just trying to start an argument to show how smart you are.

  10. #10
    Soma Lover
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    My car is just big enough to put my bike inside, a Subaru Forester.

    My buddys' bikes have to deal with the bugs associated with a roof rack.

    I wouldn't have it any other way.

    It might be an old wives tale or something that ceased to be a problem a decade or more ago, but the only bad things I've heard about transporting bikes on a roof rack is the 75mph wind can literally blow some grease out of or at least towards the back of a cheap POS loose ball headset. Apart from that, the biggest problem is forgetting about the bikes when you pull into the garage. That's another reason my bike goes inside.

  11. #11
    on your left.
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    Where on I-95 don't you do 70mph+? southern VA to Georgia it's easily that, and in Florida you'll be barely keeping up at 80! and roadies are the same in cars...you don't like to get dropped.

    edit: I said roadies, sorry I thought I was on the road forum. my B.
    Last edited by nahh; 12-19-09 at 07:36 PM.
    Quote Originally Posted by caloso View Post
    I learned this the hard way. They say that experience is the best teacher, but I would have been preferred to just read about it on the internet.

  12. #12
    tsl
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    Plays in traffic tsl's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ejbarnes View Post
    Better still... American made.
    I thought they made them in Oshawa.
    My two favorite things in life are libraries and bicycles. They both move people forward without wasting anything.
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    Lucky for me, I work at a library and bike to work.

  13. #13
    Senior Member jdon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tsl View Post
    I thought they made them in Oshawa.
    Baltimore I believe.

  14. #14
    Mad bike riding scientist cyccommute's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ejbarnes View Post
    Don't forget to take the computer and bottles off the bike.
    Must be a pretty small engine to mess up the gas that bad.
    I use an Astro Van. the bikes stay clean.
    Lots of room for other people.
    Lots of room for gear.
    Lots of room to sleep if needed.
    Better still... American made.
    An empty roof rack can decrease gas mileage by 12% at 55 mph. A bike on the rack is a huge sail and can reduce the mileage by 27% at 55. The faster you go, the worse it gets...simple aerodynamics.

    Carrying bikes inside is better. Carrying them on the back is less bad than a roof rack.
    Stuart Black
    Solo Without Pie. The search for pie in the Midwest.
    Picking the Scablands. Washington and Oregon, 2005. Pie and spiders on the Columbia River!
    Days of Wineless Roads. Bed and Breakfasting along the KATY
    Twisting Down the Alley. Misadventures in tornado alley.
    An Good Ol' Fashion Appalachian Butt Whoopin'.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by fueledbymetal View Post
    I'm getting a new car soon and have been thinking about giving a roof rack a try instead of dealing with a trunk rack like I have with my current car (no trailer hitch availible).
    Are you sure there are no hitches available for your new car? Just because a car is not rated to tow does not mean it cannot have a hitch installed. Back when I was a starving college student, I had a POS Hyundai Accent econobox, and that is the last car I would expect to be able to put a hitch on. Lo and behold, there is a 1.25" hitch available for it at U-Haul, cost me $160 installed. I've used it for years to lug my bike around until I finally upgraded to a better car.

    Especially on a new car, I would avoid a roof rack-- You WILL cause a lot of dings and scratches on your new car while trying to mount and dismount the bikes from the roof.

  16. #16
    Determined Survivor ejbarnes's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tsl View Post
    I thought they made them in Oshawa.
    Nope! American made. But the income is going to pay for the roads in the US (Where most of my family lives). I will ride on the roads and bike trails and parks in the U.S. during my vacations.
    Very unlikely I will ride on any roads in Aisia.
    Keep my money on this side thanks.

    I guess you could call me a Camerican. Canuck is fine with me too.
    Life is short. Enjoy the ride.
    James

  17. #17
    Bianchi Goddess Bianchigirll's Avatar
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    bugs??? hmmm I wonder if the force of a bug, like a bumble bee, when hitting a carbon fork traveling 75+ mph has any effect on the material? do they check that in wind tunnels?
    Bianchis '87 Sport SX, '90 Proto (2), '91 Boarala 'cross, '93 Project 3, '88 Trofeo SOLd, '86 Volpe, '89 Axis SOLD, '79 Mixte SOLD, '99 Mega Pro XL Ti SOLD, '97 Ti Megatube, , '90 something Vento 603,

    Others but still loved,; '80 RIGI, '80 Batavus Professional, '87 Cornelo, '86 Bertoni (sold), '09 Motobecane SS, '98 Hetchins M.O., '09 K2 Mainframe SOLD, '89 Trek 2000, '?? Jane Doe (still on the drawing board), '90ish Haro Escape

  18. #18
    Senior Member Brennan's Avatar
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    As long as it's a good rack system and it's installed correctly, it will be fine at 75mph. As others have mentioned, the fork mount racks are more stable, and I prefer them myself.

  19. #19
    Senior Member Brennan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cyccommute View Post
    Carrying bikes inside is better. Carrying them on the back is less bad than a roof rack.
    One system is not necessarily better than the other. It all depends on your needs. For my needs, carrying the bikes inside or on the back are definitely not better.

  20. #20
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    do not drive into a parking deck with it on top. i remember this day like it was yesterday. i transferred colleges and it was the first day of class. i had my bike on the roof and forgot. i headed into the parking deck and these two really hot girls were waving at me like crazy. i just began to think about how friendly the girls were at my new school. just about then i heard the a slam, boom, scratch, and bang. i immediately realized what i had done. nothing is more embarrassing on your first day at a new college and having two hot girls helping you load your rack and bike (in pieces) into the back seat of your car. the only good thing was one of the girls turned out to be in my program and always partnered up with me when we needed partners. at least i made a friend that day.

  21. #21
    Senior Member Brennan's Avatar
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    Hey, at least you found a positive aspect to this experience. That's a pretty expensive way to meet girls though.

  22. #22
    Senior Member rdtompki's Avatar
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    There is no reason your roof will get dinged up. I can easily lift our tandem onto our roof rack with damaging anything. If I had a tall vehicle I might need a short step stool, bit it is not difficult to be careful. I find my mileage is down about 10% with tandem in place at 70+ mph.
    Rick T
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  23. #23
    billyymc
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    When we go on road trips with the kids, we have four touring kayaks and two mountain bikes up on top of our Honda Odyssey. Full width (78") bars, with the bike racks that grab the downtube. I use a 2' cam strap and a bungee for insurance because the jaws don't grab oversized downtubes all that well. Have driven hundres of miles both at freeway speeds and through the mountains like this and haven't lost a bike or kayak (from this setup anyway!). It looks precarious though, because the bikes are actually on the part of the rack that extends past the edge of the vehicle -- so they sort of tilt to the outside!

    Next time we get a new car, I hope to convince my wife that a trailer is a better option though. We only load up this heavily for a couple trips each year, so we could get by with a smaller car most of the time.

    When we do have the Ody loaded up like that, we also have the back loaded with camping gear, kayaking gear and paddles, two more bikes, food for 10 days or so, and sometimes a dog crate! We're like the Beverly Hillbillies goign down the road.

  24. #24
    Older than dirt CCrew's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cachehiker View Post
    . Apart from that, the biggest problem is forgetting about the bikes when you pull into the garage. That's another reason my bike goes inside.
    You have to be really lacking in the situational awareness department to do that, sorry. I read of that happening, and the only thing I have to say is to do it you have to be downright clueless.

    I run a 4 bike Yakima roof rack on a Ford Focus. It costs 2mpg, and the bikes stay a LOT cleaner on the roof than they do in the rear, where the negative pressure deposits ALL the road crap on the bikes.

  25. #25
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    I routinely hit 90 when transporting my bike to and from school. Highway 5.

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