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Old 03-20-14, 08:47 AM   #1
topher5150
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Roof rack question

Just bought a Nissan Xterra, and I want to put a bike roof rack on it. I was looking at the
SportRack Roof 2 Bike Rack - Frame Mount - Clamp On SportRack Roof Bike Racks SR4882RP
my concern is that my wife has a full suspension bike and I'm not sure if it will be able to properly grip around the frame. I'm thinking attaching it to the frame closer to the pedals, but I don't know if this frame tubing will be to big. Has any one used this type of bike rack on a bike like this. I don't have the money to buy a Thule or any thing like that.
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Old 03-20-14, 09:03 AM   #2
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Can't answer your question, as I've never used a roof mounted rack. However, I do have a suggestion before you continue down this path- you both (your wife and yourself) should lift the heaviest bike you plan on transporting and see if both of you are tall/strong enough to get it up that high. Best to do this individually- if you do all the lifting and you become incapacitated for some reason, the rack ain't gonna do her any good. My wife is ~5'2 & 3/4" and there is no way she'd be able to put a bike on a roof rack on our Pacifica, let alone our Jeep Liberty (which is higher and comes closer in stature to your Xterra).

You might be better off just folding the rear seats down and transport them that way.
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Old 03-20-14, 09:32 AM   #3
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Nissan may have a kit to use the factory roof rack

REI or the online fit list for Yakima and Thule may be useful

But as picture shows, those BSO pretend suspended MTB's are Heavy as heck,

I wouldn't want to lift it to a roof rack .


last roof rack and car combo I had was when cars still had rain gutters to clamp onto ..
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Old 03-20-14, 10:03 AM   #4
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Just bought a Nissan Xterra, and I want to put a bike roof rack on it.
Not that there's anything wrong with roof racks per se, but on that vehicle body style, I'd go with a hitch rack myself. Much less trouble and they work just as well. I even transport my CF bike using one, although I do wrap the top tube with a foam piece my shop gave me when I bought it. Do that and secure the front wheel and you're off in no time with no hassle.
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Old 03-20-14, 11:00 AM   #5
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The only thing I have against using a hitch rack is that hopefully I we will do some camping this summer and use a popup camper. Maybe using one that straps to the lift gate would be the best for this situation.
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Old 03-20-14, 11:36 AM   #6
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A welding shop can modify the tow bar of the Trailer to receive the bike rack

that goes in the same place as the trailer hitch, then.
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Old 03-20-14, 03:25 PM   #7
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Ditto the recommendation for a a hitch rack. The X-Terra is a tall vehicle and it'll be a pain lifting a 30lbs mt. bike onto the roof. My '11 Forester is +66 inches and is as tall as I would want to reach without a step stool (and I use a Thule roof rack). The X-Terra is 9 inches taller and with the rack mounting on the round load bars, higher still.

I'd do a hitch. They make models that readily swing down and out of the way of accessing the rear of the truck, as well they are easy to take out. They probably cost slightly less and there's a really good selection of hitch racks. And of course you get gas mileage with a hitch.
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Old 03-20-14, 05:46 PM   #8
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If you do buy a roof rack spend a little more and do a bolt on Thule or Yakima. Clamp on racks are a pain in the a** and will ruin you paint. But, like just about everyone else here said, a hitch rack would be a whole lot easier for transporting bikes.
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Old 03-21-14, 06:10 AM   #9
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If you do buy a roof rack spend a little more and do a bolt on Thule or Yakima. Clamp on racks are a pain in the a** and will ruin you paint. But, like just about everyone else here said, a hitch rack would be a whole lot easier for transporting bikes.
Yeah trailer hitch is looking a lot better, and seeing they make an adapter to tow a trailer and use this bike rack at the same time it is making it a look a lot better.
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Old 03-21-14, 08:38 AM   #10
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Just to add another comment about a hitch rack... I have a car with a relatively low profile (Subaru Legacy) and I have no interest in lifting my hybrid to mount on the roof after a long ride. Remember, the typical cyclist has no upper body strength... or at least I don't

My car is low-slung and the receiver hits the ground occasionally, but it is a small price to pay for an easy to use rack. I also prefer using a platform style rather than a hanging style, and just started using a Yakima Hold Up that is the easiest mounting platform rack I have had, and it pivots up easily when not in use. Costs a little more than others, but I love it. The only down side (which wasn't an issue for me) is that it can't be used with bikes with front fenders, and I suspect front racks are out too.
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Old 06-23-14, 11:28 AM   #11
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So I finally bit the bullet and bought a hitch rack. It's not the fanciest, or most expensive, but I think It'll work fine.

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Old 06-23-14, 11:34 AM   #12
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If you use a roof rack you have to be certain that the bikes going on the rack cost more than the car. This is important.
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Old 06-23-14, 11:36 AM   #13
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The only thing I have against using a hitch rack is that hopefully I we will do some camping this summer and use a popup camper. Maybe using one that straps to the lift gate would be the best for this situation.
I bought a double hitch receiver in order to use my hitch rack and tow my popup. Works great. I think it was about 60 bucks on Amazon.
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Old 06-23-14, 12:11 PM   #14
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Or, put the bike rack on the back of the pop up.
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Old 06-23-14, 12:14 PM   #15
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There are some parts in like the Yakima list that use the crankarm to hold the bike up and wheel straps to hold it down ..

A safe bet since all bikes have crank arms and wheels ..
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Old 06-23-14, 07:39 PM   #16
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The only thing I have against using a hitch rack is that hopefully I we will do some camping this summer and use a popup camper. Maybe using one that straps to the lift gate would be the best for this situation.
I've seen many popups with bikes on the back or on a roof rack on the camper.
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