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Old 03-11-06, 02:45 PM   #1
Al.canoe
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Car-Top Transporting

I much prefer carrying my $2500 (and counting) mountain bike and my $3000 road bike inside the vehicle just to keep the wind-driven rain off the bearings and keep the bike clean. Second best is my behind the car bike rack. Now I'm in a situation where I need to carry my ATB on the roof so I can fill the truck with cargo and tow a trailer at the same time.

Anybody have any negative bearing (or other) experience with a bike on the roof? I'm planning to use a fork mount (Yakima Viper as I have disk's) and one of those covers that covers the front part of the fork, the bars, shifters, levers and extends across the top-tube and covers the saddle. I drive around 70.

The scary part is the possibility of forgetting the bike is up there and pulling into the garage.

Al
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Old 03-11-06, 02:54 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Al.canoe
The scary part is the possibility of forgetting the bike is up there and pulling into the garage.

Al

Ahhh-hahaha.....I've never done that....well okay, maybe I did. I went for a ride and picked up my wife on the way home. We were chatting when we pulled up to the house and I forgot I had the bike on the roof. The end result...a dent in the roof of the Pathfinder, the bike rack was all bent up, the roof rack was bent, the garage frame had a tire mark and the bike, believe it or not, was fine!

End result, I now have a rear hitch mount, a fixed dent and no more roof rack (bike or OEM).

The only issues I had with it being on top was the height (on top of an SUV is a little high). And the garage thing of course. Other than that, I never had any problems with it. I didn't cover the bikes either...they probably go through a lot less up there than when you are riding them.

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Old 03-11-06, 03:30 PM   #3
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Had my dad's bike on the roof and I had to stop off at the market to pick some stuff up on my way to dropping his bike at the LBS.

Doesn't the f****** market have one of those aluminum bars that restrict the height of the vehicles that may enter and park in their parking lot? I never even thought of it as I've entered that parking lot a hundred times without any problems. Luckily all that bent was the bike rack.

So - lesson learned for you Al.canoe is that if you have to put it on. ALWAYS remember you have the bike on the roof. Put something on your dash to remind you especially if you're going to enter any parking lots/garages, etc.
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Old 03-11-06, 07:24 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by santiago
Had my dad's bike on the roof and I had to stop off at the market to pick some stuff up on my way to dropping his bike at the LBS.

Doesn't the f****** market have one of those aluminum bars that restrict the height of the vehicles that may enter and park in their parking lot? I never even thought of it as I've entered that parking lot a hundred times without any problems. Luckily all that bent was the bike rack.

So - lesson learned for you Al.canoe is that if you have to put it on. ALWAYS remember you have the bike on the roof. Put something on your dash to remind you especially if you're going to enter any parking lots/garages, etc.
That's exactly why I don't use a car top rack. I know that within a couple of weeks I would do the same damn thing, and probably worse. I am always in a hurry and I know I would be pulling in somewhere and either my vehicle or bike would get seriously screwed up.
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Old 03-11-06, 07:54 PM   #5
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i've used roof racks for years with no problems. tough to fit bikes inside my Jag sedan. never had any problems at any rational (below 90) speed. wind noise and fuel economy are the only (minor) downsides.

that said, i prefer carrying them with my Civic wagon - i've got a fork block mounted over the spare tyre, and the bike rides standing up, backwards, inside with me. good gas mileage, bike stays clean (or dirty, so thats a little bit of a downer) - and best of all, i can lock the bike to the inside of the car (strut tower brace) and then close and lock the doors. best security ever.

so yeah, roof racks work pretty well. just follow the manufacturer's instructions, and try not to do anything stupid.

(who actually has room for cars in their garage, anyway?)
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Old 03-12-06, 02:25 PM   #6
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The overhead clearance concern, as well as difficulty of access, and added drag are making me rethink my plans to get a roof rack for my Civic coupe. My current thought is a hitch rack, not the type that hangs the bike from the top tube, which lets it swing (I have a trunk rack right now, and the swinging bothers me), and is at best cumbersome with a full-suspension bike. Instead, I want one with trays like roof racks have. I haven't found anybody that makes one though, so I'm thinking about making one myself. The only problem I've thought of so far is the standard fork or wheel mounts those racks have may not be designed for lateral force, so I might need some additional support attached to the seat tube or something.

Sorry Al, I know talking about rear racks isn't going to help you with your trailer issue, but I wanted to toss my thoughts out as long as they were almost on topic. If it makes you feel any better, I've never heard of anyone losing a bike off a roof rack while driving (except the garage stories). Every now and then, though, somebody does have a rant about losing their bike off a trunk rack. It's usually because they installed it improperly, but it's unsettling nonetheless.

The one thing I do like about the roof rack, though, is the flexibility afforded by being able to stick other stuff up there.
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Old 03-12-06, 02:43 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by iamlucky13
The overhead clearance concern, as well as difficulty of access, and added drag are making me rethink my plans to get a roof rack for my Civic coupe. My current thought is a hitch rack, not the type that hangs the bike from the top tube, which lets it swing (I have a trunk rack right now, and the swinging bothers me), and is at best cumbersome with a full-suspension bike. Instead, I want one with trays like roof racks have. I haven't found anybody that makes one though, so I'm thinking about making one myself. The only problem I've thought of so far is the standard fork or wheel mounts those racks have may not be designed for lateral force, so I might need some additional support attached to the seat tube or something.
You mean like this... http://www.sportrack.com/a30901
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Old 03-12-06, 03:27 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by iamlucky13
Sorry Al, I know talking about rear racks isn't going to help you with your trailer issue, but I wanted to toss my thoughts out as long as they were almost on topic. If it makes you feel any better, I've never heard of anyone losing a bike off a roof rack while driving (except the garage stories). Every now and then, though, somebody does have a rant about losing their bike off a trunk rack. It's usually because they installed it improperly, but it's unsettling nonetheless.

The one thing I do like about the roof rack, though, is the flexibility afforded by being able to stick other stuff up there.
I already have two sets of Yakima roof racks to carry canoes and one of those long narrow cases. I lack the bike carrier attachmant.


I have a great Hollywood rack which holds two bikes with skewers and a small tray for the rear wheels. Fits into a receiver. The bikes are held very securly.
I managed to talk the bike shop owner into changing out the part that goes into the reciver with one form a bigger hollywood rack. It has a hand crank which expands a bushing in the receiver to eliminate slack. I've had a rear rack that was so loose in there that everytime I saw the rack rock back and forth in the mirror, I thought it was going to launch our bikes.

It will definitely save gas as your vehicle is very aerodynamic. However, they do get dirty back there on dusty roads.

Al
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Old 03-12-06, 03:45 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by never
You mean like this... http://www.sportrack.com/a30901
Hollywood (i think thats the brand) has a bike rack like that too. Bikeroom was selling one like that for $50 a couple of months ago.
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Old 03-12-06, 04:06 PM   #10
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I've used trunk mounts and roof mounts, and like to roof better, but I really like the roof mount where you don't have to take the front wheel off. I've had experience driving down the highway where, all of sudden, you reakize that the skewer was possibly not quite caught in the lock system, and the bike is hanging sideways from the rear wheel. Aside from the excitement, that sucks.

Of course, one always has to be aware of the roof mount height. Avoid the drive throughs, even the bank ones, and most parking garages.

Now that I'm down to just one kid, though, I might just do a trunk-rack on my next car, because they work very well, too.
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Old 03-12-06, 09:56 PM   #11
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Dang...I thought I was hot on the trail of my first $million.
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Old 03-13-06, 04:06 PM   #12
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I have been carrying a variety of bikes using a Thule roof rack for about 10 years now without any problems.

And I even managed 120mph on a clear stretch of motorway (Freeway) with 3 bikes on the roof, and they weren't moving
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