Old 07-25-09, 07:11 AM
  #4  
Velo Dog
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Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: Northern Nevada
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I used similar racks for years before I bought a Yakima roof rack and never had any problems. My son uses my old rack now, and just moved from Reno to Denver with it. A few tips to reduce the chance of seeing the bike endo down the highway in your rear-view mirror:
Don't blow off the installation. Check everything every time, tighten the straps, make sure the rack's firmly attached to the car and the bike's attached to the rack.
Stop after 10 miles or so and re-check everything. Straps can work loose. If it happens often, put a wrap of duct tape or something over the buckles so the straps can't slip.
In the photo, there's nothing to keep the rack from moving side to side. Most of the load is front to back, but in traffic or on curves, there's some side force, too. If your car's similar to the pic, I think I'd consider attaching the lower strap hooks to the "notch" in the trunk lid inboard of the taillights, rather than running them straight down.
The straps are one place they cut costs on cheap racks. If yours are iffy, you can replace them with webbing from someplace like REI for a few dollars. They sell it by the foot.
You can pad the bike with whatever's available. One idea is foam pipe insulation from someplace like Home Depot, which will just slip over the tubes. And note the previous post about theft--leaving the bike on the rack in a motel parking lot is like putting a STEAL ME sign on it. For short stops, you might look underneath the car for something to lock to. My Mazda has tow points underneath that my Kryptonite cable will just fit through.
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