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Fork Mount (Roof) Bike rack

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Fork Mount (Roof) Bike rack

Old 05-05-17, 08:22 AM
  #1  
skids929
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Carbon Frame & Fork Mount (Roof) Bike rack

I thought I would pose this to the folks here rather than a dealer/manufacturer trying to sell me a bike rack. Question is, is it ok to use a (probably Thule) roof mounted fork mounted bike rack for a Carbon Frame/Fork? Link to the one I was considering below.

I own a 5 bike rack Thule, a hanging rack and I like it but it really only holds 4 bikes without alot of fussing around getting the 5th on and then scratching them up. Most of them are kid bikes which I am not as concerned with scratching but my bike I want to avoid that.


thanks for the advice!

https://www.thule.com/en-us/us/bike-...t-xt-_-1690944

Last edited by skids929; 05-05-17 at 08:55 AM.
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Old 05-05-17, 09:16 AM
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Interested in this as well. Forgot the fiancee's bike had a carbon fork until I was tossing it up there for the first time this weekend. It rode there 100 miles and back up top without any obvious issues, but would like a more clear answer before I continue doing so.
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Old 05-05-17, 10:05 AM
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I don't see why it would be a problem with carbon. You're using the existing hard-point of the front wheel dropout with a beefed-up QR. As long as you have a standard (100mm?) front axle it should fit just fine. If you have disk brakes or thru-axles, you may need an adapter.

If you're worried about stressing the bike frame, I would think that there would be far less load in moving an empty bike frame through the wind at 70 mph on the car roof, than with a hundred pounds (or two in my case) of rider moving the bike down the road at 15-20 mph.

Only issue i had was an (older) air-oil shock that foamed up and popped a seal after ~200 highway miles in 90* heat. (I set the lockouts if i'm roof-topping a shock now)
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Old 05-05-17, 12:08 PM
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Originally Posted by Ironfish653 View Post
I don't see why it would be a problem with carbon. You're using the existing hard-point of the front wheel dropout with a beefed-up QR. As long as you have a standard (100mm?) front axle it should fit just fine. If you have disk brakes or thru-axles, you may need an adapter.

If you're worried about stressing the bike frame, I would think that there would be far less load in moving an empty bike frame through the wind at 70 mph on the car roof, than with a hundred pounds (or two in my case) of rider moving the bike down the road at 15-20 mph.

Only issue i had was an (older) air-oil shock that foamed up and popped a seal after ~200 highway miles in 90* heat. (I set the lockouts if i'm roof-topping a shock now)

All good points...Especially about the load not being on the bike, hadn't thought of that (DUH!). I mean I understand it's not like the bike is made out of potato chips, but just seems like a stress point to mount it that way. But I am probably underestimating the strength of CF too.
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Old 05-05-17, 02:15 PM
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Just don't let anyone ride on the bike on the roof while cruising the interstate at 70mph.
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Old 05-05-17, 02:33 PM
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It's by far the most common way to transport carbon framed bikes.

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Old 05-05-17, 02:45 PM
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Originally Posted by gsa103 View Post
It's by far the most common way to transport carbon framed bikes.
I was going to suggest that, but if you look at the picture, none of those are fork mounted.

My biggest concern was simply crushing the front dropouts, as my clamp handle is quite beefy and I can wrench it down much more than a QR, but as I now understand it, where it clamps is actually hardened?

Last edited by jefnvk; 05-05-17 at 02:48 PM.
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Old 05-05-17, 02:50 PM
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I had a Yakima fork mount roof rack a few years ago for my Litespeed with a carbon fork. No problems after many highway trips at 75+ mph.
BTW: The Litespeed is still my favorite ride and still has the original fork.
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Old 05-05-17, 04:20 PM
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Originally Posted by jefnvk View Post
I was going to suggest that, but if you look at the picture, none of those are fork mounted.

My biggest concern was simply crushing the front dropouts, as my clamp handle is quite beefy and I can wrench it down much more than a QR, but as I now understand it, where it clamps is actually hardened?
The drop-outs are almost always aluminum bonded into the carbon fork.
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Old 05-05-17, 04:56 PM
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Originally Posted by gsa103 View Post
The drop-outs are almost always aluminum bonded into the carbon fork.
Cool, I'll have to take a look at her bike when I get home. I don't personally have any CF parts, its all new to me.

EDIT: yep, you were right. Interesting how that goes together, I didn't even notice that tossing it up there last time!

Last edited by jefnvk; 05-05-17 at 07:39 PM.
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Old 05-05-17, 05:15 PM
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Perfectly safe as long as you don't drive into the garage with the bike on top.

Also note the photo on the Thule site shows a carbon bike:

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Old 05-05-17, 05:50 PM
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Old 05-05-17, 06:17 PM
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We have always used a roof/ fork mounted rack for all our bikes, some with carbon forks. Just remember that the rack has a bike on it when pulling into the garage (my wife made this mistake once) I like the roof rack because I feel the bikes are more secure, and there is very little movement. IMO it the best way to carry carbon bikes; there is not anything for the frame or fork to rub on.

We have had up to 4 bikes on my little car. Stowing gear and wheels along with 4 passengers was a real challenge.


We tried out a little different setup last year on a trip with our daughters. We combined a hitch rack with a roof rack, and it seemed to work out well. We picked up one daughter on the way to the starting point of our tour, and our other daughter met us there, but we could have comfortably hauled 4 bike, 4 people and gear. The most durable bikes go on the hitch rack.

Last edited by Doug64; 05-05-17 at 06:30 PM.
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Old 05-05-17, 06:39 PM
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Originally Posted by gsa103 View Post
The drop-outs are almost always aluminum bonded into the carbon fork.
yeah my dropouts are aluminum, but I was mostly concerned with the lateral movement causing an issue with the fork potentially separating that part. Probably paranoia just thought it wouldn't hurt to ask.
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Old 05-05-17, 06:42 PM
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Originally Posted by Doug64 View Post
We have always used a roof/ fork mounted rack for all our bikes, some with carbon forks. Just remember that the rack has a bike on it when pulling into the garage (my wife made this mistake once) I like the roof rack because I feel the bikes are more secure, and there is very little movement. IMO it the best way to carry carbon bikes; there is not anything for the frame or fork to rub on.

We have had up to 4 bikes on my little car. Stowing gear and wheels along with 4 passengers was a real challenge.


We tried out a little different setup last year on a trip with our daughters. We combined a hitch rack with a roof rack, and it seemed to work out well. We picked up one daughter on the way to the starting point of our tour, and our other daughter met us there, but we could have comfortably hauled 4 bike, 4 people and gear. The most durable bikes go on the hitch rack.
Yep, this is my exact plan! Put the kid bikes on the Thule Hanger Rack and put the adult bikes up top. Mostly concerned with my bike though being Carbon and 5 times the cost of any of the other bikes we own.
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Old 05-18-17, 03:54 PM
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Factory rails, $100 each. Racks from Costco, $50 each.
No muss, no fuss.

And a cure for those times when you have the bikes on the roof and know there will be drinking later.

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Old 05-18-17, 06:58 PM
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I use a roof rack and it's never been a problem. As others have said, there's aluminum reinforcement, so it's fine. I also think it's the best looking way to carry a bike. lol
Road bikes are light and it's really not a problem but even my heavier mountain bike is fine.
Just be aware that your gas consumption will take a small hit do to the wind resistance.



With the mountain bike you can see the adapter someone mentioned before, for thru axles (15mm in my case).

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