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Roof Rack vs. Trunk rack

Old 07-18-08, 02:18 PM
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PotatoSlayer
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Roof Rack vs. Trunk rack

My wife's car is a 1999 Oldsmobile Aurora.

Currently to transport my bike I take it apart (quick release) and put it in the backseat. She recently got a bike too and it's a bit crowded, so now I'm looking into getting a bike rack to make things easier.

I think I'm going with a rear rack, however my concern is would this add wind resistance to the back of the car, especially at high speeds?

Would a roof rack be better (but it is also more expensive and harder to access.

I want to be as economical as possible. I am looking for an honest critique of each kind.
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Old 07-18-08, 02:26 PM
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StanSeven
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As an owner of both, I say go for the rear rack. My roof rack on my small/medium SUV (Jeep Liberty) is hard to reach with cycling shoes on. My wife also tried to drive the vehicle inside the garage once - I ended up buying a new comunter bike from that mishap.

People used to say roof racks keep bikes safer in the event of a rear end colision. That sounds good but if you get a rear end accident, you probably have more things to worry about than your bike.

Roof racks also cause wind noise so get the air deflector. They cost much more. They keep you from being able to use many automated car washes. They also make it difficult to wash parts of the car by hand.
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Old 07-20-08, 09:02 AM
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Roof racks are the way to go if your car is lower to the ground. I don't like the 'after market' racks, like the one I have; I'd much rather go for a permanent solution / OEM solution. But yes, they are a very secure way to transport bikes. PLUS, you can mount other things to these types of racks such as GPS antennas, CB antennas, lights, etc, without scratching your cars finish.
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Old 07-20-08, 09:35 AM
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rallykid
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I have a Saris Bones 3 trunk rack that I bought back in the mid 90's (I think 96 but can't remember exactly) for $150.00. That was a ridiculous price for a rack then, a brand new Saris Bones 3 now? Still $150.00 and it has lasted me this long. I have used it on 9 cars and it has worked perfectly every time. I like that it is adjustable so I can take it from car to car and will fit just about anything on the market. Mine has held on tight with 2 bikes at over 100 MPH with no issues. If you are going for a trunk rack, this is the one to buy.
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Old 07-20-08, 10:35 AM
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IMHO, I wouldn't go with either the roof or the trunk mount solutions. Install a frame mount hitch (DrawTite or Reese hitch for around $150) permanently on the car. You can get them in 1.25" and 2" configurations depending on your car. Then buy a Thule or Yakima hitch carrier. I have used roof, trunk and hitch solutions, and the hitch wins hands down.

Roof racks are expensive, they are difficult to lift bikes up to (painful), it is very easy to ding/damage your car when getting the bike on the roof, they are NOT very non-aerodynamic, they kill gas mileage, and you are susceptible to smashing your bikes into overhead obstacles.

Trunk mount racks damage your car over time (scratches and sprung trunk lids), they are highly susceptible to falling off and require constant tightening and adjustment, and your bike is way too easy to steal. A thief can have your bike and rack off your car in seconds with a good knife. The trunk mount was our least favorite solution and we abandoned it after only two outings.

My Yakima hitch mount is hands down the best solution. It is easy to lift bikes up to rack, it holds bikes very securely, it is easy to strap-in bikes, it requires NO dis-assembly of wheels etc., my bikes can be locked to the hitch and the hitch locked to car, and best of all, I can take it off my vehicles in a few seconds with a wrench. We also bought a 1.25"-to-2" adaptor, so we can now use one carrier for both our YukonXL and our Honda.
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Old 07-20-08, 03:12 PM
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Originally Posted by Alpha52 View Post
IMHO, I wouldn't go with either the roof or the trunk mount solutions. Install a frame mount hitch (DrawTite or Reese hitch for around $150) permanently on the car. You can get them in 1.25" and 2" configurations depending on your car. Then buy a Thule or Yakima hitch carrier. I have used roof, trunk and hitch solutions, and the hitch wins hands down.
That was going to be my suggestion too. Hitch racks are the way to go. If I knew then what I know now, I would have paid the extra money to have a hitch installed.

I would go for a rear mounted rack over a roof rack but be warned that rear racks will scratch your paint slightly, you will not have that issue with a hitch rack.
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