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Removable roof rack?

Old 08-22-04, 07:42 PM
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Ryan
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Removable roof rack?

Hi I just got a 2001 Dodge Neon, and I want to put a roof rack on it.. However I want the roof rack to be able to be easily removed when not transporting my bike.. When I open the doors, theres a notch where its looks like a support could be used? Is there racks like this that easily tighten to the door jams, then to remove just loosen? Anybody with this setup or know about it, please let me know..
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Old 08-22-04, 11:37 PM
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All the "big three" (Saris, Yakima, Thule) roof systems are removeable. AFAIK, the easist load bars to remove/install are Saris, because both roof clips (both ends of the bar) tighten down from either side of the car, so you don't have to go back and forth from one side of the car to the other several times.

BTW, there are scads of all three brands available on eBay for significantly less than what you'd pay new. About the only thing you may have to buy new is the clip that adapts the rack to your particular car. Each mfr's web site has that info; I've even seen the clips on eBay.
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Old 08-23-04, 03:57 AM
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Thanks, the Saris looks like the nicest and easiest to use.
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Old 08-23-04, 07:02 AM
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The Saris rack is the best looking of the three, with its aero shaped load bars. And the way the clamps work is very nice. But I have found the way that the bike racks mount to the load bars is very poor. Each of the load bars have a T slot that a carrage bolt slides in. The carrage bolts are grade 2 or less. When I first mounted the Saris rack on my car I had five of the bolts fail within the first year. I contacted Saris and they did say that they did get a lot of bad hardware from their supplier, they sent me a bag of replacment parts. Same grade and finish. But I was on my own for the damage to the bike and roof of my car when the bike rack fell off the car.

I still use the rack, but I have made clamps that go around the load bars. And do not use T slot to mount the racks to the load bars. We had so many problems with the Saris roof racks that we stopped selling them at the shop, placed what we had in the basment and refused to sell the remaning stock we had on hand.
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Old 08-24-04, 10:55 AM
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What grade bolts do Thule and Yakima use? I'm surprised to hear this. I haven't looked at the grade codes on the carriage bolts of my Saris equipment, but I've put a 45-lb tandem on mine, and it's held fast. The only bolt I've broken is from a bracket that I bought (very) used. It must have been left on the vehicle in the elements, because the bolt was hopelessly rusted. Two VERY large wrenches later, and of course, I broke the bolt, but other than sawing through it, that was my only choice. For that matter, that might not have been an original bolt.
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Old 08-24-04, 02:15 PM
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I have two saris racks, one on my camery and one on the family mini van. I wouldnt by another saris, but they do serve the purpose. First off, the fork mounts get real sticky and hard to move if left on during the full year - I commute year round so I need the rack in place all year. Second, the new lock fork mounts are a pain to tighten then clamp into place - and yes I have heard this complaint from others. The rack I have on my camery is older and has the older fork mounts w/o the locks - they work better, but are loose on the load bars and it takes a bit of faith to trust that the bike will be there at your destination. Overall, the systems work, but feel cheap and untrustable at times. Do a search on the saris rack in here, you can read about my bike flying off last season.
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Old 08-24-04, 03:50 PM
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The hardware that came with the rack had no grade markings, and no manufacurer markings. Cheap off shore hardware. I also carry tandems on the rack using my own tandem rack, my rack clamps around the load bars.
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Old 08-24-04, 04:44 PM
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Originally Posted by Ryan
However I want the roof rack to be able to be easily removed when not transporting my bike..
I can recommend the Delta bike carrier. Get a pair of Thules, Yakima (mine are OEM Volvo) or similar crossbars, square or round, and mount this bike carrier on them. Delta do not use the long tray (long trays are useless in my opinion) and are better built/sturdier carriers + I like the wheel attachment better, have a Yakima and the straps are a nightmare.
This carrier can stay on the crossbars once removed for easy storage in your trunk etc. With the Yakima, I had remove the racks,... and the carrier and altogether take a lot of space in a... station wagon (!).
Other good news is that the Delta carrier is half the price of a basic Thules long tray, so we got equipped for our two bikes for the price of one.
Sold by the manufacturer deltacycle.com but we bought ours from an eBay store where prices are better.
Fyi: wrote a review on this carrier already @ http://www.bikeforums.net/showthread...light=Cycliste
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Old 08-24-04, 06:50 PM
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Yes I am definetly gonna go with a type of tray where theres just a small part and fork mount, then the two bars arn't connected, for easy storage in trunk ect.
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Old 08-26-04, 12:26 AM
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If you go with the stubby trays, make sure that (1) you can mount the load bars the proper distance to match the distance between the rear wheel and the fork (presuming fork mount), and (2) you have a way of marking (or just remembering) the load bar positions, so you always mount them at that distance.

Long trays are definitely not useless if you carry many different sizes / types of bikes at different times and/or the same time, and don't want to have to memorize the exact load bar position for every possible combination. Come to think of it, if you have two bikes that are of significantly different wheelbases, you might not be able to put them both on short-tray fork mounts at the same time. 'Course, if you're just carrying the one bike, short-trays are the way to go, so you don't have to remove them.
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Old 08-26-04, 12:27 AM
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Originally Posted by bentbaggerlen
The hardware that came with the rack had no grade markings, and no manufacurer markings. Cheap off shore hardware.
My question was about corresponding hardware on the other brands. What grade is it?
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Old 08-26-04, 07:30 AM
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Originally Posted by madpogue
If you go with the stubby trays, make sure that (1) you can mount the load bars the proper distance to match the distance between the rear wheel and the fork (presuming fork mount), and (2) you have a way of marking (or just remembering) the load bar positions, so you always mount them at that distance.
This is not a problem with adult bikes, I carry a 63cm and a 56cm road bikes and occasionally a hybrid and a mountain, the short trays have actually enough length built in them to accomodate the few inches variations between bike sizes. Long trays may have an advantage with kids bikes and they are also good for carrying the manufacturers brand.
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