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Roof Carrier Recommendations Please.

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Roof Carrier Recommendations Please.

Old 04-27-15, 09:45 PM
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MAK
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Roof Carrier Recommendations Please.

I just bought a new small SUV (2016 Mazda CX-5) and while my bikes fit in the back, I'd like to add a roof carrier also. It has a roof rack with side and cross rails (Mazda OEM is actually ordered and soon to be installed). I'd prefer a lockable fork mount as removing the wheel and locking the frame to the carrier makes sense for best security. It will be for road and touring bikes.

Is there much of a difference between Yakima and Thule? Should I be looking at other brands? I don't mind spending a "reasonable" amount since I want my bikes to be safe and secure.

Thank you.
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Old 04-27-15, 09:53 PM
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I'm not going to make a brand endorsement because each is OK, as are other choices.

BUT- I am going to remind you to consider removing the rack if you won't be using it for a while. All roof racks have a decent amount of windage and will significantly lower the fuel efficiency of your car. You can improve things slightly if the front rail is mounted behind the main wind flow off your windshield.

Place a straight edge against the glass, and mount the rail at least 6" behind the line if possible.

BTW- If you have a garage or carport, place some kind of reminder to stop before entering. Passing under low clearance (usually at home) is a major cause of bike damage among roof rack users.
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Old 04-27-15, 10:00 PM
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I have been using the Yakima Forklift on my Nissan Murano for a little over two years now and have had no issues. It seems to hold the bike in securely (even at interstate speeds), and my gas mileage doesn't seem to suffer much.
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Old 04-27-15, 10:47 PM
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Taking the wheel off every time gets old really quick. I have a yakima frontloader wheel on rack and some thule fork mount rack so guess which one I always use. And in my case the yakima one is the only one with a lock. For now I'm actually stuck using the fork mount because my yakima got destroyed when I caught a low hanging cable line and ripped my bike off the roof for the SECOND time. I'm switching to a hitch rack because I'm tired of worrying about that happening again. I have a station wagon so when I am going anywhere far away I just throw the bike in the car somewhat for security but mainly because having the bike on the roof kills my mileage, hoping the hitch rack also helps there.

None of them are really secure if you are worried about theft. At best I might leave one on the roof while I run into the gas station or while I'm eating and can keep an eye on it but I certainly wouldn't trust my bike on the roof for any real amount of time out of my sight.
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Old 04-27-15, 11:17 PM
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Originally Posted by MAK View Post
I just bought a new small SUV (2016 Mazda CX-5) and while my bikes fit in the back, I'd like to add a roof carrier also. It has a roof rack with side and cross rails (Mazda OEM is actually ordered and soon to be installed). I'd prefer a lockable fork mount as removing the wheel and locking the frame to the carrier makes sense for best security. It will be for road and touring bikes.

Is there much of a difference between Yakima and Thule? Should I be looking at other brands? I don't mind spending a "reasonable" amount since I want my bikes to be safe and secure.

Thank you.
We have a Thule as well as an RV-INNO (aka INNO). We bought the Thule bars sort of by accident, thinking we gave the INNO bars to my brother (we thought we left them on the car he got), but in fact he didn't have it, we had it in the garage. Because we already put everything on the Thule it's what we've been using.


The red bike is on a silver INNO mount, not the black Thule tandem mount.

Fork mount is nice because the fork is designed to be clamped hard. It's secure, you can rock the car using the bike, and there's less movement than "full bike mount" things. Even the fork mounted bikes will wobble a bit. You can see it from inside the car but from 50 yards away it's not very obvious. With a full bike it's obvious from further away.

If you want to keep the inside of the car cleaner then get a wheel mount for the front wheel. You'll want to get a locking cable for that as well.

The INNO mounts are nice, automatically locking (only way to close everything up is to lock it), pretty weather proof (we're going on 10 or 11 years with the INNO mounts), secure, etc.

For the rectangular bars I think you have to get a Thule fork mount. I know that the pro team sponsored by INNO had Thule wheel forks for carrying the wheels because INNO doesn't sell one. Not sure if that's still the case. We don't have wheel forks but I'm considering buying one for each bike mount (3 total).

Although the rack locks I wouldn't leave a bike up there for any significant length of time. I've known friends to have their bikes stolen off of roofs, even the racks stolen off of roofs. You can take pretty much any rack off a car, you just have to not care about the car.

That said we leave the rack on the car for the summer. Typically our summer mileage drops from about 50-52 mpg for long highway trips with no rack to 42-44 mpg with the rack and a bike or two on the rack. The picture above was a 422 mile trip Maine -> CT, we avg 65 mph for the entire trip (so cruising speed close to 75 mph), and 43.2 mpg for the entire trip including maybe 90 minutes on secondary roads. So it's a 20% drop in mileage with the rack and the bike.
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Old 04-28-15, 02:38 AM
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Mine is a TDI wagon as well, nice. As for the fork vs wheel on wobble thing you just have to get over it . Yes there is a bit more movement but it doesn't hurt anything and



That is what it took to rip my bike off the roof the first time it happened. Second time wasn't nearly as impressive but it still destroyed the rack.

I also miss being able to use my sunroof without going def.
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Old 04-29-15, 09:30 AM
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Thank you for your responses.
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Old 04-29-15, 11:20 AM
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Also take a look at the Rockymounts TieRod. Very good quality, lock cores are sold separately.
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