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Recommendations for a Roof rack for a new car.

Road Cycling “It is by riding a bicycle that you learn the contours of a country best, since you have to sweat up the hills and coast down them. Thus you remember them as they actually are, while in a motor car only a high hill impresses you, and you have no such accurate remembrance of country you have driven through as you gain by riding a bicycle.” -- Ernest Hemingway

Recommendations for a Roof rack for a new car.

Old 06-14-18, 07:18 AM
  #1  
TheRef
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Recommendations for a Roof rack for a new car.


I'm having to replace my 9 year old sedan. I've used a 3 bike Saris Bones rack which i like quite a bit. It's an old rack I got on craigslist several years ago. Only problem is that the hooks and pads are a bit old and they mar the paint. I never cared much as my car is old and had it's dings and scratches (battle wounds).
This is my first brand new car in a long time. It's a nice bright blue and gorgeous metallic finish. It's a 2018 Hyundai Sonata but there is no OEM options for a roof rack or even a hitch. I know I could get a hitch installed but I'm afraid it will look ugly. Another plus for a roof rack is that I'm planning to get a couple of kayaks in the near future and I know there are some that can be used interchangeably.
Problem is I know nothing of roof racks.

Any suggestions????

Last edited by TheRef; 06-14-18 at 07:22 AM.
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Old 06-14-18, 07:44 AM
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tagaproject6
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SeaSucker bike racks
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Old 06-14-18, 08:44 AM
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I'm in the same position. I have a brand new bright blue Subaru Legacy with no option for OEM roof rack. I'll probably end up with a Thule. I've had great experiences with Thule in the past. Go to your LBS. They'll help.
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Old 06-14-18, 09:18 AM
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lyrictenor1
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Originally Posted by tagaproject6 View Post
SeaSucker bike racks

Seconded!
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Old 06-14-18, 10:08 AM
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I went with a hitch rack because to many people I knew got a roof rack, then at some point forgot they had bikes on the car and tried to pull their car into the garage with the bikes on the top - destroying their bikes, the rack, and sometimes making the car look ugly. Fyi.
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Old 06-14-18, 10:37 AM
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Since you need to carry both bikes and kayaks, I'd go with Thule or Yakima. It'll be expensive initially to get all the stuff you need, but you'll only need the attachment parts if you want to use on another vehicle.
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Old 06-14-18, 10:50 AM
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Second the vote on the Thule. It's kept its value for 15 years now, being used on a third car (wagon, minivan, now SUV). Modular design has huge intrinsic value. Use the "coffin" when we go skiing, Carries 2 bikes nicely with "bike rails" switched in. Or neither for strapping on other cargo. Durable parts, logical design. Valued proved over time.
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Old 06-14-18, 11:11 AM
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Thule is a brand most people will recognise right away when talking about racks of any sort. The sea Sucker would be my first option if I'm considering just for a bicycle but the ability to later on get the kayak attachments make me think Thule.
But my main question is where does the rack attach to the car if it doesn't have roof rack mounts? The door sills? Would it mark the paint?
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Old 06-14-18, 11:24 AM
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GuitarBob
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Originally Posted by TheRef View Post
But my main question is where does the rack attach to the car if it doesn't have roof rack mounts? The door sills? Would it mark the paint?
Yes, on the body where the top of the door/window fits. At least that's how my Yak rack works. I'm sure you can check their websites for fitment options for your new car (congrats!).

If you're careful, the racks won't mar the paint.
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Old 06-14-18, 11:44 AM
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Originally Posted by tagaproject6 View Post
SeaSucker bike racks
Do SeaSuckers leave a mark once removed?
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Old 06-14-18, 12:01 PM
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Originally Posted by cycledogg View Post
Do SeaSuckers leave a mark once removed?
Not in my experience.
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Old 06-14-18, 12:31 PM
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You need a base roof rail system, for which there are many options: Thule, Yakima are the most popular but expensive - you can find their stuff used on eBay or Craigslist or often at 20% off at REI on spring/end-of-summer sales. You're more likely to find the crossbars rather than the fit kits used (fit kits are specific to your car); you can find the towers (these go on top of the fit kit and the crossbars attach to them) used but usually they hold their price very well used. There are lesser known roof systems like RhinoRack. Avoid getting cheap Chinese knockoffs from eBay. The racks attach with rubber feet on top and steel clamps on the bottom - watch this video:

The clamps have a somewhat soft paint surface which isn't supposed to scratch the car (they're not supposed to move, really, unlike pad-and-clamp trunk racks which go all over the place), and you're supposed to clean the points of attachment so there's no abrasives (dust/sand). I'm guessing that over several years of non-stop use the paint on your car elsewhere will fade from the sun but will still look shinier/newer under the feet. Don't think that's too much of a problem, TBH.

Then, you will need 'gear' carriers to go on top of the roof rails - bike carriers and kayak carriers. You will need to decide how you want to carry your gear; this might be driven by how much gear you want to carry. There are wing-type and J-type kayak carriers (I have and like Malone Autoloader). J-type are more compact. For bike carriers you can have wheel-clamp, downtube-clamp, or skewer-mount (where you have to remove the front wheel). I have Thule Big Mouth because it came free with my Craigslist purchase of the rack but I don't like it that much. The bike sways side-to-side too much in it.

If you ever foresee going on a trip where you want both boats and bikes (probably not going to happen often although only you know your lifestyle), it helps to know that there's an option to get wider-than-recommended crossbars for your car (e.g. if Thule recommends 50 in, people get something like 60) and mount gear that way. But be aware of the roof/rack loading limitations.

You could also go with a hitch-mount rack; here you can choose hanging vs. clamp-mount. I have both roof and hitch racks on different cars and hitch mount is much easier to use because you don't have to lift the bike up on the roof; it's also very easy and quick to remove/install (2 minutes) when not needed (99% of my driving) whereas crossbars would take longer. But this option has no way for carrying boats.
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Old 06-14-18, 12:48 PM
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OP,

I used a Saris Bones 3 bike rack on my Golf R32. And like you mentioned, during prolonged periods of having it on, the rubber contact points get debris and sand between them and paint and scratch the trunk up badly. I just bought a new car and ruled out having a trunk rack and roof rack. To me Roof rack is not practical, and from stories that I heard, it can allow water to get in if it rains hard. I ended up buying a Tow hitch and Saris Bones 2 bike rack for less than $270 new for both. I am very happy with the option. the mounting arms fold down if you need room in mater of a few seconds. The rack also does not get in the way of my rear view. If you want, I can provide you with pics.
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Old 06-14-18, 03:21 PM
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Old 06-16-18, 02:11 PM
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Old 06-16-18, 05:47 PM
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I've had wonderful experience with my Yakima. I use a Yakima HighSpeed bike track that accepts thru Axel or skewer style dropouts.



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