Go Back  Bike Forums > Bike Forums > Road Cycling
Reload this Page >

Best roof rack for a road bike?

Notices
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

Best roof rack for a road bike?

Old 02-17-20, 05:58 PM
  #1  
pixel_junkie
Newbie
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Oct 2019
Posts: 2
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Best roof rack for a road bike?

Hey guys,

what is considered the best roof rack for a road bike specifically? I'm looking at a THULE branded one that grabs the frame mainly and you strap the wheels. I was told that it works better for road bikes.
pixel_junkie is offline  
Old 02-17-20, 06:02 PM
  #2  
LAJ
So it is
 
LAJ's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Westminster, CO
Posts: 18,773

Bikes: Luzerne, 684, Boreas, Wheelhouse, Alize©®, Bayamo, Cayo

Mentioned: 233 Post(s)
Tagged: 1 Thread(s)
Quoted: 7739 Post(s)
Liked 1,974 Times in 1,156 Posts
There is no good roof rack.
__________________
Originally Posted by timtak View Post
It is as if in the past everyone was, potentially at least, a timtak.
LAJ is offline  
Likes For LAJ:
Old 02-17-20, 06:45 PM
  #3  
Steve B.
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: South shore, L.I., NY
Posts: 4,773

Bikes: Flyxii FR322, Cannondale Topstone, Miyata City Liner, Specialized Chisel

Mentioned: 16 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1816 Post(s)
Liked 532 Times in 351 Posts
Originally Posted by pixel_junkie View Post
Hey guys,

what is considered the best roof rack for a road bike specifically? I'm looking at a THULE branded one that grabs the frame mainly and you strap the wheels. I was told that it works better for road bikes.
Models that grab the frame shouldn’t be clamping on carbon, if you have or intend to own one.

Yakima and Thule make versions that keep the front wheel on and clamps the wheel with a strap for the rear wheel. Yak High Road, Thule UpRide are examples.
Steve B. is offline  
Old 02-17-20, 09:02 PM
  #4  
MKahrl
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Columbus, Ohio
Posts: 1,120

Bikes: Rivendell A.Homer Hilsen, Paramount P13, (4) Falcon bicycles, Mondia Special, Rodriguez Tandem

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 49 Post(s)
Liked 12 Times in 7 Posts
Roof racks are great for these reasons:
1. Very fast bike on and off.
2. You can add a lot of bike carriers (four!) to the rack if you have a lot of bike friends.
3. You can mount a tandem carrier.
4. You are a tall person and your bikes are tall.
5. Out of the way when not using it.

For any roof rack system an air dam on the front really helps with wind noise.

Not good for anyone who regularly uses drive through fast food or parking garages. It is VERY easy to forget your bike is up there. If you park your car in your own garage you need to develop a great routine. I throw my garage remote in the back seat whenever a bike goes up there.

Hitch mounted racks are great for these reasons:
1. Some hitch racks are pretty fast on and off.
2. Some hitch racks fold up so they are mostly of out of the way.
3. You can easily remove the rack which makes it really out of the way.
4. You can lift a bike onto it and so can your weaker friends.

Both types have versions that allow you to keep the front wheel on in case you have fenders (and everyone should) or you realize what a pain in the neck it is always removing the front wheel EVERY time you put the bike on a rack.

The 1Up is an awesome hitch rack and light enough that my 70 some stepmother puts it on and off her car.

My favorite roof rack for a single bike is the Thule ProRide but if the derailleur cables are pressed against down tube where it is clamped the paint will rub off the frame. Not so much a problem with metal frames.

The locking systems are good enough to foil the casual or time constrained thief. Most of my friends can't figure out how to get an unlocked bike off a roof rack.

I have no experience with delicate bikes whose frames cannot be clamped so I will allow others to comment on the best carrier to preserve fine features.

Here is some advice I am only now developing experience in: Thule and Yakima systems are not very compatible. I have thirty years worth of Thule components and recently bought a car that only Yakima makes a roof rack for. It's been a nightmare getting anything to work.
MKahrl is offline  
Old 02-17-20, 11:03 PM
  #5  
woodcraft
Senior Member
 
woodcraft's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: Nor Cal
Posts: 5,565
Mentioned: 15 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1623 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 648 Times in 390 Posts
IDK about best, but Inno beats Yakima IMO.
woodcraft is offline  
Old 02-18-20, 06:41 AM
  #6  
blakcloud 
Senior Member
 
blakcloud's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Toronto, Ontario
Posts: 2,417

Bikes: Trek Domane SL7, Rivendell Sam Hillborne, Brompton S/M3L (modified)

Mentioned: 12 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 517 Post(s)
Liked 232 Times in 156 Posts
Depends on the type of bike you are going to be putting on top of your car.

I have multiple bikes and the ProRide from Thule. For my steel bike with front rack and sometimes fenders it was the best choice. I didn't want to take off the front wheel or remove the fenders so the fork mount or over the tire systems wouldn't work. The bikes do sway in the wind which is a little disconcerting.

For my custom handmade steel bike, it works but the movement in the wind makes me less confident.

For my carbon bikes, well I don't like the thought of clamping the down tube. Thule do require you to use an adapter they sell but it is essentially just a rubber pad. For this bike I will buy a fork mounted carrier. On my second car I have fork mounted bike carriers but now, the new bikes have through axles which means replacing the units or buying adapters.

So, it works well for one bike but for my other two bikes, there are better choices. It all comes down to your needs.
blakcloud is offline  
Old 02-18-20, 07:20 AM
  #7  
pixel_junkie
Newbie
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Oct 2019
Posts: 2
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Thank you all!
pixel_junkie is offline  
Old 02-18-20, 07:25 AM
  #8  
firebird854
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2017
Location: Wisconsin
Posts: 531

Bikes: 2016 Specialized Tarmac Expert

Mentioned: 5 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 243 Post(s)
Liked 68 Times in 43 Posts
Bikes don't have roofs, so, impossible to mount a roof rack.
firebird854 is offline  
Old 02-18-20, 08:56 AM
  #9  
phrantic09
Fat n slow
 
Join Date: Oct 2013
Location: Saratoga, NY
Posts: 1,362

Bikes: Cervelo R3, Giant Revolt

Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 980 Post(s)
Liked 610 Times in 274 Posts
Seasucker

I use the Seasucker Talon, I’ve never had an issue other than the occasional need to repump on very long trips (13 hours)

goes on and comes off easily
phrantic09 is offline  
Old 02-24-20, 04:53 PM
  #10  
zjrog
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Posts: 1,642

Bikes: 1986 KHS Fiero, 1989 Trek 950, 1990 Trek 7000, 1991 Gary Fisher Hoo Koo E Koo, 1992 Trek 1400, 1997 Cannondale CAD2 R300, 1998 Cannondale CAD2 R200, 2002 Marin San Rafael, 2006 Cannondale CAAD8 R1000, 2010 Performance Access XCL9R

Mentioned: 6 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 269 Post(s)
Liked 224 Times in 158 Posts
I have older racks, sourced from local ads and Facebook Marketplace. On my Dodge Journey, I have a Yakima round bar rack that clamps to my factory rails. This sits fairly low to the roof. I have yet to ad a wind fairing to the front, so yes, it has some wind noise. I have 2 old Yakima Viper fork mount trays, and one older Yakima clamp type tray. I have room for one maybe two more, but have never needed more than 3 trays. So far. It is a bit of a stretch for the middle bike, but I am 6'1"...

On my old Neon, I have an old Graber square bar system, 1 generic fork mount tray and an older Thule BigMouth frame clamp tray. This is solid enough for my 29er, but squeezing the 2.35" wide tires in the tray makes it tough to strap the wheels down with the original straps. Later model straps work much better.

I also collected a few other trays along the way, just in case. All together, I'm in about $300 for both cars. I do have a $50 Harbor Freight hitch rack for my Jeep, and I have an Allen 2 bike trunk rack. But it's had enough time in the sun, I don't trust the straps anymore...

Is my setup the best? No, probably not, but I'm cheap, and they hold bikes on the highway at 90MPH...
zjrog is offline  

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off


Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service - Do Not Sell My Personal Information -

Copyright © 2021 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.