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Car Roof Rack or Trunk Rack?

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Car Roof Rack or Trunk Rack?

Old 08-06-10, 07:06 PM
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prpandey
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Car Roof Rack or Trunk Rack?

I just recently bought a Trek 1.5 and I'm curious as to what rack I should get for my car. I drive a 2001 Honda Civic LX 4-door sedan. Does anyone have any suggestions?

Some of the reviews I've seen say that a roof rack is probably better, since it won't brush up against the trunk and if multiple bikes are on it, they won't touch each other. Can anyone share their insights?

Thanks!
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Old 08-06-10, 07:42 PM
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I've used both types, but really prefer the tidier nature of the roof rack. Once you put it on, it's just there, and more or less out of the way. No straps, no adjustments, just easy to use...and it comes in handy for hauling other stuff occasionally, too.
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Old 08-06-10, 07:47 PM
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Look into a hitch mount, with wheel grabbing trays. If a hitch is not an option, go roof rack. I have a Yakima front wheel grabber on the roof, and boy is it fast, eAsy and convenient. Just don't forget the bike is up there and go through the drive thru or pull into your garage.

I thought all the trunk mounts were kinda icky, and any rear of car rack means you have to take care backing up and where you pArk.
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Old 08-06-10, 07:48 PM
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For just one I'd remove the front wheel and set it down in the trunk. That's if your back seats fold down. I think they do on a 2001 Civic.

The trunk povides protection from theft, road grime and weather.

If you need to carry more than one, a roof rack will run you alot of dough. If you go that way, watch out for garage doors and be carefull when you load the bikes (forks can damage your car roof if you drop the bike).
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Old 08-06-10, 07:59 PM
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It depends if you wish to use your roof rack for other things, such as hauling lumber, plywood, sheet rock, enclosed boxes, etc. I have owned a Yakima system since 1991 and really like them.
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Old 08-06-10, 08:05 PM
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I had a trunk rack once. Got rear-ended. Negligible damage to the car, TOTALLED the bike; EVERYTHING was bent; seatpost, rear der cage, rims were smacked so hard that the spokes pulled the hub flanges in. I _think_ I salvaged the front derailleur. Now, when I can't put 'em in the back of one of the pickups or the wagon, they go on the roof. Used roof systems by Saris, Yakima, Thule are always available on eBay for WAY less than new. I've cobbled mine together from several used (eBay, CL) purchases, and Saris still honors the lifetime warranty. The only thing you might need to buy new would be the roof clips/feet that are specific to your car.
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Old 08-06-10, 08:24 PM
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After spending a couple of years folding my rear seats down to haul my bike to work for lunchtime/early morning rides, I finally got a Thule roof rack system and love it. The obvious caveat you'll hear is to reconsider if you park in a garage, as one day you'll forget your bike's there and "crunch"; but this isn't an issue for me as I park outdoors at home and work. Also, I had my car rear ended this w/e, although my reaction was "meh, had the car 6yrs and insurance will get this", I'd have been hopping mad if I'd wrecked a bike.
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Old 08-06-10, 08:28 PM
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Buy a minivan with fold down rear seats that convert to a cargo space. Carry bike INSIDE (safest). This is what I did after near-misses with both trunk and roof-mounted racks.
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Old 08-06-10, 08:48 PM
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One trick some fellas do, to prevent the garage door roof rack crunch, is to put the remote for the garage door in the seat bag of the bike for the drive home.
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Old 08-06-10, 08:50 PM
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how secure are trunk racks over long road trips.

im just a little nervous about 2 bikes on the back of my car for 5 hours
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Old 08-06-10, 10:05 PM
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Originally Posted by madpogue View Post
One trick some fellas do, to prevent the garage door roof rack crunch, is to put the remote for the garage door in the seat bag of the bike for the drive home.
Cheaper than getting some situational awareness and actually having a clue and remembering it's up there...
I run a Yakima roof rack on a Ford Focus hatchback. 4 bikes fit without touching on a small car.
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Old 08-06-10, 10:10 PM
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I like my roof rack--it's quick and easy to load the bike and go.
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People here don't get it.
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Old 08-06-10, 10:16 PM
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Originally Posted by madpogue View Post
I had a trunk rack once. Got rear-ended. Negligible damage to the car, TOTALLED the bike; EVERYTHING was bent; seatpost, rear der cage, rims were smacked so hard that the spokes pulled the hub flanges in. I _think_ I salvaged the front derailleur. Now, when I can't put 'em in the back of one of the pickups or the wagon, they go on the roof. Used roof systems by Saris, Yakima, Thule are always available on eBay for WAY less than new. I've cobbled mine together from several used (eBay, CL) purchases, and Saris still honors the lifetime warranty. The only thing you might need to buy new would be the roof clips/feet that are specific to your car.
I have a Thule hitch rack and carry the bike in the car on some trips (when I know traffic will suck) for just this reason. I was rear ended a month or so ago with no bike on the rack. Comes out Thule racks are pretty tough (just bent a little - and I got a settlement for it), I don't think a bike would have done very well.
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Old 08-06-10, 10:18 PM
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Originally Posted by CCrew View Post
Cheaper than getting some situational awareness and actually having a clue and remembering it's up there...
I run a Yakima roof rack on a Ford Focus hatchback. 4 bikes fit without touching on a small car.
you just jinxed yourself smartypants
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Old 08-07-10, 05:34 AM
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I use a Yakima hitch mount. Easier to load and unload and easier to carry 3-4 bikes than roof rack - especially when using the hybrids not the road bikes. Both expose the bike to possible damage, so be careful. Also remove from rack and ready to ride.
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Old 08-07-10, 05:59 AM
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Originally Posted by ACE77 View Post
how secure are trunk racks over long road trips.

im just a little nervous about 2 bikes on the back of my car for 5 hours
My brother and I drove across the country with his bike on the trunk of his civic using a really cheap Walmart trunk rack. Total of 4000 miles (lots of side trips). I'd say they're okay for long trips.

That said, IMO the best solution is the trailer hitch bike rack. Especially the kind that hold the bike in a tray by the wheels. They do make your car longer but you don't have to lift your bike on to the roof of a car after a long and exhausting ride, and you don't have to take your front wheel off, and you don't have to worry about overhangs, low tree branches, etc. Depending on the rack and your car you may also still be able to open the trunk even with a bike on the rack.

You also don't have to worry about forgetting about the rack when you back up because as soon as you look back you see the bike there.
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Old 08-07-10, 06:50 AM
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I am definitely a roof rack lover. it is a bit of stretch to the top of my Windstar, but it is more than worth it. I can get in the back with the bikes onboard. also when I needed to build a bike storage rack last week I was able to secure a dozen 2x4s to my thule.

however whenever I can I still perfer to put them inside.
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Old 08-07-10, 06:53 AM
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Saris Bones RS3

Fits nearly any vehicle. On and off the car in less than 30 seconds.

Perfect

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Old 08-07-10, 07:04 AM
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Originally Posted by madpogue View Post
I had a trunk rack once. Got rear-ended. Negligible damage to the car, TOTALLED the bike; EVERYTHING was bent; .
Originally Posted by Beaker View Post
Also, I had my car rear ended this w/e, although my reaction was "meh, had the car 6yrs and insurance will get this", I'd have been hopping mad if I'd wrecked a bike.
A friend of mine was just rear-ended while carrying his bike on the rear. Neither insurance company wants to pay for the totaled $3k bike, so now he has to sue the other driver for the damage to the bike to get the other insurance company involved. What a pain.

Personally, I really like the Inno racks that bonktown has on sale from time to time for $70. These are perfect if you've already got an OEM rack with crossbar like on many SUVs. Probably not so helpful for your Honda though.
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Old 08-07-10, 07:07 AM
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I've used both and definitely prefer the Thule roof rack system on my old E34. It provides more options when using the vehicle such as easy access to the trunk and usually that coincides with ease of packing the vehicle when going on rides.

That said, I also have a Thule hitch 917 system for our LRover and its the best so far. Fast loading of bikes, ease of access to all parts of the vehicle and very simple to lock/lock bikes and remove from the car. Its not cheap but well built. The gf and I took our bikes on a vacation this summer and no issues while covering well over 2000 miles. Also, if you live/drive in areas with bugs... having them low and behind the car really minimizes bug hits on all areas of the bikes compared to the other options.

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Old 08-07-10, 07:12 AM
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Originally Posted by madpogue View Post
One trick some fellas do, to prevent the garage door roof rack crunch, is to put the remote for the garage door in the seat bag of the bike for the drive home.
Crap. I just tore off the rear view mirror of one car, and the sun visor of another (where the garage control button is) and neither will fit inside the seat bag.

But seriously, there are "bike on top" placards to hang from your mirror. You could make one with some paper and a scissors.

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Old 08-07-10, 07:23 AM
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Originally Posted by prpandey View Post
I just recently bought a Trek 1.5 and I'm curious as to what rack I should get for my car. I drive a 2001 Honda Civic LX 4-door sedan. Does anyone have any suggestions?

Some of the reviews I've seen say that a roof rack is probably better, since it won't brush up against the trunk and if multiple bikes are on it, they won't touch each other. Can anyone share their insights?
The bikes won't touch each other if they're on the roof, but they could touch a low clearance ceiling at a parking garage, overhang at a fast food drive through, or your garage door if you don't pay attention. FWIW, I use a roof rack, partly for aesthetic reasons, partly for better access to the car, and partly because one of my bikes is a recumbent with a long wheelbase that really couldn't be mounted on a trunk or hitch rack. I toss the garage controller in the glove compartment when I'm hauling bikes. You still need to be mindful of other situations.
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Old 08-07-10, 07:30 AM
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roof racks, back racks, they work fine. Last winter I took my MTB on a back rack to Colorado. They salted the roads. Wow. major corrosion. My sweetie bike, it goes inside.
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Old 08-07-10, 07:31 AM
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I prefer a roof rack to a trunk rack, but find the security of transporting bikes inside my truck best of all.

The BMW rack setup is very stable.


DIY bike on bike rack. Definitely the most fun way to carry a bike. Rollerskis optional


Out of sight, out of mind...


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Old 08-07-10, 07:44 AM
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+1 on the Saris Bones. I have the two bike version, but it also comes in one or three bike models. I bought it the night before an 850 mile road trip, each way and it performed beautifully. I can't recommend it more. Once it's set up, which is 5mins or so, you can put it on and off the car in under a minute.
Bonus is that you can open the trunk(at least on my prius) with the rack still on, sans bikes obviously
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