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Roof Rack Options-help!

Old 11-01-12, 09:04 PM
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Taipei325
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Roof Rack Options-help!

Hi guys,

Sorry for the noob question . . . What do you guys recommend as a good option for carrying my bike on my car. I drive a 2011 BMW 3 series coupe.

I'm against a trunk mount...I want to avoid contact points and straps on the paint of my car. Or are these racks actually totally fine?

Thinking I will need a roof rack...my car has mounts for it, but the roof is curved a little...Should I get the mount where you take the front tire off and the rack holds the fork, or is the mount that holds the tire better? I don't think I would have any problem putting the front wheel somewhere in my car, but obviously in a coupe, it's not exactly over-flowing with space. Ahh...I knew I should have got the touring model! Sigh

Thanks for any help you guys can offer! I can't believe how much a bike rack costs, so I'm trying to avoid making a mistake and buying the wrong kind!
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Old 11-01-12, 09:15 PM
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I think the nicest roof rack on the market is the 1UP bike rack. It is available in either a hitch mount or roof mount. You don't need to take the front wheel off, it is fast to load and has the lowest profile of any roof rack on the market.
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Old 11-01-12, 09:23 PM
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RockyMounts Euro pitchfork (extremely slim) with a Thule Aeroblade setup mounted to the factory BMW mount points would be the cleanest. Also very quiet.
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Old 11-01-12, 09:33 PM
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friend of mine works at the local BMW dealership. He's an avid cyclist and a 3 series coupe owner. Has the roof mount racks. My only issue with them is that they are fairly permanent (he never takes them off). I don't care for that look, but they work really well. I have a roof mount rack, but I worry about scratching the paint. Have only used it twice in a pinch, but I'd probably look into something on the roof or perhaps even a hitch mount if I needed something often.
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Old 11-01-12, 09:40 PM
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To be honest, I'd recommend a hitch mount and hitch rack. Easy to put on and remove, and easy to put the bike on and off. No contact with paint either.
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Old 11-02-12, 09:29 AM
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His BMW has little caps covering the roof rack mount points. All he needs to do is pop them off and connect the feet of a thule/yakima fit kit to the mount points. He doesn't have to worry about anything touching the paint.

I would go with a Thule Aeroblade setup and the RockyMounts Eruo pitchfork. The rack can connect securely with the flush mount T bolts and will be much harder for anyone to remove the rack/bike. Also since there are no clamps around the bars the wind noise is almost gone. The aeroblades are already extremely quiet.
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Old 11-02-12, 10:01 AM
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I heartily recommend a hitch rack too. Go to Curt hitches and eTrailer to find info hitches. They're pretty easy to install...just bolt in, ~$175.

But on the trunk mount; I simply applied pieces of clear protective film over the paint on the contact points of the mount. Pads, no matter how soft, can get road dust and grit under them and scuff the paint. Plastic film prevents this. Most all auto stores carry plastic film like this, sometimes called chip guard.

Last edited by Looigi; 11-02-12 at 10:06 AM.
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Old 11-02-12, 10:07 AM
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Originally Posted by Looigi View Post
I heartily recommend a hitch rack too. Go to Curt hitches and eTrailer to find info hitches. They're pretty easy to install...just bolt in, ~$175.

But on the trunk mount; I and simply applied pieces of clear protective film over the paint on the contact points of the mount. Pads, no matter how soft, can get road dust and grit under them and scuff the paint. Plastic film prevents this. Most all auto stores carry plastic film like this, sometimes called chip guard.
+ 1000 on the Hitch mount. I just installed one on my Focus. It was $115 from Kurt/Amazon and arrived extremely fast. Mounting it was pretty easy, even for a non-mechanical guy like me. I install and remove my Thule hitch mount whenever I want. Leave it in the trunk when I'm out riding.
I kind of wanted a roof mount but really afraid of driving into my garage with bike on roof
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Old 11-02-12, 11:16 AM
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I'm glad I went roof rack on my car. I'd do it again in a heartbeat. Get whatever crossbars and mounting parts that are specific to your car, and then a carrier like the Yakima Highroller, or whatever the Thule equivalent is.
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Old 11-02-12, 12:50 PM
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I'd highly recommend Thule Aeroblades too. I run my Aeroblades with 2 Thule Echelon (fork mount) racks, and it is almost silent even at high speeds. They don't really mess with my fuel economy as much as the square Thule bars did, even with a fairing on the square bars. The all aluminum racks and bars look upscale too, especially when compared with rocky mounts or a lot of the yakima bike trays.

A roof rack with locks will also give you a lot of peace of mind compared to a trunk or hitch mount...I've had friends who've had stuff stolen (wheels, etc) from a trunk or hitch mount.

I've got a trunk mount that I use in conjunction with my roof rack and you will most likely scratch the back of your car a few times. Security is also an issue with those.

I'd recommend a fork mount rack for the roof too. Lower profile even when the bike's on, so better fuel economy, less wind noise, and you don't hear your bike wobbling around on top almost at all. I used to have a Saab with 2 Big Mouth upright bike racks and those things were not just noisy, but I thought I lost my bike a couple times.
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Old 11-02-12, 07:44 PM
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Thanks for all the input guys.

I found out that rear bike racks are basically illegal in Taiwan, but I do not want the trouble and expense of mounting a hitch on a sports coupe.

So roof rack it is...I think I'm going with the Thule "Wingbar" for the quietness and fuel efficiency they promise, and the Thule Outride which involves removing the front wheel and locking the forks in. I like this because nothing touches the bike frame other than the front fork brackets and this is the solution Thule recommends for carbon frame bikes.

My remaining question remains about the "feet" where the rack attaches to the car. BMW has 4 plastic covers on the roof that can be removed so that you can insert the metal bracket. How difficult are these to remove? A post above suggests this is not easy. Also wondering if putting it up, taking it down, will loosen the fit over time. Anyone use their carrier like this? e.g. installing it only to carry bikes and then taking it down for the rest of the week?
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Old 11-02-12, 08:08 PM
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There are several roof racks that do not touch the frame and keeps the front wheel on. Yakima, thule and 1UP all have racks that keep the front wheel on and don't touch the frame.

Here are some examples:

https://www.thule.com/en-US/US/Produc.../594XT-Sidearm

https://yakima.com/shop/bike/roof/highroller

https://www.1upusa.com/product-rooftray.html

Last edited by Carbon Unit; 11-02-12 at 08:33 PM.
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Old 11-03-12, 08:21 AM
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Originally Posted by Taipei325 View Post
...I found out that rear bike racks are basically illegal in Taiwan, but I do not want the trouble and expense of mounting a hitch on a sports coupe....
A hitch and hitch rack may well wind up being less trouble and expense than roof racks.
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Old 11-03-12, 08:30 AM
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Don't forget the bike on the roof when you drive into parking garages near malls...
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Old 11-03-12, 09:00 AM
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I have 4 Thule sidearms xt. 2 each on the wife's q7 and my Lexus. I also use seasucker talon for my sportscar.
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Old 11-03-12, 09:46 AM
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+1 on the Thule, and be done with it. /closed.
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Old 11-03-12, 10:41 AM
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I already owned a bunch of Yakima stuff, so I bought the roof mounts for my mercedes. They work just like the BMW. I do use a front wind deflector. I love the Yakima High Roller bike rack. Just toss the bike up there, wheels and all. Takes just seconds. The rack stays on year round. In the winter it gets a ski rack. For road trips and camping, it gets a cargo box. Very handy, and personally, I don't think a car looks complete without a roof rack. It took me about 5 years to forget the bike was up there and pull into the garage, trashing my car and bike, so beware!
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Old 11-03-12, 11:55 AM
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Originally Posted by Hot Potato View Post
Very handy, and personally, I don't think a car looks complete without a roof rack. It took me about 5 years to forget the bike was up there and pull into the garage, trashing my car and bike, so beware!
It depends on the car.
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Old 11-03-12, 05:29 PM
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Originally Posted by Carbon Unit View Post
There are several roof racks that do not touch the frame and keeps the front wheel on. Yakima, thule and 1UP all have racks that keep the front wheel on and don't touch the frame.

Here are some examples:

https://www.thule.com/en-US/US/Produc.../594XT-Sidearm

https://yakima.com/shop/bike/roof/highroller

https://www.1upusa.com/product-rooftray.html

Carbon...Thanks soooo much for taking the time to give me the links! I think I will go with the Thule or the Yakima if I can find it here in Taiwan. As an aside...Yakima's marketing team must be a little drunk when writing the copy for the website..."Go ahead and a score a roof rack..." and "Because it doesn't matter what you do at the craps table, never take chances with your bike!" hahahah Very cool..reminds me of some of the local manufacturer's here when they attempt marketing in other languages...very creative results!

Yes, VERY worried about the bike on roof rack and parking situation...the clearance height for my parking garage is barely enough for a small SUV....fortunately...I have a sunroof and I'm thinking I will put a red sticked on my garage remote key when I have the bike on...I can totally see how easy it would be for this kind of expensive mistake!

Enough chat though..it's a sunny Sunday morning and I have a mountain to ride!!
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Old 11-03-12, 05:40 PM
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leave the sunroof shade open if you have one. Also you can hand something from your rearview mirror like a caution sign.
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Old 11-03-12, 08:28 PM
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Originally Posted by Taipei325 View Post
Carbon...Thanks soooo much for taking the time to give me the links! I think I will go with the Thule or the Yakima if I can find it here in Taiwan. As an aside...Yakima's marketing team must be a little drunk when writing the copy for the website..."Go ahead and a score a roof rack..." and "Because it doesn't matter what you do at the craps table, never take chances with your bike!" hahahah Very cool..reminds me of some of the local manufacturer's here when they attempt marketing in other languages...very creative results!

Yes, VERY worried about the bike on roof rack and parking situation...the clearance height for my parking garage is barely enough for a small SUV....fortunately...I have a sunroof and I'm thinking I will put a red sticked on my garage remote key when I have the bike on...I can totally see how easy it would be for this kind of expensive mistake!

Enough chat though..it's a sunny Sunday morning and I have a mountain to ride!!
Glad I could help. My only concern with the Thule is that it might make contact with the front brake on a road bike. Maybe someone else can chim in on that. The Yakima and 1UP do not make contact with anything other than the wheels.

As for driving into the garage with a bike on the roof. I would put your garage door opener in the seat bag on the bike or in the trunk forcing you to get out of the car. You could also use a ladder or orange road cones to block entry to your garage.
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