Forum home Road cycling forum Tours, routes, audaxes & organised rides Tour & expedition

Which roof racks?

janinegreenjaninegreen Posts: 2
edited July 2008 in Tour & expedition
We're taking our bikes over to France soon and need to get the car fitted with a roof carrier. Which is the best sort? I've seen some where the front wheels are on and some where they're off. Instinctively taking them off feels more safe and secure but no idea really!


  • pneumaticpneumatic Posts: 1,989
    I have two pairs of racks from Halfords (sorry purists, but they were cheap). both are "wheels on" models.

    the first pair have been great and reliable. Very simple construction, very secure.

    The second pair were more elaborate and total rubbish. They are apparently lockable (but the barrel just falls out and I reckon I could jemmy them with a plastic spoon) and for some insane reason, foldable, but this just causes them to go ^ shaped when you put a bike on.

    The thing to check is whether they will fit your roof bars: mine don't fit my mate's car and his doesn't fit mine, which makes companionable touring impossible.

    Advice; get the simplest thing possible.

    Tip: cut up a mouse mat (or old wetsuit) and use it as a frame protector between the jaws of the clamp and the down tube. However tight you make it, it will still move and scratch your paintwork.

    Cautionary tale: never be tempted not to bother securing the wheels to the rack. I've seen the mess a nice bike gets into when it rips off your roof - not at all pretty.

    Fast and Bulbous
    Eddingtons: 80 (Metric); 60 (Imperial)

  • rpmkrpmk Posts: 136
    I use the Thule ProRide 591 ... not the cheapest around, but holds the bikes steady at legal French motorway speeds (and a little beyond!).

    I think these will work with any roofbars with appropriate adapters, but I use Audi's own aero bars (actually made by Thule and branded Audi, or so I'm told). These have a T-track, so a square T shaped peg under the cycle carrier slides into the groove and then holds it tight without the need for a U shaped bar around the bottom of the roof bar. (Did that make sense?! :? )

    The only other tip if you haven't driven with a bike on the roof is to remember it's there ... last year my wife drove me to the start of the BHF Oxford - Cambridge ride and we very nearly decpitated the bike at the Park & Ride barrier! It sounds stupid but worth leaving a note on the dashboard as a reminder that the car is now 4ft taller than it was before!

    Enjoy riding in France - riding there is a world away from our crowded little island and I can't wait until I can load up the bike rack and head over on 8th August!

    It\'s not my fault I\'m slow - I\'m underpowered for my weight!

    Bikes: 2005 Trek 1000 (Commuter) / 2008 Look 586 (Best) / 2009 Specialized Stumpjumper Comp (Fun!)
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