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Bike racks.... roof or rear mounted??

HadakaHadaka Posts: 68
edited November 2009 in MTB general
Hi all

Just after some opinions here. I have to transport 3 bikes, and I just wondered if some of you out there could give me your feelings from personel use if you feel carrying them on a roof rack system, or a rear tow bar rack system is the best way forward.

I know the usual pros and cons, like height on the roof, reversing if they are on the back, fuel consumption etc. But from a practical users view it would be good to hear any thoughts.

Thnks in advance for any views

Dave
«13

Posts

  • The RookieThe Rookie Posts: 27,802
    What car? If you have an SUV you'll probably never get them on the roof!

    I prefer rear mounted, getting them on the roof is fraught with possibilities for damaging car and bike!

    Simon
    Current steed - Whyte T129, 2013 frame, mongrel Revelations, Giant dropper, Stans S1 wheelset. 12, Magura Trail Sport brakes, 1x11. 12.8Kg
  • HadakaHadaka Posts: 68
    Yes the lifting them on the roof had crossed my mind but after seeing quite a few cars with them it made me think that maybe its not an issue, I guess that's what I am after, views from people that use different sorts.

    As for the car, I am in the process in changing my car right now, and the way forward with carrying the bikes will affect my choice of car too.
  • nicklousenicklouse Posts: 50,675 Lives Here
    Tow bar then roof and last rear mounted.
    "Do not follow where the path may lead, Go instead where there is no path, and Leave a Trail."
    Parktools :?:SheldonBrown
  • BriggoBriggo Posts: 3,537
    I had a rear carrier, wasnt too bad. Bit worrying at times when you start to see the bikes sway and I had to tighten the straps quite a bit on long journeys.

    Now bought myself Thule 591 roof carriers, at least I wont watch them wobble about anymore :P
  • Roof for me.
    I've yet to find a single drawback to having them "up there".
    01102009462.jpg
  • HadakaHadaka Posts: 68
    Yeah I allready have a rear mount strap on rack, which is ok for just my bike, but I dont think it is stable enough when carrying 3 bikes thats why I need to upgrade.
  • HadakaHadaka Posts: 68
    Roof for me.
    I've yet to find a single drawback to having them "up there".
    01102009462.jpg

    thanks for the picture.... do you find its easy enough getting them on the roof??
  • nicklousenicklouse Posts: 50,675 Lives Here
    Hadaka
    what are the bikes?

    and total weight?
    "Do not follow where the path may lead, Go instead where there is no path, and Leave a Trail."
    Parktools :?:SheldonBrown
  • Oh yeah, it's a doddle.
    Grab the fork and the seat tube and up you go. They don't wobble, they don't sway around, they're solid.
  • HadakaHadaka Posts: 68
    nicklouse wrote:
    Hadaka
    what are the bikes?

    and total weight?

    The bikes would be

    My enduro elite, the wifes giant and the lads bike, which I have yet to buy.. will be a small frame though.

    But I do also go with some mates, so it will have to carry 3 bikes then too. As for the weight I am sorry would not know off hand.
  • Hadaka - how tall and strong are you?

    The main problem (IMO) for roof-mounted options, are if you happen to be a short censored , or if you are p*ss weak... Or both! :shock: :lol:

    If the bikes are heavy, they'll be more awkward to lift up (3 DH bikes, for example). Also, some roof-mounted bike carry options have a weight limit. Not that you'd reach it with 3 XC / trail bikes.

    But seriously, van FTW!

    Supervan%203.jpg
    Boo-yah mofo
    Sick to the power of rad
    Fix it 'till it's broke
  • HadakaHadaka Posts: 68
    Hadaka - how tall and strong are you?

    The main problem (IMO) for roof-mounted options, are if you happen to be a short ars*, or if you are p*ss weak... Or both! :shock: :lol:

    If the bikes are heavy, they'll be more awkward to lift up (3 DH bikes, for example). Also, some roof-mounted bike carry options have a weight limit. Not that you'd reach it with 3 XC / trail bikes.

    Well I am 6ft and up to the job of lifting them, so that part of it should not be a problem :)
  • Roof all the way. Up there, out of the way and if you buy decent bike carriers like the Thule Aerobar + 591's there is almost zero chance of the bike/s coming loose.
    I use them and in my infinite wisdom parked under a tree whilst the bikes were on the Land Rover's roof. I trimmed a few branches, the bike on the right got a few leaves and twigs stuck in it, but the bikes stayed put. I attribute that to the Thule's alloy construction

    Some people whinge about fuel consumption on roof mounted carriers, from experience of hauling bikes on the roof of both the car and Land Rover it's no biggie.
    In fact I used to use a hatchback rear carrier on the car and the Thule system and the fuel consumption is better with roof mounted systems. The only downside is noise if you have a sunroof. Bikes whistle at 70mph+

    dscf0030emediumsmall.jpg

    Edit: I do carry a small alloy ladder in the back of the Land Rover to help with getting the bikes on and off the roof.
  • CraigXXLCraigXXL Posts: 1,852
    Thule 591's if roof mounted but if you already have a towbar the G909 Euroclassic otherwise it would too expensive including the towbar fitting. Both racks are rock solid, quick and easy to use.

    I have two 591's for sale in the classified section if your interested. Shameless plug.
  • Hadaka wrote:
    I am in the process in changing my car right now, and the way forward with carrying the bikes will affect my choice of car too.

    An estate car is the One True Bike Carrier. Fold rear seats, place complete bikes inside in safety.
    John Stevenson
  • An estate car is the One True Bike Carrier. Fold rear seats, place complete bikes inside in safety.

    Yes and no. My Disco is a seven seater and I can happily fit up 4 bikes in the back, that works well when it's two people riding. Sometimes I lug three to four passengers around as well as a quarter ton of everyone's riding gear - that's when roof mount comes into its own.
    Also, I am not too keen having sharp edges and mud all over my leather interior :P
  • BriggoBriggo Posts: 3,537
    Hadaka wrote:
    I am in the process in changing my car right now, and the way forward with carrying the bikes will affect my choice of car too.

    An estate car is the One True Bike Carrier. Fold rear seats, place complete bikes inside in safety.

    Dont need an estate for that my Mondeo hatch will easily fit 2/3 bikes in with the seats down.

    However that leaves no room for carrying people, same for an estate ;)
  • Raymondavalon - got a few questions about your motor, if you don't mind... (Yes, a temporary thread de-railment, sorry!! :oops: )

    What year is your Disco'? Looks quite new, but then they haven't really changed alot over the past... er... lots of years. Is it any good on fuel? And finally, if you don't mind my asking, if you bought it second hand, what did you pay?

    Thanks mate!
    Boo-yah mofo
    Sick to the power of rad
    Fix it 'till it's broke
  • stumpyjonstumpyjon Posts: 4,069
    Tow bar all the way. Expensive but superior on every way to the other solutions. Get back from a ride, lift bike 2ft onto the rack and you're done, no straining, no filth in the car, no messing with straps, no worries when driving. I just wish I'd stumped up the cash earlier.
    It's easier to ask for forgiveness than for permission.

    I've bought a new bike....ouch - result
    Can I buy a new bike?...No - no result
  • bigchazrocks,

    A valid question because the only reason I bought this Disco was to carry bikes around. I do have a normal company supplied day to day car too, so the Disco only gets used when I go riding or take bike/s to the LBS. [or when I buy [email protected] from Ikea]

    2002, (02) Disco Series II, 4.0L V8 Auto, 7 seater, SE spec: Full leather, electric/heated seats, dual sunroof, climate control, cruise control, compass on rear view mirror, air/adjustable/self leveling suspension, ABS, traction control, ascent / descent control, heated windscreen, remote folding side mirrors, 13 speaker Harman Kardon surround sound with subwoofer, 6 disc auto changer, 18 inch alloys incl. spare and a rear step. It also came with the full length roof bars and a dog guard. Also no tow pack was fitted.

    Bought it pre owned a year ago, I am the second owner of this vehicle. It had 55000M on the clock and a full Land Rover service history. I paid £5,750 for it and got the tow pack included.
    Purchased from a Land Rover dealer in Oxford, it was a trade in. The only thing I've done is fit new tyres all round (Wrangler AT) for when I go to the Alps next year and the Thule Aerobar

    Fuel consumption? When I drive like an angel 25MPG. Loaded with 3 people, kit and 3 bikes atop: 21MPG. Urban: 18-20MPG average.
  • HadakaHadaka Posts: 68
    Hadaka wrote:
    I am in the process in changing my car right now, and the way forward with carrying the bikes will affect my choice of car too.

    An estate car is the One True Bike Carrier. Fold rear seats, place complete bikes inside in safety.

    Rear seats folded, 3 bikes inside...2 seats in the front, I will let you tell the wife she is making her own way there :D
  • BikehawkBikehawk Posts: 102
    +1 for the Thule 591's. No problems with the bike moving on Irish roads (not very straight or smooth) even at 60mph.
  • covelovecovelove Posts: 209
    sell your car and buy a van - sorted! i bought a transit connect over a year ago and have never looked back. you can store and transport all the kit you need safely and securely without worrying too much about scratchs or dirt inside or out and with a big deisel engine it just runs and runs.

    [img][/img]http://www.flickr.com/photos/mondo13/4106318315/
    does my tail look hard in this?

    cove stiffee

    orange 222
  • HadakaHadaka Posts: 68
    covelove wrote:
    sell your car and buy a van - sorted! i bought a transit connect over a year ago and have never looked back. you can store and transport all the kit you need safely and securely without worrying too much about scratchs or dirt inside or out and with a big deisel engine it just runs and runs.

    [img][/img]http://www.flickr.com/photos/mondo13/4106318315/

    Oh I have thought about a van... would love one for biking and fishing, but alas I can only run one vehicle and have a family so as tempting as it was I had to forget that idea. :cry:
  • John_EJohn_E Posts: 18
    When I first started, got a rear mounted carrier and hated it, it was a faff to put on, pain to store and I never felt that the bikes were particularly secure. Went to roof mounted carriers and initially got some Halfords ones. Bikeradar give them a good review but mine rusted and fell apart after a years worth of use (maybe they've improved them since). I didn't like they way secured the bike (it scratched the frame if the bike wasn't clean, not that scratches bother me, its just the principle).

    Went through a stage of putting them in the back of the car, but again more faff of putting the bikes back together, how every careful you are, they always seemed to be at least one brake that got squeezed, gears knocked out of sync, lots of muck in the car.

    I now use Thule 591's like lots of other here and they have been great, although the quick release fixing has got a bit sticky after a couple of years. I have no problem lifting them on the roof as a six footer, but my wife who is only 5ft 2 can't really do it (well not with any grace). The bikes are rock solid, even when we had a bird strike earlier this year (the poor bird flew straight through the bikes while we are travelling at about 40mph, not a scratch on the bikes, unfortunately can't say the same for the bird)

    We have an big estate car but the bikes will still not fit in the back without both wheels off if you want the rear seats. You'll need to check the roof height, thats what makes in difficult to get them in.

    You already know about fuel consumption, my experience is it impacts the fuel consumption by up to 20%. I have a car with a towbar but already had the roof rack system, but would change to a towbar one if there was any reason to change in the future.

    On price, for me anyway, my current rook rack system for two bikes cost £250,. The towbar cost £200 to fit and you can get a Thule towbar bike carrier for two bikes for about £90, so there doesn't seem to be much in it.
  • Surf-MattSurf-Matt Posts: 5,952
    Thule 591s plus aero bars (much easier to fit than on square bars). Got two of the 591s and they are brilliant.

    Unless your bike is very heavy or you are very short, it's a no brainer.

    Still worry about dropping the bike on the roof as I take it off/put it on!

    Used to stick the bikes in the car but they trash it.

    Starting to consider a new 4x4 (the Beemer does most jobs fine but no good for boat towing) - Freelander 2 and latest shape Disco are currently on the shortlist.
  • HadakaHadaka Posts: 68
    Some great views from you guys... the Thule 591's seem to be getting lots of thumbs up from quite a few of you.

    But then again, tow bar mounted racks also seem to come well recommended.

    At this stage as I am thinking about an estate car over a 4x4 I am leaning towards a roof mounted system.

    But then as with my car search, my mind changes 10 times a day :lol:
  • Surf-MattSurf-Matt Posts: 5,952
    Estate car + roof bars = ideal
  • true but if you get a 4*4 matt wont need the estate anymore.. can get yourself a proper sports car then hehe :p
  • Surf-MattSurf-Matt Posts: 5,952
    We already have a little 4x4 - we just need a bigger one.

    And "sports cars" are for mid life crisis struck blokes and gays :wink::lol::lol: And most are slow anyway :wink:
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