Roof/Rear mounts

phoebian Posts: 497
edited February 2010 in MTB buying advice
I can't decide on which to buy. If possible can you help me weigh up the pros and cons of both please

I'm thinking more in the way of roof mounted, but like the idea of not having to reach up to the roof :/



  • nicklouse
    nicklouse Posts: 50,675
    tow bar or rear mounted?

    if Rear mounted then roof is better. but Tow bar is best IMHO

    a quick search would bring about lots of topics on this.
    "Do not follow where the path may lead, Go instead where there is no path, and Leave a Trail."
    Parktools :?:SheldonBrown
  • S_J_P
    S_J_P Posts: 908
    I've used roof, rear, and 4x4 tyre-mount, and have this to say....

    Rear mounts don't feel secure, they bounce, they (can) damage paintwork, they prevent use of the rear hatch/boot, and the bikes rub together unless you use copious quantities of inner-tube, tape, and bungies (or pipe-lagging) . You'll also need a tail-board unless you have a high-mount one. I'm also always worried about security as they're simple to remove and stick on another vehicle. They can be cheap though :)

    4x4 Tyre mounts are a little better, but still need a tail-board, feel slightly more secure both in terms of stability and in the fact that you can lock the bike/carrier to the rear wheel using a chain or cable lock, and the bikes still rub together

    Roof mounts are secure and stable, don't allow the bikes to rub together, and don't require a tail-board, but they're a real pain to reach up to if you have a high car (4x4 or people carrier), you're short, or you have a heavy bike. They also really require two people to install a bike safely.

    From what I've read, tow-ball carriers offer the best compromise. You'll still need a tail-board (but you'll have the electrics with the tow-bar already!), they're rock-steady, allow the boot/hatch to open, are low-down for easy access, and hold each bike individually.

    So, from my perspective, I'd go for....

    Tow-Ball mount
    Roof Mount
    4x4 Tyre mount
    Rear-High Mount
    Rear-Low Mount :
  • Briggo
    Briggo Posts: 3,537
    S_J_P wrote:
    IRoof mounts are secure and stable..... They also really require two people to install a bike safely.

    Well the Thule 591 certainly doesnt, I aint tall - 5' 8" but I can install my bikes ontop of my mondeo easily enough on my own.
  • phoebian
    phoebian Posts: 497
    I'm 6'1 and drive a 2008 Ford Focus so roof mounting should be a problem. Will look into Tow-Ball mounting.
    Cheers for the detailed reply.

  • RC76
    RC76 Posts: 16
    I have a Thule roof mount. It's easy to load (although it is on the roof of a mini.

    The biggest downside I can see is fuel economy which takes a huge dive with bikes on the roof.

    Also low bariers can cause serious damamge if you forget the bikes are up there. I haven't done it yet but I've heard some stories.