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Car rack: Roof or rear?

sunburntkneessunburntknees Posts: 272
edited November 2012 in Road buying advice
I'm just toying with the idea of getting a rack for my car (Ford Focus Estate) looking to spend £100-150 and it will need to hold at least two bikes.

Was initially thinking of a Saris Bones but then I thought it might obscure my number plate. I don't really want to go to the hassle of installing tow bars and lighting boards etc. because I'm not sure how much longer I'm going to have the car for.

I thought the Thule 9106 might be the solution, but then if I'm spending that money I could get roof bars right??? But then, are roof bars better? What do you prefer and why?

Posts

  • ratsbeyfusratsbeyfus Posts: 2,841
    Prefer roof bar mounted rack as it's always on the car. Quick and easy to put the bike on.


    I had one of them red bikes but I don't any more. Sad face.

    @ratsbey
  • jibberjimjibberjim Posts: 2,810
    Put the bike inside, get a roof box for the other stuff you need to carry. Bikes are lousy for aerodynamics on the, and loads to the height making it riskyy driving into places you forget.
    Jibbering Sports Stuff: http://jibbering.com/sports/
  • passoutpassout Posts: 4,425
    I agree with the above but roof bars would still be my choice, if you can't fit the bike inside. Halfords have a good range of stuff. I always used Thule without issue.
    'Happiness serves hardly any other purpose than to make unhappiness possible' Marcel Proust.
  • infopeteinfopete Posts: 878
    I used to carry my bikes on the roof (as my daughter insisted on being inside the car)

    The fastest thing was the fuel gauge when the bikes were on the roof, it's amazing how bikes effect fuel consumption.

    Oh and in the summer picking there is the problem with dead flies and bugs on all the leading parts of the bikes.

    So, keep them inside or get something to fit on a tow bar.
    Oh and please remember to click on my blog:

    http://americanbicyclegroup.wordpress.com

    The more clicks I get the higher it creeps up the google radar :)
  • Daz555Daz555 Posts: 3,976
    Tow bar racks for me. The cost of having one fitted is a problem of course. Handily my current car already had one when I bought it.
    You only need two tools: WD40 and Duck Tape.
    If it doesn't move and should, use the WD40.
    If it shouldn't move and does, use the tape.
  • zx6manzx6man Posts: 1,092
    I have 2 thule 591's, noramlly near 100 quid but link below do them for around 60 each. Get best reviews in last mag I read, and that was at full price.

    http://www.fordonlineparts.co.uk/produc ... 698518-450
  • infopete wrote:
    The fastest thing was the fuel gauge when the bikes were on the roof, it's amazing how bikes effect fuel consumption.

    And you didn't take it as an opportunity to buy deep section carbon wheels? :lol:
  • Putting you're bike on top of a car can be one of the worst places for it. Apart from the added fuel consumption, if you drive on the motorway and its raining, its like giving you're bike a jet wash to all the joints. Which we all now is not good....
    Wilier cento uno.
  • Tow bar mounts a the best of the best IF you have a tow bar and somewhere to store the rack of the car - i have neither.

    Rear mount racks are all flipping useless - fact! I hate them

    Roof mounted for me is the best, always there, super easy and for me ive never noticed the fuel affect enough to care. BlueDoggys point about rain is valid but IMO its not enough water at enough pressure to destroy your bearings unless you ride in a tsunami - for MTBs is a free bike wash on the way home :)

    I had a Thule 591 which i got when i went places with my MTB, they are fantastic for MTBs super solid and you can stow the dirty bike in no time. Since swaping to road riding it just doesnt grip the front wheel solidly enough and you can get wobble on the bars at speed - ive seen some guys bike moving 6inches or so on the motorway and then noticed mine wasnt much better! So im going for a Thule 561 Outride where it clamps your QR having driven through france looking at other bike carriers these seemed the most solid and most popular with poeple with expensive bikes.
    jibberjim wrote:
    Put the bike inside, get a roof box for the other stuff you need to carry.

    I dont think the kids would like it in there :)
  • zx6manzx6man Posts: 1,092
    bickers wrote:
    Tow bar mounts a the best of the best IF you have a tow bar and somewhere to store the rack of the car - i have neither.

    Rear mount racks are all flipping useless - fact! I hate them

    Roof mounted for me is the best, always there, super easy and for me ive never noticed the fuel affect enough to care. BlueDoggys point about rain is valid but IMO its not enough water at enough pressure to destroy your bearings unless you ride in a tsunami - for MTBs is a free bike wash on the way home :)

    I had a Thule 591 which i got when i went places with my MTB, they are fantastic for MTBs super solid and you can stow the dirty bike in no time. Since swaping to road riding it just doesnt grip the front wheel solidly enough and you can get wobble on the bars at speed - ive seen some guys bike moving 6inches or so on the motorway and then noticed mine wasnt much better! So im going for a Thule 561 Outride where it clamps your QR having driven through france looking at other bike carriers these seemed the most solid and most popular with poeple with expensive bikes.
    jibberjim wrote:
    Put the bike inside, get a roof box for the other stuff you need to carry.

    I dont think the kids would like it in there :)

    You can get special bottom grips as replacements for road bikes, work a treat :D , the 561 better of course for carbon bikes.
  • zx6man wrote:
    You can get special bottom grips as replacements for road bikes, work a treat :D , the 561 better of course for carbon bikes.


    Any ideas of where - google isnt helping me :)
  • Daz555 wrote:
    Tow bar racks for me. The cost of having one fitted is a problem of course. Handily my current car already had one when I bought it.

    That.

    Went through everything, roof racks (with Thule 530 Freeride carriers), rear rack (LBS no-name) and breathed a sigh of relief when I discovered the delights of using a tilting tow-bar rack. Access to the boot (Passat estate or Touareg) even with the bikes secured, little or no drag (as evidenced by the fuel consumption figures), very secure (except against a rear-end accident, obviously) and easy to get the bikes on and off.
    Trail fun - Transition Bandit
    Road - Wilier Izoard Centaur/Cube Agree C62 Disc
    Allround - Cotic Solaris
  • jibberjimjibberjim Posts: 2,810
    bickers wrote:
    jibberjim wrote:
    Put the bike inside, get a roof box for the other stuff you need to carry.

    I dont think the kids would like it in there :)

    He's got a focus estate, there's plenty of room in the boot of that car for 2 bikes without impacting on seating at all.
    Jibbering Sports Stuff: http://jibbering.com/sports/
  • After much consideration I got a tow bar rack, before I sold my car. I thought it was better than having them on the roof. Mainly I felt better about having them on the back for a drive down to Provence - aerodynamics, fuel, access.

    Maybe things are different now. I'd look into a roof rack but I can see that a tow bar might be the best option.

    The Thule bar rack was very good but the tow bar on the car was ugly and people don't always like it come resale. Plus there's storage of the rack - quite a big item. Also my bar set up made a loud beeping when using indicators = irritating. I'm sure that could be different if you get the tow bar set up differently though.

    I have to echo jibberjim's comment. You've got quite a big car (mine was a 3 dr Corolla). Maybe get a roof box. The Saris gets good reviews and while you might need a number plate you might not need the lighting board.
  • upperoilcanupperoilcan Posts: 1,180
    I have had a Saris Bones bike rack for a long time,it's a well built sturdy rack,however it sits on the bumper of your car and road noise from you car will make it scuff your bumper no matter how tight you get the straps or how careful you are with your driving...

    If i ever need to start transporting my bike again i will certainly be looking at a roof mounted rack to avoid pointless damage to the car.
    Cervelo S5 Ultegra Di2.
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