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Roof Bars or Boot rack?

brettjmccbrettjmcc Posts: 1,361
edited March 2013 in Road buying advice
So, I am in the lucky position that the company I work for means I regularly change my cars. We normally reorder the same for the family car, a SMAX. However, for reasons I won't go into, we've had to order a new Kuga instead.

Now, I have a set of roof bars for a SMAX and then a Halfords Thule copy to put my bike on when we go away; but to tell the trutch getting even my Synapse onto the roof can be a pain.

So, do I get a Saris Bones 3, which is at a good price in Costco at the moment, or buy a set of roof bars for the Kuga?

If I get the Bones, can you lock the bikes on in anyway? Thoughts appreciated
BMC GF01
Quintana Roo Cd01
Project High End Hack
Cannondale Synapse SL (gone)
I like Carbon

Posts

  • apreadingapreading Posts: 4,535
    The Saris racks are about the best you can get (in my opinion) for the back. I have the Bones RS and it is to easy to fit and rock solid when it is.

    You can lock the bikes using a normal cable lock or D lock - I do the former, which also provides extra reassurance that they wont fall off when driving...!

    However, a rear rack comes with some things you may want to think about - they often obscure the rear numberplate, so in theory you should have a number plate and maybe even light board plugged into towing exlectrics. However if you need towing electrics then there are better rear racks that mount onto the towbar that normally accompany these.

    Rear racks mean that you cant open the boot without dismounting the bikes.

    They also stop your rear parking sensors working and you will need extra long spaces to park anywhere.

    I also have a Thule roof bike carrier and if just taking a single bike will use that. I think roof carriers are generally better, but that is just my opinion and I cant really tell you why - they just seem less hassle - although they come with their own issues that you will no doubt already know.

    I use the rear rack when all 4 family bikes need to be transported - I have a roof box for luggage, so cant get all 4 on the roof - I put 3 on the Saris Bones RS and one on the roof...

    If I were in your place, I would probably get the conversion kit (if you can) to fit your stuff you already have to the new car, but if you want to try the rear then the Saris is as good as you will find.
  • I also have a Saris Bones which I used on my Mondeo and my experience isn't so good. I tended to carry my Commencal Meta 5.5 mountain bike, which weighs more than my Synapse and I have the marks on my bodywork to prove it. Even though I fastidiously cleaned the feet before putting them on, I now have two Bones-shaped scratches on my hatch. I even placed four rubber puncture patches on the feet to cushion it but made no difference.

    The Bones also bounces a bit on the motorway, which is fine once you get used to it, but a little disconcerting until you do.

    I wouldn't use another boot rack, I would follow the previous suggestion and get a rear rack or roof mounted if you can fit one. A roof mount is a little more effort, but doesn't compromise visibility, sensors or your number plate.
  • prawnyprawny Posts: 5,426
    As above, tow bar if you can afford it or roof. I've used rear carriers before and can't stand em. I'm trying to talk the wife into letting me get a pickup so we can just lob everything in the back. Not going too well.
    Saracen Tenet 3 - 2015 - Dead - Replaced with a Hack Frame
    Voodoo Bizango - 2014 - Dead - Hit by a car
    Vitus Sentier VRS - 2017
  • lostboysaintlostboysaint Posts: 4,250
    prawny wrote:
    As above, tow bar if you can afford it or roof. I've used rear carriers before and can't stand em.

    That. And that's from someone who's used roof bars and rear racks AND had a big enough estate car and 4x4 to just lob the thing in the back. A decent towbar mounted rack with a tilt mechanism is a thing of joy.
    Trail fun - Transition Bandit
    Road - Wilier Izoard Centaur/Cube Agree C62 Disc
    Allround - Cotic Solaris
  • simonjsimonj Posts: 346
    We have an SMax and a Kuga, the Kuga is a pain, roof bars are too high and the boot is too small, I much prefer to put the bike inside the SMax. :) When I can't the SMax also has a tow bar so can put the bikes on a tow bar rack. This is much easier to get the bike on and off of as both cars have high roofs. I used to have a 330 estate before and that was fine. Also putting bikes on the roof produces quite a bit of drag so reduces MPG's quite a bit and also there is a risk of stirking anything low, trees, car parks etc. My preference is 1. Inside the car, 2. On a tow bar rack, 3. On the roof rack & 4. On a rear rack.

    Alos as a side note, I have a Thule roof rack with bike carriers for the Kuga, but I don't think it is not wide enough for the SMax as I think the SMax requires wide bars as well as a special fitting foot pack.
  • brettjmccbrettjmcc Posts: 1,361
    Simonj,
    As to your comments on the SMAX, I know you have the racks already but mine are fine and I have OEM racks and it fits fine.

    Sounds like I am getting an extra set of roof racks then based on peoples' comments above, joy. Thanks for the feedback everyone
    BMC GF01
    Quintana Roo Cd01
    Project High End Hack
    Cannondale Synapse SL (gone)
    I like Carbon
  • CalpolCalpol Posts: 1,039
    We have a Kuga also. A word of warning - AFAIK you cannot use many rear mounted bike racks on the car if it is the MK1 model (ie not the new one just released last month). Its something to do with the strength in the upper tailgate as it is made of plastic to facilitate the split tailgate. More info can be found by searching the Kugaownersclub. We have roof mounted bars and carriers. Frankly its a bit of a pain getting 4 MTB up on the roof and I wouldnt want to be doing it if I was smaller and weaker than I am. Once they are up there then its fine.
  • brettjmccbrettjmcc Posts: 1,361
    Calpol, it's a new model, but I'll check on the new one as well. Good catch.

    SMAX, Kuga... and I drive a Focus ST and live in Essex - guess who I work for LOL
    BMC GF01
    Quintana Roo Cd01
    Project High End Hack
    Cannondale Synapse SL (gone)
    I like Carbon
  • CalpolCalpol Posts: 1,039
    brettjmcc wrote:
    Calpol, it's a new model, but I'll check on the new one as well. Good catch.

    SMAX, Kuga... and I drive a Focus ST and live in Essex - guess who I work for LOL
    We have a Kuga and an Insignia Estate - guess who I work for!?
  • brettjmccbrettjmcc Posts: 1,361
    No idea :)
    BMC GF01
    Quintana Roo Cd01
    Project High End Hack
    Cannondale Synapse SL (gone)
    I like Carbon
  • simonj wrote:
    I much prefer to put the bike inside the SMax.

    Simon, did you use an internal rack, or is the SMax big enough to stand the bikes upright without taking both wheels off? I'm looking for a solution for an A6 Avant, which I appreciate is nowhere near as tall.
    "Get a bicycle. You won't regret it if you live"
    Mark Twain
  • brettjmccbrettjmcc Posts: 1,361
    I can get my Synapse in the SMAX by taking only the front wheel off and I can stand it upright. Now I have 2 kids though it goes on the roof.
    BMC GF01
    Quintana Roo Cd01
    Project High End Hack
    Cannondale Synapse SL (gone)
    I like Carbon
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