Forum home Mountain biking forum MTB general

roof mounted racks and roof box?

Peanut651Peanut651 Posts: 59
edited May 2015 in MTB general
I've hit a bit of a dilemma. For going on holidays and trips away I'm wanting to put two bikes on my car as well as a roof box. Mounting the bikes with my current tailgate bike rack isn't possible because my car has a plastic spoiler, I also don't have a tow bar. I could always strap my current bike rack round the back of the roof rails, but unsure how safe that would be.

Is there any way I can fit two bikes on the roof as well as a long skinny roof box? I drive an bmw 330D touring so it's not the biggest of cars. I need to buy the roof bars, racks and box so any recommendations would be appreciated. Sometimes I travel for 12+ hour lumps, so the most secure racks would be a bonus.

Cheers :D

Posts

  • merkinmerkin Posts: 452
    We have had a long roof box and 2 bike racks for a few years now and they fit ok. We have had them fitted to a few cars in that time from a focus through to a discovery.
    We bought Thule tour racks, which are probably now discontinued and thule bars and roof box. If space is really narrow you can always either turn the bars and mount the racks a bit closer to each other or have each bike facing a different direction so each handlebar goes over the other bikes saddle.
    I am not sure of the total volume of the roof box but it holds loads, due to the length of it I doubt it is any smaller than a full width box.
    Edited to add, We have had a few holidays to France with bikes plus box on the roof and bikes on a towbar mounted carrier (much more awkward than roof mounted) and haven't had any concerns with the load on the roof moving during long drives in a c-max.
  • Peanut651Peanut651 Posts: 59
    Thanks. I've ordered some Thule roof bars with a rail down the middle, 135mm wide. I'm looking at some roof boxes now and looks like I can manage. Most measurements including the box and racks are averaging roughly 125mm. I should really do some research before I post a new thread lol.
  • apreadingapreading Posts: 4,532
    On my Audi A4 estate, I can only get one bike on a Thule 591 with a narrow Thule Pacific 500 and I wouldnt want a box any narrower than that or it would be useless. Looks like its possible on a Passat from the below picture, although I dont know which bike carriers they used, the 591 need quite a bit of width. Remember you can use the whole bar length, only the bit inside the mounting kit, which means not even the full width between your roof bars. You should not mount anything outside the roofbars for safety. So really depends on your car - it could be a close run thing...

    http://smg.photobucket.com/user/JasonR/ ... e.jpg.html
  • Peanut651Peanut651 Posts: 59
    apreading wrote:
    On my Audi A4 estate, I can only get one bike on a Thule 591 with a narrow Thule Pacific 500 and I wouldnt want a box any narrower than that or it would be useless. Looks like its possible on a Passat from the below picture, although I dont know which bike carriers they used, the 591 need quite a bit of width. Remember you can use the whole bar length, only the bit inside the mounting kit, which means not even the full width between your roof bars. You should not mount anything outside the roofbars for safety. So really depends on your car - it could be a close run thing...

    http://smg.photobucket.com/user/JasonR/ ... e.jpg.html

    I know what you mean. I'm using a full width roof box just now, but now's come the point I need to carry bikes on the car. I only bought it last year and only been cycling locally for now. The though of even moving to a skinny roof box is daunting for me lol, I pile all sorts in my current one.

    The roof box i'm looking at is a Thule touring 780. It's 420 liters and 78cm wide which seems to be the average width of a box that size. It should do just nicely if I put my bags in length ways. If I buy it I think I'll just have to go to Halfords and see what they have that will fit to take the bikes. I'll have 57mm to play with, which on paper I can get it to work because I've seen some carriers as narrow as 20cm. The Thule 591 carriers are 34cm wide, so I won't be able to use them. As you said I don;t want anything hanging over the edge of the roof bars.
  • Peanut651Peanut651 Posts: 59
    Just had a quick look on Amazon. Thule freeride 532 carriers are only 23cm wide. On paper I should get all these to fit :)
  • diydiy Posts: 6,680
    Just be aware that you have a 75kg weight limit on your car roof.
  • Peanut651Peanut651 Posts: 59
    diy wrote:
    Just be aware that you have a 75kg weight limit on your car roof.

    Yeh there's that as well. I normally just pack two suitcases of clothes for everyone (roughly 40kg) The added weight of two bikes, box and bars should be fine.
  • apreadingapreading Posts: 4,532
    Peanut651 wrote:
    apreading wrote:
    On my Audi A4 estate, I can only get one bike on a Thule 591 with a narrow Thule Pacific 500 and I wouldnt want a box any narrower than that or it would be useless. Looks like its possible on a Passat from the below picture, although I dont know which bike carriers they used, the 591 need quite a bit of width. Remember you can use the whole bar length, only the bit inside the mounting kit, which means not even the full width between your roof bars. You should not mount anything outside the roofbars for safety. So really depends on your car - it could be a close run thing...

    http://smg.photobucket.com/user/JasonR/ ... e.jpg.html

    I know what you mean. I'm using a full width roof box just now, but now's come the point I need to carry bikes on the car. I only bought it last year and only been cycling locally for now. The though of even moving to a skinny roof box is daunting for me lol, I pile all sorts in my current one.

    The roof box i'm looking at is a Thule touring 780. It's 420 liters and 78cm wide which seems to be the average width of a box that size. It should do just nicely if I put my bags in length ways. If I buy it I think I'll just have to go to Halfords and see what they have that will fit to take the bikes. I'll have 57mm to play with, which on paper I can get it to work because I've seen some carriers as narrow as 20cm. The Thule 591 carriers are 34cm wide, so I won't be able to use them. As you said I don;t want anything hanging over the edge of the roof bars.

    Actually, its the Pacific 600 that I have - 63cm wide and can only just fit one 591 on with it.

    The problem is that you cant actually use all of the space in between the roofbars that you have on your car - if you look at this picture, you see that some of the space there is taken up by the mounting kit and the bike carrier needs to fit between the mounting kit and the box, not between your roofbars and the box. At least with my Thule bars anyway - the aero ones have a different mounting system I think which might let you use more of the width if they dont need to grip right around the bar.

    dual-force-2.jpg

    With something thinner than a 591 you might be alright - my guess is that you will have to have one bike facing forwards and one back though.
  • tangled_metaltangled_metal Posts: 4,021
    Where about is your spoiler? Some are higher up bit some are lower down below the window. IIRC there are some boot mounted racks that are compatible with spoilers. Perhaps double check on that too.
  • Peanut651Peanut651 Posts: 59
    apreading wrote:
    Peanut651 wrote:
    apreading wrote:
    On my Audi A4 estate, I can only get one bike on a Thule 591 with a narrow Thule Pacific 500 and I wouldnt want a box any narrower than that or it would be useless. Looks like its possible on a Passat from the below picture, although I dont know which bike carriers they used, the 591 need quite a bit of width. Remember you can use the whole bar length, only the bit inside the mounting kit, which means not even the full width between your roof bars. You should not mount anything outside the roofbars for safety. So really depends on your car - it could be a close run thing...

    http://smg.photobucket.com/user/JasonR/ ... e.jpg.html

    I know what you mean. I'm using a full width roof box just now, but now's come the point I need to carry bikes on the car. I only bought it last year and only been cycling locally for now. The though of even moving to a skinny roof box is daunting for me lol, I pile all sorts in my current one.

    The roof box i'm looking at is a Thule touring 780. It's 420 liters and 78cm wide which seems to be the average width of a box that size. It should do just nicely if I put my bags in length ways. If I buy it I think I'll just have to go to Halfords and see what they have that will fit to take the bikes. I'll have 57mm to play with, which on paper I can get it to work because I've seen some carriers as narrow as 20cm. The Thule 591 carriers are 34cm wide, so I won't be able to use them. As you said I don;t want anything hanging over the edge of the roof bars.

    Actually, its the Pacific 600 that I have - 63cm wide and can only just fit one 591 on with it.

    The problem is that you cant actually use all of the space in between the roofbars that you have on your car - if you look at this picture, you see that some of the space there is taken up by the mounting kit and the bike carrier needs to fit between the mounting kit and the box, not between your roofbars and the box. At least with my Thule bars anyway - the aero ones have a different mounting system I think which might let you use more of the width if they dont need to grip right around the bar.

    dual-force-2.jpg

    With something thinner than a 591 you might be alright - my guess is that you will have to have one bike facing forwards and one back though.

    I think it will be a case of finding somewhere with both rack and box to see how they all fit. It will be better than guessing lol
  • Peanut651Peanut651 Posts: 59
    Where about is your spoiler? Some are higher up bit some are lower down below the window. IIRC there are some boot mounted racks that are compatible with spoilers. Perhaps double check on that too.

    What I really mean by "spoiler" is the bit above the back window that houses the third brake light. My current rack on my old passat (like the one above) fitted fine because it was all metal and it was actually part of the tailgate itself. On my E91 the back window lifts open separate from the actual tailgate, so this "spoiler" is just a plastic cover to hide all the hinges. Any weight on it and it will just pull off :(

    I got some longer straps this morning and instead of hooking my current rack to the top of the tailgate I actually wrapped it round the roof rails and back onto the rack. it felt perfectly stable and if not better than before. But I'll still need to mount mine and the wifes bikes on the roof because the kids have learnt to ride theirs. A bit more practice and we'll soon all be going out together.

    20150519_1042111_zpsjfb0ngpx.jpg

    20150519_1042231_zps21pjky4i.jpg
Sign In or Register to comment.