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Roof bike rack advice

Hi everyone, could really do with some advice as a real moron when it comes to all things bikes and accessories.
I want to be able to go away with our bikes but we only have a small car (a Honda Jazz) which already has a roof box so we can fit our families stuff. Kids bikes go inside or in the roofbox no problem.
I bought a Thule 9105 rear mounted bike rack as I thought it would sit the bikes above the licence plate and therefore mean no need for a lighting board or anything else requiring a lot of faff. Turns out it doesn't sit above it and obscures the plate as well as obscuring some of the lights.
I had originally discounted getting bikes on the Thule Wingbars because we have a Thule Ocean 80 roofbox (I know i'm a sucker for Thule as I heard it has a good reputation) which is quite wide. However now the rear mounted option seems like such a pain i'm wondering whether actually I could get a bike either side of the roof box. From the widest point of the roofbox on each side I have 23 cm of the roofbars to play with, which in theory would be big enough to fit the Thule 532 FreeRide frame holder on (width 21cm). Pictures attached.
Does anyone have any thoughts on whether it would work or if it is a stupid idea? I would love to take it to somewhere for some professional advice but Halfords near me have been an absolute joke recently and all the bike shops are super busy.
What I don't want to do is order another £130 worth of product online to find it doesn't quite fit as i'm already going to be left with a £200+ piece of kit in the Thule 9105 taking up space in my (small) house!
Anyway, any thoughts or advice appreciated.


  • smethleysmethley Posts: 45
    If I understand correctly, you want to fit just one bike carrier? If so then just mount the roof box off centre, to give you more space. Obviously only you can decide if the final overhang caused by the handlebars is acceptable/legal/whatever.
  • jep84jep84 Posts: 4
    No I want two bikes so I was thinking one on either side...
  • StillGoingStillGoing Posts: 5,209
    Roof box off centre and mount the bikes side by side facing in opposite directions.
    I ride a bike. Doesn't make me green or a tree hugger. I drive a car too.
  • Put the bikes in the roof box and pack the rest of the tat around them.
  • First.AspectFirst.Aspect Posts: 13,790
    Put the kids in the roof box and fold the back seats flat for the bikes.
  • jep84jep84 Posts: 4
    I should clarify that it’s two adult bikes I want on the roof. It’s safe to assume that the rest of the car and roofbox are already full of stuff and humans!
  • Take less stuff.
  • I see no reason why you couldn't fit two bike carriers with your roof box - one either side. If the overhang of the bars is an issue then loosen the stem and rotate them out of the way. Just be sure you don't need to get into the roof box en route else you'll have to take the bikes off which is a faff.

    One thing to check is which type of carrier you're going to use and that if a frame (down tube) bracket type that the arm doesn't foul the roof box.

    You'll probably have to set the carriers up so that the rear mech is on the outside so as to not clash with the box. So right bike forward and left bike back.

    I have taken a 60cm wide thule roof box and three bikes on carriers on my rack on a 3 series.
  • jep84jep84 Posts: 4
    Thanks for the suggestions. I’ve moved the box over to the left so that I should be able to get two carriers next to it if the measurements are accurate! Knowing my luck there will be something waiting to mess things up 🤞
  • Pick your favourite kid.
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  • daniel_bdaniel_b Posts: 11,432
    edited August 2020

    Roof box off centre and mount the bikes side by side facing in opposite directions.

    Yep that is what I would go for - just bear in mind that the action of the roof box opening may mean you need to remove the innermost bike before you can open it, and therefore may not be able to get to the contents during the trip easily.

    I have a Grand Tourneo connect, and fitted a 340 litre roof box off to one side, and my brothers old mountain bike up there with no issue, and I still had room to open the roofbox - much wider roof though, but I suspect also a much wider roof box.

    Can you not return \ sell on the Thule rack you bought?
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