roof rack v. trunk/boot rack v. hitch

Discuss light weight issues concerning road bikes & parts.
buhx2
Posts: 23
Joined: Mon Mar 06, 2017 5:05 pm

by buhx2

Roof rack for me. I like the aesthetics of it, don't have to worry about someone rear ending me and damaging the bikes, and is completely removable in 2 minutes.
For longer road trips I have the Scicon Road Defender lycra covers for bugs and rock chips.
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by Weenie


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573
Posts: 337
Joined: Wed Sep 05, 2012 2:38 pm
Location: West Sussex, UK.

by 573

I've got a Thule 4 bike carrier that goes on a tow hitch which is amazing, but generally gets used for the mountain bikes. I'd rather put road bikes on the roof and use a carrier that doesn't touch the frame at all. My favourite one is the Elite San Remo as it uses a (locking) QR on the front wheel and a simple strap for the rear wheel so the bike is mounted sturdily but there's no real way for damage to happen. It can also fit to other types of racks and not just roof bars.

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WheelNut
Posts: 24
Joined: Fri Jun 22, 2018 11:51 pm

by WheelNut

Elise- the ultimate weight weenie car! Hahaha, awesome! Looks amazing with the bike on top of the engine. The classic mini with the seasucker rack looked pretty bad ass too.

I've been using a roof rack for the last two years. There are definitely some pros and cons to it.
Pro:
- Very versatile bit of kit. A typical roof rack will carry lots of different types of things. Plywood, Canoe, bikes, camping gear, etc
- Easy to install. No drilling into the floor pan like a hitch would require
- Durable. It's pretty tough to smash the rack into anything. No one can back their car into your roof like what could happen with a hitch mounted rack.
- Doesn't block access to the trunk of hatch
- No extra lights necessary

Cons:
- Very poor aerodynamic performance. Fuel consumption increases at least 10% on the highway.
- Potentially very noisey. Go for the most aerodynamic model you possibly can.
- Raises the center of gravity of the car. On my Mini Cooper I could feel the handling change with an unloaded rack installed on the car. There was more body roll and a bit slower transitional response.
- With bikes on the rack your car becomes very tall and it is surprisingly easy to forget about this extra height.

I typically only use my roof rack 2-3 times a year for road trips and I remove it from the car when it's not in use as I can't stand the added noise.

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swright
Posts: 41
Joined: Fri Mar 02, 2018 4:29 pm

by swright

@AJS914,

That sounds pretty slick -- any chance you could Google-around and dig up an image to post? :)

cheers,
Scott
AJS914 wrote:
Sun Jul 22, 2018 8:39 pm
I've had roof racks for many years. I never drove into my own garage but I did have a close call with a parking garage at work. I just completely forgot the bike was up there and drove in. Fortunately had 1/2 of clearance and the rear of the seat scraped. Lucky!

Recently I had loaded the roof rack on my car for an out of state move to NM, and I scraped my fork carrier on the parking garage at the mall. Fortunately, no damage.

Anyway, the roof mount carrier is fine if you are never going to accidentally drive into a garage but it's easy to forget.

A long time ago I remember someone making a flip up magnetic sign that said "bikes on top". When you were driving the sign would flip down because of the wind but when you came to a stop it would rise back up as a warning.
2003 Klein Q Carbon Race (aluminum with carbon fiber seatstays) in purple haze, Campagnolo Record 11s groupset, Bora 50 Ultra (rim-brake clincher) wheelset, full Deda Elementi finishing kit, Fabric ALM Ultimate saddle [7.2kg/15.9lbs]

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swright
Posts: 41
Joined: Fri Mar 02, 2018 4:29 pm

by swright

Since I started the thread, but omitted the pic, I figure I may as well correct the oversight...

cheers,
Scott
TL with Klein 3 - Copy.JPG
swright wrote:
Sun Jul 22, 2018 5:58 pm
So, I posted a pic of my bike on my (Thule) roof rack, and the roof rack cynicism came out in force, e.g. "I would never-ever put my bike on the top of a car. The bike should be safely in the trunk..." and "Except when you forget it's up there and drive into the garage with the bike still on the roof...".

I was genuinely surprised, as (perhaps naively) I had always thought that a roof rack that made no contact with the frame was the preferred/ideal way to carry a bike, recognizing of course that you do need to be aware and cautious of the low clearance.

Others thoughts on the merits of the differen bicycle rack systems? Am I really that crazy to use a roof rack?

thanks,
Scott
2003 Klein Q Carbon Race (aluminum with carbon fiber seatstays) in purple haze, Campagnolo Record 11s groupset, Bora 50 Ultra (rim-brake clincher) wheelset, full Deda Elementi finishing kit, Fabric ALM Ultimate saddle [7.2kg/15.9lbs]

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swright
Posts: 41
Joined: Fri Mar 02, 2018 4:29 pm

by swright

@djel,

To come clean, I'm with you -- I like the roof rack well enough, but I think I'd go with a trailer hitch next time round, so long as the hitch itself doesn't unduly mar the car's aesthetics (hard to say for my TL, but not a problem for an SUV)...

And loading a heavy-ish bike, like my wife's hybrid, onto the roof is a chore! :oops:

cheers,
Scott
djel wrote:
Mon Jul 23, 2018 12:49 am
I had a roof rack for a while and I liked it enough, but I'll go with a hitch mount for the next time.

pros:
- looks good (to me that is)
- easy to mount
- can fit 4 bikes easily
- relatively safe from thieves for quick stops
cons:
- faint whistling nose (Thule aero bars)
- if the roads are wet, the bikes get dirty quickly
- can't get it low clearance garages / drive-thru
- slightly decrease fuel economy
- buuugs errrwhhheeere
2003 Klein Q Carbon Race (aluminum with carbon fiber seatstays) in purple haze, Campagnolo Record 11s groupset, Bora 50 Ultra (rim-brake clincher) wheelset, full Deda Elementi finishing kit, Fabric ALM Ultimate saddle [7.2kg/15.9lbs]

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swright
Posts: 41
Joined: Fri Mar 02, 2018 4:29 pm

by swright

@573,

That Elite San Remo certainly looks like a slick rack!

Did you consider or try out a SeaSucker?

cheers,
Scott
573 wrote:
Mon Jul 23, 2018 4:14 pm
I've got a Thule 4 bike carrier that goes on a tow hitch which is amazing, but generally gets used for the mountain bikes. I'd rather put road bikes on the roof and use a carrier that doesn't touch the frame at all. My favourite one is the Elite San Remo as it uses a (locking) QR on the front wheel and a simple strap for the rear wheel so the bike is mounted sturdily but there's no real way for damage to happen. It can also fit to other types of racks and not just roof bars.

Image

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Image

Image

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2003 Klein Q Carbon Race (aluminum with carbon fiber seatstays) in purple haze, Campagnolo Record 11s groupset, Bora 50 Ultra (rim-brake clincher) wheelset, full Deda Elementi finishing kit, Fabric ALM Ultimate saddle [7.2kg/15.9lbs]

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Powerful Pete
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Joined: Fri Dec 10, 2004 10:22 am
Location: Lima, Peru and the Washington DC area - it's complicated.

by Powerful Pete

Traditionally a roof rack guy. But now downsized to a one car family, and my wife's GLK makes it difficult to mount a roof rack. Have mounted a Kuat Sherpa and am very impressed. It is easy to mount on the hitch (ergo it sits in the garage when not being used) and operates quite easily. My daughters have become adept at mounting bikes and using the rack, so that's a plus for family rides.
Road bike: Cervelo R3, Campagnolo Chorus/Record mix...
Supercommuter: Jamis Renegade...
Oldie but goodie: De Rosa Professional Slx, Campagnolo C-Record...
And you can call me Macktastik Honey Pete Kicks, thank you.

MoPho
Posts: 549
Joined: Sun Jul 10, 2011 7:48 pm
Location: NorCal/SoCal

by MoPho

WheelNut wrote:
Mon Jul 23, 2018 6:59 pm
Elise- the ultimate weight weenie car! Hahaha, awesome! Looks amazing with the bike on top of the engine. The classic mini with the seasucker rack looked pretty bad ass too
Besides the Mini I also have a Caterham Seven which is even more weight weenie than the Elise. can’t use it to haul bikes though LOL


I’ve only used the Seasucker a couple of times on the Mini for short surface road trips, but it is a pretty flexible and convenient way of mounting the bike once you get passed the fear factor. Security is an issue though
Usually I take the family van which I made an upright mount for when taking the bike. Works great for the road bike, but the MTB is a little more of a hassle to deal with

I always throw the garage opener into the back of the car out of reach when I have a bike on the roof.

.

Js2
Posts: 117
Joined: Mon May 08, 2017 6:55 pm

by Js2

I put it inside the car with the seat folded down when possible. Hitch is when I'm picking my buddy up or I'm carrying my mtb (don't want all that dust and dirt inside the car)

My pick would be hitch
- don't need to lift the bike up (after a long day's ride this really sucks)
- mpg is better vs. roof
- no chance of forgetting your bike is on top of you when going into buildings / garages

I have the thule T2 XT pro, its easy to remove and I leave it off on weekdays and put it on the weekends. I leave it leaning to the wall next to the car, no issue in install/remove by myself.

eaglejackson
Posts: 260
Joined: Wed Aug 27, 2014 5:26 am
Location: PNW

by eaglejackson

If it's just my road bike, I'll put it inside the car (SUV). But if I have to use a rack, it's a no brainer for me : hitch mounted rack, in particular, from 1 UP https://www.1up-usa.com/ .

I used a roof rack for years and years: Thule and Yakima, fork mount and full bike.

I have both road and mountain bikes. There are a few basic problems with the roof rack for me. First, it's very easy to forget it's up there. I've driven into the garage twice (30 years ago and 15 ago) with a bike up top. DOH! You feel incredibly stupid, and there are tricks for remembering, like moving the garage door opener to a different spot, so you have to stop and think to get the opener, which will remind you (hopefully) there are bikes up top. But it's also parking garages or other low barriers. It's stressful. The second issue is that mountain bikes (and now, many road bikes) have disc brakes, and fork attachment is different and not always so convenient. The third issue is that mountain bikes are heavy, especially my downhill bikes. The fourth issue is that SUVs can be tall, which makes it harder to get the bike on the roof rack, especially if it's a mountain bike.

Then hitch mounted racks came out and got better over the years. I started with a Thule T2, which worked well. No more stress worrying about bikes on the roof. And very easy to get my mountain bikes on the rack. I started seeing more and more local Seattle mountain bikers using the 1 Up rack. It's a super popular sight at the trail heads here. I got one and love it. I can carry up to 4 bikes. You can get either a 1 bike or 2 bike base rack and then add-ons for additional bikes. It has 2 swing arms that secure each tire, rather than 1 arm and a wheel strap as on other hitch racks.

Popular in Whistler and the Vancouver area are the North Shore racks. They are also hitch mounted but carry bikes in a vertical position. But they only work for mountain bikes, and I want a rack that works for both road and mountain.

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573
Posts: 337
Joined: Wed Sep 05, 2012 2:38 pm
Location: West Sussex, UK.

by 573

WheelNut wrote:
Mon Jul 23, 2018 6:59 pm
Elise- the ultimate weight weenie car! Hahaha, awesome! Looks amazing with the bike on top of the engine.
The current car I've transported the road bike on is about 250kg lighter. Will try to grab a picture... :D

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573
Posts: 337
Joined: Wed Sep 05, 2012 2:38 pm
Location: West Sussex, UK.

by 573

swright wrote:
Mon Jul 23, 2018 7:24 pm
@573,

That Elite San Remo certainly looks like a slick rack!

Did you consider or try out a SeaSucker?

cheers,
Scott
I did and they're very good - it just didn't work on that Elise. I had another with a hardtop roof and it worked well on there.

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Juanmoretime
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Location: Urbana, Illinois

by Juanmoretime

I drive a Volvo S60 and 90% of the time I fold down the seat and pop my bikes in thru the truck. I’ve used roof racks on other vehicles but as others have mentioned the wind noise can drive you crazy. I also have a Saris Bones rack for when the wife and I are riding together or just use her SUV where both fit inside with the treat seat folded.Of all I prefer inside the vehicle.
RESIDENT GRUMPY OLD MAN.

by Weenie


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573
Posts: 337
Joined: Wed Sep 05, 2012 2:38 pm
Location: West Sussex, UK.

by 573

Here's my current lightweight transportation combo:


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Car and bike together are <500kg. :D

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