Bike roof racks

For discussions about bikes and equipment.
staituk
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Joined: 28 Jan 2019, 11:46pm

Bike roof racks

Postby staituk » 15 Apr 2019, 5:47pm

hi, i am looking to get a bike roof rack system for my skoda superb, i plan putting two adult bikes and two kids bikes, what sytems to people recommend?

thanks

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robgul
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Re: Bike roof racks

Postby robgul » 15 Apr 2019, 5:55pm

Thule every time - BUT lifting bikes onto a roof rack is tricky (and I'm 6'4" tall!) - if you can run to it a towbar and towbar rack is the best solution ... not just ease of loading but you also have much less wind resistance that (IME) affects the fuel consumption quite considerably with car-top bikes (and there's a lot of wind noise too at high speed)

Rob

Nigel
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Joined: 25 Feb 2007, 6:29pm

Re: Bike roof racks

Postby Nigel » 15 Apr 2019, 6:22pm

Thule or Atera. Quality of the two seems about the same. But, agree with Rob about towbar mounted racks being better, particularly the more expensive/cleverer ones which slide/rotate/pivot to allow the tailgate to be opened with the bikes still in place.

A mix of roof and tow-bar might be the best option for four bikes; put the two lightest and least wind-resistance on the roof, the two heavier on the tow-bar rack.

I have an Atera DL3 towbar rack, it does everything claimed of it on the UK agent's website.


- Nigel

LittleGreyCat
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Joined: 7 Aug 2013, 8:31pm

Re: Bike roof racks

Postby LittleGreyCat » 15 Apr 2019, 6:35pm

I have Thule bike racks on the roof.
I use https://www.screwfix.com/p/aluminium-work-platform-470-x-900mm/6409p to get the bikes up.

Firstly, use a short bungee cord to hold the front wheel to the frame to stop the handlebars turning. Hooks onto the bottle cage works for me.
Then position the bike the wrong way round, against the side of the hop up.
Pick it up by the cross bar and rest the wheels on the hop up.
Reach down and pick it up by the seat tube and down tube just above the bottom bracket.
Lift it above your head, and it should balance so it is horizontal. I wear mine like a necklace but your frame geometry may not allow this.
Rotate 180 degrees on the hop up and the bike is now nicely balanced over the roof rack and pointing in the right direction.
You can fit the wheels into the rack and swing the bike upright. Secure.
Note that this last part is where the bungee cord pays for itself. It is very difficult to get the front wheel in the channel if it is waving about all over the place but if it is held firmly then it goes in easily.

I also have a towbar mount for short trips with a single bike but I've just broken my electric socket so can't use it because it needs a trailer board.

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Mick F
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Re: Bike roof racks

Postby Mick F » 16 Apr 2019, 9:09am

We have roof bars for our Yaris Hybrid. These vehicles aren't homologated for towing, so we sold our trailer.

We did have a Thule towbar mounted two-bike carrier for the previous car, but as I often say on here, that having bikes at the rear of the vehicle is a recipe for disaster if you are rear-ended even gently. Mercian survived our rear-ending but the Thule unit was mortally wounded. The hit was only a bump, and the car that hit us only cracked his radiator grille and marked his bumper. Luckily, Mercian was on the front part of the rack and the only bike on. Had it been in the rear position, it could well have been wrecked.
Remember, this was a very gentle rear-ending and no more than 10mph in crawling traffic.

The issue of trying to get a bike or two onto the roof bars fills me with fear of the difficulty of lifting them. It's hard enough washing the roof, let alone trying to lift bikes high enough to get them on and off. Step ladder might be a solution for this.

Meanwhile, bikes go inside the car.
Mick F. Cornwall

iandriver
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Joined: 10 Jun 2009, 2:09pm
Location: Cambridge.

Re: Bike roof racks

Postby iandriver » 16 Apr 2019, 9:34am

I've gone from cheap generic ones to Thule ones over the years.

1. A lot of the cheap ones are only rated to 60MPH. The Thule ones were 70.
2. The clamp on the Thule mounting from the side made them a lot easier to use than a the cheap version where you have to lift the bike over the top of the clamp.

The Thule were a definite step up in quality and usability.
Supporter of the A10 corridor cycling campaign serving Royston to Cambridge http://a10corridorcycle.com. Never knew gardening secateurs were an essential part of the on bike tool kit until I took up campaigning.....

thirdcrank
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Re: Bike roof racks

Postby thirdcrank » 16 Apr 2019, 9:58am

There's a lot of vids of German (TUV?) tests of bike carrying stuff - driving over bumps and swerving round cones etc., and Thule always seems to come out well.

This is a company I've used over the years (only connection = satisfied customer) and they always come out tops. Very informative website, knowledgeable people on the phone, excellent delivery service.
https://roofracks.co.uk/

wrangler_rover
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Location: Welton, near Lincoln

Re: Bike roof racks

Postby wrangler_rover » 16 Apr 2019, 12:16pm

I must surely have the worst of all worlds in my current company car which is the car of my choice, Hyundai Ioniq plug in hybrid:
With plug in hybrids, it is strongly not recommended to add a tow bar and towing electrics to the car due to the car traction system, petrol engine and electric motor.
The design of the car makes it unsuitable for roofbars, Hyundai do not supply roof bars for this car and I have contacted Thule who informed me that roof bars are not available for this car.
I have an old Hollywood boot mounted cycle rack but the hatch on this car is a large expanse of glass with a large plastic spoiler on the hatch so that cycle rack cannot be used either.
Fortunately, I am able to fold the back seats down to get a bike in the back of the car.
On the plus side:
My company car tax liability is low.
The car is economical, averages over 60 miles per gallon without being plugged in to charge the battery.
The car is ULEZ charge exempt.

Psamathe
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Re: Bike roof racks

Postby Psamathe » 16 Apr 2019, 12:30pm

I've got a Thule ProRide roof one, but. no experience of any others to compare it to. Lifting the bike on is easy (maybe I have a different one from everybody else. But I don't like the mechanical leverage the bike can exert on the bar holding it upright so I always add Side straps (seat post to outside edge of roof bars) - this adds no time to putting bike on/taking off but add a lot of at least reassurance (for me).

Ian

nigelnightmare
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Joined: 19 Sep 2016, 10:33pm

Re: Bike roof racks

Postby nigelnightmare » 16 Apr 2019, 1:42pm

wrangler_rover wrote:I must surely have the worst of all worlds in my current company car which is the car of my choice, Hyundai Ioniq plug in hybrid:
With plug in hybrids, it is strongly not recommended to add a tow bar and towing electrics to the car due to the car traction system, petrol engine and electric motor.
The design of the car makes it unsuitable for roofbars, Hyundai do not supply roof bars for this car and I have contacted Thule who informed me that roof bars are not available for this car.
I have an old Hollywood boot mounted cycle rack but the hatch on this car is a large expanse of glass with a large plastic spoiler on the hatch so that cycle rack cannot be used either.
Fortunately, I am able to fold the back seats down to get a bike in the back of the car.
On the plus side:
My company car tax liability is low.
The car is economical, averages over 60 miles per gallon without being plugged in to charge the battery.
The car is ULEZ charge exempt.


You missed out one downside.

IT'S A CAR! :twisted: Aka tin box on wheels. :lol: :wink:

scottg
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Location: Highland Heights Kentucky,, USA

Re: Bike roof racks

Postby scottg » 16 Apr 2019, 3:26pm

Mick F wrote:[snip]but as I often say on here, that having bikes at the rear of the vehicle is a recipe for disaster if you are rear-ended even gently. Mercian survived our rear-ending but the Thule unit was mortally wounded. [snip.

Meanwhile, bikes go inside the car.


The upside of bikes on back, is it is the other persons fault.
Roof racks, it is your fault when drive into carpark garage and wipe the bikes off the roof.
+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
Why not the best, buy Cyclo-Benelux.

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TrevA
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Location: Nottingham

Re: Bike roof racks

Postby TrevA » 16 Apr 2019, 5:02pm

I use Thule Bike carriers on a Halfords roof rack. I've previously used Halfords carriers without problems. We've had 4 bikes on the top of a Nissan Micra, when our kids were younger, but we only need 2 carriers now it's just me and the Mrs. Again we carry bikes on top of our Vauxhall Corsa with no problems. They are a bit of a faff to load and it you aren't very tall you may need a small step ladder to reach. It's not that easy to lift a 10-15kg bike to head height and then hold it with one hand whilst you secure it with the other.

I've never driven through a height barrier with the bikes on, but I've seen it done!

ratherbeintobago
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Re: Bike roof racks

Postby ratherbeintobago » 16 Apr 2019, 6:42pm

+1 for Thule (current car has Thule wingbars; previous had Montblanc bars badged as Toyota which were fine).

The Thule carrier you (probably) want is the 598 which has a torque limiter on the arm clamp (apparently because people weren’t doing them up tight enough) but the 591 is very similar (without the torque limiter) and can be bought more cheaply used on eBay. We have two of each.

Thule stuff does seem to have a resale value too. Not sure this is true of others.

Oh yes, and a folding step is a good suggestion to help get bikes on and off the roof.

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Mick F
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Re: Bike roof racks

Postby Mick F » 16 Apr 2019, 9:01pm

scottg wrote:
Mick F wrote:[snip]but as I often say on here, that having bikes at the rear of the vehicle is a recipe for disaster if you are rear-ended even gently. Mercian survived our rear-ending but the Thule unit was mortally wounded. [snip.

Meanwhile, bikes go inside the car.


The upside of bikes on back, is it is the other persons fault.
Roof racks, it is your fault when drive into carpark garage and wipe the bikes off the roof.
Very very true indeed.

My issue with my Mercian frame is that it's irreplaceable. It's a precious item built for me in 1986. No doubt other folk have bikes that cannot be replaced in an accident even if it is someone else's fault.

Best place for bikes is inside.
Mick F. Cornwall

Jamesh
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Re: Bike roof racks

Postby Jamesh » 16 Apr 2019, 9:55pm

Yeap best way is bikes in the car and kids on the roof, wife on the train saves arguments every time.... :roll: :roll: :roll: