Car Bike Rack Recommendations Requested

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6 replies [Last post]
Anonymous's picture

I'm looking for a bike rack for my car. Any recommendations? I think I'd prefer a roof mount because mounting the rack on the trunk means you can't open the trunk without taking the bike off.

I understand that Thule makes good racks. I looked at their website but it looks like all the roof mount racks have a capacity of a single bike and I'd like to be able to carry at least 2 bikes.

Thanks in advance for your recommendations, experience, etc.

Anonymous's picture
Russ Berman (not verified)
Roof Racks

Both Thule and Yakima make good roof racks. The differences have largely to do with durability and style (do you have to take off the front wheel? is it lockable? etc.). I suspect you're misreading the information on the Thule racks: Each rack involves a lot of separate pieces, normally including (among other things) two cross bars and a separate sleeve for each bike. You can buy as many sleeves as your car roof will accommodate--normally not more than four. There is a notable increase in wind resistance even when there are no bikes mounted on the roof. A fairing (a kind of windbreaker that streams the air over the roof) is available to reduce wind resistance, and, as folks are fond of saying, YMMV.

Anonymous's picture
Chaim Caron (not verified)
Wind Resistance

Is there much difference in wind resistance between roof mount and trunk mount when bikes are loaded?

>There is a notable increase in wind resistance even when there are no bikes mounted on the roof.
Are you saying that you normally leave a part of the rack on the car roof even when no bikes are being carried and that this part increases wind resistance? If so, then a trunk mount might make more sense, at least from the point of view of wind resistance.

Do you use the fairing you mentioned with bikes mounted or without or both?

Can you suggest any other reasons for choosing between roof and trunk mount? Thanks!

Anonymous's picture
Lorraine (not verified)
Yakima rack

"For my 2003 PT Cruiser I bought a Yakima Big Horn and had it attached with a 1 1/4"" trailer hitch. I knew nothing about these type of racks before buying this car, but this has worked out very well. A roof mount was not a possibility for me...I can barely lift my bike on to the back of the car. You can see the rack at the Yakima web site. Lorraine"

Anonymous's picture
driver (not verified)
Trunk racks -- info wanted

I'd also love to hear any thoughts on trunk racks -- desirable features, no-no's, etc. Any specific recommendations for racks used on a Honda Accord will be especially appreciated.

Anonymous's picture
Bill Vojtech (not verified)

Saris makes a couple of trunk mount racks that are very nice. I have one that will take 3 bikes. It's very adjustable, mounts quickly and has fit any type of car or van that I've tried it on.

Some of the catalogs carry them. Check Ebay. There is a 2 bike model and if I'm not mistaken a trailer hitch mount, too.

Anonymous's picture
Steve Peters (not verified)
Some info on Roof Racks

Just some of my thoughts on roof mounted racks:

I own both a Yakima roof rack (two trays for two bikes, fork mounted) and a Saris roof rack (two trays for two bikes, fork mounted).

I have the Yakima installed on my SUV year-round with Copperhead bike trays and have had no problems. I do not use a faring but do cover my bikes with a nylon cover (available from Bike Nashbar) and have found this to significantly reduce wind noise while also protecting the bikes from stones, dirt, oil etc...

I had the Saris rack when I owned a four-door import sedan. I chose the Saris for it's key differentiating feature: it self-centers on the roof. Since I did not leave this rack on my car all of the time, I wanted something that was very easy to install. The Saris load bars are integrated with the posts that grip the roof. In order to attach the load bars to the roof, you just turn a knob at one end and the posts close on the roof like a vice. Slide on the bike tray and away you go...I do have a faring for the Saris and found it to help with wind noise. (Thule & Yakima may make self-centering models now but they did not when I bought my Saris rack about 5 years ago)

Why roof racks over trunk or hitch racks? For me, there were two reasons. First, stability. I did not want my bikes hanging off the back of my vehicle with wheel exposed on both sides of the car. Second, flexibility. The load bars purchased with a roof rack can be used for any type of hauling. At first I did not think I would have any use for them but after hauling canoes, mattresses, furniture, cargo boxes, skies, snowboards etc I found the versatility to be a big bonus.

Feel free to email me directly if you have any specific questions...


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