roof rack (or trunk rack) recommendations

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9 replies [Last post]
Anonymous's picture

I just got a car and am wondering if anyone has any opinions on roof racks (or trunk racks). Thule? Yakima? Saris? Something else? I want to ideally put 4 bikes on my roof. Does anyone have any advice? Would be nice if they lock so no one can steal the bikes or the trays.

Also, I have heard that the roof racks affect gas mileage? Can anyone back that? How big of a deal is it?

Thanks in advance for any advice!

Anonymous's picture
"Chainwheel" (not verified)

"I've used a Yakima roof rack for many years and am very pleased with it. The ""towers"" accept locks to prevent theft. Yes, I'm sure having four bikes on the roof will affect gas mileage somewhat. Also, air flowing over the front bar of the rack can cause wind noise. They make a fairing to reduce the noise. A complete rack system for four bikes will not be cheap.


Anonymous's picture
Bill Vojtech (not verified)
Saris bumper rack

The saris bumper rack holds 3 bikes. It folds to fit in a closet. Mounts in minutes.

A friend lost several roof racks parking on the street in NYC. They were locked on. The thieves pried them off. Not good for the car.

Anonymous's picture
bill (not verified)

Saris!!! No question. I have the roof rack version and love it. Really easy to put on and take off. There are no individual posts to adjust like yakima and thule before you put on the cross bars. Each cross bar is one piece. You tighten them from one side but it screws in on boths sides to grab on to your roof.

You can put the Saris on or off in like 5 minutes by yourself. And when you take them off, everything's connected so you just have the two cross pieces to throw in the trunk.

The fit kit that personalizes them to each car is a breeze to configure and requires zero maintenance. The heavy rubber cups have not scratched my roof. I think pricing is comparable to Thule and Yak. And they look better too. It comes with locks to secure the rack to the roof and you can buy locks for the fork braket. You can take if off when not using it I guess. No one's stolen mine but I don't park on the street that often.

I had a thule trunk rack for years and hated it. Always looking in the rearview and seeing my bikes bobbing around. Always worried about them falling off. Bungies and straps, yech. Can't open your trunk once it's all loaded up. I can put two bikes on my roof rack in 2 minutes and never worry about them up there. And with 2 bikes on my roof, the value of my car doubles (nice bikes, cheap car)!

Not sure about gas mileage. Seems like a minor point. Bikes on trunk or roof are not at all aerodynamic. I use the fork mounts. They keep the bike lower to the car and hold the bike more securely.

One of the best purchases I've ever made. Skip their wind fairing though.

Anonymous's picture
An anonymous cow! (Christian Edstrom) (not verified)

The only reason to have a trunk rack is if you don't have a car, since trunk racks are universal, and can basically be made to fit whatever rental car you're suffering with that weekend.

If you own a car, buy a roof rack, and watch out for low overpasses/garages. I prefer Thule, but Thule, Yakima, and Saris are all ok.

- Christian

Anonymous's picture
April (not verified)
Yeah, yeah, yeah

$50-100 for a trunk rack and (take a deep breath...)

$200-400 for a roof system (that can take the same number of bikes)!!!

In fact, if I have $400 burning a hole in my pocket, I'll put it in a trailer hitch + hitch rack instead.

Anonymous's picture
bill (not verified)

True. Depends on how much you plan to use it and various other factors. I still consider it such a big improvement over the trunk rack that for me it was totally worth it.

As far as low overpasses? I drive a Camry and ride a 50 cm frame. With fork mounts it's not tall enough to worry about unless I'm parking in an unusually low garage.

Also I can slide the bike mounts to the side and tie stuff to this rack. The cross pieces are extremely strong. Can't tie a dresser to a trunk rack...

Anonymous's picture
April (not verified)
Saris roof rack dealer?

I keep hearing Saris ROOF RACK mentioned from time to time. But I've never seen them in stores. All I've seen are Saris trunk racks.

Speaking of small bikes on small cars, I witness a very interesting event once. A fellow riders of mine who's quite small occasionally gave ride to a buddy who's 6'+ and rides a 60cm. This one time we were going into a underground garage. The saddle of the taller bike keep brushing every overhead beam! Eventually, the driver realized it and lowered the saddle before going further...

Very close encounter indeed.

Anonymous's picture
Kay Gunn (not verified)
car bike rack reviews

Check this out for lots of consumer reviews:

Anonymous's picture
Michael (not verified)
Saris Bones Trunk Rack

I have a Saris Bones trunk rack that holds three bikes that I am looking to sell. It is a great piece of equipment, very well designed and folds up for storage.

The only downside is that it is not a permanent rack like a roof or hitch mounted rack. I needed a rack that I could leave on my van yet have access to the back door so i bought a hitch mounted rack.

If you decide to go the trunk mounted route, the Saris Bones is a great product, a step up design wise from the Rhode Gear Cycle Shuttle that I used to own.
I only used mine 3 or 4 times so it is in pretty good shape and would let you have it for a reasonable price.
Contact me offline.

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