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  1. #1
    RoadBikeReview Member
    Reputation: High Gear's Avatar
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    MPG loss with car top bike rack? How much?

    I'm getting a new Thule car top bike rack after moving to a sedan from my old wagon. I'm thinking about keeping it mounted permanatly. I'm mounting the fairing too. Has anyone had a noticeable loss in gas mileage with a rack?

  2. #2
    RoadBikeReview Member
    Reputation: burgrat's Avatar
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    I have seen a difference of 2 mpg on average. I have a 2003 Subaru Outback. I normally get 25 mpg with no rack. With a my Yakima roof rack and fairing the mpg goes to 23 (that's with no bikes mounted on the rack). My commute is far, about 80 miles a day, so it is significant enough that I decided to remove the rack and basically throw my bike in the trunk when needed. I'd rather have the inconvenience of not having the roof rack as opposed to the gas savings. It really adds up over time, not to mention I'm already leaving a pretty big "carbon footprint" with my commute.

  3. #3
    RoadBikeReview Member
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    Forget about the gas mileage, roof racks look really cool. If you want to really save on gas, ride the bike to your group rides.
    With people like Peter P. around, I am done posting on this website. Mean people have driven me off after 9 plus years. Good luck newbies beware.

  4. #4
    Banned forever.....or not
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    2 to 3 mpg. The only time I use my Thule, is when I'm hauling one or two other people to races.
    If your opinion differs from mine, ..........Too bad.
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  5. #5
    Ricardo Cabeza
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    enough to matter
    Whenever the legislators endeavour to take away and destroy the property of the people, or to reduce them to slavery under arbitrary power, they put themselves into a state of war with the people who are thereupon absolved from any further obedience, and are left to the common refuge which God hath provided for all men against force and violence - John Locke

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  6. #6
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    Prius without Thule rack: 45-48mpg, with rack, fairing, and bikes down to 35mpg

  7. #7
    RoadBikeReview Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hooben
    Forget about the gas mileage, roof racks look really cool. If you want to really save on gas, ride the bike to your group rides.
    Word....If gas milage matters that much to you then commute on your bike more.

  8. #8
    Beetpull DeLite
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    Just throw it in the back, is it really that hard?

  9. #9
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    Thule rack with fairing on a station wagon: Without bikes, about 4-5 mpg less. With 2 bikes (fork mount, wheels in back), about 8-12 mpg less. And I don't think the fairing makes any difference to mpg, but might make it a bit less noisy with the sunroof open.

  10. #10
    Devoid of all flim-flam
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    Our 2003 BMW 325 gets a reliable 30 mpg highway. When we went up from LA to Santa Cruz and Coop's craziness, we had two bikes up top on the Yakima rack and got a miserable 24.5 mpg. The car was much louder, too.
    Last edited by Mapei; 05-10-2009 at 09:19 PM.
    Mapie is a conventional looking former Hollywood bon viveur, now leading a quiet life in a house made of wood by an isolated beach. He has cultivated a taste for culture, and is a celebrated raconteur amongst his local associates, who are artists, actors, and other leftfield/eccentric types. I imagine he has a telescope, and an unusual sculpture outside his front door. He is also a beach comber. The Rydster.

  11. #11
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    on my scion XB I am getting 30-34 with the out rack. This past round with my rack I got 32mpg...go figure

  12. #12
    vexatious enigma
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    Get rid of the car and it wont matter so much anymore.
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    Maybe Judas did it for a Klondike bar.

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