Bike Rack Help
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Thread: Bike Rack Help

  1. #1
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    Bike Rack Help

    So I'm about to buy a bike rack that can fit to my old cedan car. I prospected this online as suggested by my friend working here https://www.ramsareus.com/sku/tcoes599.html. But I don't know if my bike will be safe on the roof rather than the hitch type?

    What do you think guys? this is a trusted Thule brand, so that's plus point for me.

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by GiantRider View Post
    So I'm about to buy a bike rack that can fit to my old cedan car. I prospected this online as suggested by my friend working here https://www.ramsareus.com/sku/tcoes599.html. But I don't know if my bike will be safe on the roof rather than the hitch type?

    What do you think guys? this is a trusted Thule brand, so that's plus point for me.
    Attached properly, your bike will be safe on the roof, and you're right that Thule is a good brand. Just watch out for those garage roofs when you get back home...
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  3. #3
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    I've had both, the biggest problem with the roof rack is the driver, he is usually an idiot.
    I have hit the house with my bike on the rack, I wasn't going that fast and it destroyed the rack & made my front wheel out of round, but that bike & fork are still running, it was a trek!
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  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by GiantRider View Post
    So I'm about to buy a bike rack that can fit to my old cedan car. I prospected this online as suggested by my friend working here https://www.ramsareus.com/sku/tcoes599.html. But I don't know if my bike will be safe on the roof rather than the hitch type?

    What do you think guys? this is a trusted Thule brand, so that's plus point for me.
    Thule and Yakima are brands that are well known and trusted. A properly installed rack (roof or hitch) should hold the bike safely and securely - provided you have attached the bike to the rack correctly. Many a person has lost a bike off their vehicle from improper use of the rack - both roof and hitch.

    Which is safer? I don't know. Depends on the user. I hear/read of way more people running their bikes into their garages or parking decks than having them rear ended by another car. That is anecdotal. It doesn't prove anything except that people are likely to forget about their bikes when they aren't in view. That is why hood/mirror/dash mounted gadgets that remind drivers of the mounted bikes exist.

    Which ever you decide both are good options.

    I currently have a Thule T2 hitch rack on my 4 door sedan. I much prefer a hitch rack to a roof rack for several reasons. I had previously used a Yakima roof rack with trays for fork mounts so I am familiar with both. Here are some pros and cons for you to weigh between the 2.

    Roof Rack Pros:
    1) Generally less expensive - ie carrying a single bike - especially for vehicles with crossbars already installed or standard as you only have to purchase the tray

    2) Do not have to install hitch if vehicle doesn't already have one

    3) Does not change the vehicle length or maneuvering ability - especially apparent at low speed and usually when parking.


    Roof Rack Cons:
    1) Extra height can be very limiting - preventing you from going into parking decks, some drive through lanes, garages, etc

    1.5) can be very expensive to repair car and or bike if you smash into said parking deck, garage, etc. This is unfortunately a common occurrence because it is very easy to forget the bike(s) is there when it is out of sight.

    2) Can damage the roof of vehicle
    - if you have to install crossbars that contact the roof, you can get scratching under the pads if not very clean before install. Also paint under the pads will not fade or change if left on for a long time (years for example) - apparent only when you remove the rack - like if you trade your vehicle in or sell it and don't send the rack with it.
    - if you improperly install the rack feet (if you need to install crossbars), you can dent the roof
    - if you drop the bike or miss the tray, you can scratch the paint on the roof or if you have a gravel or mountain bike, debris may fall off and hit the roof and scratch the finish or paint.

    3) Placing the bike in the rack can be difficult
    - you have to lift the bike above you head to place on/in the rack. This can be difficult depending on your height and the weight of the bike.
    - fork mounts require you to remove the front wheel which then requires you to either get a wheel rack attachment to put the wheel on the roof next to the bike or you have to store the wheel in the vehicle (potentially muddy if using a gravel or mtn bike)
    - frame mounts like the one you linked to require you to hold the bike steady over your head while locking it in place can can be difficult depending on your height and weight of bike.
    - frame mounts can damage some frames if clamped too hard - especially carbon or ultra light weight alloy frames with thin walls - mounts have gotten much better over the last several years in this regard but it is a concern

    The one you linked to is an upright mount that clamps to the bike frame and does not require front wheel removal.

    4) More difficult to secure if bike tray isn't lockable as you have to reach above your head to run cable/lock through frame.

    5) Can be very loud with turbulence from the crossbars being to far forward into the airflow or coming off the bike. Some racks sell fairings to address this and reduce the noise - did I mention they can be VERY loud when this happens? I experienced this with both Yakima and Thule (round and square) crossbars in the past.


    Hitch Rack Pros:
    1) Easy to load bikes - generally on have to lift the bike only 2-3 feet off the ground to place in rack

    2) Bikes are always visible when looking out back window - know bikes are there and secure all the time and easy to keep in mind when driving. IMO much less likely to run them into something (see above)

    3) Rack and bikes are much less likely to damage vehicle

    4) Easy to secure bikes with cables/locks if rack isn't lockable since bikes are much lower

    5) Less debris hitting bikes since they are behind the vehicle instead of on top - less bugs to clean off the handlebars and headtubes especially if you travel at night

    6) Possibly more fuel efficient with the bikes behind the vehicle - in my experience the vehicle isn't as affected by winds as much as a roof rack either

    7) Quieter since the rack and bike aren't in the main flow of air above the vehicle

    8) Generally safer for bikes - especially the models that hold the wheels vs the frame. Also frame held ones generally use a rubber cradle and strap to hold the bike frame vs clamping on the frame like the rack you linked to does

    Hitch Rack Cons:
    1) More expensive generally - especially if you have purchase and install a hitch

    2) Some vehicles cannot have a hitch installed

    3) For sedans and smaller vehicles, you are generally limited to 1 1/4" hitches which will reduce the maximum number of bikes to 2. Trucks and larger vehicles can have the 2" hitches which can carry 4 or more bikes.

    4) Makes getting into the trunk or hatch or rear of the vehicle more difficult. Most racks have the ability to lower or drop the rack down to make more room but do not get out of the way completely - especially with bikes mounted. Then they are difficult to lift back up with the weight of the bikes and rack. Some of the more expensive racks will swing to the side of the vehicle and eliminate most of the obstruction - these are the best for accessing the rear of the vehicle. Yakima and Thule offer swing arms add-ons for some of their racks that do not come std with it. Generally they will push out the rack several inches that it normally does.

    5) Racks lengthen your vehicle especially with bikes mounted - sometimes by several feet. This can make driving in parking lots and at low speed more difficult. You have to be careful and aware of this or you can back into or hit other vehicles or objects with your bikes and or rack. If you have the folding type, when up with no bikes they do not alter driving characteristics of the vehicle significantly.

    6) If you leave the rack on vehicle when not using it, depending on the model, it can obstruct your license plate and may be an issue with law enforcement. I've never had an issue with this but I read recently of someone who had. Just be aware of it

    7) Bikes are more exposed/ at risk in the event of a rear end accident/collision.


    Good luck which every way you go... I personally have had good luck dealing with my LBS's for both roof and hitch racks or if you want to go hitch, etrailer.com has a good selection of hitches (and racks). I have used them for the hitches and installation guides on both of our vehicles.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by tinball View Post
    Roof Rack Cons:
    Fuel economy. Bikes on the roof will reduce fuel economy 20-30%.
    And an empty rack: 7-10% all day every day everywhere you drive.


    Hitch Rack Pros:
    6) Possibly more fuel efficient with the bikes behind the vehicle - in my experience the vehicle isn't as affected by winds as much as a roof rack either
    Definitely more fuel efficient. With bikes they're 50%, or more, efficient than a roof rack.
    When empty there is no impact to fuel efficiency.
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  6. #6
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    You could just throw it in the back seat especially with safety being a concern.

    Most bikes will fit into most sedans but just taking off the front wheel and moving the passenger seat up a bit.

  7. #7
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    I've used every form of rack, including mounting bikes inside the rear space of a Honda Element and Kia Minivan, which was by far the best solution.

    Unfortunately, my current vehicle isn't quite large enough to mount bikes inside, so I've opted for a Kuat hitch rack. There are several good brands of hitch racks out there (Kuat, OneUp USA, etc..). Any good one will be fine.

    The only downside for me is (besides the obvious one of needing a hitch), is that 1) it messes with my backup camera (minor nit), and 2) you are effectively using your bike as a rear bumper.

    I have used Thule roof racks in the past, but ultimately removed them in favor of hitch racks. I did this because, while most of my bikes are fairly light and easy to lift, that isn't the case for all of my family bikes (and some friends bikes). And one of the bikes I travel with now is an e-bike that weighs 40lbs. I'm not lifting that onto the roof. A 20lb bike was challenging enough.

    Regardless of which type you go with, If you have a expensive or hard to replace bike, make sure your property insurance (homeowners, renters, etc...) covers your bikes.

  8. #8
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    I have a Thule 2 and a SeaSucker rack.

    The Thule 2 draw back is it's a bit heavy and leaving it in kind of gets in the way of easy access to lowering the bed on my pick-up truck. and I can't use the hitch for other things. It also gets in the way of the back up camera and parking alert sensors. All managable, just annoying little things. It holds a bike great and very securely. I've had it for about 6 years. It's easier to put the bike on the T2 than the SeaSucker.

    The SeaSucker goes on my bed cover, I use it when going on vacation because the tail gate is more accessible and the truck is easier to park since it's shorter with it off, plus I can tow our boat on lake vacations. The Seasucker is less secure as in someone can take it off your vehicle pretty easily and your bikes with it. On the highway when installed properly the suction holds fine, I've never had any issues with it including 14 hour drives. I do check the vacuum buttons when I fuel up and give them a few pumps to make sure they are tight though as a caution. There are orange indicators on the buttons that when showing let you know the cup suction is dropping some. Another plus with this when you are traveling is when you get to your destination it's small and light enough it's easy to take off and stow somewhere out of the way. I can't pull in the garage with a bike on the bed cover so to make sure i don't forget and trash a bike pulling in when I get home, I put a trash can in the middle of the bay I park in so I can't pull in without moving it.
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  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by GiantRider View Post
    So I'm about to buy a bike rack that can fit to my old cedan car. I prospected this online as suggested by my friend working here https://www.ramsareus.com/sku/tcoes599.html. But I don't know if my bike will be safe on the roof rather than the hitch type?

    What do you think guys? this is a trusted Thule brand, so that's plus point for me.
    This is a good rack, unless you have a carbon frame which should not be clamped like this one does on the downtube. Thule makes another one that has the clamp on the front tire instead.

    And to those that are afraid they will forget and drive into their garage with the bike on the roof, the solution is to not have the garage door remote control with you when you have the bike on the roof. That way you will be forced to get out of the car before you go in the garage and unless you are totally oblivious, you will notice the bike on your roof.
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  10. #10
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    Might not ever matter, but I keep my 1UP USA on my car 24/7. One night during a heavy storm a pickup behind me could not stop, bam! My Accord suffered no damage, nor did the bike rack, but his front bumper was destroyed! Glad I had it.
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