Roof mount
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Thread: Roof mount

  1. #1
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    Roof mount

    I have a Toyota Highlander with Thule Aeroblade Edge bars (no hitch). I have a Cervelo S1. I normally transport my bike in my truck, but we have some trips coming up that the family and dog are going on, so I am looking for a new rack for the Highlander.

    I am looking at:

    Thule ProRide
    Thule ThruRide
    RockyMounts Jetline
    RockyMounts Switchhitter
    RockyMounts Tomahawk

    Not sure if a Yakima will fit my bars.

    Thoughts on these models? Any others? Also, how big of a pain is removing the wheel all the time?
    Last edited by lightning33; 05-27-2018 at 01:13 PM. Reason: Added bike model

  2. #2
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    A lot of the newer bike trays are designed to fit a variety of cross bars, OEM included. My Thule Circuit trays work with the Subaru OEM aero bars, my vintage Thule square bars, Yakima Round as well as the Yakima Core Bars I use. No real advantage to any of the models though, they are all well designed and functional.

    I've always used fork mount trays, only as back-in-the-day the older models of bike upright had a clamp to the downtube design, which you can't use with carbon frames. There are newer designs that hold the wheels, typically the front wheel with a strap for the rear wheel, such as the Yakima Front Loader. Advantage is no need to remove the front wheel.

    The Front Loader at $200 is a bit pricier than a Thule Circuit @ $127 plus a wheel holder @ $47.

    I'd just price all the options.

  3. #3
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    I have the Yakima Frontloader, also on Thule Aeroblades, works just fine. It is a little more expensive, but nice and beefy for heavier MTN bikes.

  4. #4
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    Taking the wheel off all the time is no big deal, and the bikes can certainly handle it just fine.

    Just one obvious word of caution... do everything you can to remind yourself that the bike is on top of your car. Put your garage door opener in a different place, put a rubber band on your rearview mirror, put something in the way in your garage so you can't drive into it... even the most attentive people have smashed their bike into a garage, drive thru, or other low clearance passage. And many have done it multiple times.

    Also, test the security of the bike on the rack before driving off, and do a walkaround of the car to make sure nothing has been left on the roof or leaning against the car, etc. It sucks to drive away and hear your computer or cell phone hit the pavement, or realize 2 hours later your front wheel is far away.

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    I think I have narrowed it down, based on Internet reviews and such (negative towards the ThruAxle), to the Rocky Mounts Jetline (found it for $100ish) or Switch Hitter ($120ish). What I don't seem to find is forum discussions on these models. It is almost as if websites review them and rank/rate them, but actual people who post on forums and whatnot don't a) have them or b) if they do, just don't post about them.

    So, what is the jury's opinion on the Rocky Mounts?

    PS I will get over the wheel thing...or just get one of the wheel rack thingees at some point.

  6. #6
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    Rocky mounts work fine. A simple trick, when you take off the front wheel, lean it against the driver side door so that you have to move it to get in. That will help keep from driving off or over the front wheel.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by jetdog9 View Post
    Just one obvious word of caution... do everything you can to remind yourself that the bike is on top of your car. Put your garage door opener in a different place, put a rubber band on your rearview mirror, put something in the way in your garage so you can't drive into it... even the most attentive people have smashed their bike into a garage, drive thru, or other low clearance passage. And many have done it multiple times.
    I always put a trashcan in the garage blocking my space before I leave so I don't forget - have to get out and move it.
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  8. #8
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    I like the Yakima Forklift tray,, the quality is indisputable, it mounts to almost any bar/configuration and IMHO provides a nice level of security when locked.. The biggest danger is to forget to load the front wheel and placing it next to the driver’s door, as mentioned above, is a great suggestion.

  9. #9
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    I agree with the belief in the extra security of the locking fork mounts. On two occasions I have come out of a grocery store to find that someone has released the rear wheel strap only to be stymied by the locked fork clamp. That being said, I don't trust any bike rack security overnight - unless my tent is nearby. Staying in motels? Staying with friends? The bikes go inside.

    Once, back in '89, I drove off without my front wheel. Now I lean it against the driver's door to prevent that from happening.
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  10. #10
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    I just purchased the Yakima "Highspeed" Bike Racks because they would fit my Audi and look as though they will fit just about any crossbars you can find. I have always used Thule fork mounts, but these seem excellent.

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    Thanks all. I looked at my options, your suggestions, and took that into consideration (25%) and then looked at budget from the wife (75%) and ended up ordering the RockyMounts Jetline for 102.50 on Amazon. I was going to do the SwitchHitter to future-proof for thru-axles and discs, but it won't fit my current car. So, Jetline it is!

    Thanks for the front wheel suggestions as well! They have been received. Like most lessons learned in blood, they won't be forgotten soon. I assume that forgetting a front wheel is your lesson learned in blood. Thanks for learning it for me!

  12. #12
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    everything works. personally I'd love to have a OneUpUSA hitch rack set, but my car is one of very few that will not allow a receiver hitch on it.

    so I bought a pair of Thule Outride fork mount racks, which slide into the Thule-made mercedes bars. carries everything from QR road bikes, to thru-axle bikes, even our Plus-tired mtn bikes. I also have the thule front wheel holders, but usually don't use them - just throw the wheels in the trunk

    I put a traffic cone ahead of my car port. or park the pickup in the carport to prevent the clothesline effect

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  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by lightning33 View Post
    I have a Toyota Highlander with Thule Aeroblade Edge bars (no hitch). I have a Cervelo S1. I normally transport my bike in my truck, but we have some trips coming up that the family and dog are going on, so I am looking for a new rack for the Highlander.

    I am looking at:

    Thule ProRide
    Thule ThruRide

    RockyMounts Jetline
    RockyMounts Switchhitter
    RockyMounts Tomahawk

    Not sure if a Yakima will fit my bars.

    Thoughts on these models? Any others? Also, how big of a pain is removing the wheel all the time?
    Thule's racks sure have changed in the past 4 years since I bought mine. If I were buying one of their racks now, I would go with the UpRide:

    https://www.thule.com/en-us/us/bike-...pride-_-599000

    The ProRide is not carbon frame friendly and the ThruRide is a fork mount rack which personally, I find stupid. If I'm going to have to remove the front wheel, I may as well just stuff it inside the car.
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  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lombard View Post
    a fork mount rack which personally, I find stupid. If I'm going to have to remove the front wheel, I may as well just stuff it inside the car.
    fork mount has a few advantages, It is carbon friendly, and friendly to all types of bikes and tires. The user doesn't have to lift as much bike weight. The user doesn't have to reach up as high to secure the bike to the rack. I've only had whole-bike racks for 30 years, but decided to try fork mount - and I kinda like it. And, since when is removing a front wheel a hardship? Wheels are known to take up less space than a whole bike donchaknow. We recently did a mtn bike trip, with a cooler, lawn chairs, 2 bags of gear and bags of clothes in the trunk along with 2 mtn bike wheels (would not have fit even 1 disassembled mtn bike on our trunk). and fork mount looks better imho

    but then, I am not keen on any roof racks any more, seeing how brilliant rear racks have become. I just couldn't fit a rear one on my specific car.
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  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by BCSaltchucker View Post
    fork mount has a few advantages, It is carbon friendly, and friendly to all types of bikes and tires. The user doesn't have to lift as much bike weight. The user doesn't have to reach up as high to secure the bike to the rack. I've only had whole-bike racks for 30 years, but decided to try fork mount - and I kinda like it. And, since when is removing a front wheel a hardship? Wheels are known to take up less space than a whole bike donchaknow. We recently did a mtn bike trip, with a cooler, lawn chairs, 2 bags of gear and bags of clothes in the trunk along with 2 mtn bike wheels (would not have fit even 1 disassembled mtn bike on our trunk). and fork mount looks better imho

    but then, I am not keen on any roof racks any more, seeing how brilliant rear racks have become. I just couldn't fit a rear one on my specific car.
    Your point is well taken to a degree. Except that it doesn't address:

    1) Where do you put that wheel you removed? Let's say I have two bikes, a kayak and a car full of other crap.

    2) Removing a wheel on a hydraulic disc brake bike means you will need to have a sure way of preventing the brake lever from being accidentally pulled.

    Sadly, as vehicles get higher and higher, roof racks become less practical. I prefer not to have my bikes behind me and possibly get rear-ended and having both my bikes and car crunched, not to mention a back up error.
    "With bicycles in particular, you need to separate between what's merely true and what's important."-- DCGriz, RBR.

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  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lombard View Post
    2) Removing a wheel on a hydraulic disc brake bike means you will need to have a sure way of preventing the brake lever from being accidentally pulled.
    This has never been an issue for me in 15 years of loading disc braked bikes onto fork mount racks. As long as you have a screwdriver (or credit card) you can easily spread the brake pads enough to fit the rotor back in.

    I agree with the decreasing practicality of roof racks though. I put a 2" receiver on my new car since I already have a hitch mount rack for my van and because my wife is short. I originally intended to also put a roof rack on so I could load 4 people and their bikes - then I realized the only time my wife and I ride with just one other couple, those other folks already have trucks that carry 4-6 bikes. We'll catch a ride with them.

    OP, sorry I didn't see this sooner. I have the Switch Hitter and although it's a fine rack the plastic plate covering the latch mechanism and the built-in cable locks rattle pretty bad. It's super annoying with a sun roof but you can get "sticky felt" or some other adhesive padding to quiet it down.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lombard View Post
    Your point is well taken to a degree. Except that it doesn't address:

    1) Where do you put that wheel you removed? Let's say I have two bikes, a kayak and a car full of other crap.

    2) Removing a wheel on a hydraulic disc brake bike means you will need to have a sure way of preventing the brake lever from being accidentally pulled.

    Sadly, as vehicles get higher and higher, roof racks become less practical. I prefer not to have my bikes behind me and possibly get rear-ended and having both my bikes and car crunched, not to mention a back up error.
    A bike tray and separate wheel holder is about $30 cheaper then an upright, as noted in post 2.

  18. #18
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    Weather you stick with the roof mount or go hitch mount get yourself a 1UPUSA rack and never look back. Bar none the best bike rack on the market! Nothing else is close.

  19. #19
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    If you want to leave the front wheel on, I'd suggest going with a 1Up rack. https://www.1up-usa.com/product/roof-rack/

    Very easy to use. Low profile, and it doesn't look like a plumber on drugs designed the rack. If you have two or more, it also allows you to move the bikes forward and backward to adjust so the handlebars/saddles don't touch without having to move the racks. Very versatile.

    https://www.1up-usa.com/photos/
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  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tim Mailloux View Post
    Weather you stick with the roof mount or go hitch mount get yourself a 1UPUSA rack and never look back. Bar none the best bike rack on the market! Nothing else is close.
    We have a hitch mount. Carry mountain, road, cx bikes and even cruisers with it. Easiest rack we have ever used. Well worth the $$
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  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lombard View Post
    I prefer not to have my bikes behind me and possibly get rear-ended and having both my bikes and car crunched, not to mention a back up error.
    well in my case if the bikes get crunched that is a lot less painful ($) than if the butt of my mercedes getting crunched. but I mean - I've never seen it happen and I assume you know how to drive a car?? back up horror?? people drive RVs and 18 wheelers all day everywhere, driving a car with a few bikes on the back is childs play.

    roof rack mounted bikes is always a 1000x higher risk of damage to car and bike, imho. And I've seen it happen, and I've done it myself! Heck I once had a valet drive our car with an empty roof rack into a low height parking garage, resulting in permanent denting of the roof and twisted bike trays. Drive-thru restaurants. ferries (often extra fee for roof mounted bikes here). bah hitch racks are where it's at imho. Wish I could have one on my car
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  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by BCSaltchucker View Post
    well in my case if the bikes get crunched that is a lot less painful ($) than if the butt of my mercedes getting crunched. but I mean - I've never seen it happen and I assume you know how to drive a car?? back up horror?? people drive RVs and 18 wheelers all day everywhere, driving a car with a few bikes on the back is childs play.

    roof rack mounted bikes is always a 1000x higher risk of damage to car and bike, imho. And I've seen it happen, and I've done it myself! Heck I once had a valet drive our car with an empty roof rack into a low height parking garage, resulting in permanent denting of the roof and twisted bike trays. Drive-thru restaurants. ferries (often extra fee for roof mounted bikes here). bah hitch racks are where it's at imho. Wish I could have one on my car
    This is the kind of post that always pops up in these discussions: someone who laughs at the possibility of damage to bikes on a hitch rack while arguing that a roof rack mounted bike is inevitably going to be damaged by driving into a low ceiling.

    " I've never seen it happen and I assume you know how to drive a car??" You've never seen rear end collisions? Okay, you've just not seen ones when a bike rack is involved. Let me tell you, they do happen. As a shop employee I have had to writeup insurance estimates for just that occurrence.

    "I assume you know how to drive a car?" Wow... you use that statement to minimize the possibility of damage to a bike on a hitch rack while in the same post telling us that it is inevitable that a roof rack bike will be run into a low overhang. The logic is absent in that argument.

    I have little to no control over the possibility of someone smashing into the rear end of my car - tailgaters abound in the US, and usually they are the drivers who are easily distracted by their kids, phones, radio, food, etc. I am in total control over where I drive my car - In thirty plus years of using a roof rack I have never driven by bike or rack into a low overhang. Perhaps it is because I know how to drive a car, as you say?

    BTW: I find it interesting that BC Ferries will charge extra for cars with roof racks over hitch racks. I car with a bike on the roof is lower than a local delivery truck, so if the ferry is tall enough for one of those then the car takes no extra room. In fact, a car with a hitch rack is longer than a normal car and so that does take extra room. Maybe logic works differently in BC?
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  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by BCSaltchucker View Post
    well in my case if the bikes get crunched that is a lot less painful ($) than if the butt of my mercedes getting crunched. but I mean - I've never seen it happen and I assume you know how to drive a car?? back up horror?? people drive RVs and 18 wheelers all day everywhere, driving a car with a few bikes on the back is childs play.


    roof rack mounted bikes is always a 1000x higher risk of damage to car and bike, imho. And I've seen it happen, and I've done it myself! Heck I once had a valet drive our car with an empty roof rack into a low height parking garage, resulting in permanent denting of the roof and twisted bike trays. Drive-thru restaurants. ferries (often extra fee for roof mounted bikes here). bah hitch racks are where it's at imho. Wish I could have one on my car
    I have never had any of those problems, and I had carted my bikes on the roof for 5+ years.

    roof rack.jpg

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by BCSaltchucker View Post
    ... edit for brevity ...

    bah hitch racks are where it's at imho. Wish I could have one on my car
    FYI, you are more likely to do much more damage to your car if you get rear ended with a hitch mount. The Hitch mount is attached to the frame, a bent frame is much more expensive, if not a total write off possibly. Cars are designed to take hits on the bumper, resulting in more aesthetic damage, but repairable. Same goes if you mess up your roof from driving into a garage with bikes on it, or anything else, but the support structure of the car will remain in tact.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jetdog9 View Post
    Just one obvious word of caution... do everything you can to remind yourself that the bike is on top of your car. Put your garage door opener in a different place...
    There are phone apps that set off an alarm when you get within a hundred yards or so from your garage.

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