Roof racks - are we being scammed?
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  1. #1

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    Roof racks - are we being scammed?

    Does anyone know of a way to truly utilize the factory cross bars on a typical SUV (Ford Expedition in my case) to carry a bike without having to buy the expensive tower/crossbar systems (a la Yakima and Thule). It seems like it shouldn't be hard to make a fork mount and rear wheel tray that attach directly to the factory cross bars, but the "biggies" in the business don't make them.

    Help?!

  2. #2
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    Thule Crossroads

    In the current Outside mag gear guide, they have a blurb about the thule Crossroads. This rack supposedly attaches to any factory rack. Price is $125. Haven't put one on the Xterra, but it looks interesting.

  3. #3
    Nat
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    Noose.

    Quote Originally Posted by Mordi
    Does anyone know of a way to truly utilize the factory cross bars on a typical SUV (Ford Expedition in my case) to carry a bike without having to buy the expensive tower/crossbar systems (a la Yakima and Thule). It seems like it shouldn't be hard to make a fork mount and rear wheel tray that attach directly to the factory cross bars, but the "biggies" in the business don't make them.

    Help?!
    Check this out:
    http://www.rockymounts.com/noose.asp?nav=&page=noose

  4. #4

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    Read your owners manual or check with the dealer. The factory racks on some are purely ornamental and should not carry any kind of load.

  5. #5
    flinty-eyed moderator
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    Post Links to the products

    Quote Originally Posted by gf99
    Read your owners manual or check with the dealer. The factory racks on some are purely ornamental and should not carry any kind of load.
    But many to most are functional, in that they can be adapted to carry stuff- albeit with a lower weight limit then if you didn't have them. If you have a choice- never get the factory rack. Save your money for a Thule or Yakima system.

    Here is the direct to factory rack bike trey (fork mount):

    http://www.thuleracks.com/thule/prod...t_id=8&sku=889

    Here is the direct to factory rack upright bike trey:

    http://www.thuleracks.com/thule/prod...d=8&sku=899xtr

  6. #6
    No pain, no pain.
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    Mighty Mounts

    I use Yakima Mighty Mounts, which allow me to attach my Anklebiter racks directly to the factory mount on my Plymouth Voyager. The factory rack isn't as solid looking as a Yakima or Thule, but it's rated to 150lbs, which is more than enough for my bikes. It has worked beautifully for a couple of years now and looks a little "smoother" than the Yakima towers would. I got the Mighty Mounts for about $10 each on ebay. They are specific to the model of your car, so check Yakima's website for the right size/model for your car.

  7. #7
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    Scammed? Yes, but not by Thule or Yakima...

    As someone else pointed out. The factor racks are purely ornamental. Good only for bungeeing some luggage to the roof if you are lucky. As usual, the automakers are the ones running the scam.
    Pain is weakness leaving the body!!!
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  8. #8
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    Most factory racks cannot hold more then two bikes at a time. There are bike mounts available that will work on some. Yakima makes the Cobra and King Cobra racks (leave both wheels on) that will work with many racks. There are a few companies making some that are fork mount and will work (RockyMounts?). These are usually somewhat ugly racks because they are made to fit almost every factory roof rack out there. You can't get the nice streamlined look without making the bike mount specifically for each rack and there are just too many variations for any company to really do that.

    So no, your not getting screwed, you have options. Put a couple bikes on your factory rack with less attractive mounts, or go for full Yakima setup and get a nice looking rack capable of holding 4 bikes.

  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mordi
    Does anyone know of a way to truly utilize the factory cross bars on a typical SUV (Ford Expedition in my case) to carry a bike without having to buy the expensive tower/crossbar systems (a la Yakima and Thule). It seems like it shouldn't be hard to make a fork mount and rear wheel tray that attach directly to the factory cross bars, but the "biggies" in the business don't make them.

    Help?!
    Rocky Mounts www.rockymounts.com makes some though I have a ford Explorer and the crossbars are not designed for really heavy loads. Don't know if I'd try it. Get a hitch mounted rack instead. Much less reach to get the bikes up there. The factory racks work fine for ski racks though.
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  10. #10

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    "Costs too much and the bikes fall off"--Subaru guy

    That's what the parts manager (a mountain bike racer) said when I asked about the factory bike carrier for a Subaru wagon we bought a few years ago. He got the stuff at cost, and HE was using a Yakima rack. That was enough for me....

  11. #11
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    Investment Scams

    Quote Originally Posted by biknben
    As someone else pointed out. The factor racks are purely ornamental. Good only for bungeeing some luggage to the roof if you are lucky. As usual, the automakers are the ones running the scam.
    The price for disposable motor vehicles is where you are getting scammed.

    At least Yakima and Thule build something that will last longer than your vehicle. My Yakima rack is over 10 years old and I never hesitate to load it up with four bikes, each of which individually are worth more than my motor vehicle.

    With an Expedition I would seriously be looking at hauling it inside the vehicle most of the time anyway.

  12. #12

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    Going with hitch rack

    Thanks all for your responses. After looking at the options, I'm going to use a hitch rack instead of the roof rack. It will be easier to load, no worries about "roofing" the bike and I had access to a very high quality hitch rack at a reasonable price.

  13. #13
    djg
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    Just bought the "factory" rack

    for my volvo and it IS a Thule. The towers say "volvo" on them but the company says that they're made by Thule and the bars themselves are indistinguishable from the Thule bars in the LBS. Nice clean fit into little clips built into the rain gutters. 80 bucks for the bars (with the integrated towers, ready to go) from the volvo dealer. Seemed like a pretty good deal to me. They also sell the trays (a fork-mount model and what looks like the thule "bigmouth"), but I used the 20% off code from performance to get the stuff from them.

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