Stupid roof rack question.
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  1. #1
    djg
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    Stupid roof rack question.

    Do I spring for the fairing or not? I've seen advertised benefits of reduced wind noise and improved aerodynamics. Have folks actually noticed benefits adding the chunk of plastic?

  2. #2

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    Quote Originally Posted by djg
    Do I spring for the fairing or not? I've seen advertised benefits of reduced wind noise and improved aerodynamics. Have folks actually noticed benefits adding the chunk of plastic?
    I think it's largely a waste of $. You aren't gonna get good aerodynamics with the bikes on top in any event. MIGHT help with wind noise, but I usually just turn up the stereo anyway. Good place to put all your stickers though.
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  3. #3
    Strained coccyx etc etc
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    i've had it both ways

    and honestly couldn't tell a difference. there are two possible benefits, not including aerodynamics/fuel savings:

    1) cool place to put stickers

    2) fairing could eliminate wind noises
    One morning I shot an elephant in my pajamas. How he got into my pajamas I'll never know.

  4. #4

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    Buy the fairing.

    When I got my roof rack I didn't get the fairing, basically to save $60. I couldn't stand the noise, a week later I bought the fairing and it greatly reduced the noise. I would get it for that reason alone. I also think it looks better, but that is a personal thing.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by djg
    Do I spring for the fairing or not? I've seen advertised benefits of reduced wind noise and improved aerodynamics. Have folks actually noticed benefits adding the chunk of plastic?
    I don't know that it really improves aerodynamics when the bikes are on the roof. I doubt that a 6 inch tall piece of plastic can have that much of an effect when there are 3 feet of bike sticking out above it.

    That said. I purchased a fairing, because I leave my roof rack on permanently during the warmer months, and the whistling sound was very annoying. Adding the fairing made it as quiet as the rest of my car. It might also have improved aerodynamics for everyday driving without bikes, but I haven't done any before/after MPG tests.

    It also is a handy place to put all those cool free stickers from bike manufacturers :-)

    -Spyky

  6. #6
    Old, slow, and fat.
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    Quote Originally Posted by rrmidden
    When I got my roof rack I didn't get the fairing, basically to save $60. I couldn't stand the noise, a week later I bought the fairing and it greatly reduced the noise. I would get it for that reason alone. I also think it looks better, but that is a personal thing.
    I found the opposite: my 88 VW Golf was quieter without the fairing than with...

    I think it depends on the rack and the car.

    M
    I've moved back to NoVA. PLEASE change the weather!

  7. #7
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    Hit or Miss...

    My car gets 2 mpg less with my racks on the roof (with bikes, it's worse). I noticed no difference in mpg with a fairing.

    Wind noise can go both ways. It depends on how the air flows over the car. I had an instance where the fairing made the noise worse.

    If it's really noisy now and it bugs you, get the fairing and see if it improves. Don't be surprised if you notice no difference.
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  8. #8
    NeoRetroGrouch
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    Mine just roars without the fairing. (nm)

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  9. #9
    JFR
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    A variable that I've experienced is the # of trays. I get a lot of wind noise with just two trays (on either side of the bar)... but put the other two trays on (so four are staggered evenly) and there's no noise at any speed.

  10. #10
    Arrogant roadie.....
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    if You Don't Buy The Fairing, You're Gonna Get A Lot Of Wind Noise!!! You Need This, Especially If You Have A Sunroof!! After 2 Hours Driving Without A Fairing, You Will Be Partially Deaf!!
    We are the 801
    We are the central shaft

  11. #11
    Squirrel Hunter
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    Number of trays

    Quote Originally Posted by JFR
    A variable that I've experienced is the # of trays. I get a lot of wind noise with just two trays (on either side of the bar)... but put the other two trays on (so four are staggered evenly) and there's no noise at any speed.
    Same experience here. More trays equals less noise. Yakima makes a Windjammer which is basically a wing that helps eliminate noise.

    Step 1: Mount your racks and see how bad the noise is.

    Step 2: Try the Windjammer option.

    Step 3: Buy the fairing.

  12. #12
    djg
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    Thanks for the advice.

    With a slight plurality in favor of the fairing (and a one-time-use 20% off coupon good for performance) I decided to take the plunge and order the fairing together with the trays.

  13. #13

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    Depends on the applicationÖ

    Öand how picky you are. I have a lot of Thule fitments for vehicles I no longer own. Rack/track mounts seem like the least noisy, gutter mounts take it up a notch (maybe the disturbance is closer to your ear, the door seal or both) and the aero mounts I have found to be the noisiest of all. My theory is that you disturb the seal around the top of the doors. No way around it.

    I bought the faring to use with the aero mounts because I like the way it looks, and I figured it must provide SOME benefit (even if only with an unladed rack). Iím sorta picky about my vehicles. I take the rack off the car when itís not in use (not every time, but a lot). Before I put on the rack, I clean & wax the roof (at least @ the contact points for the feet & faring). Picky.

    That dopey faring is scuffing up my roof. Not a lot, but itís a black car and Iím picky. No more faring for me. I never noticed it when I had a grey car, but Iím sure it happened there as well.

    My .02

    - Chris (faring on the shelf)

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