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Thread: Roof Rack Recommendation??

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    rcannon100's Avatar
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    Question Roof Rack Recommendation??

    Brand new Subaru Outback with built in crossbars. Thule? The Sidearm seems to be the best seller? Two big options are rack where you remove the front wheel and attach the front fork to the rack - or leave the wheels on, like with the Sidearm, with some stabilization bar. With the wheels left on, you get more wind resistance, more noise, lower gas mileage?? Taking the front wheel off gives the bike a lower footprint?


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    Quote Originally Posted by rcannon100 View Post
    Brand new Subaru Outback with built in crossbars. Thule? The Sidearm seems to be the best seller? Two big options are rack where you remove the front wheel and attach the front fork to the rack - or leave the wheels on, like with the Sidearm, with some stabilization bar. With the wheels left on, you get more wind resistance, more noise, lower gas mileage?? Taking the front wheel off gives the bike a lower footprint?

    Thule and Yakima roof rack user for bikes since '91. Hitch bike rack user since '09. Less problems, more aero, and less effort with the hitch... but you didn't ask about that

    Roof rack two wheel or front wheel bike mount? I prefer the front wheel mount. Primarily because using the two wheel mount takes a lot of effort to balance the bike and yourself because the bikes end up being very high. If you're tall and the car's low, it's not as big a deal, but I dread putting my bike up on my two wheel mount on my Forester, and I'm 5'9". The two wheel mount rack requires me to either use a stool, or mount the rack more central to the car, open the door, and stand on the seats to mount the bike. There isn't any acrobatics involved when mounting fork style racks.

    You are right about the wind resistance, noise and lowered gas mileage in regards to the two wheel rack. Yet another reason I rarely use my two wheel roof racks. The only advantage with them in my opinion is that you keep the front wheel outside the car, plus it's easier to hold different sizes of wheels (BMX, fat bike, mountain, road), and fork styles don't matter (QR, 100mm thru axle, 110 thru axle, 135 QR fat front, etc.).
    Last edited by drevil; 12-12-2017 at 08:59 PM.

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    When I use a roof rack, I prefer the type where you have to remove the front wheel. That's mostly out of habit -- when I first got a roof rack, the type that held the entire bike (with the front wheel) were a little kludgey.

    My car (a Rav4) is a little high, but you shouldn't have as much trouble with your Subaru since it's lower. Years ago when I got my first rack, I started with Yakima, and then switched to Thule for a while when I thought that Yakima was going downhill. I was probably being a bit picky, because both are solid brands. Now my Rav4 has Rocky Mounts, which are significantly cheaper. I can tell the quality isn't quite as high, but on the other hand, Yakima and Thule are a bit overbuilt (IMHO).

    My Rocky Mounts are mounted directly on the crossbars. One of the nice thing about modern SUVs is that they come with decent crossbars that you can mount the bike rack to. When I got my first Yakima rack, I mounted it to the rain gutters on the car.

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    Quote Originally Posted by drevil View Post
    Thule and Yakima roof rack user for bikes since '91. Hitch bike rack user since '09. Less problems, more aero, and less effort with the hitch... but you didn't ask about that
    +1

    And you don't smash the bikes into a low ceiling.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mstone View Post
    +1

    And you don't smash the bikes into a low ceiling.
    My good times with a roof rack: http://bikearlingtonforum.com/showth...410#post164410

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    I have the Thule crossbars and roof rack where you remove the front wheel, and I never use the roof rack for bikes now that I have the Thule hitch rack. It's just so much easier, I don't have to worry about low-clearance garages and such, or dead bug splatter on the bike.
    Last edited by huskerdont; 12-13-2017 at 10:27 AM.

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