Bike racks

I've got one of those strappy bike racks you hang off the back of the car (it's to take 2 bikes) and find it really fiddly to attach - not to mention all the scratches on the back of the car! Does anyone use the racks that go on the top of the car? Is it hard to get the bikes up (without weight training)? Would you recommend them - or can anyone recommend any other type of rack? Thanks.


  • i use a thule rack with a bike carrier no problems.
    i looked at the kind where you take the front wheel off & QR the forks onto the rack, but then you need somewhere to stick the wheel.
    so i got the one with the grabby bit the holds onto the down tube. all nice & lockable and not had a problem with it.

    putting the bike up is easy enough (depends how heavy it is i guess); lift it onto the rack and steady it while you lift the downtube bit into place.

    there are similar cheaper.. undbarnded ones available (halfords etc) but the thule one looks most sturdy to me.

    other tips:
    i) anything that can fly off probably will so i take it off! (bottles, pumps, bags, tri-bar pads)
    ii) sometimes i have to put a post it on the steering wheel that says 'BIKE' ! just to remind me in case i'm tempted to nip into any multi-storeys!
  • I use a Saris "Bones" bike rack. It was quite expensive, but well worth the extra outlay. It hangs off the back of the car and can take three bikes. Once set up (which takes 5 minutes) its rock-solid and I usually find I don't need to make any further adjustments - irrespective of how fast I drive. The only draw back is, is that it 's difficult to fit when there's a large spoiler in the way, as there is with my ZS.
  • Saris bones - top kit (got mine from halfords)

    I've also got the kind of car not really designed for lugging bikes around, but the 'bones' work fine and take 5 minutes to attach
  • I use the thule rack and I can endorse what ed says. The biggest advantage of the roof rack is that it doesn't prevent access to the boot. Also the Thule system locks the bike to the rack and the rack to the roof bars so that you can leave your bike unattended.

    If you have a 4x4 like me you need to get a side step fitted to the car or you'll never reach high enough to get the bike on the rack.

    Ditto about removing tri pads - as I found to my cost at last race.

    I've got the ones where you remove the front wheel. I put the wheel in the boot - 4x4 so lots of boot space. Alternatively, so can buy another attachment to store the wheel on the roof next to the bike. I'm not sure that the other version where you leave the front wheel on is lockable.

    Not cheap though - I think that I paid £80 for roof bars and the same again for each rack.
  • Chap arrived at the Windsor tri on Sunday with his Giant atually roped to his car. Bike was flat on the roof (ford focus I think) and the ropes were passed over it and through all the doors, several times.
  • well the reason i have a roof rack is cos i cant have a boot mounted one.
    for similar reasons it's fairly low which makes putting the bike on top fairly easy... and the boot isnt big enough for a wheel!
    the downtube clamp is lockable.. but i still run a padlock round the wheels when i leave it (which is as little as possible).
  • I bought my bones a few years back when I toured around sweden. I needed something low as it would nearly double the ferry crossing cost to Esbjerg having the extra height. I still made a nett gain by splashing out.

    I'll add that I didn't lock my bike once, or the car and further, quite often left the windows open in the supermarket carpark as it was so hot. I don't suppose I'd get away with doing that over here!
  • I've got a boot rack and got used to it but would much prefer a roof rack. I wrap gaffer tape round the car side pedal to stop damage to the car, and pipe insulation round the bike frame tubes where the bikes bash each other. I'm sure it doesn't do the front and rear mechs any good either,

    Anyone want to swap a boot rack for a roof rack?

  • Thanks. I think I'm going to check out roof mounted (& start working on the biceps).
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