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  1. #1
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    Anyone replace the crossbars on a Yakima roof rack with DIY bars?

    I'm getting a new car on Wednesday. The Yakima site says the new car calls for different Q-clips and 58" crossbars. My Jetta has 48" crossbars. New cross bars cost $80 on top of the $70 I have to spend on new Q-clips. I was just wondering if anyone ever used non-Yakima tubing to replace the crossbars? I think the OEM stuff is 1" maybe. I haven't checked Lowes/HD yet to see what's available in 1" tubing. Just thought I'd ask to see if anyone had ideas off the top of their head.

  2. #2
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    Well, guess I should have looked before posting. I see that Lowes has 1" electrical conduit. I figure that would likely be the best. Not too heavy but stiff enough. I guess for $7 for a 10 foot section it won't be too much $$$ to try. Some spray paint to make it black and should be good to go. The other options I saw was pvc which would be to flexy and some iron pipe that I'm sure would work but would be very heavy.

  3. #3
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    I doubt that electrical conduit is going to be strong enough. It's your bike, but I wouldn't try it with my bike/car. I'd be more inclined to try some heavy gas pipe before I put electrical conduit up there.

  4. #4
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    Electrical conduit has no strength, it is not meant to be used in structural applications. Gas pipe would be strong enough due to the thick walls, but the OD is not exactly 1" (because it is measured by ID) so I don't know how well it will fit the mount towers.

    The right way to do this is you will need to get steel tubing (not pipe) from a metal supply store; you will not find what you need at Home Depot or Lowes. Can you measure the wall thickness of the Yakima bars? Use that as your minimum and choose based on what wall thickness is available.

  5. #5
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    I know it feels like you're being nickle and dimed to death by Yakima... But, how much do you have into your bike, and by the time you get done futzing around with other pipes how much have you really saved (pay yourself $10 an hour)?

  6. #6
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    Yakima says it's 1 1/8 .085 wall tubing. Easy to get some .095 tubing from a metal store. Not sure how thick their coating it though.

  7. #7
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    Looks like the Yakima may be up for sale at this point. Seems that the Q-Towers/Clips do not play well with the new Focus ST's. I already ordered my new clips so I haven't tested this to see for sure, but on the ST forums, there seems to be a lot of issues with poor fit and the whole rack moving backwards over time, even coming off all together. SO that leaves me with selling the Yakima for only a portion of what it'll cost to buy the recommended Thule setup.

    On another note, I picked up some electrical conduit before reading the comments on here. I can't say if it'll fit or not but the stuff seems very sturdy and honestly I don't think there would be any issue holding the weight of a bike. Especially since the bike tray will be mounted towards the end of the bars so the weight will be close to the towers, not in the center of the bar where it would be more likely to bow or bend. Of course if I thought for a second it wouldn't work, I certainly wouldn't risk one of my $1000+ bikes just save a few bucks, but without testing I do think it would be just fine. It may be a moot point though since I'll likely be trying to unload the rack and find someway to scrape together the **** ton of money I'll need to get a new rack. Definitely pisses me right off.

  8. #8
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    I know this is an old post but I wanted to see if nubster ever tried the conduit bars and if they worked successfully or not? Curious.

  9. #9
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    I didn't actually. The 48" bars I had (still have) worked just fine on that car. I have yet a different car now and still rockin' the 48" bars. I have the towers and conduit though. If you'd like, I can play around and see if it would work, at least fit the towers snugly. Just not sure if it would be strong enough but I suspect that the shortish length of the tubing would make it stiff enough to be ok.
    Quote Originally Posted by Psycle151 View Post
    Friggin' coward. Give me a red chiclet instead of debating like a man. You don't deserve your green blocks.

  10. #10
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    I use schedule 40 3/4" galvanized metal pipe. Cleaned, primed, and painted with truck bed liner paint. It is a hair over 1" and works just fine, though I occasionally lose some of the paint; I have several hundred miles on this setup with varying loads including bikes, construction materials and scaffolding planks. Honestly, I would not use conduit. It will likely be fine until you have to do evasive maneuvers to avoid a crash, and then, well...

  11. #11
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    I just made my own bars this past weekend. I used a 10' section of 3/4" black coated steel pipe from Lowes, $13 and coated it in Plasti-Dip $6. Carried the pipe home hanging out the passenger window of my 2000 Civic coupe, cut 2 48" sections with a sawsall then ground the cuts clean with a cutoff wheel. I wiped the bars down with both acetone and lacquer thinner but all it did was take some of that nasty black coating off the bars, made the rags black and the bars were still tacky to the feel. They feel this way when you buy em. I dumped an entire can of black plasti-dip in about 4-5 coats and waited 24 hours. The paint still had a tacky feel to it which I attribute to the coating on the bars but oh well, I found I had to wrap 2-3 layers of black electrical tape around the bars where the towers mount and for my Copperhead mount. I ordered Yakima end caps and hope they will fit (if not I will have them when I get used Yakima bars one day). Either way, this was an excellent option for the budget minded person. I have less than $100 total in my complete SST roof rack. I will replace the bars with Yakima bars when I find that perfect deal on ebay or craigslist and will also move to Q towers when money allows. I had to modify Y clips made for another car to get the rack to fit my 2000 Civic. It looks decent and does its job well, money was an issue and i was tired of loading the bike in\out of my trunk. My car is very low with a tight suspension and the bike is plenty sturdy mounted on the rack despite the rougher than normal ride quality.
    Anyone replace the crossbars on a Yakima roof rack with DIY bars?-20140913_151516.jpg
    Anyone replace the crossbars on a Yakima roof rack with DIY bars?-10428648_10152680013309114_949818685930217475_n.jpg

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