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  1. #1
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    BMW 335i integrated roof rack?

    Funny how things go in cycles...

    I drove nothing but SUVs for 15 years. During those 15 years, I was skiing, mountain biking, rock climbing, and racing triathlons almost every weekend. When work and kids started reducing the time I spent having fun and my commute got longer and longer, I realized that spending 2-3 hours a day in an SUV commuting wasn't nearly as enjoyable as driving it to somewhere, well...more fun.

    So I switch to sports sedans and am on my second 3 series BMW. My 2011 335i could be the perfect car. It's fully loaded, comfortable, wicked-quick, and a blast to drive. It's perfect! Perfect, that is, until you decide to start mountain biking again!

    I bought a Yakima trunk rack for it and it's working fine for the 20-30 minute drives I have to my local trails. I noticed that the car has integrated mounting slots for a BMW rack but I don't see anything on Yakima's page that indicates they have parts to fit it. Anyone have any experience with these racks?

    I definitely don't like climbing into that beautiful cockpit all covered with mud and sweat but I'm dealing with it. If I can get a more stable way to mount the bike, I'll probably be OK.

    My only other option is to buy a third car (my wife's new Mazda CX-9 would be great but she won't let bikes near it!) and I'd rather not. But if I did, a Jeep Wrangler would be fun!

    Wow, that was a roundabout way to ask a simple question. Anyone have first-hand experience with the integrated BMW 3-series roof racks?

  2. #2
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    Both Thule and Yakima make fit kits to add their racks to the 4 fixed points on your roof, is that what you're talking about?

    Like, for Thule you'd use the 460R Rapid Podium Foot Pack with KIT3028, and 47" bars
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  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by XJaredX View Post
    Both Thule and Yakima make fit kits to add their racks to the 4 fixed points on your roof, is that what you're talking about?

    Like, for Thule you'd use the 460R Rapid Podium Foot Pack with KIT3028, and 47" bars
    That's what I'm talking about. I put my car info on the Yakima site and it recommended their standard rack for cars with no attachments...as in the kind that has clamps that clamp into the window recesses.

    The Thule one might be what I'm looking for but that one still looks like it actually sits on top of the roof.

    I thought, given the built-in attachment points, that there was something that wouldn't touch the car at all.

  4. #4
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    If it's like the Subaru WRX integrated mounts and you use a Yakima system you'll still have the rubber feet of the landing pads making contact with the roof of your car. Helicopter tape between the landing pads and the roof will help prevent any clear coat abrasions that will eventually occur over time if left unprotected.

    If you go this route, I might recommend leaving the roof rack in place once you have it mounted. I went the route of trying to only install the rack when I needed it. A $1,300 paint/body shop bill has cured me of that after dropping the rack on my WRX's roof twice.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by KevinGT View Post
    That's what I'm talking about. I put my car info on the Yakima site and it recommended their standard rack for cars with no attachments...as in the kind that has clamps that clamp into the window recesses.

    The Thule one might be what I'm looking for but that one still looks like it actually sits on top of the roof.

    I thought, given the built-in attachment points, that there was something that wouldn't touch the car at all.
    If it's like my Saab, the entire foot rests inside the opening for the attachment points, and does not touch the paint of the car. Maybe find a place that stocks it and check it out, or check out BMW aftermarket parts for a rack.
    Take the long cut, we'll get there eventually.

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  7. #7
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    I used the Thule rack on my e46 and it worked great. It only made contact on the car right where it bolts on and no where else. Easy to install and remove too.

    I'm really impressed with the 335i, I just might buy one in the next couple of years.

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    I drive a 335i,and I have a Thule set up that I love. The rack feet are made specifically to fit into the BMW slots on the roof. The bars are Tule standard bars, and the carrier model is the Criterium.


  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by KevinGT View Post
    Funny how things go in cycles...

    I drove nothing but SUVs for 15 years. During those 15 years, I was skiing, mountain biking, rock climbing, and racing triathlons almost every weekend. When work and kids started reducing the time I spent having fun and my commute got longer and longer, I realized that spending 2-3 hours a day in an SUV commuting wasn't nearly as enjoyable as driving it to somewhere, well...more fun.

    So I switch to sports sedans and am on my second 3 series BMW. My 2011 335i could be the perfect car. It's fully loaded, comfortable, wicked-quick, and a blast to drive. It's perfect! Perfect, that is, until you decide to start mountain biking again!
    I got a low slung car now and you couldn't pry it from my hands. So much fun to drive and so comfortable, not to mention I love shifting. Looking for a 3-series X-drive next year for a 2nd car I think, as I do love the 3 and have driven them a bit. 335 does a good job, quick and responds good to mods. Drove the 535 for a bit too, but wasn't very impressed. It's just too heavy for the power to be similar in any way to the 335. I'll always go for a hitch, but I feel liberated not having to drive an SUV.
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  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by AGarcia View Post
    I drive a 335i,and I have a Thule set up that I love. The rack feet are made specifically to fit into the BMW slots on the roof. The bars are Tule standard bars, and the carrier model is the Criterium.

    Thanks!

    So I wasn't seeing things on the Thule site. It does appear that the rubber parts of the rack touch the roof. That surprises me. I thought the whole purpose of the slots on the roof were so that no part of the rack had to touch the paint.

    Have you pulled it off and checked for rubbing of the clearcoat under the pads?

    That looks like a nice and secure system, for sure. I frequently work in an office that's about 70 miles away, on Atlanta's major freeways. There is a fantastic train network near that office that I could easily ride after work once the time changes. My concern has been doing 80 mph for 70 miles with the bike on the trunk. This is definitely the better solution.

    The other option would be one of those cool suction cup racks (SeaSucker?)

    Thanks again for all the ideas, folks!

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by KevinGT View Post
    Thanks!

    So I wasn't seeing things on the Thule site. It does appear that the rubber parts of the rack touch the roof. That surprises me. I thought the whole purpose of the slots on the roof were so that no part of the rack had to touch the paint.

    Have you pulled it off and checked for rubbing of the clearcoat under the pads?
    Hmmm... I thought the slots in the roof were just to give the install a cleaner look and not have to worry about how to install if your roof had no rain gutters above the windows like older cars.... Either way, I'm not too worried about the paint to be honest,

    To be honest, if the rubber didn't touch the roof, I would have been pissed. In my view, it would have looked "unfinished," "installed wrong" and "like it didn't fit" And that would have really pissed me off.

    Note, however, that the rack windstop comes with clear vinyl tabs to install where the rubber fairing pads touch the roof in order to protect the paint

  12. #12
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    If you're worried about the compressed rubber gaskets under the towers harming your paint, I sure wouldn't get a Seasucker... I honestly don't know why you'd be worried about that- at worst, some dust might collect in there that a clay bar would take out.

    As suggested, use something like that 3M clear vinyl adhesive if you want protection under the towers.

    But really, I don't get the fuss, and I'm particular about my paint
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  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by XJaredX View Post
    But really, I don't get the fuss, and I'm particular about my paint
    What I've seen in the past under the rubber compression feet is that over time, road grit and grime eventually work their way in there between the foot and the roof. If not cleaned out at least 3 or 4 times a year, that grit begins wearing away the clear coat and everywhere the foot touches, the paint gets a very dull finish to it that a high gloss polish will not fix.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by KevinGT View Post

    The other option would be one of those cool suction cup racks (SeaSucker?)

    Thanks again for all the ideas, folks!
    If you're interested in a SeaSucker, shoot me an email, it truly is a great option for you. (better looking too)


    Quote Originally Posted by XJaredX View Post
    If you're worried about the compressed rubber gaskets under the towers harming your paint, I sure wouldn't get a Seasucker...
    Why would you say that about SeaSucker? are you an owner that has experienced that?
    Reason I ask because this forum is littered by people who have never used one or seen one yet have many comments about them...



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  15. #15
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    No problems with the rubber gaskets around the Yakima mounts. Had it for about 2 years now. However the plastic fairing foot rubbed a bare spot in my paint when the foam stick on foot fell off.

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    I do have a Seasucker, albeit just one, used to mount my cargo bike diagonally on the roof. I don't have extensive time with it, but I imagine that since it needs water to adhere to the roof, you may see water spots or something. Regardless, it's way more contact on the paint than the factory integrated ports. I see you may have a horse in this race, so if I am uninformed about the water spots, please correct me! The only other thing I'd worry about is PDR work needed if the owner is too rough when he's putting the bikes on the Seasucker rack- a lot of cars have precious thin sheetmetal on the roof these days, and again I only mention that because the OP seems real particular about paintwork on his car.

    The note about the fairing is correct- if you don't use clear adhesive film under where the fairing rests on the roof, you'll eventually see rubbing.

    Although, if you use the new style Thule AeroBlades or Yakima Whispbars, you'll have zero need for a fairing- I speak from experience on that. Went from square bars with a fairing, to AeroBlades with no fairing, and it is seriously quieter, even with a Thule Echelon and a Thule SideArm on the roof, compared to square bars with fairing.
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  17. #17
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    I think the rack issue has been covered.

    One suggestion for your seats: These (I am not affiliated with them in any way)

    I bought a set recently to protect the seats in our cars from MTB dirt/mud, crossfit sweat, and whatever else...they are really good. Takes seconds to put on / remove, washable, and comfortable to sit on for a while, unlike some cheap plastic/rubber covers that you stick to.
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  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by ProEdgeBiker View Post

    Quote Originally Posted by XJaredX View Post
    The only other thing I'd worry about is PDR work needed if the owner is too rough when he's putting the bikes on the Seasucker rack- a lot of cars have precious thin sheetmetal on the roof these days, and again I only mention that because the OP seems real particular about paintwork on his car.
    Fun fact: the car in this picture has a carbon fiber roof.

  19. #19
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    The Thule setup for the BMW is well worth it in my opinion. 3 minutes to install the rack and it doesn't touch the car. Keep an eye on Craigslist - I just sold my BMW specific Thule rack for $75 since my 2010 335i lease was up (sadly).



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  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Camel Toad View Post
    I think the rack issue has been covered.

    One suggestion for your seats: These (I am not affiliated with them in any way)

    I bought a set recently to protect the seats in our cars from MTB dirt/mud, crossfit sweat, and whatever else...they are really good. Takes seconds to put on / remove, washable, and comfortable to sit on for a while, unlike some cheap plastic/rubber covers that you stick to.
    Brilliant! So much better than relying on a beach towel!

    Thanks. Oh, and the pics of the M3 with a SeaSucker are fantastic! LOL.

    Thanks for the advice on the roof rack...with that fast an on/off time, I think that may be the best solution.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by XJaredX View Post
    I do have a Seasucker, albeit just one, used to mount my cargo bike diagonally on the roof. I don't have extensive time with it, but I imagine that since it needs water to adhere to the roof, you may see water spots or something. Regardless, it's way more contact on the paint than the factory integrated ports. I see you may have a horse in this race, so if I am uninformed about the water spots, please correct me!
    So if you're an owner, you should know that it wouldnt damage the pauint, but of course it would leave water spots, but the question was about damage to the paint and if there is worry that water spots would do that, then no one would drive in the rain.

    Quote Originally Posted by XJaredX View Post
    The only other thing I'd worry about is PDR work needed if the owner is too rough when he's putting the bikes on the Seasucker rack- a lot of cars have precious thin sheetmetal on the roof these days, and again I only mention that because the OP seems real particular about paintwork on his car.
    Thats the beauty about SeaSucker, you have multiple options on where to mount it.
    I have a customer who drives a 1series convertible and he places his on the trunk sideways. Different but it works for him.

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by KevinGT View Post

    I noticed that the car has integrated mounting slots for a BMW rack but I don't see anything on Yakima's page that indicates they have parts to fit it. Anyone have any experience with these racks?
    Yakima is recommending their Whispbars for your car. It's on the site.

    Using a K439 Fit Kit....

    ....and instructions:
    http://lib.store.yahoo.net/lib/orsra...ctions-pdf.pdf

  23. #23
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    Thanks.

    But here's what confuses me about the Yakima rack. If you use their fit system on their website and tell it you have integrated roof rack slots (which I do), it recommends the rack you listed.

    The picture looks exactly like the Thule version. However, when you click on the "details" button, it shows the rack with metal hooks reaching down and hooking on to the window slot. I definitely do not want that. Is it just the wrong picture on the site? It looks like it's made for a roof that doesn't have integrated slots.



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    read the instructions for the fit kit from the link I posted. it will address your concern

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by ProEdgeBiker View Post
    So if you're an owner, you should know that it wouldnt damage the pauint.
    People selling the rack keep saying this, but are there any users that have been using it for more than a year that want to chime in? Even the bumper-racks won't scratch right away, it's a factor of dust and everything else in the air, and then holding it against the vehicle with something pressing against it. I have a hard time believing there's no scratches after a year or two.
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