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  1. #1
    Mountain Man Dan
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    Max Speed with a Roof Rack?

    I have a Yakima roof rack with the High Roller attachments ( 2 bikes ) and I'm afraid to go over 70mph.

    Whats your max speed with a RR on, and is it safe? They sway quite a bit at 70mph...but it's so hard to go so slow on a highway.

  2. #2
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    I have Viper mounts.

    I may or may not have at some point in time been in excess of 100 mph with bikes on top. Maybe.

    No problem.
    :wq

  3. #3
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    Yakima 100mph

    Thule 55mph


    I don't go over 70 with mine but I have been close to 100 before. I had a Thule with 2 sets of skis and a snowboard fly off my old VW Jetta at 65mph. Was properly installed and inspected less than 60 miles before.

  4. #4
    Mountain Man Dan
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    How much torque can they take? Trying to merge on a highway and whatnot, I try not to push it past half throttle, seems like it puts a lot of torque on the rack when I stomp on it...

  5. #5
    ballbuster
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    as long as its installed correctly, I really wouldn't worry about it in this country. I mean, you might get a headwind blast of 30mph on top of your freeway speed.

    I think the German TUV standard is like 125 mph. I would be surprised if any major brands didn't meet that standard.

    Also, your car can generate forces excess of 1g under hard braking or cornering. I highly doubt you're going to even reach 2/3 of that even in an $200k supercar with a 0-60 of 3.5 seconds.
    Last edited by pimpbot; 06-10-2011 at 02:52 PM.

  6. #6
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    the actual bike rack I would not worry about. the way the rack is held onto your car is going to be the weak spot.

  7. #7
    Mountain Man Dan
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    It's clamped on to the window sill above the window.

  8. #8
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    I personally had a bad experience withthat type of attachment. my new yakima stuff I used the yakima track and actually bolted it to my roofline.

  9. #9
    Mountain Man Dan
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    Yeah. I can't do the bolted. I only put mine on for the weekends, or when I ride a bike should I say. Then it comes off.

  10. #10
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    Missy Giove (infamous, pirahna wearing world champion downhiller from the 90's) told me she drove her Volvo 140mph with a bike, using a Fork Up on her fork mounted rack.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by pbbreath View Post
    Yakima 100mph

    Thule 55mph


    I don't go over 70 with mine but I have been close to 100 before. I had a Thule with 2 sets of skis and a snowboard fly off my old VW Jetta at 65mph. Was properly installed and inspected less than 60 miles before.
    I suppose we should consider that the skis and a snowboard were very likely generating enough lift at that speed to rip the rack off.

    I have seen enough Thule rack setups versus Yakima to have more faith in the Thule mountings, but I wouldn't go so far as to say one is wildly better than the other.

  12. #12
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    Also, yeah I think some of us in here have actual roof racks mounted to rails and/or fixed mount points, whereas others have the clamp above the window thing going on, and I wouldn't put as much faith in those, but I would still imagine if properly set up they could handle the higher end of highway cruising speeds. There's got to be some sort of margin of error built in to them.

  13. #13
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    My Thule Big Mouth carriers may or may not have seen in excess of 100mph on more than one occasion. They're mounted to Yakima bars that are attached to my factory roof rails.

  14. #14
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    Drive it like you stole it...

  15. #15
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    Mach 1?

  16. #16
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    A friend of mine dropped a brand new Rockhopper off of his Thule going 80 on the freeway. I'll stick to my Copperheads and not worry about a thing!

  17. #17
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    i drive around 80mph, no problems at all with my yakima roof rack, 2 bikes attached via raptors. considering that my car's suspension is incredibly stiff, im impressed how the rack stayed put.

  18. #18
    Old Dude
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    I have been on the Autobahn with my buddies S4 sedan with a Thule roof rack holding two road bikes with fork-mount trays, we cruised at all day at 90-105mph without issues except for an annoying whisle from about 70-85mph... we just turned up the stereo, and above 85mph you didn't hear it anymore.

    I have personally seen a glass sunroof exit a vehicle in front of me at about 90mph. Luckily it flew over the top of my GTI. Had to buy new underwear after that one.

  19. #19
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    have a thule big mouth and consistently drove 80+ on a trip up to NH. no problems at all

  20. #20
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    pegged

  21. #21
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    I've done 104 mph with a Thule rack on top
    Lead by my Lefty............... right down the trail, no brakes.

  22. #22
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    I have the same set up on my CRV and I go 80 down the Interstate. I also have not had a problem carrying a 17 ft canoe at freeway speed. The racks are bolted to the roof though

  23. #23
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    95 mph with a Thule rack on top of a VW Passat. Late to pick up my wife from the airport on the way back from the Welsh Hills.

  24. #24
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    i always take my front wheel and seat off and just put them in the back of my explorer upside down and strap them to the "o **** grips", the safest way possible to transport them imo, i have been looking at roof racks though they are pretty bad ass

  25. #25
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    i have a thule rack (bolted to roofline) on my 04 Mazda3 and do freeway speeds no problem with the bikes on. I also use the rack to carry my kayak on but dont exceed 65mph.

    It pains me to admit this but fwiw, i recently tried to park my car in the garage with my three week old GT sensor still on the roof. bike is in the shop but the rack itself was only a little tweaked. One of the boltholes on the roofline bent up but i was able to hammer it into a semblance of its original self. The carrier itself is in the trash, the back end of it bent and put a nice crater in my roof.
    2000 GF Kaitai
    2011 GT Sensor 3.0

  26. #26
    Err
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    Plenty of 80-90 mph driving and a bit of over 100 with this setup, 2 bikes on the roof -


    Slightly more sketchy, I managed to drop into a full counter-steer drift climbing up the hill to Snowshoe with bikes up top. That was probably a little too close to disaster and I would not recommend trying it.

  27. #27
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    I have a Yakima set-up that mounts to the rain gutters(clamps to above the window type) with a Raptor bike rack(bike goes on rack with front wheel still on, rack clamps to downtube) and I've had no problems cruising at 75-80ish with it. It's an older one too. It does make me a bit nervous that there are only a couple little pieces of plastic holding my bike to my car at that speed, but it's been fine so far...

  28. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by Err View Post
    Slightly more sketchy, I managed to drop into a full counter-steer drift climbing up the hill to Snowshoe with bikes up top. That was probably a little too close to disaster and I would not recommend trying it.
    Just made the same trip this past weekend to Snowshoe, those roads are sick! We were in my buddies 2012 Focus(sport tuned) with a Thule and 2 bikes up top. I was really impressed with how they stayed put through those switchbacks at speed!

    We also cruised 80-90mph for 1600 miles with no issues whatsoever. We drove up from FL.

  29. #29
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    I've actually found I worry more on the slow rutted roads, or fun windy ones than the straightaways. I kind of think that is when you're putting force on the bike. & side-to-side just seems as though it has more uumph than front to back.

  30. #30
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    With 5 mountain bikes on our Subaru wagon, 75 was top speed! It wouldn't go any faster

  31. #31
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    Talking about Missy and her Volvo.
    I have a Volvo V70 T5, I have it set up with the Factory installed rails, and cross bars and
    Rocky Mounts Trays, have gone plenty fast with 3 bikes on the roof and no issues..

  32. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by ProjectDan35 View Post
    I have a Yakima roof rack with the High Roller attachments ( 2 bikes ) and I'm afraid to go over 70mph.

    Whats your max speed with a RR on, and is it safe? They sway quite a bit at 70mph...but it's so hard to go so slow on a highway.
    I've driven our highrollers in excess of 85mph for extended periods with no problems. No issues. The speed would introduce a fore-aft pressure not side to side (sway). Any bike with two point attachment (i.e. like any rack with wheels on) will have some side to side sway.

    j.

  33. #33
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    Having sold car racks for quite awhile, I have seen very few issues arise from the speed that drivers travel. I have personally put 3000miles (MN to AZ and Back) at 70+ with no issue at all. Pulling numbers from the air here, but if you come in to my store with an issue with your roof rack, 98% chance you drove into your garage without removing the bike first.

  34. #34
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    I have gone 80mph with 2 bikes on Thule racks, no issues at all for 800+ trips several times.

  35. #35
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    I am pretty sure it was Missy Giove who got arrested in a Volvo going like 125 with bikes on the top.

    Edit:

    Just noticed someone already mentioned Missy

  36. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by AKamp View Post
    I am pretty sure it was Missy Giove who got arrested in a Volvo going like 125 with bikes on the top.

    Edit:

    Just noticed someone already mentioned Missy
    Well, that would be pretty accurate measurement of speed, "independently verified."

    J.

  37. #37
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    I have done 115+ with Thules no problem. There is not that much drag based on speed. Much more TQ on the mounts when 4X and bikes on top. Have broken a couple of mounts this way.

  38. #38
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    Hmmm...lots of sustained cruising at 120mph+ (loud), max 160mph + (very, very loud).

    The only problems I've had have been while flogging the twisties at much lower speeds (damn Thule clamshell that was not locked, my error).

    If you're worried about the bike staying on the rack/in the bike tray, use a tie down as extra security.

  39. #39
    Mountain Man Dan
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    Well, Today I hit 145 mph with just 1 bike on the roof. Not too bad, just loud. May purchase the fairing for the front if that helps?
    The bike is nothing more then circles turning circles, It's the human motor that makes it elegant.

  40. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by ProjectDan35 View Post
    Well, Today I hit 145 mph with just 1 bike on the roof. Not too bad, just loud. May purchase the fairing for the front if that helps?
    That's curious.

    The manufacturer's max speed for your car is 149mph.

    Given the amount of drag created by a roof rack and bike, and how that drag increases with speed, I'm skeptical of your claim.

  41. #41
    Mountain Man Dan
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    Quote Originally Posted by the one percent View Post
    That's curious.

    The manufacturer's max speed for your car is 149mph.

    Given the amount of drag created by a roof rack and bike, and how that drag increases, I'm skeptical of your claim.
    Thanks for caring. But the car is tuned ( with intake ) and the governor has been removed. Top speed is 162mph.
    The bike is nothing more then circles turning circles, It's the human motor that makes it elegant.

  42. #42
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    Quote Originally Posted by ProjectDan35 View Post
    Thanks for caring. But the car is tuned ( with intake ) and the governor has been removed. Top speed is 162mph.
    You're confusing "caring" with being amused by your claims.

    Carry on...

  43. #43
    Mountain Man Dan
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    Quote Originally Posted by the one percent View Post
    You're confusing "caring" with being amused by your claims.

    Carry on...
    Ok. The car is also out of warranty so I did not void the warranty. So therefore, I was able to hit 145mph.

    It is tuned with a SCT Tune & a Steeda intake.
    The bike is nothing more then circles turning circles, It's the human motor that makes it elegant.

  44. #44
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    Quote Originally Posted by ProjectDan35 View Post
    Ok. The car is also out of warranty so I did not void the warranty. So therefore, I was able to hit 145mph.
    What?

    You were afraid to void the warranty before you made the alleged mods that you just so happened to use today to supposedly hit 145 (do the math***), despite being afraid to go over 70mph with a rack previously?

    That's a great story!

    *** Physics be cool:

    "Note that the power needed to push an object through a fluid increases as the cube of the velocity. A car cruising on a highway at 50 mph (80 km/h) may require only 10 horsepower (7.5 kW) to overcome air drag, but that same car at 100 mph (160 km/h) requires 80 hp (60 kW). With a doubling of speed the drag (force) quadruples per the formula."

  45. #45
    Mountain Man Dan
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    Quote Originally Posted by the one percent View Post
    What?

    You were afraid to void the warranty before you made the alleged mods that you just so happened to use today to supposedly hit 145 (do the math***), despite being afraid to go over 70mph with a rack previously?

    That's a great story!

    *** Physics be cool:

    "Note that the power needed to push an object through a fluid increases as the cube of the velocity. A car cruising on a highway at 50 mph (80 km/h) may require only 10 horsepower (7.5 kW) to overcome air drag, but that same car at 100 mph (160 km/h) requires 80 hp (60 kW). With a doubling of speed the drag (force) quadruples per the formula."
    No i was not afraid to void the warranty before I made the mods, the car has been out of warranty for months. I figured a tune would be a nice upgrade.

    what are you driving to be able to hit 160mph?
    The bike is nothing more then circles turning circles, It's the human motor that makes it elegant.

  46. #46
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    Quote Originally Posted by ProjectDan35 View Post
    No i was not afraid to void the warranty before I made the mods, the car has been out of warranty for months. I figured a tune would be a nice upgrade.

    what are you driving to be able to hit 160mph?
    Why even bring up the warranty issue? Kind of a strange tangent.

    I'm driving a Porsche. Sometimes.

  47. #47
    Mountain Man Dan
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    Quote Originally Posted by the one percent View Post
    Why even bring up the warranty issue? Kind of a strange tangent.

    I'm driving a Porsche. Sometimes.
    Because I figured that would be the next thing you'd mention.

    Nice. What model? Pics with bikes on it?
    The bike is nothing more then circles turning circles, It's the human motor that makes it elegant.

  48. #48
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    Quote Originally Posted by ProjectDan35 View Post
    Because I figured that would be the next thing you'd mention.
    Which post of mine led you to believe that I was concerned about your warranty?

    Quote Originally Posted by ProjectDan35 View Post
    Nice. What model? Pics with bikes on it?
    996TT

    Here's your validation (an oldie but a goodie):


  49. #49
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    Im a lil paranoid, so I usually stay on the speed limit (65 mph) with a Yakima window sill rack, +1 bike on my Lexus. It appears pretty stable.

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