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  1. #1
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    need help with rack setup for 2012 outback

    Hi all,

    I've just bought a 2012 outback and wondering about the rack situation. I currently have a Thule system (450 feet/square bars, 2 echelon fork mounts). On occasion I'd like to carry 4 bikes or 2 bikes and a medium cargo box.

    I need to replace my square bars (rusting) and the 2 bike trays (clamping mechanism is failing), so I have an opportunity to re-evaluate everything. I also drive 100 miles a day so noise and mpg are to be considered.

    I suspect that for 4 bikes or 2 bikes +cargo, I can't use the factory rack?.
    I'm also concerned that I might limit my bike mount options if I go with an aero bar vs round/square bar..or will most new rack now work with any bar?

    I've been looking at the thule aero/square bars, yakima round/whipbars, yakima landing pad+round bar. Unfortunately no landing pad with whispars, at least yet anyway. Although I don't necessarily need a landing pad for just bikes and boxes.


    What do you recommend?


    thanks
    capall

  2. #2
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    RockyMounts TieRod- car racks, bike racks, roof racks, bike carriers, bike mounts

    On my 2014 Outback, I have a Thule Sonic XL topbox, and I can carry one additional bike (I have a 2" receiver and a Yakima Holdup) on the roof using the tierod mount, on the stock crossbars. YMMV.
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    ... your idea of technical may be much different than other peoples idea of technical.

  3. #3
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    need help with rack setup for 2012 outback

    North shore 4 (NSR-4) rack on the hitch (if you carry mtbs only), box on stock rack?

  4. #4
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    Call Cracks and Racks, it escapes me at the moment but there was a retrofit kit made for Outbacks from both Thule and Yakima. You keep your OEM bars mounted facing front-back and then the aftermarket bars clamp to those and you can go wide if you want. I thiiiiiink you can do the quiet Thule bars in this setup.

    I also think that Yakima made a setup that plugs into the pivot points of the OEM bars to give you more width front-to-back. But I forget.
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  5. #5
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    I'd suggest getting a hitch rack for day-to-day use. Sooo much easier.

    You can get a couple minimal bike mounts for occasional use that will be less likely to get in the way of the box when you want to use it.

    I recently moved my bikes to the hitch primarily. Got a 2 bike Kuat NV, since that's the most we carry probably better than 99% of the time. Kept the crossbars for carrying the canoe, but at some point, I want to get a couple small bike mounts, something like the Yakima Boa, for the occasions where I'd want to carry a couple other bikes. Of course, the only way to use that mount with aero bars would be to also throw a cargo basket up top, which defeats the point of getting aero bars.

    I've personally had good results with regular square bars and a fairing. Got that on both cars and noise has never been an issue.

  6. #6
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    Thanks Guys,
    I know hitch vs roof have each their trade-offs, but I at least driving into the garage roof is entirely ones own fault unlike a rear-ender. Purely a preference, though,

    I've been also looking at the 1upusa quik rack, they seem to be loved by anyone who tries them.

    It seems with a cargo box, max will be one bike mount on factory bars, and probably only a fork mount at that, as space is minimal. 4 bike sis a possibility if you go front to back with the mounts. looks like aftermarket bars are the way to go.

  7. #7
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    I have a Subaru to if u plan on putting Mtb on rack your gonna drop mpg to like 18mpg with the bike frames of the mtb being wide than road bikes frames. So i took my roof rack off mine and use the 1upusa rack on mine doesn't affect gas mileage with bikes on still get 25mpg. U can use the factory bars for the roof box if u need more space.

  8. #8
    FloridaKeys Fishing Guide
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    I have an Outback as well and also use the 1Up rack as it is better for the gas mileage and quick access. I see the debate between roof and hitch racks and which is better but it all depends on your personal preference. See this set up for another idea...Who else here drives a Subaru?
    Current ride(s) 2011 Santa Cruz Blur LT

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