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  1. #1
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    Roof racks: Fork mount vs. tire hold?

    Looking to get a roof rack mount for the top of my Volvo wagon.

    Are there any pros/cons to the fork mount racks vs. the ones where you can leave both wheels on?

    Personally, I'm tired of removing the front wheel, I'd rather leave it on. As it is now, it will fit in the wagon with both wheels on, but getting it in and out w/out marking up the interior, especially when dirty, is a chore. I'd rather have it out of the car.

    How would something like this be as a roof mount? (I have a HT 26'er)
    Volvo/Thule Criterium Upright Bike Rack - Boston Volvo Village

    i won't be going on super long trips with it, mostly under an hour, and I have a light foot, so I usually stay around 65mph, if that makes any difference.

    Thanks!

  2. #2
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    Technically I think the fork mount is more secure in its grip of the bike, but I have both and vastly prefer the wheel-holding kind. I've never had any issues with my Thule Sidearm.

    I prefer the Sidearm over the Criterium,sometimes with the Criterium you need to retighten the clamp after a minute of driving after it settles, depends on the shape of the bicycle frame. But that is a super cheap price that you linked to.

    I do however recommend the Sidearm- I also recommend CracksAndRacks.com!
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  3. #3
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    The Sidearm is an excellent rack and arguably the safest way to hold your bike, but I found them to be pretty damn ugly(sorry no offense) sitting on the car. The Yakima Highroller, although still an eye sore, doesn't look too bad sitting on top of the car without a bike on it. The Yakima is likely a tad more aerodynamic without a bike on it(judging by just looking at the two). Can't go wrong with either choice.

  4. #4
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    Fork mount for sure. Much more secure, no rattling noises in transit, better aerodynamics= better fuel economy. Taking the front wheel off takes like, what, 10 seconds? I have Yakima fork mounted roof rack base with Yakima Cooperhead. Have had zero problems and have transported both (road and mtb) across state (200miles). Be sure to get the wind breaker (fairing) as it immensely cuts down on wind noise over 40mph.

  5. #5
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    I prefer this style with the additional front wheel holders on my XC70

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  6. #6
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    ^ word. Nice. I like the front wheel holder aswell especially if you're doing some dirty riding.

  7. #7
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    But if he has a thru-axle then he has to get an adapter, which is another $70 or whatever on top of the actual rack.

    They both have their strong points, obviously, but for me, in the future, I will be using wheel-on racks. Except I need to keep a fork mount for my fatbike
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  8. #8
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    Thanks for the imput.

    I like the idea of a wheels-on mount because I'm lazy. All summer and fall before I got the wagon I was going through the removing the front wheel ritual to carry it in the back of my Firebird.

    Get to the trail, set it upside down, put in the wheel. But oh crap, I must have hit the front brake lever. Now I have to pry open the caliper so I can slip the rotor in. Ok, that's done, now I have to twist the end of the skewer eleventy billion times to get it to where I can actually tighten it.

    After the ride is over, I'm sweaty, wet, and tired. Yay! Now time to flip it over and pull the front wheel!

    Now when I get home, do I put the front wheel one, or just carry the bike into the house in 2 pieces? Yup, not messing with the wheel yet again, so two pieces it is, which makes it more of a PITA to get out to the car on the next ride.

    Yeah, I'm all set with that.

    While the actual act of pulling the front wheel is easy, it's the rest of it that's gotten very tedious. I just want to get there, ride, and get home, not muck about with the front wheel.

    Anywho, I'll look at the ones that were suggested, although if the Volvo one is that good a price I'll prob go that route.

    However, what about this one? I've never heard of the name before, but I like the looks of the carrier, it looks similar to the HighRoller. INNO Tire Hold Roof Bike Rack - Best Price on Inno Roof Mounted Car Bike Racks For Wheels Measuring 20

    It'a bout 50 bucks less on Amazon, but this site has better pics.

    Now to figure out what cross bars to get, as I only have side rails right now.

  9. #9
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    I don't care how fancy the mounts get, the fork mounts are more stable and allow a more secure fit and that is all I will ever use.
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  10. #10
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    The tire clamp ones are ok but you do need to be careful. Personally had a bad experience with one. Though i was running a large front tire but the rack basically squeezed the front tire out and catapulted the bike back and through the rear window of my buddies subaru while going down the road. Luckily the rear wheel ratchet held so didnt lose the bike all together but it was crappy start to a ride.

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  11. #11
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    My buddy lost his Kona off of a Thule mount..the newer kind the clamps the tire, not the downtube. Didn't grip it well enough and it fell over and chewed up his roof pillar.
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  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by StuntmanMike View Post
    Get to the trail, set it upside down, put in the wheel. But oh crap, I must have hit the front brake lever. Now I have to pry open the caliper so I can slip the rotor in. Ok, that's done, now I have to twist the end of the skewer eleventy billion times to get it to where I can actually tighten it.

    After the ride is over, I'm sweaty, wet, and tired. Yay! Now time to flip it over and pull the front wheel!
    .
    Why do you need to flip the bike over to take the front wheel off? I just undo my front skewer holding the stem, pop the bike up with one hand, the other holding the wheel and done.... Rest the wheel somewhere and throw the bike on the rack....

    As far as the rack goes, the best rack/ latching system I have used is without a doubt from rocky mounts. I dont have one yet but a couple of my friends do and it has a super long throw on the latch so there is no annoying unscrewing to get the fork out. Plus its super high quality and they look a million times better than everyone elses.

  13. #13
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    Erm, the Sidearms are made so you hook it over the tire but it also braces itself on the fork.... you don't just clamp it down on the tire... at least, that's how it works with my bike.

    Plus, I like that the wheel-on racks absorb more energy. On a bumpy road with a fork mount and the bike is all rigid, that energy needs to disperse somewhere and its usually the clamps that hold the bike rack to the crossbars, loosening them over time.
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  14. #14
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    I have a roof rack and a hitch rack. The fork mount is more stable than the upright but a bit more of a pain to deal with. As previously noted, the fork mount also requires an adapter if your current or future bike has a through axle in front. These are becoming much more popular, so it is something to consider. The fork mount also requires doing something with the front wheel. I have a Yakima rack with the round crossbars and the wheel holder can rotate sometimes. I don't like having a muddy tire in the car, but a garbage bag can help solve that problem.

    I moved to a Thule Sidearm when I got a bike with a through axle. It worked pretty well, but it wasn't as stable as the fork mount.It was fast and easy to put the bike on or take it off the rack. I don't think I knew about the adapter at the time, but it seems like it might be a bit of a pain to insert the axle through the adapter while holding the fork at the right height. Maybe I am just a wuss.

    Either way, it is a bit of a pain to deal with a roof rack on a tall vehicle or with more than two bikes where you have to deal with one or more bikes in the center.I found it to be a pain taking the rack on and off so I left it on in spite of the noise and gas mileage hit. The rack did end up leaving some marks on the roof under the bases and the front spoiler "feet" (but it was getting to be a beater car).

    I know it is not responsive to your question, but I moved on to a 1-Up hitch rack when I got a new car. I like it better in every way. Fast and easy to put on the car and even faster to put bikes on or off the rack. It is easy to "nest" bikes to avoid handlebar-saddle collisions (this is not possible with the roof mounts as far as I know). Storage space is small (smaller than disassembled roof rack with one or more Sidearms). There is no noise while driving and it is stable. I have had no desire to use a roof rack again except when a friend drives his Mini that doesn't have a hitch rack due to the center exhaust, and then I appreciate the hitch rack that much more.

    Food for thought...
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  15. #15
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    Any thoughts on this type?
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  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by XJaredX View Post
    Erm, the Sidearms are made so you hook it over the tire but it also braces itself on the fork.... you don't just clamp it down on the tire... at least, that's how it works with my bike.

    Plus, I like that the wheel-on racks absorb more energy. On a bumpy road with a fork mount and the bike is all rigid, that energy needs to disperse somewhere and its usually the clamps that hold the bike rack to the crossbars, loosening them over time.
    Agree - he didn't have it braced against the fork. I still don't care for them, they just move too much to me.
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  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by StuntmanMike View Post
    Thanks for the imput.

    I like the idea of a wheels-on mount because I'm lazy. All summer and fall before I got the wagon I was going through the removing the front wheel ritual to carry it in the back of my Firebird.

    Get to the trail, set it upside down, put in the wheel. But oh crap, I must have hit the front brake lever. Now I have to pry open the caliper so I can slip the rotor in. Ok, that's done, now I have to twist the end of the skewer eleventy billion times to get it to where I can actually tighten it.

    After the ride is over, I'm sweaty, wet, and tired. Yay! Now time to flip it over and pull the front wheel!

    Now when I get home, do I put the front wheel one, or just carry the bike into the house in 2 pieces? Yup, not messing with the wheel yet again, so two pieces it is, which makes it more of a PITA to get out to the car on the next ride.

    Yeah, I'm all set with that.

    While the actual act of pulling the front wheel is easy, it's the rest of it that's gotten very tedious. I just want to get there, ride, and get home, not muck about with the front wheel.

    Anywho, I'll look at the ones that were suggested, although if the Volvo one is that good a price I'll prob go that route.

    However, what about this one? I've never heard of the name before, but I like the looks of the carrier, it looks similar to the HighRoller. INNO Tire Hold Roof Bike Rack - Best Price on Inno Roof Mounted Car Bike Racks For Wheels Measuring 20

    It'a bout 50 bucks less on Amazon, but this site has better pics.

    Now to figure out what cross bars to get, as I only have side rails right now.
    No need, I do this without ever flipping my bike over. Been doing it that way for nearly 20 years with my racks. The downside is the tire - if you don't have a big vehicle, you have to store the tire, possibly muddy, in your trunk. I still prefer these type of racks because of how secure they are.
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  18. #18
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    FORK MOUNT!

    There is no more secure way to mount a bike to a car roof. A small amount of inconvenience is worth the piece of mind knowing your $5000 bike isn't going anywhere.

    When I used to mount my bike on the roof of my Jeep Cherokee sport, I could grab the downtube and rock the entire car by pushing and pulling on the bike. That bike wasn't going anywhere -- even on rough dirt roads or 80mph freeways.

  19. #19
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    I use a yakima front loader that holds the bike by the front wheel. I had my bike ripped off the roof of my car by a downed cable line. In order for the front loader to let go of my front wheel first my thule towers were ripped off my car, the front loader was bent 90 degrees, my rear tire was tacoed, and the thule bar was twisted and bent. I'm not sure how much better a fork mount could have done. I replaced it with another front loader. I'm not concerned about my bike coming out of it under normal circumstances.

  20. #20
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    These stories are right on - they are v. secure. I always lock mine for extra security. My Thule 529XTs are from 1992...still going strong! I had to mod them a bit to handle disc brakes and the skewer won't work with thru-axles..even some of the newer forks give it a fit sometimes but my bike goes on fine and that is all the matters
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  21. #21
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    how good is thule 591?

  22. #22
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    Ok, so I honestly never thought of removing the wheel w/out flipping the bike over. I've just always done it like that - I guess it goes back to my days as a kid fixing flats before I had bikes with QR's.

    I tried it the other way tonight, yes it was pretty easy.

    I actually was originally thinking hitch mount, excpet I don't have a hitch. Since a hitch is 160 or so for my car, plus the rack, I thought it might be cheaper to go roof mount since I need to buy crossbars for my kayak either way.

    Reading theabove posts make me reconsider the fork mount, I really don't want to lose my bike off the rack and/or eff my car up.

    For now I'll just keep throwing it in the back till I decide.

    Thanks for all the advice.

  23. #23
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    The upgright carriers work fine, obviously Thule/Yakima wouldn't sell them if they failed. They are easier to deal with b/c you don't have to remove the front wheel. However, I have seen enough of these over the years that I just don't care of the movement that you get with them and the fact that you have to be right-on with how you put your bike on or it could fall off (case in point was my story above..my buddy clearly didn't have it on right but still...the fork mounts are more full proof in terms of putting the bike on correctly). Maybe I am still pissed b/c my buddies Yakima Lock-Jaw tore off my Schwinn sticker on my downtube of my old Homegrown
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  24. #24
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    One more advantage to the fork mount is that the bike is a bit lighter when lifting it up to the roof. Maybe not a big deal for most but if you're short and have a heavy bike, every bit helps!

  25. #25
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    Again, I really need to stress the fact that wobble is to a certain extent a good thing- on hitch racks, or roof racks where you leave the wheel on, having the bike wobble dissapates a ton of energy that would otherwise be stressing out the weaker points on the rack, or where the rack mounts to the car. Physics, and such
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