BMW OEM Base Rack or Thule for e82 135i?-
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  1. #1
    mtbr member
    Join Date
    Oct 2009

    BMW OEM Base Rack or Thule for e82 135i?

    I have a 135i and have been considering a roof rack for a while now. We also had a mini cooper until recently so in the past, when i needed to take the bike i could fit it in the hatch without many issues. Now the mini has been traded and lately the roads here have been treacherous. There is a trailhead for a decent trail system about 4 miles away but the majority of my riding is at night and with drunk drivers, deer, etc i try to minimize my time on the road. Additionally, while my neighborhood is decent, i have to ride past an area notorious for drugs and prostitutes which isn't the best at 1am

    BMW offers a nice oem rack made by thule which can be had with discount for 180 dollars. It uses the slot type mounts so i would use most likely a thule echelon with the xadapt kit or yakima forklift which i sort of prefer as it seems more secure clamping around the bar

    On the other hand, i could go with a full thule setup for a bit more so i am trying to figure out if it is worth the extra $$$. I recently won the fit kit on ebay for a whopping one dollar so i can factor that out of the cost so as i see it so far these are the pros and cons of either:

    Inexpensive (180 shipped)
    Holds value as thule seems to come out with new feet every year or so devaluing the older ones.
    "Aero" bars normally use the slot type mounts so i would need adapters with many attachments and they dont seem as secure to me
    No fairing fits on it without modifications

    Costs more (about 260 all in for rails and feet)
    Seem to depreciate as they update them often
    Already have fit kit
    Sits lower on roof by about 1.5" which is nice
    Easy parts availability
    Tried and true square bar setup
    Direct fit fairings

    So i guess basically, if the difference is about 100 dollars, is it worth going with the Thule? Which will be easiest to install and remove? Which will be the most secure when its on the car? I won't keep the bike on for the majority of the time and will probably remove the rack often as well. Is the sound going to drive me nuts?

    If anyone with experience could chime in i would greatly appreciate it!

  2. #2
    mtbr member
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Based on Thule's lifetime warranty I'd go with that. You're spot on with getting parts - Thule parts can be shipped to you from their CT warehouse in a matter of days or you can get Thule parts at most any local ski or bike shop. I'm sure BMW doesn't have parts like that readily available.
    Vermonter - bikes, beers and skis.

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