Current best roof top bike racks?- Mtbr.com
Results 1 to 16 of 16
  1. #1
    i like rocks
    Reputation: euroford's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Posts
    1,606

    Current best roof top bike racks?

    We just brought home a 2006 Mercedes E55 AMG wagon and i'm going through the process of minting it out and getting it setup to party this summer.

    I'll be adding some Yakima timberline towers and bars to the factory roof rails so I can install the Yakima Skybox 18 in the center and a bike rack on each side.

    I haven't used bike racks in years as i typically just through them over the truck tailgate, so i figure it would be worth checking in what the current state of the art is.

    i want something very secure and very durable, these racks will be holding enduro and DH bikes and once or twice a week (assuming good enough weather to drive the nice car instead of the truck) i'll be ripping from home in Louisville, up clear creek canyon, up i70 and then over Berthoud pass to Trestle Bike park. that's a lot of opportunity to put that supercharged AMG motor to good use and I plan to enjoy the driving as much as the biking.

    Current best roof top bike racks?-new-amg.jpg
    Tim M Hovey

    Nukeproof Mega 290
    BlkMrkt Mob
    1950 CJ3a
    1999 F350 PSD
    2006 E55 AMG Wagon

  2. #2
    since 4/10/2009
    Reputation: Harold's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Posts
    29,032
    1upUSA roof trays are great

  3. #3
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Dec 2019
    Posts
    88
    Kuat

  4. #4
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jun 2020
    Posts
    1
    I use the Rocky Mount Brassknuckle. It is rock solid even at +80mph.

  5. #5
    방랑외국인
    Reputation: motard5's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Posts
    408
    If you need the space, obviously the Timberlines are the way to go, but I use Yakima Railbars (formerly Whispbar) and mount up Yakima Highroads with the SmarT-Slot kit. The bars mount low and flush to the roof between the factory rails, and the t-slot mounting eliminates the ugly rubber straps. I haven't found anything as clean looking. The Highroad has been top notch - mounting 29er XL trail bikes on our wagon takes under a minute. I like the integrated Tailwhip cable for security on quick stops, and there is a lock loop if you want to add u-bolt.


  6. #6
    i like rocks
    Reputation: euroford's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Posts
    1,606
    yeah man, if I was going to just mount two bikes I'd definitely go with a similar setup. But, we are going to do two bikes and a large cargo box so i'm going to go with the timberline towers and 60" corebars. hopefully after i get everything mounted i can cut the bars down by a couple of inches, we'll see.

    I'm definitely leaning towards the Yakima Highroad. Yakima's stuff has always treated me well and I think its the slickest looking package.

    I was initially stoked about the 1up's, especially with the all metal construction, but ultimately i don't dig the aesthetic (or lack of it).
    Tim M Hovey

    Nukeproof Mega 290
    BlkMrkt Mob
    1950 CJ3a
    1999 F350 PSD
    2006 E55 AMG Wagon

  7. #7
    since 4/10/2009
    Reputation: Harold's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Posts
    29,032
    Quote Originally Posted by euroford View Post
    I was initially stoked about the 1up's, especially with the all metal construction, but ultimately i don't dig the aesthetic (or lack of it).
    From what I've been able to see, it's the lowest profile (when folded) upright bike carrier available. I used to have Thule Sidearm carriers and they worked great with bikes in them, too, but they had parts that still stuck up in odd places when they didn't have bikes loaded in them. That screws with the aerodynamics of the vehicle, as well as looks bad.

    Fork mount carriers are definitely the lowest profile options out there, but wheel-on upright carriers are so much nicer to load.

  8. #8
    mtbr member
    Reputation: dir-T's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Posts
    1,705
    My first thought is that your car is too nice to put racks on, just like the sweet Volvo V60 I see each day bastardized with a ridiculous cargo basket and ski racks - in summer no less.

    But I also love flying to the trailheads in my VW wagon so I know where you're coming from. We went with aero bars and 2017 Rocky Mounts switch-hitter trays.

    IMO there's not much difference in similarly shaped crossbars although we had to go with VW (rebranded Thule) towers and bars to clear the panoramic sunroof.

    We went with the trays we have because they have a sleek flat profile and don't look obtrusive when the bikes aren't on the car. They also have a solid attachment to the crossbars, are easy to reconfigure for different axle sizes, and have integrated cable locks to prevent "honest thieves" from messing with bikes (although I only trust this when the car is parked outside my wife's office under the constant view of her or her receptionist).

  9. #9
    i like rocks
    Reputation: euroford's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Posts
    1,606
    Quote Originally Posted by dir-T View Post
    My first thought is that your car is too nice to put racks on
    LOL, yeah kinda! but carrying around bikes, kayaks, packrafts climbing gear, dogs, etc is the reason why I'll get it out and drive it. hopefully it'll look pretty cool after I get it all racked, but really its all about the function. Besides, you can always pull the rack back off.

    Going with a switch hitter tray is actually a really great idea. I use rocky mounts driveshaft's on the back of my camper when i have it in my truck bed. honestly, taking off the wheels is NBD.

    and huh... this is interesting. i just walked out with a tape measure and maybe, just maybe, if i go with a tray i can drive into the garage with bikes on top. if it works at all and i won't know until i bolt crap together i'll be close, but hot damn that would be cool.
    Tim M Hovey

    Nukeproof Mega 290
    BlkMrkt Mob
    1950 CJ3a
    1999 F350 PSD
    2006 E55 AMG Wagon

  10. #10
    since 4/10/2009
    Reputation: Harold's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Posts
    29,032
    Quote Originally Posted by euroford View Post
    and huh... this is interesting. i just walked out with a tape measure and maybe, just maybe, if i go with a tray i can drive into the garage with bikes on top. if it works at all and i won't know until i bolt crap together i'll be close, but hot damn that would be cool.
    even if it's possible, I would make it a point to avoid doing so. reason being, you don't want to get complacent with vertical clearance, because at some point, you'll try driving into something that's too low.

  11. #11
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jul 2019
    Posts
    28
    Jumping on this thread as Im in a similar setup question. Trying to figure out the best roof option for a 2002 BMW 330i. I ride XL bikes (2019 Patrol and 2019 Smuggler) and what Im finding is the longer wheelbase is limiting a lot if options for racks, in particular low profile options like the switch hitter. I know the 1up roof rack can handle longer wheel bases of larger enduro/trail bikes, anyone else know of good options for 49-50 wheel bases? Most roof racks seem to top out at 48.

  12. #12
    i like rocks
    Reputation: euroford's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Posts
    1,606
    Score! My wife jumped in on the mission yesterday when REI sent her the 4th of July sale email and they had tons of Yakima stuff included. not stopping there as the CFO is always looking for a deal, she started prowling facebook marketplace and within no time she sent me on a minor roadtrip to meet a guy. I came back with two almost new Rocky Mounts Brass Knuckles racks with the lock cores and slapped $150 into that dudes hands. He upgraded from Subaru life to a nice F150 and just wanted to score enough cash to get a tailgate pad.

    stoked. I'll probably head down to REI Denver tomorrow and pick up a set of Timberline towers, then lego all this stuff together.
    Tim M Hovey

    Nukeproof Mega 290
    BlkMrkt Mob
    1950 CJ3a
    1999 F350 PSD
    2006 E55 AMG Wagon

  13. #13
    방랑외국인
    Reputation: motard5's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Posts
    408
    $150 for 2x RMBKs with locks is a score, nice one! I looked at the Brass Knuckles, but they didn't offer t-slot mounting.

    https://www.bikemag.com/gear/versus-rack-up-roof-racks/

    Here is a good comparison article. He came to the same conclusion I did, the Highroad is the best overall, but if you have a >48"/1220mm wheelbase, the 1up is essentially the only option out there.

  14. #14
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jul 2019
    Posts
    28
    Yeah, the longer wheel base racks are tough. I actually called RockyMounts to ask about it and they said they shortened their SwitchHitter from 50" to 48" based on people complaining about hatchback hitting the rack, most L and XL MTBs nowadays are easily exceeding the 48" wheelbase.

  15. #15
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Posts
    8,727
    For me, the Highroad was the best choice as it's the only rack I found that would fit bikes from 20" BMX on up to 3.0"+ bikes (at least 27.5", I don't have any 29+ bikes to try, but it does take regular 29ers of course).
    Sinister Bikes
    Wraith Bicycles
    Sunday River Mtn Bike Park
    NEMBA
    Wachusett Brewing Co.

  16. #16
    i like rocks
    Reputation: euroford's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Posts
    1,606
    Quote Originally Posted by slapheadmofo View Post
    For me, the Highroad was the best choice as it's the only rack I found that would fit bikes from 20" BMX on up to 3.0"+ bikes (at least 27.5", I don't have any 29+ bikes to try, but it does take regular 29ers of course).
    Having checked the highroad out in person yesterday, and compared it to the brass knuckle, I'd also say the highroad is the nicest looking option out there, and if I was paying retail I may have gone that way. However, the brass knuckle is a very very burly setup and probably the stoutest looking rack I've laid eyes on. Given the heavier bikes and aggressive canyon/pass driving I intend to do, I think its a good way to go.

    Thanks for everybody's advice and discussion, the end result came out quite well. The wifey came out to the driveway and was like "whoa that looks rad!", which kind of surprised me. I was thinking the car might look kinda dumb with all this stuff on it, but now that I've had a chance to step back and check it out, I'm really digging it.

    In other news, between the first photo and this shot, the car received a full paint correction (over 40 hours of work going over the entire car three times with the DA buffer) and two layers of ceramic coating.

    Current best roof top bike racks?-racked-merc.jpg
    Tim M Hovey

    Nukeproof Mega 290
    BlkMrkt Mob
    1950 CJ3a
    1999 F350 PSD
    2006 E55 AMG Wagon

Similar Threads

  1. Best website for purchasing roof racks?
    By ehinrj01 in forum Cars and Bike Racks
    Replies: 7
    Last Post: 09-28-2014, 09:22 AM
  2. roof racks...whats best for gnarling
    By ilikepinkbikes in forum Downhill - Freeride
    Replies: 14
    Last Post: 01-05-2006, 05:12 PM
  3. Roof racks on top of trucks w/camper shells
    By Shwaa in forum Cars and Bike Racks
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 08-02-2005, 11:11 AM
  4. Best deals on either yakama or tule roof racks?
    By Chuck in forum Where are the Best Deals?
    Replies: 6
    Last Post: 04-01-2005, 11:32 AM
  5. Roof racks vs. Trunk racks
    By snufkin in forum General Discussion
    Replies: 15
    Last Post: 02-15-2005, 10:10 AM

Members who have read this thread: 61

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  

THE SITE

ABOUT MTBR

VISIT US AT

© Copyright 2020 VerticalScope Inc. All rights reserved.