My new roof rack. Any suggestions?- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
    Sandy Eggo
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    My new roof rack. Any suggestions?

    Just purchased a Thule roof rack for my Audi A4.

    I'm new to biking and roof racks; do you guys have any tips for making sure things are stable & safe? I loaded it up earlier today and went for a few mile drive: seemed great but I didn't go faster than about 35-40 on my way to the trail.

    Does the bike look positioned on the rail correctly? Any suggestions welcome. Also, anything special I should know when I add a second bike on with it (I will be tomorrow).


  2. #2
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    Get a bear bell and velcro it to the bottom of the steering wheel so you know/remember that the bikes are on the roof and you don't drive into the parking garage three times. Mountain bikes are pretty tough - they'll probably be fine but, your car and rack will be extremely unhappy. If the bells on the bottom of the steering wheel, it's just enough noise when you start cranking the wheel to remind you. And you should have a bell anyway for letting hikers and horses know you're coming.

  3. #3
    code: mtbr2011
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    install looks good....bars look centered on the towers....bike loaded into big mouth properly. nice neighborhood....i think you're ready to rock.

  4. #4
    mtbr member
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    What rack did you get? I've got an A4 too and have been thinking of getting a rack for it.

  5. #5
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    Looks good. Just make sure you periodically check things are snug. I give the feet, bars, and carrier(s) a once over to make sure everything is as it should be before loading it up and hitting the road.
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  6. #6
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    I think I have the exact same rack. I've had to use a spare strap to secure the crank to the arm, that way the rack arm doesn't slide off the frame. I've had that happen once on the freeway (doing about 60mph). Fortunately, only my car was damaged from the bike flopping over sideways.

  7. #7
    Sandy Eggo
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    Thanks for the pointers.

    For those wondering, it is a Thule rack.
    LB50 Bars
    480 Feet
    Fit Kit for Audi A4 (you can find the exact # on their website)
    2 bike carriers Thule 599xtr big mouth
    6-pack of Lock Cylinders are a must!

  8. #8
    ballbuster
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    Sweet A4!!

    Quote Originally Posted by ablation View Post
    Just purchased a Thule roof rack for my Audi A4.

    I'm new to biking and roof racks; do you guys have any tips for making sure things are stable & safe? I loaded it up earlier today and went for a few mile drive: seemed great but I didn't go faster than about 35-40 on my way to the trail.

    Does the bike look positioned on the rail correctly? Any suggestions welcome. Also, anything special I should know when I add a second bike on with it (I will be tomorrow).

    As long as it's parallel to the centerline of the car, and as long as everything holding everything together is nice and snug, nah... you're good. If you're loading two bikes, you might want to stagger them, one slightly behind the other so the bars don't bump. You might also want to move the trays further apart if they bump into each other.

    Just don't depend on those cheeseball rack locks doing anything to keep your bike on the car while you're driving. The locks are pretty much there to keep the rack from accidentally popping open. They can be defeated in like three seconds with a big screwdriver tapped and a pair of vice grips.

    I suggest a good U-Lock around the rear triangle of the frame (to keep the bike from becoming it's own getaway transportation) and a chain or heavy cable through the sunroof or back window, and secure it inside to an interior door handle.

    Even then, don't rely on the bike being secure enough to leave unattended for any length of time.

    Are those the factory VW/Audi trays? Those are made by Thule, and I think they are called Big Mouth, IIRC. I have two myself that came with my GTi. They work well, but just be sure that down tube clamp is nice and snug on the bike, and attached as low as you can. Once you attach the clamp, then snug the wheel straps down. I've seen that rack tray let go of the downtube, and the bike flops over denting and scraping up that beautiful Audi.

    But nah, you don't have to worry. TUV standards mean that the rack has to be solid to like 110 MPH (assuming the operator is using them correctly) or so.

    One more point. Those roof racks are going to eat into your gas mileage, just so you know. Your 30mpg car will probably get 27 mpg with empty roof racks and 23 mpg with one bike.

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