Oops! - Check your roof rack bars occasionally- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Reputation: sgltrak's Avatar
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    Feb 2005
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    Oops! - Check your roof rack bars occasionally

    Had a little incident this summer. Fortunately we were driving slowly down a forest service road, so the impact was minimal. I did, however, end up having to cut the bar off the car because it would not slide through the tower.

    As a long time roof rack dealer back in the day, I should have known to check the rack more often, but it was on my wife's vehicle and I just don't drive it that often. When loading the bikes this day, I was distracted and did not pay attention to the signs of a problem, specifically the bulging tube, splitting outside casing on the bar, and the rust stain on the tower. Having the bike mounted outside the tower probably also contributed to the bar's demise.

    These bars have been on one vehicle or another full time since early 1987. I think the problem started about 20 years ago when I rotated a ski rack or wheel fork down without loosening the clamp enough, thus tearing the outer casing.

    Given my abuse, I think these held up pretty well. Fortunately I had a few sets of load bars laying around the garage on other racks, so a replacement was easy.
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  2. #2
    code: mtbr2011
    Reputation: cracksandracks.com's Avatar
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    Oct 2009
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    we see a fair bit of rusted, swollen crossbars in the shop.
    a lot of times it's old stuff going to be installed on a new or different vehicle. sometimes, we just can't get the towers off and have to cut the bar in the middle like you did.

    yours were on for about 20 years, it sounds like, and i would say that is about the shelf life of steel crossbars living outside with rain and snow.

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