Racks are WAY overpriced...anyone make their own?- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Racks are WAY overpriced...anyone make their own?

    I am sort of new to biking (even though Ive had my bike 2 years) and I need a rack for my 94 accord.

    So Im looking around, reading reviews and checking prices and Im in shock how much these racks sell for.

    Trunk racks seem to be especially over priced for the dinky crap that they are... $150...please

    So am I the only one who is blown away at the price of these things?
    Has anyone made their own rack?

    If you have a home made rack please put the pics up along with any details you would like to share about the build.

  2. #2
    Rogue Warrior&Anarchist
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    I share your concern about this monopoly. I just bypass the corporate imbeciles and stick my bike in the trunk with the back seat folded down. I prefer this method anyway as it protects the bike from idiot drivers who might rear end you while texting or smoking something.

    Good luck on your quest though.
    mountain biking is not a crime, so quit giving me dirty looks before I bunnyhop your car

  3. #3
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    Would you trust a bike worth over $1k on a rack that cost $20?

    Saw this rack at Interbike, its made by Saris and is called the Solo Rack. I don't remember what the price point is but looked like a solid rack and will be low costing.

    Last edited by Blade-Runner; 10-09-2009 at 09:09 AM.
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  4. #4
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    If the rack is solid yes.
    The trunk racks IMO are $20 racks selling for $100+ so in essence many are relying on $20 racks they overpaid for.

    I too put the bike inside my car. It offers the best level of theft protection, MPG efficiency and cost nothing, but it is a pain in the butt after a long ride to load up.

  5. #5
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    You're right about inside being the safest place. Even though I have a roof rack I always put my S-Works Tarmac in the car, then rest of my bikes go on the roof.
    13' Lynskey M290
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  6. #6
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    RECYCLE -


    Just buy it used off of craigslist.

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    The problem with craigslist is most poeple want around $300+ for used roof racks.
    Ive read some have paid $75-$150 used but I havent seen a roof rack for that.

    I dont think it would be hard to make a frame from PVC, aluminum or steel piping, cut some slots for straps and figure a way to secure the bike to the carry arms.

    I'll keep looking used and in the meantime will contemplate a DIY plan.

    Blade-Runner Thanks for the suggestion, but why would rack manufacturers make such a dinky rack for the 'low cost' option? My point is they could sell the current trunk racks for half the price and no doubt still make big profit. Manufacture cost couldn't be more than %30 of retail..and thats being generous.
    This is clearly a case of "what are you willing to pay"

  8. #8
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    I have a rack made by the same company as that solo rack, saris. Avoid the plastic made racks. All of the threads, screws, and straps are plastic and ware out extremely fast. The straps on mine broke off also and i almost lost my bike. Had to repair the rack with metal screws, but learned my lesson, watch out for cheap plastic made threads, screws, and straps. The body of the rack is fine, but the rest....

  9. #9
    I'M A CHEAPSKATE
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    I paid $60 for my yakima roof rack. The trick is for the actual roof rack do a search on craigslist for snowboard or ski rack. Usually the frame is substantially cheaper if it says snowboard than if its the same rack and is listed under "bicycle." Next step is to sell the snowboard attachments on Ebay. Recoup some money:-) But now you need something to attach your bike to.

    http://cgi.ebay.com/Swagman-Bike-Loc...item3ca52bce90

    I use these. They work great and I was able to find them actually for $39 for the pair on Ebay. So I got my whole roof rack setup for under $100 all said and done. WOOT!
    dowst: Got a little cavalier with good old eBay did we?

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  10. #10
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    If you can be patient, as the user posted above you can find the deals. Check enthusiast boards for your make/model of car, they are a great source for parts and vehicle specific items like racks. Use sites like searchtempest.com to keep an eye on craigslist.

    I was able to grab a complete thule rack setup with short roof adapters with keys/locks ($350+ setup) on a Honda board for my prelude for $75. I got the Thule 4 snowboard ($120) attachment on ebay for $60 delivered with locks/keys. I found a pair of Yakima raptors with lock/keys on craigslist for $80.

    For $215 I was able to get a setup to suit my year round needs of carrying my mountain bikes and snowboards. It took some patience, about a month of keeping an eye out to collect all the pieces, but it was well worth it.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by SNIPER
    The problem with craigslist is most poeple want around $300+ for used roof racks.
    Ive read some have paid $75-$150 used but I havent seen a roof rack for that.

    I dont think it would be hard to make a frame from PVC, aluminum or steel piping, cut some slots for straps and figure a way to secure the bike to the carry arms.

    I'll keep looking used and in the meantime will contemplate a DIY plan.

    Blade-Runner Thanks for the suggestion, but why would rack manufacturers make such a dinky rack for the 'low cost' option? My point is they could sell the current trunk racks for half the price and no doubt still make big profit. Manufacture cost couldn't be more than %30 of retail..and thats being generous.
    This is clearly a case of "what are you willing to pay"
    Have at it. Me? I'll trust my $4K in bikes on the rack to something that has been engineered properly.

    J.

  12. #12
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    I made my own rack, but its not going to help you much with a Honda car..

    I used 1/8" thick 2" box steel, 2" angle iron, some 1" box steel, rustoleum, and a welder...



    In the future I plan to add an extension to hold 2 more bikes.

    Total cost was less than $150 (including the extra metal I have to add the extension)

  13. #13
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    Prolly lower...

    Quote Originally Posted by SNIPER
    The problem with craigslist is most poeple want around $300+ for used roof racks.
    Ive read some have paid $75-$150 used but I havent seen a roof rack for that.

    I dont think it would be hard to make a frame from PVC, aluminum or steel piping, cut some slots for straps and figure a way to secure the bike to the carry arms.

    I'll keep looking used and in the meantime will contemplate a DIY plan.

    Blade-Runner Thanks for the suggestion, but why would rack manufacturers make such a dinky rack for the 'low cost' option? My point is they could sell the current trunk racks for half the price and no doubt still make big profit. Manufacture cost couldn't be more than %30 of retail..and thats being generous.
    This is clearly a case of "what are you willing to pay"
    Cost to the store is probably 50-60% of list price, leaving 40-50 points markup for the retail shop. That is pretty standard for accessories. Considering the engineering, testing and manufacturing and retailing all those goofy application specific little parts that goes into building rack systems, its not like they are getting stupid rich on it.

    Yeah, unless you are a really good engineer, I would just buy a good quality used rack. I sold my old round bar Yakima for my 87 Jetta for $50. I based my price on what I saw other racks going for... about the same. Somebody already worked out how to make a rack stay on your car at 100 mph (freeway speeds hit with a fat gust of wind) with two bikes strapped to it, all while being loaded back and forth sideways.

    If you get a good base system, you can easily make your own trays with U-channel aluminum, an old front axle with QR, and a toe strap to hold the back wheel down. Some U-bolts to hold it to the rack, and you're good to go. I wouldn't use PVC. There is a lot of force on that thing when you get up to speed.

    Check swap meets for trays. I see the trays all the time for cheap. Trays and bars are pretty universal. Just add the clips specific to your car if you can't find them used.

    IMO, hitch racks are the way to go. Those goofy things that strap to the back of your car just jack up the paint, and work loose over time. I picked up my Performance Bike hitch rack with a coupon for $120 out the door. Add another $140 for a hitch receiver on my GTI, which can also pull a trailer if I ever get around to wiring up the light harness.

  14. #14
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    I'll be checking the classifieds until something comes along.

    In the meantime the bike goes in the trunk

    Thanks everyone for your suggestions

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by FLMike
    I made my own rack, but its not going to help you much with a Honda car..

    I used 1/8" thick 2" box steel, 2" angle iron, some 1" box steel, rustoleum, and a welder...

    .....

    Total cost was less than $150 (including the extra metal I have to add the extension)
    Aaaaaand that's the thing. Even if you have the ability to weld and access to the tools and materials, it still costs over $100 to make a rack, plus the time involved to cut, weld, prep and paint. That's why many of us will continue to buy them - because by the time we make one, it is cheaper from a time and money investment standpoint to buy one.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by chansen
    Aaaaaand that's the thing. Even if you have the ability to weld and access to the tools and materials, it still costs over $100 to make a rack, plus the time involved to cut, weld, prep and paint. That's why many of us will continue to buy them - because by the time we make one, it is cheaper from a time and money investment standpoint to buy one.
    while true, find another rack that even comes close to that price that can hold 4 bikes and also double as a cargo rack that can hold 500 lbs....

  17. #17
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    Craigslist is definately your friend. I ran into a local guy who spent $5 on Thule feet w/crossbars and $50 for two Rockymount carriers. $55 for quality stuff found on Craigslist. I was thoroughly jealous of his cheap his finds.
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  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by FLMike
    while true, find another rack that even comes close to that price that can hold 4 bikes and also double as a cargo rack that can hold 500 lbs....
    Absolutely, but add up your time and include it in the cost.

    If I could weld (which I haven't done in years), I might do the same. I enjoy building things. Yours looks great.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by chansen
    Absolutely, but add up your time and include it in the cost.

    If I could weld (which I haven't done in years), I might do the same. I enjoy building things. Yours looks great.
    adding time into a build is subjective... whats time worth? its different for everyone and dependent on what else you could have been doing during the time frame it took to build.

    instead of sitting around on a sofa one sunday watching football and drinking beer I built that instead....Since I wouldnt have been doing anything that day anyway, I consider the cost of my build time that day $0

  20. #20
    I'M A CHEAPSKATE
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    Sniper, what city are you in?
    dowst: Got a little cavalier with good old eBay did we?

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  21. #21
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    Im in ATL

    Im not that impressed with the racks out there. They are not special because they cost so much.
    Racks hold bikes to vehicles...its not rocket science...but it seems that with anything (especially sports and hobbies) there are those who can always justify the high price.

  22. #22
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    You seem to indicate that you don't want to pay the price of a new rack, which is different than overpriced.

    A few hundred bucks for a quality Thule or Yakima rack is not overpriced at all. To say something is "overpriced" you have to show an identically functioning new product for much less. As stated above, you'd be hard pressed to build an equivalent rack for the same price.

    What would be the "correct" price for your quality rack -- $50?

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by canuckjgc
    You seem to indicate that you don't want to pay the price of a new rack, which is different than overpriced.

    A few hundred bucks for a quality Thule or Yakima rack is not overpriced at all. To say something is "overpriced" you have to show an identically functioning new product for much less. As stated above, you'd be hard pressed to build an equivalent rack for the same price.

    What would be the "correct" price for your quality rack -- $50?
    Classic response for those brainwashed by marketing, willing to pay exuberant prices (again IMO). You insinuate Im cheap because I feel $400+ for some clips, and bars is ridiculous. Lets not mention the stupid price of the wind fairing or the not-included-lock cores.
    Its ok. I love guys like you. Without consumers like you there would be no half-price lightly used items on the bay or Clist to recoup some $$ towards the next latest must have item.

    I could most definitely build a rack of equal quality or better for the money.

    I was considering looking used as suggested earlier, but I find it hard to believe no one has built a home-brew roof rack. I may just have to do this just because....
    Its 4 bars welded in a square with simple clamps to the door frame/roof top...not rocket science or expensive

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by SNIPER
    Classic response for those brainwashed by marketing, willing to pay exuberant prices (again IMO).
    Couldn't be any righter Nothing but a straight up monopoly from hell.

    If you already have the welding equipment and the know-how I say go for it and don't tell anybody who likes to pay out the a$$ for a simple rack how you did it. Just keep that secret between the believers of a one day affordable bike parts world.
    mountain biking is not a crime, so quit giving me dirty looks before I bunnyhop your car

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by FLMike
    I made my own rack, but its not going to help you much with a Honda car..

    I used 1/8" thick 2" box steel, 2" angle iron, some 1" box steel, rustoleum, and a welder...



    In the future I plan to add an extension to hold 2 more bikes.

    Total cost was less than $150 (including the extra metal I have to add the extension)
    nice job
    Respect the Aina....Aloha

  26. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by SNIPER
    Classic response for those brainwashed by marketing, willing to pay exuberant prices (again IMO). You insinuate Im cheap because I feel $400+ for some clips, and bars is ridiculous. Lets not mention the stupid price of the wind fairing or the not-included-lock cores.
    Its ok. I love guys like you. Without consumers like you there would be no half-price lightly used items on the bay or Clist to recoup some $$ towards the next latest must have item.

    I could most definitely build a rack of equal quality or better for the money.

    I was considering looking used as suggested earlier, but I find it hard to believe no one has built a home-brew roof rack. I may just have to do this just because....
    Its 4 bars welded in a square with simple clamps to the door frame/roof top...not rocket science or expensive
    Ok, then - why did you ask in the first place?

    J.

  27. #27
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    Ok wait a sec -- you can build an "equal or better" rack than say a Thule T2 (cost of $350 online) for less than $350 that folds up, tilts down to provide access to the truck, has swingarms to accommodate 20" to 29" bikes which allows to load and unload in seconds?

    You really must start your own rack company.

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