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Thread: Roof Bars

  1. #1
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    Roof Bars

    Anyone here have any opinions on aftermarket roof bars? I have a VW golf and I am wanting to get some so I can put on a pair of roof racks. I guess my main questions are making sure they're safe and reliable and how hard they are to install. Let me know what you think!

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    couple more details...1998 5 door VW Golf, definentally want something that doesn't require taking off tires. Needs to fit 20" and 26"

  3. #3
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    I would go with OEM roof bars and then bolt on your favorite trays. If you plan on doing any camping I would suggest the very versatile looking Kuat Vagabond.
    Try to be good.

  4. #4
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    I've had a yakima raptor - holds the bike upright, lockable, easy to install. Only downside is after a few years, the tightening mechanism stripped out (basically a nut molded into a plastic handle - didn't come loose, just stripped). This happened on two setups of mine. I don't think you've got anything to worry about as far as security or ease of installation for any system that you pick out. Just understand that it'll probably set you back about $400 for the full setup (towers and bars, bike attachment device, locks). Or you could pick up a tow-hitch (u-haul, $150-ish) and a tow hitch mounted rack (upright, no taking off wheels, lockable with some ingenuity - got one for the wife's RAV4 and took the bike from San Diego to DC and back again - no problems; jensonusa ~$250) for about the same price. Both have pluses and minuses - ground clearance, mileage, alternate uses (skiis, etc . . .), ease of putting the bike on and taking it off, etc . . .

    If you go roof-top style, do yourself a favor and get a Bear Bell (the kind you probably ride with when there's lots of people around) and velcro it to the bottom of your steering wheel to remind yourself that the bikes are on top, or you will eventually drive into a covered parking spot or garage (I've done it at least twice - really puts a damper on your day). It's just enough noise to remind you, especially when you start cranking the wheel to turn into a drive-way. It's a lot easier to see the bikes in the rear-view mirror if you have the tow hitch mount.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by ksquared View Post
    Anyone here have any opinions on aftermarket roof bars? I have a VW golf and I am wanting to get some so I can put on a pair of roof racks. I guess my main questions are making sure they're safe and reliable and how hard they are to install. Let me know what you think!
    I am looking for similar roof bar that would fit my 29' er...any ideas?

  6. #6
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    For the MK3 Golf:
    My first choice is the OE Votex bars --- if you can find them used.
    Otherwise, Thule or Yakima... pick one.

    Then choose a holder:
    Thule 594XT
    Yakima HighRoller
    Yakima Front Loader (universal fit).

  7. #7
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    Thanks for a ll the help guys! Sadly I don't have OEM roof bars, so I'm gonna have to install some after market ones. Oh and I'm loving the bear bell tip haha, I could totally see myself pulling into something with low clearence, I'm glad I'm not the only who would do that! Also, I was looking at the Yakima HighRoller and Front Loader and I couldn't really see any differance, anyone know?

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by ksquared View Post
    Thanks for a ll the help guys! Sadly I don't have OEM roof bars, so I'm gonna have to install some after market ones. Oh and I'm loving the bear bell tip haha, I could totally see myself pulling into something with low clearence, I'm glad I'm not the only who would do that! Also, I was looking at the Yakima HighRoller and Front Loader and I couldn't really see any differance, anyone know?
    when i priced it out, the OEM horizontal bars were cheaper than the Thule setup. check with your local VW dealer for price and availability...



    the image shows some ski racks attached, but the horizontal bars are what you need to mount things to. as far as i know they are pretty universal once you have them you can bolt whatever other accessories on top.
    Try to be good.

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