which roof rack?? both wheels on? or take front wheel of?- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    New question here. which roof rack?? both wheels on? or take front wheel of?

    i tryied to keep title short. but i have a question.
    i have '10 Specialize Stumpjumber and one of the mechanics at the shop today asked me what roof racks i have, i told him i have not decided yet *(for now my bike goes inside my GOLF '10) so im not sure which bike rack to get, the one that carries bike with both wheels on or the one where i take front wheel off?
    the guy told me that its not a question of IF but WHEN i accidently squeeze that front brake with wheel off and damage my front brake by draining fluid and posibly needing to replace whole brake? so he advised to get racks that keep front wheel on the bike.
    i really like the look and feel its safer if i remove the wheel when traveling?
    here's my set up, please help me pick the right bike rack

    car:'10 GOLF TDI 4dr. Standart OEM VW Roof Rack bars
    bike:'10 Specialized Stumpjumper FSR

    if you have a VW with same roof racks please let me knwo what has worked for you,
    i was about to order bike roof rack that works w/out the front wheel but this guy now really has me thinking twice before ordereing .
    thanks

  2. #2
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    Why is it safer?

    I have the Yak Highrollers on my car and there is no way the bike can fall off even if the tires go flat.

    I've had the ones where you take the wheel off too, it's fairly easy to not get the front skewer properly mounted and/or closed.

    Either way, I think they have about the same risk.

    FWIW, I have thousands of miles on both types.

    J.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by romanl
    the guy told me that its not a question of IF but WHEN i accidently squeeze that front brake with wheel off and damage my front brake by draining fluid and posibly needing to replace whole brake?
    That guy is an idiot. If you accidentally squeeze your lever, you simply pry the pads apart with something that has a flat surface. Then the fluid goes back into the master cylinder.
    "It's only when you stand over it, you know, when you physically stand over the bike, that then you say 'hey, I don't have much stand over height', you know"-T. Ellsworth

    You're turning black metallic.

  4. #4
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    I think your mechanic is being a bit hyperbolic. Most Hydro brakes are not suited to be engaged without a spacer between the pads (usually the disc, or that orange spacer that many ship with). If it happens the calipers can SOMETIMES overreach their housing and fluid loss occurs, but more frequently it introduces air into the system. Then the brakes need to be realigned and bled. This is a huge Pain in the ass, and a good thing to avoid, it also drives mechanics nuts. However, except in really unusual circumstances, using a fork mount is not going to cause your brakes to explode. I have a buddy who is concerned about this and uses the packaging spacer when transporting his bike to avoid any problems.

    All of that said, the wheel on systems work well, I am partial to the Yakima variety that holds onto the wheel, and not the frame. I like that they make contact with the wheel at three points instead of two like the Thule stuff does. regardless I have never encountered any issue with these systems that didn't involve someone not reading the instructions.

  5. #5
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    great thanks, im sure he meant well when advised to keep my front wheel as much as possible.
    but i just like the look and can imagine its more aerodynamic and a bit more sturdy to use bike rack that mounts by the front fork after wheel is removed. i dont mind a bit of dirt in the trunk from the wheel, or being carefully to use spacers and not to squeeze the brake when wheel is off. so i think ill go for a slim looking Yakima or Thule rail that mounts in the front by the fork.
    thanks again

  6. #6
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    i fork mounted my bike for years with disc brakes and never once accidentally engaged the brakes with the front wheel off. i then started using a thule sidearm rack and haven't pulled the front wheel off in a long time....now i have a 20mm thru axle, so i don't miss fork mounting.

    fork mounts will be stronger and a little bit more aerodynamic than an upright carrier. uprights are more convenient but generally can have a little bit of wobble, but if installed and mounted correctly, no problems.

    above all else, i found this in my personal experience. if i rode after work, or had my bike with me on the car, i would sometimes leave it on the car for a while because of the perceived hassle of unracking my bike, and installing the front wheel in the dark. because of this, it got rained on and even snowed on when i didn't want it to. i just find the upright is so much easier for that very reason.

  7. #7
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    I have an older Sportswork rack similar to the Thule Sidearm for my mountain bike and a fork mount rack for my road bike. Using a rack w/o having to take off the front tire before and after every ride is so convenient. I love being able to finish a ride and being able to throw my bike on top of my car in about 10 seconds while other riders and messing with their front wheel. I've driven on mountain roads going 80 and the bike was very stable on the Sportswork rack. The only issue I have with the Sportswork is that it does not work too well with skinny road bike tires. The tires squirm around the front tire holder too much. Hence, the fork mount for my road bike.

  8. #8
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    My vehicle is too tall to use a roof mount, but if I did, it would be one like the Thule Sidearm. Why bother monkeying with pulling the front wheels every time when you don't need to, and what if you want to go on a trip with the bike and need to use the trunk space?

  9. #9
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    Just gonna have to echo what others have already said. Used to have Thule V2s and eventually got tired of taking off the front wheel everytime we go to the trails. Plus the trunk space it uses when we travel (yeah I can "buy" the wheel holder but that's another expen$e).

    So we got new bikes with 15QR. I would've just bought adapters but opted out and instead got the oem-equivalent of the Thule Criteriums from Volvo. Has worked very well (I have a thread about it on this forum).

    Big bonus for us really is that it saved us a good amount of time mounting and unmounting the front wheels, more so using a 15QR adapter. Practically takes us less than a minute (if I really want to) to get off the bike and throw it up on the rack and lock it down.

    2009 Giant Trance X3
    2010 Giant Trance X2

  10. #10
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    i'll follow up saying we have seen a renaissance of sorts with upright bike racks in the past few years.
    for a long time, upright racks carried a stigma that they weren't as strong or should only be used by "entry level" riders, or people who may carry their bike every once in awhile. hardcore enthusiasts always chose fork mounts.
    then came thru axles. and credit goes to the rack mfr's for responding with better upright choices, like the thule sidearm, and the yakima highroller that provide all the convenience of the upright, but now the strength and security as well.
    there are upsides to both fork mounts and upright carriers. fork mounts take up less bar space, allowing users to attach more accessories like a cargo box on a limited crossbar space. uprights, however, nest bikes front to back better and can be used closer to one another without seat/handlebar interference.

  11. #11
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    Don't forget to put your wheel in the car if you go with a fork mount. I know a few people who forgot and left it leaning against the rear bumper then proceeded to back over it when they left their parking spot. For this reason I went with an upright and I got mine straight from Subaru with my car. They have some sort of deal with Yakima so it was nice and easy for me to make my choice.
    "Lock S-Foils in attack position"

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by romanl
    i tryied to keep title short. but i have a question.
    i have '10 Specialize Stumpjumber and one of the mechanics at the shop today asked me what roof racks i have, i told him i have not decided yet *(for now my bike goes inside my GOLF '10) so im not sure which bike rack to get, the one that carries bike with both wheels on or the one where i take front wheel off?
    the guy told me that its not a question of IF but WHEN i accidently squeeze that front brake with wheel off and damage my front brake by draining fluid and posibly needing to replace whole brake? so he advised to get racks that keep front wheel on the bike.
    i really like the look and feel its safer if i remove the wheel when traveling?
    here's my set up, please help me pick the right bike rack

    car:'10 GOLF TDI 4dr. Standart OEM VW Roof Rack bars
    bike:'10 Specialized Stumpjumper FSR

    if you have a VW with same roof racks please let me knwo what has worked for you,
    i was about to order bike roof rack that works w/out the front wheel but this guy now really has me thinking twice before ordereing .
    thanks
    an upright is more convenient. With a fork mount, you still need to stash the wheel inside the car, especially when muddy.

    The Barracuda rack, that is in the Driver Gear catalog, also grabs onto the frame.

    The Yakima HighRoller, well, isn't designed for the Votex bars. The FrontLoader, is made for a universal fitment.

    Then there is the Thule 594xt, with a fit kit, you can use the T-slots up front (but not the rear)...

    I

  13. #13
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    I like my Thule Criterium. I have 2 on my Explorer and can still fit a roof box.
    HAving an SUV makes it a bit tough sometimes to put the MTB on top after a long ride.
    I feel the bikes are secruely locked. They travel fine on the hiway. and they fit fatter roof bars.

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