SUV Rack Suggestions???????????????- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    SUV Rack Suggestions???????????????

    Ok, I've been reading some of the discussions on roof vs. hitch racks. There's definately a lot of good advice out there. However, it seems most of the people who have written are dirving sedans/coupes. I just bought an '05 Grand Cherokee and need some advice specifiic to those who have used roof and hitch racks on SUV's. I don't have a factory hitch, so I'd be adding that too with a hitch rack. Roof rack noise that bad (I open the sunroof all the time, but the factory rails are just behind it)? Security issues? People backing into hitch-mounts? And what I'm most curious of...how dificult is it to rack a bike on a roof of an SUV without scratching the paint everytime? BTW, I'll hopefully be buying a road bike soon, so I'll need to hook that up too.

    Any advice, greatly appreciate it!

  2. #2
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    Buy Yakima..period.
    The tubluar bars will not bend and look cheap as the squared metal ones likeThule do..
    I always notice this..SOoo many people have bought Tule//but that dpoesnt mean they are the best..Yakima are OUTSTANDING...stronger and teh system is flawless..
    I havve the low riders rack attachements and Cobra bike rack to sit on top of the tubular cross bars..
    I could ve put the Cobra bike rack right on my Xterra roof rack but I preferred to moun the cross bard on the rack...here's a photo ot two.








  3. #3
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    I have a hitch rack on my SUV and I'm happy with it. I'm sure other are just as happy with roof racks. All the points you bring up are valid but, in the end, you'll need to decide what works best for you. I like my hitch rack because bikes go on/off very quick and easy. The hitch rack itself goes on/off very easily. I think I'd have to use a step ladder to get bikes on/off the roof of my car but yours might not be as tall or you might not be as short . I guess one more thing to consider on the safety/security side, I hear more stories of bikes on the roof slamming into garages than accidents involving rear mounted bikes. I'm sure it can happen but at least it wouldn't be because of your own supidity .

    By the way, a hitch is an incredibly useful thing to have. You should consider getting one of those anyway.
    "The mouth of justice contemplates wisdom."

  4. #4
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    Hitch is good-but it would impede my rear hastch door from opening.
    Plus I tow a trailer at times and I prefer the bikes on the roof..
    My GT is super light-I'm not that tall..but I do go on the tire to lift it and I do so with one hand..unreal how light it is..
    My little nephew's bike weighs tons more...oh well..
    And yes you have to be aware that the bikes are on the roof..
    Wind noise..I have not noticed any more noise than before..none.
    I find that the look is also nicer on the roof..it just looks cleaner and all.
    I am a neat freak when it comes to my truck and other stuff like that..so I tend to care how it looks..
    But with my bike..there is absolutely no issue mounting on top..and the Xterra is a high truck.


    Good luck choosing...
    Last edited by BX02; 07-09-2006 at 12:10 AM.

  5. #5
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    Looks good, BX02...ever used fork-mounted roof racks? How's the gas mileage treating you?

  6. #6
    Old man on a bike
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    Many years ago I started with a Hollywood trunk rack on a sedan, it was awkward and left marks in the paint. I then got a Trooper II and it had both a hitch mount and roof rain rails; I opted for the roof rack as hitch racks weren't much at the time especially for 4 bike options, and I occasionally used the hitch for hauling a boat anyways. It was a tall vehicle, so getting bikes up there was not easy (even tho most of my group were riding fairly light bikes); at one point I injured a shoulder in an awkward move, pain bothered me for months. Eventually I managed to mangle the rack and the roof rails by mistiming my garage door opener (without bikes fortunately) as well as gouging the roof on occasion from dropped forks (fork mounts were the only secure option at the time). Besides this I knew it was a costing me 2-4 mpg easy, more at high speeds (and the Trooper's boxy shape was no help).

    My current SUV, even tho it has factory rails and is lower, has a 2" hitch mount that I've used a 2/3/4 Sportsworks bike rack on for the last 8 years. The roof looks great, I get great mileage but I must say if you're driving at 80mph in the driving rain, especially with heavy road surface coverage, the spray that kicks up is worse than anything you'll get on the roof; the sideways position accelerates the entrance into bearing surfaces IMHO (but I haven't tried installing flaps, hate the way they look).
    "...the people get the government they deserve..."
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  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by drewfus
    Looks good, BX02...ever used fork-mounted roof racks? How's the gas mileage treating you?
    Thanks..
    you know what..I was looking at a fork mount for my bike and the cobra for a second bike..girfriend or whatever.
    Mind you I never did anything of ths nature before..so I never really had any preference..But I tell you..I am happy I didn't go with the front fork mount..
    I would get so discouraged to do that set up everytime that I would have gotten rid of it..
    yes..fork mount has it's benefits..probably stability..maybe ease to mount etc.
    but now that I have been doing this for a month or so..I would have hated to remove the front tire
    e v e r y single time..and especially when the front tire is muddy as hell...I would hate to put that in the truck..and yes they do sell a tire mount for the roof..but that is just nuts..
    My cobra bike rack is steady and well made..I love it.
    I have noticed more sedans with firk mounts for some reason..trucks I see usullaly have full bike mounts.
    I have driven with the bike mounted over 120Kmp/h ..and you know what...not a single difference that I have noticed..
    I drive pretty much as natural with it mounted as if with it not mounted..I've taken tight turns with it..and it is right on the money..it drives great..and there's no noise..
    I do have a strap tghat I intergrated into the system to hold down the whole bar set up when they're folded down..just incase they bounce around..

    Gas mielage?..well lets say that the Xterra loves the gas pump..bike mount or not..you're going there often.

  8. #8
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    anything hollywood, i have one on my 06 rubicon wrangler

  9. #9
    Lord of the Chainrings
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    I have the Thule 751xt Rapid Railing Carrier, with a set of Yakima King Cobras.
    Yakima mounts are compatible with both Thule and Yakima.
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    "Hesitation is the Mother of Failure!"

    ~~ 951 for Dirt & Roadster for Asphalt ~~

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