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Young, Shawn Young
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I got rid of my big truck today for a 2009 Sub Forester. Thinking of going with a roof rack and Im looking for opinions on what to get. Would rather use something that lets me keep both wheels on. Anyone with suggestions?:eekster:
 

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Beware of low overhanging garages and car ports

The yakima roof full tire mounts are great. I destroyed an older King Cobra, trying to go into a low over hanging carport at a motel after a 500 mile drive. All the way I was thinking about the bike on the roof and the epic ride I was going to do, but when I arrived at the motel I drove right under the overhang without a thought. It destroyed the rack, and both of my bikes' wheels. It also ended my ride for the next day. Well I bought a viper rack and the rest of the parts that were required and then ran the thing into my garage after a long drive post ridding. I think I prefer the Cobra full mount type. Taking the front wheel off each time and remounting is a mild hassle, but watch out for the break connections on the break cables on both ends. So if you have a garage put something in the way of the car to remind you of the bike on top.

Gas economy does not seem to be too affected by the bike on the roof rack, but the hitch mounts can be more convenient and more aerodynamic ... good luck. and good ridding.. P.S. I generally keep my bike in my Jeep Cherokee unless with other bikes needing more room.
 

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Slowly but surely...
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205 Posts
I've run a Thule rack system for the last few years and have been happy with it, though after running a rack where you kept the tires on, I switched back to a front-wheel-off kind. I did have one time where I didn't have the front fork attached properly and the bike fell off while I was on the highway, but the back tire strap held the bike on while I pulled over, saving the bike (scratched my car pretty bad, but that's what I get for not being more careful)
 

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Single Malt
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958 Posts
Redmon

I have a Hollywood Hitch rack, if you want to try it out. It is a 3" class C fitting. The Sub may have a smaller fitting. Just thought you may want to use it in the interim. Let me know how you like the Forester. I'm planning on getting Jen a Honda Element sometime soon.
 

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Young, Shawn Young
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3,165 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks for the replies guys. Still debating what to use but Im going to take a ride over to REI later and see what they have. I still have my hitch rack which I think is a class 2 inch if Im not mistaken. All the little things you dont think about when getting a new vehicle....jeesh.

Jay, I really like the forester. I did a ton of research and hopefully this sucker will hold up over time. I looked at the element as I really like the utility of the vehicle but in the end the forester won out for a few reasons:

1-Ground clearance-the most in its class which will be nice for those trips to GB when the roads get rutted up and wherever else I end up
2-great power-this thing has some serious punch to it and is fun to drive
3-Pano moonroof, damn thing is huge
4-reliability-nuff said:)

James on the boards here in NV still owns an Element I believe so he could give you some feedback. if you need any.
 

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Single Malt
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958 Posts
Good Choice

We have looked at both also. For trips to Cottonwood and Boulder City, the Element is perfect. The doors open to create a little change room,(for Jen), the rear clam shell opens so you can put up to four bikes in without removing the wheels!! Then when you make those stops for lunch, or head to your favorite brew pub,(Boulder City), you have the peace of mind that your bikes are in the vehicle, not hanging around on the outside. For the long road trips, we will still be using the "Land Yacht" slash/ "Beverage Center". The old girl gets low to mid 20's on the HWY!!!!
 

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Lone Wolf McQuade
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2,418 Posts
If I had it to do over again I would go with the hitch rack instead of the roof rack.......... there are so many pro's/con's of both that make sense. There is so much of this over in "Car/rack...whatever" forum it will make your brain hurt :D ..... let's see a pic of the new car
 

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If you go with the roof rack go with the King or the High roller, that is the only way to go. I have a buddy that got the Raptor and is not impressed at all.

If you can get a small hitch I would go with the T2. I love my T2 and I have small SUV. It is very convenient and no wind resistance on the highway.
 

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Young, Shawn Young
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3,165 Posts
Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Well I compromised for now. I bought the Thule Big Mouth which will work with my factory crossbars. I think in the long run I will have a hitch put on and continue to use the hitch rack I have. I'll install the roof rack tonight and see how it works.
 

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Spoke-n-Spoon Junkie
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380 Posts
Redmon said:
Thanks for the replies guys. Still debating what to use but Im going to take a ride over to REI later and see what they have. I still have my hitch rack which I think is a class 2 inch if Im not mistaken. All the little things you dont think about when getting a new vehicle....jeesh.

Jay, I really like the forester. I did a ton of research and hopefully this sucker will hold up over time. I looked at the element as I really like the utility of the vehicle but in the end the forester won out for a few reasons:

1-Ground clearance-the most in its class which will be nice for those trips to GB when the roads get rutted up and wherever else I end up
2-great power-this thing has some serious punch to it and is fun to drive
3-Pano moonroof, damn thing is huge
4-reliability-nuff said:)

James on the boards here in NV still owns an Element I believe so he could give you some feedback. if you need any.
Yep, I still own it (til September). Thinking about an A3. And i will probably do a hitch mount on that. My element gets 18mpg with the roof bars and about 20mpg when removed. Something to think about.

Other Element downfalls
1. Won't make it up to Gooseberry Mesa when the dirt roads are muddy. But didn't slide off the road like Shawn's BIG WHITE TRUCK!
 

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Young, Shawn Young
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3,165 Posts
Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Installed the roof rack, took forever. Directions kinda sucked and I had to redo things a few times to get the rack where I wanted to. Now the gay part....I didnt realize how tall the forester is. I friggin need a little box to get the bike up there! wtf I guess I have to get the hitch put on sooner rather than later
 

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Young, Shawn Young
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3,165 Posts
Discussion Starter · #14 ·
jmitchell said:
Yep, I still own it (til September). Thinking about an A3. And i will probably do a hitch mount on that. My element gets 18mpg with the roof bars and about 20mpg when removed. Something to think about.

Other Element downfalls
1. Won't make it up to Gooseberry Mesa when the dirt roads are muddy. But didn't slide off the road like Shawn's BIG WHITE TRUCK!
Hah! I remember. Didnt have it in 4 wheel drive which was a big mistake. The force was stong in you that day yoda:D
 

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I AM I AM
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2,222 Posts
Another Forester owner here. Originally my thought was that hitch rack would be better, mainly like you say due to the height of the car, ease in taking the bike off and on.

But I reckon roof rack is the way to go, saves crap showering your bike on muddy / dusty dirt roads. Besides at least the roof rack is left on all the time, it could get annoying taking the hitch rack on and off as I wouldn't want to leave it on there. In my mind a roof rack also offers a little extra security (or disincentive to pich the bike if you duck into the shop for 2 minutes).
But yeah I'm putting my decision off for a while, already have a hitch & tow ball so have to firure out how likely we would be to use a roof bar for other stuff to justify a roof rack. At the moment it can go in the back as long as the kids aren't coming!

 

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Former Subaru Legacy wagon owner here. (We'd still own it if we still lived in PA, but sold it to bring our VW's out to Vegas) That thing was unstoppable- don't listen to the naysayers- they are great cars and easy to maintain. We didn't have to jack up the front end to change the oil- just reached back under the bumper and spun off the filter! Plenty of ground clearance! Never stuck once in the PA snowstorms!
Back to the rack - we found a Subaru bike rack on craigslist (made my Yakima) that clamps onto our Jetta (Thule) crossbars, and then you strap both wheels down and an arm grabs (and locks to) the bike downtubes. We have thousands of miles on this rack; we had it on our Audi TT (OEM crossbars) and now our Jetta and we love it. The bikes lock to the rack and the rack locks to the car, and then just to be sure we'll wrap a braided steel cable through both frames and all 4 wheels and padlock it to the cross bars. Obviously I wouldn't leave it like that overnight, but we'll sit in the Boulder City Brewery and enjoy our beers without worrying about anyone quickly disappearing with our bikes. We have the factory ski/board clamps as well, and use them in the winter for our runs up to Brian Head. Point is, the Subaru/Yakima racks are good stuff. :thumbup:
 
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