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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I was wondering about the factory roof racks people get. I've heard some for certain companies are quite good, but I don't know if this applies across the board.

For those who use them, how are they compared to the mounting system on the aftermarket type? Do they work/mount better? Did they present any problems with aftermarket bike carriers? What make of car are you using them on?
 

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It depends on the brand of the car, and who they have outsourced the OEM racks to. I looked at the factory BMW rack (basically a Thule) but because it needed tools to remove the crossbars, and I already had most of the Yakima stuff I went Yak. For my year and model - Their system uses small landing pads that bolt to the car with quick clips to get most of the rack off...
 

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With Subarus, their OEM unit is a rebadged Yakima, but from staring at it here in the showroom (I sell Subarus) I don't think it's like cutting edge Yakima stuff, based on the Yakima and Thule racks I was pricing out.

In the case of a 2009 Subaru Forester, Thules's crossbars essentially mount exactly the same as the Subaru OEM crossbars, as the OEM mounting points in the roof sort of dictate how a crossbar must mount. The answer to your question is all dependent on the individual vehicle.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Obviously, it varies case by case. I'm just trying to see if some people used the dealer/factory ones and if they are any different/better than the clamp to the roof aftermarket ones.

I've seen the dealer ones where there's a socket in the roof and the factory racks engage in them. Don't know if that'sgood across the board, or clamps are preferred, or what.
 

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Some factory racks are complete crap. My dad has a chevy trailblazer, and to carry a canoe, he has to have a hitch-mounted t-bar to supplement the factory rack, as the factory rack can't handle the weight (it deforms terribly and looks like it will break the rack if used without the help). A good way to tell how good a factory rack is would be to check the Yak/Thule fit books at the store. If the factory rack option starts eliminating cargo options (say, ONLY giving a fit for carrying skis), then you know the factory rack is sub-par. Basically, the more options that lack a fit, the poorer quality the factory rack. It seems SOME companies have got the hint and no longer supply crossbars for their 'factory racks' or have started to contract out to Yak/Thule to produce their racks for them.
 

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I HAD one on my '09 VW Tiguan until it broke a month later and my bike almost ended up falling on my panoramic sunroof:





The bike carrier tore right through the metal on the cross bars. I think this was just an isolated incident though, since Thule makes all VW's racks. I ended up getting my money back from the dealer no questions asked and replaced it with a Thule 450 Crossroad. I'm much happier with it. The OEM one looked much nicer IMO, but the Thule is more versatile.
 

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I HAD one on my '09 VW Tiguan until it broke a month later and my bike almost ended up falling on my panoramic sunroof:





The bike carrier tore right through the metal on the cross bars. I think this was just an isolated incident though, since Thule makes all VW's racks. I ended up getting my money back from the dealer no questions asked and replaced it with a Thule 450 Crossroad. I'm much happier with it. The OEM one looked much nicer IMO, but the Thule is more versatile.
 

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I HAD one on my '09 VW Tiguan until it broke a month later and my bike almost ended up falling on my panoramic sunroof:





The bike carrier tore right through the metal on the cross bars. I think this was just an isolated incident though, since Thule makes all VW's racks. I ended up getting my money back from the dealer no questions asked and replaced it with a Thule 450 Crossroad. I'm much happier with it. The OEM one looked much nicer IMO, but the Thule is more versatile.
 

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I HAD one on my '09 VW Tiguan until it broke a month later and my bike almost ended up falling on my panoramic sunroof:





The bike carrier tore right through the metal on the cross bars. I think this was just an isolated incident though, since Thule makes all VW's racks. I ended up getting my money back from the dealer no questions asked and replaced it with a Thule 450 Crossroad. I'm much happier with it. The OEM one looked much nicer IMO, but the Thule is more versatile.
 

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Registered
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1,348 Posts
I HAD one on my '09 VW Tiguan until it broke a month later and my bike almost ended up falling on my panoramic sunroof:





The bike carrier tore right through the metal on the cross bars. I think this was just an isolated incident though, since Thule makes all VW's racks. I ended up getting my money back from the dealer no questions asked and replaced it with a Thule 450 Crossroad. I'm much happier with it. The OEM one looked much nicer IMO, but the Thule is more versatile.
 
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