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Rovers and Bikes
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I have been looking at Bike racks and can't figure out why anyone would use a roof rack if they have a hitch on there vehicle. Why struggle with getting the bike on top of the vehicle when you can just plop it into a hitch rack and be off. I am not bashing Roof Racks, just curious if there is a compelling reason I am missing when it comes to using a Roof Rack.
 

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Dinner for wolves
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I'm with you. Hitch offers better fuel economy, less wind noise, no chance of clotheslining your bikes, ease of use, etc... It may even be cheaper to purchase (UHaul hitch + Allen rack < $250 in my case).
 

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I didn't have a choise between roof and trailer as when I bought the Car (mazda protege 5) the dealership installed a fricken class 1 hiddin hitch which can support 200 lbs max ( I never realised until a year later).

When I was looking at getting a new rack I was informed that the Thule and Yakima's would count as over the weight limit as the rack weighs 60 then you add 2 bikes which are not directly over the hitch so they may weigh 25 lbs but are putting the stress of 50 on the hitch.

So to say that I was happy about having to get a roof rack is not totally right however having owned it for a year I like it alot as the car is not to high up and I am not worried about someone rear ending me and taking my bike out in the process.
 

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since 4/10/2009
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I'd rather have a roof rack on a small car than a hitch. The weight on a hitch rack is likely to compress the soft suspension and make the car ride funny, not to mention the increased chance of hitting the rack on the ground. I have a roof rack over the hitch rack on my Honda for that reason.

For a truck or SUV, yeah...the hitch rack is strongly preferable

If you have a canoe or a kayak, a roof rack is even more practical. A trailer only becomes sensible if you're hauling multiple boats.
 

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Elitest thrill junkie
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NateHawk said:
I'd rather have a roof rack on a small car than a hitch.
What, like on a Smart Car?
 

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buddhak said:
I'm with you. Hitch offers better fuel economy, less wind noise, no chance of clotheslining your bikes, ease of use, etc... It may even be cheaper to purchase (UHaul hitch + Allen rack < $250 in my case).
You're lucky. My hitch cost 600€, then the rack cost another 400. Getting all this crap approved is ridiculous. The factory hitch installed was 1200€, so we opted for the same thing from the OEM manufacturer without the markings of the auto's manufacturer for less.

I pick the Hitch rack. They can be hit from behind, which is the only bad point of them. They are generally shielded from flying stones and sand, do offer the better economy and CoG, if that matters, easy to take on and off, etc. The roof racks, should you have a choice, are a drag for low overhangs. Even if you remember them, you can be restricted from parking lots and garages. I was at an outdoor lot some months ago that has a height limiter and bikes WOULD NOT have cleared. When I go through parking garages with the bikes on the back, I'm glad I have the hitch. It does add length for parking, if that makes a difference.

Roof racks can be good as well, especially if they bolt in directly to the car instead of clamping, though this generally requires one to go to the dealer for the parts and pay an upcharge for their branding. Personally, I don't mind roof racks for skis, a cargo box, or other such shorter items. Bikes can and do work fine, but can have disadvantages, and in my situation, they outweigh the advantages. I love being able to pull right into my building's garage and load and unload the bikes from the basement, for one.
 

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Hitch here

I almost dropped two bikes off a roof rack last year - one flipped over and hit the rear window and broke the rear spoiler on my Subaru Outback and the other time it hit the rear wiper, broke that and then slid down the side of the car, causing major paint/body damage.

Essentially, this has happened since I went to 20mm thru axles, got heavier bikes (FR/DH) and started using the Fork Ups - they just don't hold very well and slip terribly.

Bought a T2, installed a receiver hitch on the Outback and never have looked back. I don't break my back lifting a 43 lb Demo 8 onto the roof either.
 

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There are negative and positive aspects for both, but I prefer the roof. Why? I've been in auto claims for over five years and rear-end accidents are the most prevalent. Damage to my car from some asswipe who can't drive would piss me off enough...not having a bike to ride for an unspecified amount of time would piss me off even more.
 

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PCRover said:
I have been looking at Bike racks and can't figure out why anyone would use a roof rack if they have a hitch on there vehicle. Why struggle with getting the bike on top of the vehicle when you can just plop it into a hitch rack and be off. I am not bashing Roof Racks, just curious if there is a compelling reason I am missing when it comes to using a Roof Rack.
I think roof racks leave the bikes more out of the way of the back of the car than hitch racks.
 

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kapusta said:
I think roof racks leave the bikes more out of the way of the back of the car than hitch racks.
On my car, a hitch rack would make the rear hatch useless until I unloaded the bikes. On the roof, I can open the hatch whether the bikes are there or not. I do swap things out often, but haven't tried pulling the whole rack off when I'm not using it. It's not a big concern for me either way. 35mpg vs. 38mpg isn't going to kill me. It doesn't impact city fuel economy noticeably (where most of my driving is, anyway).

On the Jeep, I have to climb the bloody thing to put bikes on the roof. I did it once, never again. I'll only put bikes on a hitch rack on that vehicle and the added convenience of getting the bikes into an accessible location negates the inconvenience of rear access (at least the glass lifts on the jeep without opening the whole thing).
 

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I have a hitch rack (Yakima Big Horn 4) and a roof rack (Yakima LockJaw and Rocky Mounts Noose). I prefer the roof rack because it does less damage to the bike due to fewer contact points and doesn't impede access to the hatch.



 

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A1an said:
There are negative and positive aspects for both, but I prefer the roof. Why? I've been in auto claims for over five years and rear-end accidents are the most prevalent. Damage to my car from some asswipe who can't drive would piss me off enough...not having a bike to ride for an unspecified amount of time would piss me off even more.
This makes no sense to me.

Would you rather claim something thats your fault, or someone elses fault?

If someone rear ends me with my bikes on the back, no problem, new bike shopping time.
When I drive into the garage with my bikes on and they're destroyed, its gonna be difficult for me financially to replace them.
 

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I was thinking the same thing. He creates a lot of questions in this process now. Is A1an trying to say that rear bike racks are more likely to get a car rear ended? I'd like to see stats. Is he saying cars rear ended will suffer bike and rack damage 100% of the time? That's what I think, but hell, it's the other car's insurance, not mine, that will pay for me to upgrade to new DW Link bikes.
 

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I agree, but

...I want to to wait to get hit until the new 2010 RFX comes out before I get whacked in the rear and they have to buy me a new bike. Can A1an give me the odds on that probability? :thumbsup:
 

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For me, it was simple.
1.There was the question of who is at fault in an accident, Me (on a roof rack ) vs other driver (rear ended).

2. It is much easier for me and especially my gf, to get the bikes out of a hitch rack

3. I've seen people scratching their doors etc.

4. I can still open my rear hatch with bikes fully loaded.

5. Fuel efficiency is better without the roof rack.

People who may need to carry a tandem, or need a roof for their kayak or whatever, or need the ground clearance like in the above pic. So everyones choices can be different, but for me hitch was the easy choice. And also the new style track racks dont really touch your bike at all. You put your wheels in, and a single bar holds your bike down with no possibility of damage. I put my carbon Cervelo in with no qualms.
 

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I have a hitch rack on my Yukon. Living on Long Island, I've been rear ended 3 or 4 times. Thankfully, never while carrying my bike. My next vehicle is most likely going to be a Chevy Avalanche and I'll mount a T2 up on top of the bed. That way, I get the best of both worlds.
 

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Elitest thrill junkie
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steve47co1 said:
...I want to to wait to get hit until the new 2010 RFX comes out before I get whacked in the rear and they have to buy me a new bike. Can A1an give me the odds on that probability? :thumbsup:
Well, it's a lot better than the "it's your own damn fault" from hitting an overhang. I'd rather have it be someone elses fault.

If you really do get rear-ended that frequently, it kinda sucks for you anyway. ;)
 
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