roof cycle rack - how easy?

Discussion in 'Bikes and Buying Advice - What Bike?' started by annem, 2 May 2010.

  1. annem

    annem New Member

    Briefly my daughter has THE most awkward car. It's a Honda Civic hatch new style and the only way to carry a bike outside will be expensive roof bars or towbar. The roof option is just financially viable the towbar not. However she is a single parent and although quite tall at 5'10" not particularly strong. I don't want to buy the roof system for them if she has no hope of getting their bikes up on to it. Her son is 6 so his bike might be easier but hers is quite heavy!

    Is there a knack or should she just give up!! They have busy main roads (outer London) before they can reach any safe cycling and she is not prepared to use those.

    Anyone into biking please don't buy this car!!!
     
  2. ian turner

    ian turner Über Member

    Location:
    Leicestershire
    Can she lift her bike by the front fork and seat tube to car height ?
    Has to be the front fork to get the bike high enough and make sure the front wheel is aligned.
    You raise the clamp up to the right height first.
    Then you stick the wheels onto the bike rack and lean the bike into the clamp.
    After that it's easy enough though I get nervous not being able to see that the bike is still on the roof and not falling off.
    I had to take my new road bike to the shop for it's 6 week check service and it took 10 minutes to attach to a 4 year old fiesta (the types with the small spoiler over the hatch back hinge that prevents attachment of the strap on racks)
     
  3. Mark_Robson

    Mark_Robson Senior Member

    Once you've done it once it's a doddle. I would suggest that she tries lifting her bike to shoulder height before she considers buying the racks.
     
  4. OP
    OP
    annem

    annem New Member

    Oh lovely. Some helpful hints there. Good it's a holiday tomorrow. I'll try to get her raising up that bike!!
     
  5. mr_cellophane

    mr_cellophane Guru

    Location:
    Essex
    Some take the complete bike and others with the front wheel removed. Obviously with the second option the bike is lighter and you don't have to lift it so high. Disadvantage is that if you miss the rack you could end up with a nasty scratch on the roof.
     
  6. rich p

    rich p ridiculous old lush

    Location:
    Brighton
    My wife has pretty feeble upper body strength and finds it impossible to do it with her lightweight bike but the she is only 5' 2".
     
  7. Baggy

    Baggy Cake connoisseur

    I can heft my tourer on to our roof bars (we've got the Thule 591s) lifting by the top of the front forks and set stay, but find it much easier if I'm standing on a kerb!
     
  8. Fiona N

    Fiona N Veteran

    My sister and BiL have a tandem - as far as I remember, the roof carrier has an arm to which the tandem is fixed before it gets up to roof height. Then the arm is pulled across from the other side of the car and the tandem is hoisted onto the roof rack.
    Undoubtedly not a cheap solution but a rather elegant one.
     
  9. soulful dog

    soulful dog Senior Member

    Location:
    Glasgow
    If I could afford it I'd use roof bars but would need to use the Hydraulic Bicycle Lift to do so.... as Fiona N says, an elegant but unfortunately not cheap solution.

    I've often wondered if a small step-ladder would help or if that just creates another problem because you'd be less stable?
     
  10. lazyfatgit

    lazyfatgit Guest

    Location:
    Lawrence, NSW
    I use a folding plastic step to get to the middle of mrs lfg's mariva.
     
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