Roof Rack vs Boot Rack

Discussion in 'Beginners' started by Lefire, 21 Aug 2007.

  1. Lefire

    Lefire New Member

    I am about to change my car from a Honda CRV to an Audi A4. :blush:
    I have been able to put a couple of bikes in the boot in the Honda (with wheels off) and still have plenty of room for people / bags / etc on the back seats.

    I am not going to have this luxury in the new car.

    Pros and Cons of a roof rack vs boot rack ?

    Do they both eat up the fuel economy as much as each other ?
    what do you use and any that stand out as being so much better than the others ?

  2. Arch

    Arch Married to Night Train

    Salford, UK
    There's some dicussion here:

    Main pros and cons for me are quite simple. I cannot lift a bike, even a light one, onto the roof of a car without something to stand on, because I'm on the short side, and have little upper body strength. I would choose the rear rack because it's easy to fit and remove, can be transferred from car to car (I don't have a car at the moment, but in the past it's been useful to be able to bung a bike on pretty much any of my mates cars), and easy to get the bike on.

    I realise that these may not apply to you - you're thinking of a specific car, and you're almost bound to be taller and stronger than me...

    Just remember if the bikes are on the roof, to watch out for low car park entrances etc...

    It also probably depends on how much you will want to use it. Fitting a rear rack maybe a bit of a faff for everyday....
  3. Arch

    Arch Married to Night Train

    Salford, UK
    There, that's classic forumming - two perfectly sensible correct replies, giving the opposite answer!:blush:
  4. OP

    Lefire New Member

    In deed they were sensible replies. Wasn't expecting it as I spend most of my time on here reading in CycleChat Café.

    Thanks for the reply though. Need more opinions to sway the descision though.
  5. mosschops2

    mosschops2 New Member

    How many bikes will you be carrying? You'll struggle to get more than two on a boot carrier - and personally I get concerned about the amount of weight and strain you put on the boot - especially when you crank the straps in really tightly. Clearly boot access is a problem - normally impossible.

    Lifting bikes above head height to fasten etc is clearly an issue - although on my boot carrier (Corolla Verso) this is not much better - as Mrs M still doesn't have the reach to lift the cross bar up to 6 foot. However if you're sticking 3 bikes on the roof - I get the feeling that I'd like to have a mini step ladder to help!!

    So to add to the confusion, what I am intending to do, once my requirement is to carry 3 or 4 sensibly sized bikes is to fit a tow bar, and get a tow bar carrier, which will allow boot access too.

    This, whilst not answering your question, and adding as Arch mentioned to the forumming conflict of opinion, will mean a) easy lift on / off :blush: boot access c) can carry more than 3/4 bikes d) no damage to car e) secure etc etc

    Hope that helps!!!
  6. wafflycat

    wafflycat New Member

    middle of Norfolk
    If you have a tow bar, get a tow bar-mounted bike carrier. Best thing I ever did in terms of ease of transporting several bikes by car is to get a tow bar fitted and purchase a bike carrier that goes on that. I've got a Tradekar SilverbikeII with third bike adapter. It's so easy to fit that even I, a mere girlie, can fit the carrier on the tow bar and it's simple to fit the bikes *securely* so they are as solid as a rock on there. Plus it's got a tilt mechanism so that even with the bikes on it, if I require access to the boot, I can tilt it and open the boot. It's an excellent bit of kit.

    See here

    but I got mine from here

    Indeed I recommend as knowing what they are doing - happy to deal with all sorts of queries and make sure you get the right product to fit your vehicle.
  7. Arch

    Arch Married to Night Train

    Salford, UK
    [QUOTE45975][quote name="]There, that's classic forumming - two perfectly sensible correct replies, giving the opposite answer!:blush:[/quote]

    Except that yours is wrong.

    I'm going to ring York and tell them they're paying you to do what a lobster can do for free.[/QUOTE]

    Thankyou Paul, that made me laugh out loud, which I kinda need at the moment...:ohmy:
  8. alecstilleyedye

    alecstilleyedye nothing in moderation Moderator

    and another.
  9. mosschops2

    mosschops2 New Member

    Just an interesting reference article:
  10. DLB

    DLB Senior Member

    i bought a rear carrier from Halfords for £50 in the sale (normal price £75). once i had it set up from my car i just shoved it in the shed. Now i can have it on the car in about 5 minutes and it's dead easy to do. The harder part is getting my hybrid (Trek 7.1) onto the bars. It's a bit of a tight fit and the bike isn't light and so it can be awkward. I'd hate to think i had to lift the bike up above the car and clamp it on the roof. In fact i'm not sure i could do that.

    I've never transported my road bike (which is lighter) but i guess it would be much easier to fit that on a rack/roof bars.
  11. mosschops2

    mosschops2 New Member

    Following DLB's comments - by the time I've put two bikes on - normally two MTBs - you also have to bungee the front wheels in order that the handle bars don't touch / rub against any paintwork.... Another reason for getting the bikes away from the car!
  12. Mr Celine

    Mr Celine Discordian

    Me too.

    I have a boot mounted carrier and a roof carrier. The former is OK for short trips and is easier and marginally quicker to mount, but for anything over 20 miles the roof carrier is vastly superior.
    Boot carrier is more likely to damage your bike - you have to be careful that nothing is rubbing on the paintwork and your bike gets filthy if its raining. On most types of boot mounted carrier you need a trailer board wired to your car's electrics. Mrs Celine has a hybrid with a ladies frame. This does not fit well on a boot rack because of the lack of a crossbar.
  13. alecstilleyedye

    alecstilleyedye nothing in moderation Moderator

    if my bike can fit in the roofbox without taking off more than wheels and pedals, that's where i'll be carrying it.
  14. Danny

    Danny Legendary Member

    Some years ago, Which magazine did some tests on which racks were most fuel efficient.

    They concluded that the most efficient were tow bar mounted racks, and roof racks were the next best in terms of fuel efficiency. Apparently traditional high mounted rear racks were worst because they seriously disrupt a car's aerodynamics.

    I got my first rack this summer. Would have like to have got a tow bar one because of the fuel efficieny but found that getting a tow bar fitted cost nearly £200. In the end I opted for a Bones Saris which is a low mounted rear rack, and seems really well made. You can get one on ebay for around £90.

    I took two bikes on it down to Devon at the end of July and did not find that we used any more fuel than on previous journeys (boringly we go to the same place each year so I know exactly how much petrol we normally use).
  15. if you get a roof rack make sure you don't drive into any car parks with hieght restriction bars. i've seen to good bikes trashed that way!
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