Author Topic: Roof racks and roof bars and bikes= anyone with experience  (Read 31143 times)

jaimeo

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Roof racks and roof bars and bikes= anyone with experience
« on: January 14, 2013, 01:07:08 PM »
Hi all

I am based in the UK.  I was just about to trade in my (fully paid for) 3 year old Kia Picanto for a larger car because my wife recently (six months ago) gave birth to our son and I decided we needed a bigger car.

The rationale behind needing a bigger car was that when we go on holiday or longer roadtrips (to take my son to visit grandparents for example) we are unable to fit a pushchair and luggage into the picanto.

Handily I then read the article that tells me I should buy for what I do 95% of the time (95% of the time the wife and baby and I are not even in the car together- mostly its her getting him to and from friends who live a good distance away.

So- my new scenario is that I would like to be able to carry 2 x mountain bikes, 1 x bike trailer and 1 x large suitcase as well as the pram in the Picanto (this is on the few occasions per year that I would be maxed out on luggage and represents the ideal- not the necessary.

Anyway I am thinking of buying roof bars + 2 x bike fixing points like this :  http://www.roofbox.co.uk/scripts/rbvehsel4_tab.php?20253

and then maybe some kind of roof top bag like this one:  http://www.argos.co.uk/static/Product/partNumber/7405938.htm

that has a hard base so it doesnt sag.

My question is- do you think I would need cross bars (or a true "rack") on the roof to use this sort of bag or does the rigid base cover this issue?

Can anyone recommend a cleverer way to achieve my storage goals?  I've seen all sorts of other racks with temporary versions, inflatable versions etc. etc.  Not sure whether those avenues are worth pursuing or whether the options above are the very best version I can find at a cheapish price.

Any advice welcomed.

Thanks

Jaime

twinge

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Re: Roof racks and roof bars and bikes= anyone with experience
« Reply #1 on: January 14, 2013, 01:29:45 PM »
I don't have specific advice for your situation but would advise you to consider renting a larger car for the situations that are 1x a year or less, and devising a solution for the slightly more common uncommon situations if you get stuck figuring out a workable option.  You can carry two bikes or 1 bike and a stroller or trailer on pretty much any car so that's a fairly easy solution.

FWIW, we regularly use our hatchback rear bike carrier to carry a bike and a bike trailer or a jogging stroller.   

herisff

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Re: Roof racks and roof bars and bikes= anyone with experience
« Reply #2 on: January 14, 2013, 02:17:52 PM »
Have you considered pulling a trailer instead? A fairly small one should fit everything you would want in it. Attach it to your car the few times a year you would need to haul a lot.

Alternatively - rent a larger vehicle for these rare trips.

jaimeo

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Re: Roof racks and roof bars and bikes= anyone with experience
« Reply #3 on: January 14, 2013, 05:21:08 PM »
Hi, thank-you for the replies so far. The rental route would be a good deal more expensive than buying a roof rack and cargo bag- it costs anywhere from 30 to 50 pounds per day to rent a car but only around 110 to get a roof rack and bag.

To pull a trailer I would have to add a trailer hitch (110 pounds brand new, have not seen a secondhand option) as well as buy an actual trailer of some sort.

The idea of a rear mounted bike rack sounds good- I have seen one that fits the picanto for only 35 pounds.

Not sure if I am not thinking of other more money saving ideas or if I should just consider 150 pounds for a roof rack, cargo bag and rear mounted cycle carrier to be a bargain vs the cost of replacing my picanto with something that is more costly to insure, drinks more fuel etc etc

twinge

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Re: Roof racks and roof bars and bikes= anyone with experience
« Reply #4 on: January 15, 2013, 06:09:01 AM »
Quote
Not sure if I am not thinking of other more money saving ideas or if I should just consider 150 pounds for a roof rack, cargo bag and rear mounted cycle carrier to be a bargain vs the cost of replacing my picanto with something that is more costly to insure, drinks more fuel etc etc

I think you're thinking in just the right way. I just was saying that IF you get discouraged finding an option that works perfectly in all situations, it's cheaper to rent a car occasionally than to buy a bigger/more expensive/less fuel efficient car.  If you can find a carrier/roof bag combo that works, that's the best option then.

offroad

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Re: Roof racks and roof bars and bikes= anyone with experience
« Reply #5 on: January 15, 2013, 06:38:02 AM »
i installed a trailer hitch and a bike rack on the hitch. total $500. its wirth it to allow bikes to be moved around with ease.

twinge

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Re: Roof racks and roof bars and bikes= anyone with experience
« Reply #6 on: January 15, 2013, 06:56:46 AM »
Also, while you think you only will *need* the solution a couple times a year, it's great to have an easy option for carrying bikes/strollers a lot of times.  That's why I recommended the rear carrier option because that's a fairly easy on-off operation that you can do on your own with a child in tow and you will actually do it.  Having this easy option (that can be complemented by the more elaborate roof option) made me much more willing to go on family daytrips that would have been a pain with a toddler simply because she can't last the whole day and/or I don't feel like carrying her food/diaper bag etc. around all day--but if I can easily bring her jogging stroller than that can carry ALL our food/coats etc.   And now that 2 kids have their own bikes etc. it's nice to have an easy and a complete option for all our gear.

Not all rear carriers handle two big items, though, so it pays to investigate what of yours can be carried.  Our carrier is literally one I got at age 19 to handle 2 bikes (and I'm MANY years older than that now) that I'm still using for multiple purposes!

jaimeo

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Re: Roof racks and roof bars and bikes= anyone with experience
« Reply #7 on: January 15, 2013, 07:03:43 AM »
Hi Twinge

Thats a really great point about usability/ease.  Thanks for mentioning that...

GuitarStv

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Re: Roof racks and roof bars and bikes= anyone with experience
« Reply #8 on: January 16, 2013, 08:14:46 AM »
If you're planning on putting the bikes on a roof rack, be very careful not to back into the garage with the bikes on the roof.  I've heard many stories of destroyed bikes and damaged cars by this action . . . and it's a pretty easy thing to forget.

midnightlost

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Re: Roof racks and roof bars and bikes= anyone with experience
« Reply #9 on: January 17, 2013, 11:12:59 AM »
Not sure if this is something you would actually be interested in but SeaSucker makes a vacuum suction mount for bicycles.

http://www.seasucker.com/product-category/bike-racks/


For bike racks this is what I'm saving up to get because I like the idea of being able to take the rack with me with use on any vehicle and not having worry about if the vehicle has a hitch or roof rack.

You can mount them any where on the roof, or they have the hatchback version, so you can make better use of space for the luggage carrier.

jaimeo

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Re: Roof racks and roof bars and bikes= anyone with experience
« Reply #10 on: January 31, 2013, 04:23:40 AM »
Thank-you to everyone for the replies.

In the end I bought...

Roof bars, a roof bag with wooden base, a cycle carrier that goes on the back of the car, a foldable bike trailer to carry the boy in.

Total cost I think was probably ca. 250 pounds which was the absolute cheapest way I could do it e.g. roof bag with solid base = 25 pounds vs. roof box for 150 pounds.

thanks all for your tips and responses, I may well sell some of my kit in the future and replace with some of the suggestions above.

Cheers
J