Bike on car roof rack = buggered bearings?

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  • Bike on car roof rack = buggered bearings?
  • Premier Icon GavinB
    Subscriber

    Where did the dog travel before this declaration from your wife?

    FunkyDunc
    Member

    What I have come to realise though is that using a boot rack although cheap and fuel efficient, it doesnt half scratch your bikes if your not very very carefull.

    I’m looking at buying a roof mounted rack…just need to grow longer legs now so I can lift the bike up there!

    andyl
    Member

    +1 for yes.

    But…in winter with loads of salt etc then you need to wash your bike as soon as you get it off the car.

    Rose bikes sell some protection which could be useful for really bad weather:

    http://www.rosebikes.co.uk/article/xtreme-bike-protector/aid:23712

    http://www.rosebikes.co.uk/article/m-wave-drive-protection/aid:193891

    Premier Icon njee20
    Subscriber

    I’d not be so hasty, all the bearings in the hubs on my road bike seized after a 100 mile motorway drive in heavy rain. Suspect it was the particular conditions, but it’d put me off carrying my car on the roof. That any they never ever look secure, the number of posh bikes shimmying around on the roof of cars coming home yesterday was quite unnerving!

    Bigger car required, bike and dog on the inside.

    Premier Icon rhayter
    Subscriber

    The dreaded time has arrived when my wife has insists that the dog gets to travel on the inside of the car, whereas my bike must travel on the outside. I’m horrified. So I’m thinking roof rack. Probably Pendle. Now I’ve always avoided all manner of bike carrier, fearing that the ingress of water (rain) at 70mph will result in a quickly-shagged-out headset, hubs etc. Have I been worried unduly?

    Bearings…nothing to worry about.

    But for the price of a decent roofbar and cycle carrier set up (or not much more) you could probably get a tow bar and a wheel support towbar rack. Better for your wallet as fuel economy won’t take such a hit, better for your back as you don’t have to lift the bike up, better for the car as you won’t get mud on the roof, better for the bike as it won’t kiss height barriers, and the dog’ll be ok as many of them will tilt so you can open the boot 🙂

    rs
    Member

    surely the dog can squeeze in beside the bike in the back.

    superfli
    Member

    If its a long journey and you have air forks, let the air out before you set off. Stone chips to stanchions can be costly. Alternatively wrap a rag on stanchions or face the bike backwards.

    Sammo
    Member

    If you’ve got a tow ball then Thule make some good racks.

    I have used a roof mounted rack for years and not noticed anything unduly bad happen to my bikes. I was worried about scratching my forks for a while but figure it is not as bad as getting mud on them and then having them squish up and down thousands of times like on a ride.

    I have used a tow bar rack too which i liked but changed cars. I do wonder if rear mounted would be worse in winter as nearer to the road and more likely to get salt on the bikes? I have never noticed this happen with roof mounted.

    My top tip though is to never look up at how much they wobble 🙂

    Stone chips on the forks with the bikes on the roof !!!!!!

    What roads do you drive down ?

    no problems at all with a roof -mounted rack.

    I drove bikes thousands of miles on the roof of our last car – most of the 35000 miles we drove in it over 5 years were with bikes on the roof. We also had a Thule wheel support tow bar rack which only got used when two bikes were already on the roof.

    In my experience –

    – I didn’t notice any problems with headsets or other bearings on roof racks. It’s probably worth giving the bikes a bounce on the back wheel when you get home if it’s wet but beyond that I’d not worry. Up on the roof they’re actually out of the worst of road dirt and spray – in wet weather they come up fairly clean BUT not as clean as something that’s been jetwashed (ie that’s far worse for your bike).

    – on the back, in wet weather, all the crap off the road gets sucked up onto the bikes and they end up covered in road filth. That’s when they end up really salty in winter.

    Roof rack hits fuel economy by about 20% – we got c40 out of a Golf TDi whereas you’d hope for closer to 50. I’d be surprised if a rear rack didn’t have some impact anyway.

    M6TTF
    Member

    I’ve always been put off roof mount due to the amount they waggle about

    curvature
    Member

    Interesting comments re fuel consumption.

    Everyone says you loose 10-20% with roof bars and bikes.

    My V50 drops from 53.1mpg to 51-52.3 so I think it depends on the cars too.

    With regards to damage to the bikes the only thing I get are flies on the fork legs.

    Also remember that most most motorbikes have USD (upside down) forks and this means the stanchions are only 6″ off the road. I have no problems with my Ducati.

    Premier Icon matt_outandabout
    Subscriber

    Get rid of the hound. 😉

    superfli
    Member

    Stone chips on the forks with the bikes on the roof !!!!!!

    What roads do you drive down ?

    Never had a stone chip on your windscreen? I had a mark on my stanchions after a recent 8hr drive in Spain. I must admit I dont bother on short journeys, but longer m/w journey with lots of trucks and the higher speeds, I lower my forks and face the bike backwards.

    The front mudguards on a sports m/bike usually covers the USD stanchions. My current GSXR and all previous GSXR750s have GSXR
    They can be bought as aftermarket accessories for bikes that dont come with them as standard – for the very reason, to protect the forks.

    anto164
    Member

    Hang on.. Dog on passenger seat, bike in the back, what’s to worry about? 😆

    bigbloke
    Member

    I use the Thule roof carriers (iirc 561?) that secure the bike by the forks and rear wheel, bike has a slightly lower profile had no problems at all, bit less wobble too. If your concerned about stanchion damage try using pipe lagging secured with velcro/luggage straps around the stanchions?

    Fuel economy is usually around 64mpg, with 2 bikes on top it goes down to around 55mpg, to be fair though thats also with 2 big lads and kit plus usually fullish tank.

    Premier Icon Imabigkidnow
    Subscriber

    I’ve used Thule roof adapters; 1 fork mount, one ‘all-in-one’ for lazy short hops.

    worst thing I’ve had is a very light scuffing where the all in one clamps the (steel) down tube, but I’ve got lots of stone chips and stuff anyway.

    The really worst thing was having a Pigeon fly across in front of me at 60 mph on a dual carriage way and watching a bundle of feathers roll down the road behind me.

    Inspected at the earliest opportunity scared what I might find.
    Complete blood and gore free … but … a bent brake lever (luckily I only run cable discs so a cheap fix)

    Best fuel economy I’ve ever had is a 55-65mph cruise to wales and back with a bike on the roof in the rain.

    TooTall
    Member

    all the bearings in the hubs on my road bike seized after a 100 mile motorway drive in heavy rain. Suspect it was the particular conditions shoddy maintenance

    FTFY

    Waderider
    Member

    Some people on this forum clearly do not live in the real world.

    Stonechips on stanchions, what are the odds? Cod maths time. Windscreen £200 pounds to replace. Say a buggered stanchion is £200 pounds also. Exposed surface area of windscreen is 250 times that of the exposed forward facing area of stanchions. Ergo cover your windscreen in a blanket before you set off to protect your wallet.

    As for hub bearings being ruined by a 100 mile drive…..och, it’s so silly I can’t even be bothered rebutting it. Talk about not being able to judge cause and affect……

    Premier Icon aracer
    Subscriber

    Bike in the back, dog in passenger seat, wife on roof. Problem solved.

    andyl
    Member

    anto164 – Member
    Hang on.. Dog on passenger seat, bike in the back, what’s to worry about?

    I was just thinking that.

    Our dog takes up the whole back seat. We have a hammock type thing in there so in a crash it would help contain her (hangs off front and rear headrests). The hammock is water proof and we put a thin bed on it to make it comfy (she spends more time in the car than we do so it’s only fair to make sure she is comfy). She also has a harness for motorway trips. It is also good for hiding stuff in the rear footwells.

    I’ve seen what happens to the boots of cars so I want my dog in the passenger section.

    oh and upside down motorbike forks – also better for stopping crap going into the seals as it naturally runs down away instead of into the seals.

    superfli
    Member

    Sorry Waderider I was only trying to give a helpful 2min tip. Take it or leave it, upto the readers.

    Premier Icon timmys
    Subscriber

    Apart from the squashed flies on forks/headtube/bars the only issue I have found is it’s worth wiping your brake rotors down with IPA or the like after driving to avoid road crud being transferred to, and contaminating, your brake pads.

    bongo136
    Member

    Seems some people are way too overprotective… 🙄

    Or alternatively how would you transport a briefcase with (insert 4 figure bike value) cash in it? I guarantee you wouldn’t hang it off the back or strap it to your roof. I bought a car with primary goal to safely transport bikes inside.

    parkesie
    Member

    Bike in car dog on woof rack? 😳

    oh and upside down motorbike forks – also better for stopping crap going into the seals as it naturally runs down away instead of into the seals.

    and it has nothing to do with suspension performance??

    If fork seals got such an easier life when USD do you not think every MTB would have them now??

    Windscreen £200 pounds to replace.

    For what car???

    I had a hire car and the **** at work who signed for it didn’t do they walk around properly and didn’t notice the huge crack in the windscreen. Net result was a hell of a lot of phoning around and the cheapest new screen for a Vectra was £540 😯

    scruff
    Member

    Be VERY careful with bike racks in general they can SCRATCH your PAINT a little bit. Best to probably just leave your bike in the garage in a SPECIALY PROTECTED area lined with CYGNET feathers.

    JPcapel
    Member

    The only issue with roof mounted racks is going under low bridges (I speak from a position of experience on this point).

    Otherwise bikes seem fine mounted on top of your car, after years of using them I dont believe bearings suffer in anyway.

    The Thule racks seem bullet proof. I drive like Mr Wolf in Pulp Fiction and even under hard cornerning loads the bikes have yet to make an appearance via a side window. I dread to think how much they waggle around, this has been tested with a heavy DH bike on top too.

    FunkyDunc
    Member

    “Roof rack hits fuel economy by about 20% – we got c40 out of a Golf TDi whereas you’d hope for closer to 50. I’d be surprised if a rear rack didn’t have some impact anyway.”

    On a recent trip to Scotland I had a roof box, and 2 frames and wheels on a boot rack, and the inside of the car full of dog child and 2 adults + assorted stuff. mpg only dropped by about 4 mpg doing a steady 80mph!

    Thats on a Seat Altea though so I assume the shape helps wind flows etc. I am curious to know though how much difference a bike on the roof would make as they are not a slippery shape at all.

    marsdenman
    Member

    Bike in car dog on woof rack?

    Made me smile…

    We’ve one of those Pendle tow bar mount jobbies that hang the bike by the top tube.
    I just put that foam pipe insulation stuff around tubes that are touching / likely to touch..

    Went that route as I just did not fancy bikes on the roof – they never look quite secure to me and also I am that person who would try to drive through a height restriction barrier… 🙄

    Next purchase will be one of the Thule Wheel Support Jobbies that also tilts..

    nick1962
    Member

    Check your car manual before you splash out and install a roof rack to carry your bike as there are weight limits.Not so much a problem with larger modern cars with ABS but older smaller cars may struggle to carry two heavyish bikes.Could make them unstable and possibly invalidate your insurance…

    “Roof rack hits fuel economy by about 20% – we got c40 out of a Golf TDi whereas you’d hope for closer to 50. I’d be surprised if a rear rack didn’t have some impact anyway.”

    As I say, we never drove far enough *without* bikes and racks to work out what the impact was. However, looking at VW’s combined fuel economy stats for our current vehicle (and what we actually get) vs the same engine in a Golf estate I reckon my estimates were not too far out.

    It’s worth working out the real cost of that – assume drop of fuel consumption from 50 to 40mpg. Assume 5000 mile p.a. with bikes on the roof. Current price per gallon of diesel is £6.50 (at 1.43 per L). With bikes on the roof you’ve used an extra 25 gallons at a cost of £162. Not a huge amount in the bigger scheme of owning a car and running a bike.

    Premier Icon superdale
    Subscriber

    If you buy a Thule you can be safe in the knowledge your bike will not make it to your destination before you do as proven here:

    Thule testing video

    We use a Thule 591 and very happy with it although my new carbon baby still travels inside 😯

    Premier Icon rhayter
    Subscriber

    Thanks for the comments and suggestions. Final solution: bike in the back of the car, I’m on the roof rack, dog is driving.

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