Bikes on the roof, or in the back?

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  • Bikes on the roof, or in the back?
  • Premier Icon vinnyeh

    New car means there’s no longer room for luggage and bikes inside. Which should go on the roof – luggage in a roofbox, or a couple of bikes. Thinking of economy, really.
    Does insurance cover for theft from bike racks? Are the racks ‘immovable objects’?


    Roofbox is lower – easier to get into car parks etc.

    You’re probably also better off smacking the roofbox into the height restrictor than the bikes…


    For the last 10 years ive had the bikes on the roof of the car, racks and thule 591’s never hit a barrier or lost a bike, what i did lose was about £1k in value off the car when i traded it in, some of it my fault. I left the bars on and somehow they slid a little taking the paintwork from where they gripped into the roof. Also there was the issue with the roof, mine was trashed, 2 dents only tiny dents where i had dropped the one bike in the rain and the chainring caught the roof edge. Paintwork as i had driven home on the motorway, bits of stone/mud from the bikes had scratched the paintwork and tbh it was fairly obivous.

    When i got my new car tbh i was going to go back to the roof, but silly glass roof doesn’t allow roofbars unless they are manufacture supplied.

    So i went towbar and thule euroway g2 i think it is, yes expensive but does the job and so much better than i thought. I ditched the car due to a motorcyclist coming at me a few weeks back, the bikes and rack fully intact and no damage. Plus everyone i talk to when i stopped at services where more interested in how the rack worked and how i could get stuff out the boot, clever little latching system on the towbar rack.

    Bikes are solid and less cross wind issues. Im sold on towbar racks and will have my next car with a towbar.


    I prefer the out of sight out of mind approach as it seems commonplace for people to get followed home. Plus they don’t rust with salt spray in winter. Friend had a carbon rush and every steel bolt was orange after a few winters!

    Premier Icon garage-dweller

    I go inside, top and towbar depending on circumstances. There is some merit in the approach of bikes inside and roof box for luggage for long trips.

    Generally my rule is.
    – got to leave car and bike somewhere – inside
    – weeks holiday with family – bikes on roof luggage in boot (bike then has pannier rack so doesnt go in boot well)
    Family day out – roof for ours as they dont sit nicely together on boot rack. Child seat, follow me and eldests bike in boot
    Sub hour drive to/from trails – towbar rack especially coming home if weather is bad and bike covered in cow poop. Needs a clean anyway so road grime of less import.


    I think it’s up to you.

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