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Roof Rack Mishaps

By Rob - Posted on 19 March 2007

NB: Originally posted elsewhere on the Global Riders Network and appears via syndication.

Well, it had to happen sooner or later... last night I tried to drive into our underground carpark with a bike on the roof rack.

I've been carrying bikes on a hitch mount for a while now, but this weekend had one on the roof for various reasons. Driving back from Blue Mtns remember looking at the car at the last stop and thinking, "I should open the sunroof so I remember it's there". But then not doing so because I thought I couldn't forget. Doh! Bit tired after driving around all day probably didn't help either.

Anyhow - I write all this as someone may be interested in what happens when you try and squash your bike into low clearance Eye-wink

The rack is a Thule one, mounted on crossbars that fix to rails on the roof. Luckily the rails have no specific spot for the rack to attach so it just fixes with with big rubber grips anywhere you like. This probably saved a lot of damage to car and/or bike. Although the crossbars seem incredibly tight (you can grab them and sway the car about) they clearly can't hold the force of the car driving into a wall. The rear ones were pushed back, the front ones pulled up and off.

Amazing really, no damage to bike, or rack, or car rails. Although, it's probably best not to try and replicate this! Eye-wink

Tags would always think you'd slap yourself for doing if it ever happened! Were there a lot of people around to witness it and make you feel embarrassed? Sticking out tongue

I have a Thule rear spare wheel mount rack that goes on my Honda CRV, and early last year when I was driving home one night I got T-boned by a driver that ran a red light at 60km/h (as I turned right at a big intersection). The side impact caused the entire rack to bend slightly in one direction because my bike was on it at the time.

Being the "fix-it" guy my father is (I'm 22...I figured I'm young compared to everyone here!), he insisted on fixing the rack instead of letting me spend $270 on a new one and managed to somehow bend the metal back to a relatively straight position despite a little rust.

I don't know whether its normal or not, but the rack rattles a fair bit and seeing the bike wobble and shake when I'm going 100km/h is a little nerve wracking :S

The wobbling is why I've been a bit reluctant to get a towball-mounted rack. That, and my current car has no towball, unlike my old one which got smashed by someone not paying attention (fuming).

I want roofracks for convenience, but am worried about doing what Rob just did!

Does anyone have any other ideas? Right now I'm sticking the bike in the back seat because it's too much of a hassle to take the rear wheel off...

Buy a ute. Costs a little more than a new rack but your bike will never fall off or hit anything again.

Just be aware all your friends & family will always want it to move house Smiling


After having this discussion with i think you and a few others some time ago now....its finally happened....

Tonight after a hard day at work i drove right into the garage at home and thought that sound is not good....oh s#!t my bike!

Yes i have now fallen victim to the bike on roof entering garage crew.

Not happy because moments before i actually thought i should park outside the garage....then the stupid me thought "why? Keep driving idiot!"

Now i'll have to moap into the bike shop with egg on my face as i ask for a new seat, seat post and trued wheel....not to mention as my bike came off the car the bar ends off my lock on grips punched a nice hole in the tail light....
Just what i needed....

I guess its not so bad i have been thinking for some time about buying a nice seat....any ideas on what i should look for in a seat?


Mr Egghead

sharp edges would be my suggestion. Why not just take the seat off the Kona and drop the price another $10, or is that a sore point at the moment?

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