I've been thinking about the various options for bike racks. Currently I use a rack mounted on the tow hitch and I am pretty happy with it but I'd like to get a rack for my other car (without a tow hitch).
But while driving (bike mounted behind the car on a tow hitch) to the GS4 in Williamstown in the pouring rain I was struck by a bit of devine enlightenment: If I had my bike on the roof rack the rain would have washed oil from my chain onto the car roof - nasty!
Is oil and dirt on the car roof from a bike a real possibility? Pain in the arse washing bikes - even worse having to clean the damn car too.
Clamping dropouts is, well, what they're designed for...
Yep pretty popular out there on the internet
I guess there's no cure for being an idiot.
I'm reminded of a lady on a woodworking forum I used to frequent ... well, she wasn't on the forum, but her hubby was, and HE wanted a band saw. So she bought one for his birthday ... as a surprise, so she had to borrow a mate's ute. Pulling into the driveway, it started to rain, and she didn't want the shiny new toy to get wet, so she ducked straight into the garage!
Fortunately, the twisted mess of a band saw proved to be resurrectable as most of the damage was to body panels and stuff like that. Although the mates couldn't get the band saw looking pristine again, hubby always maintained he loved the story, loved the thought and was rather appreciative that he wasn't the first damage to the thing.
He was a cyclist too, rather rabid from what I remember.
On roof racks, I've got them on the Falcon.
I hate driving under things and the chances of forgetting (I put a bucket in the centre of the car park to remind me). I have picked bits of tree out of bikes and remember listening to a bloke in a bottle shop regale me with with stories of people who've destroyed bikes by driving into the drive-through - we were looking at a lot of carbon fibre remains at the time.
Putting the bikes up there is a pain in the back...side, partly because of the lift but mainly because I have to remove (and replace) the front wheel.
Front wheels do NOT travel easily in the boot or on the back seat, not unless you just toss them in and ignore them (I probably worry too much).
Despite all that though, the biggest problem is that I have a perfectly useable tow bar mount. That is a lot easier in every respect (though I can't use Jan's step through bike on it, even with one of them removeable bars) and thus it sort of warps my view of the roof racks.
If roof racks are all you have, they are fine in every respect ... except low ceilings.
Lol - didn't realise it was the 1st of April!
Having used roof mounted racks for transporting 2/3 bikes for the last 5 years, I've never had any residue deposited on the roof! I've have very muddy/oily bikes on the top in the rain, if it's raining hard enough to strip the bike clean, then it's raining hard enough to wash it off the car!
Why not go for a boot/hatch mounted rack
Got one of them for the MG. It works and it's safe, but it's a right pain to use - them straps have a life of their own and you have to tie them out of the way so they don't slap (and cutting them shorter isn't really an option if you want to use the rack on another car). It takes about 5 mins to put on and take off, which isn't a lot in the context of a day's cycling, more of an issue for a commuter who gets up before sparrow fart and leaves the car parked in the street (so I install it the night before and use a locked cable during the day in the vain hope that no-one'd be silly enough to steal it ,,, would they?). On the other hand, it doesn't really compare favourably with the 30 seconds for the towbar mount. The best thing about the boot mounted rack is that at least I can safely carry a bike on the MG.
It depends a bit on the car too - although I can supposedly carry three bikes, because of the way it sits on the MG, I can only carry one ... and that only just.
Hatch backs? I can put one of my big roadies inside Jan's Hyundai Getz and that's hardly a station wagon, so unless you're carrying more than one bike or have passengers in the back seat, if you own a hatch, maybe you don't need a rack.
I can toss any of my bikes into the back seat of the falcon - even got a recumbent into the back seat of falcon.
Then there's out a front wheel and putting the bike on the roof? Depends on the bike I guess. Jan's bike is a real sod - low end V-brakes so they're a challenge to unhitch and rehitch to get the front wheel in and out and the bike has an 'interesting interpretation' of the term 'light'. By contrast, the Europa is a dream to put on the roof - relatively light (oh okay, 'unheavy'), sensible caliper brakes and no lawyer lips to argue with.
Let's face it, they're all compromises. Probably the best option is to ride a beaten up old bike and drive a ute, that way you can just toss the bike over the side of the tray without worrying about it ... provided the cattle dog sees the bike coming and ducks.
I've used the hatch mounted rack on Hyundai Excell and Accent, works fine on both. True it does take a few moments to mount but I only use it occaisionly and you can't access the boot/luggage bay once mounted. One concern I do have though is driving at night with the plate unilluminated, has anybody found an answer to this
got a spare bike head light
that's brought a tear to my eye