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Old 13th May 2013, 12:22   #16
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Default Re: Questions About Roof Racks / Carriers / Bicycle Carriers

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Originally Posted by mango_pal View Post
...Thule roof Bike rack...
...box type roof rack...
...2 bike on the Beat were under 6.5kg each and the four bikes on the X-Trail were under 10kg each.

Bottom line: Go for it with your eyes closed. Park all your fears. And check out other reviews available all over the web!
Thank you for the detailed explanation.

Thule boxes and cycle carriers are undoubtedly excellent as well as extremely expensive. A feedback regarding costs from you would be nice. With bikes that weigh 6.5-10 kg, I am well aware that they would cost as much as a Beat or more. But then, 15-18 kg on the roof of a Beat (or 30-40 kg on the roof of an X-Trail) - what low cost choices are there when carrying such weights in the form of luggage (suitcases, bags) on a rooftop carrier?

Again, as you mentioned, installation/removal of these carriers takes the better part of a day. And storage - are there carriers that can be dismantled and taken apart, to occupy lesser area?

As you pointed out, @roy_libran, handling is indeed affected with (I would guess from your description) 50-60 kg of weight on the roof of your Gurkha. I wonder what that kind of weight would do to a sedan, or even a light SUV like the Innova or Quanto. And the Innova does not have either rain gutters like the Gurkha or roof rails like the X-Trail.
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Old 13th May 2013, 13:17   #17
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Default Re: Questions About Roof Racks / Carriers / Bicycle Carriers

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Originally Posted by SS-Traveller View Post
Thank you for the detailed explanation.

Thule boxes and cycle carriers are undoubtedly excellent as well as extremely expensive. A feedback regarding costs from you would be nice. With bikes that weigh 6.5-10 kg, I am well aware that they would cost as much as a Beat or more. But then, 15-18 kg on the roof of a Beat (or 30-40 kg on the roof of an X-Trail) - what low cost choices are there when carrying such weights in the form of luggage (suitcases, bags) on a rooftop carrier?

Again, as you mentioned, installation/removal of these carriers takes the better part of a day. And storage - are there carriers that can be dismantled and taken apart, to occupy lesser area?

As you pointed out, @roy_libran, handling is indeed affected with (I would guess from your description) 50-60 kg of weight on the roof of your Gurkha. I wonder what that kind of weight would do to a sedan, or even a light SUV like the Innova or Quanto. And the Innova does not have either rain gutters like the Gurkha or roof rails like the X-Trail.

When you go for low cost, you immediately discard your safety from theft aspect, the quality, and the aerodynamic advantage.
All of these would impact costs and safety in some way or another:
- Theft: obvious
- Quality: Weight shifting/ harnessing/ security of the items. - Hampers safety and driveability big time
- Aero: Losing out on precious fuel economy.
- Exposure to the elements: Not usable during the monsoons.

Its very easy to go for something crude like the Gurkha, you make a heavy frame and clamp it to the roof.

With the Innova or the Quanto, like the Beat, I doubt there would be any major effect on water drainage. I don't think your concern is warranted.

Fitting does take 4-5 hours the first time. But that time will be significantly less with two people working on it.
As for storage. Its only bars, with a couple of clamps. And a box if you choose one.

So with the X-Trail on the trip to Leh, there were 4 people + 3 bikes + a lot of luggage (it was a 30 day trip). Never did the speed exceed 70-80 kph and it was driven very sedately on the mountains.
But the harnessing factor is the key. The cycles are secured into place so there isn't too much of a concern. But standard luggage, if given even a bit of a room can have impacts on the cars driveability.

As for the pricing, this is the quote that I went through with for the X-Trail:
1. Thule Footpack 753 - Rs.9500.00
2. Thule Aerobar 861 - Rs.7000.00
3. Thule Kit 3059 - Rs.3000.00
4. Thule Bike carrier 591 - 10000.00 (single bike carrier) x 4 = 40000.00

Total was 60k. Shipping from Bangalore to Delhi was thankfully free after hard negotiations .

For the kind of advantages that the rack offers, its well worth the price. Its a one time investment.
Coming to what I said about the fitting, the only part that is unique for each car is the clamping mechanism. Otherwise all the parts are universal.
This footpack for instance is compatible with various other cars as well, can take a load of up to 100 kg.

There are other companies that make racks. Which I have used, but the problems I faced with them is that they rattle, and just feel wobbly.
I'm really sorry, I cannot recall their names. Will find out and let you know.
Thule, on the other hand feels rock solid.

In my case, the cars would be used for 5-7 maybe more. So the cost of the foot pack is worth the fact that they might not be replaced.

Last edited by mango_pal : 13th May 2013 at 13:19.
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Old 13th May 2013, 17:34   #18
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Default SARIS Solo single bike car rack

Hey Guys,

Glad you brought up this topic. I was wondering where to post this.

Ever since I took up cycling seriously (that was about 2 months back) I have been on the look out for a car rack for my bike. Most of the research was done on the net. I wanted one for my Cruze and so roof mounted ones were not an option as I didnt want to fix roof rails or the like. Hitch mounted ones were again out unless I made some modifications, which again I didnt want to.

So I was left with only one option. Boot mounted ones only. Did some research and found some on the BSA website and also on the Firefox site. Firefox had only the SARIS range and they were quite expensive. The BSA website had cheaper ones but none of the showrooms had one in stock.

Anyway, one day I happened to pass by the Firefox showroom in Coimbatore. (Just buy Cycles are the dealers) and saw the SARIS bike rack there. It was a bit expensive at over Rs.4140 for a single bike carrier. I have only one bike but I wasnt ready to spend so much. Still, I wanted to try it out and told them to give me a demo on my car, which they willingly did. They even put one of their cycles on it and asked me to take a test drive since I wasnt very convinced about the mountings. It was only held in place by straps and rubber mountings.

Later I asked them if they had a cheaper option. They said they would order a BnB twin bike rack. This was slightly cheaper and I thought why not 2 for the price of one if I do end up with 2 bikes some time? So I waited.

As soon as the piece arrived at the showroom, they called me and I went there promptly. Now this one was much more complicted than the SARIS one. It was quite heavy and I felt it was too cumbersome to fix. It would never fit into the boot either, just in case I need to put it into the boot. Somehow, it felt too heavy and with two bikes, I felt it would put too much load on the boot lid.

So finally I decided to go for the SARIS single bike carrier.

It takes about 3 minutes to fix. Only additional precaution you need to take is to add some padding to the pedal touching the boot lid. I also secured the handle bar/front wheel with an additional strap (flourescent green in the picture) that I always carry in my car.

I took my bike to Kotagiri from Coimbatore and back (thats about 75 kms one way) over mostly good roads. I always take the Annur route. Initially I was a little doubtful and stopped every 15 to 20 mins to check the rack. But it held on firmly and then eventually I began to trust it. The manual says not to exceed 100kms/hr. I was so worried it would just fall apart and some poor 2 wheeler guy coming behind would run into it. But once I started trusting the set up I hit 100 at times.

The lateral forces as you go up the twisty mountain roads didnt cause any problems. The Cruze is quite wide so the bike doesnt stick out on either side although the pictures may suggest otherwise. Probably because of the camera angle. You can barely see the rear tire on the left ORVM. Cant see the front tire on the ORVM at all. Narrower cars may need to pay attention to this.

The advantage that the boot mounted set up has over the roof mounted one, I felt, apart from the safety issues, is that you can always watch your bike and the rack in your inside RVM.

On the return journey, I barely stopped to check. I am quite happy with it and would recommend it to fellow bhpians. The manual says it can be mounted on SUVs, hatch backs and sedans. The rack has a maximum load capacity of 16kgs. So I am not sure if the regular MTBs from the BSA Hercules and Hero stables can be carried on this model.

Bike racks are a little rare in this part of the world and people find it quite amusing. I even had a couple of guys on a motor bike behind me taking a video.

By the way, a little off topic. Cyclists should try the Kotagiri-Coonoor road. Absolute bliss for cycling. With lots of ups and downs. When you are struggling on the way up and are just about to give in, you will find the road going down ahead of you and it prods you on. I spent 2 hours on that road every day for 2 weeks. Lovely!! Try it.

Attaching a few pictures of the rack with and without the bike.
Attached Thumbnails
Questions About Roof Racks / Carriers / Bicycle Carriers-img_20130510_094807.jpg  

Questions About Roof Racks / Carriers / Bicycle Carriers-img_20130510_114712.jpg  

Questions About Roof Racks / Carriers / Bicycle Carriers-img_20130510_085858_1.jpg  

Questions About Roof Racks / Carriers / Bicycle Carriers-img_20130510_090351.jpg  

Questions About Roof Racks / Carriers / Bicycle Carriers-img_20130510_090623.jpg  

Questions About Roof Racks / Carriers / Bicycle Carriers-img_20130510_114659.jpg  

Questions About Roof Racks / Carriers / Bicycle Carriers-img_20130510_085824.jpg  

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Old 13th May 2013, 18:54   #19
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Default Re: Questions About Roof Racks / Carriers / Bicycle Carriers

I have one basic question. I had heard that fixing the roof carrier is illegal in India for private vehicles. If somebody wants to do it, he has to get it approved from RTO. Is this true? How is the experience of the members who use roof carriers? Do you get stopped by Traffic Police often?
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Old 13th May 2013, 19:45   #20
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Default Re: Questions About Roof Racks / Carriers / Bicycle Carriers

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Originally Posted by shipnil View Post
I have one basic question. I had heard that fixing the roof carrier is illegal in India for private vehicles. If somebody wants to do it, he has to get it approved from RTO. Is this true? How is the experience of the members who use roof carriers? Do you get stopped by Traffic Police often?
I had a roof carrier on my Scorpio for 7 years and never have I been stopped by the police. As far I know, as long as you dont have anything sticking out of the dimensions of the car, they wont trouble you. What I mean is that if you are carrying regular luggage like suit cases you wont draw much attention. However, any oversized items or dangerous looking items will definitely invite frowns from the grease loving pandu.

Having said that, I dont know what the law says about the legality of roof carriers on private vehicles. There is a similar thread here on the legality of bicycle cariers.
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Old 13th May 2013, 22:31   #21
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Default Re: Questions About Roof Racks / Carriers / Bicycle Carriers

Quote:
Originally Posted by shipnil View Post
I have one basic question. I had heard that fixing the roof carrier is illegal in India for private vehicles. If somebody wants to do it, he has to get it approved from RTO. Is this true? How is the experience of the members who use roof carriers? Do you get stopped by Traffic Police often?
It was actually quite funny with the bikes on the Chevy Beat. Everyone used to stare at the racks. Most thought we were advertising the bikes.
Two white bikes on a white car.

Funnily enough, even cops at the state borders stopped us to make conversation and ask what the bikes were for, out of plain curiosity. One cop even invited us inside for a cup of tea!

So I don't think the legality is in question at all.
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Old 14th May 2013, 09:50   #22
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Default Re: Questions About Roof Racks / Carriers / Bicycle Carriers

Quote:
Originally Posted by shipnil View Post
I have one basic question. I had heard that fixing the roof carrier is illegal in India for private vehicles. If somebody wants to do it, he has to get it approved from RTO. Is this true? How is the experience of the members who use roof carriers? Do you get stopped by Traffic Police often?
Fixing roof racks or carriers on a private vehicle is not illegal. To fix one to a commercial / transport / tourist vehicle, one might need a prior permit from the RTO. If my interpretation of Rule 128(9) is correct, roof racks are banned on tourist buses completely.
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Originally Posted by SS-Traveller View Post
The MV Rules has no specific bar on luggage being carried on the roof of a personal passenger vehicle. Rule 128(9) of the MV Rules, 1989 relates to goods / luggage not being permitted to be carried on the roof of a transport / tourist vehicle...
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Old 14th May 2013, 14:17   #23
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Default Re: Questions About Roof Racks / Carriers / Bicycle Carriers

This reminds of an incident that happened last weekend.

I was behind a Tata Sumo in a shopping mall entrance queue. Once I got my car checked & tried getting inside the parking, the entrance was blocked. The Sumo which was ahead of me had a roof rack with some luggage in it. The driver did not realize & went straight in. Due to low roof height the vehicle got stuck.

Now, for SUVs which are usually very tall, fixing a roof rack would enhance the height & may pose problems in underbridges & Parking lots.

I also agree that they look ugly but something like this won't
Attached Thumbnails
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Old 15th May 2013, 12:22   #24
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Default Re: Questions About Roof Racks / Carriers / Bicycle Carriers

Just to update,

I got the following quote for just the Thule rack for Innova:

1. THULE FOOTPACK 754 - Rs.8500.00
2. THULE AEROBAR 862 - Rs.7000.00
3. THULE KIT 1357 - Rs.3000.00
4. THULE LOCK - Rs.3000.00

A total of Rs21500/- + shipping costs of about Rs 700/-

Also called up Hiker office in Bangalore, who directed me to their Delhi dealer. Called the dealer who offered the Hiker rack (removable) + aluminum luggage tray for Rs 8000/- approx

Since I would need the rack for max 2-3 times a year, I will rather opt for the HIker product.

On a side note, I was told by the sales person from Methods that Innova is rated to carry 60kg luggage on its roof, and the Thule rack has a rating for 70kg.

Another side note, I am amazed at the innovative car/MPV/SUV luggage carrying solution provided in western countries. I looked these up via you tube. I feel there could definitely be demand for such products in India.
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Old 16th May 2013, 17:52   #25
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Default Re: Questions About Roof Racks / Carriers / Bicycle Carriers

Wonderful to see your rack for the bicycle. Yes Conoor - Kotagiri is one of the best scenic roads and every single feet of road can be enjoyed.
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Old 18th May 2013, 04:39   #26
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Default Re: Questions About Roof Racks / Carriers / Bicycle Carriers

I use a "Thule Ranger 90" for my Indica, the advantages are


1. Latching it up is very easy
2. After use it can be folded for easy storage

I got this from abroad, not sure if this is available in India

Some pictures
Questions About Roof Racks / Carriers / Bicycle Carriers-img2011120200309.jpg
Questions About Roof Racks / Carriers / Bicycle Carriers-img2011121600364.jpg
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Old 18th May 2013, 22:59   #27
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Default Re: Questions About Roof Racks / Carriers / Bicycle Carriers

Did you procure the cross bars separately? Does the bag have a hard base? This is simmilar to mine albeit more neat and smart looking.
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Old 18th May 2013, 23:52   #28
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Default Re: Questions About Roof Racks / Carriers / Bicycle Carriers

My cross bars are Thule SquareBar and the feet is Thule Rapid System. It is very easy to mount. The base of the bag has verticals rails, so it is fold-able horizontally.
My crossbars are square bars, it is noisy without the bag. I have noticed that once the bag is mounted it is very quite.

The folded picture
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Old 19th May 2013, 10:28   #29
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Wondering whether to enhance the luggage carrying capacity of the Yeti by buying a roof mounted Thule Box. I know that this will significantly alter the car's driving dynamics though.
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Old 20th May 2013, 00:48   #30
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Default Re: Questions About Roof Racks / Carriers / Bicycle Carriers

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Originally Posted by RGK View Post
Wonderful to see your rack for the bicycle. Yes Conoor - Kotagiri is one of the best scenic roads and every single feet of road can be enjoyed.
Thanks RGK. I spent a lot of time on that post. I have heard that people cycle up to kotagiri from mettupalayam. Its a lovely road, but I dont fancy riding up all the way.

Last edited by SCORPION : 20th May 2013 at 01:02.
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