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Old 31-01-2007   #1
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Roof Bars: any point?

I'm still working on spec for an imminent Panda purchase. It seems like in the 2007MY you get a choice of the "aircon pack" with roof bars, or full climate control & no roof bars.

Anyhow.. has anyone used the longitudinal roof bars in anger? From the accessories on the web site, it looks as though a roof box needs horizontal, not longitudinal bars: so if you want to use a roof box and have the longitudinal roof bars, you still have to shell out 90 plus for horizontal bars to fit on the longitudinal ones. This pushes the roof box further into the sky and presumably adds to the mpg-sapping wind resistance!!!

BUT if you don't have the longitudinal roof bars, you can buy from Fiat some horizontal bars which use the same mounting points (so no question of interfering with door seals etc) and cost only 40-odd! Any roof box then sits lower on the car.

SO: aren't the longitudinal bars as fitted in the aircon pack simply pointless cosmetics?? They are bound to have some small adverse impact on fuel economy at speed even without anything on top of them. Also: if you have them on your car, can they be removed when you don't need them (i.e., most of the time)?

Cheers, B.
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Old 31-01-2007   #2
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Re: Roof Bars: any point?

Granted its not a Panda but I've found the roof bars on my Marea very useful. A set of thule bars and clamps (when made available if they're not already) shouldn't cost as much as £90.. The problem with normal roof bars if that if you use them often, each time you fit them, there is a decent risk of damaging the paint on your roof. Fitting to a pre-exising roof bar with a clamp lowers the risk.
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Old 31-01-2007   #3
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Re: Roof Bars: any point?

on the cosmetic front, most of the pandas looks complete with their longy bars on, the litle plugs they put in look ugly on any colour paint except black.

as for practical, they're sculpted in, and i'm sure many hours were spent in a wind tunnel, so can't see them having a big adverse effect of consumption, and like rob says, don't want to risk paint damage
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Old 31-01-2007   #4
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Re: Roof Bars: any point?

agree, pandas without them look odd! there is no fuel consumption issue or noise problem, go for them. however, given the choice between aircon and climate its no contest, the climate wins hands down.
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Old 31-01-2007   #5
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Re: Roof Bars: any point?

Quite agree, once you've had a car with aircon you won't have another without, once you've had a car with climate control you wouldn't have another with just aircon.
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Old 31-01-2007   #6
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Re: Roof Bars: any point?

I prefer the look of the roof bars too. They set off the look of the car especially if you have the black side rubbing strips. I think that Pandas without roof bars and rubbing strips look naked...

And if you are likely to use the roof bars I think it's much preferable to have the pre-fitted longitudnal bars for fitting the roof bars rather than damaging your paintwork fitting and unfitting the horizontal ones. I don't think that having the longitudnal bars on your car means that your load will be carried higher than if you fit the horizontal ones. The roof bars that you fit to the longitudnal bars doesn't raise the load height that much. I think that the horizontal ones that you fit directly to the car carry the load as high as the longitudnal bars + the other roof bars... I don't see any issue with drag with the longitudnal bars, but obviously leaving the horizontal bars on unnecessarily would cause drag, and they'll be easier to fit / unfit on the car with the support bars there already...
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Old 31-01-2007   #7
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Re: Roof Bars: any point?

Quote Originally Posted by b1g1an View Post
Quite agree, once you've had a car with aircon you won't have another without, once you've had a car with climate control you wouldn't have another with just aircon.
I'm used to travelling everywhere in a 156 with climate control. While I could never face a non-air con car again, I'm not sure I feel that way about it having to be climate.

Quote Originally Posted by Wee Smurf
They set off the look of the car
I agree, they do. And, nuovapanda and Jai, I think it's right that any mpg impact will be very small. But, Wee Smurf, the fitting of the horizontal bars to the longitudinal rails as shown on the Fiat web site definitely suggests a higher ride height for the roof box. I suppose there might be other lateral bars that don't rise as far above the rails as those shown by Fiat.

I guess there's no right or wrong answer to this: the rails do protect the paintwork from sloppy fitting of the laterals and they look good. OTOH they cost extra with climate and even the tiniest impact on mpg is hard to justify if I'm unlikely to use the things other than once in a blue moon. Decisions, decisions. Thanks everyone for your contributions.
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Old 31-01-2007   #8
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Re: Roof Bars: any point?

Quote Originally Posted by alfabarry View Post
Wee Smurf, the fitting of the horizontal bars to the longitudinal rails as shown on the Fiat web site definitely suggests a higher ride height for the roof box. I suppose there might be other lateral bars that don't rise as far above the rails as those shown by Fiat.
I disagree... The horizontal bars that fit directly to the car look to sit as high on the roof, as the horizontal ones + the longitudnal ones, cause the rise isn't that much on these ones... I'd attach pics only I don't know how
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Old 31-01-2007   #9
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Re: Roof Bars: any point?

I bought with da roof bars, because I occasionally bolt mountain bikes on top. Then I looked for cheap horizontal bars - about 40.00 for the steel ones. Thule Aero bars are about 75.00, but then summer arrived so I spashed out for the Fiat ones.. The alloy Fiat ones are expensive but 'aerodynamic' if you'll forgive the oxymoron... They only fit one way round if you get 'em - the ends marked A & C go on the drivers side of the car, front and rear respectively (in the UK).

Here's a pic of the 4x4 at work, in a field, as usual. Note mud coloured paint. No roof bars today though.
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Old 31-01-2007   #10
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Re: Roof Bars: any point?

Quote Originally Posted by Wee Smurf View Post
I disagree... The horizontal bars that fit directly to the car look to sit as high on the roof, as the horizontal ones + the longitudnal ones, cause the rise isn't that much on these ones... I'd attach pics only I don't know how
Save them as JPG's on your poot, create a new message then click on the paperclip icon at the top of the message box next to the smiley-thing.

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Old 31-01-2007   #11
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Re: Roof Bars: any point?

Roof bars make the little car easier to pick up and move around!

No, seriously, to attach anything to them you must also have horizontal bars but these are less hassle to fit than the kit for a car with no roof bars. I got my horizontal bars for about 14.99 in Lidl even before I took delivery of the car. I had to do a bit of careful carving of some plastic parts to make them fit but they carried a bike rack and bike fine for 600 miles. However things only appear intermittently at Lidl and I've not seen them since early 2005.
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Old 31-01-2007   #12
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Re: Roof Bars: any point?

But you can buy the Fiat horizontal bars for 50? They are designed to fit the car with (surely) no paintwork damage?? I like the longditudal bars, but i feel they are a bit of a fashion accesssory, and that's why i would like some to complement my naked Panda.... But 175.00? I'm looking for a set from breakers, but i'm not paying that money for something that looks nice.
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Old 31-01-2007   #13
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Re: Roof Bars: any point?

If they have parts that clip or screw into the roof.. There is risk of dropping one or scratching it across the paint.
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Old 31-01-2007   #14
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Re: Roof Bars: any point?

They look so much better with them

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Old 01-02-2007   #15
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Re: Roof Bars: any point?

Am thinking of getting these on my 100hp when i order it would be good for my snowboard and mountain bike.

what do u think they would look like on a 100hp?
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