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Old 11-10-2009   #1
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Bike carrier

Well I fitted my Fiat (Thule) roof bars today.... pretty simple job really.

Fitted the Thule Freecycle 530 carriers I purchased then trial fitted up the missus bike, but jesus the bike sits far forward!

Does this look right to you guys? Bike was rock solid on the carrier but just curious if its so far forward because the 3-door has its roof bar mounts quite far forard!
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Old 12-10-2009   #2
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Re: Bike carrier

Looks about right. As long as its secure. It's an opticle illusion because the bikes wheels are longer than the two bars on their mounted possitions if this makes sence?
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Old 12-10-2009   #3
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Re: Bike carrier

Cool thought so, just hangs over the top of the windscreen a bit, although I'd have to be a dwarf to look up and see the front wheel lol, I sit pretty far back.
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Old 12-10-2009   #4
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Re: Bike carrier

It's not that different to mine (in Gallery) except when I look up I get to see the bike sway on the bends (and make sure it's still there)
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Old 12-10-2009   #5
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Re: Bike carrier

Crikey! Won't you have to watch it going through tunnels and past low trees?
Whoosh! Bike on the floor and/or heavy damage to car.
How do you get the thing up there? Do you have to park under a bridge and have the bike lowered on to it?

Much prefer my rear bike carrier. Two bikes, off and riding in seconds without a hernia
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Old 12-10-2009   #6
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Cool Re: Bike carrier

Quote Originally Posted by Deckchair5 View Post
How do you get the thing up there?
He got muscles like Garth so watch out if he knocks on your door..
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Old 12-10-2009   #7
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Re: Bike carrier

Quote Originally Posted by Deckchair5 View Post
Much prefer my rear bike carrier. Two bikes, off and riding in seconds without a hernia
I've used both methods and there's no question it's easier sticking it on the roof (get some exercise too ) and having free entry to the hatch is a major bonus too.

On the other hand, it's far more economical to have the bikes low on the back and no height restrictions either.
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Old 12-10-2009   #8
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Re: Bike carrier

Then there's the roof bars. They take me at least 15mins to put on and I'm well practised at those now. The sun would be gone by the time i got that lot installed.

Can you install the bike on the roof on your own? Or do you need someone to hold and someone else to clamp it in place?

Because my bikes are off and the rear carrier is off in 1 min then access the the boot is always there (my dog would get cheesed off waiting to be let out otherwise)

That just looks so unstable with the bike up there and where does the roof box go?
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Last edited by Deckchair5; 12-10-2009 at 12:43.
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Old 12-10-2009   #9
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Re: Bike carrier

I went this route for several reasons!

1. Official Stilo roof bars. On which I've mounted the same brand Thule reasonably high spec carriers.

2. I didn't want un-necessary hacking of the rear loom to fit a rear mounted carrier as I've not seen a single rear mounted carrier thats not been illegal (other than the high mounted van rear carriers). You've always got some obstruction of the lights or numberplate. Which basically means you need to mount a light bar on the bikes.

3. You loose access to the boot while bikes are mounted on the boot! So roof mounted means no need to roofbox as you've got your entire boot to play with for packing.

It does look quite high but it was no bother (for me anyway) to lift my bike up onto the rails, the lock to the bike frame is a piece of cake to fit with 1 hand while you hold bike stead with the other. As for the height itself, well a transit van is taller, and i've not seen one of them stuck under a low bridge! Plus trees tend to be well pruned by double decker buses so I doubt that's going to be much issue either.

My only concern is that no mater how tight you pull the front wheel strap the wheel is still able to move slightly from side to side.... thank god I don't have a sun roof to watch it lol.

Got my dad coming over one night as he's got Thule carriers on his Volvo so he can check the fitting for me, although to be honest even someone with substandard IQ could fit the Thule carriers in less than 5mins.

Oh and I won't be removing the carriers when I reach my destination as I plumped up the extra cost to b uy the locking version. Locks to your roof rack, and also locks your bike to the carrier (although I wouldn't trust that for a day in a carpark lol), certainly put off the opportunist thief!

My only other concern is muck.... i'll have to take some cleaning cloths along with me to clean the bike wheels before roof mounting them to avoil fall out on the roof and potential damage.

Now i'm scuttling off to check Argo gallery lol
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Last edited by StiloBoy; 12-10-2009 at 12:54.
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Old 12-10-2009   #10
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Re: Bike carrier

I'd say having the bike on the roof is more for cycling enthusiasts - since un/mounting of the bike can be done so quickly - and you pretty much know it's going to be secure which it often not the case for rear mounted.

Having to mount the roof bars & the carrier (especially if carrying say 4 bikes) is a lot of work and I wouldn't want to make a habit of it - so I'd expect it to be left on during the whole cycling season.

It's remarkably stable at speed (mine's seen 3 figures when I had a silly moment and forgot the bike was on top ) but have to admit at certain speeds, and side winds the bike can sway unnervingly when looking up through the sky-roof which soon has you thinking of the Tacoma Narrows Bridge disaster

You can actually open the skyroof with the bike mounted which is rather handy if it looks like it might be going somewhere on it's own and you need to grab it quickly
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Old 12-10-2009   #11
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Re: Bike carrier

Lol so now I can pretend i'm a cycling enthusiast, right up until I fit my cheap mountain bike and my girlfriends cheaper mountain bike haha!

I fitted the Thule carriers in about 5 minutes! The roof bars took about 30mins all in, but that was partly because I had to follow the instructions as it was the first install, I also needed a hand for this as I didn't relish trying to fit them on my own!

They'll be getting removed again at the end of next week and probably won't be re-fitted until next year.
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Old 12-10-2009   #12
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Re: Bike carrier

Now you can't call yourself a mountain bike enthusiast if you only go places where transit vans and double decker buses go
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