I'm looking for some advice on a rooftop bike carrier. Thule or Yakima? Which specific models work well with aero downtubes?
I am partial to hitch mounts. For a roof rack, it wouldnt matter what kind of downtube youve got, as they mount at the fork. Too many storys of people ramming thier bikes into their garages or overhead obstructions, and mounts disengaging resulting bikes falling off car roofs on highways.
I have this and I like it a lot... [at least until I bang it at a drive thru! ;) ]
Thule Velo Vise Fork Roof Mount Bike Rack
from what I understand, Thule and Yakima are pretty interchangeable in the sense that if you get bars for one, you can add the components of the other...
my advice: search for a deal on an out of date model or closeout from either brand. the bars and car mounting are usually comparably priced between the two...
What do you have on your roof top currently? Factory crossbars or will you need to buy crossbars for your vehicle?
If you have factory crossbars, last I looked, only Rocky Mounts and Thule have a fork mount that will directly mount to factory crossbars. I currently have the Thule and the only downside to it is that I could only put 2 bikes on top. The only way I can add a third bike is to add a Rocky Mount to it (or so I think, the RM is in the mail).
If you need to get cross bars, then it's pretty wide open. Thules are square bars and Yakima are round bars. Thier components aren't very interchangeable between brands. Rocky Mounts will mount to any system.
What vehicle do you have? If it's an SUV like thing, take Triguys advice and get a hitch rack. I have a roof system on my Subaru, but if it were much taller I'd have a hard time getting my bike on the roof. Ah and yes, I have ran my bike into the garage before. Everyone who has a roof mount has done something similar or will do so in the future.
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