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I am looking to up grade my rear trunk rack for a roof rack. I have a 2002 Honda Civic 2dr and my wife has 2001 Pontiac Grand Am 4dr. I want something that come possibly go on both car if I needed. Also one that would fit another small sedan if we up grade cars. I am not sure if they are compatible or not.

I also want peoples opinion on the a rack system with front fork insulation or front wheel.

I have searched online. I looked at Thule and Yakima. Any other suggestions.

Where to buy etc?

Cheers
 

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Roof racks are car specific. You may find racks that fit a Civic and isn't compatible with the Grand Am base on gutter/gutterless, roof width, and other variables. If you're looking for affortable roofracks, Sportrack makes decent ones. I've used them for my 89 Civic hatchback and 87 BMW coupe. I currently use Thule because Sportrack doesn't have a model for my current 98 BMW 4 door. However, the bike attachments are transferable between the roof rack models. If possible, look for ones with rectangular bars as they are most universal for roof rack accessories ..
 

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Spicy Dumpling
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IMHO I'd go for a hitch rack for both cars. You may need to buy a hitch but it would be worth it in the long run. You can swap racks much easier and you'll save a lot in gas mileage by going to the hitch mount. Our mileage dropped over 3mpg when bikes were on our roof rack. And if your wife has to load the bikes it will be much easier with a hitch rack. We have a performance export (Hollywood) that has wheel trays that don't require removal of the wheels.
 

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duh...
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rlim said:
Roof racks are car specific...
not quite correct... often only new clips and some adjustments are needed to transfer b/w cars. that said, it can be a PITA for some



rlim said:
If possible, look for ones with rectangular bars as they are most universal for roof rack accessories ..
some- including Yakima- would argue that round bars are best. regardless, there are inexpensive adapters made to fit mounts to different shaped bars
 

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Ditto plug for the hitch or rear mount. I bought the thule rear strap on rack, and gotta say it works great; tighten the belts and bikes are quite secure. Plus, less drop in mileage, which nowadays is a factor.
 

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Roadie with unshaven legs
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I would not try to build a system to fit two cars on the cheap. You can get away with swapping trays between two complete sets of load bars/feet/mounting kits but trying to save money by swapping mounting kits between two sets of bars/feet would be more of a PITA than anything else. You have to consider that the load bars for one car may be too short for the other. If you buy longer bars to fit the larger car they would stick out and possibly hit someone on the head as they are getting into or out of your car. The feet position between different cars would be different, too, meaning that you would have to reposition the feet every time you swap, which is not exactly easy to do, neither. Also, the threaded rod that is part of the locking mechanism to mount the feet to the car can be cross-threaded if you are constantly taking it off and putting it back on again. It's just not worth it.
 

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Roof racks equal bugs on bike, lower mpg and eventually, you will smack you bike into the garage or the sign at Jack in the Box.
Hitch racks are better. I ended up with the Thule T2, per recommendations on this forum. It works great, but is a heavy SOB at 52 lbs. So don't plan on taking it on an off very often. Check out a Thelma, I did not, but wish I had.
 

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I've used a Yakima system for years with my kayak and had no problems. With a different car, you'll need a new set of towers and possibly crossbars. This can be a pain to change so if you're going to need racks for two cars, get the towers and bars needed for each car. With my bike, I use the Steelhead. This goes on after the towers/bars are on the car anyway, so you'd only need as many of these as the number of bikes you want to carry - you'd use these with the different racks for both cars. With kayak saddles it's a lot more of a hassle because of how they're adjusted but none of that applies to bike carriers.

Downside? Cost... I've never hit anything, but there are plenty of stories out there! You might want to put something on your dashboard to remind you there's a bike on the roof.
 
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