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Re: Big Dummy roof racks

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  • nicykathryn
    ... First, let me say that my Yakima Viper recumbent-length rack is mounted to the roof rack of our old AWD Astrovan, taller than most minivans or the RAV4.
    Message 1 of 34 , Jul 2, 2009
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      --- In rootsradicals@yahoogroups.com, "Tone" <tone@...> wrote:
      >
      > Everyone,
      > I know this a crazy idea, but has anyone ever tried loading
      > an Xtracycle/Big Dummy equipped with a Tray-bien (or similar rack) onto
      > a car roof rack. THEN went on to load a standard bike onto the
      > Tray-bien? I am just wondering if a person, who likes to haul other
      > bikes on their Big Dummy and only has one Xtracycle-length roof rack on
      > their car, can save some money by not buying a second roof rack for
      > their car. :-)
      >
      > Ride safe everyone,
      > _TONE_
      >

      First, let me say that my Yakima Viper recumbent-length rack is mounted to the roof rack of our old AWD Astrovan, taller than most minivans or the RAV4. Along with our M&S tires (we do a lot of tricky snow driving as a family of 6), plus the Yakima rack, my overhead clearance for parking garages etc. is 7'4". I am 6' but not at all muscular (well, not my upper body anyway) and I have no trouble hoisting my X up onto the roof, just as Andrew described-- remove Freeloaders and AirZound, remove front wheel, and up she goes.

      Second, I have done long road trips with the X on the roof for years now, and I would NEVER put a standard second bike on a traybien while the X is on the roof. A kid's bike, maybe... Two kids' bikes, or a bike on one side and a backpack or duffle of similar weight on the Wideloader on the other side to balance it out, even better.

      But if I had any sort of load at all on my X while it was on a roof rack, I would DEFINITELY use straps to stabilize that load-- like motorcycle cinch straps, the kind you can buy a set of 4 for $18 at Home Depot, thick orange 1.5" or 2" nylon webbing, with heavy duty steel powdercoated hooks and a steel ratchet mechanism that won't come undone in 100mph wind. (driving through the Morongo Valley pass, from LA en route to Joshua Tree, I regularly find 20mph to 40mph headwinds when eastbound-- worse on a "windy day". On the other hand, the trip home is eerily quiet during that stretch of tailwinds and one gets amazing gas mileage for about 10 miles!)

      I say this because the bike is three steps removed from being attached to your vehicle: bike-to-tray, tray-to-rack, rack-to-vehicle. Hopefully your factory roof rack is firmly attached to your vehicle, but it never hurts to check: I found a bolt that needed tightening, last winter. Then there is some play in the attachment of your tray to that factory rack, and some play in the attachment of your bike to the tray. Put your bike up there and then push it from the side with a broom, you'll see what I mean. Imagine almost doubling the mass of your bike, and adding that mass so it will exert a LOT of leverage on the tray... I'm foreseeing a nightmare on the freeway unless you have serious lateral stabilization. Do not use bungies, either!

      By the way, when bringing kids' bikes, I just use zip ties to attach them to the factory roof rack: flip the little bikes upside down and zip tie the handlebars to a convenient crossbar. The back wheel (trailing behind in the wind) doesn't seem to need anything to hold it down, but a simple bit of rope will do the trick if you think you need it. I can fit three kids bikes between the trays for my Xtracycle and my wife's recumbent. (the trays are as close as practical to the edges, for ease of loading, so lots of room between them)

      In fact, if you don't mind incidental scratches to your RAV4 roof, there is a lot you can do with zip ties and compression straps, without anything more than the factory rack you already have! Old mouse pads make great paint-protectors too, which I didn't realize until I already had some scratches.

      Let us know what you come up with in the end!
      ;-)
    • Andrew Kreps
      ... No worries. I m sure your bar will be fine. My eyeball-on-the-measuring-tape method could easily be off by 1/16th anyhow. :)
      Message 34 of 34 , Jul 8, 2009
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        On Wed, Jul 8, 2009 at 9:01 AM, Tone<tone@...> wrote:
        >             Sorry for my inattention, and thank you for providing those
        > measurements! My follow up question equating your “room to spare” to an
        > extra 1/16” in both dimensions still stands though.


        No worries. I'm sure your bar will be fine. My
        eyeball-on-the-measuring-tape method could easily be off by 1/16th
        anyhow. :)
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