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802



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Join date : 2015-03-16
Age : 55
Location : Vermont

PostSubject: Bicycle rack?   Fri Apr 03, 2015 6:19 pm

What is the preferred bicycle rack on these wagons?
Roof mount -- rear mount -- hitch mount?

Anyone had any experience, good or bad?
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Andebe

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PostSubject: Re: Bicycle rack?   Fri Apr 03, 2015 8:18 pm

My fav? Drop the tailgate,throw it inside.
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802



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Join date : 2015-03-16
Age : 55
Location : Vermont

PostSubject: Re: Bicycle rack?   Fri Apr 03, 2015 8:53 pm

Andebe: That's what I've done so far; quick and convenient.
 I'm envisioning a longer trip where I use the back for other things, and want the bikes along the way or at the end.

Sting: Hitch mount seems the obvious route, but sometimes my tail drags a bit on uneven terrain (New springs and shocks in the box waiting to be installed).

The roof is so substantial I thought there might be a good "App" for up there.

I have trunk mount racks from when I drove cars, but I didn't know if there might be a similar tool for a station wagon hatch.
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Swaggerwagon



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Age : 36
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PostSubject: Re: Bicycle rack?   Tue Apr 07, 2015 9:04 pm

A fantastic question! I've been kicking this around in my head for the last week or so. I hate to throw a muddy, oily bike in the cargo area, when I have a half acre of sheetmetal above me! I'm thinking of making a bracket, and putting a 'quick-release' bicycle axle on it. Then using hose clamps to attach it to the front roof rack bar. Then I can take off the front wheel, and clamp the bottom of the fork to the bracket. But I don't know how to secure the rest of the bike....
Sure a homemade bicycle rack gives off a 'whiskey-tango' vibe, but if I had any self respect , I wouldn't love this car the way i do!!!'
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802



Posts : 97
Join date : 2015-03-16
Age : 55
Location : Vermont

PostSubject: Re: Bicycle rack?   Wed Apr 08, 2015 2:32 am

The "Whiskey Tango" vibe works for me, after all I drive a rusted 20 year old station wagon, even if it is a Buick.  "Whiskey Tango Fox-Trot!"

I have no experience with roof racks, but the available acreage does seem inviting.

I'd be curious if you develop your concept further. Junk yard cross members seem fairly common.

I need to change my hitch and do rear suspension before investing in a hitch mount anyway, plus I'd think the roof would interfere less with gate access.

For "Tossing it in the back," I keep a blue tarp folded up back there for snow and mud.  Can't get much more Whiskey Tango than blue tarp!
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WDN40



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Join date : 2015-03-05
Location : Mendocino Ca.

PostSubject: Re: Bicycle rack?   Wed Apr 15, 2015 12:49 am

I have not done this upgrade yet to my 94 RMW, but it is on the list. I have spent time on Yakama's web site and they claim to have a system that works with the roadies existing roof tracks. Then get the cross bar length you want and bike rack of choice. I looked at the system for the Roadmaster sedan to get the info for installing a single cross bar over the drivers head so I can put a kayak on the roof and not have it hang off the back of the car. In total that would be 3 cross bars.
The reason I haven't done this yet is cost. Yakama is expensive new. Over $600 for the set up I want. I have spent more time on Craigslist looking for the Yakama pieces I need to do job. Hoping used will be affordable.
I do have the small trailer hitch (1 1/4) on my RMW and have a Thule 2 bike rack hitch rack (that goes on the wife's Sentra). It works great but you are unable to open the tail gate drop or swing, only the glass. And if bikes are on it you may or may not be able to open the rear glass at all (depends on handle bar widths). Lets not forget tail swing. Add another 2 1/2 feet of length to the rear end. You might hit a sign post when pulling away from the curb.
For now its in the back on top of cardboard (because it matches the tan interior) and its cheaper.
A bike shop is a good place to check too. I hope this helps.
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802



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Location : Vermont

PostSubject: Re: Bicycle rack?   Thu Apr 16, 2015 11:45 am

Thanks,
I haven't really scoured the catalogs yet, hoping guidance here would narrow the search.
Perhaps studying their technology will suggest a DIY mod.
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Sprocket

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PostSubject: Re: Bicycle rack?   Thu Apr 16, 2015 2:48 pm

I have used a hitch mount on mine. I recently had my roof racks off the chevy for painting (different than the Buicks) and in either case, it wouldn't be hard to fabricate something to work with the existing rails. Considering what a set of racks cost, a couple of 2x4s some good screws and washers and I think you could have something durable and made to order for the bikes up top. I like the back for height clearance and wind resistance (more so). My hitch mount works with both class II and III receivers and has a pin at the bottom so I can tilt it down and still get in the tailgate without having to take the bikes off.
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802



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Join date : 2015-03-16
Age : 55
Location : Vermont

PostSubject: Re: Bicycle rack?   Thu Apr 16, 2015 4:01 pm

Thanks.
It looks like most of the catalog roof racks would clamp onto the OE raised crossbars (is that a difference between Chev/Olds and Buick, or different model years?), so one wouldn't have to invest in the entire catalog name brand roof "system."

It also suggests that a DIY clamp and trough system wouldn't be too complicated, if one were so motivated (and didn't mind looking a bit "Whiskey-Tango.")

I guess the choice (for me anyway) is how often I'd scratch the paint lifting the bikes up top, vs. how inconvenient a hitch rack limiting access to rear gate (which could be mitigated by a fancy hitch rack).

Thanks for the discussion. This forum is a great sounding board for thinking things through.
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autoarcheologist

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PostSubject: Re: Bicycle rack?   Wed May 27, 2015 7:07 pm

I'm getting too old to hoof bikes up on top. A simple class 1 or 2 hitch will hold a bike rack. Plus you get better mileage without bikes on top, and are less likely to forget them and go into a garage. Had a friend do that recently, ouch.
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Wagon Collector

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PostSubject: Re: Bicycle rack?   Thu Jun 18, 2015 9:20 am

With the wagons being short, I like the roof racks... it's easy to heft the racks up onto these cars.  I like them better than the hitch racks because a wagon with a hitch rack is very long and sometimes difficult to park without risking parking lot damage to the bikes.  Also I have custom/expensive bikes and I don't trust the guy behind me that's texting and driving.  I just need to remember not to drive into the garage or under low clearance with the bikes mounted.

Anyway, Thule makes a cross bar system that fits our cars.  I like them because they are level and keep bikes perpendicular to the ground:



As for the rack itself, I really like my 1upUSA rack, made here in the USA.  Very well made.  They way it mounts there is no reason you couldn't grab the factory cross bar.  The only issue is the cross bar has a bow so ideally you'd want to machine a wedge or block to level the rack side-to-side.  Or just go with a bike that leans outward slightly:



Hope this helps!
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Winger67



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Join date : 2016-04-16

PostSubject: Re: Bicycle rack?   Tue Apr 19, 2016 4:18 am

I have a Thule Sidearm bike rack that I used with my Jeep's stock cross bars.  Was hoping to use it with my '95 Caprice wagon but the cross bars are about 3/4" too wide and interfere with the rack's clamps.  Was thinking of notching the cross bars.  Would they still be strong enough to hold the rack and bike?  
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dmg4

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PostSubject: Re: Bicycle rack?   Tue Apr 19, 2016 2:39 pm

Thule hitch rack. It's well built and not expensive. Mine can carry three bikes. I've not had problems with overall vehicle length or ground clearance. If some texting dipsh*t hits the rear, I get new parts, paint, rack, and bikes from their insurance. If they balk, my neck will hurt too.
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Winger67



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Join date : 2016-04-16

PostSubject: Re: Bicycle rack?   Fri Apr 22, 2016 5:58 am

I've got a Saris hitch rack but can't get the car in the garage with it on. These wagons are huge!
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sandalboy692



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PostSubject: Re: Bicycle rack?   Sat Apr 30, 2016 11:55 am

Having had both Yakima and Thule rack systems for my various cars, I'd choose a hitch mount rack.  I have a Thule system on my wagon roof and only use it for cargo boxes, kayaks, and sheet goods now.  I got a Softride 4 bike hitch carrier and would never go back to putting bikes on the roof.  First of all you would not believe how much fuel it wastes carrying bikes on top. The last car where I carried bikes that way lost at least 5 mpg on the highway.  The next problem is that it can be hard getting everything on and off without something to stand on, even then you risk dinging your car. Other issues are bug spatter on your bikes, noise, and hitting low roofs.

The hitch rack eliminates all of those problems. The main two issues with hitch racks are solved with money. Sagging rearend and blocked rear door.  They make racks that pivot rearward or off to the side which makes the rear door accessible.  They just cost more money.  Rearend sag is fixed by replacing your worn car parts and possibly adding airlift bags in your coil springs.  The one downside that comes with bikes in back is they will see more dust which isn't easily solved.

As for my Softride rack, it's been great but after having it, I'd prefer one that pivots to the side rather than rearward.
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MG Davis

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PostSubject: Re: Bicycle rack?   Sat Apr 30, 2016 12:42 pm

Still trying to get this on top... ;-)


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Dropkick_Eddie

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PostSubject: Re: Bicycle rack?   Fri May 06, 2016 7:55 pm

I plan on getting a hitch style as well, but for anyone reading this I usually just ziptie the handlebars and seats to the roofracks:)  (seat under the front rack for roadmaster) It's also the only place I can fit my old adult tricycle;) Anyways, works in a pinch and always holds up well, even on a 400+mile trip! But yeah- does kill the MPG:(

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