Roof Racks, Roof Bars & Cycle Carriers FAQ
I'm new to this business, what is the difference between roof bars and roof rails? Roof rails are factory fitted and run from the front to the back of the vehicle. Roof bars go across the vehicle from side to side and are essential for fitting roof boxes and roof rack accessories.
My car has roof rails fitted; can I fit a luggage deck onto the roof rails without roof bars? No, roof bars are the foundation on which all roof top accessories fit.
I want to fit a Ski/Snowboard carrier to my car; do I require roof bars? Yes, roof bars are the foundation on which all roof top accessories fit.
I’m not very technical, is it difficult to fit roof bars? No, full fitting instructions are supplied with the roof bars, and with a little practice you will become very adept.
When I change my vehicle, is there a roof bar system that fits all gutterless vehicles? No, but with the Thule Rapide system, you only have to buy a new fitting kit in most instances, to suit the new vehicle.
What are the benefits between a Thule roof rack system and a manufacturers roof rack? The principal benefit of buying a Thule roof bar system becomes obvious when you change your vehicle, in most cases you only have to buy a new fitting kit for the new vehicle. The range of custom accessories available for Thule systems is second to none. Price and quality are other factors.
I want to fit roof bars; do you have a picture of one fitted to my type of vehicle. No, unfortunately, there are just far to many different vehicles and variants. Also, it is technically impractical at the moment because of all the different programmes and platforms in use at present.
I am not sure what type of cycle carrier I require; can you give me any guidance. Yes, first decide whether you want to carry the cycles on the roof or the rear, on the roof you require roof bars plus cycle carriers. On the rear you must decide towbar mounted or standalone, see our standalone cycle carriers. Towbar mounted, decide if you require to tow and carry the cycles at the same time, as this affects your options. Only you can make these decisions!
I want to buy a rear mounted cycle carrier, any advice? Yes, berthed wheel carriers are more convenient to use, offer better security and a lot more protection to the bikes and vehicle than a suspended style carrier, but they are also more expensive!
Can you recommend a rear mounted cycle carrier that will not obscure my vehicle lights? No, because rear-mounted cycle carriers are a universal fit, it depends on the position of the vehicle light clusters, with so many different vehicles we just don’t know, sorry.
My cycle carrier, with the bikes onboard, partially obscures my rear lights, is this legal? No, your number plate and lights must be clearly visible, fit a separate lighting board with number plate, this also greatly improves your own safety!
My hatchback has a small high level spoiler fitted; can I fit a Rear Mounted Cycle Carrier? No, rear-mounted carriers are suspended from the rear tailgate; spoilers obstruct the attachment fastener position, also the tensioning straps can damage the spoiler.
I have an imported Japanese vehicle; will the UK style Roof Bars fit? We just don't know, grey import vehicles, are often branded the same, but the roof style is different, especially on Japanese vehicles, the roof bars just don't fit and we have no way of knowing! Sorry.
Can I fit the Fabbri rear wheel mounted cycle/ski carrier, over my spare wheel cover? No, it must be fitted directly on to the wheel and ensure the tyre is properly inflated.!
I want to fit a towbar mounted MaxxRaxx cycle carrier, but I tow a caravan fitted with an AL-Ko Stabilizer, will this cause a problem? Yes, it’s essential that you fit the special MaxxRaxx, Al-Ko foot, 20FT12.
I would like to fit roof rails to my vehicle, do you supply these? No, roof rails require internal roof mounts and are mostly fitted during vehicle manufacture.
My Cycle Carrier fits on the towball, but no mater how much I tension-up it still tilts back. Any ideas? Yes, Attaching any rack to a spherical ball always causes problems, because no matter how tight the fit, due to vibration when on the road, it will move until it can go no further. However the cure is simple, purchase a MaxxRaxx - MXAS01 Auxiliary Strap and your problem will be solved. How this works, is that the 'T' bar on the strap goes inside the boot of the car, the strap is then hooked to the cycle carrier, then tensioned. Problem solved.