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J

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Discussion Starter #1
Greetings, all

Forgive me if this is a re-hashed topic (and please direct me toward any previous discussions!) but I am looking for advice regarding bike racks for my RAV4. Would prefer a roof mounted rack, but will consider a spare-mount.

Any info out there? Thanks a lot.

Janey
 
K

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Discussion Starter #3
Hi Janey --

I have the factory roof rack on my car and so bought the Yakima Low Rider towers that clamp on to the factory rack. The towers hold Yakima cross bars which are more sturdy than the factory cross bars. On top of that I have a "Tandem Topper" bike rack that work for both a tandem bike and a single. Originally we put the Topper on the factory rack, but I'm actually friends with the guy who makes those racks and he had a cow when he saw it attached that way. So now I have the Yakima system. Which will be great if I want to add anything else on top of the car (and get even worse gas mileage than I do now :) ). BTW, I believe Charlie makes a rack that is just for single bikes, not tandems. He makes a good quality rack -- I'm not saying that because I know him. I've had Yakima and Thule systems over the years and I prefer the Topper.

Kathy
 
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Discussion Starter #4
thanks, Kelly and Kathy!

We ended up buying Thule racks (two came packaged together) for the roof ($175---not too bad)...and it IS a reach! However, we figured out a "system" of getting the bikes off (must look funny to passers-by). :shock: I kind of regret not getting the spare mount one, but we were concernec that it would get in the way of opening the back door.

Anyway, thanks again for the input!

janey
 
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Discussion Starter #5
Bike Racks

Howdy,
Currently I use two bike racks, one roof mount and one spare tire mount.

Roof Mount: Thule Criterium
http://www.thuleracks.com/thule/product.asp?dept_id=8&sku=598

Spare Tire Mount: Thule Spare-Me
http://www.thuleracks.com/thule/product.asp?dept_id=8&sku=963

Also, I use the Thule No-Sway Cages on the Spare-Me:
http://www.thuleracks.com/thule/product.asp?dept_id=8&sku=955


The rising arm on the Criterium makes loading bikes onto the roof a breeze and extremely fast and easy to unload. To load, just position the arm with the clamp open for your bike and... presto! Additionally, you don't have to remove the front tire, which makes it faster to get onto the trail. Note that folks under 5'8"-ish may find this too vertically challenging of a solution.

The Spare-Me rack has been redesigned for 2005 and I can vouch that it's a solidly built and stable design. Tested it through the pothole infested streets of downtown San Francisco and it didn't sway or bounce; those 4 rubber spacers help make a tight fit to the spare tire. With the No-Sway Cages, it 's a terrific setup. Also, you gotta love that even with the bikes attached, you can easily open the rear door -- something you can't do with trailer hitch mounted bike racks unless you spend 3+ times the money.

The Criterium and Spare-Me racks have the same aluminum and black plastic appearance, so they go well together and coordinate well to the stainless steel look of the RAV4 Sport.



"Get on your bikes and ride!"
PCM
 
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Bike Racks

I am new to this forum but wanted to share some great info for those looking for roof bike racks. Toyota has accessory roof bike racks with Toyota logo on the wheel track. These bike racks are actually made for Toyota by Yakima and are for 2006-2007 RAV4's with stock roof racks.

I did a bit of testing when visiting my local Toyota dealer. I took a piece of paper and wrapped it around the crossbar on a stock roof rack of a 2007 RAV4. Guess what? The circumference and shape of the roof rack crossbar is exactly the same as my 2004 RAV4 and would be the same for a 2005 RAV4 as well.

My Toyota dealer wanted $186 for 1 rack + $64 for the mounting kit. Ouch! So I found the parts on ebay from a Toyota dealer for considerably less.

The Toyota part number for the bike rack is PT278-89063 and the attachment kit is PT278-89061.

The bike rack can be easily modified to fit either the drivers side or passenger side of your roof rack so you can get to the locking arm as well as look correctly mounted.

The mounting kit comes with 4 mounting brackets, but the bike rack uses only 3 of the brackets (2 for the front of the rack, and 1 for the rear of the rack). These universal mounts also can be used with the optional Ski/Snowboard Attachment PT278-89062 which sells for about $110. The Ski/Snowboard Attachment uses all 4 of the mounting brackets.

You will find many of these on ebay shown mounted to an FJ Cruiser, Tacoma, 4-Runner, etc., but as long as the Toyota part number for the mounting kit is PT278-89061 this is the exact part for your RAV4 stock roof rack.

I have these bike racks mounted on my stock roof rack now and they are the best! They are lockable as well. They are easily installed and removed. I am a bit of a perfectionist, so it took me a little longer to get the mounting brackets evenly mounted for 2 bikes - about an hour. But 2 bike racks can be easily installed in 15 minutes or less. No tools are required for standard mounting; except a Philips screwdriver when having to modify one of the bike racks so the locking arm and tire straps are reversed. (This modification literally took me less than 10 minutes). Instructions are included and are very thorough.

I highly recommend! Just got back from a 3-week trip with the bikes mounted on the roof and they couldn't have worked any better. :D

Any questions, please let me know. Ed
 
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