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Roof racks: too ugly?

MikeS85D

Member
Aug 7, 2015
34
1
Los Gatos CA
I've been thinking about getting roof racks for my MS so I can transport our stand-up paddle boards. I would also like to get a rack to mount my bike on top, since putting my bike in the trunk is a bit of a pain. But when I talk to my wife about it, her response is "Well, its your car, so its your decision". Basically that means she thinks the roof racks are ugly and would ruin the look of my otherwise awesome looking car.

Is she crazy or am I? We could use her Honda CR-V for transporting the paddle boards instead, so we don't strictly need them. Road trips are more fun in the MS though. Anyone else out there puzzle over this problem, and what did you decide?
 

cwave1

Member
Oct 26, 2013
317
130
Mississauga, ON, CANADA
I had the same need and the same concern about the look.

I ended up using the Yakima system with the control towers. With the pano roof the control tower base is all that stays on the car. It is only a bit over an inch high and comes with a nice cover. The rack goes on / off in about 10 seconds so it really convenient and you don't have a full rack on the car all the time.

Let me know if you would like a picture of mine with or without the rack on.
 

JohnQ

Active Member
Jan 1, 2012
1,612
75
Redding, CT
I don't find them ugly at all. They're simply practical. What I don't like is the hit on range when not carrying anything ... as @cwave1 says, if you're up for removing them when not in use then go for it.

Don't get me started on the cost of racks and accessories though.
 

jerry33

(S85-3/2/13 traded in) X LR: F2611##-3/27/20
Mar 8, 2012
19,706
22,703
Texas
Not ugly, just range reducing. Hitch mounting is better when possible, assuming you can't put it inside.
 

supratachophobia

Active Member
Sep 24, 2014
3,851
2,681
Columbus, Ohio
I am thinking of getting the rack also. Do we have a consensus on the range hit when not carrying anything.

I've been doing some pretty extensive tests with the Whispbar. The best I can figure with just the bars and no equipment is a 1% hit in range providing that you drive less than 80mph over the course of the charge. You could probably eliminate that and the small buffeting sound by slipping a Lycra sleeve over each post. I'm still working on this since it will keep out the road grime and dirt in the winter too. The best so far had been the sleeve of an under armor shirt.

With the snowboard attachment with boards, it's an easy cap at 10% as long as you keep it under 75mph. Big improvement for doing 65/70 though. And Virtually zero hit at 50.

And the Whispbar is dead sexy. Just stupid expensive.
 

MikeS85D

Member
Aug 7, 2015
34
1
Los Gatos CA
I've been doing some pretty extensive tests with the Whispbar. The best I can figure with just the bars and no equipment is a 1% hit in range providing that you drive less than 80mph over the course of the charge. You could probably eliminate that and the small buffeting sound by slipping a Lycra sleeve over each post. I'm still working on this since it will keep out the road grime and dirt in the winter too. The best so far had been the sleeve of an under armor shirt.

With the snowboard attachment with boards, it's an easy cap at 10% as long as you keep it under 75mph. Big improvement for doing 65/70 though. And Virtually zero hit at 50.

Thanks, that's great news! I think I can handle a 1% reduction in range without noticing. Of course I would expect range to take a hit when I'm actually hauling something on top.

And the Whispbar is dead sexy. Just stupid expensive.

Sounds familiar :)
 
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Dborn

Confirmed
Aug 26, 2011
2,715
357
Sydney, Australia
I have the Whispbars and the Thule bike carrier. The rack makes quite a lot of noise even at city road speeds and with the carrier, it is too noisy to keep on if not being used. The noise alone indicates significant resistance but I have no figures. Since I like to open the roof, I remove it all when not in active use.
 

Alfafoxtrot1

Member
Sep 29, 2012
169
2
Chicago
I got Rhino racks this season for SUP. They're the least expensive but very high quality. It took about 2 hours to install. The pano can still open full. I don't think they detract at all, and may even add to the cool factor. I'm not sure if I'm going to remove them for winter or not. Its a bit of a chore, but I don't think I can use an auto car wash with them on.
 

Sparky

Member
Aug 13, 2012
557
2,711
Glendale,CA
I've been doing some pretty extensive tests with the Whispbar. The best I can figure with just the bars and no equipment is a 1% hit in range providing that you drive less than 80mph over the course of the charge. You could probably eliminate that and the small buffeting sound by slipping a Lycra sleeve over each post. I'm still working on this since it will keep out the road grime and dirt in the winter too. The best so far had been the sleeve of an under armor shirt.
I have the Whispbars. My average Wh/mi over the same 3 month period increased from 334 to 339 so maybe a bit more than 1% (unscientific, I know). They are noisy, so I'd be interested in your findings about how to attenuate.
I take them off once ski season is over.
 

SteveW25561

Member
Jun 10, 2013
614
120
Vancouver, Canada
I got Rhino racks this season for SUP. They're the least expensive but very high quality. It took about 2 hours to install. The pano can still open full. I don't think they detract at all, and may even add to the cool factor. I'm not sure if I'm going to remove them for winter or not. Its a bit of a chore, but I don't think I can use an auto car wash with them on.

How do you like the Rhino Racks? So you have pictures of them on your car? These look like an attractive option compared to the Wispbar system for a lot less money.

Also, how many SUPs did you fit on your rack?
 

mastermason11

Member
Aug 20, 2016
45
16
Cerritos, CA (SoCal)
As an avid cyclist, bike transport is my major concern on any car purchase I do. Although roof racks are not ugly, I personally prefer the looks of the model s without it. Thus, led to buy the seasucker mount. When no transport is needed, no bars or anything are on the car.
 

Jbailey

Member
Jun 8, 2015
203
397
High Springs, FL, 32643
I love my whisbars but always end up taking them off after a few weeks due to the noise and storing them in the back. I have tried virtually everything to decrease the noise ( air deflector, padded covers, even reversing the bars) without success. I wish there were some soundproof covering for the inside of the pano, but haven't found anything yet that looks ok.
 

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