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Old 09-03-2012, 06:55 PM   #1
Naoki
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Best Roof Racks?

Alright there have definitely been a lot of other threads on this but I want to lay everything out on the table on this thread. Which roof rack is the best? Here's what I've noticed digging through these threads on this site:

Thule: Everyone likes the easy install and how it fits. I, however, am not a fan of the fairing. The Yakima looks a lot cleaner.

Yakima: I've noticed people have the most trouble with these including leaks when it rains because it pushes on the door seal. However, their fairing looks better than Thule in my opinion.

OEM / Votex: People say it fits great. No fairing attachment available. I've seen people put the Thule and Yakima fairings on them but can you guys link the threads that show you how to do this? I've seen one for the Thule but not the Yakima which is the one I would rather get.

Whispbar: I haven't seen any complaints on these but I'm going to take the looks over function stance. I really like the way the fairing looks and I know Whispbars do not need them because they were designed to be aerodynamic to begin with.

What are your guys' experiences with these and how much difference does the fairing make for the Thule and Yakima kits in terms of noise and MPG?

Thank you in advance!
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Old 09-03-2012, 07:24 PM   #2
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OEM!
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Old 09-05-2012, 02:04 AM   #3
duca_87
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Thule ftw



I'll try to get another pic without the bike on it, and a pic with the fairing (I've been too lazy to put that on)

I have noticed about a 6-7 mpg loss, but have heard the fairing saves 2-3.

In HEAVY downpour, on the highway, city streets, and even parked - I have seen only a drop or two on my door's armrest. No notable leaking otherwise. The weather stripping does take the clip's form for a day or so if I leave the rack on for a couple weeks, but they form right back to the door - secondary inner weather stripping (cushion like) still stops any sort of leaking when rain comes down.

Without fairing....better keep the windows/roof closed (roof ok when back side put up) Pretty loud and overbearing to any sort of convo, and even the radio. Again, I've heard this drastically improves when the fairing is installed. Noise becomes background pretty quickly and the rack is unnoticed.

Note: install the fairing before the bike trays...its clips slide on and the trays are in the way of getting the fairing clips to slide where necessary
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Old 09-05-2012, 02:11 AM   #4
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couple more pics




I'm not sure if you can get rails that fit better with the clips (from door to door)...I have a friend with a '06 R32 where the rails fit directly into the clips, instead of the clips clipping under the rails and the rails overhanging (as in rear view picture). I prefer the overhang as I plan to get another 2 trays to carry 4 bikes
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Old 09-05-2012, 09:58 AM   #5
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Awesome review of your Thule rack. Thank you duca_87.
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Old 09-05-2012, 10:09 AM   #6
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LOL those Thule's look ridiculous. The whispbars are the best bars out there period, this is not opinion it is fact. They make zero noise and are built like a piece of aerospace equipment. If you think a fairing looks good then get one - but IMO it makes no sense to pick your bars because you want a fairing. I think they are stupid to each his own.

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Old 09-05-2012, 10:49 AM   #7
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^ Do the Whispbar's hinder the ability to park straight?
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Old 09-05-2012, 11:27 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Powling View Post
^ Do the Whispbar's hinder the ability to park straight?
Anal much?


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Old 09-05-2012, 10:23 PM   #9
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Anal much?
Hahaha.
Looking good! Love the black roof and rack combo. Racks always look better when they are mounted to factory rails instead of door mounts.
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Old 09-06-2012, 12:22 AM   #10
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I like the OEM fitment and install but yeah its loud without the fairing. I have a 44" and had to drill underneath and insert mounting bolts but it really quiets it down. I attached it similair to this tutorial but choose longer bolts and cut off the heads so I could use the hand screw nuts that come with the fairing
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Old 09-06-2012, 02:07 AM   #11
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The Thule fairing looks like a water ski. It does make the OEM roof rack look better though.
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Old 09-06-2012, 11:42 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nikhsub1 View Post
LOL those Thule's look ridiculous.

[IMG]https://dl.dropbox.com/u/2312108/jswtop.jpg[/IG]
I hope you mean the ROOF rack and not the BIKE racks. Because those racks are the shit.

Best combo: Whispbar + Thule 594XT

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Old 09-06-2012, 12:09 PM   #13
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I don't have roof racks for looks. I only have them on when I use them, and I need them to fit good and be durable. I haul canoes, bikes, kayaks, skis, and just about anything else you'd put on top. I had Yakima on my last car, and now I have Thule. I think Thule is better quality after owning both.

I don't have the aluminum aero style bars. I tried them and I liked them, but they are not as tough so I returned them. They are great if you just do bikes and ski racks, not so great if you do canoes and other heavier items. Also, when I bought mine, their website said the faring doesn't work with the aero bars, but it does.

Anyway... pics. The first pic is the aero bars, the rest are the regular and more durable square bars:









Also, here are the Thule aero style bars with no faring:

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Old 09-06-2012, 01:46 PM   #14
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Does anyone know if the JSW has any kind of roof reinforcements since their roof rails bolt to the top of the roof? I'd consider retrofitting a set on my Golf if all I had to do was cut down the aluminum bar that runs longitudinally and bolt them to my roof with some backing plates and then use the Yakima Whispbars for the JSW. I really like nikhsub1's setup and it looks like you could remove the crossbars in a few seconds.


Do parts 7, 8, and 9 mount inside the vehicle?

Last edited by engineered2win; 09-06-2012 at 02:13 PM.
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