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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello... my first post here. If this has been discussed before, sorry for duplicating...

My new 4-door red GTI will be here mid-to-late December. My first new car in too long...

I see a few threads down some folks talking about Thule and Yakima racks, which reminded me I need a way to transport my bikes on my new car.

I see that VW has a bike rack as an option, but not knowing anything about it, I thought I would ask here... anyone have one... like... love... hate it?

I also did some research for a Hidden Hitch. It appears they have one for the 2-door, but nothing listed for the 4-door model. I called them to see if they knew whether or not the 1-1/4" would fit the 4-door, but they were clueless. I like the idea of a bike rack for the back of the car... one that doesn't touch the paint. Any experience here as to whether the hitch will fit the 4-door car?

The big issue is that I have a Lefty on my Cannondale Jeykll. It's sort of a pain to take off the front wheel, so I need to haul the bike with the wheel left on... though I can take off the wheel and use a Lefty adapter...

I appreciate any experience you can share on the VW roof rack option, and the hidden hitch to be used in conjuntion with a hith-mounted bike rack.

Thanks all! I'm looking forward to hanging out here...
 

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Hey man I had the same problem over the summer, I have a 4 door GTI and, loving the clean looks it did not want to have a roof rack on it. I went to Uhaul to see their collection of hitches for the GTI...they only had 1. To make a long story short, the hitch didn't fit (they claimed it was because it was made for the 2 door and not the 4 door :D )
I ended up going with the roof rack and mountain bike rack the dealer offers and am very happy with it...

check out the thread I started up about it a while ago:
http://myfastgti.com/vw-gti/other-mkv-gti-accessories/bike-rack-for-your-gti/22/
( you'll see on the second page that my cannondale prohpet lefty fits perfectly fine on it)

I have done at least 1000 miles with the bike attached and have had no issues. I do take it on and off all the time and now manage to install and uninstall in less than 10 min...

Hope this helps, and :WELCOME6: to MFG!! O0

-Matt
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
That's exactly what I was looking for...

There was also a link to another thread with a hitch mounted rack... I believe I like the roof rack like you have better.

My concern is the way the roof rack mounts to the car. It seems to me it would scratch the paint and/or cause damage where it mounts. Specifically I'm talking about this picture...

http://img441.imageshack.us/my.php?image=img1008da2.jpg

... but no issues here?

I had a 1988 Honda Civic Si for a number of years. The Yakima rack I had on the roof of that car fit very similarly to the way the VW rack fits the GTI. The Yakima rack wouldn't allow the weatherstripping of the doors to full seal; water would actually make its way into the car if it rained. The rack also left small scratches in the paint... nothing too major, but it did piss me off, and the trim on the door actually ended up bent a little as time passed.

You also say you take the rack on and off all the time... can this be done alone, or do you need a buddy? I can see my 95-pound wife dropping the rack on the car if I asked her to help me remove it...

And two more things...

Did you consider getting another tray other than the VW one. Seems like there'd be a way to mount a Yakima HighRoller (or somthing similar) to the VW rack. But maybe you're happy with the VW tray? It appears to be molded plastic... is it strong enough? Would you rather have a Yakima or Thule tray? Etc.

Which brings me to my final question... locks and such. It appears the VW rack has a lock system similar to that of Yakima judging from the looks of your rack (the circles at each end look like the place where a lock core would go). Does it come with locks or is that a separate purchase? And how do you lock the bike to the rack? I live in Houston... grabbing a bite to eat after a ride could get rather expensive if the bike isn't secured (in the true sense of the word) to the car.

Sorry to be such a prima donna; but since you've gone through this exact exercise, I truly appreciate your input.
 

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ok I have lots of questions to answer to now, but I have nothing better to do so its ok :D

NB said:
My concern is the way the roof rack mounts to the car. It seems to me it would scratch the paint and/or cause damage where it mounts.
The rack is really well built, offering protection where needed...I put mine on/take off at least twice a week (since the summer) and have not noticed any scratches or paint loss.

NB said:
I had a 1988 Honda Civic Si for a number of years. The Yakima rack I had on the roof of that car fit very similarly to the way the VW rack fits the GTI. The Yakima rack wouldn't allow the weatherstripping of the doors to full seal; water would actually make its way into the car if it rained. The rack also left small scratches in the paint... nothing too major, but it did piss me off, and the trim on the door actually ended up bent a little as time passed.

You also say you take the rack on and off all the time... can this be done alone, or do you need a buddy? I can see my 95-pound wife dropping the rack on the car if I asked her to help me remove it...
As you can notice in the pictures I posted on the other thread the rubber weatherstrip does stick out on one of the doors...I haven't had any problems with rain coming into the car though... I've driven my car through a couple of storms with the rack on it and, except for some humidity around the edges of the door, the inner seal kept the rain out.
I remove the tray and both parts of the rack easily on my own, all you need is a little plastic key to loosen the bolts and you can just pull it off.

NB said:
Did you consider getting another tray other than the VW one. Seems like there'd be a way to mount a Yakima HighRoller (or somthing similar) to the VW rack. But maybe you're happy with the VW tray? It appears to be molded plastic... is it strong enough? Would you rather have a Yakima or Thule tray? Etc.
I was actually in a hurry when I made my selection (having wasted a lot of time waiting for Uhaul to order the GTI hitch)...I did check out what REI had to offer, but nothing really good stuck out.
I really like the VW tray... the front wheel (molded plastic) well is kind of tight to fit the wide tire on the bike (I have 2.25 inch) but it definitely fits and in a way holds it a little bit better. I am sure the Yakima or Thule trays would fit, it is a standard attachement. I am in Montreal right now and dont have the rack with me, but I will take some pictures of the attachement setup for you. As far as the sturdiness goes, the tray is strong and does not warp at all when on the car with the weight of the bike.

NB said:
Which brings me to my final question... locks and such. It appears the VW rack has a lock system similar to that of Yakima judging from the looks of your rack (the circles at each end look like the place where a lock core would go). Does it come with locks or is that a separate purchase? And how do you lock the bike to the rack? I live in Houston... grabbing a bite to eat after a ride could get rather expensive if the bike isn't secured (in the true sense of the word) to the car.
Last but not least, the VW bike tray does come with an integrated lock in the griping arm that holds on to the down tube of the bike. it is a lock and key that feels pretty strong which would definitely be difficult to break...

in any case, if you were to your bike on the roof rack, someone could simply slide the bike tray off the roof rack with the bike on it...if you really wanted to leave it on your car for a long period of time, I would attach the bike to the roof rack to the bike with a 'bike lock'.

I hope this helps and I will get some pictures up next week on this thread.

-Matt
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
mattabaziou... awesome! Thanks for taking time out of your day for the detailed answers. I truly appreciate it!

GTIdaho... if you have time, can you address the issues I've presented above? I'm partial to Yakima stuff... it's what I have on the back of my Land Rover... perfect... an old HitchFork that is still performing well.

But my thought was a product designed by the car manufacturer would be less intrusive than a product designed to fit a multitude of vehicles. And my "less intrusive" I mean fit to the vehicle specifically...

Do you have any close-ups of where and how the rack attaches to the car?

And more importantly... what sort of deal can you make me as a 12-year rep? ;)
 

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Here is another thing that might help you make your choice as far as VW product or aftermarket...

The cross bars on this are wider than the car, causing them to stick out, not annoying or anything but it does look odd ::)

http://myfastgti.com/vw-gti/vw-gti-...k-fairing-size-and-yakima-over-thule-t2990/0/

Being made for the GTI/rabbit specifically, the rack and is made to fit perfectly without damaging the car
 

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Hi NB,

Yakima uses a specific clip ( 102 ) shape for the 07-08 GTI. It is physically fit to the car's roof line to ensure a secure fit. We include four 'soft' vinyl pads that help to prevent any marring or damage. We also include specific to the vehicle, what are called the '4M's' measurements which are specific measurements for tower placement. For instance, My 08 four door w/sunroof states that the front two towers should be mounted 5" behind the windshield and so on... very precise. Having said that, Yakima just like the OEM racks made for VW potentially present the same long term problem: If you do not remove your rack on average of four times per year for cleaning and upkeep ( soft pads and roof ) you WILL see a bit of marring and scratching long term. Maintain the rack and the effects are relatively minimal depending on your level of anal behavior. My rating is way high my "Der Meister Schnell" so I feel for you.<< My car's name. Mr Fast, in German.

Weather stripping seals nicely with our Q towers. Will the seals get bent long term? Count on it if you leave your rack on long term... Will happen with any brand that uses an extended clip that interfaces in this way.

Removing the rack takes less than 5 minutes. You can do it yourself since the roof line is lower than most. Not too heavy either, unless you are fully racked up with bike, boat or accessory mounts to add more weight. Then get help. Biggest issue with taking it off yourself is getting enough leverage from one side while lifting it off and preventing the rack from dropping onto the roof again once you begin to take it off? Understand what I mean?

This is a big one: Yakima uses little to no plastic any any of our products. Especially those that are used on the rack itself. Yakima uses an injection molded "zytel" nylon based material that, although it looks like plastic is not even close. Temp., UV, strength testing off the charts.
Use with confidence!

Our new trays are no longer made like rain gutters! They are tubular in our higher end racks now.
We like our new trays alot. Old ones? We compare with Thule, Rocky Mount and the like.
Go tubular! http://www.yakima.com/Product.aspx?id=99

Believe it or not, Yakima uses VW gas cap lock cores! Buy lock cores. Buy more than you need ( I know, sound like a salesman ) so as you add ski in the winter or more bike mounts you have everything keyed to one system. No fun fumbling for keys at the end of a ride, paddle or long day on the slopes fishing through 4 Yakima keys....

Let me know where else I can help.

GTIdaho
 

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Oh and NB,

Will take close ups of the clip and pad interface when I get home off holiday next week.

Never heard that one before. .Sorry Bro, No deals here. Just trying to offering you up the straight ju ju. :-X

Yakima now offers a limited lifetime warranty on all our gear so buy with confidence. It is expensive stuff I know, but if it were all about price, we'd all be drivin' Geo Metro's. ;)

Just reading the last response that I missed:
Unless you track your rack, ( drilling holes into the roof and installing a track system using a control tower ) http://www.yakima.com/Product.aspx?id=171ANY roof rack clip roof rack system regardless of whether it's stamped VW or Yakima or Thule will endure some scuffing as a result of road grim, dirt coupled with vibration and physical contact. Don't be fooled there. I literally was just about to drill my holes when I declined to chance drilling to the wiring harness tied to the sunroof. Yakima does not recommend drilling on cars with sunroof's for this very reason.

Bar length: Yakima calls for a 58" bar. Certainly can go to a 48" if your worried about bonking your head. It's a personal choice. Lay both length bars on top of the roof and decide. It's all about real estate to me. But then I mount a ton of stuff on my roof for long trips so ask yourself some questions about what it is you wish to carry. Short and long term.

GTIdaho
 
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