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BMW 3-Series (E90 E92) Forum > BMW E90/E92/E93 3-series General Forums > General E90 Sedan / E91 Wagon / E92 Coupe / E93 Cabrio > e91 roof rack: thule vs. yakima vs. oem



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      05-29-2011, 11:21 PM   #1
plokij
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e91 roof rack: thule vs. yakima vs. oem

i'm looking for a crossbar system for my e91 (which has the flush rails on the side) and i'm down to the usual suspects. anyone have recommendations??? thanks.

thule 460R
yakima railgrab
bmw oem base system

i will most likely only be carrying a surfboard or two on this thing, but occasionally will lug some bulkier stuff.

my anxiety:
1.) having to take an extraordinarily long time removing/replacing the system to get the car washed and to reduce wind noise & drag when not in weekly use (like during the winter months).
2.) wind noise & whistling while cruising 80+mph down the freeway
3.) not having the ability to use the sunroof properly
4.) having the system look entirely lame
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      05-29-2011, 11:50 PM   #2
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I have just mounted an original BMW roof rack on my E 91(2009) and the fit is perfect. It will not scratch the coating on the roof rails. I was lucky to find a second hand one at less than half the price. I drove to check for wind noise yesterday but could not detect any difference. It is easy to mount. Do not have sun roof, so can not say anything about it.
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      05-30-2011, 12:02 AM   #3
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I'm probably going OEM once I commit to buying a rack in several weeks. Here's where I'd buy from:

http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/BMW-3...Q5fAccessories

Don't understand why the usual FS price for a second hand base rack (exactly what's offered in the link, just used) is $20-30 higher here on the boards...
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      05-30-2011, 12:06 AM   #4
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get a fairing. my OEM base can make quite a racket on the interstate.
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      05-30-2011, 12:12 AM   #5
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cool, thanks for the input. i'm leaning towards the oem on price alone - the thule system costs twice as much, but the other factors are pretty important... i don't want to scratch any parts or paint while fooling around with adapter clips and i'd prefer not to have thule or yakima logos thrown all over the place - especially on that fairing piece.

i read at least one person saying their audi a4 avant would not open its sunroof due to the low profile of the yakima, and another person - an engineer even - saying that the thule system took him 3 hours to install... yikes.
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      05-30-2011, 12:25 AM   #6
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Quote:
Don't understand why the usual FS price for a second hand base rack (exactly what's offered in the link, just used) is $20-30 higher here on the boards...
wow - the msrp from the oem site is 250! wtf.

Quote:
get a fairing. my OEM base can make quite a racket on the interstate.
thanks, dude. i was afraid of that. but if it's relatively easy to get on/off then i guess i won't mind it so much. driving a ragtop right now is no quiet experience so it may not be that noticeable by comparison...
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      01-25-2012, 03:53 PM   #7
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what rack did you buy

P-
Curious which rack you ended up buying and if you recommend it? I have a 2012 e91 on order and want to get a rack system. I will be hauling bikes and a cargo box for the families stuff on weekend beach trips. My car is coming with the low profile rails and I have had trouble finding info or feedback on systems that work with these rails. Yakima and Thule sites even say they do not have a compatible base- which I find hard to believe...

Is that lemans blue btw? I ordered an m sport with lemans blue over saddle- i haven't seen another e91 in LMB on the road. Can't wait to take delivery!
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      01-25-2012, 04:41 PM   #8
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I have OEM. Goes on quickly, comes off quickly, the tool used to bolt it in resides in my trunk and the rack elements live in my closet.
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      01-25-2012, 08:57 PM   #9
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Thule

I have the Thule and love it. Can attach any of their accessories (bikes, cargo box, ski and snowboard racks, surfboards, etc.) to it easily. Only thing I would do different is go with the aeorbars, but I wanted the match the all black of the car (chrome grill is now gone). Checkout Rack Attack for a great price.
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      01-25-2012, 09:05 PM   #10
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Even though Yakima was once manufactured here, I'd avoid their product. The bike shop installed my racks for free & managed to do $1,000.00 damage to my roof.
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      01-25-2012, 10:01 PM   #11
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I HIGHLY recomend the brand new Thule AeroBlade. Note this is not the same as the aero bars. These new cross bars are shaped like an airplane wing and they are quiet. That was the number one priority for me and they deliver. I leave my bars on all the time and drive alot at highway speed. They just came out a few months ago. I was one of the first to get one.

If quiet is a priority, get these. They work and look good too!
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      01-25-2012, 10:05 PM   #12
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Thanks. I like the look of those, but the thule site tells me are not compatible... I see you drive an '11 e91. which roof rails do you have? I believe there was a choice in '11 of the low profile or traditional. I will have the low profile as there is no choice in '12. If you have the low profile can you tell me the the number for the feet that connect to the rail? thanks
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      01-25-2012, 10:21 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by joshvt
P-
Curious which rack you ended up buying and if you recommend it? I have a 2012 e91 on order and want to get a rack system. I will be hauling bikes and a cargo box for the families stuff on weekend beach trips. My car is coming with the low profile rails and I have had trouble finding info or feedback on systems that work with these rails. Yakima and Thule sites even say they do not have a compatible base- which I find hard to believe...

Is that lemans blue btw? I ordered an m sport with lemans blue over saddle- i haven't seen another e91 in LMB on the road. Can't wait to take delivery!
I got the oem crossbars because I wanted perfect fitment with the low profile roof rails. Got a great deal on them from bmwmercedesparts.com

They take about 15 minutes to put on the first time because you got to measure out and line them up right. But after that, it takes less than 5 minutes to swap them on and off because they leave a slight "fingerprint" mark on the rails where they have been gripping.

Thule actually makes the oem crossbars for BMW. With the cheap price, it was a no brainer for me. Oh, and they come with locks. Thule charges extra for those.

I only needed them for putting Velcro pads on them for surfboards or whatever else needs strapping down. Your needs may differ. I don't know if Thule attachments work with them, but I assume they do. Better talk to Thule about that.

Mine is Le Mans blue indeed! M sport with 6spd man trans. Black interior. Enjoy it.
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      07-26-2013, 07:00 PM   #14
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I was told that Yakima doesn't have one that fits the flush rails. Some say the Rail Grab works but some say it doesn't.

I have all this Yakima stuff and I'm pissed that I'll have to start all over again.

John
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      07-27-2013, 09:01 AM   #15
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I have the thule aerobars with the 460r footpads. The nice thing about thule is that if you want to use the rack on a different car (I also have a cayenne) the foot pads are interchangeable so it is cheaper in the long run (though you need different length crossbars depending on the car). The aerobars also are good so that a fairing is not necessary (per rack attack). All racks create a crapload of noise and I take them off whenever I can as the noise prevwnts the panoramic sunroof from being tolerable.
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      07-27-2013, 09:58 AM   #16
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I have the Thule 460R feet and the Aeroblades. They go on and off the car in about 5 minutes, I almost always leave them off when they're not needed. Wind noise isn't too bad with the sunroof and the sunshade closed, but when the sunshade is open there's a fair amount of noise above 40mph. Can't really open the sunroof as there is quite a bit of noise with it open. I also have a set of Thule Rapid Aero bars, I've been meaning to try them to see if they're any quieter (they shouldn't be, but you never know). They're not as bad with a roof box on.

This system is a bit of a pain to install once it's assembled, as the mounting threaded bolts angle out towards the side of the car slightly - making installation difficult. It's much easier to install if the 460R foot is loosened first, but that takes extra time for each installation to center the bars again. I wish it would just go on and off easily as racks have done on other cars.

Overall though, I think it's a very versatile system, I've used mine with a roof box, bikes, kayaks. I like that the Rapid Aero bars and the Aeroblades have the mounting slot on the top, which means the entire width of the bar can be used.

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