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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 > E90 Roof Rack w/ Bike Attachment Question



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      01-20-2013, 09:51 AM   #1
ndjenks
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E90 Roof Rack w/ Bike Attachment Question

Hi All! ...I'm new here and I wanted to know if anyone had a Roof Rack system (either Thule, Yakima or OEM BMW) on their e90 sedan. I have a 330xi that I would like to put a rack system on so I can carry my bikes. Which system do you guys think works best? Also, has anyone been able to rig a Thule fairing on the OEM BMW racks? Thanks! Pictures would really be appreciated as I am curious to see what they would look like on the car.

Also, please pardon me if this topic is already addressed, if you could kindly direct me to that thread that would be great! Thanks (and sorry in advance)
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      01-20-2013, 10:00 AM   #2
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I'm a fan of RockyMounts bike carriers.

Personally I would go with either Thule or Yakima for the crossbars as then they can be reused on your next car as opposed to the BMW system.

I will get some pics of my setup later... right now I literally just got it all set up the other day. Thule AeroBlades with RockyMounts Euro PitchForks.

However if you have multiple attachments (ski carriers, load stops, etc.) IMHO the old Thule square bars are probably the most functional/versatile if not the most attractive. I got a good deal on the AeroBlades on the List of Craig though, and I don't ski, so they work for me.
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      01-20-2013, 01:35 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by N8N View Post
I'm a fan of RockyMounts bike carriers.

Personally I would go with either Thule or Yakima for the crossbars as then they can be reused on your next car as opposed to the BMW system.

I will get some pics of my setup later... right now I literally just got it all set up the other day. Thule AeroBlades with RockyMounts Euro PitchForks.

However if you have multiple attachments (ski carriers, load stops, etc.) IMHO the old Thule square bars are probably the most functional/versatile if not the most attractive. I got a good deal on the AeroBlades on the List of Craig though, and I don't ski, so they work for me.
How are the aero blades? I hear alot of people complaining about the noise roof racks make and was wondering how those are.
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      01-20-2013, 01:39 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fireline43 View Post
How are the aero blades? I hear alot of people complaining about the noise roof racks make and was wondering how those are.
They're nowhere near silent, as you'd expect... I'd say they're about as loud as a set of square bars plus a fairing (without the fairing.)
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      01-22-2013, 12:27 PM   #5
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They're nowhere near silent, as you'd expect... I'd say they're about as loud as a set of square bars plus a fairing (without the fairing.)
Well how loud are we talking? Like if you have the windows up and radio on, will it be annoying? I'd only want a roof rack to bring my bike on road trips and stuff.
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      01-22-2013, 12:49 PM   #6
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I'm currently looking into this myself, and I've decided to go with OEM BMW.

First, because it's substantially cheaper than the alternatives. I priced out the Thule with the Aero Blades, it came out to be $7xx something (with 2 bike rails), vs. the $500 from BMW.

Second, I heard that Thule actually manufacturers the racks for BMW (this may or may not be true). Either way, I've seen the OEM rack, and it didn't seem of lesser quality.

Third, I was debating between the Aero Blades and the OEM BMW square blades. I decided that with everything else on top of the car, how much can wind noise really be reduced with Aero Blades?

My local dealership was willing to price match Tischer, which is basically 20% off retail cost. I haven't purchased them yet, so I'm interested to see if anyone else has some input that may convince me otherwise.
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      01-22-2013, 02:04 PM   #7
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I've got the oem base rack and rocky mounts euro pitchfork bike rack as well. Haven't had a chance to set it up yet, but I like the look of the pitchfork. here is the place I got it from and its currently on sale.

http://www.orsracksdirect.com/rockym...bike-rack.html
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      01-22-2013, 03:06 PM   #8
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Here's a good thread for some references:

http://www.e90post.com/forums/showth...ight=roof+rack
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      01-22-2013, 03:21 PM   #9
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I've got a whispbar base rack with a yakima raptor bike carrier. It works very well and I am extremely happy with it. However I did have to order a few fit kits which I found a bit annoying.
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      01-22-2013, 03:32 PM   #10
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I got the oem system with oem stand up racks.... I like them quiet a bit and got my racks and bike mounts for $125
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      01-22-2013, 06:29 PM   #11
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I would personally go with an OEM rack. Yakima and Thule are good racks for cars who don't have the convenience of a factory rack.
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      01-22-2013, 07:27 PM   #12
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are the racks easy to take on and off?
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      01-22-2013, 07:31 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fireline43 View Post
are the racks easy to take on and off?
easy? yes! time consuming? yes!
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      01-22-2013, 07:54 PM   #14
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I used the BMW base/support bars with rockymounts europitchfork trays for road and time trial bikes. But honestly, all the top brands are pretty good (Thule, Yakima, RockyMounts). Fork mount trays are for serious cyclists and are the only way to go. Trays that support a bike with both wheels on are for recreational riders not traveling far or driving very fast.

Don't install a faring, it looks amateur and is one more PIA thing to remove when you take the rack off. And remove racks when not using them, unless you want lower gas mileage and increased wind noise.

Most importantly, when you leave the house, put a garbage can front and center near your garage entrance so you can't pull in with a bike on your roof. I can't tell you how many cyclists I know that have tried to pull in a garage with a bike on the roof. It's ugly, and it will happen if you don't set some kind of reminder for yourself.
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      01-23-2013, 02:07 PM   #15
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I have the Thule Aeroblades on my E91 and they are very quiet. You have to use all the plastic parts to cover the openings in the bar or you will hear noise.
I have carried my sea kayak, bike and cargo box up there with no issues.

BTW Thule does not make the cross bars for BMW
I do not like the factory system -
1) Too heavy
2) Limited crossbar capacity (width between the towers)
3) Much worse on fuel economy
4) Crossbars look like balance beams
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      01-23-2013, 06:27 PM   #16
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Once you put on the roof rack, it's a matter of removing 4 screws and it will come out all assembled making it very easy to put back when you want. A Thule fairing will "fit". Why do I say it that way? Because you can get it on there and it will not fly off at top speed, but it's not installed the way it's supposed to be necessarily. I'll elaborate if you want. I really like the OEM system. I got the road bike attachments. It fits my road bike and my hybrid pictured here...

This is the thread I made with pics after installation (no Thule fairing on this one yet): http://www.e90post.com/forums/showthread.php?t=723940

And with Thule fairing:

And here's some eye candy, my road bike. (;


Last edited by AddictedToBavarian; 01-23-2013 at 06:38 PM.
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      01-24-2013, 07:32 PM   #17
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The story that I heard was that the factory BMW rack crossbars are the same as the stuff that Thule sells in Europe which is different from what they sell here. I haven't any idea whether that is true or not, but what I *can* tell you is that for all intents and purposes they appear to be similar to the now-discontinued Thule "Rapid Aero" crossbars, but apparently the "tracks" in the tops of the bars are a different size than those of the Rapid Aero bars (which are functionally the same as the new Aeroblades) so using any Thule or RockyMounts accessories requires some adaptation. As I already have a good stash of roof rack accessories from previous vehicles, I chose to go with the Thule stuff rather than BMW. I did buy my feet and crossbars used off Craigslist rather than buying new because the stuff is extortionately expensive.

I suspect but cannot confirm that the BMW bike carriers are also European Thule stuff but that wasn't really a concern to me, as I said, because I already had some old Thule ones. I did upgrade to some new RockyMounts carriers recently. Unfortunately still no pics as I have not finalized the installation as it's forkin' cold out here and I have not made it back over to my storage locker to retrieve my old front wheel carriers off my old rack. I also figure that there's a good chance that if I do sell my car and buy something else, that I will be able to reuse most of what I have with the only purchase required being a vehicle-specific "fit kit" as opposed to the BMW kit which will only fit a couple body styles of one specific vehicle.

FWIW you *can* use the RockyMounts bike carriers with the factory BMW crossbars if that is a concern to you, and you don't have any interest in using any other carriers.

Finally, as I said before, if you don't mind the aesthetically unappealing looks and having to use a fairing to keep the wind noise down, the old Thule square bars are probably the most versatile rack system there is, with the main rival being Yakima's round bars, a lot of accessories require you to purchase adapter hardware kits to fit them on Rapid Aero bars or Aeroblades but the latter two are definitely more modern looking and quieter (and the same comment would apply, but even more so, to the BMW factory crossbars.)

One last thought - the way the Thule feet fit to the roof of the car requires that you screw studs into the captive nuts in the roof of the car, then attach the feet to that. That doesn't really work very well if you want to remove the rack and carriers as a unit as the studs splay out requiring you to loosen the feet from the crossbars. I'm considering getting some Allen head cap screws to replace the studs, then the rack could be removed as a unit without any Special Instructions.

Last edited by N8N; 01-24-2013 at 07:58 PM.
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      02-06-2013, 10:17 AM   #18
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Thanks a lot guys for your help! I think im going to pick up a Factory system and try and rig a fairing on it (I quite like the way the fairing looks).
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      02-06-2013, 10:46 AM   #19
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http://www.orsracksdirect.com/2008-b...nd-faring.html

Here's my customer pic on ORS Racks Direct - I got the low profile Thule Aeroblade bars with wind fairing. I opted for the higher end on the bike racks - total cost around 700 bucks or so. I wouldn't do it any other way now. The factory crossbars and mounts look too tall and like balance beams.
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      02-06-2013, 12:42 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by N8N View Post
The story that I heard was that the factory BMW rack crossbars are the same as the stuff that Thule sells in Europe which is different from what they sell here. I haven't any idea whether that is true or not, but what I *can* tell you is that for all intents and purposes they appear to be similar to the now-discontinued Thule "Rapid Aero" crossbars, but apparently the "tracks" in the tops of the bars are a different size than those of the Rapid Aero bars " I suspect but cannot confirm that the BMW bike carriers are also European Thule stuff but that wasn't really a concern to me, as I said, because I already had some old Thule ones.
You heard wrong - Thule is not the OE supplier for the crossbars - they are sourced from a German company, the roof mount bike carriers are not Thule's either.
Also the track on top of the roof from BMW requires a 20x20 square nut, the Thule system is 10x10.
The Aeroblades are much quieter and fuel efficient than the factory crossbars
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      03-06-2013, 09:29 AM   #21
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OEM is the cheapest option, if you don't mind getting a used set. If you are willing to drop a little more money go for Thule Aero blades with criterium bike tray. Aero blades have a lower profile and are pretty quiet at highway speeds, plus no need to spend money on a fairing. I used a couple of different trays for my mountain bike with thule square bars. Criterium is very stable and easy to use. Fork mount trays are a pain especially if your bike is equipped with disk brakes, at least for mountain bikes.
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      03-06-2013, 04:04 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fireline43 View Post
are the racks easy to take on and off?
I have the OEM racks for my E90 and am pretty happy with them. I only use them to transport my Ski's but am interested in the bike attachment (never got around to purchasing it). They were fairly inexpensive (~$300 I think). They are super easy to take off especially if you have (2) people, its only 4 screws. Initially I was a little nervous because it was only 4 screws but never had any issues w/ 2 sets of skiís @ 80+ mph.

Anyone have an OEM bike attachment for sale? LoL
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