Roof Rack - Suggestions: 3rd party vs OEM - MINI Cooper Forum

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post #1 of 5 (permalink) Old Apr 14th, 2010, 11:30 PM Thread Starter
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Roof Rack - Suggestions: 3rd party vs OEM

I'm looking at getting a roof rack for my Clubman JCW. The initial 2 holders will be for kayak & bike. (these will be driven at highway speeds [read comments about speed issues])

I've read conflicting reports about 3rd party racks & their mounting vs the MINI OEM racks. The racks will be removed regularly, & I don't have the roof rails(nor do I want them).

Initial thoughts on 3rd party are Thule or Yakima

Any thoughts?

'09 MINI Clubman JCW | '06 S4 Avant (chipped w/ GIAC) & AWE Exhaust {63k mls} | '04 VW Touareg V10TDI{60k mls} | '97 A8 {120k mls}
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post #2 of 5 (permalink) Old Apr 15th, 2010, 07:54 AM
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I'm not sure about the alternatives but I assume you have looked into how they attach to the car? I can give you my experience of the OEM roof bars for what its worth. I bought them shortly after getting the car and, even after reading all the advice on fitting then I simply couldn't get them to fit myself: broke the supplied tools, broke my nails and had three very frustrating attempts to get it on. So...took it back to my dealer.

"No problem" they said, "we'll do it for you" (at no cost) when I was having the brakes changed. They spent an hour doing it. Eventually with four technicians working on it. It was like a comedy sketch, It didn't look like it would ever come off (good for security not so good for fuel economy). And so it proved. I couldn't get it off and when I sold my Clubman I had to leave the rack on it because I couldn't get it off and the dealer wanted 100 to remove it which was more than it was worth new.

So, if the Thule or other 3rd party ones have an easier system to install and dismount then I would go with them. Ripping/cutting the edging strip on the roof to install feels like vandalism and the plastic pieces you install to hide the bar-mounting holes are UGLY but its the only way if you didn't have rails installed to begin with. Other people may have been able to slip the rails on and off but they are on my old Clubman FOREVER!


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post #3 of 5 (permalink) Old Apr 25th, 2010, 08:14 PM
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My experience with the roof rails was that the BMW/Mini dealer wanted a fortune to fit, so I did it myself (against the "advice" of BMW/Mini) - they fitted fairly easily if you follow the instructions - you have to slacken off all adjusters to allow them to settle into position, then tighten everything up. Don't get me took a while, but the resulting setup looks cool on the car (everyone seems to like it) and I reckon I could get of/on again quicker in the future. To be honest, for convenience, I just left them on - only 1-2mpg difference in fuel consumption and it's really easy to pop the Mini cycle carriers (also happy with these) on and off.

Be careful when detaching the perforated rubber strips on the guttering - a new stanley blade with the paint protector behind is a good idea.

I wouldn't hesitate to add a roof box now for extra carrying capacity!

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post #4 of 5 (permalink) Old May 8th, 2010, 11:05 PM
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I have dealer fitted OEM racks on my 2009 ClubmanS. I removed them in about 5 min and wouldn't take much more to put them back on. The initial fitting seems a bit tough, so get someone with experience to do it if you can, but after that it's not a big job at all.
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post #5 of 5 (permalink) Old May 16th, 2010, 07:17 PM
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I've just fitted my OEM rails to and was dreading it after all the reports on here. But 20 minutes is all it took me by myself. Really was no problem.
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