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Old 07-25-2008, 12:46 AM   #1
oRabbit
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Default 2004 Roof rack questions...

I need to safely and securely carry two mountain bikes around. We're currently throwing them in the back, but it gets difficult with camping gear and everything. My Vue doesn't have the factory crossbars on it (see picture). What is the best set-up to get to transport a couple of bikes? Best place to buy?

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Old 07-25-2008, 06:54 AM   #2
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Default Re: 2004 Roof rack questions...

I like the ones that mount in my tow hitch. It holds four bikes, opens up tot he side of the vehicle so I can still get in the back of the vue. Mine is made by Thule and ordered it from LL Bean. I also have thule racks for the roof, and well as two saturn racks for the roof. The hitch mounted one is the easiest to use.

...
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Old 07-25-2008, 07:15 AM   #3
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Default Re: 2004 Roof rack questions...

Hitch-mounted racks make me nervous. I'd hate to lose our bikes to an accident, which is far less likely to happen when they're on the roof.

The factory cross bars are pretty cheap, I think they're around $100, maybe less. You can mount them onto the top of your VUE in about 10 minutes. Then Saturn sells a fork-mount track that is designed for them, also about $100 each. Try contacting Saturn of Tallahassee (they're on eBay a lot), they'll get you a great deal on the bike carriers and probably the bars too. You can go with any aftermarket company you prefer, also (Yakima, Thule, etc) - as long as they're designed to be a universal fit and can latch onto the kind of oddly shaped cross bars, then they'll be fine.

I know Saturn used to make (not sure if they still sell it) an interior rack. It worked with the seats folded down and kept your bike upright and off the carpet. I don't know if you could use two of them together though. Handy for rainy days, and much easier than trying to pull them down off the roof.

Right now we carry ours inside when we take the VUE (we have the cross bars but not the carriers, yet) and on a trunk-mount rack when we take the SL2. Most trunk-mount racks will also fit onto the hatch of the VUE, if you're looking for something cheap and quick until you can get your preferred setup. Yakima sells a nice one for about $100. Mine's a Graber, I think I paid about $40 for it at Dick's. It doesn't hold my bike very well because it has an oddly designed frame, but holds normal bikes fairly well.

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Old 07-25-2008, 07:36 AM   #4
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Default Re: 2004 Roof rack questions...

I think the arguement about the hitch mount and accidents is pretty silly. If you were to get in a wreck and have full coverage insurance, the insurance "should" cover the bikes and bike rack- unless you have some crappy insurance. I know my insurance would cover them.

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Old 07-25-2008, 09:19 AM   #5
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Default Re: 2004 Roof rack questions...

I use a hitch rack. I'm only 5'9", so getting anything on top of the VUE is a "real stretch" for me.

My hitch rack is very stable and can hold four bikes. It mounts to my Class III hitch. I have a piece of fluorescent orange tape (2') that I let stream from the back of the rack. It helps drivers see the rack.

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Old 07-25-2008, 12:12 PM   #6
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Default Re: 2004 Roof rack questions...

Thanks for the replies...guess I forgot to mention that I don't have the tow hitch on the car and don't want to pay to get one. I'm extremely nervous about using hatch mount bike rack due to the extremely easy ways to lose 2 bikes in a matter of seconds due to theft. Our bikes only weigh like 30lbs so putting them on the roof isn't a problem. It sounds like I shouldn't have a problem installing my own crossbars and I trust in Thule/Yakima to provide me some sort of bike attachment.

Thanks to all for responses. Dawn Treader appreaciates your assistance.

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Old 07-25-2008, 12:50 PM   #7
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Default Re: 2004 Roof rack questions...



Stupid Saturn with their dumb racks....I called up my dealership to get the crossbars today and they informed me that they've been placed into "Discontinued" status and that there are none available from the warehouse OR in the field at other dealerships...

Any suggestions on how to get these?
If I did find a set on a parted out Vue, how do I get a hold of the special tool to remove them?

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Old 07-25-2008, 01:54 PM   #8
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Default Re: 2004 Roof rack questions...

Quote:
Originally Posted by oRabbit View Post
Thanks for the replies...guess I forgot to mention that I don't have the tow hitch on the car and don't want to pay to get one. I'm extremely nervous about using hatch mount bike rack due to the extremely easy ways to lose 2 bikes in a matter of seconds due to theft. Our bikes only weigh like 30lbs so putting them on the roof isn't a problem. It sounds like I shouldn't have a problem installing my own crossbars and I trust in Thule/Yakima to provide me some sort of bike attachment.

Thanks to all for responses. Dawn Treader appreaciates your assistance.
FYI, the hitch mounted racks typically allow you to lock your bike onto the rack. You can also lock the rack to the hitch receiver. Therfore, no one can take you bike. If I recall corectly, the Saturn bike racks on the roof do not lock; the Thule ones do. However, last I checked, Thule did not make an adapter for our roof rails. My Thule racks are for my SL2. My hitch rack and Saturn roof racks are for the Vue.

...
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Old 07-25-2008, 02:22 PM   #9
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Default Re: 2004 Roof rack questions...

For the person who posted above, I was stating that I don't care for the racks that go over your hatch...not hitch (I don't have one of those). Those don't lock and even if they do, the nylon straps holding it to the car can be cut.

So...new problem. I found a set of crossbars, but there's not hardware with them. I asked Saturn to provide me with the necessary bolts and they said they couldn't. Are these simple bolts and items that I can pick up at a hardware store? Could someone possibly remove theirs and provide pictures or info on the bolts used to secure the crossbars?

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Old 07-25-2008, 02:59 PM   #10
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Default Re: 2004 Roof rack questions...

Quote:
Originally Posted by oRabbit View Post
For the person who posted above, I was stating that I don't care for the racks that go over your hatch...not hitch (I don't have one of those). Those don't lock and even if they do, the nylon straps holding it to the car can be cut.

So...new problem. I found a set of crossbars, but there's not hardware with them. I asked Saturn to provide me with the necessary bolts and they said they couldn't. Are these simple bolts and items that I can pick up at a hardware store? Could someone possibly remove theirs and provide pictures or info on the bolts used to secure the crossbars?
Sorry, I had missread your post. In regards to removing them, I would, but my dealer glues the screws in. Good luck

...
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Old 07-25-2008, 04:59 PM   #11
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Default Re: 2004 Roof rack questions...

Sounds to me like a hitch mounted bike rack is your best bet. $125 or so for a hitch. $100+ for a rack.

Saturn really dropped the ball by not equipping each and every VUE with cross bars. A sport utility without a roof rack is not very utilitarian.

You should be able to replace the fasteners with some socket head cap screws. I'm not sure what size. My VUE has some torx head screws in the empty spots on my roof rails. I'd start by removing one and taking it into a hardware store (ACE Hardware has a GREAT fastener section) and match them up with something that will fit. You might want to even take the cross bar into the store so you can get an idea of what length to use.

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Old 07-26-2008, 10:00 AM   #12
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Default Re: 2004 Roof rack questions...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tom92SCm View Post
I think the arguement about the hitch mount and accidents is pretty silly. If you were to get in a wreck and have full coverage insurance, the insurance "should" cover the bikes and bike rack- unless you have some crappy insurance. I know my insurance would cover them.
It's not your insurance you have to worry about - it's theirs. Having been through a 1 1/2 year legal battle because of a car accident and insurance dropping the ball, the less I have to depend on it to replace something important to me, the better. There's also the problem of insurance companies wanting to give you depreciated value for everything and the fact both of our bikes have many customized features that we would likely not be reimbursed for. I've heard one too many horror stories about customized bikes and only getting replacement value for the stock parts that were on the frame at original purchase.

Just stating my point of view. Much safer on the roof in all aspects. Then there's also the issue of many of us not having hitches.

oRabbit - try calling Saturn of Tallahassee. They may have some in stock still. If not, check out Saturnaccessories.net - they might have them still also. eBay is another option. If you've gotten ahold of a set but just need a way to anchor them, any type of bolt that fits into the hole snugly will work. The factory attachments are a security bit but I've heard of people replacing them with a simple hex bolt.

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Old 07-26-2008, 02:34 PM   #13
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Default Re: 2004 Roof rack questions...

Excellent...thanks for the info on the bolts. I think I'll try to find some sort of special security bolt I can use. I was able to get a set of crossbars off of ebay for $45....now I just need to get 2 nice bike rack components. It sounds like Yakima has the best fitting and most secure ones, is that right?

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Old 07-27-2008, 12:19 AM   #14
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Default Re: 2004 Roof rack questions...

Quote:
Originally Posted by oRabbit View Post
Excellent...thanks for the info on the bolts. I think I'll try to find some sort of special security bolt I can use. I was able to get a set of crossbars off of ebay for $45....now I just need to get 2 nice bike rack components. It sounds like Yakima has the best fitting and most secure ones, is that right?
I can't say for sure from experience, but from word of mouth, yes, go with Yakima. That's what we'll probably end up getting for ours.

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Old 07-31-2008, 09:32 PM   #15
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Default Re: 2004 Roof rack questions...

Well, to my surprise, my eBay crossbars actually showed up with all the parts needed....except instructions.

I'm usually pretty good at puzzles, but I don't want to mess this up.

What order am I supposed to install the bolts. Can someone please provide a step-by-step?

Also...not looking to take these on an off much, what positioning should I use to carry bikes using Yakima gear?

Thanks a ton. You people are very helpful and kind.

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Old 07-31-2008, 09:41 PM   #16
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Default Re: 2004 Roof rack questions...

So you have 6 or 8 threaded stud/posts and 4 screws?

Basically you remove the torx screws from the roof rails and install the posts at all the locations behind the sunroof. Use a thread locker on these threads. I have my FWD cross bar just behind the sunroof and my rear cross bar about 2 locations behind it (your results may vary). Then attach the cross bars where you want them (or where you THINK you want them) with the screws. Pretty simple.

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Old 07-31-2008, 11:30 PM   #17
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Default Re: 2004 Roof rack questions...

Well, it took my puzzle solving skills a little while to realize it screws on by removing the soft top piece. I really had no idea what order to do it in otherwise...

Thanks....now to the hardware store to fine the proper tools.

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Old 08-01-2008, 10:06 AM   #18
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Default Re: 2004 Roof rack questions...

Be sure to post how this goes. As someone else already mentioned, my understanding was that the bolts/screws were glued in, and it was easy to crack your roof taking them out. Between that and the reported noise that the roof rack makes ... well, I'm quite happy with my hitch rack.

I haven't ruled out wanting a rook rack for other cargo in the future though.

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Old 08-06-2008, 09:05 PM   #19
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Default Re: 2004 Roof rack questions...

I posted the install instructions see the following link http://www.saturnfans.com/forums/showthread.php?t=89192

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