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Discussion Starter #1
I bought my Insight to travel, and commute. I travel because I bike, and with local trails being nearly 40 miles away, I looked at the Insight as money saving for short trips, and long hauls. The rack situation is obviously limited but Rack Attack in Portland helped me come up with a solution.

The rack is quick release and I can have the car basically down to the rails in a matter of 30 seconds. So when not biking I just remove it, no tools required. Rack currently has a fairing which has not helped in mileage but has made the noise almost completely disappear, bikes on or off.

Mileage observed..
ac/on,
80 mile loop
Moderately hilly terrain, no constant 0 grade roads, South Central Wisconsin

No Rack 52 MPG
With Rack Only 48mpg
One Bike 43mpg
Two Bikes 41mpg

These are xl mountain bikes wheel mounted.

Just thought I would give feedback.

 

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Bike Rack

why did you choose to use a roof mounted rack? You could have used a "quick release" rear hitch designed for two bike's to stand vertical.
 

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At what speed? I had to drive in 3rd gear to get the power to maintain interstate speeds without assist or use 4th and floor it constantly and sit with an empty battery on the flat. Mid-30's MPG with a bike on the back and terror of whether or not I'd shatter the rear hatch glass the whole time. Seems with your mileage, depending on what speed that it might not be much of an improvement. Seems to work well if you need two bikes or a bike with a passenger. I ended up getting a 24" bike with a quick release for the front tire and it loads into the car but I can't accomodate a passenger that way but I get my mileage. The only other alternate I could think of would be a folding bike but those were too expensive IMHO to justify buying.

The top rack looks better than a 26" bike hanging off the rear because with a rear mount the tires hang off both sides of the car and actually seem to make other drivers on the road nervous because it sticks out beyond the car, even though you are still in your lane.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
At what speed? I had to drive in 3rd gear to get the power to maintain interstate speeds without assist or use 4th and floor it constantly and sit with an empty battery on the flat. Mid-30's MPG with a bike on the back and terror of whether or not I'd shatter the rear hatch glass the whole time. Seems with your mileage, depending on what speed that it might not be much of an improvement. Seems to work well if you need two bikes or a bike with a passenger. I ended up getting a 24" bike with a quick release for the front tire and it loads into the car but I can't accomodate a passenger that way but I get my mileage. The only other alternate I could think of would be a folding bike but those were too expensive IMHO to justify buying.

The top rack looks better than a 26" bike hanging off the rear because with a rear mount the tires hang off both sides of the car and actually seem to make other drivers on the road nervous because it sticks out beyond the car, even though you are still in your lane.

The rails are mounted using Yakima aluminum blind fasteners. There are 7 per rail, and due to location of the mounts, and the stiffness of the aluminum rail, there is no risk of the rail coming off the car, or damaging the roof. Obviously the roof was intentionally damaged when holes were drilled. The rails use silicone, and a plastic strip to seal.

I imagine on longer trips the mileage may go down further. I am obviously creative in regards to speed. Boosting battery on down hills and hitting it hard on uphills. I have had it dip into the 30's on round trip but it was with some serious wind.

Why not do a hitch rack? A hitch rack requires a hitch... which I designed, and fabricated, and tested. The bumper where it mounts to the body is not strong enough to hold the weight of two bikes with any significant leverage. Over time the mounts which are welded to the car will sheer from the cars sheet metal. It was easy enough to load and see what part will fail. It is possible that a rack mounted closer to the car would create less leverage, but mine mounted roughly a foot behind the car and the bikes 'hung' fairly far out. I could have dont some creative tig welding and fabricated some aluminum braces, but when it comes down to it, all the sheet metal on the back of the car is thin, and any rack I would use would create too much leverage. I figured I would go with something that I knew was tested.

I am struggling with the idea of going cross country with the car with both bikes on top. I feel like it may be pushing the limits when crossing the rockies. Time will tell. Worst case scenario I move to a diesel, and find a new owner who needs a rack for short trips.

Josh
 

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I bought my Insight to travel, and commute. I travel because I bike, and with local trails being nearly 40 miles away, I looked at the Insight as money saving for short trips, and long hauls. The rack situation is obviously limited but Rack Attack in Portland helped me come up with a solution.

The rack is quick release and I can have the car basically down to the rails in a matter of 30 seconds. So when not biking I just remove it, no tools required. Rack currently has a fairing which has not helped in mileage but has made the noise almost completely disappear, bikes on or off.

Mileage observed..
ac/on,
80 mile loop
Moderately hilly terrain, no constant 0 grade roads, South Central Wisconsin

No Rack 52 MPG
With Rack Only 48mpg
One Bike 43mpg
Two Bikes 41mpg

These are xl mountain bikes wheel mounted.

Just thought I would give feedback.

I want to do this but how much was the job? Can you just order the rack form them and do the install yourself?
 

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Discussion Starter #9
I want to do this but how much was the job? Can you just order the rack form them and do the install yourself?
Its not for the faint of heart, you do have to drill holes through the roof. I bought the car to trek my bike back and forth to trails all across the country, I found it was too lacking in power to make that happen, but my bike and rack setup is far from aero.

Good luck.
 

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Its not for the faint of heart, you do have to drill holes through the roof. I bought the car to trek my bike back and forth to trails all across the country, I found it was too lacking in power to make that happen, but my bike and rack setup is far from aero.

Good luck.
My neighbor has a removable hatchback rack on his I2 all the time. Did you try to modify a quick release rack before you drilled or no?

I've owned one of these types of racks on another car I owned.. I also had a 4 bike yakima hitch rack for an suv. Both worked well. I was never a fan of the roof mount racks. I had a thule for my one car. It was all set up for snowboards and skis.. but I just never liked the possibility of scratching my roof.

I can't see how this would have been too hard to modify.. but it would have been a pain in the butt to get in and out of the trunk with it on there if you keep your bike on often..

Yakima Shop Bike Trunk KingJoe 2
 

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My neighbor has a removable hatchback rack on his I2 all the time. Did you try to modify a quick release rack before you drilled or no?

I've owned one of these types of racks on another car I owned.. I also had a 4 bike yakima hitch rack for an suv. Both worked well. I was never a fan of the roof mount racks. I had a thule for my one car. It was all set up for snowboards and skis.. but I just never liked the possibility of scratching my roof.

I can't see how this would have been too hard to modify.. but it would have been a pain in the butt to get in and out of the trunk with it on there if you keep your bike on often..

Yakima Shop Bike Trunk KingJoe 2
Sorry, didn't see MN Driver's response.

Well, this rack probably fits your needs much better than a removable rack.. I didn't figure that a trunk mounted removable rack would make things so sketchy.

Nice job on putting it all together.
 

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The rails are mounted using Yakima aluminum blind fasteners. There are 7 per rail, and due to location of the mounts, and the stiffness of the aluminum rail, there is no risk of the rail coming off the car, or damaging the roof. Obviously the roof was intentionally damaged when holes were drilled. The rails use silicone, and a plastic strip to seal.

I imagine on longer trips the mileage may go down further. I am obviously creative in regards to speed. Boosting battery on down hills and hitting it hard on uphills. I have had it dip into the 30's on round trip but it was with some serious wind.

Why not do a hitch rack? A hitch rack requires a hitch... which I designed, and fabricated, and tested. The bumper where it mounts to the body is not strong enough to hold the weight of two bikes with any significant leverage. Over time the mounts which are welded to the car will sheer from the cars sheet metal. It was easy enough to load and see what part will fail. It is possible that a rack mounted closer to the car would create less leverage, but mine mounted roughly a foot behind the car and the bikes 'hung' fairly far out. I could have dont some creative tig welding and fabricated some aluminum braces, but when it comes down to it, all the sheet metal on the back of the car is thin, and any rack I would use would create too much leverage. I figured I would go with something that I knew was tested.

I am struggling with the idea of going cross country with the car with both bikes on top. I feel like it may be pushing the limits when crossing the rockies. Time will tell. Worst case scenario I move to a diesel, and find a new owner who needs a rack for short trips.

Josh
You could mount the hitch to the body with bolts, instead of welding it. Sandwich the bodies sheetmetal with a plate on the top side. It one come off then.
 

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I've been trying to get the Yakima rails in the UK, but nobody is prepared to supply them. I have a 15ft Ocean Kayak I need to transport.
 

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I need to transport a whitewater kayak sometimes. It's Just under six feet long and has fit inside every other car I've owned (Toyota Tercel and Honda Civic Hybrid). I was able to get it inside my insight, but the fit was so tight that it blocked half of my rear-view mirror sight. I figure that's a major safety concern. So I'm looking at some kind of option for carrying the boat outside the car. I'm not too thrilled about drilling holes in the roof if there is a non-drilling option.
 

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From the amazon.com website about the Malone foam block carrier kit:
"Note: Malone recommends that users not put the 12-inch blocks directly on the rooftop, as the concentrated weight of the kayak may dent the roof."

Denting the roof would be as bad, or worse, than drilling holes in it. Anybody had experience with this type of setup?
 

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Its not for the faint of heart, you do have to drill holes through the roof. I bought the car to trek my bike back and forth to trails all across the country, I found it was too lacking in power to make that happen, but my bike and rack setup is far from aero.

Good luck.
I called a place that would do this for $480. Seems really expensive. Looking to get away under $200, so I guess I'm looking at a hatchback mount instead. :(

You are not alone, this Insight definitely lacks power. I kind of wish I bought something a tad more powerful. I just keep telling myself that the gas savings is worth it.
 

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I'm considering three options at this point:
(1) having RackAttack install strips on the roof to attach racks to like this: https://rackattackportland.wordpress.com/2009/05/02/2010-honda-insight-roof-mount-bike-rack-from-yakima-yes-honda-insight-roof-rack/
(2) getting a HandiRack™ Inflatable Roof Racks like this: Roof Racks | Handirack | Inflatable Roof Racks | Malone Auto Racks
(3) taking out the passenger's seat so that I can fit my kayak in the car and still see. I anticipate driving solo 99% of the time anyway and can use my wife's Prius when we have passengers. I would expect her to balk at this idea, though.

any thoughts?
 

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I thought about the removable hatch mounted rack but worried about the glass shattering. I removed the pass seat and am just able to squeeze in my Trek 820. One of the many compromises one is forced to make with this car. That's the price you pay for high mpg.
 
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