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I've read all of the past posts about bicycle racks and the Insight . . .

Has anyone actually put a roof rack (on the roof, NOT the hatch) on and used it to transport a bicycle?

If so, what happened?

Dents in the aluminium roof?

Broken/cracked plastic roof parts over the doors?

I assume you used a Saris rack?

Any information would be greatly appreciated!

Thanks!
 

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I have the Saris 3 (THREE) bike rack which has extra feet. I don't use it for more than one bike, so far. So far no problems, but I have not used it much yet...

The 2 bike rack only has one center foot, so it is not nearly as stable and adds more stress to the the rear than the 3 bike rack.
 

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I'm in the same boat right now. I called Saris because if you look at their web sight they don't list a bicycle roof rack for the Insight. They make a rack but the bicycle mounts require at least 16" centers on the load bars. They said the farthest you could put the load bars apart on the Insight is 14". In turn they don't recomend a roof rack for bikes. At this point I'm going to look at building a hitch and using a hitch mounted carrier. Let me know what you find out also. I don't trust some little nylon straps on a trunk/hatch carrier to hold $5000 in bikes. Just my opinion.

Todd
 

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One of the benefits of getting rear-ended is that I now see a good way to add a rear bike rack.

Under the ABS bumper cover, there's an aluminum beam bumper that's about a 3" square cross section. Also there are a couple of fairly solid tabs on the hatch frame. So you mount to these, cutting small holes in the plastic cover. If the mounts are e.g. tubing that sticks out an inch or two, you can use pins to mount/demount the actual rack...
 

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No, I wasn't aware of it. At least I don't remember seeing the pictures, though I do vaguely recall something about you having mounted a hitch.

Yours is similar to what I'd thought of, except that instead of just having the one-point hitch mount, I'd have a couple of upper attachment points just below the hatch lid. I think that'd make for a lighter & stronger unit overall, since it'd relieve any bending torque at the lower mount. And since the plastic cover is pretty well crunched, I can experiment with cutting holes in it :)
 

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wood roof rack

Before my '87 CRX died in December and I got my used Insight in February, I built a roof rack by sawing 2 x 4s at odd angles to make something that fit the curve of the roof nicely. I put neoprene foam tape on the wood, and strapped it to the roof with the same straps I bought to strap canoes on top without a rack. I plan to adjust it to fit the Insight, but haven't gotten to that yet. I haven't planned a way to carry bikes with it though--partly because I have a rear rack that works, and partly because I don't often need to carry bikes.

When I needed to carry my bike on the car (to get home after taking the car to the shop), I used my old Saris rear bike rack tied to and resting on the hatch. The hooks clasping the glass make me a little nervous; I think something like these would work better (you can make your own too).
http://www.saris.com/products/hatchhuggers.htm

A mildly related story. I bought a large metal tool chest at Sears today. I knew it would be a tight fit, either in the back or in the passenger seat, but I was pretty sure it would go in either, at least out of the cardboard box. I had to go to a warehouse to pick it up after purchasing it. I handed my receipt to the guy working there and he said flatly "it's not gonna fit in that car." I asked if I could try, and he walked off to get it without a word, presumably relishing proving me wrong. Turns out I could have carried it even in the box; without the box it went in the hatch no problem. The hatch didn't quite close so I had to tie it down (the cargo net tiedown points are handy for that). Somehow though I blew it and pissed him off that I'd proved him wrong, rather than amazing and delighting him with what you can fit in a 70 mpg car (OK, 65 with the hatch open).

Charlie
 

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I got a good portion of my hitch done today. I'll try to post some pictures. It's mounted to the hitch and rear bulkhead. I think I'm going to look into adding some more bracing inside the spare tire well as the hitch flexes the bumper mounts noticeably right now. I put about 2-1/2 feet of square tubing in the hitch and bounced up and down on it with all of my weight (155 lbs) and it seems to take it well but it does flex.


Todd
 

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http://desertrunner.freehomepage.com/photo.html
Ignore the site (it's under construction) but here are the pictures of my hitch. I added the bracing inside the spare tire well today. Before these braces the hitch flexed the rear wall of the body too much. I feel pretty safe with this setup for two bike now. Let me know what you think.

Todd
 

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Wow !! Thank is well done. Congratulations!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! (and a few more)

It looks like it is perfect but for 1 thing (this is a constructive comment to help out):

I am not a chemist but I have put aluminum rivets on steel plates before. With time, the steel is intact but the aluminum corrodes until there is none left. The steel is probably more electronegative so it will do electrolysis until all alu has gone.

I have noticed that you used steel bolts and plates. Therefore I believe that there is a high chance that it will happen on yourInsight. The steel hitch will corrode the body.

The above mentionned is why I had put plastic layer between both sides of the bolts to prevent electrolysis on my car. On my car, no steel touchs the body or bumper.
Smoeone has told me to put "Duct tape" on all parts to prevent it but I thought the it could dry out with time and desapear or keep the humidity within the assembly. So I opted for plastic strips that are flexible and strong (some type of nylon I think)


AND where have you found such wheel covers, they are great looking "space" type
 

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Thanks for the kind works. I did think about the corosive properties and spread a layer of silicone RTV on all the areas where the steel plates contact and allowed it to cure before bolting the hitch and supports up. To tell you the truth I'm not that worried about it. I notice Honda uses steel bolts in the aluminum body in various places although they may have some trick coating on them. Now I just have to buy my rack and give it a test run.

I bought the caps from Mooneyes, the same people that have been making them since the 50's.
 

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Ehhmmm....

There's some pretty advanced alluminum techniques going on with the Insight's alluminum. All the bolts that go in to alluminum use a coating called Dacro. The bolts (when new anyways) have grey heads with green on the threads. The service manual I have says to replace them when removed. I had something done under warranty that required removal of Dacro coated bolts so I made sure they were also orderd and I even went as far as placing a print out from that service manual in the car when it went in. When I got it back the person who worked on it obviously saw this and went to the trouble of printing out the latest service manual they had which said only to make sure the bolts were properly torqued and he wrote on there "replacment not required." So I don't know if they were replaced or not, but they did look new at least.

I went and did some investigating over at NSXprime.com as no one here seemed to know the answer. I guess they can be reused a few times, say 4 or 5, so long as they are retorqued properly. Overtorquing will break the coating off and result in the coating not working properly. For the long term I would deffinitely not feel comfortable having steel in direct contact with alluminum after knowing what I found. I'd check those points for corrosion from time to time.
 

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Update

The hitch/bicycle rack is working great. I went with a Yakima rack called the Hook-Up that uses the 2" hitch. This way I can use it on different cars also. It sure takes a hit on mileage. I drop about 9mpg every time I use the rack. Most of my driving is on the freeway and the bike(s) stick way above above roof line. I guess 41-42 mpg is still good in comparison to other cars but as an Insight owner we're always looking for more. I'll post pics with a bike soon.

Todd
 

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Todd,

I'm glad to hear that you've found a solution for transporting the bike(s). 'Nice job on the hitch installation!
40 - 41 mpg - Ouch :shock:

I still prefer to place my bike (including one that is "high end") inside the car, safe from bad weather, insects, bird fallout, UV radiation, theft/vandalism and etc. I haven't had any damage yet, and there's no impact on fuel economy. After one tire explosion on a hot day, I've been letting the air out of the tires and covering the bike with a radiation shield, however.
 

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nemystic, I hear you. I would much rather have it inside. I transport that way in my Jeep but, I would hate to have the mud falling off my mountain bike inside a brand new car. What do you ride?

Kevin, Moon is the same company that's been making these covers for the last 50 years or so. I think they look cool but that's just me and I always have to be different.
 

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Todd,
I found a site with Moon wheel covers, but they use three screws or Duzus to hold it onto the wheel. I notice that yours has three holes along the perimeter...but what is it screwed into? The tire or the wheel?

http://www.hotrodsusa.com/store/covers.html

Do your have your licence plate on a hinge?

Also could you post a few more pictures of the bottom of you car and how the hitch attaches to it? It looks completely different from Yves. Thanks

BTW I had a friend who routinely carried a 40 foot ladder on his Insight. He had one Yakima rack over the 'A' pillar and a custom 1 post 'T' support mounted into the hatch. It worked great.
 

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Todd,

I would have to agree about the mountain bike(s). Like you, I wouldn't want to mess up the interior with the off-road debris that sticks to the bike.
I've only put road bikes (or maybe once or twice, a "clean" ATB) inside of the Insight so far. My Cannondale R1000 is inside today.

Like Kevin, I'm curious about your licence plate location. Yves' hitch is located below the plate. Do you replace your plate onto the rack when it's attached?
(There don't seem to be too many other places to put the licence plate on the Insight.)

I also agree that the "moon" hub caps look cool on the Insight. Combined with the fender skirts, it's almost like an early 50's retro look.
'Wonder if those hub caps improve the aerodynamics?
I suppose it's a good thing when aesthetics can be a measure of efficiency.
 

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There is nothing under the car to see. All of the hitch mounting is behind the bumper area. Is does have some flex in it but seems to holding up soo far. The wheel covers are made by MoonEyes http://www.mooneyes.com/ . I drilled the wheel only using a drill stop and them used a tap to thread the wheel. Everything is working out great so far but it does make checking the air presure a pain. Also the license plate is on a hinge like some of the old Buick and such were in the 70's when they hid the fuel filler.
 
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