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Discussion Starter #1
Because of a small person, I need to carry up to 3 bikes on my G.
I've done a pile of research and concluded that my perfect option is not feasible for current G and next G.
But I thought I'd share my logic below, and perhaps others can add personal experience with the various options below.
eg I had the factory roof racks but the wind noise was no good, and the mounting screw damaged the door seal.

Best solution towbar mounted.
Positives:
- Low risk of paint damage to the car.
- Easy to load bikes.
- Bike well secured to car
- Better wind drag.
Negatives:
- High initial cost.
- Some versions can be difficult to lock bike to car.
- Some versions restrict access to boot.
- Light bar and number plate holder recommended.
- Difficult for company cars, Unfortunately long term no good for me..

Roof mounted
Positives:
- Bike well secured to car
- Most versions can lock bike to car.
- Unrestricted access to boot?
- Best option for ladies bikes
Negatives:
- Difficult to load bikes.
- High initial cost.
- High wind drag.
- Minor risk of paint damage to the car, mounting feet area must be clean, and risk of dropping bike on roof.

High mounted strap carrier.
eg Halford, Menabo/Carpriss
Positives:
- Easy to load bikes.
- Cheap
- No light bar needed
Negatives:
- Bike not well secured to car
- Bike not lockable to car
- Medium wind drag.
- Medium risk of paint damage to the car.
- Restricted access to boot?

Low mounted strap carrier.
eg Halford, Menabo/Carpriss, Saris Bones
Positives:
- Easy to load bikes.
- Cheap
Negatives:
- Bike not well secured to car
- Bike not lockable to car
- Medium wind drag.
- Medium risk of paint damage to the car.
- Restricted access to boot?
- No light bar needed
 

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Best solution towbar mounted.
Negatives:

- Some versions can be difficult to lock bike to car.
- Some versions restrict access to boot.
- Light bar and number plate holder recommended.
- Difficult for company cars, Unfortunately long term no good for me..
Just a comment, I have an Atera towbar mounted rack which is easy to mount and lock to the car. It slides back, even when full of bikes, to allow access to boot. Very easy to lock bikes and it comes complete with lighting built in. Persuade the company their car will be less likely to damage from bikes:happy:
 

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i have a towbar (previous owner was also a mtb enthusiastic), i have vast experience with roof mount and high-end trunk mounts.

money-aside: towbar is BY FAR the best solution. it is safest for the car's body (and fixing dents/scratches is way more expensive than the price difference), best for fuel efficiency (lowest drag), best for bike safety, easiest to mount.
the negs are the initial price, storing the rack (large & heavy), and the fact you got a towbar under the defuser which is not aesthetic - i got a GQV and the towbar mount is so ugly and out-of-place for this type of 'sporty' look vehicle ...

but all things considered, for a detailing-oriented person like myself - towbar is the ONLY solution possible. i will not insert the bike into the vehicle due to the fact it's dirty, i will not mount on trunk/roof due to fear of scratches / dents, so ... what can you do :<
 

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i'm not a 'roady' ... i ride Mountain Bikes. i'm not entirely sure my GQV would like to be driven in the terrains i usually ride on :p
 

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My 159 SW had a towbar and we used a Thule towball clamp carrier which was excellent and very cost effective. My G has no towbar and mixed opinions on here and other places as to whether the G has the strength in the roof to carry bikes atop .
I looked at various options. The Saris bones looked good and others on the forums here have said it works fine on the G though the G is not listed as compatible on their website. That's a traditional rear carrier potentially will require a tail board as the number plate will likely be obscured. There's also a halfords hi lift carrier which sits the bikes high to avoid this problem. I found that recommended on these forums too.
As always there's never a perfect solution and compromise will always be a necessity on some front or other. If you have a towbar I think there's little doubt that a towbar mounted carrier is best (though bikes carried across the back will be always hang out somewhat on one side and/or the other)
In the end I've opted for the Saris Grand Fondo which fits both my G and the wife's 500L MPW.
It's an interesting design which carries the bikes more like a roof mount , but sits on the tailgate. The plus points are that the bikes are carried by their wheels (this can be important if you have more exotic cycles as carrying them by the frames can damage their integrity), there's no contact between the vehicle and the bikes and no contact between the bikes themselves either. It's more aerodynamic than roof carrying, the bikes are carried either side of the number plate so no need for a tail board, lights are still visible and rear visibility through the back window is not too impaired.

Compromises? Well the biggest is that it makes the vehicle very long so can make parking more difficult. It looks a little 'odd', and it ain't the cheapest. I found mine for £160.

https://roadcyclinguk.com/gear/saris-gran-fondo-rack-review-1622.html#uatd0D4U84TX8GSO.97
 

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The biggest issue, for as much as I'm concerned, is that carrier that sits on the paint itself will, in time, damage the paint. Whether it's chips, or dents.
And I'm talking as a person who used one of the best trunk carriers (saris bones rs) for quite a while, and used socks on top of the already rubber-top mounting points to avoid this type of scenarios.
After some usage, I got v.small dent on the trunk (fiat bravo) due to the pressure of the mounting point.
As fixing paint damage is way more expensive than installing a towbar, I will not use trunk-mounted / roof-mounted carriers again, at least not on a detaling-oriented vehicle.
 

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Discussion Starter #9 (Edited)
Really helpful feedback.
The Saris Gran Fondo is nice idea, but only 2 bikes.
I'm still working on the towbar option with the company..

If I do go with roof mounted, I will use a clear 3M pad/film on the roof where the roof rack contacts the car. Your right it is to easy to damage the paint with contact points.
You also bring up a good point.
Often with MTB, I go into dirt/offroad areas which dumps a bunch of dust on the back of the car which is not good for pad - paint interfaces.
 

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I've recently bought a Thule 970 towbar clip on carrier and it works a treat. It's actually VERY solidly attached once you've clipped it onto the towbar. I was concerned it would move about and potentially fall off but to be honest I can pull, jerk or manhandle it and it doesn't move a micrometer!!

Only downside is once it's mounted you can't access the boot. I also don't like the ones that clip onto the boot lid. No matter what the makers say I'm not convinced it wont damage the paintwork and/or the hinges, latch etc.

The Thule also wasn't actually badly priced and you can lock it to the car with a padlock so you can park and have breakfast with your mates without worrying about your bike disappearing.
 

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When I've purchased the TOWBAR mount I was tempted to get something like alapsta (as new), but in the end opted for a USED rack that holds the bike from down below - reducing drag, diminishing the possibility of damaging the bike paint job / chassis, and ensuring easy access to the boot even after installation.

I was lucky and patient enough to find a THULE rack, that was not ever used by the owner (a woman, that got it with the car she purchased and had nothing to do with it). I bought it almost on the same price I sold my own used Saris Bones RS rack... had to add 400 nis (~80 quid) in order to get my almost new thule rack :)

below there's a picture with the rack on usual position, and an additional one when it's on the 'tilted' position allowing me to open up the boot. quite convenient.
 

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I'm planning on re using my buzz rack on the G. However this time round, i'll wrap the touch areas with clear vinyl first.



I've had these for over a year, minimal drag method, but the amount of dust collected at the areas where the touch the paint work has caused some scratches on my old car... the straps are also causing me misery.
 
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