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Discussion Starter #1
Thule Bike rack --889

Please see the second posting, I erred a bit on the first.
 

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Discussion Starter #2
Thule 889 Bike Rack Photos - Part Dieux

Here's the first one, sorry for the mixup,
 

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Thanks Cr for the pics and The Worm for the link.

Cr, what clamp do you use for attaching the Thule to the factory rack (part number or description)? I was at REI this afternoon and they cannot find any clamp that fit the roof rack. The largest one they got is the C31 and it is still too small. Appreciate your info.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Spare parts, etc.

Everything you'd need can be found at Thule's website,
here's a link to the spare parts for the rack,
http://www.thuleracks.com/thule/product_spare2.asp?dept_id=49&sku=889

I recommend www.agees.com to buy the rack, I did A LOT of investigating, since I hate paying retail, except for the MDX, of course, and this was the best place that I could find for racks. They were extremely quick and have great prices. The 889 comes w/everything you need to install it on the MDX. You DO NOT need anything extra. If REI said you did, they are incorrect. Basically, you simply install the front bar onto the front roof rack load bar, and then you install the bike rack rail to it. Then, the bike rack rail uses a sliding bolt that then bolts to the rear mount. The rear mount fits perfectly onto the MDX's rear rack load bar. Once you read through the directions for about a minute, the rack goes on w/little effort at all.
 

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Thanks for the pics, cr.

I would have really liked it if someone had developed a solution without an additional load bar but overall this solution is pretty good. My question, do you notice quite a bit more wind noise from the racks and load bar??? Also, thanks for the parts info. It looks like I will be ordering two of these in a few months. It's my understanding that the second rail only requires ordering the velo vise tray without any additional parts because the 889 pack give you clamps for two trays. Is this correct??
 

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How is it getting the bikes up on the roof rack, I used to have one on my old van (1994 Mercury Villager) and though it was easier than some vehicles I still hated getting the bikes on to that roof rack. I ordered the thule back rack (it goes into the trailer hitch and can still hold four bikes) and got the trailer hitch on my MDX's (Acura will not make you get the whole towing package if you don't actually use it for towing very heavy things). I haven't tried out the back rack yet, but I think it will work well.




"02 mahogany MDX w/ cargo net, trailer hitch.
"02 mesa biege MDX w/ cargo net, trailer hitch.
 

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I've got the same setup on my MDX. The pictures above show what is called the Thule Rack Pack (comes as one package: it includes the front square cross bar, one fork rack, and everything you need to mount it to the factory roof rack). You can add up to two fork racks as it is shown in the picture. Although this setup works great, it is a bit of a hassel to put your bikes up there because MDX is so tall. I ended up moving my setup closer to the driver's side and only use one bike rack so that it is easier to load one bike on the driver's side only. Now the problem is that I can't have a cargo box (for skiis) because there's not enough room. I'll probably end up getting the whole Yakima tracks and mount long cross bars to load everything I need up there.

If you've got two bikes and don't need to load/unload it everyday, then the rack pack deal is great (very stable, neat, and relatively low wind noise). But if you need to load more, like cargo boxes or ski racks, with your bike rack, look somewhere else. Also, if you have a sidestep, then loading/unloading should be much easier. Hope this helps.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
to answer a couple of earlier questions

1) Wind Noise
I do believe that the rack adds yet more wind noise to the MDX, unfortunately. However, I am too lazy to take the rack off for the winter, eventhough it would only take 15 mins. I am not sure how one of those "aerodynamic" fiberglass windpieces would work, vis a vis the sunroof.

2) What you need for two bikes:
the 889 Velo Vise Rack Pack comes with all that you need for two bikes except for the second rail, which you can order separately. The second rear mounting "foot" comes with the original kit. I think the second bike rail runs about 85 bucks, so all in all, about 200 for two bikes, if you find a discount retailer (see my earlier post).

3) regarding height. Yes, its a bit high, but I am 6 1/2" and do not have a problem getting the bike up there, w/some help from an open door. I would not consider it a burden at all. BE CAREFUL-- regarding overall height of the vehicle, watch out for low overhangs!!!

4) Not using the second square bar on the front load bar. Since the fork mount assembly requires a small square bar to mount to, it would be impossible to avoid using it, unfortunately.


Other than that, the bike is locked down amazingly well, and I think it's a great fit for the car.


------
Feb '01 Delivery Touring, Nighthawk black/saddle
2001 Jetta Wolfsburg ed. 1.8Turbo
 

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Thanks to everyone for the info and the leads. I placed an order with agees and will try to post pics when I get the trays installed. I was hoping for a solution based upon the Pilot racks but I need something now (I don't think we will know until mid-summer). If the Pilot thing works, I can always use the velo-vise trays and I'm not out much money for the rack pack.
 

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A2MDXer said:
Thanks to everyone for the info and the leads. I placed an order with agees and will try to post pics when I get the trays installed. I was hoping for a solution based upon the Pilot racks but I need something now (I don't think we will know until mid-summer). If the Pilot thing works, I can always use the velo-vise trays and I'm not out much money for the rack pack.
I also today placed an order with agees. They are very quick to ship. (It went out the same day.) I bought a Thule ski rack from them last month. Today, I bought a Thule 994 Expressway Hitch Carrier. (It holds 4 bikes.)

I like the fact they don't charge for shipping. (When you buy Thule products over $50.00)
 

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MaD-X said:
Although this setup works great, it is a bit of a hassel to put your bikes up there because MDX is so tall. I ended up moving my setup closer to the driver's side and only use one bike rack so that it is easier to load one bike on the driver's side only.
I received my pack last night (plus a second tray) and started assembly. MaD-X, I now understand your comment about moving it closer to one side. It appears the load bar would be more useful if it were longer. Has anyone thought of getting a longer load bar for the front?

Also, I can't tell from cr's pics if this has been done but I plan to install the fork mounts as close as possible to the edge of the load bars and put the rack pack supports more in the middle, between the trays (they will still be about 23" apart - my guide says 21" apart minimum). Any problem with this? If this doesn't move the bikes close enough to the side I may investigate a longer load bar.
 

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Caution - do not overtighten. While installing my rack pack yesterday, I tightened (with the included wrench) one of the screws on the footback too tightly and it broke off. I called Thule today and they are sending a replacement free of charge. Moral of the story - get it snug but don't go as tight as possible.

On a brighter note, if the trays are installed at the end of the bars it appears they are close enough to the side and that a longer load bar is probably not necessary. I have not loaded bikes on top but will report back after I do.
 

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rear mount rack w/out hitch?

hi all, i'd like to get the rack for 2 bikes, but i still can't decide which way's better/safer - roof rack, interior or rear (no hitch).
here are my thoughts:
roof rack mount - makes sense to put the roof rack to some use, but mounting 2 bikes on top seems like a halluva workout ;)
inside mount - perphaps, the safest of all for both 'DX and the bikes, but least efficient in terms of cargo space, plus all this mud inside afterwards...
rear (using same site http://www.agees.com/Thule/Thule_Rear.htm#965) makes the most of sense to me - easy to install/remove; easy to mount bikes, don't have to remove the front wheels; due to 'DX's width, the overall width isn't too bad.
so far i haven't seen any posts/pics of the 3rd option. i have no experience with neither so any feedback on pros/cons of each one is greatly appreciated.
 

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sgtglok,

No real experience here with the rear mount racks. If I were doing rear mount, I would get the type with fork-mount trays to minimize movement and banging. Since rear-mount means the bikes are sideways, they are more subject to lean from stopping/starting. Of course, there is some inconvenience with opening the hatch and the danger of someone hitting you from behind. I thought about going to this system but for me the roof-mount is pretty easy, especially if you have a light bike and are somewhat tall. Getting bikes on top requires a bit of stretching but isn't too bad once you get the hang of it. Since I don't usually park in covered structures and getting the bikes on top is not too difficult, the top is the best solution for me. One random thought - with the bikes on top it makes them harder to steal/mess with (and they are easily in view), even with a locking rack.

I used to put my two bikes in my RAV4 (never tried it yet with the MDX) but once the baby arrived, I don't want to move the child seat. Also, you get some style points but putting the bikes outside and driving to a nice trail. Obviously, inside is most secure and weather protected but I really like having the extra cargo space for towels, refreshments and food after the ride.
 

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a2mdxer,
thanks for your thoughts!
the (rear) rack i refered to in my prev post at least IMO looks pretty stable and more or less easy to take off (good point about being able to open the hatch) - here is my confusion - those straps go around the hatch (from inside) or just a clip-ons (that's why i'm looking for some1 who actually uses/used this type)?
it also has the hooks that hold the bikes' frames - another concern is to prevent the front fork from turning/leaning.
about the height, i'm 6'3" - not an issue; my bikes are not super lightweight, but still aluminum frames - my point was more in steps involved, i'd assume:
a) remove the front wheel or purchase the additional fork mount;
b) lift the bike, bolt on the fork to the base (while balancing it in one hand standing on side step)
c) snap the rear wheel on track and fix it.

vs

a) attach the bike to 2 holders
b) fix the wheels/fork

about hitting from behind - i think in this case the rack would server as a rear bullbar ;)
 

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I assumed you were talking a hitch-mounted rack for the rear not a strap-on for the hatch. A hitch-mount with fork-mount trays I think would be best for the rear (I think Thule's version is called a space station). I would tend to avoid the strap-on rack as you probably need to /install/uninstall the rack each time you use it and it tends to have more movement. Maybe you have a different solution in mind.

For roof mount, I can give you a better idea on ease of use in a week or two, after I have completed my install. On my RAV4 (about 2-3" shorter than MDX) I just took off the front wheel (easy) grabbed the bike with two hands (one on fork, one on rear triangle or downtube) hoisted it up (standing on the ground) and placed the forks in then the rear wheel, closed the fork clamp, then clamped down the rear strap and key lock the fork-mount. I know that sounds a bit complicated but when you get it down it takes only about a minute (or less) per bike. For the MDX, I may need to get sidesteps or a stool (or cooler) to stand on. The nice thing is that when the rack is not in use, it is out of the way and you don't have to remove any part of the rack (only the bikes).
 
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