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Customer Discussions > Cycling forum

Good bike rack for BMW 3-series

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Showing 26-48 of 48 posts in this discussion
In reply to an earlier post on Jun 11, 2012, 3:47:03 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Jun 27, 2012, 11:45:36 PM PDT
P. Freeman says:
I have OEM roof racks for a 1999 323 and a 2001 530. Both use the same rack. For these cars, the racks install with just 4 bolts that screw directly into receptacles in the roof. All I need to do is flip open the hinged receptacle covers, place the racks on the roof with the bolts over the holes, and tighen the bolts using the keyed wrench. Nothing touches a painted surface. When you take the racks off, just flip the covers back down and the roof looks good as new.

The racks fit in the trunk of my 530 so I usually store them there and only put them on when I need to use them.

I cannot confirm that the 2011 is exactly the same. However, if you have the four little flip-up receptacle covers in your roof, then I strongly recommend the OEM roof system.

Posted on Jun 11, 2012, 6:35:05 PM PDT
J. Alderson says:
Saris Bones RS 3-Bike Trunk Mount Rack

I would highly recommend the Saris Bones RS for a BMW 3. It's pricey, but well worth it if you want your bike to be secure. It is rock solid and a very smart design. It doesn't rest on your bumper like alot of trunk racks. It actually hooks up to the bottom and the top of your trunk lid and you can even open the trunk with the rack fully installed. Made in Wisconsin.

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 12, 2012, 4:03:15 PM PDT
Jie Yao says:
My 2011 328 does come with the factory drilled holes on the roof, just as you described and I do plan to purchase the OEM roof rack with ski attachments, provided that I can easily remove the rack after a weekend ski trip. However, for bike transportation, I am not convinced roof rack is a better option for a few reasons: likely to drive into a garage; tendency to scratch the side of the body while raise the bike for mounting; fuel efficiency on highway with a bike on top...

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 12, 2012, 4:12:08 PM PDT
Jie Yao says:
I went to a local bike shop and checked out this rack. The rack felt sturdy yet not too heavy and the rubber coated hooks are nice; however, the round feet that touches the trunk surface felt hard and has the potential to scratch paint, I was afraid. Have you had paint damage using this rack? How often you have used it?

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 12, 2012, 6:26:11 PM PDT
J. Alderson says:
The feet aren't holding the weight of the rack. The bottom hooks are pulled up under the lid taking most of the stress. That's some of the genius of the design. You'll have 4 points of contact between those 2 on the bottom and the top hooks that will ratchet in. You can put it on and off in literally seconds. I've only had mine for a few weeks and used it 4 times so far with up to 3 bikes on. I had never heard of Saris prior to about 5 weeks ago and was skeptical at first about the design and the price. I looked at Thule, Yakima and Saris racks and am very satisfied thus far with the Saris.

Posted on Jun 12, 2012, 6:48:50 PM PDT
Jie Yao says:
Thanks for the detailed explanation. I will give this Saris rack a try and report back the experience in July.

Posted on Jun 22, 2012, 11:07:59 AM PDT
Renee Okubo says:
I have a BMW bike rack I purchased 3 years ago, used 4 times for sale. I got it for a 2008 335xi model. not sure were you are located. I'm in Denver, CO. will offer a competitive price. looks like new. can email at reneeokubo@msn.com for pics

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 27, 2012, 8:03:24 PM PDT
TomK1 says:
With this rack, the bottom part should not be resting on the bumper, push it further up the truck so its no longer putting all the weight on the plastic part of the bumper.

Posted on Jun 27, 2012, 11:26:59 PM PDT
P. Freeman says:
I just needed to to pass on this story. Many of you have argued that a roof rack is dangerous because you could drive into a garage with a bike still attached. I have done this myself and there was no damage to the bike, rack or car. I was driving so slowly that nothing bad happened. I needed to adjust the bike's brake levers but that was all.

However, today my daughter was trying to move a bike with a trunk mounted rack (on an Audi). Before loading the bike, she was opening the trunk (with the rack attached) to load some items. The trunk lid opened too far. The rack hit the rear window and the glass shattered. My daughter had to drive 100miles back home from college without a rear window.

So while my roof rack accident caused no problems, a top quality Yakima trunk rack has just cost me $$$ for a window replacement. I am voting a second time for the roof rack solution.

Posted on Jun 28, 2012, 7:11:44 AM PDT
niteman50 says:
After a lot of shopping around and discussions I purchased a Thule raceway 3 about 3 months ago. We use it weekly on my son's E46 (325 xi) and my E60 (535xi. His mounts according to their chart just below the license plate, and on mine on the bumper. It has left some very temporary indents on my car with 3 bikes, but this goes away quickly. Also putting more tension on the upper two cables seems to also alleviate this problem. No issues on the 3 series. Its a well constructed, engineered and well thought out rack. Very easy to install and remove. Locking feature onto the car is a plus as well as not having to fiddle with all those ridiculous straps on other manufactures racks. Can travel at 80 mph with no problems. Use the blue included strap to keep the wheels in align and you are set to go. Best of luck.

Posted on Jul 7, 2012, 8:23:07 AM PDT
+1 on the hitch rack. Get one installed from uHaul and you can get a $5 lifetime rust warranty. Forget the roof rack, lowers mileage, makes noise and looks stupid. I did the whole trunk rack and almost lost a $2000 bike on the road and scratched up my trunk. A hitch rack like the Swagman XTC looks the best, easiest to use, and safest IMO.

Posted on Jul 13, 2012, 3:12:22 PM PDT
Jie Yao says:
I purchased Thule Raceway 3 and this rack does not work for my 2011 BMW 328i. One main problem: when mounted with two bikes, it blocks nearly the entire rear view, making it unsafe to drive. To be fair, the same rack works far better on my friends car (Subaru Legacy) -- the solid middle part of the rack does sit above the height of the truck, thus, much less obstruction.

1) solid, stable, and sturdy construction
2) fold-able arm
3) lockable rack and bike

1) obstructs the entire rear view
2) puts two dimples on the bumper after leaving the rack mounted for one overnight -- the dimples went away but some faint scratches left on the bumper
3) much heavier than other trunk mount racks I have used

In reply to an earlier post on Aug 13, 2012, 12:47:29 PM PDT
Picard321 says:
Lets call them bike carriers.... A bike rack is what bolts on the bikes frame to carry bags, panniers, etc.
Back to carriers; if you have a trailer hitch, I would recommend one of the carriers that slide into the hitch.

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 11, 2013, 5:25:23 PM PDT
What year is your BMW? I have a 2009 328 hardtop convertible and everyone is telling me I can't carry a bike on the trunk or a kayak on the roof. I'd like to find a solution so I can carry both. Thanks.

In reply to an earlier post on Aug 23, 2013, 10:35:22 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Aug 23, 2013, 10:44:27 AM PDT
Vivian Lund says:
I also have a 2011 BMW 328i, and bought the Thule 9001 2 bike trunk mounted carrier. I had the exact same issues as Jie Yao- the carrier was very heavy and put 2 large dimples in the bumper after being on the car for one day and night with one very light road bike attached. The dimples did go away after about a week, but scratches were left on the bumper.
Pros- lockable, sturdy, easy to attach to vehicle
Cons- very heavy, dents and scratches bumper, hard to keep bike wheels from wobbling even with strap attachment

Posted on Apr 25, 2014, 7:21:06 PM PDT
mercedes says:
I have a Saris Bones-2, but the top hooks have nothing to grab onto on my BMW 335i. Only the tips of the top hooks fit into the space between the rear window and the roof. Anyone have a solution, or is this rack simply not usable with this car?

In reply to an earlier post on May 3, 2014, 5:37:36 AM PDT
What car do you drive

Posted on May 17, 2014, 7:36:33 AM PDT
Lesley H says:

I have an E46 330ci. Got a thule trunk mounted, used a few time and it was ok, then on last trip not sure what happened but the pedal of the bike got stuck between the plate and my trunk and scratched to the metal. Will cost $$$ to fix. Never used it again and am afraid to use another trunk rack. With the money it will cost me, I might as well have bought a hitch rack. It will cost me a bundle but worth it I think. Might as well- save yourself the possibility of accidents, which will cost more in the end.

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 26, 2014, 8:29:42 AM PDT
Mark Evans says:
Did you get any answers . We have the exact same convertible and year.

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 31, 2014, 7:24:13 AM PST
I have the same car and want to get into bicycling and kayaking but am stumped about how to carry them. Did you have any luck finding a solution? Thanks.

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 31, 2014, 9:00:16 AM PST
Jie Yao says:
I ended up getting a Thule gateway bike carrier for my 328i sedan. It is a much lighter rack, works most of the time. I had been using it for the last 2 summers, on a weekly basis. Unfortunately, there are some scratches on the trunk due to the heaven usage.

As for carrying a kayak, I suggest getting a BMW roof base system. I got one, along with a ski carrier. Just came back from a ski trip, the rooftop transport system works great for skis. They should work for a kayak if you get the appropriate attachment.


Posted on Nov 8, 2016, 7:39:03 AM PST
Martha says:
i have a bmw 1 series convertible and am looking for info on a decent bike rack. bm1 can supply one but at a cost of £523.00. i am not spending that on a bike rack, any suggestions?

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 8, 2016, 7:49:49 AM PST
LLB says:
Glad to see that BMW now make one ! - I suggest that you spend the money and get the BMW item - just check first that its not a rebranded Thule etc at twice the price!
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Discussion in:  Cycling forum
Participants:  34
Total posts:  48
Initial post:  Jun 12, 2011
Latest post:  Nov 8, 2016

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