Every bike enthusiast knows that having a roof bike rack on top of their vehicle is an essential item. This rack comes in handy to store your bike when you need to take it on a trip to a bike trail, or to some places that are only accessible with a bike.
You may have noticed that there is an aspect of these roof bike racks that you may not have noticed – that they can be loud. There is a persistent pitch of turbulence and wind whistling coming from the roof rack, that is enough to cause you to reconsider your trip.
In this article, we shall discuss some ways that can help you to reduce this noise, and we will cover them in more detail later on.
First of all, let’s find out why such sounds occur in the first place.
Is there a reason why roof bike racks make noise?
The sound of the whistling noise is caused by air passing over the roof bike rack on top of your vehicle, and if the surface of the roof bike rack has a consistent shape, then the whistling noise will be accompanied by a whistled sound. The pitch of the whistling noise is determined by the speed at which air passes over the roof bike rack surface.
There are also other factors that can affect the sound, such as how the surface is shaped, as well as how the flow conditions are as well as the inclination of the surface.
In light of the fact that you now know what causes the noise coming from your roof rack, let’s now look at what you can do to help reduce the noise.
How To Stop Roof Bike Rack Noise
If you are frustrated by the noise coming from the roof bike rack on your roof, here are some tips that may help you reduce the problem:
It is important to make sure that the Roof Bike Rack is properly installed on the vehicle
You probably know that the noise that you are hearing may be coming from your roof bike rack that is not properly attached to the roof of your home.
As with most things, the tight hold of your roof bike rack could loosen over time because of constant use or if you have had it for a long time.
The rack, therefore, needs to be installed and secured properly and you also need to carry out periodic checks to ensure it is in good condition.
It might just be possible that this is the solution to the problem of noise coming from your roof mounted bike rack.
Install A Roof Rack Wind Fairing
It will be less likely for you to experience those annoying whistling sounds as a result of this.
The majority of vehicle wind fairings and deflectors can be fitted to the majority of vehicles. However, before you buy a fairing or deflector, make sure it fits the length of your vehicle and is universal.
In order to install the fairing, all that needs to be done is to clip the fairing to the front crossbar of the roof rack and you’re ready to go.
Make sure that you choose a wind fairing that is made from a durable, high-quality material when choosing one.
Install Aerodynamic Crossbars
With aerodynamic crossbars, the wind is reduced and the sound of whistling is eliminated effectively.
In the shape of an airplane’s wing, they are oval-shaped to create the effect of a wind vortex in place of one-directional airflow.
Aside from enhancing the aesthetics of your vehicle, these aerodynamic crossbars also improve the fuel efficiency of your car. Different brands offer different features such as wind diffusion grooves, integrated foot and bar integration, lower profile to alter airflow, etc.
If you are wondering if aerodynamic crossbars are worth the money you will need to bear in mind that they do not come cheap. If you are wondering if they are worth it, then the answer is yes.
Get Crossbar Pads
Using crossbar pads on your roof rack will allow you to achieve this by covering the metal surface of the crossbars.
In spite of the fact that crossbars are used to protect surfboards and other items that are placed on top of vehicles, who would have thought that they could be used for so much more?
During the installation process, the bars become very rounded as a result of the soft rubber material that it is made of. This changes the drag coefficient in a positive way.
As a result, crossbar pads are not as effective as wind fairings and are only meant to provide an easy and quick solution in place of wind fairings.
Go For Edge Bars
The edge bars are generally designed for bikes, and because they are specifically designed for this purpose, there will be little or no noise caused by them since they fit perfectly.
Unlike load bars, which have a small surface area and are usually for heavier and larger pieces of equipment, load bars have a large surface area.
Depending on their shape, edge bars can be round or oval, which is the reason why some people refer to them as aerodynamic crossbars in addition to edge bars.
Construct A Wind Deflector
The following part may surprise you, but yes, there is actually a way that you can make your own wind deflector.
It is possible to reduce the amount of noise coming from your rood bike rack by taking some of the precautions listed above.
We all know how satisfying it can be to build things that we would normally have purchased, but we also know how much money you can save if you do it yourself.
A bungee cord is all you need to get started. You will use the bungee cord to disrupt the flow of air over the crossbar by tying it around it.
The first step to securing the bungee cord around your front crossbar is to wrap it tightly around the crossbar and use the hooks on the bungee cord to further secure it.
The bungee cord changes the surface of the crossbar and redirects the air in order to reduce or eliminate the noise by changing its surface and rerouting the air.
In order to reduce its chances of pinging off when faced with the tensile strength of this material, make sure you secure it very tightly so that it does not come undone.
It is important to remember that, although this may be helpful in reducing the noise, you may still experience some level of noise, especially if you are driving at high speeds.
Get Rid Of The Roof Rack
As extreme as this may sound, if it will get rid of that annoying noise, then it simply makes sense to take such a step.
In addition, if you do not use your roof bike rack when you are not using your vehicle, it does not mean that you should not use it at all, it simply means removing it when not in use.
This may sound like a great idea, but unfortunately, it is not possible to remove the roof rack on some vehicles due to their design.
If this is the case, you will have to choose one of the options we listed above in order to proceed.
However, if your roof bike rack is able to be removed, then you will be saving yourself a lot of inconvenience if you simply put it away until the time comes that you will need it again.
During such occasions, all you will have to deal with is the noise you will hear.
Frequently Asked Questions About Roof Racks
Is it necessary to have roof racks on your car?
Certainly, roof racks are essential because you may need to carry items on top of your vehicle from time to time. For bike lovers, roof bike racks can be very helpful when traveling with your bike. You can also use a roof rack for more than just carrying your bike; you can use one as a mobile storage device that you can use to transport a wide variety of gear that would otherwise not fit inside your car.
My vehicle’s gas mileage may be affected if I have an empty roof rack on it. Is this true?
In fact, it has been shown that an empty roof rack can impact fuel economy by at least two percent. This translates to a difference of over three quarters of a gallon of gasoline. The mileage can go from 41 mpg to 40 mpg at 65 mph. It might not seem like a lot, but it can add up over time.
Is it true that roof racks affect the performance of the vehicle?
In order to reduce the wind resistance of a vehicle, roof racks are designed in such a way as to reduce wind resistance. Although aerodynamic roof racks will reduce this wind resistance, it is best to remove the rack or box when the vehicle is not in use.
There is a difference between a roof rail and a roof rack/bar. What is the difference between the two?
As a general rule, roof racks and bars are usually factory-installed. They run across the roof and are secured to the door frames with the help of fit kits. Some are originally mounted to the vehicle, while others are attached at the roof rails. Roof rails, on the other hand, run across the roof front to back.
It can be very annoying to hear the noise from your roof bike rack. If you find it to be so, you should do something about it. The tips provided in this article will help you get it under control or at least manage it. If you find any of the tips useful, please let us know in the comments.