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Buy roof carriers – the easy way!

Are you looking for roof bars, ski carriers or roof rail carriers for your vehicle? With us you can choose between universal and vehicle specific roof bars. Our ski racks complete the assortment. We are your specialist in roof and ski racks.

Which roof carrier matches with my vehicle?

Before you buy a roof carrier, you must check the following:
  1. Do you have an open, a closed roof rail or no rail at all?
  2. How do the fixing points on the vehicle roof look like, in case no roof rail is available?
  3. Does the roof have a rain water channel, a normal roof, a T-slot profile or a fixed point attachment?

You can easily answer these questions with the help of our sample images.


closed roof railclosed roof rail closed roof rail

closed roof rail closed roof rail
e.g. Hyundai Santa Fe

open roof railopen roof rail

open roof rail
e.g. BMW 5-series (E39 Touring)

Fixed point attachmentFixed point attachment

Fixed point attachment
e.g. Hyundai Santa Fe


Rain water channelRain water channel

Fixing at rain water channel
e.g. Jeep Wrangler 3 DR

T-slotT-slot

T-slot profile
e.g. Porsche Cayenne

normal roofnormal roof

normal roof
e.g. Hyundai Santa Fe

What should I keep in mind before buying?

1. the shape of roof carrier

After you have determined the correct fixing option for a roof carrier for your vehicle, you should pay attention to the shape of roof carrier / bars.

We differentiate here between steel pipe and aluminium rail profile. The steel pipe is a square profile and the aluminium rail profile is mostly a flattened version with T-slot.

Steel pipe profile

Carrier with steel pipe profile
e.g. Thule Squarebar

Aluminium rail profile

Aluminium rail profile
e.g. Thule Wingbar


2. the bar strength

The strength of the bars is also an important factor for the intended use. Therefore, please check the bar strength beforehand, for which your additional transporting system is suitable. You can see the bar thickness from the data sheet of the roof box.

Important note!

Not every roof box or roof bike carrier can be mounted with all bar strengths.

Roof box

Steel pipe or aluminium rail profile

Steel pipe profile

Steel pipe profile
(approx. 32 x 22 mm)

Use and quality

The biggest difference probably lies in the dimensions and range of uses associated with them. Steel pipe profiles are normally designed as square pipes and are suitable for (almost) all roof structures with approx. 32 x 22 mm cross-section. They are galvanised and covered with a plastic sheath and hence there is no risk of rusting. Aluminium profiles score here with a somewhat lower weight.

Their disadvantage is mostly their broader cross-section of 80 x 35 mm. It must be noted here that the roof structures are suitable for the corresponding aluminium profile. This argument is not valid, if a fixing is possible here via T-slot adapters, because all aluminium profiles support this fixing option.


Aerodynamics, looks and mounting
Aluminium rail profile

Aluminium rail profile with T-slot
(max. 80 x 35 mm)

If the good looks of your vehicle are important for you, the aluminium profile is the only choice you have. The emphasis here is not just on the modern design, the aerodynamics is also very convincing and produces excellent results in the wind tunnel with the corresponding saving potential for fuel consumption. These reasons speak for themselves and justify the somewhat more expensive price as compared to the standard steel carriers.

In most cases, there is no difference while mounting on the vehicle, because the manufacturers make available a steel pipe and an aluminium profile variant respectively. There is hardly any difference here in the base for mounting.


Aluminium rail profile
Instructions for usable area!

In case of steel pipe carriers, this is normally within the support bases. Attachments like brackets or clamps may not be fixed outside of the support bases!

In case of aluminium rail profiles, the complete width of the carrier rails can be used by using the T-slot with the T-slot adapters.

Tips and tricks

"Whispbar" – Probably the most silent roof carrier of the world

Whispbar carrier

Whispbar carriers in Aerotest
in wind tunnel

Customers who complain about loud noises of their roof carriers are not rare and in times of high petrol costs, each car driver will want to save wherever it is possible. Two criteria often considered as disadvantages in case of roof carriers.

The company Yakima has developed a roof carrier system, which, according to the company, is the world's first really silent roof carrier system that can be dismantled. The wing-like profile of the carrier is the result of many hours of meticulous research and tests in wind tunnel and on the road.

The aerodynamic shape that results from this reduces the air resistance considerably. Tests on unloaded cross racks have shown that the Whispbar offers 40-70% less air resistance than the comparative competitor products. This not only causes less wind noise but also saving of fuel.


T-slot
What is meant by a T-slot?

A T-slot is a slot which is present in the beam of the roof carrier. This is mainly present in roof carriers with aluminium rail profile.

With the help of T-slot adapters you can fix e.g. roof boxes or roof bike carriers more securely.


Aluminium rail profile with T-slot
What is bar strength?

The bar strength implies the dimensions of the cross-section of the carrier beam. The picture on the right shows a roof carrier with T-slot aluminium rail profile and a bar strength of 80 x 35 mm.