Which Roof Rack?

DaytonaS3

Registered User
hi

My builds sitting on status 38, so now just getting the accessories so I'm good to go!

It's a s3 5door sportback, roof rails and sunroof - and I'm looking at roof rack for my bike.

I've given eBay a go, but loads of options ranging from £70 (farrah) to £180 (Thule) to £250 (genuine Audi).

It's rare to get a good deal crop up for second hand genuine Audi for the fitment I need.

Bike is worth a fair bit, so I don't want to go too cheap if it means the bike is more at risk. But equally I'm not paying daft money to have an Audi logo.

Any recommendations on the roof rack and cycle carrier part? Are things usually compatible I.e Farrah roof rack, and Thule cycle carrier?

Cheers
 

GSB

Registered User
Bide your time, and a Thule set up will become available. Just set up an eBay notification for the 3 key items, they'll soon pop up. I paid about £130 for slightly used foot pack, clips, and aero rails;

'Thule 969'
'Thule 754'
'Thule 1708'

Then you have a choice of cycle carriers, I have a pair of 591's, which have been replaced by 598's. The 591's are perfectly adaquate though.
As far as I can tell, the Audi ones are rebranded Thule parts. Thule are the best in the business, so no need to look elsewhere.
 

vamos

Registered User
Get a tow ball and a ball mounted rear rack. From bitter experience bikes and height restriction signs don't mix
 

DaytonaS3

Registered User
Get a tow ball and a ball mounted rear rack. From bitter experience bikes and height restriction signs don't mix
Ouch! I'm on pcp so probably couldn't add the tow ball without causing problems.
 

vamos

Registered User
Yeah - I just looked into towbar for the s3 and I can't seem to see an easy option.
So far due to my stupidity I've destroyed two bikes due to height barriers. My beloved Donahue was the worst..
 

GSB

Registered User
Yeah - I just looked into towbar for the s3 and I can't seem to see an easy option.
So far due to my stupidity I've destroyed two bikes due to height barriers. My beloved Donahue was the worst..
Add a broomstick/fishing rod/ pole of some sort to the rack, with a brightly coloured strip of cloth or something on the end so that it's always in your field of vision. Perfect reminder that there's something on your roof.
 

jungle650

Registered User
Bide your time, and a Thule set up will become available. Just set up an eBay notification for the 3 key items, they'll soon pop up. I paid about £130 for slightly used foot pack, clips, and aero rails;

'Thule 969'
'Thule 754'
'Thule 1708'

Then you have a choice of cycle carriers, I have a pair of 591's, which have been replaced by 598's. The 591's are perfectly adaquate though.
As far as I can tell, the Audi ones are rebranded Thule parts. Thule are the best in the business, so no need to look elsewhere.

I happen to have both Thule Aerobars and Audi OEM items .. Long story short bought then both used for less money than two sets of Footpacks and one set of bars for my needs.

Make sure your used roofbars include the rubber strips. Using a bar on a car without these makes a lot more noise!

The Thule and Audi items look very similar but are different. ( certianly in my case )

* Both are easy to attach / detach however The Audi OEM ones use a large Allen Key type thing to tighten the bars down to the rails on the car. Thule has a clever pull and twist locking mechanism. So probably easier to use Thule.
*Audi bars have little adjustment so are designed to fit the A3/S3 but will also fit similar models ie Q3 etc. This is good and bad - in that as there is little adjustment they dont rattle or have gaps underneath. But obviously cant be used across brands of cars. ( More gaps means more wind noise! )
*Audi OEM bars are slightly shorter in length and are tailored with one bar longer than the other for contour of car.
*Both sets of bars use the standard T Button slider so pretty much any roofbox / cycle carrier fits.
*Audi OEM bars are similar to the whisper items Thule produce and far quieter in my case than my Aerobars. ( Thule have made different designs over the years improving tech )
*Thule bars are both same length.
* Both bars are lockable to the cars rails
*Audi OEM items sit higher than the Thule items
*Audi OEM allows full use of a sun pano roof

I find the Audi OEM items whisper quiet. Thule Aerobars ( not Thule Whisper in my case ) are good but louder than Audi OEM items, even though they sit lower to car!

The Thule 591/598's are great. 598 is the newer model and makes mounting the bike on either side in either direction quicker ( unit can be swapped around for right/ left configuration in less than a minute. The 598 have a rachet system so you cannot over tighten against bike.
Otherwise very similar units. Both units are lockable but 598 is a little more secure compared to older variant.

Audi OEM vs Thule Aerobars.

IMG 5895


Audi OEM vs Thule Aero bars - Top view Thule much thinner in width.

IMG 5893


Front on with Audi OEM attached.
IMG 6639


Side on with Audi OEM and Thule cycle 598 carriers attcahed
IMG 5947


Take a look at www.roofracks.co.uk for fitment packs or www.roofbox.co.uk.

Then keep your eyes peeled on Ebay / Gumtree etc. You will find after the summer hols quite a few will pop up !

Jungle
 
Last edited:

GSB

Registered User
Ahh Roofbars. Apologies OP, didn't realise you already have half a roof rack already fitted. my shopping list is for an A3 without the optional roofbars.

I happen to have both Thule Aerobars and Audi OEM items .. Long story short bought then both used for less money than two sets of Footpacks and one set of bars for my needs.

Make sure your used roofbars include the rubber strips. Using a bar on a car without these makes a lot more noise!

The Thule and Audi items look very similar but are different. ( certianly in my case )

* Both are easy to attch / detach however The Audi OEM ones use a large Allen Key type thing to tighten the bars down to the rails on the car. Thule has a clever pull and twist locking mechanism. So probably easier to use Thule.
*Audi bars have little adjustment so are designed to fit the A3/S3 but will also fit similar models ie Q3 etc. This is good and bad - in that as there is little adjustment they dont rattle or have gaps underneath. But obviously cant be used across brands of cars. ( More gaps means more wind noise! )
*Audi OEM bars are slightly shorter in length and are tailored with one bar longer than the other for contour of car.
*Both sets of bars use the standard T Button slider so pretty much any roofbox / cycle carrier fits.
*Audi OEM bars are similar to the whisper items Thule produce and far quieter in my case than my Aerobars. ( Thule have made different designs over the years improving tech )
*Thule bars are both same length.
* Both bars are lockable to the cars rails
*Audi OEM items sit higher than the Thule items
*Audi OEM allows full use of a sun pano roof

I find the Audi OEM items whisper quiet. Thule Aerobars ( not Thule Whisper in my case ) are good but louder than Audi OEM items, even though they sit lower to car!

The Thule 591/598's are great. 598 is the newer model and makes mounting the bike on either side in either direction quicker ( unit can be swapped around for right/ left configuration in less than a minute. The 598 have a rachet system so you cannot over tighten against bike.
Otherwise very similar units.

Audi OEM vs Thule Aerobars.

View attachment 129749

Audi OEM vs Thule Aero bars - Top view Thule much thinner in width.

View attachment 129750

Fron on with Audi OEM attached.
View attachment 129752

Side on with Audi OEM and Thule cycle 598 carriers attcahed
View attachment 129751

Jungle
My Thule bars (for a car without optional roofbars) are a rather different shape to those;
IMG 6575
 

txosbi

Registered User
Those are the aero bars. I went Thule for my s3 sb, carry 4 bikes with ease.
 

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