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Bike Carrying Recommendations for 2012 Mazda 3 Hatchback

Question:

Hello, I have a 2012 Mazda 3 I Touring 5 door hatchback with fixed mounting points. My question is: is the Yakima Ground Control Round Bar roof rack with use of landing pads, the only system out there where I would be able to easily remove the bars and bike attachment after each bike ride I know the landing pads have to remain? Since I do have the Skyactiv model, I am concerned about gas mileage but I like the idea of evenly distributing the weight between my front and rear axles. I have considered a hitch mount but since I have a small vehicle, dont want to block my lights and want to maintain use of hatch. Also, since I do have a mountain bike, a concern I have would be if loose debris, mud and dirt could constantly fall onto my white roof, causing me to have to wash my car more frequently? Thank you, Paul

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Expert Reply:

The Yakima Roof Rack which uses the LandingPad 11 (consisting of parts # Y00408, # Y00124 and # Y00233) is designed so that the crossbar and feet are quickly and easily removable, but the LandingPad would remain on the roof. The remainder of the offerings would connect directly to the fixed mounting points on the vehicle roof. It's possible to remove this type of rack when it's not being used, but it's a bit of an undertaking.

Given your concern regarding leaving the LandingPad in place, as well as getting debris on top of the vehicle, I believe a hitch mounted rack would be your best bet.

I'd recommend the Draw-Tite Class I hitch, part # 24843, which would work very well with the Kuat Beta # B202-114 bike rack. The Beta is rugged, but only weighs around 15 lbs. A hitch mount rack will have several advantages for you. You won't need to worry about mud and crud falling off the bikes onto the roof, and when you remove the rack, it's completely gone. Your taillights will still be perfectly visible through your bike wheels, and the rack is capable of folding down once the bikes are removed, so you'll have access to the cargo area. You can see the products I've recommended by clicking the provided links.

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Mike L

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