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I have an Audi A1, which has a small spoiler on the back; it's built into the car, not something I have put on. I have been looking for a bike mount/rack that I can place on the rear of the car.

A member of Halfords (popular every-day automobile and bike store in the UK) staff told me that because of the spoiler at the top, there isn't a suitable rack for this type of car. At least not one that they sell.

I am aware brand recommendations are a bit off-topic here, but perhaps there is a specific type of rack I need to be searching for? Roof mounted rack is not an option for me unfortunately.

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  • Perhaps you can remove the spoiler? – copper.hat Oct 1 '18 at 21:09
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    Leave the car in the garage and ride your bike ? – Criggie Oct 2 '18 at 2:04
  • Fold down the rear seats and put the bike in the back ? – Criggie Oct 2 '18 at 2:04
  • What do Audi say? – Carel Oct 2 '18 at 8:15
  • @Carel I'd guess something like "you have a car - why you want bike too?" given they're an auto maker. – Criggie Oct 2 '18 at 18:38
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The spoiler does not preclude using a rear mounted rack.

I have an Audi hatchbach with a similar spoiler. I use a Yakima King Joe (model discontinued but Yakima and Thule offer functionally equivalent products) which has a wide span between the upper and lower arms.

The upper arm sit on the rear glass near the top, or tucked up underneath the spoiler. The lower arm sits below the number plate.

YouTube video of installation of the rack on a hatchback:

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They're probably worried about liability rather than anything else, but it is harder to get something to fit.

The gold standard option would be a tow-ball mounted rack, but you need a tow-ball and they're expensive, even if you don't need a trailer socket for a light board (which you almost certainly do, and this can be an issue even with tailgate-mounted racks).

I reckon my old Halfords high mount rear rack would actually fit if adjusted carefully, but they no longer make it. Evans have a similar model which they say doesn't fit with spoilers but might fit with yours. Car racks are one of the few bike-related things I'd go to Halfords for by choice, but their stock is limited.

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As small as your A1 is, a roof rack might be a good option for you.

  • You won't have any issue with the spoiler.
  • The car is short enough that you shouldn't have any issue getting the bike to the roof.
  • If someone behind you isn't paying attention, they'll hit your bumper and not destroy your bike(s). That has the added bonus of leaving you with transportation while the car is getting fixed!
  • Many rack systems will offer the opportunity to install a roof-top box in addition to the bike racks for more storage capacity (or a place to put stinky riding clothes on the way home).

As was pointed out in the comments, there is the possible issue of running the bike into something overhead, though I have always been exceedingly conscious of the bike up on the roof. After the first couple of drives, I was never worried about it falling off, I was just very aware of it being there.

Also pointed out in the comments was that the OP explicitly excluded this option. I'm leaving the answer because others seem to like it and it may be good advice for someone in the future.

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    As the op Explicitly ruled out roof rack this answer is not really useful. I use a roof rack, and hesitate to recommend one as I know of many more bikes being destroyed (along with cars) from driving into parking lots and garages with bikes on a roof than from being rear ended with bikes on back. – mattnz Oct 2 '18 at 3:24
  • @mattnz - you are correct, he does explicitly rule that out, I missed seeing that. However, with the up vote, someone found this answer useful, so I'll leave it. I've always been a fan of the roof rack over the rear-rack, but many are not so it may serve to give others something to think about. I've heard of and seen pics of people driving their bikes into things because they've forgotten they were up there. Personally, I've always been exceedingly, overly conscious of the bike on the roof and have never come close to having that issue. – FreeMan Oct 2 '18 at 11:14
  • @FreeMan that's probably because you care more about your bike than your car ;) – Wayne Werner Oct 2 '18 at 12:02
  • @WayneWerner - cars I can fix myself (within reason), bikes, not as much... – FreeMan Oct 2 '18 at 12:15
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If the spoiler is metal a trunk lid style will probably work just fine. They have clips that fit in the slot at the front of the spoiler and take most of the weight. The feet are rubber and you should be able to mount the rack high enough that the straps don't bear on the spoiler. There are straps to the side and bottom of the hatch for positioning, but they do not take much weight. I have a Lexus CT200h that has a metal insert at the front of the spoiler and use this approach. If the front edge of the spoiler is plastic I would be more worried. I also have a Subaru Outback with plastic spoiler and have not tried the rack on it.

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