In the northeastern United States, summer usually translates into road trips, vacations and a packed events schedule, as residents try to enjoy every last second of warm weather before the winter creeps in.  As such, Volkswagen Accessories' Base Carrier Bars and Bike Holder Attachment could be considered the must-have accessory of the season. In fact, when Project Golf SportWagen began coming together, these racks were the first thing on our list.

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Sure, the wagon form lends itself quite well to housing nearly anything within the cabin after folding the rear seats flat, but keeping the grease and dirt from our bikes away from the brand new upholstery just made sense.  So with all of this in mind (not to mention the unmistakably cool aesthetic provided by a bike affixed to the roof of a car), we ordered up a set for our latest project car, and wasted no time putting them on.

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In the few months since originally attaching the rack to our car, we've become even more fond, as it allows for quick transport of our bikes without the need to remove any wheels or lower the seat post.  And we've also grown to appreciate just how quiet the system is at highway speeds.  By no means is it silent, but it is extremely close, doing away with the howling and wind buffeting common with other systems thanks in part to its aero design.  Fuel mileage did take a hit, but at a penalty of roughly 8-10 per cent, it really isn't that big of a deal.

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We've had both mountain and road bikes attached to our roof, and while the front tire holder can be a bit tight when holding anything larger than a 2.35", the system held both styles quite securely.  Both the frames and the front tires enjoy a tight grip, thanks in part to the tapered front tire holder design and ratcheting C-clamp on the bike's bottom tube.  As we stated earlier, a side effect of this snug tire tray is that larger front rollers on mountain or downhill bikes with either be snug or simply won't fit when fully inflated, but the benefit for road cyclists will certainly be felt.

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Coming in at at MSRP of $350 for the Volkswagen Accessory Base Bars , and an additional $165 for the Bike Holder Attachment (or $180 if you'd like a fork-mount option ), the OEM roof rack accessory is not just exceptional in its ease of installation and functionality, it's also an exceptional value.  Those interested in the kit can either visit parts.vw.com , or your local Volkswagen dealer.

To see more of our Project SportWagen, click here .