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Recommendations for Roof Bars to go with Roof Rails?

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I'm relatively new to the board, and I'm impressed with the knowledge base of the fellow Porsche enthusiasts here.

I have an '06 Cayenne S with the OEM roof rails and have been considering adding cross bars to better enable the carrying of items without damaging the roof. Would you recommend the OEM adjustable roof bars, Thule's cross bars, Yakima's cross bars, or something else?

Rather than mount a hard case (Porsche OEM or otherwise), I'm just looking to attach one of the weather-resistant cargo bags from Thule that offer an easier-to-remove solution since I don't need to constantly have a hard case up there. I'm looking for opinions on which cross bars are more aerodynamic, durable, lockable, and offer the best fit with the OEM roof rails. Also, does anyone know whether any of these cross bars impede the use of the moonroof?

Thanks in advance for people's recommendations...

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Hi -- the hardest part is done -- once you have your roof rails mounted what you add is somewhat subjective.

I have and '04 Cayenne S and installed the Porsche roof rails. Once they were on I could use all my existing Yakima stuff. Bike transport, cargo cages and boxes, etc.

I like Yakima -- it's black and understated, lockable and low-to-the-rail, meaning they do not stick up too high and I think they look good. Other folks like Thule. Again, it's subjective.

My set-up: Yakima Railgrabs with 58" roof crossbars. Then I use all different types of Yakima attachments -- primary I use the rack to transport bicycles. I like the Yakima Sprocketrocket for bikes. I don't mind taking the front wheel off bikes -- the Cayenne has room in the back for plenty of bike wheels.

For long road trips if I don't need the roof bars I take them off. Cayenne mileage is bad enough -- roof racks add considerable drag.

I have plenty of moonroof clearance (1/2") but be sure to double check -- a good idea is to leave the moon roof in the rear-tilted up (open position) as you mount/install your bars it so you'll be sure.

VERY IMPORTANT: If you're installing bike mounts that are rail-based be sure you open your tailgate and leave it open as you install. Otherwise you may mount everything, think all is well, open your tailgate and bang, it will slam into your rail and your tailgate will be dented. I tested with both the rear window open and also the entire tailgate open. And double-check rear bike wheels -- make sure the tailgate will not hit them when you have bikes on the roof. They're usually fine but check. If you do not have clearance simply scoot the bars and mounts forward until you have clearance, then mount them there. Same deal for skis. Double check. Some skis are so long you have to take them off the roof before you open the tailgate -- or you can open it partway to get what you want out. Just let everyone know or they can damage your tailgate and skis.

The Cayenne is very solid for roof transport. I've had four bikes no problem, other trips a canoe and also I borrowed a storage box. I've also stripped off the accessories and left just the bars to move sheets of plywood. All no problem.


I'm 6' and pack a step-ladder to make it easy to reach the racks so I can see what I'm doing and can tighten/loosen thing properly like bikes.

When I'm loading and unloading I put a moving blanket on top of the roof below the rack. If you drop a bike or a tool or whatever you won't dent or scratch your roof. It only takes, literally, 5 second to put the blanket off and on and it is a well spent 5 seconds. On my old Subaru Outback I accidentally let a bike slip off the bar and the fork of the bike put two small dents in the roof and broke the paint. A bummer.

Also, consider a trailer hitch mounted system for bikes.

Edited by odix
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