eNate
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SeaSucker Monkey Bar Roof Rack / Sunroof...

Sat Sep 21, 2019 9:34 pm

I am close to plunking down some cash on a slightly customized SeaSucker roof rack setup for my i3.

Image

I say "slightly customized" because:
a. they're setting me up with their smaller 4.5" suction cups on the front bar's forward position, to fit the strip of roof in front of the sunroof (the standard cups are 6" in diameter)
b. they're swapping out the standard 2-cup rear bar for a double-double-cup bar (4 cups total, like the front)

Image

My intent is to mount the front bar to the narrow strip of roof in the picture, and to the forward corners of the sunroof glass.

The rear bar would be centered about 33" behind the front bar, off of the sunroof glass. Because the rear bar will also be double cups on each side, the "forward" rear cups will reach ahead to the supported portion of the roof. If you haven't noticed, the i3 roof can be kind of Jello-ey.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pTLrUPFmnn4

I was actually somewhat particular seeking out a sunroof-equipped i3 because the aluminum sunroof frame seems to stiffen up the roof, but it's still pretty jiggly behind the lower case b-pillar.

What's got me concerned is I see barely any examples of i3's with suction cup roof racks on the various forums, and wonder if anybody has run into any trouble with this setup. SeaSucker is reputable and has been around for a long time now, gets great reviews, is ok with mounting to all glass surfaces on various makes and models, and has been awesome working with my custom request.

Anybody here got experience in this department?
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MKH
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Re: SeaSucker Monkey Bar Roof Rack / Sunroof...

Sun Sep 22, 2019 6:52 am

Mark H.
2015 i3 Rex, Capparis White, Tera World, Technology & Driving Assistant, Parking Assistant, Harman Kardon Audio System, 19 inch 427 wheels, EVoInnovate EVSE

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MKH
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Location: Dallas

Re: SeaSucker Monkey Bar Roof Rack / Sunroof...

Sun Sep 22, 2019 7:44 am

... and then there is this guy in Hong Kong, who is moding an OEM Mini Cooper roof basket with suction cup mounts.

https://www.ebay.com/itm/BMW-i3-Aluminu ... 4362704164
Mark H.
2015 i3 Rex, Capparis White, Tera World, Technology & Driving Assistant, Parking Assistant, Harman Kardon Audio System, 19 inch 427 wheels, EVoInnovate EVSE

eNate
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Joined: Mon Sep 09, 2019 5:33 pm

Re: SeaSucker Monkey Bar Roof Rack / Sunroof...

Sun Sep 22, 2019 5:27 pm

Oh wow, very interesting. Particularly the guy wit h the custom tracks he glued to his roof. Thanks for sharing those links.

Before committing to the SeaSucker, I really ought to drop the headliner and check out the structure under the roof. I just can't imagine there's not enough meat in the cage structure to mount up a couple of Yakima Landing Pads.
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jackpotduc
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Re: SeaSucker Monkey Bar Roof Rack / Sunroof...

Fri Oct 04, 2019 8:09 am

I’m thinking about going this route too.
Please post some pics once you have the whole setup installed

You going with a cargo box, basket, or surf racks?

eNate
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Re: SeaSucker Monkey Bar Roof Rack / Sunroof...

Fri Oct 04, 2019 8:27 am

SeaSucker should be shipping the rack out today. I'll mainly be running a 3-bike setup on it (currently 2 Yakima High Roads and a Boa in the center), but I may the the opportunity to run my smaller Thule Atlantis 1200 cargo box up there; though it's more likely to see 2x4s or pipe strapped to it.
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eNate
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Re: SeaSucker Monkey Bar Roof Rack / Sunroof...

Tue Oct 15, 2019 3:17 pm

(Duplicate Post)
Last edited by eNate on Tue Oct 15, 2019 10:00 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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eNate
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Re: SeaSucker Monkey Bar Roof Rack / Sunroof...

Tue Oct 15, 2019 3:18 pm

I had a quick minute to test-install the SeaSucker Monkeybars today. I haven't "used" them yet i.e. an actual drive, but thought I'd share what I have so far.

Pleased to confirm that, as I expected, the forward placement prevents any interference with the hatch opening fully.

This is a custom order (SeaSucker even wrote "Custom Order" in Sharpie on the box!!! Wahoo!) with double cups front and rear, and with smaller 4.5" cups in the front-front, to fit the small strip ahead of the skylight.

So apologies for the all-around bad photo composition and dirty car (I wiped down the roof where the suction cups adhere).

Anybody considering going this route needs to consider an important detail: These cups do not secure to the roof. It takes literally a firm finger press on the edge of each cup to cause it to release suction. Two or strong people could literally dead lift these crossbars off the roof of your car with bikes attached, deposit them in the back of a pickup truck (or on the roof of another car), and drive away. So this rack can't be left on the car between uses, and can't be left unattended.

My deterrent to this at the trailhead will be to cable lock my rack to the car's wheel. My Yakima High Road racks lock to the crossbars, so I can keep all four components (two crossbars, two racks) "locked" together with the Yakima locks, and the cable attached to the wheel attaches to both Yakima racks. Kind of a pain in the butt, but I'm willing to deal with it.

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highheels
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Re: SeaSucker Monkey Bar Roof Rack / Sunroof...

Wed Oct 30, 2019 5:53 am

Looks like a great solution eNate but the fluidness of the roof in that video is concerning. How does it look when you pull on the seasuckers?

I'm looking to buy an i3 and if this is a viable solution to the roof rack problem it could be a winner. They are a lot of money though but I guess resale value would be quite high...got to think of total cost of ownership!

I look forward to hearing how you get on, thanks!

eNate
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Re: SeaSucker Monkey Bar Roof Rack / Sunroof...

Wed Oct 30, 2019 8:25 am

My plan is to make a video showing the complete installation (and maybe by me saying so publicly will make it happen sooner). I think this is important, because the downside of the SeaSucker is that, since it doesn't live on the car 24/7, a few minutes of setup is required each time it's put into use. This includes washing off the roof at the suction cup mounting points to ensure a clean surface, and mounting the bike rack to the crossbars (which is super quick with the Yakima HighRoad, but would have taken 2x as long with the Yakima HighRoller).

As for your roof structure question, the i3's sunroof stiffens the roof up nicely. But because the SeaSucker's crossbar cups mount near the roof edges, I'm not sure a non-sunroof model is going to be a whole lot worse. In the video, an individual fork mount is being demonstrated, and it's placed farther away from the roof's edge, where there's less support.

Removal is easier / faster than setup, and the folding bar option lets me chuck these in the hatch where the non-folding 48" bars won't fit. Of course, the HighRollers themselves don't fit inside the i3 without folding down the seats, so that's something to consider when making the purchase decision.
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