Why is there no Mini Cooper Clubman Rear Bike Rack… Sucker! 7

I needed a bike rack for my 2008 Mini Cooper Clubman S. MINI_Cooper_S_Clubman_Side I could not understand why there is no Mini Cooper Clubman rear bike rack.  I was looking for a cheap “strap on the back” rack that I could take on and off easily.   But after a few days of research I found there are only a few options, all were expensive options and none could just strap on.  So finding an inexpensive rack for a Clubman is tricky.

But to make matters worse my bike is also tricky.  I have a Cannondale Lefty front fork.

Cannondale Lefty RedIt is not a standard front fork with drop outs and a quick release.  To remove the wheel it takes about 7 minutes and requires tools to disconnect the brakes and remove the axle.  I can’t complain about the hassle of taking off the front wheel, it might hurt my brothers feelings.  He was the original design engineer who brought several generations of the the Cannondale Lefty to market.  I am going to leave my front wheel on and I need to find a bike rack that will work on my Mini Cooper Clubman S.

Here is a list of different types of racks I found for the Mini Coopers that meet my requirements for leaving on the front wheel.

Rack Options Solutions
Trunk Mount
trunk_mount_bike_rack_yakimaMini_Cooper_Clubman_SplitDoorsTrunk mounts are not an option for the Clubman beacuse of the splitdoor design.  There are several factors that rule out trunk mounts.1. No rack manufacturer offers a Clubman trunk mount.
2. The splitdoor design is not designed for load bearing.
3. There is no metal to attach the top straps to.  The mini door has glass.
4. There is no metal to attach the side straps to.
5. There is no metal to attach the bottom straps to.
There are no sane trunk mount solutions!However if you are crazy and still looking for a trunk mount option read to the end of this blog post.
Factory Roof RailsIf you have the factory roof rails running front to back  mini_cooper_clubman_factory_railsyou need to purchase a roof rack (cross bars) & bike holder.  I do not have the factory roof rails so this was not an option. MINI Cooper Clubman Roof Rack 2008-2013
MINI_Cooper_Clubman_Cross_BarsGenuine OEM MINI Cooper Touring Bike HolderMINI_Cooper_Touring_Bike_Holder
Factory Rack
Mini_Clubman_No_RailsIf you don’t have the factory roof rails.  You need to purchase a base roof rack and bike holder.  This was an option for me.  But I really don’t want to have a permanent roof rack.  I do a lot of driving and it can’t be good for the gas milage.
MINI Cooper Genuine Factory OEM Base Roof Rack 2007 – 2012MINI_Cooper_Roof_RackGenuine OEM MINI Cooper Touring Bike HolderMINI_Cooper_Touring_Bike_Holder
Hitch MountAdding a hitch to my Mini Cooper Mini_Cooper_Clubman_Trailer_Hitch_Rearwas another good option.  You will need to buy a trailer tow hitch and have it installed.  Then you will need a 1-1/4″ hitch rack.There are several things that caused me not too go with a hitch mount.1. It’s not a “bolt on” option.  It is a complex installation that requires drilling and body modifications.2. It is only available in 1-1/4″ size.  I already own a 2″ four bike hitch rack.  Had I been able to find a 2″ trailer hitch this would of been my first choice.   But I don’t have the garage space to be storing two hitch racks. TRAILER TOW HITCH – MINI CLUBMAN 1-1/4″ RECEIVER

Mini_Cooper_Clubman_Trailer_hitch

Thule 4-Bike 1.25″ Hitch Rack

Thule_4-Bike_1.25__Hitch_Rack

Crazy Alternative Rack OptionI thought I would never find a bike rack solution for my Lefty & my Clubman.  But then I ran across The Worlds Smallest Bike Rack.  The SeaSucker Hornet.  It is two suction cups and a safety strap.  Yes I said suction cups!  It is designed to be mounted on the back window of “almost” any car.  All I can say is that you would would have to be crazy to strap a fancy bike to a car with suction cups.seasucker_hornet_jeep seasucker_hornet_white_carseasucker_hornet_chevy If you notice in all three pictures the suction cups are on the back window.  The problem is the Mini Cooper Clubman back windows are so small and low to the ground my bike would be dragging on the ground.  I was so close to finding a solution but the hornet would not fit.But then I took a look at the other SeaSucker bike mounts.  The SeaSucker Talon bike mount was used on the roof. seasucker_talon_blue This gave me an idea.  What if I used the SeaSucker Hornet mounts on the roof and hung the bike off the back?  This would give a solid suction mount on the roof right next to the antenna.  And it would give the bike an angle to hang down resting on the door handles.Here is my Lefty suction cupped to my 2008 Mini Cooper Clubman S with the SeaSucker Hornet bike rack.

SeaSucker_Hornet_Mini_Cooper_Clubman

A safety strap is REQUIRED for use with the SeaSucker Hornet.  On a normal hatch back or mini van the safety strap secured above the sucker, on the roof where the trunk opens.  However on the Mini Cooper Clubman the safety strap can only be attached below the suckers at the top of the door jam.  This is not ideal but might provide enough height to keep your bike from draging on the ground if the suckers fail.

SeaSucker_Mini_Clubman_Safety_Strap

You would have to be crazy to strap a fancy bike to a car with suction cups.

But if you are.  Make sure you read and re-read the instrucitons.  Clean your roof and wet the suckers.  Check the suckers for suction all the time.  Always use a safety strap or two.  I use the included safety strap in the top door jam.  I also secure the bike seat to the rear door handles.  You can never have enough safety straps when cruising high speed down the turnpike heading for the trailhead.

SeaSucker Hornet Bike Rack
seasucker_hornet_new_promo

7 thoughts on “Why is there no Mini Cooper Clubman Rear Bike Rack… Sucker!

  1. Reply Chris Diamond Aug 2,2014 2:02 pm

    Thanks for this post. I’ve been struggling with a way to carry bikes on my Clubman. I considered using a trunk rack by attaching the straps to the luggage tie downs on the floor of the back compartment and then running them over the top of the doors but I was worried the weight might tweak the doors. I think I’m going to end up with the trailer hitch solution. It’s a bit of work but might be worth it in the end.

  2. Reply Rick Cowan Sep 21,2014 5:23 pm

    Thanks for sharing your research. What a conundrum we Clubman owners face in transporting our bikes!
    Like you, I don’t have roof rack so may be forced to try the “sucker.”

  3. Reply Rick Cowan Jul 14,2015 2:22 pm

    Thanks for this remarkably helpful analysis! I’m struggling with this challenge for my 2010 Clubman and love your solution.

  4. Reply J Mar 16,2016 4:55 pm

    what about just getting a 1.25 to 2 inch hitch adapter?

  5. Reply jody Oct 27,2016 12:11 am

    I am struggling with exact issue. So nice of you to post. Have you had any trouble with suction cups as of yet?

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