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Mick's claims to still have the Nordrive racks in stock https://www.micksgarage.com/d/roof-racks-and-bars/kia/kia-niro/niro-2016-onwards/products/3017708-36798/aluminium-roof-bars-for-kia-niro-2016-onwards-with-solid-roof-rails. Current price is $103.49 plus about $15 in shipping. These fit my 2018 PHEV and they have a slightly higher load rating than some of the other models. I've only had them on the car once: they were noisy above 40 MPH. Someone suggested wrapping a bungee cord around the cross bar to reduce the noise, but I haven't tried that yet. I think wind noise might be a common problem with roof racks on the Niro. I wonder if one of the top brands such as Thule has figured out a solution for that yet.
 

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I have the OEM roof rack and have tried everything to make them quieter in regards to placement. I have a sun roof and really like to use it. I have taken to only having them mounted when hauling our kayaks around. But recently I have found info about wrapping a bungee cord around the crossbars from end to end. Claims are that it make a world of difference. Just google it or look for it on YouTube. Should be easy enough to find examples and experiences. I will try it next year once our forever long MN winter ends.
Sorry for the delayed response - I had removed my roof rack by the time I read your post. Thank you for this suggestion! It works great! Had my roof rack on this weekend and noticed it humming pretty loud as soon as I got up to 40 MPH, even with some stuff tied on (on the passenger's side - the driver's side was clear). Got home and unloaded, and decided to leave the rack on for another day so I could try your suggestion. I had two short bungee cords that I hooked together in order to make one that was just barely long enough to go across the front cross bar and also wrap around the bar twice. Took it up to 60 today and it was virtually silent!


Now I'm trying to fathom what the scientific explanation is for this "cure". But at least I have one. Thanks again for suggesting this.
 

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I have the OEM roof rack and have tried everything to make them quieter in regards to placement. I have a sun roof and really like to use it. I have taken to only having them mounted when hauling our kayaks around. But recently I have found info about wrapping a bungee cord around the crossbars from end to end. Claims are that it make a world of difference. Just google it or look for it on YouTube. Should be easy enough to find examples and experiences. I will try it next year once our forever long MN winter ends.
Sorry for the delayed response - I had removed my roof rack by the time I read your post. Thank you for this suggestion! It works great! Had my roof rack on this weekend and noticed it humming pretty loud as soon as I got up to 40 MPH, even with some stuff tied on (on the passenger's side - the driver's side was clear). Got home and unloaded, and decided to leave the rack on for another day so I could try your suggestion. I had two short bungee cords that I hooked together in order to make one that was just barely long enough to go across the front cross bar and also wrap around the bar twice. Took it up to 60 today and it was virtually silent!


Now I'm trying to fathom what the scientific explanation is for this "cure". But at least I have one. Thanks again for suggesting this.
The bungee cords help reduce the vibrations caused by the wind, and vibrations ARE sound.
 

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The bungee cords help reduce the vibrations caused by the wind, and vibrations ARE sound.
Yeah - vibrations are sound for sure, but I'm not buying the idea that bungee cords are reducing them directly, because I drove home with 20 pounds of pipe on the passenger side and no bungees or weight on the drivers side and I heard a lot of noise that I don't hear when I have a bungee stretched all the way across. I'm thinking that 20 pounds of pipe on one side should be at least as effective, if not more so, than a bungee cord all the way across, if we're just talking about damping vibrations in the cross bars.


My current best guess is that the bungee does something to alter the air flow/turbulence in a way that shuts down the humming sound. If you blow over the top of a soda bottle, you hear a hum. If you put your finger on the edge and blow over that, you don't hear much. It's a primitive analogy, but I'm thinking this might be closer to the explanation of what's going on.


Amazing... glad to hear it. I have yet to try it this year but it will happen soon. Thanks for the FB.
I tried it again today with a single, longer bungee, and it worked equally well. Thank you for suggesting it.
 

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The bungee cords help reduce the vibrations caused by the wind, and vibrations ARE sound.
Yeah - vibrations are sound for sure, but I'm not buying the idea that bungee cords are reducing them directly, because I drove home with 20 pounds of pipe on the passenger side and no bungees or weight on the drivers side and I heard a lot of noise that I don't hear when I have a bungee stretched all the way across. I'm thinking that 20 pounds of pipe on one side should be at least as effective, if not more so, than a bungee cord all the way across, if we're just talking about damping vibrations in the cross bars.
Not here to argue: I’m finding this interesting... but I’m pretty sure that having 20lbs I’d pipe is less relevant than the shape of the pipe and if it’s open on both ends or one end or not at all. In any case, I think especially if the pipe is properly strapped on that in physics terms, it becomes essentially the same piece when speaking of vibrations. So the factor there is that nothing has made the crossbars and the payload any more aerodynamic.
 

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I think you need to look at the movement of air over the car. When people read the words Aerodynamics they think purely of drag, but the science has much more than that. As the air moves over your car, it compresses at the front and creates eddies and torrents as it moves over the body of the car. In the lower and higher pressure zones created there is an awful lot of force. Think of how an aeroplane wing works. Why does it lift that amount of weight and think of the noise inside a plane.


The bunji cord flaps around between the two wings that are your roof rack. There is a whole load of turbulence happening on the roof of your car that will setup pockets of height pressure air that cause the roof rack to vibrate. The bunji just flaps around and breaks up the rolls of air so they are now scattered and makes it so a standing wave vibration cannot happen on the rack bars.



Your example of pipe offset to one side doesn't do anything as it is a static load that doesn't move and leaves the other side that has no weight on it to vibrate but at a much higher pitch as the exposed bar now is shorter.
 

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For what it's worth, it sounded almost exactly the same with pipe on one side and nothing on the other side as it sounds when there is nothing on the rack and no bungee cord. Also, it's only the front cross bar that makes a noticeable amount of noise. I do suspect that the primary benefit of the bungee cord is to disrupt the airflow in some way.
 

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Just purchased a set of roof racks from Micksgarage. just a word of warning for anyone in Canada. Remember that DHL has their own brokerage arm that likes to reach deep into your pocket and extract funds just for the privilage of getting a package delivered to you. the cost was around the $42 mark. Considering the roofrack cost $110, it was a bit steep.
 

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Turns out that MicksGarage is a bunch of charlatans who are there for a quick buck and to rip you off. I went to put on the roof rack this morning as it has finally stopped raining and I needed to pick up some plywood sheets. The supposed new roof rack is damaged beyond repair and MicksGarage will do nothing about it and are now trying to shift the blame to me saying " I should have better inspected and noted any damage to the rack on delivery ".


I attached a set of photos of what is wrong. The plastic housing that connects to the roof rails is cracked. these are hairline fractures that you wouldn't be able to see until you actually tighten them onto the rail that causes them to open up. Clearly, this was either a returned item that they just shipped out or a factory second that shouldn't have ever been sold.



WARNING to anyone who was thinking of dealing with this company. DO NOT. If there is something wrong you will be stuck fighting to get your money back. It is now in the hands of PayPal.
 

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Sorry to hear it. I just checked mine and I do see that there are some hairline cracks simile to the ones in your photos - I hadn't noticed those before because they are had to see and almost look like just a pattern left from manufacturing. But when I look really close, yes there are cracks. However, it looks to me like it's not necessarily structural. Also - in your photos, I only see the outside clamp: there's supposed to be an inside clamp that grabs the other side of the roof bar. Did you take those off? If you take the covers off, there's a bolt that you use to tighten the clamp. Are there cracks in the plastic that support the bolt?
 

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I just got my Niro & am considering buy racks and the ones from Micks seemed like a winner till
Roadkills post. Now I'm having 2nd thoughts. Has anyone actually used Micks racks for carrying a load and if so, did they seem satisfactory?

OR my may just go back to my old school / red neck approach of just laying a couple canvas cushions or a yoga pad on the roof to transport my 11', 40 lb Hobie Mirage Kayak. I typically don't carry it more than 40 miles or drive over 60 mph with it & have found the pads on the roof approach works quite well when paired with under-hood tie downs such as these: https://www.amazon.com/Shoreline-Marine-Propel-Trunk-tie-Down
 

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I don't know about kayaks, but canoes have available rubber blocks that attach to their sides for carrying on cars. All that is needed is a fore and aft rope, triangulated to limit movement.
 

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What I also found to be rather interesting with the roof rack that I purchased was the part in the manual that said not to drive over 80km/h (50mph) with anything on the rack.



In looking at the rack that I got, I am not totally sure how bad the crack lines are. I took the whole of the rack connector body off the rack bar and noticed that there is a metal plate that runs down through the plastic body, so the plastic might not provide all the clamping/connecting force onto the roof rail. Now I did use some fine feeler gauges as I am an ex-engineer and happen to have those sorts of things, and on one of the connector bodies with the largest crack, when you clamp it onto the rail, the crack does open up so that I can fit my smallest feeler (0.0025") in, where if you aren't clamping it doesn't slide in. so clearly there is a defect, but the other 3 you just see the line. Now Mick's garage as since said that this just a moulding mark where the two pieces are joined. I don't know if they are talking about a mould that forms the piece, or if they thing the connector body is made up of several pieces. That is still up in the air.



I bought the aluminium Nordrive rack, but they do sell several other manufacturers that might not have any issues.
 

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OR my may just go back to my old school / red neck approach of just laying a couple canvas cushions or a yoga pad on the roof to transport my 11', 40 lb Hobie Mirage Kayak. I typically don't carry it more than 40 miles or drive over 60 mph with it & have found the pads on the roof approach works quite well when paired with under-hood tie downs such as these: https://www.amazon.com/Shoreline-Marine-Propel-Trunk-tie-Down

i have noticed during first waxing job roof is rather on the "soft" side so placing anything on top without a crossbar may cause dents? also the hood and hatch are made with aluminum so putting any “pressure” may either dent or damage the stressed area?
 

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i have noticed during first waxing job roof is rather on the "soft" side so placing anything on top without a crossbar may cause dents? also the hood and hatch are made with aluminum so putting any “pressure” may either dent or damage the stressed area?

I figured that one out after our winter. Just the weight of the snow/ice on the roof was enough to dent it. You can see the difference in the light refection off the top. But it's just a car and I don't think that having a deflection on the roof will really make any form of difference to the milage or how well it gets me from point A to point B.
 

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I've used the foam blocks in the past for canoes & they work quite well except with high cross winds -- had a canoe blow off the car in E WA years ago. However, my Hobie Mirage gunnels are too wide for the blocks.

Sounds like a roof rack probably best way to go. My inner miser continues to seek one that will do the job relatively well maybe 6-10 a year for a relatively low amount of my hard earned money! Perhaps the Nordrive is the way to go -- current cost is just $98. Alas Mick's website shows them temp our of stock. Any other tried alternatives for less than $125?
 
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