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Aug. 8, 2016, 11:46 a.m.
Posts: 549
Joined: Sept. 2, 2010

I learned the hard way about roof rack/ small car physics.

My civic's trans fought a valiant fight against strong prairie headwinds on a trip to Moab with three bikes on the roof.

It lost.

Aug. 8, 2016, 12:31 p.m.
Posts: 1668
Joined: Nov. 8, 2003

loaded up with 20+ bikes…

Life goals.

Aug. 8, 2016, 3:02 p.m.
Posts: 1193
Joined: June 20, 2010

My understanding is canopies do not offer as much of a benefit as you would think, but are marginally better than an open bed.

Essentially an open truck bed "collects" a mass of air behind the cab which lets the air coming off the cab smoothly reintegrate just behind the tailgate.

When you put a canopy on, you essentially create a giant low pressure area behind the truck which increases drag.

Best solution is a tonneau cover, but it's obviously hard to fit bikes under there.

I did a bunch of reading on this when I had a pickup. Can't find all the articles, but here's one about how aerodynamics work on a pickup.

Cool. I totally assumed the canopy would be much worse. Thanks.

Aug. 9, 2016, 2:25 p.m.
Posts: 1006
Joined: Sept. 24, 2003

For those that are curious the Rocky Sprinter, a 3500 170 extended model, has about 90,000kms on it after 2 years and the average economy is around 11.5L/100km. The van is mostly always fully loaded up with 20+ bikes, tents, demo gear, etc.

I'm seriously keen on a Sprinter set up for riding and road trips. With a kid on the way it would be good for packing all the crap that goes with that too.


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