The Hardcore Cyclists Roof Rack Solution for the MINI

Here's a tip on MINI bike racks from reader Chris Noble

“I never have found much helpful discussion on the topic of Mini roof racks (thanks for your assistance earlier), but there is a great solution now if any Mini owner is interested.  If you bought the Mini installed roof rack, the only choice until now was their upright bike rack.  Hard core cyclists prefer fork mount racks – more stable, quicker to get in/out, and they generally feature robust locking systems.  I think the Thule V2 is the best of the bunch, and now there is an adaptor kit for the fat Mini cross bars: Part numbers 82720304660, 82720304661, 82720304662 (front & rear adaptors + misc parts) – you need one of each for each rack. 

Now available for order through your Mini dealer.”

Thanks Chris for the info!

  • Theo

    Good to see Thule is addressing MINI fitment needs! Will these adapters only fit the V2? Can I use them to make my Thule J-bar kayak racks fit the MINI bars?


  • Chris

    As I understand it the adaptors work to bridge the difference between the skinny cross bars Thule uses and the fat Mini bars, so it should work for any application (of theirs). My helpful contact at Thule was “Kathy” – 800-238-2388. I think it's option #2 for service/support.

  • Theo

    Thanks, Chris!

    I'll call tomorrow and post the info.


  • Freddy

    I recently bought a new mini and had the factory roof rack installed. I am not happy. It makes an incredibly annoying high-pitched whistle/squeal starting at 15 mph and continuing at all speeds thereafter. I am told by the dealer that they all make this noise and that I should just get used to it. Impossible! Why aren't they more aerodynamic, longitudinally mounted, and closer to the roof. The factory mounts are like van roof racks used to carry ladders and pipe! I can't believe that Mini would put so much thought into their cars and so little styling and design into an accessory that is so desirable in today' sport-minded marketplace.

  • Robert McLaren

    If you remove the rubber filler strips in the top of the bars the whistle all but disappears – still I agree with your comments.

  • echo

    does anyone know which rear mount bike rack is the best for the cooper S

  • Michelle

    I spoke to Thule about a ride-on adapter (part # 532) that enables the Mini factory rack to accommodate a set of Thule crossbars and velo vice(s). The problem is, this requires a second set of 31.5″ crossbars. The adapter sits on top of the factory rack, then the Thule crossbars sit on top of that — what a kludge. Is there any better option out there? Does anyone know of a simple adapter that attached directly to the factory rack, upon which the velo vices can be directly mounted?

    Thanks for any info, Michelle

  • Erik Arthur

    Check out The noose sl is what I use with my factory bars. I had to cut 2″ off the tray but it works great.

  • Tim Bartoe

    I just got the factory base rack installed. I’m waiting on a fork mount for it (GRRRR). But, anyway at least I’m half way there. I wonder about the wistle as it was the first thing I noticed. Is there a way to keep the rubber strip and still get rid of the whistle? Maybe, some Caulking to hold the rubber down? Just curious.


  • Alex

    Anyone have any recommendations for a kayak roof rack for the Mini?

  • Hank Manz

    Noticed a few posts about a whistle from the roof rack. Mini told me they were “researching the problem.” As pointed out, you can remove the front strip to stop the whistle. A good replacement is a black or clear piece of tubing of greater diameter than the width of the slot. Cut the tubing to the right length, then squeeze it and force it into the slot. About 3/8″ or so will remain above the rack so nothing rubs against the metal. It won’t whistle and it will look like it was meant to be installed that way.

  • Alex Falls

    I noticed someone asked about kayak roof racks for the MINI. MINI now makes a kayak accessory that fits the factory rack (about $150). It looks like Thule also makes a system to fit a factory rack (Thule 883 Glide and Set) for about the same price.

  • Kristy

    I’m trying to research roof rack options for my mini and haven’t quite gotten a feel for the consensus here. Do Thule or Yakima base systems even work on the mini? I want to go with the factory option, but I’m not sure how I feel about permanent bars and drilling. And now I read that they whistle! Any advice or ideas will be much appreciated. thanks

  • Brenden

    I just bought a 2003 S and now need a rack to haul around my toys. I avoided the factory rack due to the need for drilling but I have read other statements suggesting that the Thule and Yakima racks don’t work very well since the rain gutters on the Mini don’t provide a solid enough surface for the clips to grip onto.

    Can anyone out there comment on how there Yakima or Thule racks fit?

  • Dave Adams

    Just had some very productive emails with Charlie Buchalter of ATOC. They have an untested solution to mounting bicycles (including tandems) to the factory rack. Untested means “at your risk.” Looking at how stout the hardware is, I find that risk totally acceptable.

    The solution is based on the BMW adaptor kit. It puts the bike rail directly on the factory bars. Keep in mind, the factory bars are rated for 75 kg and some other solutions are only rated in POUNDS.

    If I had seen this before getting the Mini-specific bike adaptors for the bars, I would have gotten all ATOC rails instead. It’s very simple, very solid.

  • Christina

    I bought a cheapo rear/trunk mount bike rack for my 2002 Mini Cooper S. Think it’s called Grabber, but I’m not sure. Got it from Dick’s Sporting Goods for approx. $50.If you line the inside of the clamps that grab the trunk door with rubber from an old tube or something similar, it won’t leave scratches and it will work fine even with 2 bikes.The only problem is, once bike is on rack you cannot access the trunk anymore.

  • Jerry

    Just wondering. Is it possible to remove the roof rack? If so, what damage will need to be repaired? Are there holes in the roof that need to be patched and the roof repainted??

    Thanks in advance for any replies.

    Jerry Z.

  • Lisa

    I have a 2005 Mini Cooper. Someone please tell me the best option for a roof rack system. I have been looking at Thule and Yakima. I keep getting conflicting answers about which Foot Pack I need (especially with Thule). I want to haul kayaks and bikes. Thanks for any advice. Lisa