Knotix roof rack rolls on and off, and uses magnets to secure itself
Although roof racks are great for carrying boats, bikes or other gear, they needlessly create wind drag and get exposed to the elements when not in use. The Knotix rack was designed with that in mind, as it can be mounted or dismounted in a claimed 20 seconds.
Designed by US startup AutoMount, the Knotix setup consists of two folding, telescoping aluminum crossbars.
Standing beside the vehicle, the user starts by unfolding each bar, then rolling the far end of it across the roof using a built-in rubber wheel. They then lower the bar down, allowing powerful magnets on the far end to make contact with the roof. Next, they pull the near end of the bar toward themselves, then clamp a hooking mechanism on that end around the top of the vehicle's door opening – the door is subsequently closed over top of it.
The hook then holds that end in place, while the magnets on the other end keep it secured to the roof. As an added bonus, as long as the doors remain closed and locked, the crossbars can't be stolen.
According to AutoMount, the setup stays attached at speeds of up to 125 mph (201 km/h), and can carry a maximum load of 330 lb (150 kg). Optional Knotix-specific mounting accessories help with the latter, sliding along rails recessed into the tops of the crossbars.
The system is reportedly compatible with all four-door vehicles, as long as they have steel bodies, don't have sliding doors, and aren't too narrow or too wide – the bars extend to a maximum length of 50 inches (1,270 mm), and telescope down to a minimum of 42 in (1,067 mm).
Should you be interested, the Knotix rack is currently the subject of a Kickstarter campaign. Assuming it reaches production, a pledge of US$299 will get you a setup – the planned retail price is $499.
It's demonstrated in the video below.
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Magnet strength is tested using a large surface 1" thick steel plate, and that car roof isn't even 1/8" thick so those would really have to be some really strong magnets, and that is testing magnets pulling straight up. The best way to get a strong magnet off is to slide it to an edge, just light those will do when a big box semi comes by at 70 mph, I barely trust my low profile magnet mount plow light up there.