Yakima Anklebiter Bike Rack

DESCRIPTION

This innovative, unique mount carries any bicycle frame style or size on Yakima roof racks by attaching to the crank arm. Padded jaws grasp crank arm (strongest part of the bike), never touching bike's paint or cables; 2 ratcheting straps hold wheels in full-length tray. Fits Y-frames, bikes with oversize tube frames, full-suspension, dual-suspension or disc brakes, BMX bikes and children's bikes. Eye-level adjustment and reversible locking lever make it the easiest upright bike mount to load and unload from either side of your car. To deter theft, bike locks to mount and mount locks to rack with 2 Yakima SKS Lock Cores and 1 Accessory Lock Housing, each sold separately. Compatible with Yakima RoundBars, WingRiders, many factory roof racks and Thule racks with the use of Yakima Mighty Mounts, sold separately

USER REVIEWS

Showing 1-10 of 40  
[Sep 03, 2012]
Steve in CA

OVERALL
RATING
1
VALUE
RATING
1
Strength:

Works once you get it set up... if you've got three hands to lock the bike down.

Weakness:

PITA to set up. Especially difficult if you're trying to use it in conjunction with other roof top accessories (like a cargo tube) that require specific bar placement / distance between bars.

The plastic teeth on the one piece tire straps wear out quickly when ratcheting the tires down. Since the ratchet and strap are one piece, you need to replace the whole thing once they wear out (you can't just replace the strap.

Trays are alright for MTB sized tires, but are so large the straps don't make contact with road wheels/tires.

Yakima owes everyone who bought one of these an apology. This thing is a horrible design and a real pain in the arse to use.

To attach the 'anklebiter' bar / lock to the crank arm, you lift it up until it makes contact with the crank (which needs to be in a VERY specific location to hook up) while also trying to keep the crank arm from spinning up and out of position. Unfortunately, you need to have one hand (at least) on the 'anklebiter', another on the crank and a third to hold the bike upright.

[May 20, 2009]
eRideHard
Weekend Warrior

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
4
Strength:

Secure. Fits any, and I mean any bike. Locks securely.

Weakness:

Heavy when mounting to rack.

I have used these since the mid 1990, no problem whatsoever. If properly adjusted, which takes less than 60 seconds, they have securely held my road bike, touring bike, mountain bike, wife's cruiser - I've even had a childrens bike up there - never any problem.

I've used these racks on multiple road trips over 1000 miles - no issues. There is some flex up there in high wind, but no issues. Just be careful at the Starbucks drive thru.

I notice some people complained they had issues with thier bottom brackets. I can assure you its not the rack. I'm a Clydesdale (6'1", 235lbs) rider who loves to get out of his seat, and all my bikes still have their original bottom bracket bearings.

Consider this: the force applied by the sway of a 25lb bike is but a fraction of the force I apply with every stroke when I get out of the saddle to climb a hill. I'd look elsewhere if started developing bottom bracket problems.

For overall ease of use (leave your front wheel on, mount and lock down in less than 1 minute), flexibility and my expereince of reiliability, I can't imagine a better set up.

Similar Products Used:

Hitch & tail mounts.

[Aug 18, 2003]
Russ
Cross Country Rider

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
4
Strength:

solid, quick-loading, looks cool

Weakness:

Installation - THE SCREWS ARE STILL TOO SHORT, YAKIMA!! Not insurmountable, if you use tips below. Will not securely clasp crank w/o LockCore, sold separately

AnkleBiter Deuce is a great rack, once you get past installation. The rack closes around the anklebiter 'arm' with a clam-like assembly. The screws are supposed to go through the 'lips' of the clam, if you will, securing it to the MightyMount, and closing the clamshell in the process. Of course, the screw is too friggin short to do this, and all the squeezing, pushing, and turning in the world will only increase your blood pressure and the artistry of your cursing. (Yakima, really, is it that difficult to make the screw 1 cm longer so its compatible with the mount you recommend for this product???) Anyway, use a C-clamp to tighten the clam mouth, then insert screws and tighten. You have no idea the anguish I just saved you. Please send $19.95.
In a review below, the dude says his bike flew off the rack. This would not have happened if he'd used the included wheel clamps. Also, the Biter must be adjusted around the crank with nanometric precision for it to hold. Similar to a seatpost, turn the clamp until you can just barely close the red part. From that point, there is nothing to hold it shut except inertia and the mountain bike gods. You have to use a Yakima LockCore. You only need one, but of course, they only come in packs of 2 or more. I am using a velcro strap to cinch it shut until my LockCore gets here.
Everyone says this is good for full suspension bikes, but as with any roof rack, I would not enjoy heaving a 45 lb monster on the roof. I'm able to get my hardtail up there w/ no prob by stepping up on the back seat of the Jeep. But then, I have to pedal myself up hills since I don't have a personal valet following me around. Hardtails rule!

Similar Products Used:

trunk

[Sep 26, 2005]
Scott
Cross Country Rider

OVERALL
RATING
2
VALUE
RATING
2
Strength:

Do not have to remove front wheel, bike locks securely to rack

Weakness:

Rack does not lock to car, a lot of flex when a bike is attached, a tremendous amount of force is applied to the crank arm which destroys bottom brackets and cranks.

I originally bought this rack because I wanted one that could mount directly to the factory rack on my car and one that I did not have to taked the front wheel off. After a short time the forces caused to factory rack to delevop a lot of flex, so I had to replace the factory rack with Yakima bars and towers. This helped but did not solve the flex problem. The bikes would still rock back and forth while driving down the road. Hit a bump and it would sound like the entire rack could snap off. Since buying this rack I have been through two BB and a crankset on the bike I had when I purchased the rack. Then in 03 I bought the Fuel and have been though two BB, a crankset, have to get the left arm on the new crankset replaced because it is the intergrated crank and spinnal type and where the spinnal is pressed in the crank has come loose. In all these BB's the left side bearings were toast while the right side were perfectly fine. Guess which side the rack clamped onto, you guessed it, the left.

This is a good rack for occasional use, but when used 3-5 times a week like I do it is too hard on the bike.

I have since replaced it with the Yakima Copperhead which seems much easier on the bike. If I had put 2 and 2 togather and figured out was was causing my BB problems I would have replaced the Anklebiter much sooner.

Similar Products Used:

Allen trunk mounted rack and Yakima Copperhead

[Oct 06, 2003]
Chicken Warrior
Weekend Warrior

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
4
Strength:

Easy to install, load and adjust to fit any bike I've loaded.

Weakness:

Bolts are not Stainless. But that is typical.

Got 2 of them for my roof racks. Then in less than 2 weeks they went from Maryland to Key West, FL and back. No problems.

Have loaded about 15 different bikes, ranging from high end road bikes to K-Mart Dual Suspension Specials. No problems with any cranks not fitting.

Problems / Modifications
-Swaying, but that was the factory roof racks warping.
-Replaced bolts with stainless steel bolts.
-Not vertical, but that was again the factory roof racks being arched.

Similar Products Used:

Tailgate racks.

[Mar 23, 2002]
Brian Duncan
Weekend Warrior

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Strength:

Easy to install bicycle. Holds any size and type of frame since it attaches at the crank arm. Doesn't scratch paint since it doesn't touch it. No muddy wheel to worry about.

Weakness:

Some factory racks will have trouble with this rack if they're too close to the roof of the car.

Very good product. I have a Ford Focus wagon and it works very well. I'm sure it would be much harder to attach bicycle on a SUV since it would be much higher. I am using the factory rack and had to use about 5 washers on each mount to increase the clearance between the rack mechanics and the roof of the vehicle. Without the washers the rack was only a quarter inch from the paint on the car. I'm sure it would have damaged the vehicle once the bicycle was installed.

Similar Products Used:

None

[Feb 05, 2002]
Tim
Cross Country Rider

OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
4
Strength:

Yakima name. Easy to use (most of the time). Not having to remove front wheel. Won't scratch paint. Innovative concept & design.

Weakness:

Over-sized cranks can be a nightmare to fasten. 99 model (first year, I believe) had design flaws. Can be difficult to load bike on SUV's because of the height.

Great product because of Yakima's name and reliability. Not having to remove your muddy front wheel and throw it in the back seat after a winter ride is a huge plus.

I had a problem with my anklebiter (99 model) with the swing arm locking in place and not rotating properly. I contacted the Yakima reps and they took care of it immediately, no questions asked!

Similar Products Used:

none

[Jun 04, 2006]
Jake Snake
Weekend Warrior

OVERALL
RATING
2
VALUE
RATING
1
Strength:

Heavy duty construction, built to last.

Weakness:

Does not fir all cranksets, and is pretty heavy for what it does. These are probably why it is no longer made.

The ankelbiter is heavy duty, (and heavy), but does not fit all crank arms! As mentioned elsewhere in this review page, Race Face cranks (and other wide arm styles) will not fit without cutting plastic back. THis would then compromise the fit on regular cranks...
Over time, the plastic pieces where the clamp/crank rests will get beat up and start to slip. If you are handy with tools and mechanically inclined, you can solve this but yakima could have done better with this product!!

Similar Products Used:

Fork mount and upright Thule racks

[Jul 26, 2001]
seismo

OVERALL
RATING
1
VALUE
RATING
1
Strength:

Cute marketing name.

Weakness:

Just about everything you could imagine. Very poor implementation to the solve a difficult problem of fitting a wide range of bike types.

I've been a big Yakima fan for over 15 years. I've remained a fan because their designs, use of materials and implementations have always been top notch IMHO. When I needed to replace one of my car top roof racks last year I thought I'd give the Anklebiter a try even though I am carrying a conventional frame (I thought - never know what I might be trying to carry in a couple of years). I liked the notion of not having to remove my wheel, and that the rack didn't touch the frame itself. After trying to use the Anklebiter for almost a year, I gave up in utter frustration as I found actual usability was severely lacking. It's the first Yakima product in over 15 years I've been totally disgusted with, and ended up returning it.

I found the directions confusing and generally unhelpful. Once put together properly, I found it a bit hard to install on the roof due to the very heavy arm and floppy plate assembly in front. More often than not, the crank arm clamp would come off the arm while trying to pry it open far enough to accept the crank arm. So there you are, holding your bike with one hand and trying to reposition the clamp on it's arm and then on the crank arm with the other. Once you get this far, you still have to hold the bike while trying to snap the clamp into its locking collar and then snap the clamp closed. Hopefully, your bike didn't move it's position while doing all of this. I just don't know why Yakima designed the clamp so it comes of the arm so easily. It was much easier to use if a second person could hold the bike while you futzed with the clamp.

Once it's on, it holds the bike fairly well. I did occasionally notice some shifting of the clamping point along the crankarm after driving. From a mechanics standpoint, I felt uncomfortable with the bike being held by the crank arm with nearly the full weight of the bike subjecting the crank/bottom bracket to a prying torque as the bike sways back and forth. It's probably not a big deal, but why take a chance and go to so much pain when there are *much* better choices out there. I've switched to the Sportworks Bob Ratchet. Although it's not perfect, it's a 1000% better approach to the same problem as the Anklebiter.

Similar Products Used:

Sportworks Bob Ratchet

[May 26, 2000]
Michael
Weekend Warrior

OVERALL
RATING
1
VALUE
RATING
1
Strength:

None.

Weakness:

This is one of the worse engineering design jobs ever.

Everytime you think you've seen the worse engineering design ever, another group of engineers proves you wrong. With the auxillary parts recommended by Yakima on their web site, we tried to install the Anklebiter on a 1999 Subaru Outback Sport.

First, the illustrations in the instructions were created by an artist who was out the day "perspective" was taught. Lowest bidder I assume.

The hardware is of poor quality. For example, bolts are barely long enough, making the wing nuts difficult to tighten. The 14H MightyMounts require that the wing nuts be applied from the bottom rather than the top. Doing that, however, means that one of them has to be forced, with every revolution, under the place where the tray attaches to the ankle biter body. With the too-short bolts, just getting it threaded takes forever. Bloody knuckles are the result.

The back attachment is even worse. In the front, the bolt head sits inside a cutout keeping it from turning as the wing nuts are tightened. In the back, the bolt head slides freely inside a grooved track under the wheel tray. Tightening the wing nut is a chore, there is no way to stop the bolt from turning without grasping the body of the bolt with a pair of plyers. Not easy.

Once installed, the Anklebiter is unstable. Although the front plates and rear attachment were solid, the bike in the wheel tray leans very easily. I tried an expendable old 28lb bike first, no amount of adjustment of the Ankle Biter could solve the leaning problem. In fact, the wheel tray itself isn't even true. I was afraid that too many bumps or highway speeds would risk twisting damage to the bike. There was no way that my $1200 bike was going anywhere near that thing.

I gave the Anklebiter to I guy I work with to try before buying it from me. He got the mounts recommended by Yakima for his rack. Needless to say, no sale. He was angrier than I was. The result is that I paid good money to decorate a landfill.

I wish there was some way to score a zero or less for this hardware.

Similar Products Used:

Still looking, obviously no more Yakima products!

MTBR Newsletter

Get the latest mountain bike reviews, news, race results, and much more by signing up for the MTBR Newsletter

THE SITE

ABOUT MTBR

VISIT US AT

© Copyright 2019 VerticalScope Inc. All rights reserved.