Yakima Cobra Bike Rack

DESCRIPTION

The newest upright bike mount, the Cobra will save you time, energy and face as you roll it in, lock it down and drive away in a matter of seconds.

USER REVIEWS

Showing 1-10 of 35  
[May 14, 2010]
wantwater
Cross Country Rider

OVERALL
RATING
3
VALUE
RATING
3
Strength:

Easy Loading, Quick to switch from one vehicle to other.

Weakness:

Red Knob- Loosens, Tray shears away from bolts.

I really like how easy the bikes load however. The

Red Knob loosens especially when you decline in altitude and the tire pressure lowers. I have three of them mounted on top of camper shell- On a recent trip to Moab we experience a strong cross wind and all three trays sheared off from the bolts. The bikes remain mounted to cross bars but trays jammed into the bikes causing minor scratching. Poor design on the trays.

Overall i like the system but a few design changes could go along way.

[Aug 29, 2008]
John K
Weekend Warrior

OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
3
Strength:

From driver's seat to saddle (or vice versa) in under 5 minutes. Wheels stay on bike. Material quality and workmanship appear to be above par (typical for Yakima)

Weakness:

Not a very solid setup, wobbly as described by another reviewer. NOT for agressive off-roading with bikes loaded, it says so in the manual! The tray seems a little flimsy in some respects. Poor straps for rear wheel, Velcro would work as well or better. Locking cables are inadequate. Locking clamp interferance with front wheel fender on bike. Relatively expensive MSRP.

Bought 2 of these used, half price on eBay. Installed them in the bed of my Dakota on 2x4s. Can load or unload both bikes in 5 minutes, without getting bent out of shape or scratching the paint. No problems with red knobs, just pull down on the front wheel a bit while snugging them up. The rear wheel straps are a little stripped, but work well once you get the 'knack' and don't over-tighten them. I don't use the locking cables because I don't have lock cores yet, but I do use a 6 ft '1200' Bike Guard cable which secures both bikes to the bed, quickly and visibly.

I'm very happy with these despite a few shortcomings.

I would be less happy if I paid $MSRP.

If you have a pickup truck, I suggest mounting these in, or preferably, above the box. Mine are about 1 ft off the bed on 2x4s, but I plan to raise them completely above the box so I can still use the tonneau for covered storage. With that setup, I could use the roof rack for a canoe, carry two bikes above the tonneau and loads of gear underneath. And still pull a trailer.

If I could afford gas, I would do this and go camping ;^)

Similar Products Used:

none

[May 17, 2003]
Larry

OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
4
Strength:

Elegant solution for carrying most any bike on your roof. Bike very stable on roof.

Weakness:

The red tension knobs easily works loose in less than 10 miles.

The loading and unloading of bikes with this rack is the easiest I've ever seen. You just roll it in, and the rack supports the bike while you tension everything down. I've followed behind my car watching the bikes on top through a 30 minute ride. I didn't see any sway of significance. The single issue with this rack is the self loosening of the red tension knob as you drive. In less than 10 miles it's completely loose. I always crank it down tight and even pull down on the tire to increase the tension while tightening the red knob. 90% of the time the knob works loose no matter how tight you tension it. Yakima tech support has been great in discussions regarding the red tension knob. They have heard of this issue from other callers, but haven't found a reason why some have the problem and others don't. They are sending me a new unit, and I will return the old one. Hopefully this will solve the problem. It would get 5's if they could solve the problem with red tension knob.

Similar Products Used:

Sportworks Bob Ratchet

[May 17, 2003]
Rob
Downhiller

OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
4
Strength:

Looks, name, versitile for different bike styles

Weakness:

Can anyone say Price! Bike sways at highway speeds, tensioner loosens

Well, I've been using it for city travel mainly but have recently took my first long road trip with it...about 5 hours on highway. I was only carrying the Norco and had to stop twice to re-tension the knob. The second time seemed to hold, but I will be finding a way to hold the tensioning knob tight. I'll probably superglue/epoxy something to it so I can strap the knob to the crossbar. Also I noticed the bike would sway a lot under heavy cross-wind(Especially if you run low pressure in your front tire) so I'll be getting straps made so that I can cross-brace the bike to the actual rack frame. This sway could warp rims or break spokes. Over-all this is a good design as I didn't want to have to remove my 20mm drop-outs every time I wanted to load the Brodie and it holds the big tires well although the rear tire strap just makes it arround my Maxxis Highroller 2.7 on the Sun Double Track rim. This is a perfect rack for quick loading and unloading and a very nice solution to racking bikes with non-standard frames. Where it falls short is on the highway. The tensioner gets loose, the bike sways, and it just doesn't give you the warm and fuzzies...you WILL want to strap it so it doesn't sway. That said, I don't think there is a better rack out there for big bikes and I am totally satified with it...except for the tensioner. Personally, I would say go with the Cobra vs. the King Cobra simply because the strap on the KC is small and can easilly and quickly be cut. Get the Cobra and use the extra money to buy a 1/2" Krypton cable lock...much more secure and you can use the lock elsewhere then. It gets a 4 for value simply since it is over-priced as is a all Yakima and a for for overall due to the tensioner and bike sway.

Similar Products Used:

none

[May 16, 2003]
Geologyboy
Downhiller

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
3
Strength:

Simple and effective. Holds any type of bike, making it one of the only options for my Norco launch, 20 mm axle and large rectangular down tube.

Weakness:

Price, there just isn't enought compettition on these things.

The rack looks good and functions well. No problem with the knob at all. I recommend the king cobra, becuase yuo can lock the cable around the cross bars for extra security. I also lock down teh front wheel bar to prevent any possible bouncing. The accessories locks are great, but the cable is added protection, and perhaps even beter than a flimsy lock on a plastic piece. Using the King Cobra would prevent all those unlocking complaints when there is no bike on the rack. I always keep them locked when the bikes are off. Low value rating becuase of the price, but I really didn't have another option. Overall, a great rack.

Similar Products Used:

Looked at all of them, bt settle on the King cobra for bike fit, and ease of use.

[Jul 30, 2007]
Mike Darby
Weekend Warrior

OVERALL
RATING
1
VALUE
RATING
1
Strength:

I was sold on the fact it might be really durable and versatile but of course the guys at Rack Attack lied.

Weakness:

Dont get me wrong it probably can hold lots of different bikes But I only have two. I used this thing 3 weekends in a row run and gun type riding. First the straps broke then I pulled the whole lock bar unit off the plastic broke right out. I wasn't even trying too. I had to fight to get it returned to Rack Attack. I later bought a sidearm from Backcountry racks.com I have only good things to say about them and that product.

If a product breaks stand by it and don't be a dick when someone trys to return a product you told them was durable and it breaks 3 weeks later.

Similar Products Used:

Sidearm

[Feb 21, 2006]
Kyle
Weekend Warrior

OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
4
Strength:

Holds bike securely to the rack. Don't have to worry about taking your front wheel off. King cobra is lockable (with a thin metal cord).

Weakness:

Rear wheel strap strips too easily. I stripped it the first time I used it. Luckily it still held. Trying to heave your bike on top of the roof without hitting your car is a little difficult, but is expected with this type of rack.

Great roof rack! Yakima products are a little expensive, but worth it.

The red knob people complain about coming loose was not a problem driving an hour and a half, 75mph most the time. All you have to do is put some muscle into it and push down HARD on the front wheel and turn at the same time!

The rear wheel strap strips too easily. It's the type you see on cheap roller blades using a ratcheting mechanism. Maybe I was trying to tighten it too far. Who knows.

I haven't had any problems with any screws or bolts coming loose, but I take it REALLY easy around corners to prevent pulling too many G's.

Another thing worth mentioning is that you can use the faring with this bike rack without mounting the bike rack backwards, you just have to mount the bike rack in a certain position, and you have to take the faring off when mounting and unmounting your bike.

Similar Products Used:

Putting bike in the backseat of 2 door Ford Focus.

[Feb 04, 2006]
Marshall
Downhiller

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Strength:

I can load my 54 lb Downhill rig on this rack, no problem! The red knob is a non-issue, I have no clue what all the complaints are on here?

Weakness:

The only weakness is the fact that I have a hard time putting my (heavy) bike up on the roof of my car after riding!

All you guys complaining about the red knob are total pansy asses. This rack is freakin' great! So what if you have to tighten the knob down a couple of turns? I have over 4 grand into my bike and I have no problem with this rack at all, I trust it 100%. I think the design is fantastic and I have NO PROBLEM turning the red knob a few times to secure my investment. I wish that I could give it more than 5 chilis!!!

Similar Products Used:

None, this is my first roof mounted rack.

[Nov 08, 2002]
Will

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
2
Strength:

Works very well. Takes ANY bike, from my DH rig w/3 inch tires to my son's 20 inch and my road bike too. Easily locked with the only cheap part Yakima sells (the plastic locking accessory). Never had any trouble with the red tension knob, I intuitively realized that I should wiggle the bike and re-tighten the knob before driving off.

Weakness:

As with almost all Yakima or Thule stuff, it is MASSIVELY overpriced. I really feel gouged. Many Yakima parts are made in Mexico so "Made in USA" is no excuse for high prices. Worst of all, there is absolutely no competition in selling these racks.

Works exactly as advertised but Yakima racks are overpriced. I only bought it because I absolutely HAD to. If there were any other less expensive alternative I would have gone for it instead. Why can't Rockymounts come up with a rack like this for half as much? Go for a Yakima rack if money is no object or you have no other choice for your application.

Similar Products Used:

Thule, Performance XPort, Rhode Gear, Hollywood.

[Apr 11, 2004]
Ray Go
Weekend Warrior

OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
4
Strength:

Easy to use.

Weakness:

PRICY... Some side to side sway? Nah, nothing to worry about. Gotta have a little movement or it might cause undue damage to your factory rack or roof.

***Awesome product***
So easy and convenient to use for in and around town. Quick to load and unload. Put your bike on the tray and roll it forward. Now you have two hands to secure the bike down. Trust me, I know, I had a Lockjaw. Plus, it does not touch your frame. I will follow the advice below, strapping down the handlebars on long trips. Oh yeah, never had any problem with the red knob. And I use the cable that comes with the KC to lock it to my factory rack when the bike isn't on it.

Who designed this??? Give the person a pay raise... SIMPLY AWESOME.

Similar Products Used:

Yakima Lockjaw.

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