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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So I'm looking for a roof top bike rack for my WRX wagon.
I have the Mont Blanc Aero Cross bars already so I'm just looking for the bike rack itself. The Mont Blanc aero cross bars look kind of like the Thule aero bars but not sure if they are exactly the same.
Anyway, looking at cracksandracks.com website, the racks that I'm looking at are:
1) Yakima fork lift
2) Rocky Mounts TieRod
3) Rocky Mounts euro pitchfork
4) Yakima FrontLoader

So the first question I have is: up right or fork mount? I guess general consensus is that fork mount is the most secure while up right is the most convenient? I like the up right mount for the convenience factor and I probably won't be driving too aggressively while the bike is on top of my car, but, how much of a risk is it to use a up right vs fork mount? has anyone ever heard of a bike falling off of an up right mount?

Second question is, what is the difference between the euro pitchfork and tierod? Also, out of the 3 fork mounts that I've listed, which one is the easiest to use(to mount/dismount the bike from the rack)?

any help would be greatly appreciated. Thanks
 

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code: mtbr2011
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i have been out of pocket for a few days (riding my a$$ off in crested butte)

i've seen as many bike accidents using uprights as i have with fork mounts. if you use the rack properly, they will both be fine, and regardless of how aggressively you drive, you won't have any problems.
fork mounts are more aerodynamic and more stable than uprights. you get this in exchange for convenience...however, don't be fooled....it is harder to load a bike with both wheels attached because the bike is complete.

here is my take on the racks you're looking at.
Yakima Forklift.
Top notch skewer from yakima. a little blocky looking, but a really easy to install rack with nice features

Rocky Mounts TieRod:
Sleek and aerodynamic. A great value in a fork mount, comes in colors and has a good skewer. best value of the 4

Rocky Mounts EuroPitchfork (not on our site! doh!):
only used on bars like the thule rapid aero bars that have a t-channel on top. not sure if your wrx bars have this, but not designed for factory installed crossbars.

Yakima Frontloader:
great upright, built on the same foundation as the forklift tray. some complaints that it doesn't have a quick release for lowering the hoops, but a solid rack nonetheless.

Thule Sidearm:
My personal rack of choice. easy to use, solid, and now designed for factorty installed crossbars. Claims of rubbing on the fork are not unfounded, but i never cared too much about it, until i just got my new bike. needs 2 locks to lock to the car, but security isn't as good as it could be since one could remove the qr on the front wheel and take the whole package.

your last question....i would say forklift is easiest to use, followed by tie rod for fork mounts
for uprights i would say sidearm, then frontloader.

i hope that helps you make your decision..........
 

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cracksandracks.com said:
fork mounts are more aerodynamic and more stable than uprights. you get this in exchange for convenience...however, don't be fooled....it is harder to load a bike with both wheels attached because the bike is complete.
Uprights are not really any harder than fork mounts. Yes, it's a little more weight to deal with and need to lift the fork a little higher. You're still lifting the bike from the fork & seat tube.
 

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Flyin Pig
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I would say lifting the bike for may be heavier with an upright - but it isn't harder. You throw the bike on top and either roll it in with the Yakima rack, or swing an arm for the Thule. With a fork mount - you need to take off your wheel. 2 things about this
1 - if you have more than one bike you may have to get adapters - i.e. your downhill bike may have a 20qr and your trailbike has a 15qr.
2 - many a wheel has been left behind either at the trail, or at home - which both suck.
The nice thing about a fork mount is the bike sits lower - which lets you drive into more garages. I've seen many cars make it into the garage at Winter Park, Colorado with fork mounts - whereas I cannot get in with the full mount.

Anyway - I drive a STI with the Thule sidearm. Believe me when I say the bike is secure.
 

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code: mtbr2011
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i may have been misunderstood when i said it's harder to load a bike in an upright...i didn't articulate what i was trying to say very well.
there's more bike to lift, and because of the front wheel being on, things are taller. if you learn how to manage your bike, like ted nugent said, by the fork and seat or rear chainstay, you won't be fine.
like anything, a little bit of practice goes a long way and once you have your own system down, it will work really well for you...
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks for all the replies/opinions.
I've pretty much decided to get the rocky mounts tierod since my budget is somewhat limited and this rack is really going to be my back up rack so I'm trying to spend as little as possible.
Oh and this past weekend I went on a ride with no problems. When I got home and unloaded the bike, the rear tire was completely flat!
If this had happened to the front tire while using the sidearm or frontloader, what would have happened? The bike would be somewhat less secure but it wouldn't have fallen off right?

For the lock cores, I'd need to get 2 packages right? One to lock the rack to the car and then one more to lock the bike to the rack.
 

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code: mtbr2011
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pwu_1 said:
Thanks for all the replies/opinions.
I've pretty much decided to get the rocky mounts tierod since my budget is somewhat limited and this rack is really going to be my back up rack so I'm trying to spend as little as possible.
Oh and this past weekend I went on a ride with no problems. When I got home and unloaded the bike, the rear tire was completely flat!
If this had happened to the front tire while using the sidearm or frontloader, what would have happened? The bike would be somewhat less secure but it wouldn't have fallen off right?

For the lock cores, I'd need to get 2 packages right? One to lock the rack to the car and then one more to lock the bike to the rack.
not necessarily...i had this happen..my front tire went flat. i could hear the bike rattling around in the sidearm, but it didn't fall off. i just pulled over and cranked the ratchet down until i could fix the flat.

2 locks will lock the rack to the car and the bike to the rack, yes. 4 total will get it done.

check out this link..... http://www.facebook.com/cracksracks
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
For the sidearm, for each rack you only need 2 locks total. 1 lock to lock the rack to the cross rail. Another lock to lock the arm down on the front wheel(the lock core prevents the ratchet on the arm from disengaging).
But it is definitely not very secure because a thieve can always just take the front wheel off and leave the front wheel on the rack but take the rest of your bike.
 

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Another thing you may want to consider is whether or not you plan on getting a bike with a 15QR or 20mm thru-axle in the future. You won't be able to put a bike with a 15qr/20mm axle on a fork mount.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
I was getting ready to order RockyMounts TieRod but I found a used sidearm for a pretty good price so I'm all set. So far I really like the sidearm. Its easy to load/unload my bike and seems to keep my bike very secure up there. Ever since I've gotten the sidearm, I've pretty much stopped using the hitch mounted rack on my explorer since it takes extra time to take the rack out, put it on the explorer, etc. Also, now that I'm riding a Blur the funky top tube makes it hard to put the bike on the hitch mounted rack
 
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