Mountain Bike Reviews Forum banner
1 - 12 of 12 Posts

·
cut like the fog.
Joined
·
358 Posts
just did this...

CO-CA Todd said:
I'm looking to get a rook rack for the car. Fork mount or frame mount (not having to take off front wheel)? What are the advantages of either?

Thanks
I've been trying to figure out what to do rack-wise for my jeep over the last few weeks. Here's what i came up with:

I just switched back to a Yakima Viper fork mount from a Yakima King Cobra upright. The upright is a good design, easy but spinning the little red knob until the clamping mechanism tightens down was more frustrating that taking the wheel off. Also, the height of your vehicle has to be taken into account. The cobras were just too high on my jeep.

I've also tried the Thule Bigmouth upright and loved that rack on my old Golf. I wasn't real happy with clamping the downtube of my bike with the rack but it was quite sturdy. Height of vehicle has to be a consideration again however. The new V2 Thules are pretty slick with the "velo-vise" clamping system.

Considerations for you are:
1. how much trunk space do you have for the wheel and your gear if you go fork mount.
2. how many bikes will you be carrying? If more than 2, consider using both upright and fork down.
3. What types of bikes are you carrying? Anything with an oversized front axle needs an upright mount, there are adaptors but are more trouble than they're worth.

Upright
Advantage: Don't have to take the wheel off
Disadvantage: fiddling with straps and knobs and cables

Fork
Advantage: very sturdy, easy to load especially for higher vehicles
Disadvantage: taking the front wheel off (especially if it's muddy)

b.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
497 Posts
like Bones, I have a Jeep and a King Cobra upright. Yeah the height thing was a pain, but it was easily solved by buying one of those little $7 rubbermaid stool. Otherwise it's a pretty easy rack to use and there's no contact with the frame or fork, just tires.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
168 Posts
i dont use either but i have friends that use both ... from driving behind them what i notice is that the frame mount tends to "wobble" more then then the fork mount. Now neither one of them ever has lost a bike and i know that they are both desgined to hold the bike. However personally i seem to like the fork mount better. But since i dont use either i dont know how much you can take into account what i say :p
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
35 Posts
If you really want a safe rack, some studdies have shown that rear vehicle racks, i.e. trailer hitch type, trunk mount are the safest. Roof Racks can come off in a collision, and somethines with real hard breaking. You won't have to worry about vehilce height then either. Ultimately it is up to you. :confused:
 

·
Derailleurless
Joined
·
9,122 Posts
Just went through a switch from hitch to roof.

I really liked the easy access of my hitch rack, and although the Hollywood Team Rider left something to be desired in terms of quality and ease of loading, it was nevertheless solid. But to go hitch again, I'd go Sportworks.

One problem with the hitch was access to the rear liftgate of my Subaru. Another was the potential of getting rear ended. With two or three bikes on, brake lights and turn signals get obscured and that worries me in heavy traffic, plus a lot of cars are eager to pass close to tires and rack parts are extended out past the sides of the vehicle. Also, it stands to reason that if I got rear-ended, rack loaded or folded, the force of the impact would go through the rack straight to my car's chasis, bypassing my bumper.

I decided I would rather accept the responsibility of not driving under anything low enough to hit, i.e. fast food drive-thrus, car ports, etc., than accept the randomness of any person rear-ending me.

So after looking at the Thule V2, the Sportworks Bob Ratchet, and the potential of converting a Saris Cycle-On to roof mount duty, 2 months ago I purchased a pair of Yakima King Cobras.

The red knob is the weak point of the design. Screwing it, unscrewing it, making sure it stays tight all smacks of some kind of garage engineering that I figured was beyond Yakima's quality. Regardless, I still prefer dialing the little red knob over removing front wheels and fretting about QR tightness and disc rotor alignment. And as pointed out, the rack is completely "hands off" of the frame & seatpost: rims and tires are the only things touched.

I've done two pretty long trips with these racks, one 5 hours and the other 3 hours of continuous driving at speeds of up to 90 MPH, and although that half-witted red knob tends to loosen with each click of the odometer, the rear-facing bikes stay in place with a minimum of bug splatter, side-to-side wobble, and noise -- all problems I worried about prior to purchasing.

The red knob loosening is really as simple as attaching a safety wire to keep it from vibrating loose. Other solutions include a dab of thread lock or the substitution of a nylock nut inside the knobbie (which would make turning the knob even less fun when loading and unloading). I sincerely wish Yakima would address this one outstanding issue (I've emailed them; they won't even acknowledge there is a problem regardless of tons of threads like this one and a handful of online reviews that cite the issue).

I'm also finding I like having the bikes on top of the car if I park it for a post-ride bite to eat -- better visibility, from more vantage points, makes them easier to keep an eye on, and I don't have to worry about some grandma in a Coupe de Ville smacking into my pride and joy while trying to back out of her compact parking space.

In any case, I like the rack, I'm 90% happy with my choice, I still use a hitch add-on when I have to carry a third bike but feel liberated that I have unobstructed access to my lift gate and that the dogs don't have to trip over the rack every time they get in and out of the car. Even with the "non-existant" red knob problem, I'd recommend the Cobra so long as you realize the knob can become an issue and you tighten it and check it accordingly.

 

·
Registered
Joined
·
685 Posts
I have an older Yakima/Subaru frame mount roof rack that has a lever something like a quick release instead of a red knob. I've only done a couple of 3 hour trips with them, no problems, other than not fastening down the cross rail mounts enough and having one slide back about a foot or so. Everything else stayed where it was supposed to so I guess the red lever frame mounts did their job.
I thought the fork mounts would be a little more secure, sounds like maybe they're not. With some fork mounts you can got to the added expense of getting wheel holders so you don't have to put muddy tires and wheels on the inside.

Don't forget what's up there when you're driving into the garage!!!!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
128 Posts
I like the fork mount. Ive been told it improves gas mileage, and it does seem to be sturdier. Also i can put the bike on the roof while putting other things in teh car without clamping it down without it falling over. Just be careful not to forget to clamp it.
As for rear mount racks, they are going to get more road grim on them especially on long or wet trips. The roof rack just gets bugs stuck to the bike if you drive at night at higher speeds.

-dM
 

·
Derailleurless
Joined
·
9,122 Posts
laxguy86 said:
I like the fork mount. Ive been told it improves gas mileage, and it does seem to be sturdier. Also i can put the bike on the roof while putting other things in teh car without clamping it down without it falling over. Just be careful not to forget to clamp it.
As for rear mount racks, they are going to get more road grim on them especially on long or wet trips. The roof rack just gets bugs stuck to the bike if you drive at night at higher speeds.

-dM
Brings up two good points:

(1) I expected a drop in gas mileage with the addition of the roof rack. I track my mileage pretty carefully, and get in the neighborhood of 22 to 23 mpg in my Subaru, and that has not changed perceptably since I installed the rack. I did experience a noticable change in wind noise, which doesn't change much whether the bikes are up there or not. It's something I've gotten use to, for the most part.

(2) My bikes get covered with dead bugs, particularly the backs of the seatpost and stem. Since the bikes are facing backwards, I can't install one of those bug net things that stretch across the handlebars. Suggestions?

Don't know 'bout no road grime with the hitch racks. Bikes always stayed clean back there. As far as I'm concerned, that's one point in the hitch rack's favor.
 
1 - 12 of 12 Posts
Top