Mountain Bike Reviews Forum banner

1 - 18 of 18 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
75 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Looking for a roof rack to carry my bike(s) (and snowboards during the winer months). What should I go with Thule or Yakima? Any advice? Any horror stories about either company? Both seem to be in a similar price range, and I don't know what to choose.

Thanks for any help,

Bob
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
43 Posts
Thule

bobmono said:
Looking for a roof rack to carry my bike(s) (and snowboards during the winer months). What should I go with Thule or Yakima? Any advice? Any horror stories about either company? Both seem to be in a similar price range, and I don't know what to choose.

Thanks for any help,

Bob
Both are equaly great and I don't see much price difference however I think Thule equipment works on both Yakima and Thule load bars but Yakima only fits on Yakima. I currently have a Yakima system but would buy a Thule system for that reason if buying new.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
335 Posts
I have to say from what i've seen out of both of them and another report on this forum to definatly go with the thule system.
 

·
Start slow and taper off
Joined
·
790 Posts
For the Most part, both work on both

With the odd exception here or there. Most yak will work on thule and vice versa. It's even usually listed on Yaks and Thules website whether the product fits round and square bars. Which to get? Basically, Who's got the better sale? I've used both, currently have more Yak as they had slightly better employer purchase when I was still at a shop. Yak can be quicker on some cars (sedans, etc) but sometimes one or the other will fit a particular car better (in the past, I can recall certain instances where despite a claimed fit for a given car, a Yak/Thule wouldn't quite work right, but the other brand be be perfect). All this said, Yak has moved most (if not all) of their production to mexico, whereas Thule makes a lot of their stuff in the US. Both companies blatantly copy each other (For example, Thule made the Hull-a-Port kayak holder first (to be fair, tho', they copied that from another brand I've never heard of till I saw the product) and Yakima copied with the Hullraiser, but then Thule copied Yak's hitch swinging style) so in the end, it doesn't really matter which base you go with as most products will, as I said, work with both.

Even if you're not going to buy at a store, go to a dealer and physically check out the products, and compare. You'll probably find you like the feel/look/performance of a given item better than the other. And you might not always like Thule over Yak and vice versa. Personally I like Yak's Viper better than Thule's V2 (both fork mount roof mounts), but I like Thule's upright better than Yak's. If mounting on a sedan I like Yaks as they go on and off quicker, but as I said, sometimes one or the other fits better, so ask the shop (if possible) what they think, then take that with a grain of salt. My old shop carried both, so I was sort of impartial, and we were a big enough dealer of both that neither company ever gave us problems with pricing, returns, or warranties.

There was recently a thread with roof rack horror stories, and at the last time I read it it seemed Yak was in the lead with more horror stories than thule, but when I did last work in a shop (now over 2 years ago) it was pretty equal.

This probably didn't help, but maybe it did. I just don't think you can go majorly wrong with either, as long as you follow directions and don't rush the install.

And remember, if mounting on a factory rack, they do have weight limits, sometimes as low as 75lbs, sometimes as high as 165 lbs (rarely, very rarely, there is a rack limit higher, but after hundreds of installs, I've come across only one that I've actually done that was higher than 165lbs, and that was a 1980's mercedes wagon. go figure). Yaks and Thules do not increase the weight limit, and the rack and hardware counts as weight on the rack (I mention this as I've seen people try to mount a roof box (40lbs empty) on a Rav 4's rack (75lb weight limit) with three bikes (lets guess on the low side 25lbs each, so 75lbs) plus the rack, conservatively 10lbs. Right there you've got about 125lbs on a rack made to take 75lbs, and certainly they planned on putting stuff in the roof box. I'm sure the first couple of times the rack would be fine, but eventually...

And don't overtighten everything, like many people like to do, and grease all the threads, as sitting out in the weather day in day there's nothing worse than a rack that has been on a car for 2 (or more) years rusting in place.

Sorry for the long post, but for some crazy reason despite being a mechanic I always enjoyed the the rack business more than anything else, and when I sold them, since no commisions, I always tried to get the perfect rack for what the customer wanted to do with it, and that wasn't always the most expensive (it was fun to get creative and figure how to mix and match a rack system for best price, or tell a customer that instead of spending $600 plus on a roof rack for their 4 bikes, that they didn't want in the first place but were all set to do, an under $200 hitch would slide into their already present hitch reciever and be much easier for the family to use).



beekeeper357 said:
Both are equaly great and I don't see much price difference however I think Thule equipment works on both Yakima and Thule load bars but Yakima only fits on Yakima. I currently have a Yakima system but would buy a Thule system for that reason if buying new.
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
6,057 Posts
Why just those two?

bobmono said:
Looking for a roof rack to carry my bike(s) (and snowboards during the winer months). What should I go with Thule or Yakima? Any advice? Any horror stories about either company? Both seem to be in a similar price range, and I don't know what to choose.

Thanks for any help,

Bob
I've got a Saris roof rack that works just fine. I'm sure there are other brands out there as well...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
234 Posts
i like my yak q towers a good bit. i don't have a huge amount of experience with racks since this is my first set, but i still like em. most of the people i bike with have yakima and have rammed them into clearance signs at drive throughs without damaging them at all. just have something to remind you that you have a bike and rack on top of you car.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,658 Posts
Thule systems(at least the stuff I have and it's a few years old) will not work on the round Yak bars, but Yak trays fit on either round or rectangular bars.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,658 Posts
Been using the Thule system for a number of years now and other than running into my garage with the bikes on the roof they work great.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
19 Posts
I have had both and honestly they are now about the same quality from each company. I would go of of looks on your vehicle. I don't know much about Saris.
 

·
Always Learning
Joined
·
9,607 Posts
bobmono said:
Looking for a roof rack to carry my bike(s) (and snowboards during the winer months). What should I go with Thule or Yakima? Any advice? Any horror stories about either company? Both seem to be in a similar price range, and I don't know what to choose.

Thanks for any help,

Bob
After having used both - I would recommend going with Yakima. It is a $$$ initial investment to get the towers, bars and trays, so if at all possible, try and get the towers and width of bars that you can use on more than one vehicle (assuming your rack will outlive your vehicle). There are other brands of racks as well, but the Yakima products are very durable and easy to operate. I'm on the 8th year of a Yakima roof rack system with Q Towers and SKS locks. My hitch racks, tandem Sidewinders and RocketBox are newer and doing great (all about a year old at this point).

BB (enough Yakima racks on my 2 cars to haul a total of 12 bikes, 3 tandems, 1 kayak and 18 cubic feet of gear)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,744 Posts
Load weight

Of course I never read any directions, so I've loaded 6 sheets of 4' x 8' (3/4" thick) plywood on my Yakima rack. All on my 1981 civic. It must have weighed a few hundred pounds. It all held together.

Don't buy a used one unless your >>sure<< it's for your exact make, model and year car.
 

·
Rollin' a fatty
Joined
·
5,863 Posts
If your roof line is rounded go with the Yakima if it's flat go with Thule.

Both are the best around and you can swap accesories between them.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,213 Posts
Vote for Thule here.

The "Clamshell" mounting design for holding your fork in place is great. I no experience with Yaks so can't comment on them. Have had Thule for many, many years and never had a problem. I use their ski/snowboard attachment also.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4 Posts
Being a novice, I was not used to the clearance height when a bike is mounted on my roof. I had my cheap gt on the copperhead fork mounted tray (cheapest yakima tray) and rammed my bike into a clearing. The funny part is the bike was fine, leaving only the reflector behind the saddle damaged, and the rack as well in perfect shape. It did rip off the weather strip off the rain gutters on my car, but everything else was left intact. Yakima is definitely one solid rack.

BTW: I tried to mount a thule tray on yakima round bars and it did not work.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
383 Posts
Current rack- Yakima low riders with a Thule V2 mount (Yes Thule mounts do fit Yakima bars)

I like Thule carriers better- easier to adjust to different bikes- one hand holds the bike in place with the other adjusted the clamp. Also the wheel strap works way better than the Yakima one. The Thule strap is a cam type that will actually compress the tire a bit for a nice secure attachment. Yakima uses a racheting wheel strap that would always skip while tightening and be hard to release.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7 Posts
I had this same decision to make about 3 months ago. I needed a rack to carry surfboards and a bike. I ended up going with Yakima, and I've been SOOO pleased. Again, like people have said before, go with whichever you can get cheaper, b/c they are both top of the line.


Also, I had a question I was hoping I could ask, and when I saw this thread, thought that asking here might work rather than making a new thread. I finally got my first bike, and so I'm still a newbie at all of this. I have the Yakima copperhead rack for my Fisher Tassajara, and was wonder how fast I can go with the bike on the roof? I guess I'm a little paranoid, and so I'm scared that maybe I shouldn't take the highway when I go home on the occassional weekend away from grad school. Thanks.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
445 Posts
Yakima

i used to work at a shop that sold both--everybody at the shop used yakima (EVERYBODY!) Everything about Yakima i prefer over thule. a local women had a honda (civic i think) q-towers, clips and a rocketbox. she fell asleep behind the wheel and ran a light and went under an 18-wheeler trailer and came out the other side. the bottom of the truck trailer hit the rocketbox (not the car) ---- when all was over, the roof of the car (with the rocketbox, clips, and towers all still attatched in the same postion) was next to the rest of her car. the rocketbox sustained cosmetic damage but no damage that hindered use.

Can't beat that :D
 
1 - 18 of 18 Posts
Top