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Thread: Whispbar

  1. #1
    Heavylegs
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    Whispbar

    Just wondering how well these racks are built and if they really are more quiet than other brands. I believe Yakama bought them, but I really have not heard much else about them. Anyone using these or know anyone who does, I am interested on how they perform.

  2. #2
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    Yes. Period.
    Stupid(!) expensive but great rack system.

    I replaced the stock Subie "aero" cross bars on my '10 STi with Whispbar cross bars - WAY quieter and the Whispbar WB200 bike carriers are very, very good.

    I just installed Whispbar cross bars on my new '14 Ex Sport.

    Plus Whispbar looks way better than standard Thule and Yak stuff.

    [/URL]

  3. #3
    Heavylegs
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    Do not mind spending the cash if it is for good quality. Thanks for your feed back mctee!

  4. #4
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    I bought the Yakima whipbar for my fusion sport. Its fairly quiet and look OKs great too!

    Sent from my HTC One using Tapatalk

  5. #5
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    I have these for my two cars that have sidebars. They never are taken off. I actually believe that the cars are quieter with the racks on than they are without. They look great and they work very well. Highly recommended.

    J.

  6. #6
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    I *had* these racks - the Whispbar Through Bar kit. They seemed great (low noise, etc), then I found out the only thing holding the crossbars on are the plastic wing clips, that wrap 3/4 around the bars!!!

    The lesson was learned by backing into a tree branch with bike loaded - the rear tower exploded, with only plastic fragments behind. I was going to chalk it up to a lesson-learned, until realizing the bars are held down with 100% plastic!!! So, with no metal-to-metal connection with your car, so you're wasting time locking things to the crossbars.

    Given that, I sent them back and will deal with some extra wind noise for more security. It should take more than a rock to remove everything from your racks.

    Whispbar-1-20131205_113854.jpg

  7. #7
    Heavylegs
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    Thanks guys for your feedback! I am surprised a bit by what DitJunky had to say, I am second thoughts about the Whispbar system? Although I am not certain how other racks are constructed so I really cannot compare apples to apples yet?

  8. #8
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    I'm going with one of the original yak tower design - they use a metal band around the cross bar, just more drag and wind noise. Then again, everything's plastic these days...even my bike!

  9. #9
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    Whispbar

    Seriously. Plastics vs metal is completely a meaningless worry.

    If you backed into something and it exceeds the load rating of the rack and it breaks then it doesn't matter one whit whether it's metal or plastic. Fwiw I've run a metal rack into an overhead and it broke too. So what? It's probably going to break ANYTHING when you do something like that.

    As for locking anything to your rack - if you think that is going to protect it then you are a fool who will certainly learn the hard way that it doesn't matter what the rack is made of. Personally having taken a battery powered DeWalt reciprocating saw to both my Thule and Yakima standard bars to trim them, I am able to cut through them in somewhere between 15 and 30 seconds. ANY cable you use to lock to a rack can be cut in less than 10 seconds with a bolt cutter. Metal is no better protection from theft than anything else.

    Fwiw I've also carried 160lbs of skis and box on my whispbars for tens of thousands of miles at 70+mph with zero problems - like none. I've done the same with bikes on board.

    Plastics are weak? Then you better stay out of a Boeing 787 and never ride a carbon fiber bike or wear a bullet proof vest or expect safety glasses to work.

    J.

  10. #10
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    Thanks for proving my point - quite obviously, a bolt cutter, recip saw, etc., will easliy cut through a metal connection (basically some form of mechanical cutting device). Do most people carry those around? Rocks - well, they easily defeat a plastic clip and are readily available.

    U-locks are easily defeated also - then again, how many plastic locks do you see on the market?

    To each their own.

  11. #11
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    Whispbar

    Actually, bolt cutters are standard fare for thieves. So are battery powered tools. And it takes no longer to get thru metals than plastics and depending on the material, often the plastics can take longer.

    A rock will not defeat the plastic on the Whispbars unless it's a boulder in which case you have much bigger problems.

    Of course, to each their own. Just don't just don't make up silly reasons.

  12. #12
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    Yakima Whisbar catastrophic failure!

    I had my Whisbar (on my 2011 Jetta Sportwagon) break in the EXACT same place from normal use. I had two kayaks on my roof at the time with one in a J-cradle and the other tied beside it on pads. Both boats are carbon fiber and less than 55lbs. I was only going 45mph when the rear rack broke in the same manner and added a ton of slack to the system as the cross bar slid forward. One of my boats twisted in the saddle, bashed up my car and then dragged along the the road (I was on the 101 approaching the Golden Gate Bridge when it happened).

    Yakima has been a nightmare trying to get them to replace the rack and pay for damages. They "misplaced" the defective rack that I sent in, "didn't see that I had sent in all the forms", forgot to send me additional forms and have dragged this out for months. The quotes I sent in for both damages to boat (complete loss) and dents in car comes to over 8 thousand...and at this point I'm not holding my breath that they will ever resolve this.

    There is just plastic holding cross bars on the rails (Yakima say's it's a composite. but it shatters just like plastic). I never used the rack to haul anything other than boats and never hit anything. No rack should fail like this...from what I can tell this is a serious design flaw.

    The BIG issue is that when the local rack store, Rack N Road, initially installed my system, they accidentally installed a Whisbar that had been returned to their store. That rack also had a crack in the tower too. If I've experienced two issues myself, this must be something others have seen too. I'm just glad no one was hurt when my boat came loose while driving.

    I couldn't be more disappointed with a the product or company - customer services is anything but responsive..it's been 9 weeks since they've gotten all my forms and over 3 months since the I began this process.

    While the bar looked good and was silent, I wouldn't trust a Whisbar to hold anything I cared about on my car. I also won't buy from Yakima as they don't stand behind their products. Whispbar-broken_rack.jpg
    Last edited by placemaps; 03-24-2014 at 11:18 AM. Reason: spelling

  13. #13
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    I'm really surprised to hear you're having issues with Yakima's service. I had an old bike carrier fail allowing the bike to flop over on the roof of my car denting it and scratching the bike. I contacted Yakima and they immediately offered to repair the car, bike and replace the carrier. All I had to do was get estimates on the damage. I drug my feet and eventually just said hell with it and passed up having the damage covered since I was trading the car and selling the bike anyways. Yakima did however replace not only the broken carrier but the other unbroken carrier as well since I had two. Didn't even ask for the old ones in return.

  14. #14
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    I am surprised too. I'm glad to hear they were responsive to you...that gives me some hope. The conversation started out pretty well with their customer service representative, but it sounds like internally the person responsible for claims is over worked or unresponsive. Their customer rep keeps telling me she has forwarded my emails.

    The frustrating thing is that from the beginning of the conversation, I said that to replace my boat would take a few months as they are shipped from the UK. She assured me it would be quick once they received everything (maximum of 6-8weeks)...I'm in my 10th week of waiting and still nothing. Even a simple call from them letting me know the status or speaking directly to the claims person would go a long way. I've gone from being angry to just being really sad about the situation ..yeah I know, a first world problem.

    Thanks for letting me know your success though.
    Last edited by placemaps; 03-24-2014 at 12:35 PM. Reason: spelling

  15. #15
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    So they aren't giving you a hard time...just taking their sweet time...well, that's frustrating but at least they haven't told you to pound sand. Hopefully they get head removed from butt soon so you can get back to normal. Who knows...I may have ended up getting the same treatment if I continued with my claim for the damage to my car and bike.

  16. #16
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    I have just finished a 2400 mile round trip with Whispbars holding a Yakima skybox on my BMW X5 that was full of 6 pairs of skis, a pair of crutches (another whole story) and at least two pairs of ski boots - the box was full and probably overloaded and over the rack's capacity, but who's counting. No problems at all despite driving there and back at 80mph.

    And I've been doing the same thing with my other sky box on top of my other car (BMW 530XI wagon) for the last 2 years with zero problems on the Whispbar and another 5 years before that on the standard round bars as well as carrying bikes routinely on top of that car too.

    Furthermore, I did have a problem with a 7 year old skybox this year. Kids overloaded it on one -25F morning as they were leaving on a trip to the mountains. One of the pieces that latched the box closed broke off and left a 2x3" hole in the side of the box and a dysfunctional latch. Being kids, of course, none of this mattered to them and they drove that box overloaded with skis 2000 miles round trip to the mountains and back (thankfully) with no problems.

    But, get this - on return and being more than a little pissed off at my kids (no way could I see this as Yak's fault) that had broken the box that now had to be replaced - I called Yakima and asked about getting a replacement top shell for the box. They asked me if I knew that my *7 year old box* had a limited lifetime warranty on it. That box probably, literally, had 160K miles on it and 50K of that on Whispbars.

    Long story made short, I got a copy of my receipt from REI and I had a brand new, $499+$100 shipping, in the box at no cost to me, brand new skybox shipped to me. Bad customer service? Not based on anything in this solar system. In point of fact, I'd have to say that I don't think I have EVER seen better customer service. Kudos to Yak on both their durable and functional Whispbar racks and boxes as well as their customer service. They really stand by their stuff. I've got many years and/or many tough miles on both to prove that these are good products and a good company.

    J.

  17. #17
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    I can only go off of what I've experienced ..that and seeing other Whisbar racks fail in the same manner. Every company that produces have a few that fail. It's how the respond when that happens that makes the difference. It takes a lot for me to go from big fan and advocate of Yakima and their products to disappointed and regretful of my purchase. I'm glad your experience was positive.

  18. #18
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    FWIW, and while the sample size is small, mine is twice yours (I have two racks). They've both been solid and on the vehicles non stop for 2 years now.

    Being an engineer in the OEM world, it's pretty common for failures to follow specific manufacturing lots - the idea being that if you have make a mistake in manufacturing, you are going to make it repetitively in some manner in a given lot.

    That said, I am pretty pretty much in awe of Yak's customer service on my box and can not really think of too many other companies that would have done the same. To add to that, it's not the first time they have snapped to when I've had a problem. A few years ago, I had a problem with a lock set of 8 that I bought. They next day shipped me a new set at no cost and put me on the honor system to return the set of 8 that I had. So, I'd have to give them pretty strong marks for CS in general.

    So, I do see what you are saying and it's too bad that it didn't come out better for you. Sometimes it's beneficial with customer service requests (any company) that if it isn't going well, hang up and call in again and get a different person and/or ask for as supervisor. Hope you get it fixed.


    J.

  19. #19
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    Hi-

    What types of bike mounts/trays are people using with whispbars? I'll need to carry sizes ranging from a 29" full suspension (with thru-axel) to a kids 20" bike. Which types are easier and/or more versatile? I'm also thinking about noise, etc. when they are not in use, since the whispbar premium is mostly for noise.

    Thanks,

  20. #20
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    I really like my new HighRollers but they need an adapter to use on WhispBars. The FrontLoader is essentially the same carrier but designed to work with flat bars (and round or square bars). I really like the systems that clamp the wheel rather than the down tube. I had one that clamped the down tube and they tended to mar and even scratch the paint on the bike. Also, if you ever got a carbon frame bike, I'm not sure if you can or should use a clamping setup like that.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tweakophyte View Post
    Hi-

    What types of bike mounts/trays are people using with whispbars? I'll need to carry sizes ranging from a 29" full suspension (with thru-axel) to a kids 20" bike. Which types are easier and/or more versatile? I'm also thinking about noise, etc. when they are not in use, since the whispbar premium is mostly for noise.

    Thanks,
    Also... anybody use a 1up rack with whispbars? If so, how's the noise? I like the idea of the easy-mount for pure whispbar accessories, but if I got the 1up, would that mean I might as well get a more-standard roof rack?

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tweakophyte View Post
    Also... anybody use a 1up rack with whispbars? If so, how's the noise? I like the idea of the easy-mount for pure whispbar accessories, but if I got the 1up, would that mean I might as well get a more-standard roof rack?
    Bump... thanks!

  23. #23
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    Whispbar

    I guess I didn't notice any noise that was different from any other piece I had up there. It's not an issue.

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by JohnJ80 View Post
    I guess I didn't notice any noise that was different from any other piece I had up there. It's not an issue.
    Hi.

    Do you have the 1up rack? If so, do you mind posting a pic of it mounted on the whispbars?

    Thanks,

  25. #25
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    I don't have one with it mounted on the Whispbars, but here is one with two of them mounted on the regular bars from a few years ago. Mine are a bit different than the current version - mine predate them. I convinced 1UpUSA to do me a special set that have trays that can be connected either to the hitch rack or used on the roof rack. The only thing that is different is the mounting plate that goes around the bar. The current one is much better.

    I now have gone back to these trays on the hitch rack and my Thule Echelons on the roof. When my kids were commuting down to the university for summer school and I had to drop them off at the bus, I used these on the roof so I didn't have to take the front wheels off. Their front wheels have pitlock skewers on them so that would have been kind of a pain.

    From in the car, I don't notice any sound difference between the 1UpUSA racks vs the Echelons. I'm sure that outside of the car there is probably a difference albeit it small. The Echelons are more aero but the front cross section on the two racks is really not all that much different.

    J.

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    Last edited by JohnJ80; 05-03-2014 at 06:48 AM.

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