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  1. #1
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    yakima frontloader or rockymounts pitchfork? ('08 WRX)

    Got a 08 WRX hatchback, and already have the yakima bars, and no hitch. Wanting to carry a Giant XTC 29er XL on the roof and am looking at the yakima frontloader or rockymounts pitchfork w/ 15mm TA adapter. Was wondering which one would be more secure at interstate speeds, and maybe just some opinions between the two, or possibly even suggestions for others.

  2. #2
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    Frontloader is awesome at highway speeds. 80+Mph is no issue.

  3. #3
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    Agree with above. Frontloader is easy and secure. No experience with the other.

  4. #4
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    I've got 2 Frontloaders mounted to the factory aero bars on my 2011 Impreza Outback Sport. I've had my bike and my son's on with no issues at highway speeds. Plus, I find them to be very quiet (no wind noise/turbulence).

  5. #5
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    copy that, ordered the frontloader, thanks!

  6. #6
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    Frontloader is a good convenient rack.
    Rocky Mounts is also a very solid fork mount rack too. We have used them here successfully for nearly 10 years. The Pitchfork is an excellent value.
    Question you have to ask yourself is if you want to spend the time removing the TA to mount it on a fork mount, or go with an upright like the Frontloader

  7. #7
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    Leaning towards the Frontloader myself. Need the bikes first though!

  8. #8
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    The problem with both the Frontloader and the Highroller is that they have a plastic gear/ratchet in the mechanism that holds the front tire. If that strips, you have no way of knowing, it can still work fine but the holding force is dramatically diminished and can suddenly release. That's what happened to my HighRoller and Yak recommended destroying it so that no one picked it up out of the garbage.

    From there I want back to the fork mounts and find them much more reliable.

    J.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by JohnJ80 View Post
    The problem with both the Frontloader and the Highroller is that they have a plastic gear/ratchet in the mechanism that holds the front tire. If that strips, you have no way of knowing, it can still work fine but the holding force is dramatically diminished and can suddenly release. That's what happened to my HighRoller and Yak recommended destroying it so that no one picked it up out of the garbage.

    From there I want back to the fork mounts and find them much more reliable.

    J.
    How common is this issue? Hate to see my new ride fly off the Subie at highway speeds!


  10. #10
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    have not heard any reports of that ratchet mech failing suddenly, maybe we can ask scott from cracksandracks to chime in

    but, even if it does, you've still got the rear wheel strapped to the rack, so at least it will give you some fair warning

    anyways, after reading this, i used a couple of old toe clip straps around the front wheel and front arm so i need not worry (and, to satisfy my ob-c side)

    :-)
    biker boy

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by BrnHrnt View Post
    How common is this issue? Hate to see my new ride fly off the Subie at highway speeds!

    How it occurs is if you force the collapse of the front wheel holding mechanism. This can happen if you run it into an overhead obstacle or even if you just force it down manually. When this happens, the ratchet will still appear to hold but the force required to cause the ratcheted arm to drop is much, much lower than normal. There is no way to replace the gear or to inspect it for a problem.

    How I discovered this was when I hit a low overhanging obstacle (branch) with a bike on board. The bike was stripped from the rack with no damage and the rack appeared to have no damage. But, when I took it off the car and tested it against the good one (I have two) there was a significant change in performance. I called Yak and their customer service confirmed it. What the functional outcome is that if as you apply force in opposition to the ratchet it will hold and then suddenly and without warning, release. This could happen if you hit a pothole in the road, a bump or whatever. You could cause the same thing to happen manually by just pulling down hard on the ratcheting arm.

    Yes, you can avoid this by not forcing the piece down. But if you do or someone else does, there is no way to inspect it or repair it and the rack will appear to operate properly. You can't fix it and you have to throw the rack away. That's a pricey fix in my book. Given that, I'd look for racks that are either the more traditional fork racks (more secure) and that have no hidden critical mechanical parts. Yak is normally pretty good on spare parts, but this one is a complicated assembly that you cannot disassemble.

    I replaced my HighRoller with a fork mount.

    J.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by JohnJ80 View Post
    How it occurs is if you force the collapse of the front wheel holding mechanism. This can happen if you run it into an overhead obstacle or even if you just force it down manually. When this happens, the ratchet will still appear to hold but the force required to cause the ratcheted arm to drop is much, much lower than normal. There is no way to replace the gear or to inspect it for a problem.

    How I discovered this was when I hit a low overhanging obstacle (branch) with a bike on board. The bike was stripped from the rack with no damage and the rack appeared to have no damage. But, when I took it off the car and tested it against the good one (I have two) there was a significant change in performance. I called Yak and their customer service confirmed it. What the functional outcome is that if as you apply force in opposition to the ratchet it will hold and then suddenly and without warning, release. This could happen if you hit a pothole in the road, a bump or whatever. You could cause the same thing to happen manually by just pulling down hard on the ratcheting arm.

    Yes, you can avoid this by not forcing the piece down. But if you do or someone else does, there is no way to inspect it or repair it and the rack will appear to operate properly. You can't fix it and you have to throw the rack away. That's a pricey fix in my book. Given that, I'd look for racks that are either the more traditional fork racks (more secure) and that have no hidden critical mechanical parts. Yak is normally pretty good on spare parts, but this one is a complicated assembly that you cannot disassemble.

    I replaced my HighRoller with a fork mount.

    J.
    That is an awesome reply. Thank you! So the bottom line is use it as directed and be lucky enough not to whack something and it should work as advertised. I'm not sure if that's realistic. I would hate to have to replace or be worried about the rack if I closed it the wrong way!

    So, being a noob, how much of a hassle is it to remove a front wheel with disc brakes and a remote lock-out? I haven't dealt with bikes since quick-release was cutting edge!

  13. #13
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    It's easy, maybe less difficult than with cantilever style brakes.

    If you want to leave the wheels on, 1UpUSA has a really nice tray for rack mounting. It's a little more fiddly to mount it to the conventional Thule or Yak bars through.

    1UPUSA.com :: Roof Tray Silver

    It's also a lower profile when collapsed (more aero). Costs the same as a HighRoller. This is a great tray and it you can easily check all parts for proper operation. I possibly have the first one of these ever made and mine was drilled to also work on the hitch rack add on kit (where it stays). I did use it for one trip out west for two bikes 2500 miles round trip with zero problems. Worked very well.

    J.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by JohnJ80 View Post
    It's easy, maybe less difficult than with cantilever style brakes.

    If you want to leave the wheels on, 1UpUSA has a really nice tray for rack mounting. It's a little more fiddly to mount it to the conventional Thule or Yak bars through.

    1UPUSA.com :: Roof Tray Silver

    It's also a lower profile when collapsed (more aero). Costs the same as a HighRoller. This is a great tray and it you can easily check all parts for proper operation. I possibly have the first one of these ever made and mine was drilled to also work on the hitch rack add on kit (where it stays). I did use it for one trip out west for two bikes 2500 miles round trip with zero problems. Worked very well.

    J.
    Thanks! So which style do you like better since you've gone back and forth between the fork mount and the wheels on?

  15. #15
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    Depends - I've got way too much stuff for bikes on cars. On my BMW wagon, I've got the Yakima Whispbars to which I've mounted the Thule Echelons. I drive a lot of miles, that is a super quiet set up and it's very Aero. No mpg penalty at all - which is great since I leave them on the car permanently and I mostly carry road bikes. The Echelons mount super flush to the aero bars with only a T style bolt. Very clean, no extra air disturbance. No other tray and bar configuration has a cleaner installation.

    When we go on family trips with all four bikes with the SUV, then I have a 1UpUSA hitch rack which I love. If I were using mountain bikes all the time I'd probably go for the 1UpUSA trays on the roof for a roof rack. They are super secure and you'd not have to take anything off (wheels etc..). They are also better for the reasons above and they don't have that silly cable lock that Yak puts on the HighRoller that is marginal security and just gets in the way all the time (biggest problem). They are also very aero trays with a very low cross section.

    But, for a road bike, it's a toss up. It comes down to do you mind a tire in the car or not.

    The above refers to aero bars. If you don't have aero bars then it's simple - 1UpUSA trays, no question.

    J.

  16. #16
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    I might also add that depending on how many bikes you have, at some point it becomes impractical to have more than about two extra wheels in the car. I never liked those extra wheel holders on the car.

    J.

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