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  1. #1
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    Thinking about a roof rack? Avoid the Thule Sidearm.

    I had my front tire pop out of the rack whilst driving on the interstate last weekend. The Lefty just doesn't give the "system" enough "grab".

    Just an FYI.

  2. #2
    LA CHÈVRE
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    I prefer Big Mouths, holds bikes well, costs less and if you lock it, it takes more effort than just undoing the front wheel to leave with the rest of the bike.

    DAN.GEROUS.NET : MOUNTAIN BIKING : CYCLOCROSS : ROAD :

  3. #3
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    I was going to go Big Mouth, but I asked if it would be ok to clamp to an ultra light carbon tubed frame and was told "it's not advised".

    I have a Hurricane Components Lefty fork mount on the way.

  4. #4
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    WHAT? I've got a friend I used to work with who LIVES by the sidearm. Probably sells more than any thule dealer anywhere. Never had any issues with his, and he drives like a maniac (DHer, what do you expect?), I have heard issues with some of their other racks though not holding tight enough. I was hoping to get one after my bike, but if I keep the lefty I'll need to look elsewhere...thanks for the headsup.

  5. #5
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    I also discovered that where the sidearm contacts the Lefty is where the boot starts. When you crank it down, it pulls the boot down with it.

  6. #6
    GUIDANCE COUNSELOR
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    Shouldn't this thread be called "Looking for a roof rack? avoid a lefty"?
    NOAH SEARS
    MRP - VP of Business Development
    Pivot Cycles - Team Rider

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by NoahColorado
    Shouldn't this thread be called "Looking for a roof rack? avoid a lefty"?

    No.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by NoahColorado
    Shouldn't this thread be called "Looking for a roof rack? avoid a lefty"?
    No, most people buy rack after the bike. And by that time they are so hooked on the Lefty they would rather take the bike apart and throw it in the trunk than do without the lefty for a rack that seems to work and a fork that has two legs.

    The Yakama V wheel holding thing type rack works great on my Lefty.
    Lead by my Lefty............... right down the trail, no brakes.

  9. #9
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    I have used the side arm for a couple years with no problem. HOWEVER, I don't focus on getting the hook in contact with the lefty. I just swing it until it has a direct pull straight into the tire pulling back at itself (if that makes any sense). Running 30 lbs of air pressure lets it sink into the tire and it holds fine. This rule does not apply to cross bikes or road bikes.

  10. #10
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    I'll use nothing else. I hauled my Carbon rush in mine in a wind storm while going 75mph without any problems,

    Bryan

  11. #11
    PCC
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    A friend bought a Rush and the guy at the shop told him not to get one of those Hurricane Components Fork-Up because the constant removal and reinstallation of the brake caliper could wear out the threads, causing them to strip out eventually. I retired my Fork-Up after I heard that.

    I use a Thule Big Mouth with my Prophet with Lefty and it works just fine. I don't particularly trust the systems that grab the tire itself because if the tire goes flat while on the rack (or a thief lets the air out) it can potentially fall off quite easily, especially a fat mountain bike tire.

  12. #12
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    Like I said, I would love to use a Big Mouth, but the super light carbon tubes might suffer a horrible fate. I'd rather wear out my threads than crush a frame tube...

  13. #13
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    can be solved

    I suggest you use a band, strap or piece of rope to secure the front wheel to the rack in a similar fashion as the rear. Maybe like one for keeping skies together in transport, with velcro.

    I use both the Big Mouth and the Criterium (my favourite). The big mouth had to short wheel straps to accomodate 2.3 tires and up, but I changed them to new bigger ones from Criterium. Had some issues with wheels bouncing off before the change.

    In my opinion keeping the wheels tight to the rack is the most important fastening, second is the support for keeping the bike upright. Sidearm does both at the same time, and you need to keep the wheel firmly down on the rack first of all.

    By the way, both has been used at carbon frames (Genius, Ransom) wiht no frame issues so far.

  14. #14
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    My wife and I use two Yakima High Rollers that work awesome on our Lefty Rush’s. We have no issues whatsoever with the lefty, other than making sure you arrange the direction of the rack so you have the left side of the fork to grab onto when you mount the bike.

    She regularly drives 80mph with them on there and sometimes takes turns a little too quickly for my taste with them up there on exit ramps etc. and no issues. Held fine even when I got a flat that deflated while up on the roof which decreased the tension on the rear wheel strap…..still no issues.

  15. #15
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    For you guys who want a quick setup for a pick-up truck bed, check this out. I have 2. The arm can be assembled to clear a Lefty.

    http://www.thuleracks.com/product.as..._id=75&sku=501

  16. #16
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    I'm looking at a Thule T2 hitch rack, and it uses the Sidearm.

    My thoughts were if I had any problems to simply the strap the front wheel as well.

    I hate removing the wheels on my bike, the "Big Mouth" style racks don't always work on all bikes (sometimes the downtube can be too big). Plus, in the event that the clamp loosens, the bike is free to say, fall right on over. Happened to my dad once, he looked out his window and there was his bike, hanging at a 45 degree angle off the top of the car.

  17. #17
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  18. #18
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    Hitch racks are right out. My Subaru dealership wants to charge me $600 for a hitch install, and Uhaul wants $300. Add in the cost of a rack and that's pushing serious money.


    I might try a front wheel strap with the sidearm.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cypress
    Hitch racks are right out. My Subaru dealership wants to charge me $600 for a hitch install, and Uhaul wants $300. Add in the cost of a rack and that's pushing serious money.


    I might try a front wheel strap with the sidearm.
    where do you live? UHaul quoted $150 for my 1997 outback.

    I'm looking at a yakima raptor or thule big mouth...any suggestions?

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by PCC
    A friend bought a Rush and the guy at the shop told him not to get one of those Hurricane Components Fork-Up because the constant removal and reinstallation of the brake caliper could wear out the threads, causing them to strip out eventually. I retired my Fork-Up after I heard that.

    I use a Thule Big Mouth with my Prophet with Lefty and it works just fine. I don't particularly trust the systems that grab the tire itself because if the tire goes flat while on the rack (or a thief lets the air out) it can potentially fall off quite easily, especially a fat mountain bike tire.

    There is a helicoil in the lefty axle that can easily be replaced if that were to happen but I change wheels a lot and have had no such problems.

  21. #21
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    Most bolt-on hitches are not difficult to install and would save you much money.

  22. #22
    PCC
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cypress
    Like I said, I would love to use a Big Mouth, but the super light carbon tubes might suffer a horrible fate. I'd rather wear out my threads than crush a frame tube...
    The current Big Mouth has this self-adjusting design where it grabs the downtube then applies a pre-determined amount of pressure from the jaws. I've used these on my carbon fiber road bikes without any problems at all.

    Quote Originally Posted by rumshcawheely
    There is a helicoil in the lefty axle that can easily be replaced if that were to happen but I change wheels a lot and have had no such problems.
    I was talking about stripping out the screws in the brake calipers from repeated removal and reinstallation. I've upgraded my brakes to Hope Mono-Minis so stripping a bolt on one of the two holes would not be a good thing for me.

  23. #23
    PCC
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    Quote Originally Posted by PaintPeelinPbody
    Plus, in the event that the clamp loosens, the bike is free to say, fall right on over. Happened to my dad once, he looked out his window and there was his bike, hanging at a 45 degree angle off the top of the car.
    Huh? The Big Mouth tray has a triangulated arm thing that, when it grabs the downtube, holds the bike upright. You can almost get away with not clamping the wheels to the tray but if you slam on the brakes the bike can move forward so the wheel clamps are a good idea.


    Picture from Thule's website.

  24. #24
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    i have the sportswork rack, which is the sidearm... ive do some gnarly offroading while shuttling and swear by it, my friend always puts his bike in wrong and its VERY lose if the arm isnt up against the fork, which i can see would be an issue for the lefty...

  25. #25
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    I installed the Fork Up today along with a Thule Peloton. Things never cease to amaze me. I had to hacksaw 4.5 inches of the wheel tray off so it didn't blow out my rear window when I open the hatch. Subaru really wasn't thinking about bikes when they put the roof rack on the car.

  26. #26
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    Cyp - How loing was your wheel tray?

    Our Yakima fits perfectly on our 2003 Outback and plus we can slide it back and forth on the factory rails to adjust front and back another 6-10" if need be.

    Is there a reason everyone appears to be stuck on trying to make a Thule system work without looking at the Yakima systems? Our High Rollers work with our lefties without any issues, no modifications, no issues with the Subaru etc.

    Steve

  27. #27
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    I had to cut the wheel tray down to 43". I've got an Impreza, making for less roof space to work with.

    I looked at the Yakima systems as well. I ditched the idea of leaving both wheels on as soon as I found the Fork up for the Lefty. I guess I just don't trust the systems that leave both wheels on. It seems to require your front tire to remain inflated else you suffer.

  28. #28
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    Tire Inflation....

    Cyp - I agree with your tire inflation point. If you end up a ride with a slow leak in your front tire and you don't notice it before putting the bike up, your bike will losen slightly. However, it isn't going anywhere. The back would still be locked in and the cord would keep it with your car. The end result before noticing is a more wobbly trip for your bike.

    I had that issue with a rear flat a few weeks ago, I put it up and then stopped for gas 45mins later and noticed the flat, cinched the rear strap down more and we're off.

    I love not having to grab the allen wrench and take the wheels on and off all the time.

    I can see how the Impreza might have a little issue, couldn't you have shifted it forward to clear the hatch in the rear or would that have put you too far forward?

    Steve

  29. #29
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    The factory rack is too far back. I had to put the front crossbars almost too far forward (on the curve of the rack), and it still wasn't enough. I also had to rotate the Fork Up forward so my rear tire wouldn't rest on the hatch when it is open.

    I will take some pics when I get a chance.

  30. #30
    PCC
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cypress
    I had to cut the wheel tray down to 43". I've got an Impreza, making for less roof space to work with.
    Mount the trays backwards. I've seen plenty of Impreza's with backwards mounted trays.

  31. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by PCC
    Mount the trays backwards. I've seen plenty of Impreza's with backwards mounted trays.

    DAMNS!

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