Fork mount or keep the wheel on the bike?- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Fork mount or keep the wheel on the bike?

    I too have bought a new 2008 Outback 2.5i
    I want to buy a roof rack...
    My question is to go with a fork mount or the Yakima Raptor mount leaving the front wheel on the bike. Any views as which is best for the bike? Ease of mount?
    With the Raptor I can use the stock areo cross bars that came with the car and save $200 by not buying towers and round crossbars.

  2. #2
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    fork mount without doubt is more secure. wheel on is more convent.

    rocky mounts makes a fork mount carrier that will work with your factory cross bars. When I looked yakima only made wheel on carriers for those bars.

  3. #3
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    I have a yakima set up with a steelhead fork mount. Had it for 8 years so far with no issue. Way back in the day, Barrecrafter set up with fork mount, no issues there either. I went this route after reading & being told by shop guys they were more secure than other options.

  4. #4
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    It's a wash in my book

    I've have both the Yakima Raptor and the Yakima Viper (fork mount) on my Subaru 2.5rs. I would say the fork mount is for sure more secure in that it doesn't shake or move around as much when compared to the Raptor. This doesn't mean though that the Raptor isn't as good. I haven't had one problem with either system. Your bike will definitely stick up more in the air with Raptor which will hurt your mileage a little...at least it does on mine. I find that it's easier to put a bike on the fork mount than it is on the Raptor but that could just be me. Also if you own a single speed road bike like me where the wheels are bolted on instead of using a quick release, the Raptor is definitely better. Finally, the fork mount is better for security against thieves if that's an issue for you. For the Raptor, you need to buy additional lockable bolts to lock the tray to the cross bars where on the fork mount it is incorporated into the front axle skewer. In the end I think it is a wash...they have both done a good job for me with no issues. Additionally, if you are going to do with a Yakima fork mount, I would go with the Viper as it has the beefiest skewer assembly out of all the ones offered by Yakima.

    P.S.: FWIW, my friend has a Thule fork mount and it's been nothing but problems. He's on his third warranty replacement. Some plastic part(s) inside the locking skewer keeps breaking.

  5. #5
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    What everybody said...plus...

    Depending on the model rack and the disk brake caliper, you may find there is intereference between the caliper and the rack. Happened on my Thule; but it was fixable by filing rack's wheel channel/rail thingys. Some people may not be as comfortable hacking up a clean new rack.

    Some of the upright models give you way more flexibility on the type of bike you carry...kids bike w/ narrow front forks? Through-axle forks? Not on my rack, not a problem on the uprights.

    FWIW--being an old-school roadie, flipping a front wheel on and off didn't seem like a big deal and when I bought my rack I opted for less wobble and a more compact profile, and got a Thule hitch rack with a fork mount. (I don't know if they make that model any more.) When I started carrying MTB's (and when my kids started riding bikes) I changed my opinion. Front wheel off takes longer (only a few seconds, but still...it's not riding time). Front wheel is always messier than the road wheel, so now what to do with it? Oh...throw it in the back of the SUV...but that is also where the kids bikes are jammed in sometimes, plus riding gear, plus....

    Wishing I had a upright rack now...wobble doesn't seem so bad after all. Does not really hurt anything, does it?
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  6. #6
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    I have had issues with the Thule breaking, but my problem is that the Yakima locking mechanism WILL NOT adjust wide enough so I can lock the fork into the rack?

    Anyone know of a resolution with the Yakima racks so I can get my new fork to lock in? I like the Thule a ton better, but yes the plastic parts inside might break if you try to get the thing too tight. I still would like to find out how to get my Yakima steelhead to expand a bit more so I can use it as well to hold my bike with the Magura fork.
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  7. #7
    Prez NMBA
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    if you go with the fork mount yakima viper trays,disk brakes are not an issue, my fox fork with old XT's don't like to play with steelheads but fit great on the viper. Im suprized to hear that he steelhead will not go wide enough for a fork, the ones that I have worked with have all had lots of extra room on any fork we've had in them

  8. #8
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    Well, the problem is the small locking washer that is located on the steel skewer. It prevents me from unscrewing the bolt and widening the distance so I can lock down the mechanism. When I put the fork in, I can get it in, but I can only push down on the lever halfway, and the thing doesn't go far enough to lock down.

    I have emailed Yakima asking them about this, but never have heard any reply from their customer service yet.

    I don't think it is because of the disc brakes, I just can't get the thing quite wide enough so the lever will completely lock and close all the way. Stops halfway down and won't budge or lock. The Thule has been the only one that will spead far enough to lock the Magura fork in.
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  9. #9
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    I use a raptor and a high roller, both wheel on mounts by Yakima and have had no issues with either.

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