Thule Sidearm vs. Yakima Frontloader-
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  1. #1
    mtbr member
    Join Date
    Oct 2014

    Thule Sidearm vs. Yakima Frontloader

    Hey all.

    So I've spent the good half of my weekend trying to decide between the two. Ive seen ups and downs for both, and the Thule is going to cost me a bit more. My main concern however, is seeing the Frontloader having "wobble" on highways.

    I'll be traveling cross country in the next month, so highway use is the most important part of my purchase. As of now, I am leaning towards the Sidearm, solely because of the tray the tires sit in.

    Also, I ride a 27.5 Tokul3 and saw numerous mentions of the Frontloader having...difficulties...with the tire size.

    Anyone out there use either for long distance, highway mileage?

    Thanks in advance!

  2. #2
    mtbr member
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    I have had 4 Thule Sidearms for several years, installed in different configurations on different cars. I have been 100% satisfied, and have mounted road, mountain, and cross bikes. I have the first gen version, and can get my 29er on with just a bit of fussing. Some of these trips have been cross country, and I never had any issues with bikes getting loose or wobbling. 4 stars! (just remember that like any mount that keeps wheels in place, the bikes are WAY up there)

  3. #3
    Rent this space for $
    Reputation: Oh My Sack!'s Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    I was a Yakima guy and when came time to buy a rack that did not touch my frames and was easy and fast to use, I studied the Frontloader and used my neighbors. Then I got to use a Thule T2 which operates like the SideArm. SOLD! It is better built, and an easier, faster operation. I just couldn't consider the Yakima after that usage. I bought a T2 for the hitch mount and then built up a roof mount package with 2 SideArms for the same car. It's really an awesome rack for the money. If you shop it right, you can score some good deals. I studied craigslist for a couple weeks and scored 2 of the SideArms, used maybe a couple times then stored in the garage and I only paid $100 for each one. the T2 I bought from Art's Cyclery. They occasionally have some killer sales on the Thule stuff.

  4. #4
    mtbr member
    Reputation: JustMtnB44's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    I have 3 Sidearm trays, they have been super solid and reliable for many years and many road trips. The only thing to note is that the side arm release lever on one of my trays can stick a bit sometimes so I always make sure to pull it up and make sure it is locked in place, because one time it came loose. However even loose it is unlikely the bike could fall out.

    One of my buddies had 2 Frontloader (or maybe an older but similar model) trays a while back and both eventually failed and cracked around the base. They were replaced by Yakima but that doesn't inspire confidence.

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