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Top Fork Mount Roof Racks Review | 2018

For those that bike a lot and need to transport their bikes in style, you have 2 main options, roof racks and hitch mount racks.  Today I would like to showcase the Top Fork Mount Roof Racks for 2018.

Top Fork Mount Roof Racks Review | 2018

Usually when I set my sites on a project like this I like to contact all the main players in the industry who are the best at what they do.  To that end I contacted the following cycling roof rack companies that had what I considered excellent fork mounts.

  • Kuat
  • RockyMounts
  • SeaSucker
  • Thule
  • Yakima

Of the 5 so far, 2 have sent us fork mounts including Kuat and Yakima.

For our test and review I selected our 2013 Subaru Crosstrek with a factory installed roof rack.

Kuat Trio Fork Mount Roof Rack

http://www.kuatonline.com/
Retail : $189

Since jumping into the cycling rack industry in 2008, Küat has continually brought it with functional elegant designs. Küat pronounced (Kooah-t) is probably best known for their rear hitch mount racks that are often found on cars, SUVs and trucks.  I remember when I first saw a Kuat rear mounted rack here in Austin, I was blown away by just how good it looked.

Kuat Trio Fork Mount Roof Rack 2018 back Kuat Trio Fork Mount Roof Rack 2018

While most roof racks have some type of theft locking system that locks the rail to the roof rack, Kuat uses a 4 bolt system instead, making it a bit more vulnerable to theft than either the the lockable Yakima or Thule fork mount systems.

The Trio does come equipped with an integrated rear cable lock allowing you to lock your bike, but from my experience these type of locks can easily be cut should you leave your bike unattended for any length of time.

What makes the Kuat rack stand out is it’s minimalistic design and sharp looks.  The Fork Mount comes standard with 9×100, 15×100, & 20×110 mm fork mount adapters.  Others can be purchased separately.

Kuat Trio In-Depth Review

Kuat Trio Fork Mount Bike Rack Review | 2018

RockyMounts SwitchHitter Fork Mount Roof Rack

RockyMounts (https://rockymounts.com)
Retail: $189.95

RockyMounts hail from Boulder, Colorado, home to bicyclists, skiers, snowboarders, kayakers, adventure athletes, and outdoor enthusiasts of all kinds.  The foothills of Colorado is the land of countless trailheads, miles of single-track, and the gateway to the Rocky Mountains.

In 1993, founder Bobby Noyes ventured from New Jersey to Colorado to feed his addiction to bicycling. Recognizing the need for a better bike racks, he set up shop and began producing bike racks by hand.

RockyMounts SwitchHitter Fork Mount Roof Rack Rail

The SwitchHitter is RockyMounts answer to a thru-axle and quick release fork mount system.  It comes available with a lockable plug to lock the rack to the car as well as a cable lock that retracts from the rear wheel tray.  The rail is designed to to work with 9mm QR, 12/100, 15/100, 15/110 (Boost) thru-axles via swap-able machined aluminum inserts that get secured via allen bolts.

SeaSucker Talon Bicycle Fork Mount Rack

https://www.seasucker.com/
Retail: $300

SeaSucker is a Florida-based designer, manufacturer, wholesaler of marine accessories, bike racks and board racks.  There approach to bike racks/rails is radically different than any of the other companies we have reviewed.  The company launched in 2005 with a vacuum-mounted chair for on the deck of a boat.  In 2009 the concept of a vacuum mounted bike rack was realized and the rest as you say was history.

Today SeaSucker has their SUCKERS available in a variety of setups from single bike to multi-bike.  For those that simply want the best and have the money, SeaSucker offers the high end Komodo (Retail $1,395).

SeaSucker Talon Bicycle Rack 2018

So what makes the SeaSucker Talon unique?  Well first off it’s suckers can attach to any roof as long as the surface is smooth.   This means that vehicles that don’t have a roof rack can use the Talon right out of the box.  The suckers attach to the roof by pumping a button on the side.  As you pump, the suction adheres the sucker in place creating a very strong bond.  Installation is quick and easy and since you’re not restricted to crossbars, you can position the talon in multiple places on the roof.

Are there any downsides to the Talon.  From our vantage point there are two and they both revolve around theft.  Currently the Talon doesn’t have any theft prevention, so both your bike and rack are vulnerable if left alone.  You don’t have a way to permanently attach the Talon to a car, SUV or truck, so a thief can easily unattached it.  Beyond the rack theft vulnerability, you don’t have any way to secure the bike.  The Talon doesn’t come with any cable locks or theft prevention options.

Your best option after use is to remove the Talon and store it in your vehicle or home rather than to leave it sucked on.

Thule ThruRide Fork Mount Roof Rack

https://www.thule.com
Retail: $229.95

Thule was established in Sweden in 1942 during the height of WWII.  The company is based in Malmö, Sweden, with the Thule Group having more than 2,200 employees at more than 40 production and sales locations all over the world.  They have evolved from simply making roof racks to adding luggage and baby strollers in the Thule line.

I have been a big fan of the Thule brand owning several racks and bike rail systems over the years.  The quality of the Thule products has gotten better and better.  Back in the 80’s and early 90’s you really didn’t have much in the way of choice.  There was Thule and Yakima and probably a few others, but they were the main players and it was usually Thule you would see at bike and outdoor stores.  Today there are a lot more players, but Thule is still at the top.

 

Thule Thruride Fork Mount Roof Rack 2018

The Thule Thruride one-key lock cylinder (sold separately) locks the bike to the carrier and the carrier to the rack (thru-axles only).  As with all the racks we have reviewed, the Thruride fits 9 mm quick-release hubs with included non-locking adapter (lockable adapter sold separately).  The rail will fit bikes with 12-20 mm thru-axles with no extra adapters.

I did see one complaint where someone had an issue with a disc brake setup not working because the front disc brake housing got in the way.

Yakima HighSpeed Fork Mount Roof Rack

https://www.yakima.com
Retail: $219.00

Yakima got it’s start in a small machine shop in Yakima, Washington in 1979.  Founders and owners Steve Cole and Don Banducci purchased Yakima Industries and eventually moved to the wilderness of Arcata, California and finally right outside Portland, Oregon.

Yakima HighSpeed Fork Mounted Roof Rack Rail 2018

Of the rail systems we have tested, the Yakima HighSpeed is the easiest rail system to mount.  No tools were required, which is a major plus.  The HighSpeed uses an adjustment nob to secure Yakima’s quick release and thru axles.

Another major advantage of using the HighSpeed is it’s security features.  The tray comes with the ability to lock (locks sold separately) the tray to the roof rack, lock the adjustment nob, lock the quick release skewer and cable, making it the most secure fork mount roof rack in the mix.

In order to make the HighSpeed as theft proof as possible, you will want to order the following additional items.

  • Universal QR Locking Skewer (part number 8002118)
  • SKS Lock 4-pack (part number 8007204)

The HighSpeed is built like a tank giving you lots of confidence that it can hold up over time.

Yakima HighSpeed In-Depth Review

YAKIMA HIGHSPEED FORK MOUNT ROOF RACK REVIEW | 2018

Bottom Line

Of the fork mount racks we have tested, the Kuat wins for both price point and looks.  Yakima wins for ease of use (no tools required) and theft protection.  In either case you will not be disappointed with your purchase.

 

 

About The Author

Tom Crandall

Tom has been writing about running, cycling and fitness since 1988, covering everything from the product reviews to the latest in fitness trends. Tom is the Editor-in-chief of GearMashers.com, 10KstepsDaily.com, EndTheTrendNow.com, AntiqueOutings.com, MiniatureReview.blogspot.com and a few other publications, he began racing in college while getting an Information Resource Management degree at George Mason University. Based in the cycling-crazed city of Austin, Texas, with his wife Kathleen and pug Olaf, Tom enjoys running, walking or riding most every day.

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