If you're a rider, it's likely that at some point instead of riding from home you’ll be driving to a destination. Let’s be frank, road trips are much better when you can take your bike along! Thankfully the good folk at Yakima have you covered.
Their latest Highroad racks keep the bike securely mounted on the roof, so you can pack more into the car. And, if you are a little precious about having your bike up on a rack, these ones won’t even touch your frame.
The racks turned up a few weeks back for testing. Naturally I was a bit apprehensive as sometimes fitting roof racks can be problematic. And, I was a little time poor (and hangray) so just glanced at the instructions instead of reading them fully (not recommended). However, these racks were a bloody breeze to fit. It took me no less than 10 minutes. I set up the Highroad bike rack with Whispbar crossbars sitting on factory Skoda rails. The racks have a simple and easy to use rubber on the bottom that secures them to your crossbars. The racks lock on at both ends to ensure they stay secure – these can be adjusted depending on where you need it. Once you have them in place, there is a keyed lock to keep people from pulling the rack off your car.
When loading the bike onto the roof, the first thing to ensure is that the front (‘V’) stand is in the upright position and the rear tyre strap is out of the way. Otherwise you’ll be standing there with a bike in the air whilst trying to faff around with the rack. This is certainly not advised! Tighten up the front end and strap the rear tyre then you’re away. The racks are solid especially around the front end, this ensured the bikes were secure when driving. This helps when you’re on the gas heading to your destination (running late no doubt). Once you have arrived, wind back the dial and unclip the tyre strap and you’re ready to ride.
I liked that the racks don’t touch the frame of the bike. Some racks can damage bikes and sometimes with different tubing it can be hard to find a good clamp spot. The ease of the front hatch and tighten knob is logical. I liked it particularly after a (dirty) gravel ride as you don’t need to get dirtier when trying to hold the frame whilst trying to get the rack to clamp. The ease of adjustment with different tyre sizes is another benefit. The downside is that they are a little bulkier than other racks and with the front end being a little larger (for the front wheel) they do have some aerodynamic drag. Also, there’s an add-on option of a lock but I’d like to see it included as part of the rack. That said, they are super robust, easy to use and look good.