Yakima have released a new low-profile fork mounted rack that laughs in the face at different axle standards!
Keeping your bike attached to your car securely is the best way to prevent damage to both your bike, and your vehicle. While we're used to making just about any bike fit inside any vehicle to make escaping on a two-wheeled adventure happen, the low-stress option of a quality roof rack system is hard to pass up.
Yakima are an old hand in the bike transportation game, and their new HighSpeed rack is made to suit those who want to transport their bikes with rock solid security with the front wheel off. The only issue here is the variety of front axle standards. From the classic 9mm quick-release most road bikes still have, to the updated 12mm through-axle you'll find on modern disc road bikes, gravel bikes and new cyclocross bikes, to 15mm axles on older cyclocross bikes, and even 20mm axles on some big hitting mountain bikes - not to mention the wider spacing that new mountain bikes have too.
Yakima have done away with the complexity of the ever-evolving and expanding notion of 'standards' in the bike industry with the clamping mechanism of the Yakima HighSpeed. The rubber jaws of the clamp simply dial down onto the fork axle (or included fake axle for QR front forks) with an easy dial that is also torque limited so it won't be done up too tight - not matter how hard you try.
In use, the Yakima HighSpeed is a breeze for a number of reasons. Firstly, fitting onto the racks is tool free. So if you travel with your bike infrequently, putting the rack on your car will only take a couple of minutes - no excuses for not getting out there!
Once the front wheel is off, your bike is also lighter to lift onto your car, and being fork mounted you don't need to lift as far as for some racks where the the front wheel stays on. With cars getting taller, not lower, this is a nice change. Best of all, the easy action of winding the mount closed, then using the adjustable cradle out back to hold down the rear wheel is easy to do in warm conditions, or with gloves in the cold.
There's a lock built in to the front clamp, and a cable lock that slides out of the base to keep your frame and rear wheel secure too - with the addition of some SKS locking barrels. So not only is your bike secure on your roof, but it's secure as well.
The big question is, where does your front wheel go? Well in your car is simple, but less fun if you're on a dirt road adventure and you don't want to bring that grim into your car. Yakima make a product so you can have the front wheel seperate on the roof too, and the Wheelhouse will fit right next to the HighSpeed.
Many people prefer a fork mounted holder like this for the stability, but using one in conjunction with the new HighRoad, where both wheels stay on, it's no more and no less stable. But the HighSpeed is still easier to get the bike into if you are short, or your car is tall - or even if you're tired after an epic day on the bike.
All in, this $329 rack does what Yakima promises - it's a premium fork mounted rack that suits road bikes, mountain bikes, gravel bikes, cross bikes, fat bikes or plus bikes.