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Old 08-30-13, 04:04 PM   #1
riverboy
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Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: Western Wisconsin
Bikes: 1983 Centurion Elite GT, 1983 Pro Tour, 1983 Trek 720, 1984 Trek 720, 1984 Raleigh Alyeska, 1985 Raleigh Kodiak, 1997 LeMond Zurich, 2007 Gunnar Crosshairs
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Yakima Fork Mount Roof Rack Problem

Not sure if this is the right forum or not, but I am having a major problem with this bike mount. Last night I was taking my new to me 1983 Centurion Pro Tour to the shop for some new parts and on the way home the bike came out of the fork mount and fell along the side of the car as I went over a bump rounding a corner (15mph max). Fortunately the rear wheel was still secured, but the pedal did major damage to my car. The rear roof pillar was dented along with similar damage to the rear door. So I stopped and assumed that I had not secured the fork securely enough so I tightened it down to the point I could barely close and lock the rack. I got back into the car and get this -- 10 minutes later rounded another bumpy turn and it did it again!

Fortunately the bike is fine since it did not drop off the car onto the road and the pedal kept the frame and the rest of the bike away from the car. I limped everything back home and put the bike back in the rack in the driveway. What I've found is that even if the fork mount is super tight, if you sway the bike back and forth the dropouts work their way out of the mount!

Now, there are two aspects to this bike that don't help the situation, slippery chrome dropouts (whole frame is chromed with paint on top) and of course no lawyer lips on the dropouts.

I then put in my Centurion Elite GT (raw steel dropouts, but no lawyer lips either) and while this one was harder to work out by hand, I was also able to sway it enough to make it come loose as well.

I've hauled the Elite GT in this rack daily during the summer and never had a problem, but after this episode I don't trust this setup at all. Is this a common problem using older bikes with these racks? Is the rack defective?

I have the Whispbar system on my car and I'll have to look into a mount that keeps the wheel on the bike. Thankfully this did not happen at highway speeds or i would have likely destroyed one of these bikes and potentially caused a major accident.

Off to the body shop for an estimate and at a minimum this has cost me my $500 deductible!


Last edited by riverboy; 08-30-13 at 04:26 PM.
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Old 08-30-13, 07:08 PM   #2
jetjock
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Location: N41 19.3 W81 17.2
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I recommend a hitch mount. Had Uhaul install a receiver. $127 installed. Swagman XTC for $210. Simple, light and strong and no more dickin around with roof racks.
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Old 08-30-13, 07:20 PM   #3
cafzali
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^^^+1 I get why a lot of folks prefer roof racks over hit mount ones, particularly if they have a standard sedan body, but to me they have a lot of hassles that you just don't have with hitch mounts. Hitch mounts can work on virtually any car and with a wide range of bikes. I carry my TCR SL3 on a hitch rack, although my shop thought I was nuts for initially doing it. I just wrap the top tube the foam that bikes are packed in and have had absolutely no issues.
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