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Subaru brand bike rack

Old 02-09-11, 11:47 AM
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Subaru brand bike rack

Anyone have any experience with the Subaru brand bike rack - the one with the down tube holder? Better, worse or comparable to Thule or Yakima?



Sorry I couldn't find a better picture but that's the basic idea. Thanks.
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Old 02-09-11, 01:33 PM
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Back in 1999 I got a rack like that with a 1991 Subaru Legacy wagon that I bought. I didn't like it though, I thought the bikes wobbled side to side too much. I got rid of it and got a pair of Yakima fork mounts and trays (Velo Vise, I think) that attached to the factory crossbars. I had to mount the trays backwards as they were so long that the lift gate would hit them when open.

Some friends of mine have a rack like that on their 2007 Subaru. They put their custom Seven bikes ($$) on it, so I guess it works ok for them.
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Old 02-09-11, 02:31 PM
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Looks similar to the Thule Big Mouth. I did a Google search for the Subaru rack and couldn't find much. There is also a Thule Criterium that and sort of like it.

I know most people would say to get a fork mounted rack, but I have a fear of my bike flying off the roof. I know my fear is probably unwarranted but I would still think about it. I think I would trust a rack that hold the frame more but will it scratch the frame.
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Old 02-09-11, 02:39 PM
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I have a 2009 Forester with the Subaru round cross bars (not the standard aero bars), and they are made by Yakima. The end caps are even labeled Yakima, even though the larger lettering on the bars says Subaru. I don't have the particular Subaru bike tray that you referenced, but I wouldn't be surprised if that was also re-branded Yakima product. The one you posted looks just like a Yakima Raptor.
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Old 02-09-11, 03:51 PM
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It's the Raptor.

Definitely.

You buy the bike holder itself without any mounts to connect to the bars, and Subaru will sell you mounts that are properly shaped to the factory x-bars.

To confuse the issue even more, the Yakima FrontLoader is a much better product and doesn't touch the frame. Similar money.

-Z
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Old 02-09-11, 07:01 PM
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Like others have said: "a copy." Go with Yakima or Thule. You will save $100-$200 in the process--at least that's been my experience.
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Old 02-09-11, 07:44 PM
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I have the Yakima Raptor and really don't care for them. I took them on one long trip and had to tighten it at every rest stop. If I ever have a need to do any traveling with my bikes again, I'll be replacing them with something different, probably fork mount.
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Old 02-09-11, 07:50 PM
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Originally Posted by Urbanmonk View Post
Like others have said: "a copy." Go with Yakima or Thule. You will save $100-$200 in the process--at least that's been my experience.
I think the subaru rack is $179 from the dealer so I don't think I'll save quite that much. My concern with Yakima, etc. is the need to buy the special adapters that cost as much as the rack. If the Yakima FrontLoader fits directly to my crossbars then I would save about $20. Otherwise, the subaru rack would be cheaper but not sure if it's better. Thanks for the info.
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Old 02-09-11, 07:55 PM
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We are thinking of a new Outback, is that what you have?
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Old 02-09-11, 08:14 PM
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Originally Posted by R900 View Post
We are thinking of a new Outback, is that what you have?
Yeah, just bought a 2011 Outback. It's my 3rd one and 5th subaru overall. Great cars for the price. The new model improves quite a few things like better sealing doors, more interior room and a nice roof rack that hides out of the way.
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Old 02-09-11, 08:21 PM
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Originally Posted by bikerjp View Post
Yeah, just bought a 2011 Outback. It's my 3rd one and 5th subaru overall. Great cars for the price. The new model improves quite a few things like better sealing doors, more interior room and a nice roof rack that hides out of the way.
do you get a vibration at about 70 mph? they are having problems with the outback, ( i work at a subaru dealer )
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Old 02-09-11, 08:31 PM
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Originally Posted by mazdatech10 View Post
do you get a vibration at about 70 mph? they are having problems with the outback, ( i work at a subaru dealer )
I've only driven about 100 miles so far and just once on the highway for about 5 miles. Didn't notice anything though. I have the 3.6R so don't know if it's one model or both but I have read about that.
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Old 02-10-11, 05:08 AM
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Originally Posted by bikerjp View Post
I think the subaru rack is $179 from the dealer so I don't think I'll save quite that much. My concern with Yakima, etc. is the need to buy the special adapters that cost as much as the rack. If the Yakima FrontLoader fits directly to my crossbars then I would save about $20. Otherwise, the subaru rack would be cheaper but not sure if it's better. Thanks for the info.
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Old 02-10-11, 05:54 AM
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Originally Posted by mazdatech10 View Post
do you get a vibration at about 70 mph? they are having problems with the outback, ( i work at a subaru dealer )
I have a 2011 Outback with the 4-cyl and CVT. No problems with vibration at 70 mph. I looked at that on some forums before purchase, and decided it must be a tire issue rather than anything else. That's the most obvious thing.

When the tires are cold and the car hasn't been driven for a couple days, there is a noticeable vibration for the first 1-2 miles. But it goes away after a couple of miles. Don't know what that is, but it would definitely be a tire issue.

This is my first Subaru, and I'm really pleased so far. And, Razor, I don't remember that my iPhone was a pain to get paired. I do remember having to be stopped (not moving) for it to work. But other than that, it wasn't bad.
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Old 02-10-11, 06:32 AM
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The OEM roof racks that you can get from car manufacturers tend to be made by Yakima or Thule. I know the rack I can get from Mazda for my Mazdaspeed is made by Thule.

Typically it's cheaper to get one aftermarket, unless you get them to throw it on real cheap when buying a car. The basic setup from Mazda (crossbars, control towers, and landing pads) was about $400. I did an entire system for 2 bikes (the above plus 2 bike carriers, and locks all around) for under $300.
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Old 02-10-11, 09:54 AM
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Originally Posted by bikerjp View Post
I think the subaru rack is $179 from the dealer so I don't think I'll save quite that much. My concern with Yakima, etc. is the need to buy the special adapters that cost as much as the rack. If the Yakima FrontLoader fits directly to my crossbars then I would save about $20. Otherwise, the subaru rack would be cheaper but not sure if it's better. Thanks for the info.
The FrontLoader fit directly to your factory bars. It is a better unit.

-Z
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Old 02-10-11, 10:08 AM
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Originally Posted by MrTuner1970 View Post
I have a 2011 Outback with the 4-cyl and CVT. No problems with vibration at 70 mph. I looked at that on some forums before purchase, and decided it must be a tire issue rather than anything else. That's the most obvious thing.

When the tires are cold and the car hasn't been driven for a couple days, there is a noticeable vibration for the first 1-2 miles. But it goes away after a couple of miles. Don't know what that is, but it would definitely be a tire issue.

This is my first Subaru, and I'm really pleased so far. And, Razor, I don't remember that my iPhone was a pain to get paired. I do remember having to be stopped (not moving) for it to work. But other than that, it wasn't bad.
I have a 2011 2.5 CVT as well with no vibration. Tires being cold makes no difference in my case fortunately but the stock Contis do suck in general. It's my first Subaru as well and I'm quite pleased although it could use more torque on the bottom end. I'm still deciding between a roof rack or a trailer hitch myself.....
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Old 02-10-11, 11:20 AM
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Originally Posted by Miller2 View Post
I'm still deciding between a roof rack or a trailer hitch myself.....
I'm actually thinking that through too. Mainly I don't want to spend the money to have a hitch installed just to carry bikes and I don't plan to tow anything so that's all it would be used for. Still, I think I like the bike in the back rather than up top. Someday I'll drive into the garage with the bike up there

However, the FrontLoader looks pretty sweet for $160. I might get one of those when I get my 20% off coupon for REI. Curious if it works as well for road as it appears to for mt bikes - skinny tires and all.
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Old 02-10-11, 11:45 AM
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Originally Posted by bikerjp View Post
I'm actually thinking that through too. Mainly I don't want to spend the money to have a hitch installed just to carry bikes and I don't plan to tow anything so that's all it would be used for. Still, I think I like the bike in the back rather than up top. Someday I'll drive into the garage with the bike up there
Same here.

Installing a hitch isn't that difficult. I haven't looked at how to do it on an Outback, but on my Honda Accord, it was a cinch. Just had to drill two holes, clamp it to the trunk with the two bolts (and the one on the tow hook), and then seal them.

I'd guess it would be similar on the Outback. Not rocket science.
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Old 02-10-11, 11:56 AM
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[QUOTE=bikerjp;12205202]I'm actually thinking that through too. Mainly I don't want to spend the money to have a hitch installed just to carry bikes and I don't plan to tow anything so that's all it would be used for. Still, I think I like the bike in the back rather than up top. Someday I'll drive into the garage with the bike up there

However, the FrontLoader looks pretty sweet for $160. I might get one of those when I get my 20% off coupon for REI. Curious if it works as well for road as it appears to for mt bikes - skinny tires and all.[/QUOTE]

Works fine...I've asked about it.
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Old 02-10-11, 11:57 AM
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Originally Posted by MrTuner1970 View Post
Same here.

Installing a hitch isn't that difficult. I haven't looked at how to do it on an Outback, but on my Honda Accord, it was a cinch. Just had to drill two holes, clamp it to the trunk with the two bolts (and the one on the tow hook), and then seal them.

I'd guess it would be similar on the Outback. Not rocket science.
You need to drop the exhaust and trim the heat shield from what I understand. Also, enlarging of some existing holes is required.
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Old 02-10-11, 02:21 PM
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Originally Posted by Miller2 View Post
You need to drop the exhaust and trim the heat shield from what I understand. Also, enlarging of some existing holes is required.
Ah, that's more involved. Still not rocket science, but more than easy. I should look up some installation instructions so I'll know whether to take mine to the dealer first, or try it first and then take it to a dealer.
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Old 02-10-11, 10:02 PM
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Originally Posted by MrTuner1970 View Post
Ah, that's more involved. Still not rocket science, but more than easy. I should look up some installation instructions so I'll know whether to take mine to the dealer first, or try it first and then take it to a dealer.
Here is a video on the install. Not that hard looking but then they have the right tools and a lift - I don't. I'd probably have to pay someone to install. Maybe $300 or more plus the cost of the rack. The roof one is only $160. I think I know what I'm doing short term. Long term I might get the hitch.
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Old 02-11-11, 02:55 AM
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In Australia the Subaru brand racks are made by Thule. Odd that in the US they are Yakima, which I don't think are available here (I've never heard of them but happy to be corrected).
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Old 02-11-11, 12:41 PM
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Originally Posted by Razor From KC View Post
it carries the Subaru name so it cant be that bad.

I would be worried if it was a Toyota rack
What about this toyota rack??



But seriously, you would save a couple hundred on buying the Thule or Yakima of your choice rather than having a single product from Subaru.
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