First look: Rockymounts Pitchfork car rack

Convinced the world’s slowest mountain biker that since I shuttle us to all our rides that she should use our REI F&F coupon to pick up bike racks for the roof of the blackhawk. Hate Thule with a passion after they refused to honor their warranty on a faulty product years ago (in fact they actually accused me of lying about ever having the surfboard I said I lost since I had no receipt for it….apparently filing a report with the state patrol isn’t enough…), and the Yakima stuff looks nice but the Rockymounts (out of Boulder, CO) caught my circa-1997 Honda Civic pimping eye with their color selections.

It checked most of my needs out of the box – works with standard Yakima racks, no adapter needed for disc brakes, ability to lock, same price or cheaper than the competitors. Two things that aren’t a current issue for me but should be noted 1) Rockymounts list a max weight of 35 lbs per channel (that’s low for you downhillers) and 2) for thru axle you have to purchase a separate adapter that costs about what I paid for the racks! Lame.

Anyways, order placed, two days later arrived at our local store, installed.

First impression out of the box: Siiiiiiick! Nice powdercoated finish, wheel channel feels substantial. Wheel channels look short, but they aren’t (fit my 21″ frame 29er no probs). Would prefer rear wheel strap to be ratcheting as that just seems more secure (even though I know it’s not).

Install process: Easy. Three screws (they include the allen key you’ll need for two of ’em), two key insertions, done. The only issue I ran into during the process was one of the QR levers wouldn’t unlock. Pinged them via the twitters and they said to call them and they’d walk me through the removal and reinsertion process. They walked me through it, didn’t work the first time, I played with it for a bit and got ‘er.

Installed impression: Looks sick. Very low profile. The little detail of powdercoated color really makes the rack and will help me find my generic Portland vehicle (Subaru wagon) from the rest of the generic Portland vehicles in the parking lot. Seems odd that the rack only locks to the crossbars in the front, with the rear being a hand tightened wing nut, though maybe they all do that? In the end one lock should be more than enough though.

Nice rack

Final first impression: Thus far have only used the rack once to transport my bike to a ride. Loading/unloading is the same process as any other fork mount rack and easy unless you’re a midget. Gets to be a little difficult getting a perfect tight fit on the dropouts due to the room you have to work with to spin the plastic handle then trying to close it, but it’s a minor inconvenience. When the bike is locked on the rack it seems like there’s more side-to-side play in the fork mount than I’d expect (see shaky video above), though maybe it’s like buildings in quake zones and they are built to sway to dissipate energy? Also noticed a lot of creaks and moans coming from the rear attachment area when driving, I’m hoping that goes away with time and it’s just the parts settling in. Time will tell, and will have an updated full review once I’ve had more time to use everything.

Rockymounts not available at your local shop? Check out the selection at REI and backcountry.com.

7 comments to First look: Rockymounts Pitchfork car rack

  • Colin

    Looks slick.

    I can’t think of a single fork mount that locks on the back, by the way. Maybe my memory is failing, but all the usually Yak and Thule suspects only lock on the front.

  • Justin

    Ahh, cool, thanks for the 411 Colin. I never paid much attention to any of ’em so wasn’t sure. How’s the jobby job?

  • a

    roof racks are relic bruv

  • Justin

    i’m a relic bruv, maybe you didnt notice all the gray hairs

  • a

    I can’t lift my bike above my waist, and I have an old 20mm thru-axle fork. We’ll just have to duct tape it to the hood or something.

  • Justin

    i guess you could just put a 2×6 down as a ramp and push load it into the van

  • Colin

    Job itself is good. I’m working on really cool stuff. For various reasons (girlfriend’s teaching job, management/long-term plan at my firm, etc.) though, I’m already looking for jobs in SF, Oakland, Walnut Creek, or Sacto again.

    Need to pick up a suit and enjoy living a block off the sand at 52nd in Newport while I still can.

    You?

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