I couldn't disagre more. I have 5 Yak Raptoraeros and one Frontloader. I absolutely despise the frontloader as it requires the bike to be dropped on vertically. That is vary hard to do and the wheel rail has no real catch at all. . The Raptor aeros allow the wheels to be put in the rails and then the bike slid up to clamp. I'll be retiring the Frontloader as soon as I get one more Raptoraero.If a roof mount/wheels on is what you want, I can highly recommend the Yakima Frontloader. I had a pair and really liked them. They were very easy to load, had good security lock options, and stowed nicely when not in use. They mounted very nicely to the Outback roof rack cross rails too.
I sold them and replaced them with a Yakima Holdup hitch mount. Not because there was anything wrong with the Frontloader racks, but because of the fuel economy loss with bikes on the roof. We lost close to 3 mpg when we put bikes on the roof. That's no big deal if you are only transporting them a short distance, but we take our bikes on vacation from time to time. The other disadvantage to the roof carriers was loading and unloading. I'm 6'3", and it was still kind of hard. I have a few small dings on the roof from loading the bikes.
Why are you dropping your bike vertically into the Frontloader? I would set my bike on the rack, and then roll it forward into the front wheel clamp. As I rolled it forward, the rear loop would come up behind the front tire. Set the rear wheel into the rear wheel tray, tighten the strap and then tighten and lock the front wheel.I couldn't disagre more. I have 5 Yak Raptoraeros and one Frontloader. I absolutely despise the frontloader as it requires the bike to be dropped on vertically. That is vary hard to do and the wheel rail has no real catch at all. . The Raptor aeros allow the wheels to be put in the rails and then the bike slid up to clamp. I'll be retiring the Frontloader as soon as I get one more Raptoraero.
The Frontoader is the worst bike rack I have ever had.
It's not possible to set the bike on the rack and roll it forward unless the bike is vertical as the rear wheel falls off the minimal rails and the front wheel will not go into the wheel clam at any angle but vertical.The only way I can get a bike onto the Frontloader with it on the factory rack is to use at least a 2 foot step stool. Otherwiise the bike just falls off or will not ride up into the wheel clamps.Why are you dropping your bike vertically into the Frontloader? I would set my bike on the rack, and then roll it forward into the front wheel clamp. As I rolled it forward, the rear loop would come up behind the front tire. Set the rear wheel into the rear wheel tray, tighten the strap and then tighten and lock the front wheel.
Are you under the impression that the rear loop has to be raised into position before putting the bike in? That would be an absolute pain!
I've never used the Raptoraero, so I can't speak how the two compare. But I've spoken with friends who are serious bike riders, and they have told me that loading any roof rack is a pain. But they choose it over hitch mount because of the inherent less risk of traffic or parking lot damage to the bikes. If I were 30 years younger, I'd still have my Frontloader. But my wife doesn't have the upper body strength to help, so it's all up to me to load and unload. Thus the hitch mounted Holdup bike racks.
That's what's good about the Yak Raptoraeros. Hold the bike over your head two handed on the frame. Put the front and back wheels into the rails of the rack. They can go in almost horizontal. A few degrees up from horizontal and they will stay in the rails as they are very deep. Then continue to hold the bike with one hand at the frame. Use the other hand to grab the car rail or the rack poles. Step up onto the open rear door steps. Balance there for a moment to raise the Raptoraero clamp into place to fix the bike at the frame. Tighten the camp.
If you have a mishap while raising/lowering a bike to/from the roof rack, there will be body and paint damage. You might need to use a step ladder depending on your height.
Excellent advice. I was forewarned by some of my serious biker friends about this same potential accident. My solution was to hang a sign from the garage door. The sign reminded me to not pull in if I had a bike or bikes on the roof. Each time I opened the garage door, the sign would be prominently displayed in front of me. This was a very effective reminder for me.You MUST have the presence of mind that a bike is mounted on the roof before entering a garage or driving under a low hanging awning at a drive-through bank or restaurant. Hide the garage door opener so you can’t use it whenever carrying a bike on the roof. If you have a HomeLink interior mirror with garage door opening capability, disable it if it can be.
I have had both roof and hitch on multiple cars over the years. At 5.8, I prefer the hitch and use the Thule T2 (formerly Sportworks). UHaul installed a simple round tube hitch on my 2017 lease outback for about $240 total. I like the tilt away to get into the back when needed and as said before, load and unload takes a minute and I have thru axles so I like the time savings. Tapatalk app isn’t letting me load images right now. Will try to show pictures later.
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