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Thule vs Yakima Roof-Mounted Bike Rack for 2018 Subaru Outback With Factory Roof Rack  


Hi! Your site is awesome, first of all. I have a 2018 Subaru Outback with factory rails with integrated crossbars. I have a carbon fiber mountain bike with wheels that are 2.4 inch wide not a fat tire, but still pretty wide and want to get a wheel mount rack to work easily with my factory crossbars. I only need to carry this single bike. Based on searching your site, I see a few high-quality options: 1 Yakima HighRoad 2 Thule UpRide 3 Yakima Front Loader First, do these all fit my setup? Second, can you please tell me the difference particularly between the two Yakima products? Any information to help me make a decision between these or any others you suggest will be helpful. I only picked these because I recognized the brands. Thanks!


Expert Reply:

Thanks for the nice words, and let's start with fit; I did check with the manufacturers and can confirm that all three roof-mounted bike racks you mentioned - the Thule UpRide Roof Bike Rack # TH599000, Yakima HighRoad Roof Bike Rack # Y02114, and Yakima FrontLoader Wheel Mount Bike Rack # Y02103 are each a confirmed fit for the factory roof rack on your 2018 Subaru Outback.

Let's start with the Yakima, and the difference is that the HighRoad is the newest version of the FrontLoader - it's essentially an update. The HighRoad has a "TorqueRight" knob so you don't overtighten the wheel hoop, can carry 4" tire compared to 3" tires for the FrontLoader, and has a larger weight capacity of 45 lbs. The HighRoad will also only work with 26" - 29" wheels while the FrontLoader works with 20" - 29" wheels. Both also have the ability to lock to your roof rack and come with an integrated cable lock that can lock your bike to the rack. But between the two, the better option due to its updated design is the Yakima HighRoad Roof Bike Rack # Y02114.

The Thule UpRide Roof Bike Rack # TH599000 is excellent as well, and this would be my choice between the three racks. The reason is it has the easiest installation, with clamps that have levers that attach the rack to your crossbars compared to the Yakima's strap system. I also like the way the rear wheel gets held on by a strap that runs diagonal on the Thule for added stability. The UpRide is also the lightest rack so it will be the easiest to get on your Outback's roof. It can fit bikes with tires up to 3" wide (larger with an adapter) so your bike's tires will fit, and with wheel diameters from 20" - 29" for a more diverse range of bikes, in case yours has wheels that size.

Like the Yakima racks, there is also the option to add locks for the rack and your bikes with the Thule UpRide Roof Bike Rack # TH599000.

To lock the rack to your crossbars and your bike to the rack to help protect your investments, for the Yakima you will need the Yakima Same Key System (SKS) Lock Cores # Y07202, and for the Thule you will need the Thule One-Key System Lock Cylinders # TH450200.

I have added links below to video reviews for you to check out as well.

expert reply by:
Kyle S

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