This article originally published on BikeRadar
Yakima last year introduced its new Whispbar range of upscale, aero-profile roof racks but those sleek base systems now get dedicated accessories for 2013 with aesthetics and design features to match. Truck owners and drivers that prefer hitch-mounted racks get new options for carrying bikes, too.
New Whispbar WB200 bike mount offers gorgeous aesthetics and clever design
Yakima will offer a single WB200 fork-mounted bike tray for the Whispbar system for 2013 but it's quite the stunner and matches up well with the aero crossbars' sleek, upscale profile. The beauty goes beyond skin-deep, however, with slick design that can easily converted between 9mm quick-release and 15mm thru-axle fitments with no additional parts or tools required. Simply flip a switch underneath the main lever and axle spacers automatically pop out – brilliant.
Yakima has also built the WB200 as a conveniently detachable accessory via the QuickDock bases, which secure to the Whispbar crossbars' T-slots with polished aluminum levers. Users can therefore remove the mounts as the seasons change (there are new boat and ski mounts on tap, too) or simply shift their position around with no tools required.
This kind of style doesn't come cheap, however. The base Whispbar system will cost you US$350-450 and each WB200 mount will cost US$249 when they become available in March.
Convenient solutions for truck owners
Yakima's new BikerBar is a handy all-in-one option for truck owners looking to carry two bikes (or more with additional mounts) in the bed. The single-bar system secures to the sides of the bed with no tools or holes required via Yakima's versatile BedRock towers and four lock cores are included to secure everything together.
Alternatively, truck owners can mount four BedRock towers with two crossbars to create a two-tiered storage setup – basically a standard roof rack mounted atop the bed. Lock cores are included here as well and users will have to add whatever accessories they desire for a complete system.
Suggested retail price for the BikerBar is US$239 while a set of four BedRock towers will cost US$160. Both will be available in stores in March.
Yakima's simplest option is the new CrashPad – its take on the common tailgate pad. For US$99, buyers get a high-density foam core covered with durable woven nylon with raised blocks at either end to prevent excessive sliding plus a handy flap for accessing the tailgate. The CrashPad will be available in two sizes starting in July.
Updated hitch racks
Finally, Yakima has updated its range of hitch racks for 2013 – all of which are scheduled to drop in March.
The new US$499 FullSwing carries up to four bikes via padded top tube arms, anti-swing cradles, and integrated cable locks that are hidden inside the main upright. The SwingAway base easily pivots the entire rack out of the way for tailgate access and also automatically locks into the receiver base (sorry, 2" receivers only) for faster and more secure installation. When not in use, the arms flip down with a single lever.
The new US$399-425 FullTilt, on the other hand, uses the same set of padded arms and cradles but the base instead tilts down from the rear of the vehicle. Maximum capacity is five bikes.
Yakima's popular HoldUp tray-style hitch rack gets upgrades for 2013 as well, including beefier arms that now more easily accommodate large-volume 29er wheels, more adjustability on the trays to reduce bike-to-bike interference, integrated cable locks hidden inside the arms, and a new all-black finish that gives it a more refined look. Suggested retail price is US$329-439.