In my ongoing search for the perfect bike rack for my ute, I decided to try the Yakima ForkChop. Previously I tried the Yakima HoldUp Evo 2“ with the LightMate, and the Yakima Gatekeeper. Read on and find out what I think…
About the Yakima ForkChop
The Yakima ForkChop is a minimalist roof rack mounted split type bike rack, designed to carry a good range of bikes without touching the frame.
The split design consists of a head unit (axle carrier) at the front which mounts on the forward roof rack crossbar. And a wheel tray with a strap at the back for the rear roof rack crossbar.
The head unit requires you to take the front wheel off your bike, it comes with a variety of adapters to suit many modern axle sizes and standards including QR skewers (9mm), 12 x 100mm, 15 x 100mm, 15 x 110mm and 15 x 135,145,150mm.
The wheel tray at the back has a strap that will comfortably fit the wheels for most bikes and there is a spare extra-long strap that will even fit fat bike wheels.
The ForkChop doesn’t have a way of locking on to the rack, but you can purchase SKS locks separately.
Who is it for?
The ForkChop is a great option for anyone who has roof racks on their car, wants a simple, minimalist bike rack that they can leave on the car when not in use.
- RRP: $169
- Weight: 1.6kg
- Capacity: 1 bike
- Bike weight limit: 18.1kg’s
- Fits: Most bikes but weight limit may prevent some heavier eBikes
Using the ForkChop
Out of the box, the ForkChop was quite easy to set-up with good instructions included.
I selected the 15 x 110 boost axle adaptor to fit my bikes and screwed them into the head unit. I then checked the spread of my roof rack crossbars, making sure they were within + or – 25cms of the wheelbase of my bike sans front wheel.
Finally I clipped the head unit onto the front crossbar and lined up the rear wheel tray and did the same making sure they were both securely attached.
It would have taken less than 2 minutes to install, pretty good in my opinion.
With the ForkChops installed on the cross bars, it’s time to begin loading up the bikes.
First, you undo the rear wheel tray strap. Then remove the thru-axle from bike and put the wheel to the side. Lift the rear wheel onto the wheel tray first, then line up the front axle on the head unit and slide the axle in, tightening it up as if you were putting a wheel back on before strapping the back wheel down.
Give the bike a little rock check just to make sure it is mounted solidly and then put the front wheel in the back of the ute.
The height on the back of the ute isn’t too awkward to lift a lighter bike into place but my wife would probably find it a little harder. The eBike is a different story however. The ForkChop is rated to carry upto 18.1kgs, my eBike with the front wheel off, just makes the cut. Being heavier than my non-eBikes, I do find it a bit more of a challenge getting on and off.
As none of my bikes have quick release axles, I use a 6mm allen key to tighten them up. I found if the axle head was on the far side of the bike, I would struggle to reach it without something to stand on (I’m 175cms tall). A set of campervan steps helps, something my riding buddies find hilarious 😉
I’ve been trying out several bike carrying solutions for my new ute, trying to find something that is solid that I could keep on the ute permanently.
While the ForkChops themselves are rather cheap at $169, you do need roof racks which means the total cost is around the same as a hitch mounted rack like the HoldUp Evo.
I like that they keep the bikes mounted solidly up out of the way, not hanging off the back of the ute where parking can become difficult. This also leaves the ute tray free for storage. I also like that I can just leave them installed on the back of the ute when not in use.
I don’t like that the ForkChop doesn’t lock to the ute, nor lock to the bike without purchasing SKS locks or the locking skewer. And, there is no locking solution for a thru-axle, so I use a heavy bike chain if they’re being left unattended for any amount of time.
After a few months with these ForkChops, I think this will be the solution that I finally keep.
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