I purchased this rack to move a bike from Ohio to Delaware. This was the only rack available at the time. The rack itself is heavier than I would have liked. My old Thule fork grabber was easily less than half the weight, but it is long gone. Installing the rack was fairly straightforward, albeit a little cumbersome getting the connections in the correct places. Adjusting the rack to fit the bike was also a bit annoying, but that is partly because the bike had a front fender and that had to be removed to close the rack on the front tire. I also had to mount the rack with the bike facing backward on the car because the wheel trough is too long for me to open the hatchback on my 2019 Kia Niro EV. So, all in all, this rack works, but it is probably best for lightweight bikes and for use on sedans, rather than on small SUV's.
Got a new ride so need to transfer my old unit over to it. I own 2 of these racks from 2013. One had alot of rust so replace it with this 2019/2020 frontloader. The adjustments improved for more modern mtb bikes. I got a long strap in back so 27.5 x 3.0 fit and 29 x 3.0 fits (I used a strap on 2013 model). The settings even say 29er up 3.0 and 27.5 tires (old one was more 26 and 700c wheels). My wheel base on bike is 1240m long so as bike get longer I can see yakama making an improvement on this unit (yes some gravel bikes are going 500m long chainstay).
I have two of the Frontloaders for mine and my girls 29ers and absolutely love the no hardware installation right out of the box and ease of use. There are markings for the size of the bike tire for easy adjustment. The rack holds the bike very sturdy and I have no hesitation with it at all. My only desires are 1) wish it was just a tad bit shorter so that the trunk of my Audi A3 would open all the way (I'd say it opens about 80%) and 2) that the optional lock core would have gone through the red knob that is used to tighten the front clamp for the tire. As it is right now, the Frontloader has one lock core to go to the front of the rack to prevent someone from actually stealing the carrier from your roof rack and the second lock core is one an attached cable that you can wrap around your bike as theft deterrent for someone to steal your actual bike. If someone really wanted to and had the cable cutters, they would cut the cable and start to unwind the red knob to loosen the front clamp and off they go with your bike. So if there were a lock on the red knob to prevent it from turning, then it'd be near impossible to steal.
But otherwise, this is a fantastic rack... especially at the sale price!
I've used two racks to haul my road bikes around, and everything was almost perfect. The only complaints I can dig up are about the screwing mechanisms (1) it takes a while to screwunscrew it to get the bike in or out, and one of my two racks has it much harder going than the other one, and (2) the plastic handle sometimes comes off the nut and spins freely instead of driving the nut, making it even longer and more fun
Neither of the issues are that bad, but only ideas for the Yakima engineers on how to make the rack even better
I used this to carry a 70lb cargo bike on a three hour drive up to the mountains. The rack held firm and did a great job, and it's a breeze to install and use. My only complaint is that the rear bracket has two separate pieces, and if you forget to secure the loose piece when you take the rack off, it will drop onto the ground without you noticing, and you'll never find it. I don't think that's a great design. Also, the little Yakima branded clip at the back of the rails falls off whenever it has an opportunity. A good product with a couple of things that need to be attended to...
I had the original front loader racks on my old car. Got a new car and bought the new ones. While this is still a great rack, it is a little more difficult to load the bike and than the original. The red knob keeps the front wheel from settling in when you are lifting the bike up high. Also, Yakima has gone to using more plastics than the original, making the unit heavier. Still a good rack.
Push up the front wheel hoop, lift the bike into the rails, roll the front wheel into the hoop, hold it with one hand while you raise the rear hoop with the other, tighten the adjusting nut while holding the rear hoop, then strap the rear wheel in.
Much less danger of scratching you bike or vehicle than the older frame clamping carriers. Plus, the front wheel stays on meaning you don't have to fumble around immediately after its off the carrier.
I had fork mount yakima racks before and stuck the front wheel in the yakima wheel house to avoid a muddy interior. But having round bars the wheel house would roll back with any acceleration and having to take the wheel off, especially with hydraulic brakes is both dangerous and a pain in the butt. But with this all in one rack with built in locks all the previous hassle is gone and it, in my opinion looks cleaner
Clamps on the front wheel, so it fits any axle stylewidth and doesn't touch your frame. Arrives completely assembled in the the box, just install it on the roof. Bikes go in and out easy. The only limitation I've found is tire width. Your fat bike tire's probably not going to squeeze into it, anything up to that is good to go.