About six months ago, we needed a second bike rack and picked up the TieRod from RockyMounts. Available in 8 colors, the TieRod is designed to be a sleek and low-profile rack that fits almost any factory crossbars. My previous bike rack was a wheel on version, but after getting new carbon rims, I decided it’s probably a good idea to get a fork mount rack. I discovered the TieRod mostly by accident, but was attracted to the bright colors and the very slim design.
The rack was easy to “assemble”. I use quotes because there’s absolutely nothing to it. You pop a few bits on the tray, attach the head assembly and insert the locking quick release and you’re ready to put it on the roof. If mounting it on your roof takes more than 10 minutes, there’s something wrong. Check out this quick video to see how easy that is:
See, nothing to it.
From the start, my experience with RockyMounts was excellent. Their instructions were simple and effective and the rack fit quite well. However, after a few weeks, the locking quick release was damaged and would not close. I can’t be sure I didn’t do this on accident, but I don’t think so. Anyway, I emailed RockyMounts and they had a replacement to me in three days and they even covered shipping. Impressed, to say the least.
So, how does it work? First, the rack is so low-profile it’s really hard to know you even have one up there if there’s no bike attached. I measured my gas mileage with and without the rack and the difference was not significant enough to notice. That’s not to say it won’t make some difference, only to say that I couldn’t differentiate changes in my mileage due to the rack versus average changes based on other influences.
What you will notice is these racks cause no wind noise and no vibration on your racks.
The tray is long enough for almost any bike you’ll want to put up there, and the rear wheel strap adjusts easily if you have a shorter bike. The locking release has a very strong grip, but the wide handle makes it easy to release, much easier than other brands I’ve used that have a small pinch release.
One area this is lacking is the rear wheel tie down. On other racks I’ve used, there is a ratchet mechanism to ensure a tight fit. The TieRod from RockyMounts doesn’t have a ratcheting system, instead you simply thread the wheel strap through the clip and push or pull until it’s tight. Not the end of the world, btu other companies with the ratchets make us feel a bit more secure.
Since picking up this rack, I’ve driven over 2000 miles with a bike attached to it without the first problem. Additionally, I’ve put almost 10,000 miles on one car that had this rack on the roof and haven’t noticed any significant changes in the handling, noise, or mileage.
If you’re stuck on one of the two large brands in this vertical, you might not be willing to try this rack. If you did, you’d find a respectable, low-profile, well-made rack that holds your bike securely and comes in some really interesting colors. If I had to buy another rack, I’d go with the TieRod without hesitation, though I think I’d go for orange this time…