New Yakima ForkLift Bike Rack and SkyBox LoPro Cargo Box


A quick stop at the Yakima booth yielded a couple of sweet new products that will be introduced in early 2009–something to look forward to.  The battle for bike-carrying supremacy is one of the sweet spots of the roof rack market. Between Yakima and Thule, you’ve got a variety of options to suit your personal tastes and vehicle type.

Hefting a bike on your roof is never an easy task–unless you drive a Mini Cooper–however, sometimes it’s the quickest and easiest way to get your bike from your garage to the trailhead. I’ve been pretty vocal about my love/hate relationship with roof racks. In my 15 years of using roof-mounted bike racks, I’ve done the inevitable bike-garage collision one time. Yes, it happens to the best of us. Still, the roof remains one of the best ways to transport bikes.

Yakima ForkLift Factory-compatible Bike Rack

Yakima ForkLift Factory Bike Rack

As factory roof racks have gotten burlier and burlier, we have all wondered why you still have to attach aftermarket crossbars in order to attach a sturdy bike rack. Well, Yakima has been questioning the same thing and appears to have cracked that nut with the introduction of the new Yakima ForkLift bike rack.

This new fork-mount rack employs the proven one-handed skewer lever with an innovative new dual-channel tray design. But, the best feature of the ForkLift is its ability to mount to nearly any factory crossbar on the market without adapters, etc.  The hart of the design is the hinged front and rear mount that is flexible enough to attach securely to oval or round crossbars–even the burly crossbars found on vehicles like the Nissan XTerra.

Not only is this rack flexible in its design, it also effectively drops the price of entry for bike racks by several hundred bucks since you no longer need to buy crossbars, mounting feet and locks just to get a bike rack. At $139, it represents a solid price for this type of off-the-shelf compatibility.

The only downside is that it’s only compatible with 9mm QR front forks. So, if you’re planning on moving with the rest of the mountain bike industry and switching to the 15mm or lightweight 20mm front axle, you’ll have to look elsewhere. Still, roadies will enjoy this rack for the foreseeable future.

Yakima SkyBox LoPro Cargo Box

Yakima SkyBox LoPro 15 Solar Panel

Yakima SkyBox LoPro 15 Cargo Box

Cargo boxes are an absolute necessity. With gas prices where they are and will continue to be, it makes sense to use smaller vehicles and expand their carrying capacity by using a cargo box. Not only are they lifesavers when hauling the family’s gear, they come in handy in the winter when transporting skis, snowboards, poles or wet, sloppy gear.

Once again, Yakima and Thule battle things out for rooftop box superiority. The new SkyBox LoPro 15 raises the bar once more and tips the scales in Yakima’s favor. With a cool-looking and gas-saving low profile design, the LoPro will look sexy on top of just about any high-end vehicle.

Also cool is the solar-powered interior LED light, which will certainly come in handy once the sun goes down or on early-morning dawn patrols when searching for that elusive second pole.  The new lid latch is as intuitive and easy-to-use as they come.

Check out the SkyBox LoPro 15 in Spring 2009 for $699.

About Author

A native of the Pacific Northwest, Jason quickly developed a love for the outdoors and a thing for mountains. That infatuation continues as he founded this site in 1999 -- sharing his love of road biking, mountain biking, trail running and skiing. That passion is channeled into every article or gear review he writes. Utah's Wasatch Mountains are his playground.


  1. Wow, All you ever hear is people spraying how they’ve been doing so and so for 20 + years but “In my 15 years of using roof-mounted bike racks…” is a new kind of spray to me.

    People cant go one sentence when talking about these activities(climbing, hiking, biking, skiing, rafting, etc) without announcing to everyone how “core” they want you to think they are.

    I’ve been listening to it for 15years.

  2. Yup… I’m always spraying how hard core I am. 😉 You’re missing the point. It’s called putting things into context. If I had never used a roof rack in my life and am now talking about how great of an innovation this new rack is, you’d also call me out on the carpet.

    Poke around… read my articles and reviews… I’m not spouting off about how “core” I am, etc. In fact, I’m just guy who loves to ski, bike, hike, trail run and be in the outdoors–and I’ve got a lot of experience with outdoor gear. I also just happen to run one of the most successful blogs out there. People should know where I come from and that I’m not just some dude who started this blog without any real experience.

    I understand your point and hopefully I’m not coming across as some hoity toity hard core bro brah dude. That’s not my vibe… if you read on, you’ll get it.

  3. RRrrright, dude your sprayin. It might be subtle but it’s standard spray.

    If your so hip to journalism try putting it into context in different ways AND stay away from cliche’s cause this one is the oldest.

    I read your blog, it’s good, I wish it was updated more and a little more thorough but I do check in on it. And lots of us have years of experience, the gaper variety doesn’t read up on this stuff, I wish people would just quit feeling like they have to announce it to the world like the typical brohbrah one-upmanship conversation that I hear everyday.

    I wish I could go one day without hearing I’VE BEEN blahblahblahblah FOR X AMOUNT OF YEARS.

  4. KP

    I appreciate your honest feedback and taking me to task if I’m “spraying” as that’s definitely NOT my intent. If you have followed my blog since it began (I won’t tell you how many years because you’ll think I’m spraying) awhile back, you’ll know that I keep things real.

    In this context (roof racks), a lot of changes have come in the past 15 years, and I have had a fair amount of roof racks in my garage to test during that time, so that’s all I was saying. By no means am I the ultimate source in all things outdoors, but I do have a fair amount of experience and a blog with thousands of monthly visitors (again, I won’t say exactly because I’d be spraying) and killer search engine rankings that I’ve worked hard to maintain, so regardless, I’m seen as an expert by thousands of people every day.

    It’s an awesome responsibility and one that I take seriously.

    I too wish that I could update my blog more often and I wish I could be more in-depth with every article, but this isn’t my only gig and I’ve got many other things that are more important, like my wife and kids. However, I feel and most everyone else that has provided me with feedback also feels that I provide a valuable resource that is as unbiased as there is out there with very little one-upmanship or high-horsing. If you knew me, you’d quickly understand that I’m the last guy to put himself up on a pedestal.

    Your assessment that only “core” outdoors folks are reading my posts couldn’t be farther from the truth. Most of my traffic comes from google searches and google is the most ubiquitous resource on the planet and is used by gapers, tourons, weekend warriors, teenie boppers, yuppies, guppies, dogs, cats, mice and even hard-core folks, when they aren’t busy climbing Everest in their sleep.

    Again, I appreciate your loyal readership and I hope you find my articles useful and fun. If I use any more cliches or seem like I’m spraying the standard brobrah crap, let me know.

  5. Damien Cunningham MRCVS on

    Jason, most of us out here just appreciate your insight and hard work on our behalf.

    Keep on spraying your hip journalistic cliches but stick to communicating in English and don’t get drawn in to useless discussions in “Blah-Blah” (whatever language that is?).


  6. Thanks Damien! I do what I can and most people appreciate it (like you), while others may live their lives uptight and frustrated. Sucks to be them. 🙂

    I’ll keep rolling and keep things real around here. Cheers!

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