First Impressions: Tyte Rack

Tyte Rack sent over their universal roof top bike rack to us for testing. Here is what Tyte Rack says about their rack:

Tyte Rack roof racks incorporate a unique design, that make them the best rack today to carry bicycles on a vehicle roof. In addition, this rack is very versatile and adapts to your other recreational and sporting activities, including but not limited to, skiing, kayaking, surfing to name a few.

(1) Can easily attach to factory racks and will attach to the car without factory racks click here to learn how it will fit both of your cars.
(2) Universal bike attachment, click here to learn why this bicycle attachment is more stable.
(3) Bike frame security without the wheel removal and without the optional wheel holder.
(4) Reduced reach requirements for bike loading and unloading (approximately 12″ ).

Tyte Rack mounted with Redline Mono 9

I’ve actually been driving around with just the rack on my car for a little over a week. I wanted to make sure that I could confidently carry my 29er on there without fear of having the rack fall off the roof of my car. After a week of driving it around Southern California including hitting the freeways and going umm… fast, the Tyte rack has shown to be stable. The hooks and straps have not budged and although there is some noise, the rack has proven secure.

Side view

On the first night, I spent about 30 minutes trying to understand the directions before I gave up. A day or two later I jumped on the website and saw some pictures and finally understood what to do. I always feel that a picture is worth a thousand words so we recommended Tyte Rack to provide more pictures on their instruction manual and their website. They took this suggestion and added a TON of pictures. I found this instruction page to be especially helpful, more so than the actual Instruction page. This page and the links on the left makes it much easier to understand how to mount the rack and bike.

All the materials are solid yet light weight. The bars going across the car’s roof are small and round but coated with a durable finish. The tapered seatpost attachment fits perfectly into my 27.2mm seatpost while the straps for the handlebar are strong. The only part that I had any problem with is the rubber boot on the bottom of the towers which had a tendency to fall off when it was not mounted onto the car. Just watch out for these and you’ll be ok.

Tapered seatpost installed into seatpost socket & frame of bike

Once I understood how the whole system worked, the Tyte Rack setup/tear down became VERY quick and was easy. Mount the rack, secure the straps and hooks, mount the bike and secure the handlebar and you’re all set. It takes probably about 10 minutes. Tear down was even faster.

It does seem to be universal. I mounted the rack to my Honda Accord and after fiddling with it a while, I can understand why Tyte Rack claims to be a universal rack. It has minor adjustments that can be made on the bar and the straps can be lengthened or shortened to fit many if not all cars.

Tower, rubber boot, hook and straps all secure

Since I’m still laid up (I think I’ll be riding again next week!!) I only got to drive the Tyte rack around the block a few times but I did choose to go over some speed bumps and I raised my speed all the way up to 40+mph, legally. I had my windows rolled down the whole time listening for any signs that the rack might be shifting but I heard none. Interestingly I didn’t hear any of the noise I had previously heard with just the rack on my car. I hope this bodes well for future trips.

This short first impressions could not be complete without mentioning the price. Tyte rack has aggressively priced their racks starting at $89. For a limited time though the standard rack has a $10 discount which makes it a very good value for any type of roof mount bike rack.

Handlebar straps. Two of them

We’ll be taking this rack out to the trail & back over the next couple of months to give it a good workout. Come back to check out the review.

For more information about the Tyte Rack, click here.

An “RL” shot: reflection of the Tyte rack on my Accord