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

17 Replies to “First Impressions: Tyte Rack”

  1. Jeremy,

    A man after my own heart! Yes I do love silhouette shots and reflection photos.

    Did you have a problem with the handle bar moving after it was mounted?


  2. None. It was tight as I yanked it hard. I thought I might hear noises when going over the speed bumps, but none.

  3. Just remember to let your bike rest a couple minutes before riding. suspension’s oil dampers might not like it.

  4. Great tip John. I was thinking of that earlier. But in Jeremy’s case, being a rigid, he should be good to go. But oh wait, he’s got Hydraulic Brakes…so should he still wait?

  5. Um, I don’t think I like this design for a number a reasons:

    Hydro brakes, obviously
    Handlebar stress, especially on curvy roads
    Headset stress
    Stress at the toptube/headtube junction
    Leaky shocks
    Taking out the seatpost each time

    I don’t know, it just seems like you could potentially put more stress on your bike than by typically riding it.

  6. That overall design makes me nervous. I don’t even like flipping my bike upside down to do trailside maintenance. I am also not a fan of velcro…it just seems like that will wear out over time.

    The Thule system is more expensive, but much more secure and user friendly.

  7. there was a guy locally that used to carry his bike with a through axel like that. but his was a bit more elaborate and you didn’t have to take the seat post out. I think its a reasonable set up for somebody with a limited budget, but ill stick with my yakima viper trays

  8. Good price, but I am not very fond of the concept either. I mean shoot… I didn’t even want a bike rack that I needed to take my front tire off to mount it! (Plus I needed a rack that would fit my odd shaped trials bike frame)

    Also I like to have locks on my bike rack just in case I need to run into the store or something.

  9. Great point all of them. Thank you very much for your thoughts. I will make sure to consider them over the review period and include them in the final review.

    Thanks again.

  10. The TYTE rack, roof rack is meant as a reasonable alternative to the obviously more expensive and more permanent THULE or Yakima. Made for the recreational rider primarily, so everyone can benefit from the luxuries of a roof top rack without a big investment. Many people would like to ride more often but can’t and for those, it may be difficult to justify spending $500.00 or more on a rack. A TYTE rack can however benefit the competitive rider as well, in that it’s a great back-up rack. $100.00 and kept for emergencies. Wouldn’t it be nice to know you have a back-up plan? If one of your team members has a car problem, it’s no problem they use the TYTE rack on a rental or loaner vehicle until their vehicle is running again. It’s mobile, safe and easy to use. We hope to enhance the sport and make trails more accessible to the average folk. We’d like to think that when children get a new bicycle on Christmas day the bike won’t stay in the garage because their parents are too concerned about the increased traffic near and around the house. Instead they throw the rack on and it’s off to the trails or beach. We all know that the trunk mount racks block access to precious cargo space and are a far cry from a roof-top rack, were trying to make it more reasonable for more people.

  11. I have had and used the rack for almost a year. The design is simple and can easily be adapted for other sports. Which is something that I like about it. I too was a little skeptical. But after setting it up and driving around town with the bike on. My opinion changed. As recommended you should retighten the rack after a couple of miles. I have two different size seat posts and I do have to carry them both. But, this is not a problem. I do keep a small baggy of spare parts and velcro should any problem arise. I can happily report that I have not had any problems.

  12. Isn’t that the whole point Mr. Aaron, and by the way Curtis was our first customer and does not work for Tyte rack. He’s an electrical engineer that rides specialized hope we didn’t hurt your feelings too badly. You should wrap your bike in a baby blanket next to your boo bear.

  13. Aaron, as Daniel stated I do not work for Tyte Rack. I would love to have Thule or Yakima rack on my car. But what attracted me to these racks was the pricing and the simplicity. And, I can remove it after use and put back in the trunk of the car. I understand your concerns about stresses placed on certain parts of your bike. Don’t buy if you are that worried. But for the average person it is great. The bigger rack companies are not going anywhere. We all know that. This is just another alternative.

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