Review: Tyte Rack

Who:
From Tyte Rack’s website: 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.

Product Tested:
Tyte Rack

Website’s MSRP:
$ 99

Specs:
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″ ).


Full Suspension bikes, no problem.

About Me:
6’1” 210lbs, 29 year old male. I’m a mountain biking enthusiast who enjoys XC riding.

Testing Grounds:
Streets of Southern California

First Impressions:
When I first saw the rack, I was pretty excited. There are a myriad of trails in Southern California so having a good rack is almost a necessity. This rack intrigued me on two issues: price & unique mounting. Although mounting a bike upside down is not the preferred method of mounting, I liked using the unique seatpost adaptor versus mounting via wheels which I’ll get to later.


Mounts easily with velcro straps.

Strengths:
The Tyte Rack difference is the ability to mount the bike via the seatpost and handlebars. This is different from other roof racks which mount via both wheels or fork and wheel. While either of these mounting options are fine, I find that I always run out of suitable contact points for lifting the bike onto the roof rack and lowering the bike from the roof rack. With the roof rack that mounts the bike via wheels you’re grabbing just the wheels which can rotate and jam your finger into the frame. Ouch.

With the Tyte Rack you get two non-moving points to grab: the top of the seat tube and the headtube/toptube junction. Because these points do not rotate or move, there is no chance of getting fingers jammed into the frame, which my fingers appreciate.


Two bikes are no problem for the Tyte Rack

The Tyte Rack is easy to install onto a car, although my first time installing the rack took about 30 minutes. After a few times of installing and uninstalling, I was down to 10 minutes. Now I easily finish in 5 minutes. I’ve mounted it on a few different cars and pretty much all of them have had no issues with mounting.

I have also not had any issues keeping my bike upside down while being mounted to the rack. On my First Impressions post many friends commented that I may have issues with namely: suspension oil dampers not liking the upside down position, handlebar, seattube stress… Over the course of this long review, I can confidently say that I did not have any issues. Although all of the comments were valid and I dutifully paid attention to them, I have not had any issues.

I still haven’t mentioned the price. The standard economical rack is $89, with a $10 discount, while the high-end rack is $99. Both are great choices, with the high-end rack being a little more durable. These racks are significantly cheaper than other roof mount options from big name manufacturers making the Tyte Rack an economical and simple light duty rack.


What makes the Tyte rack unique? The Seatpost Replacement Insert. Mounts bikes of all shapes easily and keeps your fingers from getting jammed into the frame.

Weakness:
Due to the design of the Tyte Rack, you have to take your seatpost out of the frame each time you mount your bike to the rack. This means I lose my favorite height for my seatpost. I tried different tactics to mark my seatpost so I would not lose my previous height but none of my tactics really worked. I ended up just remeasuring the height each time I reinstalled the post.

The area where the handlebars of the bike interface with the bar of the rack is metal to metal, metal from the handlebar to a metal rack. I’d prefer a softer material to interface with the handlebars especially if its a carbon bar. Because of this I drafted an old tube into service. I cut it and taped it onto the bar and this gave my handlebars a nicer softer place to rest during the ride to and from the trailhead.


Added an tube to the metal bar. Less metal to metal interface

One of the comments left on the First Impressions post was in regards to the longevity of the velcro straps. Lo and behold, on my last ride one of the velcro straps broke when mounting the bike. Since I like for the bike to be pretty tight to the bar, I usually torque the velcro straps pretty good. This time, it must have been over torqued as it just ripped apart. Thankfully, I was able to easily substitute the strap with a bungee cord but stronger straps would be appreciated.

Summary:
The Tyte rack is an inexpensive versatile light duty rack with a unique mounting system that keeps your fingers from being pinched. The simple seatpost replacement insert is a great idea as it easily accommodates most seatposts to carry many different mountain bikes. Designed for the recreational rider, the Tyte Rack combines the qualities of low price, versatility and roof mount in one simple package. Kudos to Tyte Rack for creating a sensible, low cost alternative to meet the needs of this particular market. By the way, the Tyte Rack works perfectly for road bikes too!

For more information, click here.


Economical, carries two, versatile.

4 Replies to “Review: Tyte Rack”

  1. It’s not a good idea to flip many hydraulic brakes upside down for long periods. I also think lateral g-forces would cause premature wear to the seat tube.

  2. I can see the handlebars slippong or moving and then things like the brake levers or shifters being damged by rubbing or bumping against the rack crossbar. The fact that you had to come up with your own upgrade to prevent the metal to metal rubbing on the bar indicates the poor design.

  3. Yeah, this wouldn’t work for me… I have no seat/seat post on my trials bike. I guess I could use it for my XC and road bike though, however, I don’t like the design of it and wouldn’t buy it. Plus it doesn’t have a lock if I need to run into the store or something.

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