20th Oct 2015

Our favorite Ski Rack!

FatCAT 6 imageWith winter not so far away, we at Rack N Road thought it would be a good idea to help narrow down your ski rack choices. Currently the Yakima FatCat is our favorite because not only is it extremely easy to use, but it’s also one of the most stylish ski racks out there.

The FatCat allows you to carry 4 or 6 skis, depending on the size you invest in. Of course it’s not only limited to skis, you can also carry 2 – 4 snowboards as well, and mix and match when necessary. Another great attribute to the FatCat is it not only allows people to use it on the Yakima round-bar, but they are also compatible with factory or other aftermarket aerodynamic bars.

Instead of cramming your snow gear into the car and sprawling it across seats, carry it across the roof to keep your passengers comfy and your vehicle clean. The FatCat 6 has a large red button, easy to open even with the puffiest and most paralyzing pair of gloves. You can also lock your skis to the FatCat, and lock your FatCat to your vehicle, ensuring your gear stays where it belongs. So, for your next trip up to the mountains, don’t forget to try out the Yakima FatCat and enjoy all the great benefits it has to offer!


13th Oct 2015

Biketoberfest is coming to Marin

Fall is here and El Nino is coming…so they say.  It may still feel like summer, but we are fast approaching the change of seasons.  This means several things:
1) It will get colder.  Time to take inventory of your winter gear.
2) Time to upgrade your wiper blades.
3) Pumpkin Spice is everywhere.
4) It’s October…time for a fest!


Biketoberfest is coming to Marin!
WHEN: Saturday, October 17, 2015 11:00 am – 5:00 pm
WHERE: FAIRFAX, CA – Birthplace of the mountain bike!
FairAnselm Plaza 765 Center Blvd. Fairfax, CA 94930 (next to Iron Springs Pub)

We’re proud to support the Marin County Bicycle Coalition and Access4Bikes.  We’re all about supporting our local community and partnering with the MCBC is a great opportunity to do just that since they are the stewards of bicycling in Marin county.  Their group serves as a model for biking advocates everywhere.  Please come and support them and come and check out our booth!  It is all about bikes at this event, so wear your helmet and pack up the family for an awesome day.

Biketoberfest Highlights:

  • 70 bike exhibitors and a handmade bike show!
  • Over 35 varieties of beer from 20 West Coast brewers!
  • Live Music featuring The Mother Truckers
  • Cargo bike racing, road ride and mountain bike ride with Bay Area frame builders!
  • Delicious food from local vendors!

FREE Valet Bike Parking provided by MCBC – RIDE, DON’T DRIVE!
Benefiting the Marin County Bicycle Coalition and Access4Bikes.

Check out more details here:  http://www.biketoberfestmarin.com/

6th Oct 2015

Tepui Fest 2015! Come Join the Fun!

Tepui Fest October 16-18th, 2015  In a weeks time, Tepui will be holding its annual Tepui Fest. This outdoor extravaganza brings Tepui lovers from all over California to Hollister OHV park in Hollister, California. From October 16th to the 18th people will be able to get first hand know-hows with Tepui employees and truly understand what it means to own a Tepui tent. Over the weekend period, Tepui owners not only gain a better understanding of their Tepui tent, but they will also gain a better appreciation towards their Tepui tent. During this weekend newcomers will begin to understand why Tepui owners will only stick with a Tepui tent and why Tepui is rated at the top for any camping experience.

RackNRoad will always stick with Tepui, which is why we are a titled sponsor and so we know that Tepui will go above and beyond any persons expectations when it comes to a great outdoors vacation. A week doesn’t go by when a person isn’t calling for a Tepui tent. This just reinforces the fact that Tepuis products are quality and that they will always stand by their products.

So, come on down to Tepui Fest 2015 and see what all the fuss is about with the Tepui tent! If you can’t make it don’t hesitate to get a hold of any of our RackNRoad store locations and any one of our employees would be more thank happy to go over the right Tepui tent for you!

21st Sep 2015

San Jose Bike Club knows how to party!

Rack N Road boothWe love to party…and who better to party with than the San Jose Bike Club? We are attending the 2015 Vuelta de San Jose this Sunday the 27th at Uvas Reservoir in Morgan Hill, CA.  We are excited to see some great racing and to have some great BBQ! We love the San Jose Bike Club and wholeheartedly support their mission:

“SJBC has committed itself to the nurturing and development of beginning and junior cyclists members coaching and organized racing events aimed at increasing the skill, ability and enjoyment of each member.”This will be our second event with the SJBC in the last few months and we are happy to be a part of yet another great event.  We are eager to support our community and the SJBC embodies everything we look for in a partner.”

Riders gather before the Tuesday Night Criterium Ride

Here is what SJBC had to say about us the last time we partnered up:

“A huge thank you for coming out yesterday to our Tuesday Night Criterium event and supplying all the goodies, snacks, drinks and raffle prizes.  I’ve received several comments on what a great job you did.  We look forward to having you at another San Jose Bicycle Club event.”

Do you have a club or team that Rack N Road can help out?  Please email our marketing team at marketing@racknroad.com to learn more.

Want to learn more about the SJBC?  Check out their homepage and see what they’re up to:
Panoramic view of the event

19th Sep 2015

Convenience is the Best Gift

IMG_0851 (Medium)A husband borrowing his wife’s car for the day decided that their new biking hobby would be even more fun if they could explore new places. He stopped by Rack N Road, we threw on some Yakima FrontLoaders, and he was off to surprise his wife with some new, easy-to-use bike racks.

One of the quickest and easiest racks to use is the Yakima FrontLoader. It takes less than 5 minutes, no tools required, to attach the FrontLoader on your vehicle’s crossbars. Once that’s on, putting your bike on the rack is just as simple. Lift the bike on to the rack and the rear arm lifts up to pinch the front tire, and a ratcheting strap at the rear of the rack secures the back tire.

Yakima FrontLoader 8002103

The FrontLoader is compatible with round, square, aerodynamic factory or aftermarket crossbars, and is fully locking (locks sold separately) to ensure your bike and bike rack remain on your vehicle. It is compatible with a wide variety of bike shapes and sizes, 20″ – 29″ wheel bases and 3″ wide tires, and protects carbon fiber or fancy paint jobs by holding onto the tires – not the frame. Similar bike racks with the same functions and style often price at $190 – $200, making the FrontLoader a high quality but lower price solution.

For more information on a similar bike rack, Yakima HighRoller, check out one of our earlier blogs: “Wheel On? No Problem! The #1 Selling Bike Roof Rack of the Summer.”

14th Sep 2015

Top 5 FAQ’s of the Summer

It has been a wild summer so far and we have had a great time outfitting our fellow rack and outdoor enthusiasts with racks and carrying solutions for all their summer fun!  We have heard the same questions asked a lot this summer and we wanted to share those with you in case you had these questions too.

1) Q: Will this rack work on my other car?
A: We always advise to get a system that is compatible with multiple vehicles.  We always ask about your other cars just to make sure you are not backing yourself into a corner.  It is not always possible, but when it is, we try to get you something that will work for all your needs, whether it be for bikes, kayaks, cargo, etc.

2) Q: Do you have Rentals?  Can I try it before I buy it?
A: Yes, we have most of our gear available for rent.  So if it is a weekend trip or even something longer, we can set you up with a system to try before you commit to buying.  The best part: upon your return, you can apply 100% of the rental cost towards the purchase.

3) Q: What should I do with the old rack I have?
A: Trade it in for something new!  Use those old parts and/or racks lying in your garage to get you something new.  Bring it in and we can give you trade-in credit towards the latest and greatest products.

4) Q: How do I know what rack is best for me?
A: Check out our interactive showroom.  Searching solely online or over the phone can be frustrating.  It is always best to come in and kick the tires for yourself.  Our interactive showroom and helpful staff will help you find what you need.

5) Q: Do you guys do installs?
A: Yes!  We have factory trained and certified professionals ready and waiting to install whatever it is you need.  We have been doing this for over 20 years and there isn’t a rack we aren’t familiar with.  We specialize in custom applications and are always striving to stay on the cutting edge of installation technology.

Feel free to contact your local Rack N Road store with any more questions.  We are happy to help!  Rack N Road Store Locator: http://www.racknroad.com/store/index.html
Toll Free: 800-722-5872
Tech Center: 866-532-1065.
Happy Travelin’!

8th Sep 2015

Small Car + Big Kayak = No Problem!

As gas prices go up, cars have become smaller.  Protecting the environment (and your wallet) is the right thing to do, but it can make carrying your 15′ kayak a challenge…but have no fear, we have the best solution for you.
It all starts with a good base rack system and a kayak carrier.  There are several types that will work including J-cradles, saddles, or rollers.  All of these systems will work great for carrying one (or more) kayaks on your smaller ride.

J-cradles work great for carrying multiple kayaks since you can carry them on their side.  The Thule Hull-a-port Aero or the Yakima J-low are some of the best; they have universal mounting hardware and fold down when not in use.

Hull-a-Port Aero

Saddles work great for carrying your kayak when it is flat on the roof.  They are also a bit easier to load and unload. Front cradles are rear cradles are often sold separately so you can mix and match styles for easier loading. They can handle kayaks that are longer, heavier, and wider than the J-cradles, but they limit the amount of usable space on your crossbars. Smaller vehicles can carry one, maybe two kayaks with the cradle style, depending on crossbar length.

Yakima Mako Saddles 8004037

A Mako Saddle set

Mako Saddles in front, paired with rollers in the back

Saddles work great for carrying your kayak when it is flat on the roof.  They are also a bit easier to load and unload. Front cradles are rear cradles are often sold separately so you can mix and match styles for easier loading. They can handle kayaks that are longer, heavier, and wider than the J-cradles, but they limit the amount of usable space on your crossbars. Smaller vehicles can carry one, maybe two kayaks with the cradle style, depending on crossbar length.

Rollers can make loading and unloading a breeze… without scratching up your car. Use them to smoothly roll the kayak from the rear of your vehicle to the front saddle with minimal effort. The Yakima SweetRoll is a complete kayak carrying set, with saddles in front and integrated rollers in the rear. This is especially useful for heavy and long kayaks, or vehicles with high roofs.

Yakima SweetRoll 8004074

Close up of a rear roller of a SweetRoll, illustrating the adaptability to fit most kayak shapes.

Yakima SweetRoll

Full Yakima SweetRoll set

Thule Quick Loop #530Thule Quick Loop #530

But, the most important thing to remember is that you also need some tie-downs.  It is imperative that you tie down the front and back of your kayak to ensure your kayak is secured and safely installed on your vehicle. There are several ways to attach bow/stern tie downs, one of the easiest is to use the Thule Quick Loop.  It installs by closing the hood or trunk over the anchors, providing a safe and secure tie-down spot for your kayaks.

5th Sep 2015

Benefits of Aftermarket VS. Factory Crossbars

Shopping for a new vehicle can be overwhelming… so many decisions and options!  Oftentimes the factory accessories are more costly than aftermarket solutions, and most people don’t realize how limiting factory racks can be (until it’s too late).  At Rack N Road, we can help you in making the decision whether factory crossbars will actually suit all your future needs, and we’ll help you save some money in the process.

FACTORY RACK CROSSBARS                        

One of the biggest downsides to factory crossbars is that they come in all shapes and sizes but only fit that specific vehicle– any equipment purchased to fit one system may not fit on the next.  Most dealer racks are flimsy and built mostly for aesthetic appeal.  Consisting of large amounts of plastic, they cannot support long or unstable loads like kayaks, canoes or lumber. Dealer racks have limited usable space so only one or two attachments can fit at any given time.

FACTORYRACK              subarubefore2

On hatchbacks, such as SUVs or wagons, the factory systems are regularly too close to the hatch and cause interference when carrying loads.  Many people find they can’t even use their old cargo boxes or bike racks and still open the back door!

Some factory crossbars are made by Thule for the dealer; in these cases the racks usually have the strength to carry larger loads, but lack the versatility of interchanging accessories or adapting to other vehicles.  Replacement parts for these Thule-designed factory racks are hard to come by.  Rack N Road is able to get keys for most of them, but most other parts are proprietary and only available through the dealer (at dealer prices!).


Thule and Yakima both do a great job of making their aftermarket solutions fit a wide range of vehicles.  This ensures that you can not only fit your new vehicle, but that most of the equipment will work on other vehicles for years to come.  Because the shape of the crossbars are standard, most bike, ski, cargo, or kayak racks should fit, even if you own multiple vehicles or change cars often.

AeroBlade-Edge-on-raised-rails         Whispbar-Raised-Rail

Many people choose the factory rack due to the aerodynamic shape and aesthetic appeal; however, the new Thule Aeroblade Edge and Yakima Whispbar Flush crossbars offer the same aerodynamics, but with far more functionality and flexibility.  These new crossbars are available to fit factory mounts, rails, and any of our custom installed solutions. If you need extra bar space but want the same aerodynamic style, the through bars offer additional length to fit extra accessories. Aside from our custom solutions, Yakima and Thule also have clips, or fit kits, that grab onto the side of your vehicle if there is nothing on your roof. The clip-on racks are typically weaker, less aesthetically pleasing, and less versatile, than our custom installations, but still are a good option if there is nothing on the roof of the vehicle. Usually all you need to do is get new fit kits to transfer that rack to another vehicle.

Custom installed racks are the best possible solution for strength and versatility.  These racks are strategically positioned on the vehicle to accommodate your gear, sunroof, and hatchback with ease.  Our tailor-fit experts ensure that your vehicle fits your family and your toys.  If you’re looking for the most flexibility and style, we install integrated smooth tracks that allow you to adjust your crossbars based on your gear. We here at Rack N Road are certified installers of Yakima and Thule equipment, and use our years of experience to help select the right choice for you.  Check with us first! You’ll be surprised how much money and time we can save you.

28th Aug 2015

The Top 3 Bike Racks of the Summer

It has been a hot summer so far and we have seen lots of families and adventurers come through our stores, looking for the best bike rack they can for the best price.  We  have found that each family or individual has a wide variety of needs based on their activities and frequency of use, and we’re happy to help.  Below we discuss the three top selling hitch mounted racks of the summer.  And remember, we can guarantee lowest price on any of these:

The Kuat NV

The NV retails for $549 and can be seen here:


The good folks from Springfield Missouri can make an awesome rack!  It has some of the same features as the popular Thule T2 and the Yakima Holdup (ratcheting arm and integrated cable lock) but the NV’s unique features help it outrun the competition.  For example, it comes in two cool color selection: black and chrome or smoke and orange.  It also has a built-in repair stand for pre-ride prep or post-ride cleanup and as they describe, “it is a fully loaded stunner.”

Thule T2 916XTR

916_sized_900x600The T2 retails for $449 and can be seen here:


The Thule T2 is probably the most cost efficient and most reliable tray style bike rack currently on the market, explaining why so many bikers prefer it. Besides offering a integrated cable lock that secures the bike without making frame contact, it also has a reinforced tray that provides maximum strength and rust-free protection. Overall, the Thule T2 is the best at getting the job done at an affordable price.

Yakima HoldUp

The HoldUp retails for $449 and can be seen here:


Both Kuat and Thule have great tray style racks, but sometimes getting the darn bike on these trays can drive a person crazy! Enter the HoldUp. This is where the Yakima platform style rack shines. In 10 seconds or less a person can have their bike up and ready to go on their next adventure. It also has the same features as the competitors, including a mast that folds up and into itself when not in use, and can tilt down for rear-of-vehicle access, and integrated locks.

Tray style hitch racks are great options if you are looking for convenience and style. They are especially useful for unusually shaped bikes or bikes you’d prefer to avoid frame contact. All of the above racks can also be extended to carry 4 bikes, although only on a 2″ hitch. If your vehicle is lower to the ground, you might consider an upright rack as the tray style does hang low loaded with bikes.

18th Aug 2015

How to Carry Multiple SUP’s

Stand-Up Paddle boarding is fast becoming the new way to travel on the water. While people love the versatility and freedom a SUP board has to offer, there are still questions over how to put the SUP board on a vehicle. Every day customers come in to the store and ask how to put not just one, but multiple SUP’s on their vehicle. Luckily for them, we always have a solution here!

Yakima and Thule, our two most popular brands, both have great solutions for how to carry multiple boards on your vehicle.

Holds up to two 36" wide boards.


First, we have the SUPDawg by Yakima which
holds up to two 36″ wide boards. The SUPDawg is a popular solution to carrying boards because of the soft rubber padding and cradles, which in our opinion sets it aside from the competition. Unlike other SUP carriers, this one is the best at protecting the board from wear and tear that might occur with other racks.  By coming pre-assembled out of the box you are able to slap this system right on your rack in a matter of minutes, allowing you to hit the water as fast as possible! Often, people find the straps to secure the board often tuck away easier than other SUP carriers too. If carrying multiple SUP boards is a priority, then look no further because the SUPDawg has everything you need to carry two 36″ boards.


Now onto the competition. While the Yakima SUPDawg has perks, so too does the Thule SUP Taxi. Besides being one of the best SUP roof racks on the market it also provides one of the best features that Yakima can’t boast: security. Although the SUPDawg does lock the boards to the vehicle, Thule 810XT has a steel reinforced cable integrated into the band that gets locked into place over the boards, so you can breathe easy leaving boards on top of your car. Another important feature is the telescoping base that allows for the best fit, carrying boards up to 34″ wide. Depending on your board shape, some people prefer the curved cushioned fit the SUP Taxi provides, or the flat adaptable shape of the SUPDawg.

Both options allow you to carry two SUP boards, fit to almost all roof rack crossbar shapes, and are a great summer solution for your next trip to the water.