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The HighSpeed bike rack makes load and unload a breeze, thanks to its innovative design. It’s perfect for hatchback vehicles and SUVs, adaptable to aero or standard bars, and simplifies mounting both a bike and the rack itself. Our road-tested Yakima HighSpeed review.

Let’s face it: loading and unloading a bike on a roof-mounted rack can be difficult, especially on tall vehicles like SUVs. And with the popularity of large, easily-scratched sunroofs on vehicles, loading and unloading a fork-mount bike carrier can be a difficult task, especially with a vehicle’s roofline above your head. Add in the usual issues with hatchback clearance on many roof-mounted bike racks on the market, and you’ve got a recipe for quickly ruining that amazing post-ride bliss after a cycling adventure.

Yakima HighSpeed Bike Rack: our road-tested review

The Yakima HighSpeed solidly solves those problems thanks to its innovative design. Mounting the bike is simplified: nearly half of the mounting work can be finished at ground level, since the rack’s axle and skewer can be mounted to the fork while it’s still on the ground. And then mounting the bike to the rack is simple: a few turns of the large, easy-grip torque knob secures the fork to the front of the rack, and a strap secures the rear wheel into the wheel tray.

The Yakima HighSpeed Bike Rack offers ultra-easy bike load and unload, even on SUVs and high-profile vehicles

Another design feature we love: the rack’s forward-advanced design helps solve the usual clearance problems with hatchbacks on popular adventure-ready vehicles, SUVs, and wagons. The HighSpeed places the fork mount in front of the rack’s front crossbar, moving the rear wheel and tray forward, and helping to avoid impact when the vehicle’s hatch is open.

It’s a bike rack that solves multiple problems, and really streamlines the dreaded load and unload of a bike. We’ve been using – and loving – this rack for several months, and have been thoroughly impressed by its performance.

Yakima HighSpeed Bike Rack: our road-tested review

Our adventure vehicle of choice is our Jeep Cherokee Trailhawk, and many of our favorite features of the SUV make it equally difficult to use most bike racks: an enormous glass sunroof, a high-clearance design and high roofline, and a rear hatch in the back. We were stoked to test the Yakima HighSpeed and its problem-solving features that make it a perfect fit for our SUV.

Our favorite roof-mount bike racks: the Yakima HighSpeed makes bike mounting easy

This fork-mounted rack carries a load of up to 40 pounds, and it’s adaptable to both mountain bike and narrow road bike tires. The rack’s skewer fits both quick-release or thru axles, adding to its versatility. And the rack’s lever-strap system adjusts quickly, adapting to aerodynamic, round, or square crossbars.

Our favorite bike racks for mountain and road bikes: our Yakima HighSpeed Bike Rack review

Mounting the HighSpeed to crossbars is tool-free and straightforward, thanks to the adjustable straps that wrap securely around the vehicle’s crossbars, and then lock into place with a combination lever and slide. Fitment adjustments to the vehicle’s crossbars are made with the turn of a tension thumbwheel – and make moving the bike rack between multiple vehicles and multiple crossbar types easy.

Yakima HighSpeed Bike Rack review

We really love the ease of mounting the bike in the rack. It’s as simple as removing the front wheel, installing the rack’s axle and skewer, and then loading the bike onto the bike rack on the roof. The large torque knob is easy to turn, and it clicks to acknowledge that it’s fully engaged and secured on the fork skewer. And after the rear wheel is strapped into the rear tray and final checks are made for security, we’re ready to roll.

Our favorite fork-mount bike racks: the Yakima HighSpeed bike rack offers innovative design features to make loading a roof-rack bike easy

Optional locking cores are sold separately. We haven’t used them ourselves, as we always keep our vehicle in sight when we’re on the road with our bikes. But the addition of three Yakima SKS Lock Cores adds some security, with two locks on the rack. There’s also room for a lock core on the included TailWhip cable, which retracts into the rack when it’s not in use, and then extends to wrap around the bike’s frame and lock for security. Yakima also sells a T-Slot Kit, which eliminates the rack’s bar straps and offers direct fitment for T-Slot crossbars, like our Yakima Whispbar rail bars. We haven’t tried the T-Slot accessory, though: the lever-strap system works well enough with our bars, right out of the box.

Yakima HighSpeed review wrap-up

It’s a bike rack that’s thoughtfully designed to allow for easy load and unload, especially on high-clearance and tall vehicles like our Jeep SUV. Thoughtful design features give the HighSpeed extra clearance for use on a hatchback, and allow us to easily access the rear of our Jeep, even with our bikes mounted on the rack. The HighSpeed has really streamlined the process of carrying our bikes. And thanks to its easy-load features, has helped to keep our sunroof glass scratch-free, and our post-ride bliss intact.

So where can I find it?

While we received a sample bike rack to test, all opinions above are our own, and based on our own, trail-tested experience. Some links on Trailful are affiliate links, which means that the merchant might pay us a commission if you purchase a product after clicking our links, at no extra cost to you. We only recommend gear that we personally use and love.
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Eric Champlin

Eric Champlin is a writer and photographer who loves to hike, run, backpack, kayak and cycle the southeast. He’s the editor and founder of Atlanta Trails, Asheville Trails, and Trailful, digital magazines that highlight the South’s best outdoor adventures and top Southern-worthy outdoor gear. His mission? To inspire others to get fit outdoors and explore the South’s incredible scenic beauty.