MBACTION.COM Review: Whispbar WB200 Roof Rack

Yakima has been a leading producer of quality roof rack systems for decades and their innovation with the rook rack market has only improved since it purchased Whispbar years ago. Historically roof racks have been notorious for noise and wind drag with or without a bike mounted.

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Tech features:

The Whispbar utilizes oval shaped load bars to reduce drag and virtually eliminate noise.  Since the vehicle we were using for testing already had siderails, the installation took about ten minutes, which was a huge plus. The WB200 carrier slid easily into place thanks to the Quickdock technology that Yakima developed for this system and requires no need for tools (with the exception of mounting the load bars to the siderails). The WB200 was created with versatility in mind and featured the Smartmount which allows for users to mount a 9mm fork and 15mm thru axles on the same platform without having to use any adapters.

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Along with the Smartmount, Whispbar was sure to include a couple wheel straps in different lengths and with padding on the inside to protect the rim from scuffs or rubbing.  The Whispbar Rail Bar kit retails for $429 and has a max weight load of 220 pounds.  The WB200 Fork Mount Carrier retails for $289 per carrier and can carry bikes that weigh up to 37.5 pounds.

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Field Results:

Initial impressions were in favor of the rack after seeing the aerodynamic design that made it visually appealing and sleek.  The Smartmount in concept is a great design, but in application was awkward and clumsy. The skewer that went through the mount had to be turned at just the right angle to be pulled out to allow for the thru axle mount. The tension on the skewer was very particular, otherwise it wouldn’t close to secure the fork. Even with proper tension the skewer had a tendency to get caught and not close. Once the skewer was removed, mounting thru axle forks was very simple, but if the skewer had to be interchanged regularly it made for much more difficult mounting.

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On the road the rack was much quieter than we were expecting. The aerodynamic design cut through the wind and made for a quiet drive. Even with a bike mounted, the drag and noise were hardly noticeable. The thin curved body of the WB200 added to the aero features ensuring that wind drag was reduced, noise cancelled out, and really added to the overall clean look of the rack system.  We have noticed some roof racks can diminish a cars’ miles per gallon, but the Whispbar did little to affect the mileage on the highway and even less driving around town.

StarRate 4

The Whispbar is a solid roof system with clean, practical features that make it very user friendly. Despite the issues with the quick release, Yakima has created a product that is the whole package and is a great choice for anyone who wants to invest in a new rack.  The clean look and aerodynamic shapes make this rack not only eye catching but also incredibly efficient on the road.

Star Rating Color

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