I just wanted to share some thoughts on what is supposedly one of the most versatile and easiest to use trunk mounted bike racks on the market today… Yakima’s QuickBack 3.
I’m going to cut straight to the point. If you own a 2001 4dr Jetta do not purchase this rack. It does not fit on this vehicle very well, and the design places unnecessary stress on the most necessary attachment points. I would even go so far as to say, if you own a small to midsize sedan do not purchase this rack as I feel you would have similar problems. I think this rack would work swimmingly on a hatchback, minivan, or a full-sized sedan (large trunk). From there it’s just a matter of whether or not your bike will fit… mine did not. I have a 2010 Santa Cruz Blur LT and could find a way to secure it to the rack. Now I could purchase Yakima’s tube top accessory, but then I believe that my bike would hang so low as possibly scrape on the ground… no thanks!
I don’t want rag on this rack too much. It’s a trunk mounted rack… you really shouldn’t expect much in the first place. But I do have a few complaints that would probably make me return the rack even if it did fit my vehicle. First, the spacing between the cradles on the bars is not adjustable. This is very limiting and doesn’t allow for any tweaking… Design Fail #1. Second, the excess strap retainers are made of hard plastic and it is quite difficult to cram the folded excess strap into the clip. Also, the hard plastic has the potential to be quite loud while banging against the car and could very well damage the finish. A velcro retaining strap would have been much easier to use, just as if not more secure, quite, and less likely to damage the finish… Design Fail #2. Lastly, the point where the top strap attached to the rack is vertically oriented while the strap, where attached to the car, is horizontally oriented. This necessitates a slight twist in the strap. When the rack is attached to a hatchback as in all of Yakima’s product shots, it seems just fine. However, on my Jetta I had to remove the strap retainers and completely tighten down the strap to make it even close to being short enough to appear secure. In this scenario the strap attaches to the car just on the opposite side of the top pad putting a very severe twist in the strap right as it enters the buckle. In my opinion this is not very secure, and puts unnecessary stress on the straps that are supporting the majority of the weight. Now, just north of the support arms on either side of the big red knob there is plenty of room to attach the buckles in a fashion that wouldn’t necessitate a twist and would provide additional room for tightening which would increase the number of vehicles that this specific rack could fit… Design Fail #3.