Mazda CX-5 racks

14 03 2012

Here in early 2012 the brand new Mazda CX-5 is hitting the streets, replacing the Ford Escape-based Tribute compact SUV. Mazda knows the formula for content-rich and fun-to-drive, and this one looks to have plenty of zoom-zoom to go around. The big question for Rack Attack…what types of roof racks, bike racks, canoe & kayak racks, cargo boxes & baskets and trailer hitches are going to fit??

Mazda CX-5

Mazda CX-5

As usual for brand new vehicles, there will probably be a bit of a waiting period before the big 2, Thule and Yakima, develop an official fit. Our hitch supplier, Curt, is hard at work getting a stout hitch engineered for your hitch bike rack needs and towing pleasure. For now we’ll take the wait-and-see approach, but for brave souls who picked up a CX-5 and can’t wait to get into the outdoors, come on into one of our 10 North American locations and we’ll get you set up with some of the custom work we’re known for…Landing Pads or Tracks.

So here is my prediction, and of course once the CX-5 starts showing up in our garage we’ll have some pictures to show off our work. Mazda has been building ‘fixed points’ into most of their cars over the last eight or ten years. I’m guessing the CX-5 will have the same, leading us to a Yakima Control Tower setup, Whispbars, or Thule Podium. On the chance that the fixed points are left off this vehicle, a clip system would be the next option, likely Yakima Q Towers or Thule Traverse. And the trailer hitch class could go either way, I’m hoping for a class III 2″, but given the vehicle is smaller than a CX-7 (which had 1.25″ and 2″ options), its hard to say what we’ll end up with.

Check back soon!


Toyota Prius V: longer, taller, wider and more rack-able

14 02 2012

UDATE 3/14/12: When it rains it pours. Check out this stealth-mode 2012 Toyota Prius V, again set up by Matt B. This time its tracks, Aeroblades and a Thule Atlantis 1800xt. Couldn’t look any better in my opinion!

Also, Curt has released a Class I hitch #11276 for the Prius V, you can call us to order or check out our Curt fit guide here.

prius v aeroblade

Stealth Prius V

Prius V AeroBlade

Prius V AeroBlade

UPDATE 3/13/12:  Take a look at this Prius V set up with Yakima Control Towers and Tracks, set up last week by Matt B out of our Portland store:

Prius V roof rack

Prius V roof rack

Prius V tracks up close

Prius V tracks up close

The Toyota Prius has become one of the most popular vehicles that we set up at Rack Attack. As much as folks love their Prius, one of the complaints we’ve heard over and over is that the trunk was too small…especially considering many Prius owners had downsized from a larger CUV or SUV. The good news is that we’ve had success outfitting thousands of Prii with roof racks to increase the car’s capacity while maintaining its unique looks and impeccable fuel economy.

2012 Toyota Prius V

2012 Toyota Prius V

The new 2012 Prius V is slightly larger in every dimension…6″ longer, 3″ taller, 1″ wider. But that’s still not large enough to stuff a canoe or four bikes into the car. Thankfully, Rack Attack has your roof rack and hitch rack solutions. First off, lets talk roofline. The Prius V has a longer and less dramatically curved roof. That’s a plus in our book…this will make long loads easier to roll onto the roof from the rear and it will allow a wider overall crossbar spread to support long loads. Even though the car itself has more capacity, this will also allow even large roof rack rocketboxes, skyboxes or other cargo boxes to fit and clear the rear gate.

So what can we do about getting a rack onto the Prius V? As of today, Yakima is the only game in town with an available fit, but Thule is close behind. From Yakima, the Q Tower system is your go-to setup, providing a 32″ crossbar spread and a 125lb capacity.  That is no increase in weight limit, but 2″ additional spread compared to the current Prius. This setup is good for just about anything; we suggest you can check the fit guide or call us for specifics.

Thule has announced their 480/480R Traverse series racks, but Fit Kit 1668 won’t be available until March 1. If you can wait, you’ll have the option of using either of Thule’s bars–traditional ‘square’-bar, or the latest in aerodynamics, the AeroBlade. You know you want the AeroBlades…with no load up top, they will preserve the quietness of the car (even at highway speeds) and keep that coefficient of drag as low as possible. Not to mention they look sleeker than anything else available for the Prius V.

Thule 480 on 2012 Prius V

Thule 480 and square bars on 2012 Prius V

If clipping into the door jamb isn’t your style, Rack Attack offers custom fixed-point and track systems as well; you can utilize any crossbar at that point, be it round, square, AeroBlade or Whispbar. We’ll post some photos after a few cars spin through our garages. Of course you can give us a call if you’d like to discuss these custom options for your Prius V or any other vehicle. Regardless of what you choose, you can add ski racks, kayak racks, cargo baskets and virtually any other rack accessory.

Finally, you’ll want to find a place to put your bicycles. A bike rack for the Prius V’s roof may not be ideal as the car is a little on the tall side, and bikes create lots of turbulence up top (but if you do choose to put them on the roof we’ve got tons of options). You may consider holding out a little longer for Curt to develop a trailer hitch for this car. Just like with roof racks, the standard Prius is one of the most popular cars on which we install hitches. A hitch bike rack is the perfect way to keep the bikes out of the airflow and make sure they are easy to load. And if you don’t want to make the hitch investment or can’t wait on the hitch, Thule and Yakima have approved their trunk bike rack lineups for the Prius V so you can carry up to 3 bikes.

We’ll keep you updated as information becomes available.


480 setup on Prius V

480 setup on Prius V

Used racks and trade-ins available at Rack Attack

11 04 2011

If you are in the Portland metropolitan area, Rack Attack Portland is your one-stop shop for used racks and trade-ins.  We’ve been helping customers save money for over a decade by giving store credit on rack components you can no longer use, and selling well-loved racks & components at fractions of their new prices.  We were the first to offer trade-ins because we realized early on that you usually cannot take a complete rack system from one car to another without swapping out a part or two.

cash money

Rack Attack will take just about any racks on trade, including but not limited to Yakima, Thule, Prorack WhispBar Saris, Sportrack, Rocky Mounts, Inno, TracRac, Draftmaster, Softride and some OEM or dealer-style accessories. We offer buyback (with photo-ID, paid by check) at a slightly lower percentage if you don’t need to pick up anything else.  Damaged racks are sometimes acceptable at salvage value.

Used hitch racks

Rack Attack offers trade-in and buy-backs 7 days a week, just load up your car and come talk with one of our staff.  We can usually value your equipment for trade-in or buy-back in 15 minutes or less.

Of course this all means we have the largest selection of used bike racks, used ski racks, used crossbar systems, used canoe & kayak racks, used cargo boxes & baskets and used small parts in the region!  And all of our used equipment can be found at the lowest prices in Portland. We’ve been collecting and salvaging pieces and parts off racks that date back to the 1970′s and if we can’t come up with an exact match we’ve probably developed and alternative solution!

Yes, it may look messy, but there is where the value lives!  Rack Attack lubricates, refurbishes and completes (if missing pieces) the racks we bring in before we resell them, and we guarantee the racks are functional and complete!

Used rack department

If you have any questions about our used/trade-in program, don’t hesitate to call us locally at 503.226.7300 or toll free 1.888.399.RACK.  Check back frequently, as our used inventory rotates daily!


2011 Nissan Juke

12 12 2010

Story begins here

UPDATE 1/15/11:  Yet another option for the Juke has been developed by the pro’s at Rack Attack!  Check out this 2011 Nissan Juke with the ProRack Whispbar system…

Juke Whispbar

Juke Whispbar

This setup utilized the Whispbar S3 along with Fitting Kit 323.  Note that this is a custom and permanant option!  Take a look below at the very low profile mounting blocks.  These are the only parts that are permanently affixed to the vehicle.

Whispbar mount block

Whispbar mount block

Finally, we added the Yakima Fat Cat 6 ski/snowboard rack.  Note that the rack is ‘jacked up’ on one side…this is so snowboard bindings on the upside-down boards don’t hit the roof.  It is not always necessary to lift the rack like this, but the customer wanted to start this way just to be safe.  Flattening out the rack is simply adjusting two screws on each carrier.

Whispbar with Fat Cat 6

Whispbar with Fat Cat 6

It has finally arrived! For those of you who have been waiting for the the Nissan Juke to come stateside, it is here and we had the opportunity to rack it. The customer needed a rack system to get his snowboards to the mountain and we had solutions.

2011 Nissan Juke

2011 Nissan Juke Ready for the Slopes

Either a simple-to-install clip fit with Thule’s 480 towers (for a more stylish option upgrade to Thule’s Aero bars), 50″ Load Bars, Fit Kit 1619 and a 4-pack of locks or if you are lucky enough to live close to one of our retail stores we can custom install a rack system.  UPDATE 1/27/11:  Yakima now has a Q tower fit.  Several trunk rack options exists now as well.  And Curt has a class I 1.25″ hitch!  Give us a call or check out our online fit guides at for more information.

2011 Nissan Juke

It's loaded up and has one destination: Mountain!

Our customer opted for the custom installation, making removal and installation of the rack a snap! Add Yakima’s Fat Cat 4 or 6 ski and snowboard carrier, your friends, one weekend, a mountain and you have a recipe everybody wants!!

Nissan Juke Rack

Close up view of the rack

Summary: This turbo all wheel drive crossover is the perfect vehicle to get you to the slopes and we have a couple of great options for racks.

Pro’s: The custom install gives you easy install and removal of the base rack system.

Con’s: Notice the roof sloping up? You have to take this into consideration for longer boats and cargo boxes that typically work best with larger bar spreads.

Call today and talk to one of our rack specialists to get your Juke a great rack system! 503-226-7300

Yakima Big PowderHound with Locks – Everything YOU need to KNOW on Yakima Ski and Snowboard Racks

8 12 2009

Yakima BigPowderhound 3082Pictured above is one of the most popular ski and snowboard racks we sell (besides the Yakima Fat Cat 6 of course).  The Yakima Big Powderhound has been around a some fashion for many years and will be around for years to come.

Big Powderhound EmptyWhen the carrier is empty it’s hard to imagine exactly what and how much it can hold.  “How does it carry 2 Snowboards and 2 Pair of Skis?” – is probably the most common question we get.  You leave everything stacked base to base – binding up and binding down stacked and side by side.

Yakima Big Powderhound with 2 snowboards and 2 skis

Yakima Big Powderhound

Take a look a this picture above and imagine some Ski or Snowboard Bindings digging into the painted surface of your Audi Sedan – Ok, Now Stop!  Take a deep breath.  It’s just your imagination, it’s didn’t actually happen.

Big Powderhound with Ski LiftThe Yakima Ski Lift pictured above is the solution for all your tight tolerance blues – lift up everything off the roof !  Yakima includes the lift kit on most all of their Ski Racks – Yakima Fat Cat 6, Yakima Big PowderHound, Yakima Freshsesh.  You don’t have to install the lift if you don’t need it.

If you need the Yakima Ski Lift for another Yakima Ski Snowboard Rack you own – call us at our local Portland Store – 503 226 7300 and we can ship you one.  This works with most all the Ski Carriers except the Fat Cat.

Yakima Ski Lift 8860037

All the Yakima Ski Snowboard carriers inlude locks to protect your equipment and the ski racks themselves when empty (if you keep them locked, you cannot access the hardware that removes them)

Release HardwareThe above bolt (hidden in the rubber) is the one bolt that gains you access to all the other mounting bolts on the universal ski clamps.

Big PowderHound with Standard Yakima SnarsAnd for you roundbar folks that don’t like the look of the Universal Mount on your Yakima Round Bars – you can always add the tried and true Universal Snars with Hardware.

1 888 399 7225For more tips from the experts at Rack Attack EMAIL US or Call 1 888 399 7225.

Thule 5401 SnowCat – Thule Ski and Snowboard Racks-Direct to Raised Factory Rails – Audi, Landrover, Saab, Subaru, MORE

28 11 2009

Landrover Discover , Thule 5401 SnowCatHere’s some information on a great but often overlooked Ski and Snowboard Carrier the Thule SnowCat.

Thule 5401 SnowCat – Thule Ski and Snowboard Racks

If you vehicle has come from the Factory with some raised factory side rails (running front of the car to the rear of the car on the left and right side) then you are a prime candidate for the the Thule SnowCat 5401.  This carrier comes complete with everything you need out of the box to have a mounted locking carrier.

If you have priced the Thule SnowCat against a whole crossbar and Ski Specific Accessory from Thule and wondering why the SnowCat is a less expensive option,  here’s the lowdown – The Thule SnowCat is a wintersport accessory only, the feet (or towers), crossbars and ski rack are all designed together allowing you to spend less but it limits you to one sport.  If your more of a multi-sport connoisseur stick with the original modular crossbar options and the seperate seasonal sport accessories – you pay more up front for the benefits later.

Forester with Thule 450R CrossRoads and Aero BarsThe Subaru Forester pictured above could have used the Thule SnowCat but the customer opted out, knowing that in the summer time – the ski racks would come off and the bike racks and luggage box for golf clubs would go on the crossbars.

Outback 2010 Thule BoxterIf you think the Thule SnowCat is just not enough room the next best option (and year round use) is a Luggage Box like the 2010 Subaru Outback pictured above with a Thule Boxter 611.  The Luggage Boxes do require crossbars (that run left to right over the vehicle).
For more expert tips or to talk to the folks that do this everyday, all day long. EMAIL US or Call 1-888-399-7225

Thule 91725 (91725B) Black Universal Flat Top 6 – Thule Ski and Snowboard Racks.

27 11 2009

Black Thule Flat Top 6, 91725, 91725BThe Thule 91725 Universal Flat Top is Back In Black!   All the same great features of Thule’s 91725 Ski Carrier but without the brushed Aluminum Finish of the standard 97125 6 Pair, or 4 Board Carriers.    Thule honors their premium Rack Specialty Stores like Rack Attack with this limited edition sku.  Get em while we got em!

91725B from RACK ATTACK

For more Expert Tips and Special Product Like the 91725B – Call us at 1-888-399-7225 or Email Us

Yakima Ski Rack History -Yakima FatCat 6 and Older! What’s What

20 11 2009

Yakima FatCat 6 on Q Towers

Here’s a little Yakima Ski Rack History for all you folks calling that are not quite sure what you have or what you should get.

This once over on all of Yakima Ski and Snowboard Racks should get you off to a good start.

Yakima Fat Cat 3078

Pictured above is one of the most popular carriers we sell – The Yakima FatCat 4 (3077) and Yakima FatCat 6 (3078).  When Yakima says this fit’s wide ski’s – they’re not lying – this thing was built for the wide ones, in addition to having a super sleek low profile finish and unique look.   FatCat’s have been made since 2007.  The FatCat 6 has approx 28″ of carrying space – compared to the Big Powderhound at approx 22″ usable.  And best of all like most of Yakima’s ski/boar racks it includes a ski lift for low clearance crossbars (prevents your bindings from rubbing on painted surfaces:)  The FatCat 4,6  was originally packaged without locks – part 3067, 3068)


Yakima Big PowderHound with Locks #3082

Yakima PowderHound (3081) and Big PowderHound (3082).   They are one of the most user friendly carriers now – out of the box and ready to attach to most any bar – with locks and ski lift!  The Yakima Big PowderHound (3072) was identical except not packaged with locks.  This model made from 2006- current.

Yakima Big PowderHound with LOCKS!

Yakima FreshSesh with Locks #3079The Yakima FreshSesh (3079) is almost identical in features to the Yakima Big PowderHound – except for the color scheme and the ability to CUSTOMIZE your little heart out with some included stickers, and be different, just like everybody else.  Or you can really defy the laws of tradition and leave it all white!   Not available in a 4 pr.  The old part 3069 was identical except did not include locks.  This model made 2006 – current.


Yakima ButtonDown Aero #3070Pictured above the Yakima ButtonDown Aero with Locks (3070).  An oldie but a goody that’s been around in some fashion since 1992.  Notice the small red buttons for our small monkey fingers back in the day.

Yakima Lift Ticket #3062

Pictured above – Yakima’s Lift Ticket 4 (3062), and 6 (3063),  was Yakima’s high end carrier before the Fat Cat.  It was manufactured from 2002 – 2007.  Large buttons – easy to get into with gloves and secure hidden hardware.  It was packaged to fit round bars only (Yakima Mighty Mounts could be added to fit factory crossbars, and locks could be added to secure everything).

The Lift Ticket Hardware (#8830033) is commonly sought after – call us if you need it 503 226 7300

Yakima Lift Ticket Hardware bag

Yakima Big Powder HoundPictured above the Yakima Big Powder Hound (3046) was originally released in 1999 until 2004.  This Yakima Big PowderHound was packaged to fit round bars only (Yakima Mighty Mounts could be added to fit factory crossbars, and locks could be added to secure everything).

Yakima Big PowderHound SE #3059Pictured above the Yakima Big PowderHound SE (3059) was an Anniversary Edition carrier they built 2004-2006.  Better button for easier use with gloves in cold conditions.  This Yakima Big PowderHound SE was packaged to fit round bars only (Yakima Mighty Mounts could be added to fit factory crossbars, and locks could be added to secure everything).

Yakima Button Down 6Pictured above is the Yakima Button Down 6 (3036) (and the BD4 3034).  This ButtonDown was packaged to fit round bars only (Yakima Mighty Mounts could be added to fit factory crossbars, and locks could be added to secure everything).  This carrier was made 1992-1999 and Yakima added the SKS (same key system) compatibility in 1993.   ps – if you have lost your old round headed keys for these, the current “N” series keys from Thule will work with your old Yakima ButtonDown carriers.   ie: Old round head (non SKS) Yakima key 026 = New Thule Replacement key N026  - THULE REPLACEMENT KEYS.

Ski Slopes

Yakima Ski Slopes (3032) pictured above.  Yep only skis and narrow ones at that!  This Ski Slope was packaged to fit round bars only (Yakima Mighty Mounts could be added to fit factory crossbars, and may or may not have been SKS lock compatible)

Yakima 3B, 3A Family ModelAnd of course pictured above the Yakima 3B or 3A Family Model.  Possibly the first Yakima Ski Carriers (after of course the Yakima branded Bunjee Cords….)  If your still using these we congratulate you, and hope your 1985 Honda Civic Coupe makes it to 475,000 miles this year!   Yakima manufactured these from the mid 80′s to approx 1991.

Hope this helps – if your missing hardware or keys for your old carriers see links below:

yakima vertical mighty mounts. 3502, 3509, 3510, 3512, 3526, 3529Yakima Vertical Mighty Mounts (specific to each vehicle) Work with most Yakima Carriers except FatCats.

 SKI LIFT 8860037Yakima Ski Lift #8860037 (works with most all Yakima models except Fat Cat) – call us 503 226 7300,  to order.  Lifts up one side of the carrier for binding clearance off the car.

Yakima Ski Snars 8830021

Yakima Ski Hardware Bags

Yakima Aero HardwareYakima Replacement Universal Mount (sold seperately).  It can be adapted to most other Yakima Carriers with some mods – obviously not recommended but possible.  The FatCat Universal Mount sits lower than the one pictured above and is a different part #8860048 – call us to order 503 226 7300.


Yakima Replacement SKS Key

888 399 7225

For more expert fit tips or to talk to our Rack Experts EMAIL US – or call 1 888 399 7225

Can I rack a leased car?

13 03 2009

We often have customers who come to us with a leased company car.  These cars tend to be the typical domestic mid-sized four-door sedan like a Ford Taurus, Chrysler 300, or a Chevrolet Impala.  These cars are usually purchased as a fleet, and the company provides no option for carrying your gear.  But have no fear, at Rack Attack, we can get a rack onto your lease that looks good, can be removed when your lease term is up, and might even transfer to your next car with minimal additional parts!

Chevrolet Impala with Thule Aero Bars and Yakima Fat Cat 6

Chevrolet Impala with Thule Aero Bars and Yakima Fat Cat 6

Yesterday a gentleman came into the shop with a 2009 Chevrolet Impala.  He wanted a rack that looked sharp and made his car look more sporty, while staying quiet and secure.  Our solution?  A Thule Rapid Aero crossbar setup with a Yakima Fat Cat 6 ski/snowboard carrier.  The Aero bars, with their silver aluminum styling looked great on the car, and the Fat Cat’s oval shape nicely mimics the shape of the crossbars.  With this setup two snowboards can be carried with two pairs of skis, and everything gets locked up.

Chevrolet Impala with Thule Aero Bars and Yakima Fat Cat 6

Chevrolet Impala with Thule Aero Bars and Yakima Fat Cat 6

When this person changes into his next vehicle, the ski racks, bars, and locks will transfer over.  If the next car is, say, a Honda Accord, the only change would be the ‘Fit Kit‘.  If the next vehicle is a Subaru Outback, then the ‘Foot Pack‘ will have to be changed.  We try to make it as painless as possible, and in our stores we offer trade-in credit for the equipment you cannot take with you to the next vehicle.  We also offer re-installations, and we guarantee that your next car can look as sweet as your current car!


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