Yakima. I've written about it before but I realized that this is another opportunity.
Since about 1999, I've had a roof rack on my car with some sort of system for bike transport. For the longest time I had only had roof mounted racks by Yakima where you had to remove the front wheel, then lock in your forks.
Well, time passed, I sold a couple bikes and went on to sell one of my bike rails with the fork locking system (I did actually hold onto one of them). Fast forward to present day life when I'm back to cycling daily and find myself needing to transport multiple bikes at one time.
A couple months ago I bought a Yakima gear box for the top of the car from a guy on Craigslist. While I was in his garage I saw a pile of racks in the corner.
"Are those in working order?"
"I'll give you ten bucks for one of them."
That was about it. I'm not sure if I'm that good of a negotiator or if it was because the guy barely spoke english. Either way, I didn't even really know what I bought until I got home.
This rack (pictured above) was different than anything I'd ever had before. "What is this monstrosity of an arm sticking up?" But I eventually got it mounted and understood the engineering behind it all.
No, I'm not a big fan of this rack. The stability is noticeably less than the Steelhead rack that's mounted right next to it (you can't really see it in the photo... another reason I prefer it; it's not as clunky looking on the car). I don't think I'd want to travel like this for a long distance. But I do think it's okay for short runs transporting bikes back and forth to work. It is more convenient than taking the wheel off when I'm only driving six miles, though.
All in all, it was definitely worth the price. It seems a little goofy to have two different racks mounted on one car. But in some ways it's nice. My fixed gear, for instance, doesn't have a quick-release front wheel. So it's a pain to get in my seatbag and get out the wrench. When I'm transporting it, I always appreciate this rack. Either way, I can see why people do it. I prefer locking the fork, though.
Either way, Yakima stuff always works. Their stuff has lasted me over 10 years and I've never had anything break. I'd recommend any of their products to anyone.
Get out there.