Whispbar Roof Rack Review

The Following is a review written by Eric Champlin From Atlantatrails.com.Enjoy.

The Whispbar rack system from Yakima: beautiful, sophisticated styling that stays nearly silent on the road. Our Whispbar roof rack review.

In addition to hiking and running, I also love cycling and kayaking: there’s just something incredibly refreshing about Georgia’s beautiful outdoors. And to transport my cycling and paddling gear, I’ve tried a number of roof rack systems for my vehicles over the years. The racks I’ve tried in the past, regardless of price, were similar: they were loud, boxy, clunky, and looked more like an appendage than an accessory on the roof of my vehicle.

I recently purchased an Audi Q5, and while I needed to transport my bikes and kayaks, I faced a dilemma. With typical aftermarket car racks, my Q5’s clean, understated style and quiet ride would be obliterated by an unsightly, loud roof rack. And while my Audi Q5 was delivered with factory crossbars, they shared the loud humming, whistling and clunky styling of the aftermarket racks I’d used in the past.

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And then I found Whispbar: an aerodynamic, beautifully styled rack system from Yakima that’s not only nearly silent, it actually adds to the clean, understated beauty of my Q5. And compared to my Q5’s factory bars, the Whispbar profile is much more streamlined, stylish and considerably quieter on the road.

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Whispbar is a roof rack system that looks like it’s designed specifically for high-end vehicles; one that, through beautiful, clean lines and curved, matte aluminum, looks like an accent to my car, not an afterthought.

Our Whisbar Through Bar & Fork Bike Mount Review

I’ve been testing the Whispbar car rack system on my Audi Q5, and after several thousand miles on the road, I love this rack. I love Whispbar’s easy installation, rapid-swap accessory racks and beautiful design aesthetic. And, Whispbar preserves the quiet ride of my Audi: the roof rack is nearly silent, even in cross breezes and at highway speeds.

The perfect car roof rack? Based on my experience, I think so.

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On road, the Whispbar rack is nearly silent, and from what I’ve observed, causes negligible loss of fuel efficiency, unlike other car racks I’ve tested. How does Whispbar accomplish such silent performance? The Whispbar carrying bars, unlike the noisy square / oval / cylindrical variety, are shaped like an aerofoil (think: aircraft wing), resulting in less wind drag, less noise, and better fuel efficiency.

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My Whispbar system is comprised of a vehicle-specific fitting kit (the K666W for my Audi Q5’s year and trim), the Whispbar Through Bar crossbars and the WB200 Rooftop Fork Bike Mount.

Whispbar Through Bars & Fitting Kit

The options in the Whispbar mounting system are designed to fit a wide range of vehicles – and the K666W mounting kit mounted easily to my Audi Q5’s rail bars. (Visit the fitting guide at yakima.com or rei.com for specific vehicle fitments). Installation on my Q5 was fast, once I acclimated myself to the all-illustration installation guide (think: scandinavian furniture assembly manual). From unboxing to fully installed, I had the Whispbar Through Bars securely mounted on my Q5 in under 10 minutes.

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The Whispbar Through Bar and fork-mount WB200 bike rack are designed for fast, easy mounting and unmounting, though I almost always leave them mounted on my vehicle. They’re almost entirely silent – so much so, I often forget they’re there. And looks-wise, even when my bike isn’t mounted, the Whispbar rack system adds a sporty, streamlined style to my Q5. I’ve actually come to prefer them on.

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The extended width of the Whispbar Through Bar, compared to the also-available Whispbar Flush Bar, adds extra carrying capacity to the car rack system. This extra width allows me to carry both my road bike and kayak using the WB400 J-Cradle Kayak Carrier (review coming soon). I can also easily mount two road bikes on the Through Bar, with extra width for easy bike mounting and unmounting.

Whispbar Quickdock

The entire width of Whispbar’s carrying bars features a channel filled with a noise-minimizing rubber strip. Installing accessories, like the WB200 fork-mount bike carrier, is a breeze with the Quickdock system; two levers on the accessory’s footing lock it into the channel using t-shaped feet, and close to securely mount the accessory to the carrying bar.

Whispbar WB200 Rooftop Fork Mount Bike Carrier

The WB200 is the fork-mount bike rack in the Whispbar system. Like the Whispbar Through Bars, the WB200 is designed with a sleek, streamlined, matte-finish aluminum styling that beautifully accents my Audi.

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In front, the fork-mount system accommodates both 9mm and 15mm forks, unlocking with a key to mount my Cannondale CAAD9 fork to a spindle on the WB200. In the rear, a ratcheting strap securely holds my bike’s rear wheel in a cradle. The system is easy to use: after a few initial tries, I can easily mount and unmount my bike in less than a minute.

Without my road bike loaded, the WB200 remains nearly silent, even at highway speeds. With my Cannondale mounted to the rack, some light crosswind noise is audible inside my Audi – but nothing that my sound system at low volume doesn’t cover. Even with my bike mounted, the Whispbar system is considerably quieter than other racks I’ve used.

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I’m also extremely impressed so far with the WB200’s stability and security. I’ve carried my Cannondale CAAD9 on 3+ hour trips, and haven’t experienced any shifting, stability issues or loss of tension with the rack.

Whispbar Security

The Whispbar system is secure, as well: the Through Bar carrying bars are keyed to lock to my Q5. And likewise, the fork-mount WB200 is keyed to lock my bike securely to the carrying accessory, and the WB200 to the Through Bar. When my road bike is mounted to the Whispbar system, it’s securely locked in place – and likewise, I don’t have to worry about my my rack system wandering away, either.

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Whispbar Car Rack Review: Our Conclusion

The Whispbar clean, sophisticated design aesthetic adds an accent to the lines and style of my Audi Q5. It’s a great accessory to my outdoor lifestyle, and it’s beautiful, streamlined, functional, and easy to operate. It’s the vehicle car rack I’ve always wanted.

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