RockyMounts Brass Knuckles
Next to dropping into a nasty chute that you’ve never ridden before, the most nerve wracking thing for a mountain biker is trusting a bike rack to keep their pride and joy safe while you tear up the Sea to Sky highway at
130km/hr the speed limit. I’ve seen a bike sliding down the highway after it has worked its way loose of the grasp of a rack, I have also seen one take off from a roof mounted rack on a highway. It is a sight that I’d rather not witness again so I’m pretty picky about what I use to attach my bikes to the car.
When I wandered the aisles at Interbike I came across the RockyMounts stand. It isn’t a brand that I’ve heard much about before but as the name hints at, they are based at the foot of the Rocky Mountains in Boulder, Colorado. Maybe it was founder Bobby Noyes’ hairstyle that caught my eye… it isn’t often you see a guy with blonde corn rows, but hairstyle aside Bobby has been turning out high quality bike racks since he drove from New Jersey to Colorado in 1993.
The Brass Knuckles is a roof bar mounted rack that holds the bike by the front wheel in a manner that is similar to others on the market. The bike sits upright on the roof of the car and a hooked arm ratchets down onto the front wheel. Two separate straps hold the wheels securely to the rack and then you are ready to roll. The Brass Knuckles get their name from the design of the ratchet itself, which features a burly looking grip that is indeed reminiscent of a set of brass knuckles.
Out of the box, the Brass Knuckles make a positive impression. Firstly I have the red versions, which in my mind look pretty flash. Secondly they seem really well made, with a solid aluminum channel section as the base of the rack. Assembly is quick and simple with clear instructions and installing the rack onto your roof bars is very straight forward. The clamp design is compatible with the shapes and sizes of most roof bars, with two steel straps wrapping around the bar at the front, tightened with a hex bolt, and a simple clamp at the back, with two hex bolts. All the hardware seems high quality and the finish looks and feels quality.
Getting the bike onto the rack is pretty straight forward, lift up the simple cage that cups the back of the front tire, extend the hooked arm to its full length and then lift the bike up onto the rack. I rolled the front tire snuggly back into the cage and then lifted the arm up and pulled it down snug onto the front tire just in front of the fork brace. With the straps secured over the front and rear tire the bike is nicely secured to the rack.
On the road the bike doesn’t move around too much, I’ve certainly seen many other racks that let the bike wiggle and sway more in the wind than the Brass Knuckles. Security wise, there is a locking cover to hide the clamping mechanism at the front of the rack and the ratchet itself has a lock on the release lever so it is harder to remove the bike from the rack.
One of the design features that RockyMounts is proud about with the Brass Knuckles is that the rack folds completely flat when not in use. This in practice should cut down on wind noise and also have less effect on the fuel consumption of your car as they will have less frontal area (I took an aerodynamics course at university). While I can’t comment on the fuel efficiency claim, the wind noise with them fitted was pretty minimal and there was no whistling which I have experienced on other racks.
The Brass Knuckles sell for $199.95 USD each and come with RockyMounts’ lifetime warranty. For those that dabble in snowy winter riding, there is a kit, the Fattie, that will make your Brass Knuckles Fatbike compatible for another $19.95 USD.
If you are looking for some roof mounted racks for your steeds the RockyMounts Brass Knuckles should be on your shopping list.