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Discussion Starter · #21 ·
I've been following this, and looking at the Yakima and Thule websites (and REI). I think I'm leaning towards the Yakima Skybox 12 with the Jetstream bars, although it kind of looks like every place everywhere is out of stock when it comes to so many of these kinds of things. I'm assuming Covid is to blame?
I noticed the same. Keep an eye on Facebook Marketplace, eBay, etc. I decided to go with Yakima Timberline feet + Jetstream 60 bars as well. The SkyBox will likely follow.
 

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Expecting to pick a 2021 Ascent Limited next weekend. I imagine that I'll eventually get an OEM hitch installed for a hitch-mounted bike rack, but for now, I have a RockyMounts Tomahawk (universal fit) for the roof.

I will want to add a cargo box soon for extra storage on long trips as well, so ideally, I'd like to fit a box + a single bike on the roof for right now.

Budget, bang-for-buck, aesthetics (I lean toward a more rugged look), noise, security, and gas mileage are all factors. What would you do?

Are OEM Aero bars enough (do not lock but hard to remove w/ star wrench)? Should I make the leap to Subaru-sold Thule Aero Extended bars (for width and lock)? Another option?
I have the same ascent and pull things a lot. Get the factory installed hitch, actually a better price than aftermarket and it comes with multiple different wiring outlets. So easy to use. It actually was a better price than my local hitch shop.
 

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2021 Subaru Ascent Touring CWP
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I have the Yakama system with the Core bars which are more aero than the round bars but less than the aluminum Aero bars. I use Thule Hullavators that require the bars to extend beyond the towers by a certain amount. I bought the Core bars extra long and then cut them to the length I needed.
I agree with the Hullavator bars over the factory aero bars if installing a single bike mount and a cargo carrier.
 

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although it kind of looks like every place everywhere is out of stock when it comes to so many of these kinds of things. I'm assuming Covid is to blame?
I know the bike industry is strong right now and the higher end bikes are hard to come by for a lot of shops due to part shortages for higher end components from what is said in the bike news. Maybe with the boom in bikes required a boom in racks to transport them.
 

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The other thing to factor in with the roof racks is getting up there. If it’s just the cargo box it’s no big deal. Feet on the tire. It is a pain to try to one arm a bike to the bike tray though. We’ve been using a Rubbermaid 3 step but it needs to sit diagonal in the back. We just bought a Jumbo Little Giant 3 step ladder to replace it. Fits straight front to back now. Hopefully, it will be easier to pack with the ladder now.
 

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The other thing to factor in with the roof racks is getting up there. If it’s just the cargo box it’s no big deal. Feet on the tire. It is a pain to try to one arm a bike to the bike tray though. We’ve been using a Rubbermaid 3 step but it needs to sit diagonal in the back. We just bought a Jumbo Little Giant 3 step ladder to replace it. Fits straight front to back now. Hopefully, it will be easier to pack with the ladder now.
The biggest part of the boom was most public places were shutdown because of the pandemic so people had to find alternatives for entertainment. I suggest anyone and everyone to look at the rate of increase for RV sales, camping memberships, sport shooting memberships, memberships to places such as REI as well. Just look at stock prices for outdoor gear stores. They all saw spikes in online sales that more than offset retail purchases. I’ve been studying the economics more for personal reasons for my investment portfolio but I’ve seen so many trends that correlate across different markets. When all the unemployment stuff was passed after the shutdowns people had a lot of time off and I saw increased spending, then again after the first wave of stimulus checks. Quite remarkable how the markets didn’t die but merely shifted.
 

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I was able to move my Yakima setup from my 2011 Forester to our 2019 Ascent with minimal adjustments. The rails are the same shape on both, so the railgrabbers worked fine. I have 72" round crossbars and commonly tote two canoes.
 

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I was able to move my Yakima setup from my 2011 Forester to our 2019 Ascent with minimal adjustments. The rails are the same shape on both, so the railgrabbers worked fine. I have 72" round crossbars and commonly tote two canoes.
We were going to do that too taking the racks from our Honda Pilot to the Ascent. However, I didn’t want to run a fairing on the Ascent to minimize rack noise. We also couldn’t get the front crossbar far enough forward for the fairing to clear the moonroof. So, we gave the aero type of crossbars a go. I did like how the old way of attaching the feet to the rails, it seems a lot cleaner than the strap type of feet that Yakima went with.
 

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got the OEM aerobars when i purchased my 2021 Ascent. it is fine for just a cargo box. I'm looking at getting a hitch installed with an eye to the new Yakima Exo system for more bike/storage options down the road. Pretty pricey, but really flexible and I figure I'll add pieces over time. Exo
 

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I've been researching crossbars lately, and just discovered that the front and back of the roof rails are different widths apart. Maybe that was obvious to some of you, but I had no idea, and was confused when the Yakima site recommended 2 different sizes. I was looking at both Yakima and Thule for their versions of the Subaru Aero style, but also just discovered that at around $200 on the Subaru website (if that's for the pair, not just 1 bar, they aren't super clear about that) then the Yakima ones that are similar are over twice as much $! Am I understanding that right? And if that is correct, are the Yakima bars (or the Thules) really better enough to be worth that much? Just wondering, since a lot of people on this site seem to know a lot about these. Thanks!
 

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Discussion Starter · #33 ·
I've been researching crossbars lately, and just discovered that the front and back of the roof rails are different widths apart. Maybe that was obvious to some of you, but I had no idea, and was confused when the Yakima site recommended 2 different sizes. I was looking at both Yakima and Thule for their versions of the Subaru Aero style, but also just discovered that at around $200 on the Subaru website (if that's for the pair, not just 1 bar, they aren't super clear about that) then the Yakima ones that are similar are over twice as much $! Am I understanding that right? And if that is correct, are the Yakima bars (or the Thules) really better enough to be worth that much? Just wondering, since a lot of people on this site seem to know a lot about these. Thanks!
The OEM Subaru aero ones (SOA843X040) can be found from $150-200. They don't lock or extend past the rails and can be used only on Subarus.

The OEM Subaru extended aero ones (SOA567X010) [made by Thule] can be found from $400-500. They lock and extend past the rails and can still be used only on Subarus.

Thule and Yakima setups can be found from $350-upward and have options to lock, extend past rails, and fit on other vehicles. [I'm including the feet/towers you need with these bars in this price.]

*all of these prices are for a pair of bars
 

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I believe some crossbars of different companies that do not adjust at the connection do come in two different bar sizes for a particular vehicle. Some vehicles taper smaller towards the rear.
Yakima recommends the medium but you can do the large if you need to fit more along the crossbar if needed. I believe the Thule are a little longer.
11539
 

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I went with the Subaru Aero crossbars over getting something more expensive that could lock. I'm glad I did because for my use with a basket (Rhino Rack X-Tray) the basket ends up covering the bolts holding the crossbars making them inaccessible unless someone has the hex wrench to also detach the basket attachment points.
 

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I can highly recommend my Yakima set-up which is really flexible - as others have noted, a longer crossbar allows you to shift mounts outward to fit more on the rack as shown in the attached pic. I picked up the Skybox 12 cargo box which is longer and skinnier - allows me to fit a surfboard or SUP at the same time. Got all of these from REI during one of their regular 20% off sales - totally the way to go especially if you also have an REI credit card for even more $ back.
  • Yakima Timberline Towers
  • Yakima 60" JetStream Bars
  • Yakima Skybox 12 Carbonite
  • Yakima SUPDawg
View attachment 11452
So, this is exactly the setup I’m interested in. I have the Yakima rail bar mounted though, and I can’t tell from the photo whether you are needing to mount any of the clamps outside of the side rails? Or if you can adjust where on the supdawg the clamps are? Thanks!
 
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