JetLine vs. TieRod
RockyMounts replaced the JetLine we tested with a newer version called the TieRod. Many characteristics of the two racks are the same, but the TieRod has the capability to function with most factory crossbars. Below, see the JetLine in the first photo, followed by the updated version, the TieRod. We're now linking to the new model in this review. Be aware, however, that the review below pertains only to the JetLine.
Hands-On Review of the JetLine
The RockyMounts JetLine is a roof mount rack that relies on the tried-and-true fork clamp design. It requires removal of the front wheel but offers very secure attachment. With the ability to install on round, square, aero and many factory crossbars it is a great roof rack option.
Ease of Everyday Use
The JetLine matches the excellent ergonomics and ease of use of the Top Pick Kuat Trio. Loading bikes requires removing the front wheel, but front wheel removal reduces the height that the bike must be lifted for loading. The fork dropouts are set on the 9mm quick release rod of the JetLine, and the bike is steadied with one hand.
The quick release lever can be adjusted to accommodate fork dropouts of varying thicknesses by turning the handle like a screwdriver, right to tighten, and left to loosen. The handle is then turned down 90 degrees, securely clamping the fork in place. A ratcheting strap slides the entire length of the tray to accommodate different wheelbase lengths and is used to secure the rear wheel. The tray is 45" long. For use on a hatchback when it opens, the needed length from the front crossbar, to the hatchback when open is 48.5".
The RockyMounts JetLine uses a ratcheting strap to secure the rear wheel.
Photo: Curtis Smith
The JetLine employs a cutout on the non-drive side of the tray to allow for clearance of front disc brake calipers.
The RockyMounts JetLine has a cutout in the tray for clearance of disc brake calipers.
Photo: Curtis Smith
Lifting bicycles to the level of the roof is the number one ergonomic issue that all roof racks face. Heavy bikes, high vehicle roof heights, and the height of the user are all factors that must be considered. Fork mount racks do not require the bike to be lifted as high as other roof rack designs, but lifting can still be challenging.
Ease of Removal and Storage
The JetLine was not designed to be taken on and off frequently.
Most roof rack users tend to leave their racks on the roof most of the time. We tend to take ours off when the seasons change, and it is time to swap out the bikes for skis. To remove the JetLine, you will need a 4mm Hex wrench. Two bolts secure the front clamp to the crossbar, and these must be removed to release the clamp. The rear clamp is removed by unthreading the hand turn bolt that secures the plastic clamp. It is a pain to take the JetLine on and off, but it doesn't take up much room and is easily stored in the corner of the garage.
This bike rack is a versatile option if you are looking for a fork mount roof rack. It can be used with round, square and many factory crossbars. Weight capacity is adequate at 35lbs for most bikes, but the Kuat Trio can handle bikes up to 45lbs. The JetLine will hold any bike with standard 9mm quick release dropouts, and it can be retrofitted with the Drive Shaft Thru Axle Adapter from RockyMounts, which allows the JetLine to carry 12mm, 15mm or 20mm through axle equipped bikes, and is lockable, unlike the adapters available from Yakima. Our highest scoring roof mount rack the Kuat Trio can carry bikes with thru-axle systems right out of the box. The JetLine securely holds bikes, even in strong crosswinds, and doesn't make contact with the frame, preserving your bike's paint.
Ease of Assembly
We found assembly and attachment of the JetLine to be relatively easy.
The directions provided by RockyMounts are easy to read and make attachment relatively painless. It is not quite as simple as the Yakima ForkLift for installation, requiring a 4mm hex key.
The RockyMounts Jetline is secured to the vehicle with 2 hex bolts and comes with a wrench to accomplish the task.
Photo: Curtis Smith
The front crossbar clamp is ready to fit either square or round crossbars, right out of the box. Two 4mm Hex bolts drop through the top of the clamp and thread into the bottom portion of the clamp. The two-piece skewer is then inserted into the clamp and the two ends thread together by hand. The rear clamp comes ready for round crossbars; if you are using square crossbars, a small plastic plug needs to be removed before installation. For factory crossbars and aero-shaped bars, a different lower clamp is utilized, which is included with the rack.
The rear clamp of the JetLine can accommodate a round or square bar.
Photo: Curtis Smith
A carriage bolt slides into the tray and is threaded through the rear clamp and secured by hand with a large wing nut. We would not want to take this rack on and off frequently, but installation is reasonable and requires only a 4mm hex key that most cyclists carry with them anyway.
The JetLine doesn't come with lock cylinders, but they can be purchased from RockyMounts.
With the addition of lock cylinders, the JetLine is quite secure. One lock cylinder is required to lock the rack to the vehicle when not in use, and another locks the quick release skewer in place once a bike is loaded. The rear wheel is vulnerable to theft, as it could be removed from the bike while the bike is locked in the rack; a cable lock can be used to secure the rear wheel for added security. We would like to see lock cores included with the model, but given the exceptionally low price of the JetLine, we aren't complaining.
The JetLine is almost entirely constructed of metal, the only exception being the rear crossbar clamp and the ratcheting rear wheel strap. The quality construction and materials bode well for long-term durability, with very few moving parts limiting the likelihood of mechanical malfunction. We had no issues with durability during our testing, and we doubt you will either.
If you already have round, square, aero or factory crossbars on your vehicle, or plan to install them, then the JetLine is a great option. We recommend roof racks for cars with low roof heights to limit excessive overhead lifting. It will securely hold any bike with standard 9mm fork dropouts and can carry other axle standards such as 15mm and 20mm through-axles with the addition of adaptors. The clamping mechanism eliminates frame contact, keeping your paint and frame in pristine condition. Great for road bikes and lighter mountain bikes; you cannot go wrong for $140.
The JetLine is the winner of our Best Buy award and presents an excellent value. For $140 you'll be hard-pressed to find a better rack for the money. The JetLine has all of the features and functionality of the Yakima Forklift but costs $50 less. Versatility, ease of use, and excellent construction make the JetLine a great buy for $140.
Winner of our Best Buy award, the JetLine
is a great low price option, but the rack looks anything but cheap. Our testers love this model; it's simple and easy to use and provides a secure, stable way to transport most bikes. With the lack of moving parts and quality construction, it may outlast your vehicle.