Available Adapter to Fit Older Yakima Roof Mount Bike Racks on a 2016 Ford Explorer w/ Factory Bars


I have a 2016 Ford Explorer with factory cross bars. Have 1 model Yakima Viper fork mount can fit round or square cross bar and 1 Yakima model Steelhead fork mount can fit found cross bar. Are there any accessory options that will allow me to fit these two on the factory installed crossbars? It appears the Thule Ride on adapter might work for the Viper, but not sure for the round steelhead? Thanks.

Expert Reply:

The Thule Ride-On Adapter, # TH532, can allow you to attach your Yakima Viper rack to your vehicle if this bike rack can be mounted to square crossbars. However, if the SteelHead rack can only be mounted to round bars, then that rack cannot be mounted to the Thule Ride-On.

I contacted Yakima to see if they offered an adaptor that will allow the Viper and SteelHead bike racks to attach to the factory crossbars of the 2016 Ford Explorer. Unfortunately, they told me that there is no adapter that can attach to these racks that will attach to the factory crossbars.

Fork style mounts will not mount directly to factory crossbars. The bike mount gets its side to side stability from the crossbar. Fork mounts stress crossbars more that upright styles because of their narrowness. Through testing we have found that factory rack crossbars are not strong enough to handle the stress generated by fork mounts.

Being that both the Viper and SteelHead are now discontinued, it might be easier for you to upgrade to new bike racks that are compatible to your vehicle's crossbars.

I recommend the Yakima ForkLift Roof Bike Rack, # Y02098. This rack is designed to fit round, square, Aero, elliptical, and most factory crossbars. The rack will fit a crossbar spread between 16 to 42 inches. The factory bar must not be bigger than 3-7/8 wide x 1-7/8 tall for the this rack mount to the vehicle.

I have attached a video on the Yakima ForkLift for you to review.

expert reply by:
Jared P

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