Spotted: New RockyMounts Aerodynamic Upright Bike Rack


The new rack is easy to use and looks good, too.

Good looks, better gas mileage, and ease of use (especially for bikes with thru-axles) were the driving factors behind the design and engineering of the soon-to-be-released RockyMounts Brass Knuckles, an upright roof rack that will retail for $200 and be available starting in May.

The rack functions like most upright-style models on the market, utilizing a cradle, telescoping arm, tray and ratcheting plastic strap, which work in unison to keep your bike securely attached to the top of your car. Flexible patented rubber-coated steel straps fit any style of crossbar.

The rack’s name is a tongue-in-cheek homage to company founder Bobby Noyes’ New Jersey roots, where (wink, wink) brass knuckles are as common as bad hair and fake tans. The rack’s ergonomically shaped handle bears resemblance to the crude gangland weapon, but it’s not removable so thankfully that’s as far as the comparison goes. It does, however, make the arm-and-wheel hook easier to pull down when mounting your bike.

We got a sneak peek of the new rack during a recent product launch at RockyMounts headquarters in Boulder, Colorado, where new company president Bruno Maier explained the goal was to create a rack that looked cool on the top of your car or truck. The showroom model featured a bright blue handle. Expect at least a half dozen other color options when the rack becomes available in the spring.

“We’re extremely excited,” said Maier. “Our product team has done a fantastic job of designing and engineering an innovative bike rack that we feel is the best upright mount available.”

These brass knuckles aren’t brass, nor are they made for fighting.

The Brass Knuckles rack was engineered with aerodynamics in mind, and when stowed, RockyMounts claims that the 2-inch profile height is less than half that of the competition. The rack is compatible with wheels from 20”-29”, up to 2.7” wide. The company is also working on a fat bike adapter, but says that wont be available until next fall at the earliest.

The pivoting arm has been engineered to allow for efficient driver-side or passenger-side installation. The handle includes a non-pinching trigger and RockyMounts’ positive ratcheting engagement, which allows the wheel-hook to move in finer increments resulting in a more securely attached bike.

Other features include stackable contact pads that enable you to a level your bike even on crowned crossbars, and a secure locking system that locks the rack to your car and bike to the rack with Rocky Mounts lock cores. Two are required and they are sold separately.

For more information visit

About the author: Jason Sumner

An avid cyclist, Jason Sumner has been writing about two-wheeled pursuits of all kinds since 1999. He’s covered the Olympics, Tour de France, MTB world champs, and dozens of other international cycling events. He also likes to throw himself into the fray, penning first-person accounts of cycling adventures all over the globe. Sumner has also done extensive gear testing and is the author of the cycling guide book "75 Classic Rides: Colorado." When not writing or riding, the native Coloradoan can be found enjoying life with his wife Lisa and kids Cora and Tommy in and around their home in the MTB Mecca of Crested Butte.

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  • superfly says:

    Another Marketing BS! Better gas milage, how? Just cause it’s low profile? Any rack mounted behind a car is not affected as much as the one mounted on top of the car roof.

    • Val says:

      Exactly! I had a Honda car that got about 33mpg on the freeway. But put 2 bikes on top, and go 75-80 on the freeway, and it would drop to 22mpg! I now have a Hyudai Accent hatchback, and use a Thule Raceway 2 Platform rack, because my car has no receiver rack, but this lets me put the bikes behind the car, and I don’t have to take the wheels off. It’s much better on gas mileage this way as well, and I notice almost no loss of mpg this way.

      • Toad says:

        Oh, come on. I have a small 4-cylinder car as well, and the difference between having no bikes on top and having two bikes on top is nowhere near an 11 mpg difference. Going from a bare roof to an installed roof rack decreased my mpg by 1.5 – 2 mpg (with wind fairing). Putting 2 bikes on the rack decreases the mpg about another 5 mpg. I’ve calculated it many times.

        Now, all summed up, that’s ~7 mpg lost by having bikes on top of the car, which sucks. With a 12 gallon gas tank, that’s 84 miles less per tank, which is considerable. But it’s certainly not 132 miles lost per tank.

    • Toad says:

      They didn’t compare it to rear-mounted racks. They are comparing it to other roof rack-mounted, upright bike trays.

      Yes, lower profile = more aero = better gas mileage. In this particular case though, it’s most likely less than 1 mpg difference in relation to other racks…

  • xluossa says:

    So this is going to work with 29 leftys also? Is there any place in the europe resale this??

    • Jason Sumner says:

      It will work with any mountain bike, because you dont have to take the front wheel off. Not sure about European sales though. Will get back to you on that.

      • PinkFloydLandis says:

        “It will work with any mountain bike, because you dont have to take the front wheel off.”
        Jason, in my experience it isn’t quite that simple. On racks like these, the wheel arm is fixed into the “notch” between the fork crown and the tire. The Lefty forks can be quirky on such racks, because there is no crown, and not even a stanchion/lower on one side. As shown in the photos, I don’t think this rack will fit Leftys, at least not securely, unless the wheel arm can be removed and reinstalled on the opposite side of the tray (so it coincides with the Lefty fork shaft). Hopefully the designers anticipated this. Anyway . . . I think that is what xluossa was asking about in his comment.

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