How important are locks on roof rack?

I’ve never had them in the past and never worried much about losing a rack. But then I got to thinking about being in another state and having the roof rack stolen. Ugh.

I have two choices for feet and hangers (“fit kit”) for my new car: Used Thule parts without locks, or new Inno parts with locks for $100 more.

Important to me, since initial
cost is so high for towers, fit kit and bars.

I’m more concerned about

– Last Updated: Apr-02-14 9:15 PM EST –

getting stranded in a remote area with no way of getting my kayak home.

My previous rack was used and rusty so I figured no one would want it.

I guess you're saying the peace of mind is worth $100.

It’s worth it to me.
In addition to securing your rack to your vehicle, you can also lock you boat to the secured rack.

The locks are not very secure, but
on Yakima towers, the locks keeping the levers down will prevent impulsive messing around.

If I chose to leave the rack permanently on either of our Accords, I would surround the rack levers with Kevlar and epoxy.

There are other anti-theft strategies that might sound silly at first, but may often work. For example, get four different colors of Krylon, and paint each of the four towers a hideous flourescent color. Think someone will steal that rack, and go through the process of removing that ugly paint?

If you have expensive alloy wheels, and are tired of trying to find the little adapter whenever you have to change a tire, just pain part of each alloy wheel a different ugly color. What do you care what they look like? The real point of alloys is that they are lighter (better ride) and stronger.

My “usual” canoe is painted with ugly swatches of random colors, to cover vinyl gaps that expose the ABS to UV. Think someone will steal a canoe with an ugly, random paint job? Maybe not.

Rack and Strap Locks
Maybe I’m a belt and suspenders kind of guy, but I have locks on my rack and I use steel-belted locking straps. I can leave the boats on the roof overnight and not worry about them being there the next morning.

Not very secure
I’ve had two Yakima racks stolen and both had locks. All it takes is a flat head screwdriver to open them. It does help to keep rack secure for transport.

Zero important to me
Jack L

I depends on where you live
In some areas, roof rack theft has become an epidemic.

securing roof racks
I have always worried but reduced my worry by replacing the standard Thule knobs/nuts with stainless steel fiber lock nuts. They are difficult to remove and I think the grab and run is eliminated by having to use a wrench and spend time. Maybe a cost of $5.

Are you sure you bought the locks?
The Yakima locking inserts (cost about $15 each) can only be taken out with a key. The factory inserts can indeed be popped out with a screw driver but it ruins the lock insert.

I agree that locks only keep honest people honest.

Florida seems to be a bit of problem state for honesty.

When I kept the bars on the truck topper, they were always locked.

Later on I removed the bars, since it is easy to put them back on and relock all without any adjustment necessary.

Any system can be violated somehow, but every bit of extra work and time makes it less attractive to thieves. Why do you think they are thieves…they can’t be bothered to actually earn money legitimately to buy what they want. Most of them are probably drug addicts. And there are drug addicts everywhere.

I’ll bet I can extract a Yakima lock
with a knife or screwdriver. But since the levers holding the locks can be easily cut, the “security” of those locks, isn’t.

I’m on my fifth car with Yakimas. I’ve never considered them secure.

The security must go on the boat, using something that can’t be picked or tricked, that is thick enough to choke the largest bolt cutter, and that will gum up or greatly delay a battery powered cutting wheel.

I have never seen a rack or boat locking system that I couldn’t defeat within 40 minutes in my back yard. But some are deterrent enough that most thieves won’t attack them in a lighted motel parking lot.

Why focus on good security of the boat
to the rack, if the rack isn’t secure?

Because one may have to leave a boat
by itself, along a river or launch ramp.

Having something absolutely secure to which a boat can be locked, is seldom possible.

I would agree with anyone that Yakima’s system of locks is low security, and sometimes more trouble that it is worth.

But if I were to leave one of my most-valued boats where a secure lock down was not possible, I would still get a drain plug kit (Prijon a little better than Harmony, in my opinion) and install it, above the water line, where the drain plug can be removed and a cable or really aggressive bike lock can be installed.

I do recall that a few years ago, Kryptonite bike locks were discovered to be rather easily defeated. So one must talk to users of very expensive bikes to choose something. The hasp or U-bar must be resistant to grinding, large enough to choke a bolt cutter, and the lock should have good odds of defeating certain levering attacks. Fortunately, collegiate boat thieves aren’t as smart or knowledgeable as bicycle thieves.

When the lock isn’t in use, the drain plug closes the hole.

All this gets to seem more than is worth it, which is why I say, mar and discolor the boat in a way that thieves may not want it.

Yeah the point is to slow them down
I’m sure given enough time and paid by the hour any self respecting thief could get them off, the idea is to make them less palatable as a quick rip-off.

While standing at a bus stop in Ann Arbor late one night I watched a car thief steal a Volvo station wagon in 15 seconds. As I said above, locks just keep honest people honest.

Problem solved
I bought the Thule feet and a forum member offered me a set of locks. THANK YOU!!! And thanks for all the comments.

Talking about different lock types?

– Last Updated: Apr-03-14 10:42 PM EST –

If Beachcamper's Yakima locks are like mine, I sure wouldn't question if she actually had locks at all. The locks on my Yakima rack work by holding down the little lever that's used to adjust the clamping force which holds the crossbar clamp to the factory rack and the crossbar to the crossbar clamp (same tensioning mechanism for both). The fact that the locking inserts can only be removed with a key has nothing whatsoever to do with how easy it is to break the locking lever free so the rack can be disassembled. The lock grips the locking lever by means of an extremely flimsy plastic tab, and yes, anyone with a screwdriver could pop it open in a few seconds and begin disassembling the rack in short order. Sort of like locking your bike with an expensive padlock looped through a 50-cent chain.

Quite sure
I had locks and keys. I am not that stupid to not know the difference.

I have the Thule feet,
with locks , and with two of their fairly expensive Hullavators. I think I could pry off the locks in about five seconds with a medium sized, flat bladed screwdriver.

Hopefully some potential thief will be stupid enough to think they provide some added security.