A while back we made ourselves some DIY fork mounts for the back of the van. They worked well for our bikes with quick-release front wheels. When we got bikes with 110mm through axles, we upgraded the fork mounts too.
Although they worked fine, they never felt truly sturdy with the bigger bikes. With only a single stud mounting point to the l-track they can turn from side to side, which is sometimes handy to stop two bikes’ handlebars from touching, but is also not so good if it happens when you don’t intend it to.
We experimented with bolting a piece of super-strut between the strips of l-track in the back. That worked, but made sliding anything in and out of the back of the van much harder.
Recently we were contacted by FreedomCoast, who make fork mount and wheel clamp style bike racks for vans and trucks.
They sent us a fork mount to evaluate, and now we’re planning on buying another one. Here’s why.
- These mounts are solid. Nicely machined from aluminum, then anodized. They appear to be built as strong as bike suspension rocker arms.
- The build quality and finish is very high. The thumb screw turns really smoothly. There are no machining marks. The design seems to be well thought through.
- Most importantly, the clamping mechanism spans three studs width in the l-track, so there’s no chance for the mount to turn unintentionally.
Because the mount doesn’t turn in the l-track, you need another way to avoid the problem of bike handlebars clashing because they end up at the same height. Luckily you can change the position of the clamping point by rotating the whole top part of the fork mount backwards or forwards on the base.
What bikes will it work for?
The fork mount comes with one set of adapters. You can choose between
- 9×100 (quick release skewers)
- 12×100 road disk
- 15×100 through axle
- 15×110 boost
- 20×110 DH boost
The adapters are held firmly in place with o-rings that sit in machined grooves. It takes a little force to pull them out, but they are still easy enough to swap by hand.
What would we change about these FreedomCoast fork mounts?
- They may be a little tall for some situations if you don’t have the room to swivel them forwards or backwards from their default upright position, but that’s not an issue for most people.
- They aren’t cheap – there are cheaper options out there if you’re prepared to DIY – but we think the price is fair for the amount of work in each fork mount and the overall quality and sturdiness of the build.
- The only addition we’d make is a place to store the 6mm Allen wrench we need to tighten and loosen our through-axles.
Overall, a great fork clamping solution
Everything else about the fork mount is just a pleasure to work with. When the mount arrived, it sat on my desk for a day before I installed it and I have to admit I was using it like a fidget toy for a while.
The finish is gorgeous, the clamping mechanism runs smoothly, the interchangeable adapters fit in with a satisfying amount of friction, and there’s a certain solidity to the whole item. It’s almost a shame it’s relegated to the back of the van where we’ll seldom see it.
Leave your wheels on instead
Freedom Coast also make a wheel clamp style rack that clamps into l-track. It would be perfect for the back of a truck, or for a Sprinter build where you can leave both wheels on the bike inside the van. I’ve got to say, there’s even more machined aluminum to drool over in these racks than in the fork mounts!
Disclaimer: We received a free evaluation product from Freedom Coast. We were under no obligation to write a review, or to say nice things about their product. However, it turned out to be a pretty awesome piece of kit.
3 Replies to “New fork mount bike rack for our L-track”
Thanks for the write up. Not much info out there on these and their site even less. They are unresponsive to my inquiries about the axle centerline heights in the high and low position above the mount base, which is kind of important info when trying to figure a bed height in a van to fit your bike. Do you happen to know this?
Brian, based on my quick measurements in the high position, the axle centerline is about 4-1/2″ above the base. In the lowest position, it’s about 1″ above the base, and obviously also offset from the base by around 3″.