Linda – August 11, 2013
"The very best thing about my Switchblade is that it's super easy to switch out my gear attachments from one season to the next."
My Saab 9-3X wagon looks all the more stylish with the streamlined set of Switchblade crossbars that have been attached to the roof for the past few years. That time includes two snowy winters and the bars still look like brand new with no signs of corrosion at all. The very best thing about my Switchblade is that it's super easy to switch out my gear attachments from one season to the next. Just a few weeks ago it took less than five minutes to switch out the ski racks that had been attached and replace them with a roof box that we'll use for summer travel. And the storage unit makes it easy to hang the ski racks in the garage ready for use again next year.
Thanks for developing such a great solution for those of us who play multiple sports and need different roof rack attachments to carry the gear from place-to-place!
Mike Wolf – August 11, 2013
"I took my board rack off and had my two bike racks on and locked in under 5 minutes. Took that long partially because I stopped to talk to my neighbor."
Ok, so I'm a SoFlo native whom, at age 26, moved to Denver. In South Florida almost nobody has hard racks compared to this part of the country. I had only ever had to use soft racks that sit right on the roof for my surfboards. Used ‘em for years. Very simple.
When I was preparing to move west I realized that jumping into the world of roof rack purchases, set-up, and systems could become pretty mind boggling there for a minute. And none of the systems seemed to be able to swap out attachments without a good bit of doing. That seemed like a pretty serious consumption of time, and being used to living where the swell may only be around for a couple hours, I understand that sense of urgency one gets when they are getting stoked to ride out.
That's when I came across Wasatch Powder Monkey's SwitchBlade™ crossbars. Holy cow! What a concept. Why hasn't anyone else thought of this? It will interface with most major brands in the game already. These include Thule, Yakima, and Inno so you're guaranteed to be able to fit any attachment you can think of. I actually use Rocky Mounts myself. Works great. I took my board rack (the LiftOp Medium) off and had my two bike racks (both Pitchforks) on and locked in under 5 minutes. Took that long partially because I stopped to talk to my neighbor.
The customer service is pretty jammin' too. I messaged the customer service email with some questions and got a response that day within a few hours from Chief Powder Monkey himself, Tom Vollbrecht. This guys is awesome. I was in a real time crunch and he made himself available, even giving me his direct phone number, to help me get the parts I needed from Park City, Utah to West Palm Beach, Florida and on my car in time to meet my departure date. He was able to answer all my questions, at times explaining an installation step or two over the phone for a couple minutes.
The SwitchBlade crossbars and their locking system on these aerodynamic blades are reliable and nice to look at too. Definitely a bit of a different look than most systems I see. But the bottom line is that you're going to be using an excellent, efficient, versatile, reliable product from an excellent, efficient, versatile, reliable group of people who love to peddle trails, shred pow, and paddle their hearts out just as much as you do. You can't go wrong!
Oh and one last thing. If you need an adaptor that they don't currently manufacture or carry, they will work with you and even fabricate it for you if necessary. That's what we had to do when I got a larger set of board racks.
Big thanks to Tom and the rest of the Wasatch Powder team!
Zac Peeler – August 11, 2013
"Super stylish, durable, and quiet."
I've got a pair of SwitchBlade™ crossbars on my Toyota Tacoma and they are great! Super stylish, durable, and quiet. The mounting system is so convenient that I prefer using it over legacy rack systems. I accidentally drove into a parking garage and left my bike mounts on the top of my truck. OUCH! I was bummed because I ruined the legacy bike racks but the smart cross bars system held and still work perfectly. Thanks Wasatch Powder Monkeys! I'd recommend these to anyone!
Kyle Crawford – August 11, 2013
"The SwitchBlade crossbar system is an excellent piece of equipment and I have recommended it without reservation to everyone I know that needs a roof rack."
I purchased my SwitchBlade™ system (crossbars, mounts of ski rack, (2) bike racks, wall mount for ski rack and bike racks) in Nov 2012 to fit on my new BMW X3. Purchase was for use with two bikes or some skis. At the same time that I purchased the crossbars, I purchased new Thule foot podiums for use with the crossbars, a new Thule skis pack and (2) new Thule bike racks. This review covers daily driving with the rack, approximately (20) uses with the bikes, approximately (25) uses with the ski rack – to include a 2,000 mile trip to ski in Colorado.
General: The SwtichBlades are well made and very nice. The color (dark grey) is great and matches everything without being boring black. There is obvious attention to detail in the construction of the crossbars. The system works by unlocking and then rotating the left end cap of the front crossbar counter-clockwise to allow the attachment to slide into the notch on the front crossbar, you then rotate the end cap clockwise to lock the attachment in. There is a total of 5 notches in the crossbar, so you have your choice of where to place each attachment. The rear crossbar has 5 notches as well, but it does not have a locking mechanism – the notches just keep the attachment from sliding around. The locking mechanism is solid and keeps the attachment in place securely. When rotating the end cap to lock the attachment into the front crossbar, my end cap does not line up perfectly – it ends up being just barely out of alignment, but securely locks the attachment into place.
Installation: I initially installed the system with a wide distance between the two crossbars, which worked fine, but blocked a portion of the giant sunroof on the X3. I later moved the front crossbar back to coincide with a structural bar in the roof of the X3, which is where it sits now – the bars are approximately 35" apart and fairly far back on the vehicle. Installation took a few hours, mostly due to my ensuring that the rack was tight and would not go anywhere. Install can be annoying, especially ensuring that the crossbars are on the same plane/parallel with each other. I did the entire install on my own, but it would have been much easier with someone else to help. After moving the front crossbar back to its current location, I have not made any adjustments. I have checked the bars a few times to ensure the screws didn't come loose and they are still tight and perfect.
Driving without attachments: My wife or I drive the X3 on a daily basis and have put approximately 11,000 miles on the car since the installation of the SwtichBlades. The system does create some wind noise, but not an extremely significant amount. Fuel economy is slightly affected too, it seems that our overall average decreased by about 0.5-1 MPG after install of the crossbars – this is quite a bit better than the other brands of crossbars, which average 1-2 MPG decrease without attachments and quite a bit more with attachments. The crossbars look clean and fit with the overall nature of the car. We have gotten quite a few compliments on them and please always seem to be asking about them.
Skis: Attaching the ski rack is quick and easy – it takes about 60 from the time that I remove the ski rack from the wall to the time that it is locked safely on the roof. The ski rack hangs on the wall of the garage out of the way and it is super clean and effective. We drove to Colorado from California, approximately 1,000 miles each way with skis in the rack. During the drive, we drove up to 90 mph and there was no problem.
Bikes: On a daily basis, we store our bikes on the Thule bike carriers hanging on the wall. When we want to go somewhere, I just pull the entire bike (with the bike still attached to the bike carrier) off the wall and slide it onto the crossbars. Time to get both bikes from the wall mounts to the roof rack is approximately 2 minutes. I've driven up to 85 mph with the bikes on the roof and no problems.
Durability: Some of the small set-screws have developed a minor bit of rust, but nothing that concerns me. The end caps for the crossbars are not incredibly tight and I can easily pull them off with my hand, but they do not seem to be vulnerable to flying off while driving.