20th November 2015 TESTED BY JUSTIN WALKER WHEN AG OUTDOOR'S SANTA Cruz 5010 long-term bike was finished being built the next step was sourcing a reliable bike transport set-up. Whispbar has a wide range of roof bars for vehicles, as well as bike-carrying systems (and watercraft systems) to suit. The WB201 is Whispbar’s bike carrier for those who don’t want to remove their bike’s wheels and promises users the capability to hold most bike shapes/sizes – 26, 27.5, 29er, roadies, etc. (excluding heavy downhill rigs) to the bars securely and with zero impact on the bike’s more fragile components. Fitting the Through Bars – and then the WB201 – was quite easy, mainly thanks to Whispbar’s Terry Smith personally doing the job. The WB201, in particular, is very easy to fit and/or take off the Whispbar thanks to “QuickDock” technology. The QuickDock clamp is a swivel-based system that ensures secure attachment to the bars. Speaking of the Through Bars, as the Whispbar brand name suggests, these things are quiet. I usually drive with the stereo loudly pumping out 70s/90s rock music (yeah, I know, very sad), but made a point of driving sans tunes for a few test runs and there is no noticeable wind noise from the racks – very impressive. The WB201 is also a standout. Fitting a bike to the rack is a simple process of lifting it up, aligning the wheels in the (fully adjustable via sliding) wheel/tyre holders, then lifting up the centre lever so you can move the frame clamp up to the desired position. This is when the clamp encloses the downtube fully. Then you push the centre lever back down and, as it closes and locks, it applies the exact amount of pressure the clamp needs to enclose the bike’s downtube securely (rather than having to dial in the pressure via a hand dial as per some other bike carrier set-ups). Then you can lock the centre lever and use the ratchet straps to secure the front and rear wheels, thus securing both the bike and the bike rack to the roof of your vehicle. This means no more lock cables threading around your bike’s frame and components. It is a clean-looking set-up that works brilliantly. After a big road trip (I recently raced in the Mont 24-hour at Kowen Forest, east of Queanbeyan) during which the bike was checked a few times by this nervous first-time, roof-mounted bike rack user, the bike and rack arrived at race team HQ still securely attached. Since that initial test, the WB201 has been used for other MTB road trips and worked flawlessly. The WB201 is very easy (and quick) to remove from the roof bars – thanks to the QuickDock system – but I have left it on there anyway. It is low enough when collapsed to not cause any garage-roof dramas, and is ready to have a bike fitted straight away when needed. The Through Bars and the WB201 are well constructed and I envisage many years service from both.