Yakima SpeedKnob is used on several different hitch racks to secure the bike rack to the hitch receiver. It allows for tool-free attachment and locks to prevent theft. Once you get the hang of it, it can be pretty quick and easy to install and remove a hitch rack, but can introduce some confusion if you’re not familiar with it.
The SpeedKnob has evolved into a few different shapes, but operation is very similar across the board. The different variations of SpeedKnob are generally not interchangeable with each other - each rack has a specific replacement part.
Check out our video to see SpeedKnob in action, or read on below.
Video by Branden Vondrak
The common problem is that it can be difficult to tell whether the Yakima SpeedKnob is locked or unlocked. You can check the location of the indent of the lock cylinder, as shown below.
It is important to know that when “locked”, the knob spins freely without turning the threaded rod. This renders it unable to be removed once it is tightened down. During installation, the locked and unlocked positions may feel similar as the knob turns with little resistance. If it is locked, it will continue to spin, but if it is unlocked, it will eventually get tight as you start applying pressure to the wedge.
A few extra notes:
While removing the rack, the wedge can sometimes get stuck as you loosen the knob. A sharp smack on the SpeedKnob should free the wedge and allow the rack to be removed.
The SpeedKnob and wedge should not be used as the sole retention device of the rack. It is important to make sure the AutoPin is in position (for racks like the FullTilt) or that the safety pin is inserted from the side of the hitch receiver.
You may find that the SpeedKnob loosens slightly while driving, especially after first being installed. It’s a good idea to check the rack for tightness in the hitch receiver periodically, like at gas stops.
Have any other hitch rack tips or questions? Feel free to contact us and let us know!