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Hitch racks Thule Vs. Yakima

Discussion in 'Downhill & Freeride' started by Pegboy, Apr 7, 2009.

  1. Pegboy Active Member

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    I need a 2" receiver rack and am wondering if any body has any feedback, mostly on the Yakima. I know most people use the Thule T2 and have heard it is a solid system but I can get the Yakima for just over $300 on sale. I don't want to loose a $3000+ DH bike by trying to save $50, so I am wondering if the Yakima is on par with the T2.

    http://www.ems.com/catalog/product_...4442599106&FOLDER<>folder_id=2534374302882823
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  2. Jim Mac Active Member

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    I Don't have the holdup, but I do run the Yakima Stickup - less expensive option, I believe - run it on my Suburu 1" 1/4 hitch with 2 DH bikes and have had no problems at all. It is probably at its weight limit, though.
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  3. Fleawest New Member

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    The Yakima Holdup is on par with the T2. For the most part all yakima products have an equivalent Thule product in terms of quality and functionality. Thule is more popular and if you are looking to resell it in the future you will probably find it easier to sell the Thule system. One main advantage to buying Thule products is the ability to use one key for all of your Thule accessories. But you will pay extra for the locks. The specific Yakima rack you are looking at comes with a cable lock included in the price and should be good to go out of the box.
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  4. syadasti i heart mac

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    An important warning about the T2 - I personally know two people who carry DH bikes who have had the rack fail at the crossbrace. I no longer use a T2 myself - I have a Holdup and with v2 shipping in about a week there is really no reason to consider a T2 at all.

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  5. FlipFantasia Active Member

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  6. ridiculous New Member

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    Not to derail but has anyone had any issues with the yakima rack with the 2 bike extender?

    My yakima has developed alot of play in it over the 2 years ive had it. Alot of it was due to slop in the hitch, but I have since shimmed that and its still a bit wobbly through the bumps and gravel road. Its not bad but can be unnerving when looking through the rear view mirror. I want the capability to carry 4 bikes but wondering if i should reconsider.
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  7. syadasti i heart mac

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    If you are looking for long term use with heavier bikes its probably not the best option. If you read the fine print most tray racks cannot handle 4 DH/FR bikes without hitting their recommended weight limits - that goes for Thule, Yakima, Saris, etc on their premium tray racks. I've never seen the NS racks in person, perhaps they are better for 4 bike loads.
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  8. jmvar Member

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    "It was a funny angle!"
    I am running the Thule T2 with bike extender and use it on decent shuttle roads. Some pot holes but nothing crazy. I have had it for almost 2 years and it is getting somewhat sloppy. I ALWAYS run a thick cable with heavy duty lock through the frames to the hitch just in case.

    The one from north shore racks looks really nice, but I would like something that swings away from the vehicle with 4 DH bike capability.

    I will probably run my Thule for another year and try to design and build something myself to my specs.

    - 4 DH bike capability
    - ability to tilt down
    - ability to swing away from vehicle

    Have to learn to weld first though.
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  9. bullcrew New Member

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    If your running bigger bikes and up to 4 I'd look at saris cyclon pro I have had 3.
    1 I sold, 1 got rear ended at 40mph and sorta survived aside of the stinger being bent and now the insurance co is paying me for it so ill be buying a new one.
    I have hauled up to 4 40lb + bikes countless miles and hauled mine literally thousands of miles and fire roads 4x4 roads etc and never close to losing a bike
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  10. syadasti i heart mac

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    I had a Saris Cycle On Pro but would not recommend it over the T2 or Holdup. The Saris is only more desirable in a situation when you have a spare tire or giant bumper to clear as it sticks way out and is not an option for vehicles with minimal ground clearance - you'll bottom out like crazy in transitions. My friend has bottomed his a few times and his car has decent ground clearance at the hitch (Ford Explorer). It also has more issues with bike interference due to tray spacing, and the 2 bike add-on has a weight limit of 35 lbs/bike. Its amazing how many people can't read :D




    It does not tilt down, but a company is aiming to make a swing away tray design. I don't know if they've released their rack yet but they've had ads in Bike for several issues now...

    http://www.mweracks.com/

    http://mweracks.blogspot.com/

    Last edited: Apr 7, 2009
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  11. buildyourown Active Member

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    Personally, go with the Thule. I've used both, and I am underwhelmed by the yak. I have lots of Yak products, but the Holdup falls short IMO. The bikes are too close together and too close to the car. The bars hit my back window when you hit a bump. Also, with 3 DH bikes and 1 XC bike, the rack sags in a scary way.
    The fold up feature is a joke. The T2 has a linkage and a latch so one person can simply pull the handle and lift. The Holdup requires 2 people. One person to pull and reinstall a pin, and another to lift the stupid heavy rack. Fail.
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  12. syadasti i heart mac

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    I've not just used but owned all three. The T2 is actually closer to the car than the Holdup when compared on the same vehicle:

    The Holdup actually has more even space than the hookup:

    The Saris has the most clearance but it has the most bike to bike interference issues - I have not had any yet with my Holdup. On the Saris often I had to run the bikes both facing the same direction to fit due to the spacing.

    As I mentioned above, the Holdup has been redesigned and is shipping it a week without the other complaints you mentioned. On the T2 you have to remove a pin to tilt it down, it sounds like the new Yakima has folding up and tilting down with a spring loaded bolt system - no more pins at all to deal with period.

    The only thing I can give the T2 is that the 4-bar pivot setup is better than the Holdup or Saris but the holdup has better ground and bumper clearance than the T2 and is most compact of any in its stowed position.

    This is what you get with long term use with DH bikes on the T2:shocked:

    Last edited: Apr 7, 2009
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  13. syadasti i heart mac

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  14. DJColdwater New Member

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  15. davep New Member

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    That pic is of Luc's rack and the only one that I have seen/heard of that did that. Scary for sure, but it seems VERY isolated. You mentioned another incident, is it someone you know? Pics?

    There are LOT of sportworks/thule T2 racks around these parts due to SW being local, and a poineer in this catagory. My T2 is from just prior to the Thule deal (4 y.o??) and is still working perfectly (a bit of rust in places as it is on the car year 'round). It has only two mounts on it normally but I have a third tray for longer road trips. It only hauls 40# DH bikes and I had a 2" custom hitch made for my car as the 1 1/4 is pretty limited. The pin can be removed at any time and is not needed for the rack to function. If you lower the rack a lot, just remove the pin....then it is simple as pulling the lever.

    I am certainly not saying that the the tule cannot be improved upon (like all of these racks), but IMO it has a great feature set, the linkage design is superior, and as mentioned above, I have only ever seen or heard of Luc's rack failing....YMMV
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  16. syadasti i heart mac

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    Yes it's Luc and the other person is Brady but I don't think he ever posted photos of his. Luc isn't using a T2 anymore. Brady still does but he modified his.

    I too have been using Sportworks products through all their generations. I had one of their first generation ratcheting arms fail on me on the first revision of the bob ratchet and dumped my bike on the freeway at speed. Lucky for me it did not damage my car much (there were some small dents) or bike and no other cars were involved. Sportworks paid me $400 for the failure and gave me two new bob ratchets which I used.

    I've also had to use Thule customer support many times on the various T2 I've assembled (mine and friends) as some of the pre-assembled parts were hamfisted together by whom ever they hire to do it - stripped bolts were not uncommon and one of the wheel wells was defective. Since Thule bought them, they've made several revisions to them - the addition of the locks, the cheapening of the wheelstraps, and the wheel wheels have had some variations.

    Not a good record if you and two of your friends two have failures (and various quality control issues) all from the same company - what are the odds that all three would have issues if it was just a freak problem:monkey:
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  17. buildyourown Active Member

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    Well, then it must just be that the Yak is a flimsy POS, because I've never had issues with my T2 and I had my bars hit my back window 3 times on 1 trip with the Yak.
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  18. syadasti i heart mac

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    The trays are adjustable to a degree forward/backward and side to side on the T2 so that's more likely why you had better clearance. With any rack you are supposed to check for potential interference issues when you first install/use them - user error/ADD has nothing to do with product quality :clapping:
    #18
  19. Yukonrider New Member

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    T2's Don't break. I have beat the living piss out of two separate ones. One with the 4bike, and one T2. The only problem with the 4 bike (on my 4runner at least, where the hitch hangs low) Is that it will scrape if you have any significant departure angle (say if you enter a gas station with a lot of speed) But It wont break

    Folded up they wont break if you accidentally use it as a rear skid plate, putting half the weight of your car on it. But if you are trying to yank someone out of mud, fold it out, or it will 'break'

    And if you don't over tighten the straps, they wont break even if you 'accidentally' get some air on your way to or from a trail. (but if you have them strapped too tight, they will break, and the bike will hop off, not entirely, just the back wheel)

    Me and all my stupid friends have T2's and have done stupid things to them, and they keep going. Only thing is sometimes the trays the front wheels go in will break, and swivel around, but you can put a bolt through it, or call Thule and they will send you a new one.

    Edit: more on the question, one of my friends had the Yakima, and got rid of it for the T2, and says he will never go back, not sure why though.

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  20. J New Member

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    I have an older Sportworks T2, one of my buddies just got the Yakima version and my other buddy has the newer Thule T2. All three of us agree mine is the easiest to load bikes and swing down and up against the car. In my opinion the Yakima one has a crappy pivot area. You have to hold the rack in the right spot while you throw a pin through the rack to lock in position. This can be difficult with the weight of loaded bikes. On mine (and the newer T2) there is that simple four bar linkage with a lever to change the rack position. Super easy and solid. The reason we like mine better when compared to the newer Thule T2 is because of the rear wheel strap. My rack always holds onto the straps whereas on the newer T2 the straps can get pulled too far and fall off. There is also a simpler and quicker tightening mechanism on my old T2.

    Like someone mentioned already, the plastic trays on the T2's do crack. (I've had mine for just about 4 years and just cracked my first one). I just fixed it with a melting gun and it's working like new. However, that is good to know that Thule is giving out replacement trays!
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  21. bullcrew New Member

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    Thule t2 is 40 max on 4 bikes and 50 on 2 so 5lbs on the 4 isnt much difference.
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  22. syadasti i heart mac

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    You didn't read that right (your link is wrong too as the url tag should be used, not img - fixed it for you in the quote). Its 60 lbs max per bike on two trays with 2" hitch and 60 lbs max per bike on 1.25" w/100 lbs total for the smaller hitch size. The 2 bike add-on only works with 2" and brings you max load up to 160 lbs total:

    As I said earlier in the thread any of these tray racks will be be pushing the limit if you are carrying 4 FR/DH bikes - its not a good idea. None recommend off-roading either but there are lots of people who don't read the instructions and pay for it later. They will and do break - even under normal proper use like the T2.
    Last edited: Apr 7, 2009
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  23. jackalope Mental acuity - 1%

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    FWIW, I have a T2 with the extender, and I have carried 4 DH bikes on several long trips (numerous 3-4 hour jaunts, and once from NC to Diablo) and have not had a problem. Quite frankly, the main issue that I have is my car (Honda Element) sags a ton with 4 on the back, so I have to be careful over speed bumps and/or steep transitions. I've never found the vehicle difficult to steer, or experienced any destroyed/damaged suspension components (for the car that is), but that pic of the top hanger failing is sobering. I would be curious to hear the exact details of that incident. :shocked:

    Anyway, I have had a great experience with mine (in fact, it's been hit 2 twice in minor car accidents, and I just needed new hangers), altho I will say I prefer to just carry 3 bikes on it.
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  24. Acadian Born Again Newbie

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    I had TWO hitch racks fail. the first was a sportworks - the retaining arm welds cracked.



    the T2 was a replacement for the sportworks and that one failed miserably as you can tell by the picture Josh posted.

    I'll never use a Thule hitch rack ever again..
    #24
  25. JR. GANGSTA New Member

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    I have the Yakima rack with the extension and it has a lot of play in it and moves around a ton. It moves almost 2.5 inches up and down and 2 inches side to side. Even with only 2 bikes on it i get nervous seeing it move around that much. plus when people that don't have experience with the rack put their bikes on, they tend to try and crank down the back wheel ratchet like you would with a snowboard binding and the plastic breaks, so now they are all stripped out. From my experiences I would highly recommend the thule over the yakima.
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  26. Kntr Active Member

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    I have one of the first Sportworks racks like the T2. Its seen 1000s and 1000s of miles. Its been from Montana to Whistler and back 12-15 times. Its seen lots of off roading. Its been beat to death and it still looks and works like new. I spray it off once in awhile and give it a towel dry and check for cracks. Ive had to replace the front tire basket once when it cracked. I LOVE my T2. I have 2 other friends that have T2s and they love them too. One has been hit by a car and is all bent up and it still works great. The T2 is the best rack around.
    #26
  27. daisycutter Active Member

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    I have had my 2008 yakima hold up for a year now and i love it. I ended up getting it because of the T2 failures I saw on bike forums.

    http://www.yakima.com/racks/bike-racks/product/8002433/holdup-(2-receivers-only).aspx

    Yakima has been improving it every year, The 2007 version is different from the 2008 version in every way. The 2009 has a few more improvements around the pivot area. The one thing I hate about the rack is having hold the rack in the right spot while you throw a pin through the rack to lock in position.

    To the the dude with four dh bikes on a honda element, the total load capacity for the honda element is just 500 pounds. Four guys with gear and four dh bikes with the rack extension has got to be past that.
    #27
  28. downhill mike Active Member

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    I have the Yakima hook up with the 2 bike extender (hook up +), Lots of play and not a ton of clearance on my Chevy Tracker. However, I made two round trip cross country drives form N.Y. to Bootleg Canyon and never had any problems on those trips. I did need to use ratchet straps when 4 bikes are on it because it was almost dragging on the ground.

    2 years ago my Enduro fell off the rack and dragged on a dirt road to gooseberry Mesa. Owners manual says no off road use. The wheel strap stayed in place but the ratchet thing holding down the front wheel came undone, so the bike dragged on the dirt road breaking everything on the bars.

    I have spent so much on bike racks I wish I would have just bought a enclosed trailer form the get go.
    Last edited: Apr 8, 2009
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  29. Leppah New Member

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    I have the Saris. Just for two bikes right now. I'm looking at getting the extender so i can carry four. It's on a dodge caravan. I've never had any issues with it dragging anywhere. I'm sure i'll have to be more careful when i get the extender. But when i have four bikes back there that are worth over $3000 each, it's not a big deal to me to pay a little more attention to how i'm driving.
    the Saris has worked great for me. I've had it for three years. I like how it ratchets.
    #29
  30. danielsapp414 New Member

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    I've thrown 2 bikes off of the yakima rack. I have never had an issue with the thule. This is with 90,000 miles of it on the back of my vehicle, 3 winters with salt on the roads, 2 cross country trips, driving miles through fields dragging it on rocks and earth, countless impacts from anything and everything. I use it to shuttle on gnarly roads constantly. The only issue with mine is that it is starting to actually become worn out and is just getting harder to move up and down. I know multiple other people who have the thule as well and have had no issues with theirs. I would buy another one without hesitation but would not touch the yakima personally.
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  31. syadasti i heart mac

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    The reality is Sportworks, Thule, Yakima, and Saris have had issues in some frequency, saying otherwise does not make it so. Tray racks are not foolproof and carrying 4 DH bikes at a time for the long term is probably not a good bet. I've been using tray racks since Sportworks released their first generation consumer products and I've also had racks from their competitors. Using one generation from one company and then checking our your friends once or twice is not the same as owning one.

    Its not that clear to some, but the Holdup has not been on the market for more than 1 year so people saying they had problems with one a few years ago were not using one as it was not yet released. The Holdup and Hookup are not the same rack, so know what you are talking about, no need for BS.

    Here is another fact - the manufacturer rated limits from their documentation (all have the same 60 lbs/tray for the first two positions):

    Holdup 240 lbs
    Cycle-On 190 lbs (specified 35 lbs weight limit on outer 2)
    T2 160 lbs
    Last edited: Apr 8, 2009
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  32. Kntr Active Member

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    If the rack is to low to the ground you could always get a drop/extension and run it upside down.

    I run a drop/extension so I can fold the rack up and open the tailgate on my Jeep.
    I run 37" tires so I never drag the rack.





    #32
  33. syadasti i heart mac

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    I don't know the reason why but most rack manufacturers do not recommend using their racks with any hitch extensions - maybe its because of the additional leverage since the rack sticks further back and they don't want the liability if people are using lower rated 1.25" hitches. Also a lot of these racks have anti-sway features and unless you are using that at both points you'll get more sway. The hitch on the jeep is pretty beefy so its probably not a concern in your case.
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  34. Kntr Active Member

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    I had to get a anti rattle kit for the extension. I get NO movement and NO noise.

    I dont think I would run the 4 bike T2 with the extension. I ran the extension for a year with 2 bikes and no problems. It saw a lot of offroad too. The road to the top of this lookout is about 15 miles.


    Last edited: Apr 8, 2009
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  35. Pegboy Active Member

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    Well, I bought the Yak Hold up yesterday and it seems pretty solid. It went together quick and easy and seems to be pretty good quality. I really wasn't hearing any negative failure stories and at $319 w/ a included cable lock out the door, it was $40-50 less than the lowest T2 price. Obviosly I am not naive enough to think that Yaks don't fail but the only stories of rack failures that I have personally heard were both Thule (One T2 and one roof rack).

    The rack doesn't fold away from the vehicle while bikes are on it but it does fold up nicely when unloaded. I have a 4 Runner with an electric rear window that I can access stuff in the back so the fold down option is not an issue, besides, it literally takes about 10 sec to load and unload. As far as replacing the pin to secure it in the fold up position, I didn't find it difficult at all so I am not sure about the commments to the contrary. Overall, I am happy with the purchase, but will update if that changes. Thanks for all of the feedback.
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  36. Kntr Active Member

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    I think the ony reason you hear more about the T2 rack is because it was one of the first, its been around longer, and more have been sold.
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  37. syadasti i heart mac

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  38. Pegboy Active Member

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    Forgot to mention, there is a built in beer opener at the end of the support beam=SOLD
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  39. boomerbaird New Member

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    Pirates cove whistler b.c. old school stylee holywood rack. Had to add this for no reason at all. all that stuff minus the vintage blown out giant ran on my truck for the whole summer. locked down tight!
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  40. bullcrew New Member

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    So whats the concensus on the best rack going????
    #40