Tuf Rack Review

Jan 11, 2012 at 0:05
Jan 11, 2012
by Mike Levy  
 
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Tuf Rack: While many other racks approach the challenge of bike transportation with an array of ratcheting arms, sliding clamps or vertical hooks, the Tuf Rack goes in the opposite direction with a straightforward tray style setup. Their tray and tie-down design very much reminds us of a rack that would be used to carry a motocross bike - you simply place the bike in the tray, secure the ratcheting tie-down and you're off. Tuf Rack manufactures four different models to best suit the type of bikes that you'll be carrying, along with three different receiver height options that offer more or less ground clearance depending on your needs (there is even a 6'' lift receiver for 4x4 use). The entire system is modular, allowing you to transport up to five bikes. Prices range from $169.99 to $199.99 USD for the trays, with receivers costing between $49.99 and $89.99 USD.

Tuf Rack
The bike sits within the Tuf Rack's steel tray and is held firmly in place with a ratcheting tie-down strap.

Tuf Racks details:

- Tray style hitch rack
- Laser cut 16-gauge steel trays
- Adjustable position 1/8'' plate strap brackets
- Industrial grade ratcheting tie-downs (rated to 500lbs)
- Receiver: zinc plated 1/8'' 2 x 2 rectangular HSS tubing
- Modular design
- Powder coated black or yellow trays
- MSRP: $169.99 - $199.99 USD (rack), $49.99 - $89.99 USD (receiver)

The details: The Tuf Rack consists of three main pieces: the steel tray that the bike slots into, a sturdy receiver and the supplied ratcheting tie-down straps. The trays come in different lengths and widths that can accomodate anything from a bike with a 49" wheelbase and 2.7" wide tires, to a 37.5" length intended for BMX bikes. One end of the tray features taller supports that wraps around more of the wheel, along with a welded in support that follows its lower circumference as well. Steel anchor points for the straps are bolted to each side and are adjustable fore and aft for better positioning to suit your bike. The tray is held in place with a steel hitch pin that is run through both the receiver bar and the underside of the tray, and the play is taken out by snugging down a large grub screw.

Tuf Rack
You won't find any pivoting arms to hold the bike up or rubber straps to hold down the rear wheel on the Tuf Rack. Simplicity is the name of the game.

Tuf Rack's receivers come in three different height options - straight, 3" rise and 6" rise - and four lengths depending on if you want to carry two, three, four, or five bikes (the straight three bike bar is 23'' long, while the 6" rise five bike bar is a whopping 53"). They are built from thick, zinc plated 1/8'' steel for outright strength. While there are loads of receiver options to choose from, there isn't one that would allow the rack to tilt up and clear a garage door, a fact that could be an issue for those who have to deal with space constraints. Vehicles that are equipped with, or only rated for, the smaller 1 1/4'' hitch can use Tuf Rack's hitch adapter ($44.00 USD) in order to install the rack.

Holding each bike in place is a burly, ratcheting tie-down strap that hooks on to the anchor points bolted to the tray. The ratcheting mechanism allows you to cinch down the strap tightly after you've taken out all of the slack by pulling it through the buckle. It has been rated for 500lb of tension, more than enough to keep your bike in place regardless of how rough the road is. The straps are completely separate from the rack itself and are taken off when not holding down a bike.

Tuf Rack
Receiver bars come in three different heights, with our test rack using the 4x4 friendly 6'' rise version.

Setup: There isn't a lot to do as far as assembly goes. Start by sliding the receiver bar into your vehicle's hitch (a sticker tells you which end to put in) and securing it with the supplied hitch pin. Next, slide the first tray onto the receiver bar and install the hitch pin to hold it in place. The last step is to tighten down the 5/32'' grub screw that removes any play between the tray and receiver bar. Repeat the process for your remaining trays, remembering to alternate their orientation as you go, and you'll be done within just a few minutes. Tuf Rack includes the only tool that you'll need to get the job done, a single 5/32'' hex key, and short of the rack coming preassembled, it couldn't really get an easier.

Performance: Loading a bike onto the Tuf Rack is quite easy, with the deep trays holding the bike upright and hands-free while you attach the tie-down. Bikes can be positioned in either direction, but we had the best results with the rear wheel at the taller end of the tray ( the metal tie-down buckle rests on the crank arm when facing the opposite way). If you have a long cage rear derailleur you'll want to shift into a gear that keeps the derailleur's cage from making contact with the tray's tall sides. The ratcheting tie-down takes a few minutes to figure out if you've never used one before, but it's dead easy once you've done it a few times. The whole process quick, easy and comparable time-wise to a more traditional rack that uses a ratcheting arm to hold the bike upright.

Tuf Rack
The ratcheting tie-down straps (left) are quick and easy to work with. Steel anchor points (right) are bolted to the trays and are adjustable to better accomodate different frame designs.

Once the tie-down has been tightened the bike can't possibly go anywhere, and it also refuses to even rattle in the slightest - snug would be an understatement. While there will be some movement between the hitch and the rack's receiver (as with nearly any rack that doesn't employ a threaded hitch pin), all worry about losing a bike on a rough road went out the window with the Tuf Rack. We fit a number of different types of bikes, from skinny tired 29'ers to long wheelbase downhill bikes with massive rubber, and all fit into the rack just fine. Tuf Rack manufactures a number of different length trays, but we'd recommend just getting the long 49'' tray, as it can also carry shorter bikes without issue.

If you've ever had a rack who's ratcheting arm became useless after a few seasons of use, or who's folding mechanism developed enough play to have you worried about a short trip across town, you'll be a fan of the Tuf Rack's utter simplicity. Short of the tie downs wearing out in the long run, which are easy and relatively inexpensive to replace, there isn't much that can go wrong. The lack of a folding mechanism and its use of tie-downs to secure bikes will mean that it won't be for everyone, but the Tuf Rack will make sense for riders who spend their time shuttling up rough roads or live in Winter environments where road salt and grime will quickly take a toll on designs that use moving pieces or are bolted together.

Tuf Rack
We had the best results when positioning the rear wheel at the taller end of the tray, but you have to be sure that the rear derailleur cage clears the tray's tall sides.

Issues: The Tuf Rack's straightforward layout will be ideal for many people, but there are a few hiccups to the design as well. Our major point of contention has to do with how close the trays are to each other, meaning that the bar and seat post on the opposing bikes come in contact. While this is something that nearly all tray style racks suffer from, and is a result of not wanting the rack to extend too far from the hitch, it would be the one trait that we would eliminate if we were designing a rack. Having to drop, or even remove, the post isn't the proper solution to the problem, but it is what we had to do nearly every time that we used the rack. A simple solution would be to to have more hitch pin holes on the receiver bar, allowing the user to choose the tray position that works best for them.

The straps that come with the rack come in different lengths depending on the tray choice. For instance, the DJ trays come with shorter straps because the bikes are lower. This makes for less slack to have to take up, but does sometimes present an issue of you want to transport another kind of bike on the rack. This is especially true for 29'ers and large sized bikes. It was usually easy enough to run the strap through another part of the bike, but it did pose a problem with some frame designs. The straps also marred the paint where they were repeatedly draped over the frame, leaving a dull strip after a few months of use. Despite initially doubting the convenience of using ratcheting straps to secure the bikes, the system proved to be quick and easy.

Each tray on our test rack uses a single grub screw to keep it from rattling around on the receiver bar, but we had them come loose on more than one occasion. Thankfully the grub screws don't keep the tray in place (the burly hitch pin does that job), but it was annoying to have to retighten them regardless. Tuf Rack is aware of the issue and has now upgraded the system to use a 5/16'' x 3/8'' bolt with a lock washer that should eliminate the problem. And speaking of play, Tuf Rack has also converted their receiver bars to incorporate an anti-rattle hitch pin to take care of the wiggle that is present on our early review sample.

Tuf Rack
Using burly steel components all around, the Tuf Rack is all about simplicity and sturdiness.


Pinkbike's take:
bigquotesThe Tuf Rack may be simple, but there is a lot to like about it, especially if you've dealt with more complicated racks in the past. Having to strap the bike down doesn't really take any longer once you've got a handle on the ratcheting tie-downs, and there is very little to go wrong with the Tuf Rack in the long run. We'd like to see a few changes made before we'd consider it the best of the bunch, but it makes a lot of sense for anyone who is hard on their gear or is looking for a rack that they can put on and forget about.- Mike levy



www.tufrack.com
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154 Comments

  • + 22
 HEY!

Want to know the best part?!! TUFRACK stepped up and took over the organizing and promotion of the 2012 Ontario Cup race series! THANK YOU TUFRACK!
  • + 7
 as awesome as that is, I feel like the best part of the product is that fact it can carry bikes. Supporting local events makes teh company awesome, but it doesn't mean anything about the product.
  • + 3
 well, you would hope it means they have an interest in the actual riders, and will therefore be making a product for the riders, not just to line their own pockets Wink
  • + 1
 Sam264- trust me, theres not a large profit margin for them to get excited about. the scene was in trouble and they helped out. Carbonlite- I was hoping the review would speak to the quality of the rack.
  • + 1
 that was my point
  • + 1
 correct me if im wrong, but shouldnt the front wheel go on the other side of the rack than it is in the picture? the point of a deeper wheel slot on one side is to keep the front wheel from moving, the back wheel can't turn....
  • + 2
 @Lester22291 - The bikes can fit either way, but rear wheel into the taller section provides more support. With the rear wheel in the deep section it nearly feels as if you wouldn't need a strap (obviously you do, though), but with the front in the taller section the bike can shift around more. Also, the front wheel can't turn at all in the shallow end of the tray, the sides keep it straight.
[Reply]
  • + 13
 To answer a few questions;
1) Not all of our racks are the same length, we make racks from BMX up to DH. We also have an MTB rack that will happily carry anything you ride.
2) For Europeans, we have a flange mount system for your towbars and an optional taillight/plate holder.
3) Everyone at Tuf Rack is a rider, from BMX to DH. We actually sponsor 3 teams as well as our own DH race team. We are also the Ontario Cup race series organizers for 2012. Point being that we know our way around bikes and how to carry them.
4) This company was started to give some of the younger members on our race team a place to work after school and on weekends, and to build a rack that is simple and yet tough enough to take off road abuse. At this point in time 100% of all profits from Tuf Rack have been put back into sponsoring riders, events and putting on our own events.
5) I believe we are one of only a few rack companies that warranty our product for off road use.
6) As far as speed recommendations, they can happily handle your local speed limits whatever they may be.
  • + 2
 Beefy rack for sure, but why not reinforce the rise part on the stinger(last picture) with more than just metal plate? Why not a piece of tubing with the bracing? Not needed? Just seems weird to have everything else over engineered, and not that.
  • + 6
 thats 3/16 plate.......to put in perspective,same thickness of a dump trucks frame
  • + 1
 Thank you for the input!
  • + 1
 In the tuf rack vid I didn't see an issue with bars contacting seatposts, i guess you could just drop your seatpost?!?
  • + 1
 and how would you suggest locking the bikes to the rack if needed ? [ a serious issue for things like temporary stops to get coffee on trip etc ]
  • + 1
 You could easily cable lock the bikes into the trays through one of the holes. There are also holes cut into the rack at the wheel scoop to insert a locking hitch pin through to secure the bike. Personally I have been using a combination of the two; looping a cable lock through a locking hitch pin on the wheel scoop. Would make a good challenge to a bike thief.
  • + 1
 You said you have a tow-bar mount for Europe, does this mean they will be shipped to there? and if they are what kind of price will they retail for, im looking to buy one.
  • + 3
 ...and you should see their team truck. This thing is the epitome of Heavy Duty. Love seeing it at the races.
1.bp.blogspot.com/-doHPMIus-I4/TbOBrCS7qmI/AAAAAAAAACQ/dcBOcIG5lfg/s1600/P4230494.JPG
  • + 1
 Haha wow, nice truck!
[Reply]
  • + 7
 its a bit silly how the trays aren't adjustable for bikes with a longer wheelbase. Yes you can put shorter bikes on but the bike in the feature just fits meaning there is no hope of getting a downhill on the rack especially since they have become alot longer and slacker in recent years
  • + 4
 I like the idea, simple, quick and easy to use. It's what we're all looking for but I agree with you buddy, wheelbase length is clearly a problem especially if you have a few different bikes; DH, XC, Road, etc. However, I think the solution is quite simple and would then suite ALL bikes! The trays just need to be in two pieces that interlink and slide in and out of each other. A bunch holes and a couple of pins to set the length and then you simply buy; 20", 24", 26", 29" etc trays depending on wheel size. This would then fit almost every bike imaginable. TBH I don't know why they didn't do this in the first place. Its as if they made the rack, thought, ummm..... there are different styles of bike but they're all the same length, aren't they?!?! IMO I think this would have made for a superior product!
  • + 3
 What is with the negative props? Is my previous post so off based and illogical? If so, then how? I sure would appreciate it if people were to come out from behind the "negs" and truly add something to the conversation / debate. Anyway, I get the impression that any critical eyes are bad, which is simply no true in my book.
  • + 1
 There are a couple other simple things they could do to improve the design but I think they are sticking to the K.I.S.S. principle (Keep It Simple Stupid) as much as possible. The article recommends you get a tray long enough for the longest bikes and it will be fine for the rest.
Also, as you ratchet down the strap you can compress the fork which will shorten the wheelbase slightly. I don't know that it would be enough but it is possible.
  • + 1
 This rack is not for me I like my paint too much to use a strap that is gonna wear it off...
This is a much better alternative. ratracks.com
The rack only comes in contact with the tires and you can carry a lot more bikes in the same space, and on top of that you can access any bike at any time...
  • + 2
 you know what that rack wont do though? it wont stop a car from rear ending you and totalling your bike and car like a Tuf Rack did. last year during the spring our teams HHR was rear ended with 2 bikes on the back and the car carrying the bikes was fine and so were the bikes but the car that hit them was a write off.
  • + 1
 @dirtyeveryday Yes! Exactly like that! Nice one Smile Is that home made or can a duchebag like me buy one!?
  • + 1
 A friend and I were rear ended with a 2 bike thule hitch rack on his Suby. Exact same outcome, rear ender had a whole bunched through her radiator. Suby, bikes and rack - all good to go. We were hit hard enough at a light, that it pushed us about 6' into the intersection! Love hitch racks.
  • + 2
 @lely-pie - The tray pictured is one of the shorter options. As mentioned in the review, most people would be best off to buy the long trays.. they fit all bikes!
  • + 1
 seriously? concerned about the paint? do you ever even ride your bike? yes, its understandable to keep things nice, but if you're going to be investing in a rack is it really that hard to just find a solution to that minor problem yourself?
  • + 4
 I don't know about you, but I happen to like to keep the expensive items I own looking nice. It also drastically helps resale value if your ride doesn't look like a huge piece of junk. I'd be willing to bet I ride more than 90% of the people on here, and I still like to keep my bikes looking good. To me, the simple solution to that "minor" problem, would be to buy an item that didn't cause said problem. There are tons of great racks on the market right now that do not risk damaging your bike (be it from the strap rubbing, or being a meat-head and over tightening the ratchet - there's a LOT of leverage there for a thin walled trail bike for example.... Many racks now have 0 frame contact whatsoever, and may cost less to boot. Good product, well made, but could use a bit of refinement.
  • + 1
 I don't think you understood what I was trying to get at. I was just saying most people who like to keep their things nice such as myself wouldn't mind doing it myself. Something such as that should be the last thing to be considered when in the market for a rack since it's a 30 second fix. If there were two racks that appealed to greatly, and were very similar, then it would come down to the small details. If there was a bike that really fit your needs and no other bike would do close to as good of job, would you not buy that bike because the tires were low? No, you'd buy the bike and pump it up. If this rack is something that fits the ticket, then something like that should be insignificant because it is such a minor fix.
  • - 1
 The point is, why go through all the work of building a 300lb bike rack...then use a ratchet strap to hold the bike to it? Meh. Seems like they got her close to climax then went and got a bowl of Frosted Flakes, forgetting what they were attempting in the first place making it a good attempt, and then dropped the ball.
If they skimped on such a strong point of how to retain the BICYCLE to the bicycle RACK...what else got skimped on or shortcut?
And sorry, but I think the rack is absolutely hideous anyway. Why get your groceries with a shopping cart when you can push a tank around the store?
  • + 2
 I think the shopping cart is nice for runs to the grocery store, but when there is a few grand worth or goods to transport and chance of impact from loony drivers that shopping cart will leave you pretty sad. When you are going to war take a tank. And when it comes to looking cool it is being a biker that is cool, not sporting a fancy rack. The fact that you have a serious rack says enough. I am with you on the ratcheting strap. There are better ways to mount the bike in my opinion.
[Reply]
  • + 7
 m.pinkbike.com/photo/7204234

Expensive DH rig's, super custom XC fly weights, Dirt Jumpers and BMX bikes. I put them all on this rack.
I would not risk carrying my balued and precious two wheeled cargo on anything else!!
For me, there is not a better bicycle rack on the market. The strength, simplicity and ease of use make it the perfect carrier for me. I can set my bikes in the carrier and and do a million other things while they sit perfectly balanced, ready to get strapped down.
*Plus.... it looks so badass on any vehicle.

When transporting your bike why not use the best and the strongest carrier that has ever been made!!
  • + 1
 are you selling these racks ???????
  • + 2
 I really do agree with sugar! I've seen these racks all over! They look to be great! And I have never heard one bad thing about them! I can't wait to get my hands on one!
  • + 1
 Nope!! I've never even wanted a bike rack till I saw the product that TUF Rack came out with. Get yourself one, and you'll see why I believe in it so much!! Cheers
  • + 1
 SYNCRO, ur just jealous ur rack isnt this cool...teehee
  • + 1
 you have seen and tried my rack and you know that nothing rubs against the paint, and you know why ??? cuz when I was building it I first planed to have tie down straps just like the TUF one but after trying it a Moose Mountain I realized that this was a bad idea... so found another solution.
www.pinkbike.com/photo/5216008
www.pinkbike.com/photo/5403819
  • + 1
 Very cool!!
[Reply]
  • + 7
 I've been rocking my Tuf Rack for a year now and it's awesome for sure! Definately tough! I've bounced up some funky roads (and offroad) at high speeds and backed into a couple trees at low speeds and my bikes are perfect! I like the bad ass look and the tray's are long enough for me and my buddies DH bikes no problem. I recommend them!
  • + 2
 how would you lock the bikes to the rack if needed ?
[Reply]
  • + 5
 Hey all, we did a first look over at MyBikeStand.com and will put up a review later after we have beaten the hell out of it some more. But wanted to reply to some of the comments. First off Mike Levy - nice write up.

Being one that likes my bikes clean I understand the concern some may have over the paint rubbed or marred on the top tube. A simple fix for this is some of the thinner clear shields that you find from RockDemon and CrankSkins. You can barley notice the thinner versions and it does the job reducing marred paint….most hanging racks will leave more damage to the paint due to their usual rubber pads than this strap does.

Another note, this rack wasn't made to be fancy or frilly with gadgets and gizmos. I also own a Kuat NV that is heavliy laden with such toys (which I love also) that is super sexy and has many useful features for a hitch rack. The TufRack was built to be dead simple and sturdy. We have the "PreGrubScrew" model, and that for us is one thing for us that we would have appreciated to help reduce sway on hard turns and heavily undulated terrain. Our simple fix was drilled a hole into the hitch beam and run a 3/8 bold with nut and lock washers…no more play (but it looks like they fixed that). I dont mind the movement at the hitch as much as I did the trays, especially when more than one bike was mounted.

Weight…really the way it was designed, its so fast to disassemble and reassemble, that its easier to install one piece at a time if you must…plus when you remove the rack this way it takes up less room in the garage or storage as individual pieces. Plus our 4 bike Kuat is HEAVY and akward to move around the shop. I only wish I had the 4 bike of the TufRack (JON).

About the biggest thing that could be improved on (that Mike Levy also said) was bike spacing …. having more holes to choose from would have helped this with most bikes and contacting each other….

Ian
[Reply]
  • + 4
 Holy cow people put some damn 3M sticky vinyl on your top tube, problem solved. While your at it put some on your down tube so it doesn't get scratched on a tailgate pad either. 5$ fix.
[Reply]
  • + 3
 my yakima holdup has been going strong now for 3 seasons. no issues from the ratchets or arms. no frame contact. the marring nature of the ratcheting straps is a huge disadvantage for me. my yakima also has a built in cable and lock for some extra security AND a bottle opener for that after ride beer. and when not in use, it folds up out of the way. it also, folds the other way to allow opening of the rear hatch . sorry Tuf Rack, your design are for a niche segment of MTBers.
[Reply]
  • + 3
 For those who ride multiple bikes(xc,dh etc) we have an mtb rack that will fit them all nicely,the "grub screw"is now an 8mm allen head fastner,the ratchet straps we are sticking with,they are simple strong,same as we use for moto,we recently had the straps made out of a tighterr weave(softer) but these racks are built to handle whatever you throw at them and the strap holds them no matter what,no parts to wear out,rust up or fall apart,that was the point when we built them
[Reply]
  • + 2
 Dear Mike Levy, Thanks for the informative write-up as usual. Getting down to business. Why not include in the "What are the important factors..." quality of design & function and form? I believe that these are of paramount importance. What do you think? Personally, I would prefer solid box formed steel as to two nearly vertical plates welded onto the hitch mount and rack mount. Maybe it is just me but, I think this point could be susceptible to torsional deformation induced when having five bikes mounted while driving on uneven terrain. Yeah, perhaps the designers did some finite element analysis on it but, I still prefer something else.
  • + 2
 go to www.tufrack.com look at the videos and do some research this website is definitaly the best example of how much better these racks are than other racks. they are exponentially better than most.
  • + 2
 Wicked video test! lol
  • + 1
 @lenmerderdenfer - Thanks for the suggestion, we'll keep it in mind =) As for the rack, it's sturdy as hell. Our shuttle roads are pretty rough and nasty, but I haven't once questioned the rack's reliability. In fact, I'm much more confident in the Tuf Rack on rough roads than a rack that uses ratcheting arms.
  • + 1
 @mikelevy, Thank you for replying.
[Reply]
  • + 2
 I like the concept of the tray and the design, but I don't know who has bikes that they want to have a strap going across their paint job on the top tube?? I have a beater that wouldn't bother me, but my good ride....I would have to come up with another setup for holding it down.
  • + 1
 just use something as a buffer between the tube and the strap, like a piece of microfibre clothe or neoprene. There - scuffed paint issue solved.
  • + 1
 To be fair most other tray style racks that hold the bike upright with a ratcheting arm over the front tire will often mar the the side of the fork lowers. This isn't the case with all racks, but it seems to be so with most rack/fork combos.
  • + 1
 Mike This is true. I have the scuffs and wear on the fork lowers where the arm comes across the tire from my Thule Sidearms to prove it. Just under where the foam ends....grrr. michael
  • + 1
 Thule and Fox 40s are notorious for this. They work fine with a boxxer or marzocchi in my experience.
  • + 2
 yeah, I put a piece of clear 3M tape on my forks where the T2 rubs. Forks tend to get a few scratches in them though, a big scuff on the top tube would make this a no-sale for me. Throw a bit of mud and grit after a dirty ride, or a longer road trip where there's a few hours of abrasion from the strap and I imagine the issue gets much worse. Sure I can put some 3M on my top tube, but it's not only my bikes that I haul around. Burly looking setup though, just not for me.
[Reply]
  • + 2
 Its great to see a review on these racks. It will definitely get there name out there all over pinkbike now. These racks are beefy and theres nothing out there on the market like this! Keep up the great work Jon. I can't wait for the 2012 O-Cup Season to come Big Grin
[Reply]
  • + 2
 For me its all about shuttles, and the fact that you have a separate tie down for each bike is a negative, also the spacing and resulting rub make it DOA for me. I would love to see a rack that can hold 6 bikes and shuttle dirt roads at 40mph without to much damage. North shore racks are ok but how about a nice one for pickups......
  • + 0
 Something like this?
  • + 1
 Check out Shuttlenutsracks.com to see a simple and solid new rack coming to the market this spring.
[Reply]
  • + 3
 Definitely the article I needed!! I've been looking for a 4+ bike rack that's tough enough for shuttle roads as my garbage sport rack has finally shit the bed. This is clearly the way to go!
[Reply]
  • + 2
 Why are racks so expensive? No matter what brand they just seem so much! Even in its cheapest form this is about $200. Its a great concept and I really like its tie down system, but prices are too high in my opinion.
  • + 1
 This is a small market product. The numbers of units produced don't justify overseas production. Remember we have multi thousand dollar bikes, but balk at the price of racks, helmets, neck braces etc.
[Reply]
  • + 4
 WTF? Ratchet strap scratches the top tube?
Sticking with my Yakima. No frame contact.
  • + 1
 Also, it will come loose when you hit bumps with the bike suspension moving around.
  • + 1
 @mudd - The straps don't come loose, no matter how rough the road is.
  • + 1
 Still need to work out a way to keep the strap off the top tube.....
[Reply]
  • + 1
 This is a cool idea, but can I suggest something? Being an owner of a small car, not an SUV or a truck, it appears that this thing will be a little too wide. Even the short one might be a little too wide for a small to mid size car. I think a cool development of your product would be to allow the tray to fold up on a beefy hinge for when it's not in use. Sort of like the Sport rack EZ2 does it.
That rack (although butt ugly) works well for cars and uses a wheel tray system like yours. The difference is, it folds up and can also pivot down for hatchbacks. Cool product though, just not for my little car.
  • + 1
 So is you bike narrower than your car?...folding racks are great,but other companies make them,we like to keep it simple and keep away from moving parts that rust,or wear out....
  • + 1
 I can appreciate the simplicity and ruggedness of your design. It's also simplified for manufacturing, no moving parts. Cool on that and more. I guess my point is I still use my car for other tasks besides going to the trail head or the slope. My bike is not always on the back. Sometimes I might not ride for a week (due to work) and having the permanent wing sticking out 'at all times' in the back would make me nervous about clipping it eventually. Also, I wonder how much wind drag it would cause on a small car like mine during daily use, without a bike? I also have need easy access to my trunk, meaning that I need to get close up to it,so I can drop stuff in (like groceries). The folding rack I have allows me to get right up to the trunk from the side and load it.
I like your design, I like how easy it is to load a bike and take the bike off - I just wish I could move it out of the way when I'm not using it. Anyway, congratulations on thinking outside the box. It looks bullet proof.
[Reply]
  • + 1
 So if I have 2 all mountain bikes and 2 DH bikes and a friend who I ride with has a dirt jump bike... I'm spending $1000 on TRAYS. (if my math is right)

Then I will still have to buy all the bar/rise configurations (presume-ably from 1-5 as the cops wont really let you drive around with your bike mounted on the back and a 4' pole sticking out of the back and mounting on the farthest back would lead to a lot of leverage)

Mike could we see a shot of the top tube of the bike? I have a customer who has been using a similar style tray rack from a manufacturer who just switched distributors. Their rack came up for warranty right as the switch occurred so the replacement was slow. The interim decision was to use a ratchet strap to hold the bike down however over bumps the suspension of the bike loaded and unloaded this lead to the strap (and whatever small bits of dirt, rocks, sand or whatever else you picked up off the road) to rub and scratch the heck out of the top tube (needless to say not happy when his Nomad rawed itself). I'd like to know if this issue is pertinent with the "Tuf Rack" as it relies on the ratchet strap.

So all of that and I still can't carry mom's road bike for family vacations. And there's no built in lock or acceptance for locks. And I can't open the hatch with it on.

It looks very "neat" but I need to know A LOT more before I go spending $1000 on anything
  • + 5
 Or....you could simply drive the 20 minutes to the shop where they are made and see for yourself,just a thought
  • + 1
 @samnation - I'm a bit confused by your comment, no offense. I'd buy the amount of trays that I need, install them and leave them on all the time. Just because you have a 4-bike rack doesn't mean that you ALWAYS have to have 4 bikes in it. I don't meant to sound like a smart ass, maybe I misinterpeted your comment =)

- While the strap certainly doesn't "raw" the top tube, it will leave a mark after a few months of use. I'd call it more of a dulled section of paint than anything else, but still not great.

- The rack will carry a road bike. And you could always use a locking hitch pin (there's one on mine now) and run a cable lock through the holes in the rack itself.
  • + 2
 The biggest thing I was calculating was having all 5 bikes to go for a roadtrip or something.. I could granted only buy the one bar and have a 5 bike rack with only one bike on sometimes but its pretty impractical to do if you say only carry one or 2 bikes any given day and 5 once or twice year. But yes the bars are the cheap bits compared to the trays. The way I looked at it you still have to own all 5 trays which is where the big expense came into play while its not something that everyone will do or something that anyone might do often it would be a pain to think you had this great rack then think you will be able to simply expand it to go away...

My intention was not to be an ass about this I just want to find the flaws maybe its just who I am or maybe there's just so few good racks out there that its hard to know what the highs and lows are on them.

As far as the strap goes... I don't really see a few months as a good test (again not trying to discredit you or anyone involved I realize that reviews need to be done in a timely fashion and testing for years simply isn't an option) I want this thing to carry my bikes year after year and I don't want my bikes to show wear from transport. "Shuttle scars" are inevitable in a lot of ways but minimizing them can go a long way to preserving your bike's look, value and eventually integrity. Not trying to say that you were wandering around a bigger issue or anything just that that's sort of where I stand. If people didn't care about wear from transport there would be no hesitations when it comes to Dakine Pads as they are another culprit of the same effect not only on your bike but also your tailgate.

Of course you can route a lock through any rack but then it sort of becomes one more cost where as with some of the other racks you are getting a lock built in. "Extras" I find is sort of where the shortcomings in the boutique racks (North Shore Tuf and Arbutus to name a few) really shine through.
  • + 1
 I work at Tuf Rack and have been using these racks for well over a year (since the earlier prototypes) and haven't seen any significant wear from the strap. I definitely have worse wear marks from my shoes scuffing paint while riding than the ratchet strap. Also, the holes built into the tray for locking hitch pins have been working great for me thus far in regards to securing my bike.
[Reply]
  • + 1
 The issues with this rack seems to be pretty much the same with most racks when you have a few different shaped bikes to attach. Aside from the derailleur coming very close to the tray wall things, seems to be the same sorta problems when it comes to bike racks
  • + 1
 Also is it legal in Britain/will it be coming to Britain. It covers the number plate.
  • + 6
 alot of racks cover number plates, same resolution is the separate number plate strapped to the last bike
  • + 1
 you have nothing to worry about your derailleur coming into contact to the side walls.
  • + 1
 @ilikebikes1 - Have to disagree with that. The issue is that when a long cage derailleur is hanging at its lowest point the cage itself can get jammed on either outside or inside of the tray, putting it at an odd angle. Combine this with a rough road and I suspect that it would be easy to bend the derailleur. The best solution is to simply shift the rear derailleur to a small cog so it tucks up tighter to the bike.
  • + 1
 Mike is 100% correct. We saw this exact problem while shuttling trail bikes a few weeks ago on the rack pictured. Definitely have to remember to shift up or you could be looking at a VERY expensive bit of shuttle damage, particularly if you have to off road to get to your trail head (and Mike and I did).
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  • + 5
 To be honest I'm more interested in the bike than I am the rack.
  • + 1
 It's a diamondback, I believe a newer model of the Mission.
  • + 1
 it is a diamondback mission pro is a 2012 bike

really nice bit of kit ! i work in a diamondback stockist in the uk and cant wait to see one of these in our store Smile
  • + 1
 So missions are being sold across the pond then?
  • + 1
 @Seraph - '12 Mision Pro. I have some time on it and am pretty stoked. Full review soon.
  • + 1
 @mike. Have you rode the earlier models? The rear was pretty flexy and wondering if they fixed it or not.
  • + 1
 Nope, no time on the older models. But the '12 uses a 12mm thru-axle out back and sure feels solid so far.
  • + 1
 I have a 2010. Not a lot of flex. A little, but not a lot. Better than the old jamis' and kona's I've ridden. They have come a long way since the 09's and earlier that split frames and flexed a lot. I'd love to get a hold of that new rear triangle to have the new rear axle.
  • + 1
 missions are being sold here but not got the higher end ones only the mission 1 atm but for 2012 we get the higher end ones too mike when you do your review will you link it to cyclelife as we are the main distributor in the uk Smile
[Reply]
  • + 5
 just not so much of a fan of putting a a ratchet strap on my frame.
  • + 1
 So put it over your seat. I don't get the big deal about it.
  • + 1
 @Skrinek - The strap is not only not long enough to go over most saddles (even when slammed), but it also is unlikely to stay put.
  • + 1
 ghetto cardboard protects paint, but isn't attractive.
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  • + 1
 nice product, nice company.
But you might wanna reconsider point 6 for the german Autobahn Smile

6) As far as speed recommendations, they can happily handle your local speed limits whatever they may be
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  • + 1
 That would be illegal in some countries.
Because it widdens the cars size, and that would be illegal. The car takes more space than then one specified on the registration (length x width).
  • + 2
 The total width isn't any wider than that of the vehicle, despite what it may look like in the photos.
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  • + 1
 Had a rack exactly like this...

Got hit by a semi truck at night. "Obstructed tail lights"

4 bikes. $20,000 in damages.

WE got the ticket. OUR fault. NO money compensation.
  • + 2
 Right! They need to add tail lights to it. Powered by the trailer lighting connector.
[Reply]
  • + 1
 one question that was not answered on this article is how much does the rack weigh?
most of us have to remove the rack after use. some racks are not bad and some can be near 100 pounds
  • - 1
 they arent more than 20lbs not sure exactly but i am on their downhill team and it is not overweight.
  • + 1
 Close, the heaviest tray is 16lbs.
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  • + 3
 A Delica with BC plates, what a surprise...
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  • + 1
 Im really interested in this, because the way the article displays, it looks like a sort of customizable bike rack, if that makes sense.
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  • + 2
 Not a fan of scratching my top tube with a ratchet strap! Sticking with my Yakima. No frame contact!
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  • + 2
 How do they work with road bikes. Could those skinnass tires pose a problem?
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  • + 0
 They make simple motorcycle racks that hold multiple motos for under 200$ Same exact concept minus the laser etching and curved ends. Which means the moto ones will hold varying lengths of bikes.
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  • + 1
 there should be some kind of rubber piece to go between the frame and the strap, it would make it less likely to damage the top tube.
  • + 2
 Foam Pipe Insulation would snap right on the tube...
  • + 2
 ratchet straps onto the handlebar grips like on a moto
  • + 1
 handlebars are a much better location
[Reply]
  • + 1
 So I gotta use a different rack if I wanna carry my Dh bike, or my DJ, or my 29er? What if i need to carry my 29 and my DH bike??? I'll stick to the versatile T2
  • + 1
 While they have different length trays, I recommend that most riders would be better off with justing using the longest option - it holds everything.
  • + 1
 But with a shorter wheel base bike, would it engage less of the wheel on the edges?? Thus increasing the likely hood of the bike falling over since nothing but the sides of the trays keep the bikes from falling over or worse bending the wheel in process. Basically I dont like the fact it only holds the bottom part of the wheels and the fact only a tie-down up and over with the hooks very close are all that supports the bike.
  • + 1
 It doesn't become an issue really. I have put just about every combo of bike/tray on my vehicle and haven't run into any stability problems, even without the strap.
[Reply]
  • + 1
 A(nother) minor quibble- Why not make the grub-screw metric?? 5mm?? More common amongst mt. bikers where, as we all know, everything is METRIC.
  • + 1
 We've actually switched over to metric on all the new racks.
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  • + 1
 If you were crazy enough you could even hook up a ball and trailer on the back.
  • + 0
 ive seen that done already.
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  • + 2
 Great bike rack from a great company.
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  • + 1
 hey , i want to know the high speed recomanded for the rack . My dad is a little maniac with the speed...
  • + 1
 They will stand up to whatever speed you wish.
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  • + 1
 Australian-made GripSport make similar products - and are even simpler. I do like the tie-down options on this though.
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  • + 2
 super happy with our Tuf Racks!
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  • + 1
 Its OK but it could be cheaper. Thule and Yakima have very competent pricing these days.
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  • + 1
 dam, and our car hasnt got the connection for that. would cost 2000 CHF...nearly a expensive as a new bike!!!
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  • + 0
 I've had one for about 6 months now and loved it. I recently sold it because I got rid of my SUV.

www.pinkbike.com/photo/6798677
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  • + 1
 Sick Rack, and Premo Wheelset !!
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  • + 1
 is it adjustablefor diferent wheelbase bikes??
  • + 1
 No, but smaller or longer bikes can fit in the trays without issue.
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  • + 1
 Will it be available in Europe too? It does not seem so.
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  • + 0
 If you want everything you need to carry two bikes with this rack (as we all would want) the price is $400, no thank you
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  • + 1
 I am so calling you and getting a Tuf Rack,
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  • + 1
 Rack's are great, till some one runs into the back of your car.
  • + 2
 too true, and £100 pounds each time for a new number board is never nice way to end a ride
  • + 1
 theyve tested that accidentaly if you read my above comment stated that in the spring they were rear ended with 2 bikes on the back the racks saved the bikes and the car thy were on while destroying the car that hit them. hence the name TUF RACK.
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  • + 1
 Old news but mine is on its way..
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  • + 1
 I'm sorry but this thing is ghetto.
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  • + 1
 Looks like a crappy way of holding the bike.

I say UEBLER X21 NANO! Wink
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  • + 0
 each rack is around 16lbs,
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  • + 0
 1up USA Quik Rack > the rest
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  • + 1
 YAKIMA ALL THE WAY!
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  • + 0
 its a verry simple build that could be done under 80$
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  • + 0
 Looks like Swiss cheese to me..
[Reply]

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