Sportworks - Easy Loading Bike Racks

Aug 1, 2003
by Karl Burkat  
Ever noticed the robust construction of the bike racks on city transport buses? Wish you could have one? Consumer versions of those racks are available, manufactured by Sportworks in Washington State, USA.Sportworks developed their well-known line of commercial bus bike racks back in the early 90’s. As greener attitudes toward transportation developed, there was a growing need in cities throughout North America for bike racks on metro transit buses. Commuters that could take their bikes with them found that the bus no longer had to stop close to their destination; they could cycle the remaining distance from the bus stop.

The challenge however, was to construct a rack that was both sturdy enough for constant use, and easy for the general public to load quickly and safely – time spent with the bus’s engine idling while a commuter struggles to load his bike at the bus stop wastes fuel and causes disruption to transit time schedules.

Sportworks stepped up to the plate and produced their current line of racks that grace the front end of buses throughout North America. Their first “Bike Racks for Buses” customer was King County Metro in Washington State, and today they continue to use Sportwork’s racks with 1200 buses in operation, and later Los Angeles County Metro Transit Authority with their 2000 buses committed to using Sportwork racks.

Regardless of the model, you can load your ride up with confidence on one of their racks, Pinkbike has tested their products over the past few years and we’ve been impressed with the quick and easy loading and quality of craftsmanship that goes into Sportworks products...

Following the introduction of the commercial bike rack line, Sportworks found in short order that there was a public demand for an affordable, durable, easy and quick loading rack. So they set out to produce a product that satisfied that demand and introduced their consumer line of bike caddies.

They tackled the project and introduced a variety of sturdy racks that could satisfy a variety of applications; both rear vehicle mount and top vehicle mount to handle a diverse range of bikes, from road bikes to recumbent bikes to freeride and 40 pound plus downhill machines.

Regardless of the model, you can load your ride up with confidence on one of their racks, Pinkbike has tested their products over the past few years and we’ve been impressed with the quick and easy loading and quality of craftsmanship that goes into Sportworks products.

We recently spoke with Eric Stobin of Sportworks at the Whistler Summer Gravity Festival where he was proudly displaying their new model, the rear vehicle mount FreeRider DH, that will accept two downhill bikes of up to 50 pounds each on 3-inch tires with out having to remove the wheels. It features their “Ratcheting Quick Load System” (RQL), the key feature to the fast loading of Sportworks racks. Thanks to the catch release handle that has been conveniently relocated to the rear of the rack, it folds up and out of the way instantly, preventing you from having to completely remove the rack for those parallel parking mid-week work days.

Here are the racks currently in the Sportworks line-up:

The TranSport Series:

TranSport Series - From Sportworks

The TranSport Series is the original Quick-load bike rack. No other rack can be loaded or unloaded in ten seconds or less. ThanSport Series racks feature Sportworks secure and convenient Ratcheting Quick-load system and will carry up to 4 bikes with a 2 inch receiver hitch. TranSport Series racks fold up for storage and down from the vehicle to gain rear access while loaded with bikes. This model also features their patented rear wheel lock ring. If you want convenience, durability and reliablitly, this is the only rack for you.

The FreeRider DH

The FreeRider DH - From Sportworks

FreeRdier DH is specifically designed to carry heavier bikes. It is the ideal rack for the downhiller, freerider, someone who likes to cruise on an electric bike, or for anyone frame who has a bike that weighs up to 50lbs. The sturdy one-piece frame is mounted with 2 Bob Ratchet Quick-load bike trays. This rack is also pefect for use behind RV's. The FreeRider DH is availabe with a collar hitch assembly that can be used with a towbar for towing a vehicle while carrying bikes.

Mod Series

Mod Series - From Sportworks

Mod Series racks are equipped with the same easy-to-use load system found on our Bike-Rack-for-Buses. This system offers great flexibilty in carying 1, 2, or 3 bikes. Choose a hitch assembly and just add trays as needed. Mod trays may be combined with Universal Bent trays to create the perfect custom rack.

The Universal - Bent Bike Rack

The Universal Bent Bike Rack - from Sportworks

There are dozens of sizes and shapes of recumbent bicycles, making the design of a single rack to fit all of them a challenge. The Universal Bent Bike Rack lives up to its name. It quickly and easily adjust to a wide range of recumbents, The Universal can be combined with Mod Trays to carry conventional bikes and recumbents at the same time - Mix and match! With a Mod 2" hitch assembly, you can carry up to 2 recumbents and one conventional bike. With a 1-1/4" hitch assembly, you can carry one recumbent and one conventional bike. Like the rest of the SportsWroks line of Quick-load bike racks, the Universal is unrivaled for quick and secure laoding, quality and durability.

The Rooftop Series - Bob Ratchet and U2

The Bob Ratchet

The Bob Ratchet - from Sportworks

Like all Sportworks Quick-load bike racks, the Bob Ratchet Upright Rooftop Rack allows you to carry your bicycle without taking the wheels off and without taking contacting the frame. Our patented support arm with ratcheting grip, firmly secures your bike to your rooftop rack. Compatable with Yakima and Thule style load bars, you can load your bike in seconds. The perfect rooftop solution.

The U2

The U2 - from Sportworks

Sportworks racks have long been known for quick and secure loading of a wide range of bicycles. The range got even bigger with the addition of the U2 Tandem/Recumbent Rooftop Rack. The first of its kind, the U2 allows for loading a tandem or long wheelbase recumbent without removing any wheels. The U2 is also innovatively designed for one-person loading.

Fit Kits

Fit Kits

Fit Kits may be used to address the need for more ground clearance or to gain more space between the rack and the vehicle. If your vehicle rides too low to the ground, a riser may be needed. If you have a deeply mounted hitch or a spare tire on the back of your vehicle, an extension may be necessary. Accessories such as locks for your rack and bikes will complete your Sportworks Rack System.

Visit Sportworks to learn more about their products and use their dealer locator to find a dealer near you.

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