Review: North Shore Racks NSR-6

Nov 18, 2020
by Mike Kazimer  
North Shore Rack 6

North Shore Racks have been helping mountain bikers haul their bikes around since 2004, and 16 years later the racks are still made in North Vancouver, BC.

The NSR-6 can carry up to six bike, with a maximum recommended bike weight of 60 pounds, and a total weight capacity of 300 pounds. In other words, six oversized eMTBs might be pushing it, but otherwise almost any six mountain bikes should still come in under the max weight limit.

The bikes are held on via a four-pronged cradle that the fork crown slides into, and the rear wheel is held in place by a knotted rope. It's a rack designed specifically for mountain bikers, which means riders who are looking for a place to hang their fancy road bikes or beach cruisers will need to look elsewhere (for now).
NSR-6 Rack Details

• Max bike weight: 60 lb / Total weight capacity: 300 lb
• Folds down when not in use
• Steel construction
• 2" receiver hitch
• Made in Canada
• Rack weight: 72 lb
• Price: $799.99 USD
northshoreracks.com


It may be limited to mountain bikes, at least for now, but the design does allow it to work with everything from 12" to 29" wheels (kids bikes will require a bungee cord or something similar to attach the rear wheel to the rack's lower double bar). The mountain bike-only designation is scheduled to change this spring when North Shore Racks launches their retrofittable road bike adaptor.




North Shore Rack 6


ASSEMBLY & INSTALLATION

The NSR-6 is shipped completely disassembled, and I mean completely – even the pieces of rope that are used to secure the rear wheel need some assembly, in the form of an overhand knot every few inches.

Getting everything put together isn't overly challenging, but it does take a solid 30 – 45 minutes. There's also the fact that it, like all 6-bike vertical racks we know of, is not light. The whole process is doable by one person, but having someone else on hand to help carry it and slide it into the hitch doesn't hurt.

The ability to tilt the rack, along with the multiple positions on the portion that slides in to a hitch, helps it accommodate a wide range of vehicle types. I ended up running it in the middle of the three angle positions, and with the rack as far back on the portion that slides into the receiver hitch in order to get the most ground clearance possible, which helped keep the rear wheels of longer bikes from dragging on the ground when going over water bars and the like.



North Shore Rack 6

LOADING & UNLOADING

Loading up the NSR-6 is quick and relatively easy as long as you remember the basics. The main point to keep in mind is that bikes load from the left side, and unload starting on the right. I'll admit, it is sort of entertaining watching someone try to get their bike out of the middle spot on the rack without taking the others off first – that struggle is real.

Of course, the difficulty level of loading bikes will also depend on vehicle height, bike weight, and rider height. Lifting a heavy DH bike over your head, especially for riders that are on the shorter side of the spectrum can be a challenge. I tested the rack with a wide range of mountain bikes and didn't run into any issues when it came to loading the bikes, but I do know the fit sometimes be a little trickier with a dual crown fork and a short head tube.

Compared to something like a Recon or a VelociRAX rack, where the front wheel sits in a cradle, it does take a bit more effort to get bikes situated on a North Shore Rack, although once they're in place they stay put very well, even on rough roads. The Yakima HangOver rack uses as similar pronged system to hold bikes, but it's more awkward to load, and requires that a rubber strap be secured each time to keep the bike in place.

North Shore Rack 6
It doesn't get much more simple than this.

BIKE RETENTION

Once the fork crown is sitting in the four rubber coated prongs it's time to secure the rear wheel. The attachment method is about as simple as it gets – a piece of cord is looped around the wheel, and then a knot slots into a little notch to hold it into place. The system works, but I wouldn't mind seeing something a little less rudimentary, perhaps something along the lines of a ski strap. According to North Shore Racks, they said that they went with rope because it doesn't stretch, which helps keep the bikes from popping out the top of the rack if hit from below.

Speaking of ski straps, I'd highly recommend a few of those, unless you like looking in your rearview mirror and seeing front wheels spinning merrily along for the entire drive. This is another area where it'd be nice to see some refinement in the rack's design. It's not necessary to keep the bike in place - the prong length and design takes care of that, but the spinning front wheel is distracting.

It's also worth mentioning that the rack does touch your frame, and there's a chance of ending up with scuffed paint on your bike's head tube, especially you're doing a lot of loading and unloading on wet, muddy days. It's best to check the fit before heading out, and a protective sticker or two on the frame should prevent any possible paint rubbing. Shuttling rub is one of those things that can happen with almost any setup, and overall I'd say the NSR-6 is one of the more frame friendly options out there.

When it comes to keeping the bikes where they belong - on the rack - the NSR-6 does a great job. I never had any runaway bikes, and even when the rear wheels were jostled by a water bar all of the bikes remained in place. This is the category where the NSR-6 shines most - it's a very secure way to hold bikes on rugged shuttle roads.


North Shore Rack 6
North Shore Rack 6
It's probably time for a little rattle-can rust removal, assuming the rain ever stops...

DURABILITY

With the border closed, my usual trips to Whistler Bike Park have been replaced by more shuttling than ever, which has provided ample opportunity to test out the NSR-S's durability. The rack itself is still in excellent shape, although there are a few rust spots that are starting to show up where the powdercoat has rubbed off. That's the downside of the full steel construction, and it's going to be a more common occurrence for riders that live in extra-wet areas. A little sandpaper and some spray paint should be all it takes to deal with it, but it'd be nice if it didn't happen at all.

I did end up installing an anti-rattle hitch tightener, since there was still more play between the rack and my hitch than I wanted even with everything snugged down. It would have been fine if I was only driving on pavement, but much of the shuttling I did was off-road.

On that note, North Shore Rack's 2-year warranty says that it's void if the product has been used off-road, which is unfortunate since I'd imagine there are a lot more dirt road shuttle roads than paved ones. The racks are designed to handle dirt road shuttling, it's just that North Shore Racks can't cover user caused damage.




COMPARISONS

Weight: The NSR-6 is a fairly substantial chunk of steel, but at 72 pounds it is lighter than its main competition - the Yakima HangOver is 73 pounds, the Recon R6 is 85 pounds, and the VelociRAX 6 also weighs around 85 pounds.

Carrying Capacity: As I mentioned earlier, the NSR-6 is designed to hold up to 300 pounds, with a max individual bike weight of 60 pounds (that means you'd only be able to carry 5 bikes if all of them weigh 60 pounds). The VelociRAX has a total bike weight capacity of 230 pounds, and individual bikes should weigh no more than 57 pounds. Yakima's HangOver rack has a 225 pound capacity, with an individual bike weight limit of 37.5 pounds. For the Recon R6, each basket is rated to a maximum capacity of 45-50 pounds.

Price: In the US, the NSR-6 is priced identically to the Yakima HangOver at $799, which is impressive considering the NSR-6 is made in Canada, and the HangOver is made in Asia. The VelociRAX 6 is slightly more expensive, at $849 USD. Recon is the smallest operation out of these four, and their prices reflect that at $1,170 for the 6 bike option. The Recon racks are made in the USA from US-sourced parts.


North Shore Rack 6




Pros

+ Very secure bike retention, even on rough roads
+ Compact considering how many bikes it can hold, while keeping them far enough apart to prevent pedal vs frame incidents
+ High individual bike weight capacity
+ Better value than most of the competition, and a touch lighter too
Cons

- Can be awkward to load and unload, depending on bike weight and rider height
- Wheel retention system could be refined, and needs a strap to stop the front wheel spinning
- Rust can develop, especially if it's used in rainy climates
- Mountain bikes only (for now)






Pinkbike's Take
bigquotesNorth Shore Racks were one of the first companies to come up with a sturdy solution for mountain bikers looking for an alternative to tossing bikes over a tailgate, and the latest version is up to the task. It's sturdy, simple, and has held up well to a season's worth of shuttling.

Yes, there are a couple areas that could be refined to give it a less homemade feel, but it works exactly as intended. It's one of the best options for riders looking for something that'll securely hold a lot of bikes in place, especially for riders who shuttle on on rough roads.
Mike Kazimer









253 Comments

  • 127 30
 I have been using the 4 bikes version for 10+ years so I feel I can share a long time review.

Pros
- it's compact enough for a 4 bikes rack
- it's robust
- it kinda works for different kind of bikes (different wheel size, hardtails) but not really, you will have to be creative

Cons
- It will scratch, rub, and polish your fork crown, there is no way around, it's just a matter of time. You would have to modify it for some softer material on the hooks.
- it's a pain to load the bike, you'll need to find a good combo for your bikes not too scratch each other (especially pedals and brake lever contact)
- The bikes are not really secure, the fork can jump out of the hook then you'll drag your bike behind your car, it already happened to me multiple times. I'd recommend adding a strap to your fork.
-It feels homemade and the usability could be refined.

Final thoughts.
I would not recommend it, I would invite you to look at the racks using the wheels/tires to secure the bikes. Also if you have a truck, put your bike in the bed, it's easier and cheaper.
  • 47 3
 I’ve used NSR 4 for about 8 years. I agree with your pros and cons and have a few more.

Pros:
- does not block brake lights and turn signals.
- it’s made of solid metal with no plastic parts to wear out.
- great resale value
- loads 4 bikes quickly once you get the hang of it.

Cons: it will rust if exposed to road salt, I take mine off in the winter.


I would recommend buying it unless you can afford a Recon instead.
  • 44 17
 Lolo racks should have been mentioned in the comparison
  • 10 2
 I'm running the NSR4 and am concerned about your note about the bikes jumping out of the hook. They can jump even with the rear wheel very tightly secured to the bottom? The bikes could potentially rotate on the secured rear wheel but it would have to vertically move up, which I don't know how it's possible with the rear wheel secured. We've taken this rack many places and never had a concern about it leaving the top hook and am hopeful we never have to. What's the best way to keep the bikes from jumping out of the hook?
  • 12 1
 I would also put as a negative that it is not very compatible with bikes with big head tubes such as evil, guerrilla gravity where it can’t sit in it the top without a lot of finagling and likely scoring up the frame.

In general I’ve liked mine for 8 years, and still durable as hell, but still some room for improvement on the system.
  • 10 0
 @azinwood: I woulsn't be worried. I've had this happen but only because the bike wasn't placed properly and had a loose wheel strap. One thing you need to watch i how you place the rope through the rear wheel, if the rope chooses a long path, the tire can rotate, causing the rope to slacken. If it the bike is installed properly, it's going nowhere. I've known people to be so aggressive offroad that they bent the rack/hitch before they lost a bike.
  • 16 0
 Here's my take after using a 4 pack for 4 years and a 6 pack for a year.

-Once you get used to loading sequence, I consider it far easier than a horizontal bar style rack, or roof mounted. You do have to be mindful of pedal position.
-The 4 prongs are rubber protected, but the rubber sleeve can slide down o the prong exposing the steel. I've taken chunks out of the paint on my lower headtube from dropping it on the exposed metal. Ive since hockey taped them.
-My 4 pack rusted badly but I use t year round for fat biking etc. It doesnt really bother me but I get why the appearance matters a lot to people.
-The bikes are really secure if you load them properly. Watch out for the rope path through the rear wheel. If it take a longer path and the tire can rotate, the rope can become slack. Be sure the rope uses the shortest path, and you get a just a bit of tire compression on the bar to ensure a snug fit.

I would recommend it as I have found nothing else as easy or secure. The added stabilizer bolt makes a big difference. The Yakima competitor is nice as well but has a lot more play in the many joints than the NSR.

Overall, the only thing I'd like changed are the rubber sleeves on the prongs. Make them closed on the top to prevent exposed steel. Work on the coating as well. (The 6 pack seems to be more robust and is a different colour)
  • 44 10
 Sorry bud but I don’t agree and I have had one for years. The bikes can’t fall out unless you don’t attach the rope on the bottom. It’s physics they are locked down. You can blame the rack if it makes you feel better but you just forgot to attach the rope. They are super secure and the bikes don’t touch the other bikes like they do with other racks. There is the risk of some marks on your forks but a 3m sticker eliminates that.

My big issue with Recon style is that it holds all the weight of the bike on the fork bushings which sucks. I would rather have a scuff on my fork crown than loose bushings. Lolo hangs bikes by the handlebars and I that is the last thing you want to damage. They are thin walled and if they break you are screwed.

Sure NSR hasn’t updated the design but it works and is simple. I agree they could clean up the look a bit but I would rather have something that is proven and works. If you scratch them they will rust but so will any steel rack like Recon or Lolo. I have seen plenty of rusty Recons around. Just the fact that you have had one for ten years is a testament to the durability.

Final thoughts: There is a reason you see these everywhere in Squamish, Whistler and the North Shore. I see 10 NSRs for every one of the other brands. They are still the best vertical rack.. They last forever and are easy to load. Sure they have there faults but so do all the others mentioned.
  • 16 5
 @adrennan: I concur. Have Lolo 6 and its awesome. Both are designed / built by homegrown MTBers so both NSR and Lolo are in equal footing there (unlike Yakima, Thule etc.) The Lolo kills the NSR in looks as well IMO.

We run a couple of Evil's in my household therefore the NSR (and possibly the Yakima) were disqualified from our search due to the large headtubes not being compatible.
  • 8 0
 @jasbushey: the tines that hold your fork/headtube are just steel. put a pry bar in there and bend them out a touch, it makes the bike fit better.
  • 11 0
 @notdentist: Agree 100%. Had mine for over a decade and it's easy to give it a tune up when needed. I've replaced the rope and the rubber pads for the fork (easily obtained at a hose supply).

About the front wheels spinning: Use a small bungee to hold the front brake lever. Done.
  • 11 0
 @notdentist: Oh, also:

1. EZ to bend the prongs a bit for large head tubes or carbon fat bike forks. You don't have to bend them back for regular bikes--still works fine.

2. You can hold a road bike and securely, you just have to get a bit creative: place it backwards cradling the handlebar/stem and bungee the rear wheel. It's solid but it does effectively take 2 spots this way.
  • 8 3
 @notdentist: You Nailed it! I've had an NSR 2 for 11 years, it has been back and forth across Canada from Vancouver to Halifax and back. Never lost a bike (even have left the ropes untied for short periods, though I was probably lucky and don't suggest doing that). Another good thing about NSRs is how compact they are! People are constantly stopping me in the grocery store parking lots back east where they aren't as common and asking where I found a compact rack. A 4 bike tray rack is like adding a second car to your car someone is going to hit that, not so with NSR.

The biggest pro of them all. There are NO moving parts... sure it would be nice to have a nicer wheel strap or something but in most of western Canada there is so much gravel on the roads I would NOT want a clicky strap made of plastic that is going to fill up with rocks and dust and just stop working.

My NSR has outlived the Thule, Saris, Yakima, Tuff Rack, Sport rack, and Swagman racks that I or my friends have used.
  • 8 3
 Recon all the way, I can't stand the scratches on the fork or handlebars or frames from other racks.

Yes it loads the fork bushings some, but it is the best rack for 4+ bikes!

If you only need 1-2 the tray style is great, 3 starts to be more wobbly, I had a rim roc that was great for 3, not sure how it would do with longer wheelbases though.
  • 2 1
 Reminds me of the bus you get from Chatel to Pre La Loux. It's like some kind a horrible Chinese puzzle, trying to configure which way the bikes are going to go, whilst the arsey driver is always too keen to set off whilst giving zero help. On a positive note, this looks pretty tidy though once the bikes are loaded. Does the French bus driver come with it?
  • 1 0
 I've never had a bike jump out but it is definitely a puzzle trying to get the bikes lined up right to prevent pedals scratching. Also, the prongs don't work well with dual crown forks - the square edge of the 40 crown will cut right through the rubber and start grinding itself away on the steel prong below
  • 3 0
 Pros: Decent design, holds bikes well overall.

Cons: It Rusts easy in average BC summertime weather, terrible powder coating....
  • 4 0
 How has no one mentioned xl or xxl 29ers? This is the only weakness I found. Impossible to go over waterbars w these large frames.. Not sure if they updated the rack to accommodate this, but my rack is miserable for this. Luckily I have roof racks to mitigate this but with bikes getting bigger and longer it should be a real concern. Getting to the point where the rack is useless depending on who I ride with...
  • 7 1
 I've used my 6-bike version for 10 years. Never lost a bike - as someone else said, can't happen unless the rear wheel is not attached. Some notes

You CAN haul road bikes - handlebars across 2 hooks, strap them down, attach rear wheel, bungee on the front brake, good to go. Many, many road trips with the wife and I and 2 mtb, 2 road. That said, I keep wanting to make a road bike attachment that fits on the existing hooks.

You need to deal with front wheels spinning. Rubber band on front brake, bungee through all the wheels, etc. Easy enough. Most of our bikes have a rubber band inside the left grip for this purpose.

I use a friend's Recon often, To me, North Shore is MUCH easier to load, lighter, simpler, stronger. I go North Shore again if it comes to that.

Makes an excellent pull up bar, and I made a plywood picnic table that fits on the lowered rack. Pretty sweet...

The biggest con I have found is the road bike "incompatablity, which really just requires some thought. Once I train my friends on loading, they are loading and unloading in seconds as well. All about technique.
  • 5 0
 @jasbushey: The latest version handles big head tubes fine.
  • 3 1
 @notdentist: Not true, I have seen them hop out on a rough gravel road. The bike was then dragged by the attached rope. Wasn't pretty when the person stopped after a couple of km's to see what the sound was.

I also own one and love it. Just letting you know.
  • 2 0
 @powderhoundbrr: Yeah, I've had this happen as well but it was due to loading error. You can get the rear tire strap tight, but if it takes a long path and wedges in on a spoke, the tire can rotate creating slack and allowing it to jump out of the forks. Luckily I only ruined a seat but have heard of others that grinded through frames. Since becoming aware of the rope path, there have been no issues on extremely rough roads. You probably already learned this lessen though....
  • 6 0
 @notdentist: bikes can fall off. Had it happen twice so far on mine. Happened on a speed bump and I hen shuttling. When shuttling up a steep hill the long wheelbase caused the wheel to hit ground pushing fork off hooks and dragged the bike. On the speed bump it popped the fork off the hooks and the fork landed on the sanctions between two hooks...
  • 5 0
 @nennarv: the new ones are taller than they used to be.
  • 1 0
 @adrennan: I completely agree!
  • 3 0
 @azinwood: ski strap across the headtube and around the hook. no problem.
  • 2 0
 @Maestroman87: Good idea with the hockey tape. Did you completely remove the rubber sleeve and rebuild up the thickness with the tape?

I need to bend my prongs out to better fit my headtube. Tired of the scratches and don't want them on my new bike.
  • 1 0
 @jasbushey: You can add most DH bikes to that list. Session and M16 wont fit without bending the prongs, and then wont fit your single crown.
  • 1 0
 Thnx for the Info!
  • 1 0
 They are a good rack no doubt but the metal doesn't wear well (it looks faded or rusty quick). You also cant adjust the rack with the bikes on it to open the trunk. Over 20 years Ive owned every rack there is. Roof rack with axel, Cobra style roof rack, NSR, crappy trunk rack and rear loaded. Im a fan of the Yakima Holdup rear loader. Less bike contact, looks new after 5+ years, bottle opener Wink and most importantly one can easily angle the rack downward with bikes on to access the trunk. You also dont have to show your friends' friend how to use the NSR!! Oh and one more thing.....it comes with a lock that is a deterrent and piece of mind when you run in to get a few beeeerssss post ride.
  • 1 0
 @tmou1t: I removed the rubber pieces, tapes the prongs and then slid the rubber back on. It was tough to get them on over a double layer of hockey tape.
  • 7 1
 @notdentist: just a friendly clarification: I have been running the same carbon bars since I started the company and just jumped all of Blue Steel in Bellingham a few weekends ago. When used properly there is zero damage to the bike. Much the same as any rack on the market..
  • 4 0
 @lastminutetech: I can angle my 4-pack NSR down to access my trunk no problem.
  • 3 0
 I would recommend it; 5 years and it's still my favorite bike accessory. I've never had a bike jump off the rack. At my local shuttle hill (Moose Mountain, Alberta) most vehicles w a rack are using the NSR and everyone just rips up the super-bumpy dirt road no problems. It's easy to load: one hand on the seat tube and the other on the fork. IMHO: NSR feels very sturdy and almost over-engineered steel thickness. I have had several fellow bikers in parking lots lament at their regret of buying other brand racks when they see my NSR. I get the fork crown paint scuff off but I don't really mind - it's worth how convenient and reliable the rack is. Disclaimer: as a Canadian, I am quite biased to like it.
  • 4 0
 I've been using the four bike version for 7+ years and while I won't argue that the issues listed in the cons above cannot happen, I can relay that I never ended up dragging a bike, wearing the crown or damaging the bikes despite countless trips and shuttling sessions on dirt roads.

I think that a good chunk of these issues stem from human error/behaviour. Yes, the spacing between the bikes could be increased, the tying system could be perfected and the rubber touching the crown could be soften to make the overall use more dummy proof (politely, user friendly).

To some degree it is like saying I would not recommend purchasing this bike because I crashed with it. Well maybe it had nothing to do with the bike and more with the person on it.

My main con about the rack is that most of the time someone who never used such rack has to be shown how to use it properly otherwise they risk running into the issues described above. But people who can't/don't want to use their brain to use stuff and value convenience above all bother me way more so for that reason, I would recommend this rack only if you care a bit about your bike and can lift it above your head.
  • 2 1
 @adrennan: lolo racks suck. scratched my shit up and tossed out of the rack twice in just the couple days of riding with my buddy who has one.
  • 2 0
 @Lolo-Racks: I have had my bike come out of your racks twice. once on a bumpy gravel road both straps failed and the second time on a not so bumpy road to chucanut my bike came partway out and gouged up my brake master cylinder and thankfully some bar tape around my handlebar got chewed up instead of my carbon bar. The upper and lower strap was for sure done but the fact that the straps are weak bungee allowed for the bike to hop out none the less.
  • 1 0
 @nennarv: Whether the bike's rear wheel could hit on a speedbump or minor waterbar totally depends on the vehicle. Lower vehicles with a low hitch you need to be aware of the angles for departure or when backing.
  • 1 0
 I'll add one more to the cons.

My 10 year old rack has narrower forks on it. I can pry them apart to fit new large diameter head tubes, but its cracked the paint causing rust and changed the angle the bikes sit at making them rub on eachother at times. I called NorthShore and they told me I would have to buy an entire rack to replace the forks. Kind of disappointing considering they're held on by two bolts.

Cons:
- Minimal replacement components
  • 1 0
 @powderhoundbrr: Exact scenario happened to me with a two-bike but it was through a water bar so I knew to check my mirrors immediately afterward which prevented most of the damage. Not sure if the rope staying attached was a blessing or a curse in this instance, the bike might have come off better if it had just popped straight out as it was at relatively low speed, but FWIW it did stay attached and got dragged for a few metres. I would say it wasn't enough to be a deal breaker but definitely made me even more double triple cautious of checking the straps before departure and checking the mirrors frequently.
  • 1 0
 @azinwood: I too have concerns about the bikes jumping out of the hooks. My solution is to tie the bottom wheel with a no stretch cord and to tie down the forks in the hooks with a no stretch cord.
  • 3 1
 @allsk8sno: Yep, I had a NS6, and after all my fork crowns were polished and bikes are so close to each other that I've had pedal pins rub paint down to metal on chainstays, I had enough. The good thing is that I sold it for the same price I paid for it. My Evil didn't fit in it, and my Maiden with a BOS fork didn't fit either. Enter RECON RACK for the win! No issues whatsoever. Bikes will never touch, fits any headtube or fork, and solid as hell. I like supporting a one-man band too.

@notdentist: Fork bushings? There can't be much if any movement while its on the rack to wear them out. You're probably replacing them when you do yearly maintenance anyway, I know I am. Bushings are cheap and easy to replace, worn to metal fork crowns, not so much. Paint worn fork crowns affect resale value also.

If you are looking at one of the big racks, you might as well go full-hog and get a 6 bike rack over a 4, you'll use it. It's not like you'll end up getting 6 bike later, so just do it right from the start, you won't regret it.
  • 5 2
 @getsomesy: send us an email and we can help
  • 1 0
 @azinwood: I've never seen a bike fall out and I've had mine 10+ years. As long as the back wheel is secured in tight, it won't come out.
  • 5 0
 @nennarv: I believe my NSR (which I bought this year) has been modified to have a longer extension to compensate for bikes having longer reaches.

I suppose if one didn't read the instructions, or was unfamiliar with the rack - a bike could fall out - but that could happen with a lot of other racks out there.

NSR racks aren't perfect - but they tick most of the boxes at a fair price. And besides, I'd rather support the original guys that came up with this design than a rip-off from Yakima.
  • 2 2
 Well put. I read the article and was going to touch on these key points that were omitted?

Forks get destroyed
My bike gets destroyed as it gets bumped off the rack.

...simply, I wont put my bike on one.
  • 3 0
 @nennarv: they did update the dimensions and I can confirm that my xl 29er banshee fits well on mine hung off the back of a Volvo xc60.
  • 1 0
 @IamZOSO: I used a handle bar over the prongs for more leverage to bend them and it was very fast and easy.
  • 3 2
 @notdentist: oh the bikes can pop out, and quite easily. Happened to me twice on friends NSR4 racks. I have other friends that this has happened as well.

If you have a bike with a long wheelbase, and the car clearance is not adequate for the bumps/potholes/waterbars... VOILA! Your bike is still attached by the rear wheel and dragging your entire cockpit on the road.

Neat feature!

No rack is perfect, and these are far from it. Especially with the added bonus of crown raping.
  • 5 0
 pretty sure the nsr is the original vertical rack, which should be mentioned.
  • 3 0
 @brianpark: Cannot signal boost this enough, have had my NSR-2 for a couple of years now. Was the only rack that would clear the spoiler on my STi. I will state that the mast from the previous generations of racks is not long enough for 29'ers with a 1200mm+ wheelbase wise if you drive a car. A quick phone call to Northshore however provided me with a mast that is even a few inches longer then the mast on the current racks.
  • 1 0
 @notdentist: maybe the reason you see them everywhere in those towns mentioned is because it's made there?
  • 1 0
 @captballjack: Yes for sure and you can pick it up assembled at their factory. I think it also helps because once people can check them out in person they buy one. What is truly amazing is that there are so many of them. They are everywhere. Basically it is all NSR's and Toyota Tacoma's.
  • 6 0
 Still having issues with this comment. Three things:

1) it is not a pain to load at all - bikes can go on in any order and its fast. They do not conflict. There is no brake lever contact so that is just wrong and really an issue with wheel tray racks style racks You do have to watch the pedals on an NSR. With Recon you have to load the bikes in size order or the bars conflict.

2) It works for a wide range of bikes. All they have to have is suspension forks. I have had 20" kids bikes up to fat bikes on mine. All you have to adjust is the knots on the rope.

3) The bikes are secure if you watch the video and use the rope correctly. Frankly, I think people blame the rack when they screw up and ruin their buddies bike.
  • 2 0
 @notdentist: I agree. Easy to load. Loading in any order is challenging though, snagging lever/cables on adjacent bikes. I've used as small as 16" wheeled non suspension bikes to rigid fat bikes with no problem either. Dropping bikes is almost certainly loading error, as it was with the bike I lost one time.
  • 2 0
 @Maestroman87: If you are really sending it offroad, even loaded properly it can fall out. But you have to be driving like a massive douche, like an offroad truck racer through baha. Or there are times where if you are on a big dip if the rear tire hits the ground, it can pop the string. I would prefer this though then destroying the wheel.

There has been some silly hate on these. I wanted to clarify my previous comment. I have no interest in a different rack, I think this NSR works great, and for a rack to be working great after 8 years says a testament to its quality.

Although it took my wife 3 years to figure out how to load her bike...
  • 1 0
 @partswhore: You know that they have longer masts now and that you can adjust them higher at the lower pivot. In fact, I recently saw a guy driving in a sedan with the mast set at the lowest setting and stopped him to show him how to raise it.
  • 2 0
 @sledMXer: Wow are you really making the argument that fork bushings are not a big deal. That is a stretch .
No ones likes to ride with loose bushings as it feels like crap. You can protect your fork crown with a 3M decal and voila no more rub. Also, you can bend the prongs a little bit wider to fit Evil. NSR for the win again!
  • 1 0
 @Lolo-Racks: I have broke carbon bars while riding and it is scary. Not a risk I would like to take. In fact I ride only aluminum now.
  • 1 0
 @nennarv: Longer mast on the new ones. Also, you have to adjust it to the top setting.
  • 1 0
 @adrennan: if you can afford carbon bars they won't be on by the top of the hill.
  • 1 0
 @i-ride-an-orbea-rallon: I am too scared of carbon bars to use them anyway
  • 30 2
 The fact that on lolos Instagram page sent us over here to hype lolo in this immediately nocks them out of contention! I own a nsr 4 I like it nothings perfect though I hate how its inevitable that your going to get blemishes on your for but love how compact and robust it is also I love that you can still clearly see turn signals and break lights with bikes on! Imo thats an underated thing!
  • 5 0
 hahah really? Did they delete the story or something, I don't see anything?
  • 19 3
 @gramboh: I asked them to delete it and they did, which I appreciate.
  • 9 0
 @brianpark: Well done BP.....Youre more of a digital bike sheriff now hahaha
  • 9 0
 That explains all the downvotes my lolo comment got. I didn't see their post, I just really like their rack design and build quality and brought it up.
  • 7 12
flag mattbrown9 (Nov 18, 2020 at 10:52) (Below Threshold)
 @gramboh: They asked people to share their opinion of Lolo here. I don't really understand why PB has an issue with that, I'm assuming people are looking through the comments to figure out what people actually think.
  • 1 0
 @adrennan: just a person in the wrong place at the wrong time????
  • 2 0
 I forgot no laughing faces those aren't supposed to be question marks lol
  • 4 2
 lolo sucks.
  • 11 1
 @getsomesy: That's some serious weaksauce from Lolo.

It's one thing if it's organic posts from people that truly love the product (We Are One and 1Up racks come to mind) - but to tell folks on your Insta to hijack a competitors Pinkbike review is lame.
  • 4 0
 @mattbrown9: it’s just greasy and weak. Send your rack, get it reviewed. Don’t hijack another manufacturers review to try and bite a bit of their pie. Make something good and loyal customers will talk it up themselves. Ask people to talk your shit up-weak sauce. @lolo-racks should explain what they were thinking at this point...
  • 22 1
 On my visit to Canada I was blown away when using the 4-bike version of this. Just so fast and secure!

I immediately looked for something similar in the UK only to be very disappointed. It could be down to our crap caravan-based towball standard (rather than the 2" hitch you can use), and also patents, but there just isn't a solution like this available. If you live in North America and don't want a pickup truck, these are surely a no-brainer!
  • 2 1
 Scorpion Rack is the UK adaptation of those North American bike rack (only for two bike and never available). The european market is not suitable for this kind of rack i gess...
  • 3 0
 Would you not need to put a light and license plate board on, since its covering both? Police would be all over you in the UK.
  • 4 7
 They're way too expensive for most of us to consider. It's really hard to see the value in it especially when it's so prone to rust.
  • 2 0
 @Theolachavanne: Yep not only it covers the license plate, but also would highly decrease the visibility of your rear lights. Also in Europe generally it is not allowed to transport objects that extend the length of the vehicle more than 0.5m without a light.
  • 5 2
 @TrevZ: it rusts less than Thule, Yakima or most racks out there except for One Up USA.
  • 6 0
 @TrevZ: I think the rust thing is overstated.

I leave mine outside in the rain and it's been 6ish years and there's barely any rust
  • 1 0
 @pbuser2299: According to their website it doesn't obscure the lights because it takes two bikes in the centre of the car. I guess it depends where you numberplate is mounted as to whether that's an issue.
  • 2 0
 @ihatetomatoes: Mine was a rust bucket after 12 months but I used it through the winter for fat biking. If you scratch it at all, the rust will find a way. If you leave it scratch free, it wont outside of the bolts. The new 6 pack I got seems to use a new surface finish and appears to be more robust.
  • 1 0
 @TrevZ: I've had mine on my car without taking it off for 3 years I commute 90+ miles in oregon weather no rust issues here!
  • 1 0
 @appltn: Anything that mounts on a towbar in the EU has to have a lighting board regardless. Pretty much every bike rack designed for the US/Canadian markets doesn't comply with the regs over here.
  • 18 0
 Never knew people were so cliquey with racks.

I have a NSR 4 and it’s solid. Buddy has a 6 we use to shuttle w his van, works like a charm.
  • 17 0
 I’ve had my NSR-4 for over 10 years.
Bullet proof rack.
The only issue is the paint finish.
I’m surprised that they haven’t figured the paint issue by now.
  • 4 0
 Same. Love the rack, had a couple for years. But the rust is a pain. I’ve found sanding and using black truckbed coating paint holds up pretty well but will still rust again eventually
  • 5 0
 Steel should be Galvanised before painting. Im a fabricator on the coast and just about everything has to get dipped in Zinc. @rcmalinchak:
  • 4 0
 @Fektor: what about powder coating it?
  • 3 0
 They have, the 2018 model and up are a grey powder coat.
  • 1 0
 Powder coating is a sweet cost effective paint. It's still scratches though. Best bet to use an Etch primer on your existing rack then an Epoxy paint over the top @Jvisscher:
  • 1 0
 RUST....RUST...and more RUST. Besides that, it's a good rack. Too bad the rust is an issue.
  • 1 0
 @B650wagon: Not an issue if you don't give a shit, it holds my bike securely and that's all I care about. If I was anal I would take it apart, clean it up and throw a shot of raptor liner on there but the rack has less rust than my car so I really don't care lol. Not a single bad thing to say on the NSR 2 after 3 years and plenty of use. I also take it off in winter so its not exposed to Alberta roads.
  • 1 0
 Less rust then my car. lol. I remember first seeing these racks around 2009 in Squamish followed by doing shuttles with them. Always thought they were the best racks I'd ever used. Especially if your truck doesn't have a tub or you want to free up the space. @VPS13:
  • 3 0
 @Fektor: Ya I'm a big fan of mine, its the perfect fit for my car. I needed something to keep the bike higher up as the car is pretty low to the ground and this has been a perfect solution for me. Everyone is entitled to their own opinion, they may not be the fanciest things out there but they perform in every way I need.
  • 16 1
 I got this so my bikes wouldn't touch:
www.velocirax.com
easy to load, pro finish, bikes stay away from each other, the damper system works well.
  • 12 0
 A buddy has one of their racks. I had a hard time nitpicking things on it. It's very well thought out and worked great! I'd totally buy one of these over recon/north shore.
  • 5 0
 I'm thinking about buying one. Any issues with the rear wheels of larger bikes hitting speed bumps? I have that problem with my current NSR.
  • 6 3
 Oh look another Utah company that ripped off the Recon Racks design.
  • 8 2
 Loving my VelociRAX too. No issues on speed bumps so far. And the hefty rubber straps have been awesome
  • 4 1
 I've got a Velocirax also. Ive used it on the back of my truck, car, rzr 4wheeler, and camp trailer. works great, no rub!
  • 1 0
 @Super7: doesn't look like much adjustability on the velocirack
  • 2 0
 I love the built in anti-rattle system on the VelociRAX as it stops a lot of banging back and forth.
  • 2 0
 Love Velocirax!
  • 1 0
 I ride lead with for a NICA devo team and the VelociRax keeps everyone's bike from scratching each others. My 11 year old daughter loads it up frequently and is able to tilt it up once loaded (7 bikes) because of the design. It's a GO! I can totally recommend them. Easiest load in the business.
  • 2 0
 Thanks for everyone's feedback. The NSR has served me well for a decade but since my family started moving into niners we've had issues with speed bumps and potholes hitting the rear tires. I tried adding a hitch riser but it was $160 and my wife couldn't reach with it on so I had to return it. I hope NSR can sort this out because I think I'm a fairly typical user - 4 mountain bikes of various sizes on a Toyota Highlander. Anyway, I've ordered a Velocirax and will be selling the NSR on PB as soon as we get out of lockdown.
  • 1 0
 @trails801: Great feedback. I also have an 11 year old daughter so she now has a new job!
  • 1 0
 Best multi-bike rack EVER... Spacing is perfect and bikes lock down tight for all our washboard roads we have in southern Utah????????... Center gas shock makes loading easy for younger riders and adults as well.
  • 1 0
 I also bought the velocirax for my shop. (6 bikes) I was going with Recon before I found the Velocirax. Best bank for the buck. Love the dampening tilting feature. So many people that have seen mine have ordered racks for themselves. Been using it for 4 months and no complaints, even with e-bikes.
  • 24 8
 im sorry but for the money that looks crap
  • 8 3
 Looks like a DIY solution. Rusts easily. And also that rope Big Grin
  • 6 15
flag coast2coast-4 (Nov 18, 2020 at 8:35) (Below Threshold)
 There is a cult like following for these racks here in Vancouver. I dont get it....
  • 23 5
 @coast2coast-4: because they work and are locally made?

Are you dull?
  • 4 2
 @nvranka: Sure, I could buy something just because it 'works'. Personally, I like to set the bar a bit higher and try to find what works best. Just my opinion tho take it with a grain of salt.
  • 4 0
 @coast2coast-4: i agree, dont be bothered by the down votes. its partly an image thing here because their a better racks that are built better with some innovation behind them. For $1,000 a glorified shoelace for the rear is antiquated - and over the last 20 years Ive owned every type of rack there is including NSR.
  • 1 0
 I hear you but 10+ years ago it was this or those goofy commuter bike racks with the two long poles which didn't work at all for mountain bikes. I was so happy when I got my NSR. As time has passed I think they have missed an opportunity to develop their product and keep up with competitors. Say what you will about capitalism but a bunch of companies have figured out how to build a better mousetrap (just like NSR did) and they are winning.
  • 19 7
 I wouldn't recommend buying one of these. They have barely changed their design in over a decade even though their design scratches the hell out of your headtube, crowns, and even upper stanchions on some dual-crown forks. Recon or Lolo racks, and probably others, are better options from what I can tell. We had a really hard time fitting some DH bikes with fat head tubes into a North Shore rack despite lots of bending of the prongs. For the price they should be offering something more refined than this garage welded oldschool solution.
  • 1 1
 I kinda have to agree. For the price and popularity their should have been some improvements to the original spec plus an added feature here and there.
  • 11 0
 I have owned this rack for 10 plus years and yes it does have some flaws but overall it just works...minimalistic when not carrying bikes as those Thule and kuat 4 bike carriers block the whole back of your vehicle when folded up.you just have to apply 3m film and Velcro on the fork crown and lower portion of your headtube on the frame to prevent rub which will happen..no different then getting tail gate rub on your down tube without it being protected ..as those prongs do contact the bike... just monitor the rubber tubing installed on each finger as they do wear out and are easily replaceable with 5/8 automotive tubing...Yes it will eventually rust in areas where it's nicked and I've kept mine at bay by spraying rust inhibitor...eventually I can just sand the rack and prep it well and give it a coat of truck bed liner or rocker panel coating....plus they just look like a mtbrs rack and it's why you see them all over BC and Alberta on anything from civics to Porsches
Cheers
  • 3 0
 ......the Dunbar Porsche
  • 2 0
 The folded up thule blocking your plate is a FEATURE. I don't even ride bikes I just have the rack to avoid speed traps!
  • 8 0
 I have been using the recon for a few years now - expensive but super happy with the basket mount solution instead of rubbing on the fork a la nsr.

Cody is super awesome to deal with as well - I needed to get two 20" baskets for the kids bikes and when I ordered them didn't realise I paid for shipping twice. Within 24hrs he contacted me about the error and issued an appropriate refund. That SCREAMS customer service.

I do use an anti-rattle hitch tightener with it as well though - does not have the slick mounting of the 1up
  • 4 0
 @onemind123 - I'll second the recommendation for Recon - I've had the R5 for a couple years now and still love it.


Some things to consider, both for these specific racks, and vertical racks in general:

It may just be what I'm familiar with, but loading/unloading on my Recon seems a lot quicker and less obnoxious than when we're loading my brother in law's NSR. There's usually some fiddling involved, be that fork mounts being bent a bit to accommodate a thick head tube, or having to position pedals, or of course securing the front wheels so they don't spinning for hours on a long drive.


The tilt on the Recon just snaps into place when you push it up. So if I get something out of the tailgate, I can do that by myself even with a loaded rack. Yep, it's a big push - but then no fiddling with a locking mechanism.


In general, vertical racks are great if you're tall and reasonably strong; they're a bit sucky, compared to a decent tray rack, if you're short. But with 4 bikes, even the best tray rack (I'd argue the OneUp, which projects out to the back a whole lot less, and which has an up-angle so that the rear most bikes sit higher, which is crucial for navigating steep driveways and such) is pushing the weight awfully far back. Unless you've got a rather beefy vehicle, that makes for very bad weight distribution. A 4 bike Yakima tray rack, fully loaded on my wife's Subaru, made that car seriously wallowy; the same four bikes on the much heavier Recon, which keeps all that weight closer to the rear axle of the car, is a lot less noticeable in handling.


But that brings up vehicle choice vs. bike rack in a bigger way - I'd argue that a lot of people are carrying way too much weight on their hitch racks, and the leverage from having that weight so far back makes things worse. Yep, modern cars are amazing, what with stability control and all that - but it's still got a serious impact.


On rust - Recon is powdercoated. After two years (and not taking it off in the winter), I have very few rust spots, and none of them are anywhere near big enough yet to where I'd pull out the sandpaper and Rustoleum rattle can. I don't know what NSR and the other racks do, if it's just painted metal or full on powder coating (and of course not all powder coats are equally good). But the Recon has held up well so far, and that jibes with what I see with friends who've had their Recons for a lot longer than me. In general, I'd love racks to be made out of aluminum. For tray racks, you have that option with OneUp - when we need a new rack for up to two bikes, we'll probably go with that (the Yakima tray rack we've got on my wife's car has not aged very gracefully, and is a pain to use). But I think for a ginormous 4+ bike vertical rack, that may simply not be an option (or at least not one that's reasonably doable on cost/benefit).


On service - Recon is a one-man-show. Cody's been incredibly helpful and is a pleasure to deal with. Definitely takes pride in his work. You can get parts and add-ons (along with advice) at very reasonable prices.


I think the higher price on the Recon reflects the added materials and labor cost (the pivot is a heck of a lot more involved than the one on the NSR, and the steel hoops require more material and more welds than the fork mounts). Whether that's worth it to you depends on how you use it. If the fork mounts are good for you and you don't need to tilt the rack back to get to the tailgate when loaded, it might not be.
  • 1 0
 Same feedback on the Recon. Its really good, just works, no issues, leave it on all winter and if you want it cleaned up a bit, Cody will do that for you too. Customer service is amazing for a small company.

I have had NSR, Yakima (vertical and tray), returned them or sold them so I could get the recon.

I also shuttle people a fair bit and the Recon is the only one people don't grumble about.

It is over engineered, but IMO thats excatly how it should be, because lets face it, we all have torn up the shuttle road a few times. ;-)
  • 1 0
 @onemind123 - one thing to consider with the anti-rattle hitch tightener... Yes, it's a little sketch looking into your mirror and seeing a bunch of up and down movement on rough roads (plus there's a significant chunk you feel with the rack moving in the receiver), but after having hit a pretty nasty pothole on a logging road and having it actually break a couple of the bungees on the Recon, I thought back to something Cody told me when I picked up the rack about going easy on tightening things down too much. I've gone without the tightener since then, and haven't missed it too much, but feel a bit safer about what happens if I were to hit another pothole or speed bump.
  • 2 0
 I've known Cody since way back when we had hair and he is the most stand up dude I know!! He is from the shit side of the state so sucks to be him!! But his racks and CS are the absolute best!!
  • 11 3
 Warranty void when using it for it's intended use - welcome to 2020 mountain biking
  • 5 0
 I think this is a common misunderstanding. off road means off road. A lot of shuttle roads are technically still roads.
  • 1 0
 @husstler: I once had an auto insurance person decline to give me a quote for an policy because I lived on a gravel road. The guy explained that anything that isn't paved was "offroad".... What a waste of time that call was!
  • 8 1
 @sewer-rat: Have you dealt with SRAM warranty department? My claim was denied on my 2020 RockShox Boxxer Ultimate because I "RIDE TOO OFTEN." Apparently your fork stanchion will crack if you ride your bike too much. Don't even need to crash.
  • 2 0
 @geerumm: ah another pile of crap then, fortunately not, I have however dealt with Hope and they are faultless
  • 1 0
 @geerumm: Unfortunate to hear, SRAM UK warranty is the best in the biz!
  • 5 0
 I've owned the 4 bike version for about 5 years and definitely like it compared to the competition. As others have said, its a bit crude but it simply works. I've had to bend one station out for my YT Tues and I've had to spot paint a few places here and there to keep rust at bay. I remove it from our vehicles during winter or times when we won't be using it and it still looks very good. I too added the same anti-rattle deal as Mike because the supplied one is not robust enough. I've sprayed some Fluid Film inside the tubes where I could to combat internal rust. I wish it had a welded in lock ring or something to route a U-Lock through it securely. I usually run a Kryptonite U-Lock and a cable which is a low security way of keeping bikes in my possession and keeping the front wheels from spinning. I also like the fact that it doesn't obscure/block tail lights and turn signals like most tray racks do. I had some snafus when ordering and some serious lapses in communication with NSR but they eventually made it right in the end. I suspect this rack will last my lifetime and beyond if cared for.
  • 4 0
 Have to be aware of the rubber sleeves on the prongs that hold the fork crown, they can wear through and you get a nasty rub on your crowns, cant really see the wear unless you look close and feel it. After years with one of these I'm ready for a recon rack.
  • 1 0
 Do it, you won't regret it.
  • 2 2
 Or you could just rotate the rubber sleeve a 1/4 turn. Problem solved.
  • 3 0
 @dynasty710: hardly a permanent fix, its a weak spot in there design.
  • 1 0
 @curbhuck: ha ya and for over 10 years. Oh, and that shoelace!
  • 4 0
 I run a shuttle company in Boise Idaho. I had the 6 bike North Shore for 2 seasons. It worked just fine but I had 2 major issues with the design.

1. The fork system that holds the bike makes loading certain frames difficult. Evils and Treks have fatter head tubes that barely fit with the fork mounting design.

2. No built in strap system. The rope works ok but I like something more secure.

As has been said the NS racks have been around for years. Good product that needs to be updated to handle modern bikes. That’s what led me to look elsewhere. I found www.VelociRAX.com and haven’t looked back.
  • 7 4
 I was gonna get that rack but the one thing that held me back was how it holds the bikes by the fork crown. I'm personally 5'6 and its pretty hard to get bike that high. I ended going with the RECON RACKS and I love it. It holds the bikes by the front wheel and it's way easier to get the bikes into this rack. 100% happy with my purchase! Oh, and there handmade in Bellingham, WA. Link below for the rack.

recon-racks.com
  • 9 3
 Complain about a vertical rack being too high, then recommend another vertical rack *big eye roll*. Nice advertisement attempt.
  • 4 2
 @JoeRocacoco: I am not sponsored by recon racks and they have not influenced my review either. In addition to it being easier to put you bike on it, it doesn't scratch your frame! So don't think your better then everyone else and try to say that I am trying to advertise their rack. That is just an honest review...
  • 1 0
 @noakea: they are way better than the outdated NSR....dont worry about rocky balboa and his eye rolls
  • 1 0
 @lastminutetech: Yeah, I know.
  • 3 0
 Do a rack shootout! Everyone wants to know how a bike rack will work with their vehicle.
For example,

Which platform racks will allow the tailgate on a Tacoma/Ranger/Colorado/Frontier and a fullsized pickup open fully when the rack is in the lowered position

Which hanging rack will hold the bikes on my hatch back while still allowing the gate to open without lowering the rack

What is the weight ratings across the board

This is the second most expensive purchase for a mountain biking family and there is nothing out there to help inform people on which rack would be best for them
  • 4 1
 A critical point that Kazimer kinda mentions but isn't highlighted enough is the issue with the REAR WHEEL CLEARANCE. On any sort of van/hatchback/truck with a cab, the rack needs to be run in the middle angle position but this causes the rear wheel ground clearance to decrease and the rear wheels to hit the ground (especially when off-road and with modern longer wheelbase bikes).

My friend has this rack on his stock 2015 Subaru Forester and in order to use this rack with Large or XL enduro bikes, we need to take the front wheels off the bikes and run the rack in the high position so we get enough ground clearance (only with the front wheels off can the rack be put in the high position as there are no front wheels to hit the back of the car). We ran into the same issue when putting this rack on my friend's Honda Odyssey and my old 1994 Toyota pickup that has a cab on it.

This is purely an effect of bikes getting longer and this rack not really changing in the past 10 years

You could run a hitch extender to move the rack further away from the car but then this also hurts your ground clearance with the actual rack hitch portion scraping the ground when approaching/leaving an incline

I purchased a LOLO rack because it still has all the advantages of a vertical rack but the front wheels are pointed away from the car so the rack is always in the high position and your ground clearance is maximized. Also, because the wheels are on the "outside" of the rack, you do not need to lift the wheels "up and over" when loading or unloading.

Anyway, vertical is definitely the way to go but I like the design of LOLO racks more for the reasons above
  • 3 0
 I have the Yakima Hangover 4 and would not recommend it(I bought it because it was 25% off rrp)-the prongs don't hold a d/h fork well at all and requirean extra strap to stop the bike twisting.I much prefer a basket arrangement like the Rockrack is also a little easier for my shorter friends to load.
  • 2 0
 I'll second the vote of no confidence for the Yakima Hangover. My bike fell off on the freeway due to the shit design of the crown holder. A crosswing caught the bike, turned it sideways and then the headwind ripped it off. I sent it back to Yakima, got a refund and bought a Shingleback rack which addresses the design faults of the NSR rack.
  • 3 1
 Got the 4-bike version this year. Used to have a truck with tailgate pad and also some other crap hitch rack. This one is my favorite by far. Another huge plus is that all the vibration from the road goes into the headset bearings, which are designed to easily handle it. Tray racks all that goes into the wheel bearings, pivot bearings, and fork bushings. Maybe those are all burly enough though the mechanic in me cringes at it.

I also like supporting a small company that keeps its supply chain and manufacturing in North America. I’m 5’8” and haven’t had any trouble loading bikes. Granted we only take 2 at a time and so use the outboard placements.

Good to know about the rust; will keep an eye out. I’d buy it again in a heartbeat!
  • 3 0
 that Safari van is a beauty. Brings back memories of my family traveling around western Canada in comfort and style. That 3rd row bench seat was a like a plush, well used 90's sofa.
  • 2 0
 I've had a northshore 6 bike rack for 5 years. It works fine. I personally think they are making a mistake by not licensing their design to a larger company. They rarely have them in stock. I've had several friends try but can't get one due to lack of inventory. They don't have any distribution on the east coast so shipping is brutal on my side of the country. By limiting the number of racks they sell per year, I feel like they are just opening the door for more people to figure out a way around their patent and come up with other ways of carrying more than 4 bikes.
  • 2 0
 I got the 4-bike version this year and love it. I really wish it worked with road bikes as well, so I'm looking forward to the retrofittable road bike adaptor. Anyone have any info on this?

These racks are in such high demand that they're often sold out. Trying to find one used is also a challenge, as they get snapped up within hours here in Vancouver.

For model year 2019 and after, if your rack develops rust, sand it off and use this touch up paint. I tried it and it's the perfect match. It's also endorsed by NorthShoreRacks. www.homedepot.ca/product/rust-oleum-universal-metallic-spray-paint-in-flat-soft-iron-312-g-aerosol/1000655367
  • 2 0
 I have some bike rack experience. I lived in Northern Manitoba and hauled bikes regularly a long way on a variety of roads, I have also done quite a bit of shuttling on rough roads. Any rack over time is going to wear the parts on your bike that it is touching. I had a Hang 5 that I got from MEC for a few years, it had a similar design to the LOLO for holding the handlebars. It seemed good but over time and lots of kms it wore the finish on the bars notably. It failed on the highway driving to the Yukon inflicting serious damage to a couple bikes. I bought a NSR 4 right after. It is a very reliable rack.

I don't have any problem loading it but I am 6'4" and large. I usually load and unload everyone's bikes myself - its easier and I can make sure it is done properly - it requires care to keep pedals separated. A small person might have trouble loading it.

I have never had a bike pop off but I am careful - if you hit the rear tire on something I think you could possibly pop a bike off if the rope failed.
How often you are likely to hit a tire depends on your vehicle. A low vehicle makes it something you need to pay attention to.
The NSR racks are durable - they are simple and maybe even a bit unrefined, but they are durable, I don't think there is much that could fail and cause a major problem. The powdercoating is not great. Every one I have seen that is more than a season old, that is on the vehicle in the winter has surface rust. It is just ugly its not structural - you could sand and paint it, I havent.
The Ropes... I think they work and can easily be replaced - I hate dealing with them when they are impregnated with dust mud and grime
I think the racks that have trays for the wheels might be nice, if they were really secure and it didn't turn out to be pain to use different size wheels. If you have a 4-6 bike rack you probably haul other people's bikes fairly often (even if its a family thing - kids friends)

I would recommend the NSR without hesitation noting if you use it hard and a lot it will probably mark your bikes, it will probably get ugly and rusty. If you have a lower vehicle you need to watch speedbumps and transitions. It might not be the best choice for smaller people with heavy bikes. It is a great rack, works reliably, isn't hard to have on the vehicle when no bikes are on it, and can carry a lot of bikes on rough terrain. Plus what other auto accessory actually makes a better statement the rustier it gets
  • 2 0
 Pro-tip: To keep the front spinning (annoying I might add), we cut an x-section piece of tube (looks like a big rubber band) and place it on the front brake and grip to clamp the front brake on the rotor. Then after use, we just move the rubber band to inside of the grip.
  • 2 0
 I love the look of north shore racks, and they hold the bike up high and out of the crap, but one trip to whistler on a friends rack and my brand new zeb had the finish worn on the crown. A bit of a bummer, which means unfortunately I cannot justify getting one.
  • 2 0
 I got an NS Rack before this style of rack was popular and it did an awesome job, but there are plenty of other companies now that have refined the design and bike safety aspects I'd much rather drop $800 on
  • 4 1
 Nobody buys north shore anymore with Alta, Recon, etc on the market haha I'd rather buy the plastic Yakima than deal with a north shore.
  • 1 0
 I built my own 6 bike rack for around $250cdn. Lolo style hang which works for my process 153 all the way down to my youngest kids run bike. I integrated a stowed bike lock cable in the top bar that acts as a safety from theft and potential dismounting. By far my favorite feature and it would be great on the NSR
  • 2 1
 I have not personally owned one of these racks, but my bike gets loaded on one every time I visit the crew in Salt Lake and I must say... It's a pain in the ass! The scratches to the head tube and fork crowns are a secondary issue for me. My main concern is the loading/unloading of the bikes. We always seem to be playing musical chairs when it comes to loading up... Single crown forks need to be one way while dual crown another. Yes, the front wheel spins and the rear wheel breaks free from time to time. Not a huge concern for you? Cool, fork out $800 for a rack that's worth 3-400 at best. All bases should be covered with an $800 price point. The consumer shouldn't need to purchase a spare bungee to secure the wheel. The consumer shouldn't have to upgrade the padding on the mounts.
  • 1 0
 I had a NSR 4 and sold it to get a Yakima Hangover6. Both are very functional. The rope was fool proof on the nsr but I like the ratcheting strap from Yakima. I also really like the foot pedal tilt function. A little harder to do with NS but possible with 2 people. Make getting cold ones from behind the tailgate easier ????
  • 1 0
 I think a big con that isn't mentioned in the article is that it doesn't fold in a way that lets you open the back of vans/SUVs. The half fold isn't far enough for most models. This is a major detracting point when compared to the Yakima hangover.
  • 5 4
 Lolo Racks for the win. Carries all the bikes out of the box with nothing special. I can travel with my MTB, Dirt Jumper, and Gravel Bike. When loaded properly the bars don't get scratched. I've been using them with my carbon bars for a year now. Also the new 4 bike sport rack is dialed!
  • 2 0
 I have a NSR 4 and I want to put my kids 20inch rigid bike on. I saw one guy had a spacer and it seemed to work. Anyone have any tips for this? I know a crown fork will work but will do that for his next bike 24inch.
  • 1 0
 I bought this and sold it shortly after. Doesn't work with some DH bikes or bikes with a large headset, which is more and more these days. To make it work NS suggest bending the rack! Crazy. I then bought a Yakima and almost lost a V10 in a crosswind driving to whistler. Returned that one to REI straight away. Now, I have a RECON and it works. Its heavy but works with pretty much any MTB, its heavy but work, period.
  • 1 0
 800$ bike rack with rope as. retention system? Rack look nice and I considering buying 6 bike rack in next year!

However would appreciate having some "lock system" to be able to go into grocery store and not to worry about bike being stollen;

Currently Vocirack looks most appealing among competitors to me
  • 1 0
 This makes me feel better about my Yakima Hangover. I like that NS are made in N. America. But I could actually get a Yakima locally from a good retailer and it appears with much nicer features, string for the tire and nothing to secure fork, c'mon guys
  • 1 0
 be careful with the Yakima in windy conditions or very bumpy roads, the crown holder isnt great and can let go. Put a proper strap around the crown as well as the rubber!
  • 2 0
 @chrish: I throw a Voile strap on the bikes for long/bumpy trips for piece of mind. I've got the updated rubber strap, with two locking straps as well. Yakima recently sent two buddies updates for theirs once they saw mine had a different rubber strap, it's pretty burly. But yeah it does bounce around a bit with all that weight and washboard.
  • 1 0
 @chacou: Ah they've updated the strap have they? I sent my rack back to them after my Yeti fell off on the freeway, so it's good to know they're addressing the issue
  • 1 0
 @chrish: yeah my buddy dropped his kid's bike off his this summer on a 4wd road near Steamboat and dragged it for a bit. His had a single point to connect it. I got mine later in the summer when they were back in stock locally and mine had a different, beefier strap with two contact points for each strap. I'm happy so far, and my buddy emailed Yakima and got a response within about 24 hours that they would ship him new straps, no cost.
  • 1 0
 I had a bike bounce out and it was not due to user error. I’ve had the 4 bike rack for 5 years and driven thousands of miles with it. It bounced out on a shuttle we did that was a washed out jeep trail and I was just going to fast. It scratched the stanchion which sucked, but that’s the only issue I’ve had; apart from the rust that happens over time if you leave it on year round and go snowboarding with it on which I do.

I like the rack and I’d buy it again for a 4 bike. Mainly because it folds down. The Recon is burly and I don’t see how a bike could come out, but it is also huge compared to this rack and the wheel trays are always sticking up by your head. Not a negative to the recon, but just depends on your daily vehicle use, preferences, etc...

90 percent of the time it’s the same 4 bikes I’m putting on the rack. Once you get the best order for putting them on it goes super fast. The wheel spin is annoying as others have pointed out. I run a bungee through the tires if I’m hitting the highway. Mainly because it seems like it could cause excessive bearing wear when you’re driving a 100+ miles, but perhaps that’s a non issue.
  • 1 0
 Besides water bottles, my nsr6 rack is the only bike gear I own that’s unlikely to fall prey to planned obsolescence. Those canucks put some serious farmer engineering into these things. Are they perfect? No. Do they always work? Yes. For that I’m thankful.
  • 3 1
 Is it just me, or does anyone else get uncomfortable when unprotected fork stanchions are that close to a hard, rough surface?
  • 1 0
 Highly recommend the Velosirax. Good guys out of utah, easier to load, more secure, doesn't trash your bikes. Go for the X spacing "15in between bikes insted of 10 if you really off road.
  • 1 1
 Lets not forget it will rub the carbon down on many of the most modern frames with fat lower headtubes ., and for the front tire spinning. I just had a reusable zip tie that you could just throw around grip and tighten down brake.
  • 2 2
 I've considered this many times, but it just feels like a DIY rack that they charge far too much for. In no particular order, my main concerns are:
1) It ruins ground clearance/takeoff angle. Most racks do, but this seems to be the worst offender, especially with long bikes. What's the point of having a Tacoma if you can't get to your campsite away from crowds?
2) There's no way I would feel comfortable hitting a forest road or bumpy road with such an insecure loading method. It's a recipe for having a bike jump out of that crown.
3) No way to secure the bikes if you're far away. I guess you could improvise a chain of some sort, but from a security standpoint, it just doesn't get me stoked.

I will say though that my favorite part about this design is that Yakima tried to copy them with their Hangover rack and just failed miserably, as they always do.
  • 1 1
 I had the NSR 4 and now have the hangover and I think the hangover is a better product for my use =/.

It folds to access the back.

It doesn't wreck fork crowns as hard.

Its easier to deal with multiple sized tires and stuff than the little rope system.

It's less prone to rust.

It's more adjustable.

I also think the Yakima is more secure with the rubber strap and lower strap system. I've seen bikes jump out of the NSR top rack even when the bottom is done on proper tight when driving off road. The NSR does have a better weight rating, but if you don't have an e-bike, non-issue. As for security, these are the same as any other rack for going "far away". The integrated locks from most companies suck ass anyway and need to be supplemented. With this or the hangover, you get a locking hitchpin and then a solid cable/chain combo to secure the actual bikes. Which is identical to what I do with the more traditional rack on our car - the integrated locks aren't going to cut it anywhere youd actually want them.


As for your takeoff angle - the only "rack" system that has a better takeoff angle than vertical racks is a roof rack system, and then you're not going to carry that many bikes. With these, you can adjust the height on them (and the Hangover too) which brings the rear tires higher off the ground. It sticks out waaaaay less than any other 2/3/4 bike hitch rack. It's never been a problem and we drive some of the worst shuttle roads around with this type of rack. Sure, maybe no rock crawling, but everywhere else so long as it's slapped on a decently high vehicle you'll be fine.
  • 4 0
 That's a weird looking Tacoma @mikekazimer
  • 4 0
 Yay for keeping the manufacturing in North America!
  • 2 0
 Best 6x rack for the money.
If you have 2x the $$$ buy a Recon.
If you have a truck, use a truck pad.
If you don't have 6 bikes...what the f*** are you doing on Pinkbike?
  • 1 0
 Pro tip, cut a road inner tube and tie it off at the 1st bike (left) end and tie a loop in the free end. Thread the tube through the spokes and hook it on the prongs after the last bike is loaded and spinny wheels solved.
  • 1 0
 Bungee cord through the front wheels solves the wheel spinning. That or I’ve seen some people use a rubber band on the front brake. Some solutions don’t have to be engineered
  • 1 0
 It’s amazing that they think they can charge us 1200$ for a piece of metal with a few prongs. I cant think of a better rack though, so I guess all bike racks are overpriced and shit in my opinion.
  • 1 0
 I tie a wool sock around my fork crown before putting my bike on my NSR4 and it is a bomb proof solution. One year in and not a single scuff on my fork crown or head tube from the prongs.
  • 2 0
 Loading and unloading the previous gen Trek slash is a pain in the ___, thanks to the knock block.
  • 3 0
 Nice rack. I want a report on the Astro though. Cool van!
  • 3 0
 It's sort of like driving a wet cardboard box, but it actually does pretty well off-road, has tons of room for passengers and gear, especially with the middle seat out, and it was 1/5 the price of what people are asking for their Toyota trucks with 250,000 miles.
  • 1 0
 @mikekazimer: Love it! The utility of a van phenomenal, and the Astro balances overall size and space very well.

Back in the day, like '96 or '97, I was at a DH race in Moab, down one of the climbs to access the lower section of the Porc Rim. Rough, rocky track. Ryan Sutton, local CO mtb legend, known for his phenomenal bike handling skills as well has love of party, showed up with one of these. It was his mother's and in reasonably good condition at the start of the weekend. The seats were out and we were using it as a shuttle vehicle. He was rallying that thing extremely hard and fast, fully loaded, up a rough 4x4 road to the start. The Astro was kicking some serious ass that day and I was amazed at the abuse it willingly seemed to take at the hands of its merciless thrill seeking pilot.
  • 3 0
 @Speeder01, wait, what? Small world - I used to ride with Sutton a bunch when I lived in Gunnison back in the early 2000s. And 'merciless thrill seeking pilot' is the perfect description for him no matter what he's doing.
  • 2 0
 @mikekazimer: That's why I won't drive my old 4Runner to BC - it would be stripped in minutes like an Andean Condor on a dead Alpaca.
  • 2 0
 I love how they are still selling em with string. Thats how all the tough stuff is properly engineered! haha
  • 1 0
 to stop the front wheel from spinning, just leave a rubber band cut from an old inner tube on your bars, then loop it over your brake lever when bike is on the rack.
  • 1 0
 Underrated part of the rack is that when its up, with no bikes on, it looks like something strait out of Mad Max and scares the crap out of people driving behind you! haha
  • 1 0
 I see the U bolt but can you tell me more about your anti wobble solution? Looks like the plate has a short angled section to keep the different planes of metal stable?
  • 2 0
 For the crown, I’ve use some 3M tape or bike Shields tape. It works!
  • 1 0
 Looks like something a high school kid made in shop class! Welds look sloppy.
  • 1 0
 having had a NSR4, the fork rub is an issue for sure. recently switched to a Recon rack. costs more but you get more.
  • 1 0
 Kaz nobody is going to steal your Astro! It's ok to leave the plate un-blurred haha.
  • 1 0
 Actually no I'm an idiot. The amount of money in bikes or bike parts inside is probably a good reason too. I'm dumb.
  • 2 1
 All I know is my bike always has dents and scratches from shuttling. Trashes my bike more than riding does.
  • 4 2
 Buy a Recon Rack. hooks on to tires not the frame.
  • 3 0
 Recon rack better
  • 3 2
 Happy to see a quality product and company that changed the game. Let's all just have fun and enjoy riding bikes!
  • 1 0
 lets just pretend like that insta post never happened eh?
  • 2 0
 162 comments on a bike rack... !!! LOL must be the wet season
  • 1 0
 My buddies bike fell off one of these. His bike was dragged behind the truck. Not the best rack IMO
  • 1 0
 Every one of these I’ve seen had a lot of rust and looked ratty, I don’t think they hold up very well.
  • 1 0
 Just get any one of the One Up's 4 bike racks and tell the other two people to carpool Big Grin
  • 1 0
 I personally drive a T100 with the RaceFace tailgate pad and don't want to change. Thankful I have a truck. For those with 4Runners, vans, etc the only rack that has impressed me was the OneUp. Even on horrible rough roads the bikes stay completely secure and your buddy with the hanging rack has to stop four times to resecure or check the bikes. Hanging racks stress me out and you are focused on looking at the bikes constantly. I appreciate them for certain situations, but if you are out in the rough stuff I just don't see being comfortable as I would be with a One Up.
  • 1 0
 www.velocirax.com I've had one for a few months now, takes kids bikes, road bikes, etc. It's excellent thus far.
  • 1 0
 Looks like a poor copy of the Yakima hangover. To bad Yak is a corporation.
  • 1 0
 My demo8 fits perfectly but my buddy's YT Tuesday does not fit, it hangs up in the head tube cradle.
  • 1 0
 ALTA RACKS!! More options than all these racks combined. Made in USA, lifetime warranty.
  • 1 0
 What tyre is that in the close up?
  • 5 0
 A rubber one
  • 2 0
 My bets are on michelin
  • 2 0
 New Maxxis Shorty. You can see the hotpatch in the other pics
  • 2 0
 Was going to comment that it looks like the soon to.bw released Shorty. Bit of a slip up there by @mikekazimer
  • 1 1
 Sorry to be a winger but please also quote metric weights for us euros. Thanks
  • 2 0
 no point - we have a different tow ball design, this won't fit any european car.
  • 1 0
 @AyJayDoubleyou: But you can also use a 2" Hitch on your Car in Europe, at least I use them on both my Cars
  • 1 0
 @RockCrawler: any legal issues? do you just use for bike racks, or do you tow with it as well?
  • 1 0
 @AyJayDoubleyou: Never had a Problem with anyone. I use it for towing, bike rack and ski rack.
  • 1 0
 aaah, Safari, the stuff dreams are made of. Camper or not @mikekazimer: ?
  • 4 0
 I want a review of that fine piece of automotive history the rack is attached to.
  • 1 0
 @pinhead907: also, dutch doors; unheard of in Europe. Why doesn't every van come with dutch doors?
  • 1 0
 @iiman, not yet. At this point it's mainly my gear hauler / shuttle vehicle. With the middle seat removed there's tons of room inside, and the passengers in the backseat have lots of space to stretch out. I did put some meatier tires on recently, so now it's ready to become my winter ski vehicle.

And yes, Dutch doors are cool, although on Safaris / Astros the window seal does have a tendency to leak.
  • 1 0
 wish this was legal in Austria Big Grin
  • 2 1
 ALTA RACKS blow these out of the water
  • 1 0
 Or you can make your own...
  • 1 0
 Diggin the Sprinter, though.
  • 1 0
 will the Safari still drift wth a loaded NSR?
  • 1 0
 Definitely. Maybe even better with the extra weight in the rear to keep that back end moving.
  • 1 0
 Which is the biggest rack?
  • 1 0
 Looks like you could build it yourself in an afternoon.
  • 2 1
 Racks suck, get a truck.
  • 1 1
 Maxxis new shorty!
Below threshold threads are hidden

Post a Comment



Copyright © 2000 - 2020. Pinkbike.com. All rights reserved.
dv56 0.206143
Mobile Version of Website