Review: Yakima's $849 StageTwo Hitch Rack

May 12, 2022
by Mike Kazimer  


In an ideal world we'd all have access to an endless network of amazing trail right from our front doors, eliminating the need for fancy bikes racks, expensive shuttle vehicles, and all the other accessories that go along with transporting bikes to trailheads. That's unfortunately not the case for most riders, which is why there's no shortage of options for hauling bikes around.

I've used a carboard bike box as a shuttle pad in the back of a pickup truck plenty of times, but at a certain point a purpose-built rack makes a lot more sense. Especially one that doesn't get soggy and fall apart in the rain.

StageTwo Rack Details

• Available for 1.25” & 2” hitch receivers
• Fits wheelbases up to 52"
• Offset, tiered bike trays
• Max bike weight: 60 lb (27.2 kg)
• Tilts up and down
• Off-road rated for bikes up to 36 lb
• Weight: 66 lb (30 kg)
• Price: $849 USD (rack) / Light kit: $219
yakima.com

Yakima's Stage Two rack is their top level tray-style, hitch mounted rack, which holds two bikes in an offset, tiered configuration that helps keep bikes from contacting each other and provide more ground clearance. The base and the arms are steel, and the trays that the bikes sit on are aluminum. Befitting its 'premium' designation (Yakima's classification, not mine), the StageTwo sells for $849 USD. Adding $219 to that price gets you the SafetyMate kit that's shown in this review, which adds on brake lights and a license plate holder to hopefully give the police one less reason to pull you over.


The rack tips up when not in use, and can be tipped down even when fully loaded to access the back of the vehicle.
Theft-resistant bolts help reduce the chances of someone taking the rack apart to snag a bike.

ASSEMBLY & INSTALLATION

The StageTwo comes partially disassembled in one giant box that weighs almost 70 pounds – be sure to say thank you to your delivery driver. Most of the tools to assemble it are included, including the wrench needed to tighten the theft-resistant bolts. I'd say put aside 30 minutes to get it all up and running, which is in line with other similar racks.

Once it's all together, the easiest way to get it onto the vehicle is with it in the folded position, so that it forms an L-shape. Carefully pick it up (remember, it's pretty heavy), and then slide it into the vehicle's trailer hitch until the hitch pin holes are lined up. The little hitch pin is just a backup safety feature – it's the StageTwo's expanding wedge system that holds it into place. A large knurled knobs pushes the wedge out, and once the rack is wobble-free turning a key in the knob deactivates it, which means that if someone tried to turn it and remove the rack it would just spin without doing anything.

The SafetyMate brake light kit is easy to install too, although I do wish it was slightly better integrated. The wires load into the top, center portion of the rack, and it ends up looking like that add-on that it is. It's also expensive, especially compared to some of the trailer brake light kits that already exist. It is bright and effective, though, and it's nice to have more visibility, especially considering how many distracted drivers are out there trying to do a TikTok dance, change lanes, and finish their latte all at the same time.




LOADING & UNLOADING

There aren't any surprises when it comes to loading and unloading bikes with the StageTwo. The offset tray design works as advertised, and I haven't had any issues with bikes contacting each other. The ratcheting arm that holds the front wheel has a very positive click at each position, making it easy to tell when it's locked into place. It does takes a little while for the arms to break in – they required a decent amount of effort to move into place at first, but they're now operating smoothly.

The rear wheel holder slides to accommodate different bikes lengths, with a maximum recommended wheelbase of 52”, or 1320mm – that's in the realm of what a modern XL bike measures. As far as wheel and tire clearance goes, the rack can fit wheels from 16” to 29” and up to a 3.25” tire. There's also a fat bike kit available that allows the rack to work with 5.0” tires for all the snow and sand riders out there.

Yakima also offers an e-bike ramp kit that makes it possible to roll heavy e-bikes into place rather than lifting them. I know, it's easy to flex those muscles and scoff at the fact that such an accessory even exists, but you're not the target market, tough guy. E-bikes, whether a commuter or an eMTB, are heavy, and not everyone want to fight to lift a 50 or 60 pound bike a few feet off the ground.

When it's not in use the StageTwo can be folded up by squeezing the handle at the end of the rack. This was the source of my main sticking point with the rack – the handle isn't that easy to activate, especially with one hand. Kuat's NV system is much easier to use, especially since it can be activated by foot. On the Stage Two, it's more of a two handed affair to fold it up, or to tip it downwards to gain access to the back of a vehicle.

The plastic mount around that handle also doesn't seem to fit in with the idea of a 'premium' rack – it doesn't sit that securely into the steel frame, with more side to side motion than I would have expected.




BIKE RETENTION

I've used the StageTwo to haul all sorts of bikes, everything from dirt jumpers to heavy e-bikes, and they've all remained securely in place. Every time I looked in the rearview mirror they were right where they were supposed to be – there wasn't any worrying swaying or wobbling. It's a very solid rack, and even on rougher dirt roads there was minimal side to side movement - my shitbox of a van was bobbing and weaving way more than the rack was.


SECURITY

Leaving a bike unattended on a rack for an extended amount of time is a risky proposition, no matter how many locks you secure it with. The StageTwo has a cable lock that extends from each arm and around a fork or headtube. It's not going to stop a thief for very long, but it's a good extra measure for those times when you need to leave the bike for a minute or two – running into a gas station, dropping off a package, etc... There's also a bracket in between the two trays that can be used with a burlier chain lock for extra security.

The rack itself requires a key to remove from a vehicle, and the theft-resistant bolts are used to attach the arms and trays, which means it's less likely that you'll return to your car to find the entire rack missing.


The SafetyMate add-on brake / blinker lights rotates so that it'll work with the rack up or down.
The tilt mechanism is a little awkward to use, and doesn't feel as robust as the rest of the rack.

DURABILITY

The Stage2 has seen a mix of road and off-road miles, and everything has remained tight and fully functional. It has developed a slight squeak when raising and lowering it, likely due to the steady rain that it's been subjected to. I'm sure a little grease will quiet that down; other than that there aren't any issues to report so far.




COMPARISON

Yakima TwoStage: $849 USD / RV compatible / bikes up to 60 lb / 1320mm wheelbase / 66lb rack weight

Kuat NV 2.0: $849 USD / not RV compatible / bikes up to 60 lb / 1270 max wheelbase / 52 lb. rack weight

1Up Heavy Duty Double: $685 USD / RV compatible / bikes up to 50 lb / 1371 max wheelbase / 46 lb rack weight

Thule T2 XTR: $799.95 / bikes up to 60 lb / 1270 max wheelbase / 52 lb rack weight

I'm not convinced that there's one perfect rack to rule them all, despite what the diehard 1Up fans who are undoubtedly already proselytizing in the comments may claim. Yes, the 1Up racks are US made, less expensive than the other options on this list, and have a very appealing utilitarian look to them. They're also more awkward to load and to fold up, and don't have as extensive of a feature list as the StageTwo. Does that matter? It depends - every rack has its pros and cons, and it's a matter of choosing which features you prioritize the most.






Pros

+ Very solid, wobble-free platform
+ Design limits bike contact and provides good ground clearance
+ Multiple anti-theft features

Cons

- Expensive, although it's in line with competitors
- Heavier than similar options
- Tilting system isn't that easy to use







Pinkbike's Take
bigquotesThe StagetTwo is a solid, secure hitch rack that has all the features you'd hope to find at this pricepoint. It looks good too, at least according to more than one passerby who asked about it. Of course, that could have been because it was so much shinier and sleeker than my van.

I do wish that the tilting system was a little more user-friendly, but otherwise the StageTwo is up to the task of hauling bikes from one adventure to the next without any issues.
Mike Kazimer









218 Comments

  • 235 10
 It must suck so much to have to design these things knowing that 1UPs exist.
  • 107 5
 Every post about a new hitch rack is just free advertisement for OneUp.
  • 55 6
 Same for dropper posts.
  • 11 1
 Anyone know of a good way to acquire a 1Up rack in Canada without paying crazy shipping and exchange costs?
  • 47 3
 @arrowheadrush: drive down and buy one. Drive back home with the rack installed
  • 2 0
 @arrowheadrush: like he said drive down to the states ride a few trails ship it to a ups store and drive back with it on your car.
  • 51 4
 Having to design a rack knowing 1up exists is the same as being Amber Heards lawyer, you know its a losing battle but you still have to try your best.
  • 7 5
 @Tmackstab: Hahaha. Best comment I've Heard in awhile
  • 2 0
 @ybsurf: and throw some mud on the rack for good measure
  • 13 2
 @Tmackstab: at least you don’t have worry that the rack will shit on a bed
  • 21 2
 I really do hate to be that guy, but I mucked around with Saris, Yakima, some others, and then finally sprang for a 1UP rack. I had no idea how much better it would be, and how much better it would make me feel. I swear it was like dating and being yeah maybe, yeah maybe. And then meeting my wife and instantly being oh, this is what's right, like blind to suddenly seeing ....
  • 6 5
 @hankj: the problem for me is I have many different types of bikes. Two of which have full fenders which will not work with the 1UP. Thule T2 has been working well for several years.
  • 1 0
 @SterlingArcher: HAHAHAHA yea friggn gas will probably cost more
  • 13 1
 @merlin33: Ditch those fenders and live life with mud on yo face
  • 2 0
 @merlin33: I have full fenders on one of my bikes most of the year. The 1up still works fine. It's a bit of a compromise between enough tension to hold the bike steady and not so much to crush the fenders, but it's doable.
  • 2 0
 I'm ready to take the 1up plunge. Can anyone provide feeback on whether to get the SuperDuty or the Equip-D?
  • 1 0
 @likeittacky: true! it’s ~260km from Calgary to the border, maybe a half tank depending on what kinda car.
  • 1 0
 @VtVolk: appreciate the input, but I don't see that rack working with these without crushing or marking up: ridepdw.com/collections/fenders/products/full-metal-fenders-road-plus-size
  • 6 0
 The Rocky Mounts SplitRail is right up there IMO (I have both). Definitely the best non-1UP rack I have ever used and just as good as 1UP *except* lacks the ability to conveniently remove/add a single tray.

And the Quick R Stuff rack (from the 1UP inventor) appears to be superior, just super hard to get. I'm #504 on the list (down from ~750 when I ordered)...
  • 1 0
 Setting that aside, the sad truth is this is just a shit design. There are so many better designs out there. It's a bit sad, Yakima was the best for so long...
  • 2 0
 @arrowheadrush: Had mine shipped to one of those pickup places just south of the border and picked it up and installed during a roadtrip. It cost me 5 USD. No taxes when I bought mine and free shipping.
  • 4 9
flag slayerdegnar (May 12, 2022 at 16:45) (Below Threshold)
 or rocky mounts. I got a single tray 1up and it fell off the hitch on a bumpy dirt road. called them and their response was yeah that happens, did you use the .5 inch velcro strap included. returned it right after.
  • 5 0
 @slayerdegnar: you’re the only one lol
  • 4 4
 @slayerdegnar: That's why I didn't get one. A "high end" rack that uses a Velcro strap as a patch for a known problem does not sound very "high end" to me.

My Saris Superclamp has been rock solid, and does not fall out of the hitch.
  • 4 0
 @Bluerodent: you realize they use normal hitch locks right? Lol
  • 2 1
 The OneUp isn't perfect. With the two bike extension, ours makes pretty quick work of wearing out the main pivot and becoming a sloppy bounce machine. That's with an average bike weight of 25 lb. Still overall happy enough with it to not find a different rack though.
  • 1 3
 @UtahBrent: 25lbs, is that an average of weight using math calculation of multiple bikes? LOL Maybe a heavier bike like say 31+lbs might solve your problem; not only for the rack but the DH's as well if you know what i mean.
  • 1 0
 @Tmackstab: she’s the only one that gave a shit in that relationship
  • 1 0
 @hankj: put me down as another 1Up fanboi. I’ve tried Kuat and Thule. They’re not even close. Had my 1Up for 6 years and still functions perfectly. The black color has faded a tiny bit but it still looks great.
  • 1 0
 @aquanut: we have three, one HD and two Equipe-D. HD is rock solid, but not as refined. Also have to order the handle kit extra. I favor the Equipe-D.
  • 1 0
 @merlin33: I’ve transported bikes with full fenders before. Works totally fine.
They also have fender guards you can buy if your worried.
  • 1 0
 @likeittacky: Yes, it's an average of multiple bikes using math. I actually have no idea wtf you mean, if you mean that four 31+ lb bikes on the rack would stabilize it and reduce wear vs four bikes with an average of 25 lbs, I wouldn't agree. BTW, two of them are kids bikes.
  • 1 0
 Basic design a copy of the Kuat.
  • 1 0
 @UtahBrent: Basic physics, like when you weight the back of pickup truck it rides smoother. Hence, a heavier bike reduces chatter in the assembly,just my theory for a simple fix Hahaha. As for the DH part, well the 31+ lb bike performs much better than a 25lb bike would but you indicate its a math average not an actual 25 lbs bike. LOL
  • 2 0
 @bigtuna00:

OneUp vote for RockyMounts. I have their simple Monorail 2” and it’s been flawless for $350. I like that it’s 40lbs, and their customer service is outstanding. Like all manf. they are coming out with the tray style soon called the “GuideRail” and it look great for $850 and 50lbs, hopefully coming to REI so can snag at 20% off for $680.
rockymounts.com/hitch-racks

My only ask would have been the ability to convert between 1 and 2/3 trays easily like the Quik Rack Mach2, as then you can keep the single always on and it doesn’t interfere with the rear door/gate, then quickly add more trays when needed.
  • 2 0
 @merlin33: You're probably right. I have some plastic SKS fenders that deform but pop right back, and let's just say marks on my bike are not a concern
  • 1 0
 @likeittacky: you clearly don't ride year-round in Portland. I don't use full fenders on the mountain bike, but on the commuter bikes, it is essential living here in the PNW IMHO.
  • 2 2
 @merlin33: Got that right; you couldn't pay me enough to live is that shithole city!
  • 1 1
 @likeittacky: mainly cuz you can’t afford it. Being that you use coupons for groceries and all. Embarrassing! Frown
  • 2 0
 @likeittacky: No doubt there are issues, like a lot of places. I've lived here since 1995 and have seen my share of change. Some really good and some not so good. I still love it here despite the downsides and challenges. We all have our opinions, but I think a "shithole" isn't accurate. But, respect your right to that opinion. The more people that think that the less will want to move here. I'm ok with that. We have enough people already.
  • 1 0
 @SterlingArcher: I've actually been harassed by customs agents at the boarder for mud on the bikes. The were concerned with transporting invasive species.
  • 92 4
 The race to make the most expensive that's still not as nice as a 1up is really heating up
  • 16 2
 Nice bike racks are the only way to go, and its not the price of this thing that irks me, its how pig shit ugly this thing is. Lord, the lines on this thing scream 200-300 no name special from rackattack.com
  • 9 0
 Is the kash-money Kuat still in the lead at like $1400 or whatever godforsaken amount they charge?
  • 12 1
 @sjma: you'd have to be a real Kuat to buy one of those
  • 7 3
 @sjma: The base NV Kuat is great and sturdier than anything listed here. Pretty sure i paid like 600-700. Bonus is when someone eventually crunches your rack its designed to have breakaway parts that are cheap and readily available to replace.
  • 3 1
 @pbfan08: It is only the classic lines of the GMC Safari Van that make the look at all acceptable in the pics.
  • 4 0
 @sjma: I got a simple Hollywood rack 7 years ago that I use for summer and winter. Paid 250 CAD ( about 200 USD ? ). It holds all my bikes no problems. Recently someone backed up into me on a parking lot and bend one of tire holders, so I got myself a set of new ones for 50 CAD and rack is ready to go. Oh for another 50 CAD I got set of tire holders for fat bikes. I cringe when I see those Kuats and do not understand what can $1000+ rack to do for me that my cheapo cannot. TO the controversy of marketing dept telling you - you do not need to match your bike rack price with your bike price Big Grin
  • 1 0
 @TH3MACK: I paid like 380 for mine, love it.

Talking to the guy at the shop he agreed it's the best bang for the buck. After I pointed out there is a lot of built-in stress relief in the design he said a couple of shop employees purchased one of the fancier Kuats, both of which broke at the same spot: a "reinforced", weld junction.

You can make a rack that doesn't move but is that a good idea really?
  • 2 4
 It's funny that everyone loves one ups, and everyone is copying that style of rack now. But I like this style more with the cinch and strap better. (limited 1 up use, never owned one. But you do the one side of a one up and have to hold onto the bike as you walk over to the other side to raise up that side up and then back and forth sometimes to balance the two sides so the cinch is equal and my XL long wheel base bike is centered in the rack) VS this style of rack, just like the original Kuats you cinch the front wheel "down" past the inner curve of the tire. Once you do that it's set/done/in and you don't have to hold the bike anymore. You do have to walk over and strap the back tire to keep it from getting loose. But your done at that point instead of the back and forth.

I know there are other benefits of the one up style. But in my day to day they don't matter?

Until my current Kuat dies the only thing that would get me to buy a new rack is a Kuat cinch and strap rack with the swing out built into it like the rocky mount one. You can get the swing adapters, but they make the whole rack stick further off the back of your vehicle which I don't want.
  • 8 0
 @stiingya: it's literally 15 seconds on, 5 seconds off.

I ride 5 days a week and want a super low fuss Thing to hold my bike that's Fast.
  • 12 1
 @stiingya: Wait, a 1Up is too complicated or difficult for you?
  • 8 0
 @stiingya: just secure the rear wheel first on a 1up and you don't have to hold the bike at all. It'll stay put while you walk around to do the front unless it's on an angle.
  • 3 1
 @stiingya: I have never had to hold onto any of my bikes while loading them on my 1up, and I've also never had to worry or stress about the two sides being perfectly/equally cinched. What is this tomfoolery you speak of?
  • 3 8
flag slayerdegnar (May 12, 2022 at 16:45) (Below Threshold)
 or rocky mounts. I got a single tray 1up and it fell off the hitch on a bumpy dirt road. called them and their response was yeah that happens, did you use the .5 inch velcro strap included. returned it right after.
  • 2 2
 Very funny... OK I'll admit I put the front wheel in first and I can see that's why I had to hold the bike to go to the other side. That is what I'm used to doing. It still didn't feel very secure and I had to go back and fourth to tighten it and then saw the whole dam bike was shifted to one side which is an issue with long bikes.

Maybe you get used to how tight it needs to be on the one side to know how much to close it before you go to the other side and close it and it tightens JUST RIGHT...? But I still seemed to have side to side play after redoing it all.

I four wheel all the time with my bike on the Kuat and there is almost zero play from the bike in the rack. The only movement is the frame from the suspension going up and down...

BUT I will accept that it all could have been user error... Smile
  • 1 0
 That 'Murican beauty is tough to beat.
  • 1 0
 @dcaf: LOL true, i feel like a poop brown astro van from the 80's would fit too.
  • 2 0
 @stiingyano, you just leave the one end alone. Pick up the bike, set the rear wheel in side already folded up. Fold the other end up and capture the front tire.
  • 69 1
 I've heard the "bike worth more than the car" joke, but "bike rack worth more than the car" is new to me.
  • 13 1
 The Astro is in demand right now.
  • 2 1
 Those in the know are after the Aerostars with AWD. Those things seem to last forever.
  • 1 0
 Everything is in demand right now (ok, maybe not the Mitsubishi Mirage). Wait two years and the market will turn around and they'll be worth more as scrap again. (not to disparage the Astro, but they weren't exactly known for their resale.)
  • 5 0
 @Explodo: The door handles don't. Or the cooling system. Or the 30 year old electronics. Astros are in demand because Sprinters are out of stock everywhere. We have a field full of dead Astros, most are AWD. They aged out 10 years ago.
  • 19 0
 @Maslin02, shhh, don't let my van know it's not special... I'm trying to convince it to keep going for a little while longer. The struggle is real.
  • 1 0
 @mikekazimer: I work at a Sprinter dealership, I'd drive an Astro too!
  • 2 0
 @Maslin02: Where is this field? Do they have the 'dutch' doors? I can head over and snag one.
  • 2 0
 @jmhills: Montana. Family's business used them for years. Barn doors on the back, most are AWD. We moved to Transits, can't make money when you're too busy working on trucks.
  • 1 0
 @Maslin02: Makes sense. For a fleet, maintenance is a real thing. For just someone trying to get to the trailhead or whatever, it is not too much of a deal.

Commercial or van body?
  • 1 0
 @mikekazimer: I think you need to attend Astrovans Anonymous, it's a real problem
  • 10 0
 @DizzyNinja: astros are pretty good vehicles in the right scenarios

Pros: simple as an S10 pickup, have the utility of a work van, the size of an S10 Blazer

Cons: the crashworthiness of a Tata Nano, the fuel economy of a V10 F250, and rustproofing of a 1st gen Mazda 3
  • 1 0
 @sjma: To be fair, any vehicle where the front wheel is next to your leg...well, your femur is part of the crumple zone. Even the new commercial vans. That wheel gets pushed straight into your space.
  • 1 0
 @BikesBoatsNJeeps: Actually the Mitsubishi Mirage has seen the highest jump in used prices of any car on the market. Pretty messed up...
  • 49 0
 The “one less sprinter” bumper sticker is the real star of this review
  • 23 1
 As a professional writer, though, I'm disappointed Kaz's sticker doesn't say "one fewer sprinter"

You know, countable nouns 'n shit...
  • 9 0
 @VtVolk: fewer less professional professionals
  • 5 1
 @VtVolk: Maybe he's making the point that Sprinters have multiplied to the point that they're now too numerous to count.
  • 27 2
 I don't think 1Up could write a better ad for themselves if they tried.
  • 1 0
 Question for 1UP owners, in Vancouver,BC, salt is applied on the roads to melt the snow and ice, so
rust and corrosion can ruin a rack in a year. Is corrosion an issue with all aluminum 1UP racks?
  • 3 0
 @kingbike2: Mine lives on my truck through the winter in New England, pretty salty here too. No corrosion at all on my 1Up, even the pivoting parts still move well without any attention. I did have a bike corrode every cable and chain after a midwinter transport and then storage without cleaning it. Won't make that mistake again......
  • 3 0
 @kingbike2: I've had my 1up since 2014. There is some corrosion on the steel pivot bolt for the arms but it's no biggie and the bolt isn't rusty. Otherwise there's barely any wear on the rack. I won't hesitate to call 1ups bomb proof.
  • 1 0
 @kingbike2: my hitch rack comes off but I keep the roof tray on year round.
  • 2 0
 @kingbike2: Mine stay on year round with snow and shit. Bough some stainless bolts to replace the zinc coated ones it comes with that got corroded a little, no problem since.
  • 1 0
 My friend has a 1UP rack and it feels loose and janky. I don't know why they have such a following.
  • 1 0
 @kingbike2: There isn't very much salt on the roads here in Vancouver, so its not really a good place to investigate for such things.
  • 2 0
 @Sweatypants: I also leave mine on year-round (Colorado), and also had the zinc-coated bolts corrode where they go through the Al trays(making the white powdery oxide). I replaced them and now keep them greased, and all is fine. SS bolts are a better option
  • 1 0
 @muumuu: yup, exact same. Since its American and one of the last people on earth to use standard stuff, don't even have to order SS metric in those kinda sizes, Home Depot has it. A little grease and good to go. A super cheap affair. Weird that with that being about the only fault I can find after 7 years or so of having a 1UP, you'd think maybe they'd just realize this is happening, charge people $10 more, and be done with it right up front during assembly. Either way though.
  • 25 2
 The damned chickens woke me up super early and now I’m reading about a bike rack. The day has to get better.
  • 21 1
 Selling point: It's more expensive than the 1up but not as good!

When will makers of tray racks figure out that the 1up design of being able to place the bikes anywhere you want along each tray is far superior than a fixed spot on 1 side for the wheel and a hook on the other? You never know what weird size and shape bikes you're going to put together on the rack and how they might make contact, so being able to move any of them whatever way you want is best.
  • 21 0
 amazing how bike racks become more expensive every year while adding more plastic parts
  • 2 0
 Oil ain’t cheap.
  • 18 2
 Buyer beware, Yakima quality is questionable. I own two racks and have had multiple warranty issues over the few years I’ve had both the DR Tray2 and HangUp4.
They might show well on a short term review but long term I wouldn’t trust it.
If I could do it all over again I’d go 1Up and VelociRacks.
  • 7 2
 @chacou yup I've had a bunch of issues with my hold up evo. Warranty parts took 10 months. Ended up getting a Thule while I waited. Was going to sell the Yakima but now more things have broken that are out of stock. 10/10 would not recommend anyone to buy Yakima due to poor long term quality.
  • 1 0
 I had an arm on my HoldUp2 break within 6 months of having it (cheap plastic bits) and had to warranty it. They sent a new tray and the binding clip was different than the other tray. Not that it matters but then the rest of the rack that was actually metal started rusting within the same year. I switched to a ShuttleRack from Chilliwack and haven't looked back.
  • 6 0
 Same with several Yakima racks - all their rooftop stuff has always been really solid, so I was surprised just how shitty the Holdup turned out being. Crappy plastic, ratchets failing, awkward to use. Given the premium prices they charge - nope, just not seeing it.

Interesting bit about the lighting and license plate holders - in Europe, that's absolutely required, and you'll get ticketed/fined if you don't run those. In the US, it seems like we've gotten away without them for a good long time. I'm curious to see if that'll hold, or whether eventually the increasing numbers of hitch rack users will turn it into an issue of emphasis for law enforcement.
  • 1 0
 Last year on my way to the trailhead, I made a last minute stop at a Starbucks and forgot about the bike going under the clearance bar... my bike caught it and ripped clean off my car, crossbars and Yakima rack included. my bike had somehow made it out with only a scratch on my brake lever and handle bar while my rack's tray was bent nearly 90 degrees. I'm glad the weakest link was the rack and not my bike. I with that said, I probably wouldn't buy a Yakima rack again and I'm never putting my bike on top of my car again--mostly because I can't trust myself. OneUp will probably be my next choice. that or a truck.
  • 1 0
 Yup, HangUp racks were garbage. That being said...I had the original 6 bike version (where the wheels face the vehicle), Yakima sent me a warranty replacement with very minimal questions asked with the new version (where wheels face out).

I might just sell it though...still don't trust it.
  • 2 0
 Thule is nice and dependable as well, but already expensive in Europe. I don't want to know the overseas prices.
  • 1 0
 The bike rail snapped on my Yakima rack while i was on the Highway. Stay away from Yakima they are poorly made and the aluminium is thin on the rails.
  • 1 0
 @bh406: you’re a brave soul to admit that. Starbucks gotcha again!
  • 20 1
 $150+ more than a 1up, uglier than a 1up, 20lb heavier than a 1up.
  • 6 0
 And will fall apart in a few years, parts will be unavailable, and the buyer will then get to go out and buy an actual 1up if they learned anything.
  • 20 5
 1UP
  • 2 0
 Yup
  • 7 0
 Wow...my porky Thule T2 XTR seems so svelt now that this Yakima beats it by a whopping 14 pounds!

The 1UP racks certainly look far more appealing these days with Yakima/Kuat/Thule jacking up prices 20-25% in the last year. However, the reason I rarely see 1UP racks in Canada (I believe) is lack of distribution. By the time you pay the exorbitant courier fees to bring it across the border (shipping, brokerage, advance fees), the 1UP ends up more expensive than the Yakima/Kuat/Thule, even at their newly inflated prices.

If 1Up could find a Canadian distribution network that can sell their racks in Canada at their US prices (converted of course)...just like the big rack companies...the 1UP would be a no-brainer for sure.
  • 5 0
 Agreed. Every time I look at 1UP I do the math and back away. Seems like they're missing out on a big mountain bike market up here.
  • 2 0
 @Rattles: It seems like the best way to do it is to order it in the US. Have it shipped to a friend's house / border. Cross the border yourself, and pick it up and bring it back over. You still end up paying the HST, but you can avoid the crazy courier charges, brokerage, advance fees, etc.
  • 6 0
 It really cracks me up to see these bike rack makers trying to push closer and closer to $1,000 when there already exist perfectly good racks at much better prices. *coughs in OneUp*

What's worse is that this rack is $850 and the license plate mount looks like they forgot about designing it, so they just bolted a piece of plastic to it at the last second. "Whew, almost forgot that piece!"
  • 2 0
 Never mind the fact the plate mount is part of the +$220 add on
  • 8 0
 The real winner here is the "One Less Sprinter" sticker.

Also, 1Up is awesome Big Grin
  • 2 7
flag g-42 (May 12, 2022 at 9:02) (Below Threshold)
 Between the bad English and the fact the Astrovan probably pushes out more COs than a Sprinter, that is a bit cute...
  • 4 0
 It is so annoying how expensive bike racks are! you can buy a dirtbike rack made out of solid metal that holds 2 dirtbikes for $200-300. Also, people seem to think they can sell their rusty used bike racks for what they paid.
  • 2 0
 I've been really happy with the Rocky Mounts WestSlope rack we got for my girlfriend's car. It's easier to put up and down than my $600 Yakima rack and only $360.
  • 1 0
 Never even heard of dirt bike racks, are there any that hitch mounted?
  • 1 0
 @kingbike2: yup, I see them often in my town.
  • 1 0
 I sold my 1 year old (not rusty...and in mint condition) Thule T2 Pro XTR for more than what I paid...thanks to Thule jacking up their prices this year, the increase in MSRP allowed me to make a profit on my rack after using it for a year.
  • 3 0
 Genuine question: what rack are folks with XL/XXL enduro bikes using. I ride a XXL Sentinel with a 1310mm wheel base and it just barely fits in my 1UP rack. If I ever got somethin like the Spire or the Norco Range Im pretty sure it wouldn't fit. At that point are hanging racks the only option?
  • 3 0
 Which 1up do you have? I get about 5-6 ratchets on each end on my XXL sentinel with a 170mm fork
  • 1 0
 If you’re that tight on a 1up then stay away from Saris racks. I used to have a Superclamp that barely, just barely, held on to my ~1250mm S4 Status. That bike fits with room to spare on my 1up single on a 1.25” receiver.

I think a 1310 may juuust fit on a Kuat NV but you’d want to double check their spec sheets.
  • 1 0
 I have an XXL spire and a 1up on its way. I'll soon find out if your theory is correct. I hope it isn't. Says 54" wheelbase for 1up on their website and geo chart says I'm just under that.
  • 1 0
 @loosegoat: I have the roof mounted one. I probably have two clicks front and rear maybe a tad more.
  • 1 2
 XL bike rider here. 1up works for me, plenty of room. i'm not on a big enduro bike though
  • 1 0
 Xxl Nukeproof mega 290 with a 1up, no issues.
  • 3 0
 Turn the wheel backwards.
  • 2 0
 There should really be a Grim Donut fit test on all rack reviews.
  • 4 1
 Yakima has very poor build quality and in my experience, very bad customer service. I had a Yakima rack rust out in only a few years of usage and they refused to warranty it. Claiming abuse and that it’s seen many weather cycles. Yakima is a joke. Over priced garbage and their “lifetime warranty” is non existent. I will never buy another Yakima product again and tell people how bad their product is every time a conversation about racks comes up. Bought a Thule and I am very happy with the build quality and the sturdiness so far.
  • 2 0
 Same experience I had with Thule T2. Rotted out after one single November trip in New Hampshire. Bundle Yak and Thule together as companies that have a penchant for copying design, over charging, and crap material quality. Why anyone even considers anything except 1Up is beyond me.
  • 1 0
 @jason3559: 1up here in Canada is pretty expensive after shipping that’s why I didn’t get one. I bought my Thule before the price hikes so I got lucky.
  • 3 0
 I have a 1Up that obscures the license plate when folded up and the bikes obscure the tail lights when folded down. I see these newer racks have designs to address these issues. I can rig up some easy trailer lights for the rack if I wanted, I guess, but has anybody ever been hassled for not having the rear plate visible? I have not, but I am wondering if it might give a nosy LEO a reason to pull me over.
  • 3 0
 1-up sells a license plate holder that goes on the end of the rack, and is visible when the rack is up or down. It has to be manually adjusted to show the plate depending on whether the rack is up or down, complicates adding trays to the rack, and doesn't operate that smoothly. But I use that and it's fine.
  • 2 0
 Europe is much more stringent about it. Unless you’ve got dark tints on your windows or driving like an ass, you should be fine in the USA. I’ve driven through probably 20 states with a platform rack and obstructed plate/lights and haven’t been pulled over for it.
  • 1 0
 Some states and municipalities are more bitchy about it than others. Technically, yes, it is illegal and you could get a ticket. But unless an area is really being jerks about it, you probably wouldn't get pulled over just for that alone. If you're speeding or doing something else and get pulled over however, I could see any cop adding on the charges and fines for it, in addition to the speeding ticket or whatever. Especially if it makes it a pain for them to run your plates while they're trying to pull you over.
  • 1 0
 I got a fix-it ticket from an extremely bored cop for my rack (1Up) obscuring my license plate while it was folded up. I temporarily fixed it, but need to get one of those license plate attachments described by @ces1965 to make it permanent.
  • 1 0
 I like that it has an optional brake/turn signal bar and license plate relocation bracket. I had to fashion my own for my T2 Pro XT from some double sided automotive tape and some Curt trailer LED bars and a couple pieces of 90" aluminum corner.
  • 2 0
 I have had two tickets in 4 years using a Yakima tray that obscured the license plate completely. Ditched it for a North Shore several years ago and haven't had any issues getting pulled over since.
  • 5 1
 how to sell things to Pinkbiker - name your company 1Up or any combination of that such as oneUP ( IMPORTANT - it does NOT matter what you sell)
  • 5 1
 Who in their right mind would mount a license place on their rack? My bike rack easily saved me more than it's worth in tickets
  • 2 0
 that is why Calgary police started giving tickets for racks with no bikes
  • 2 0
 You would think a bike rack manufacturer would focus a lot on security these days. Those cables were nice at one point but bike thieves know they can cut those in less than a second now and bike racks essentially just showboat something that's worth a lot of money. At least give me a good solid spot to put a kryptonite chain while I'm parked so the thief has to spend at least a few minutes cutting through that.
  • 1 0
 You clearly didn't read the article.
  • 7 0
 @Austintucker12: How embarrassing. I read right up to the burlier chain part. I'll show myself out...
  • 1 0
 Name checks out
  • 4 1
 Question For those who travel on multiple over night trips with the bikes on exterior racks: what do you do at night, take bikes inside motel/hotel rooms or lock them and hope no stela them?
  • 17 0
 I take them inside, every time. They're almost guaranteed to get stolen if you leave them on a car overnight.
  • 1 0
 @mikekazimer: do you ask permission or is it a given that it’s ok?
  • 17 0
 @kingbike2, I go with the 'do first, ask for forgiveness later' method. It usually works, depending on the hotel. I've been scolded a few times, but I'd rather deal with a grumpy clerk than a stolen bike.
  • 2 0
 Someone could just steal your car and deal with getting the bikes off at a different spot. Bring your bikes inside
  • 2 0
 live them on, no cables. It is know fact if the bike isn't secure the thief won't take it because there is no challenge!!!
  • 1 1
 If a motel told me "no bikes", I would take a refund and leave.

Also why I put my bikes INSIDE the van and don't use motel rooms.
  • 1 0
 I like how the tilt mechanism is described as awkward for this rack but also a reason against the 1up (which can definitely be a bit stiff)

As far as awkward loading, the Thule racks (that this looks eerily similar too) is way more awkward than loading a 1up
  • 1 0
 I have a rack question. I have a Kuat rack that I hate. When I carry 1 or 2 bikes it works. If I put 3 or 4 bikes on I have to loosen 3 stems and spin the bars about 75 degrees because the bars hit each other. It is so stupid. Have any of you experienced this problem and has anyone solved this issue? This Kuat rack is crap, either the bars hit each other or the bars hit the seats.
  • 1 0
 the solution is obvious - cut your bars... you do not need 780mm on each bike
  • 10 0
 You only need to cut one side of the bars
  • 1 1
 May I suggest NSR rack , no need to cut bars.
  • 1 0
 @bishopsmike: All my friends gonna have real short bars by end of summer. "I'm just doing what Pinkbike told me to do, talk to them"
  • 1 0
 @kingbike2: Cool rack but I ride road bikes too and I am not going to hang them from their carbon forks
  • 1 0
 I have a four place Kuat and have been able to get it to work with four bikes almost every time without loosening and moving bars or saddles. Majority of the time it's family trips with bikes of different wheel sizes so it's pretty easy. I have done trips with four 29ers and the first time loading up usually involves some puzzling between bikes, moving the adjustable arms to different angles, droppers up/down but we usually figure it out. After that everybody remembers their spot and it's easy the rest of the trip. The only time I had to move a set of bars was because one guy had 800mm bars and two others bikes had rigid posts and we couldn't find a fit. Three mountain bikes or four bikes with mix of straight and drop bars has been easy too.
  • 1 0
 @like2pedal: I have a road bike and haven’t needed to put on the NSR yet but I think hanging the bike horizontally by the top tube may work. Or just duct tape the bike to the rack.
  • 1 0
 Will this fail at the mere hint of dusty grit like EVERY……..SINGLE…….DR TRAY?!?!?!!!!!

Yakima hitch racks were pretty good until then, but I’d be reluctant to buy one of these until they’ve been in the wild a few years.
  • 1 0
 I swapped an Inno Tire Hold 4 for a 1Up Classic with 4 trays, only because the Mrs could not lift the Inno up and down to get in the back hatch of our car. With the 1Up reduced to two trays she can manage it. The Inno is a fixed 4 trays, but that's really the only advantage the 1Up has over it. Otherwise I loved the Inno for ease of use - much quicker to load 4 bikes especially if they have varied wheel sizes, which my kids' bikes have. Much better tilting mechanism. Really solid and good looking. More space between trays. And... less $ than the 1Up!! I love my 1Up too but it's way clunkier and I'd go back to the Inno if I could. Actually I did - bought the single tray version for my other car Smile

Oh yeah, I owned a Yakima rack once too. I try not to think about that. Dark times.
  • 1 0
 Features? It's an effin bike rack to transport your bike. They add shit and charge $100's. Junk. I have a basic RAXTER and it is heavy duty and works. What does it matter if it's heavy? I'm not carrying it on my back. Idiots.
  • 1 0
 THULE ones are used lots in the UK however on a van like a VW the main metalwork, that fits on the tow bar hits the doors when you try to open them...so you have to arse about taking the rack off to access the doors which is a shame
  • 2 0
 Where is the comparison to RockyMounts?? Their MonoRail is $310 LESS, or get the BackStage that swings away for only $770. Yakima racks are quite cheap feeling in my experience and I have no idea how that price is justified.
  • 1 0
 I've been using one of these for a couple months now and it is quite nice. It is really damn heavy though! I don't know why they felt the need to make the frame from 1/4" steel plate. Yes, it is sturdy, but since people using these are scrawny cyclists it is tough to handle. Strangely, the cross bars that actually hold the bikes are ultra light. The best part is that in the folded outward position the swing gate on my Jeep actually clears the rack!

My XL Norco Range actually fits on this rack, so that's a big win. It can be a bit dicey navigating narrow streets with such a long bike perpendicular to the direction of travel though.
  • 4 0
 That color . . . what were they thinking? Hospital beige is not 'Premium'.
  • 2 0
 Now I finally understand why Pinkbike moved towards Outside+, unless you're 1Up, no other advertiser on here has a fighting chance Smile
  • 1 1
 I think Yakima and Thule are competing against each other. When one company comes up with a newer design and better implementation, the other one kind of follows with a similar design and implementation. I've owned the Yakima Hold-Up version 1. My friend has the version 2. Not much difference between the 2 except the security cable on the version 2. I also own a few of Yakima's roof top version. Overall, Yakima's product works but there's a lot of plastic on their products. I have friends that have the Thule T2 Pro and it looks and handles way better than the Yakima. For what mine's worth, it does the job. The warranty is pretty good as well, but I just don't like how Yakima (and most of these bike rack companies) keep changing the products and making them obsolete in 2 years. Then making parts unavailable after several years. Take for example when you purchase roof racks. The tower bases that sit on the car roofs - they're not cheap. Yakima doesn't support more than half of them. The only way to get those parts for older and newer vehicles is to find it on your own.
  • 2 1
 May I suggest NSR rack, no moving parts, no plastic, no parts to replace so no worries about part availability.
  • 1 0
 @kingbike2: NSR is too big for my tiny car. If I had an SUV, probably. The only thing I don't like about the NSR is that it still touches the fork whereas the Yakima, OneUp, Thule, and others don't touch any part of the bike except for the tires.

The worst thing about the Yakima (and probably the Thule) ratcheting arms on these bike carriers is that no one can take the outer casing off. It's pretty much all pressed in or rivetted. If one decided to take things apart, it's guaranteed you won't be able to put things back together again. The good thing is, since the racks are warrantied for life, you can contact the store you bought it from and Yakima will send you a brand new tray with the ratcheting arm. I've had both trays on mine replaced. The inner one twice. They don't last long - probably 2 years before they need to be replaced. The other bad thing is, I don't even know where the un-usable trays go for recycling. Hate for them to go to the landfill.
  • 1 0
 @CSharp: so what you’re saying is…you should have bought a 1up?
  • 2 0
 @lightsgetdimmer: Yes, if I had the money Big Grin and if 1Up was even available at the time I bought my Yakima HoldUp rack. So, looking back now, I'd definitely invest in the 1Up since I used my rack quite a bit over the last 8+ years.
  • 1 0
 I switched last year from tray rack to North Shore. Family is growing and I need space for 4+ bikes. While the tray racks are cool, I just don't see many advantages over vertical racks and mine is made in Canada.
  • 1 0
 North Shore marks up your forks and head tube, and don't work for road bikes, but I do love the fact that they are so small and secure for a 4 bike rack. Any of these tray racks for 4 bikes are gargantuan.
  • 1 0
 @bishopsmike: true, any tray rack with 4 bikes on it is cantilevered out about 8 feet.

For the 1up fanboys , each additional tray is also higher.
  • 1 0
 I bought a Yamima once because 1up seemed like it was too expensive. When the Yakima rusted to pieces, I bought a 1up to replace it. Proving once again that cheap costs more in the end. I'd never buy anything but 1up now.
  • 1 1
 give me a bolt cutter and a sharp screwdriver and I'll get both bikes out. use the cutters on the cable and rear wheel tie down, then pop/deflate the front tire and roll it backwards.
these manufacturers need to come up with something new after 15 years.
  • 2 0
 Rocky Mounts Back Stage is cheaper and better... and swings out of the way for about $100 less... Not sure why anyone would be this...
  • 1 0
 Kaz, can you talk a second about your aux light set you put on the bike rack. I've been told my truck looks invisible at night with a rack full of bikes.
  • 1 0
 Never mind. I skimmed to article to quickly the first time.
  • 3 0
 There is no world that I see myself paying $800 for a bike rack.
  • 2 0
 but bruh, you need bruh... you know bruh, the expensive bike requires expensive rack bruh... cuz everything else will destroy your bike bruh
  • 1 0
 had a Yakima. eventually owned two boost width fork bikes. noticed rack was rubbing the paint off the lowers. got a 1UP. no more rub. sold Yakima.
  • 1 0
 My Sportrack Crest 2 (tray style) is good - functional design and finish, and reasonably sturdy as well. I was impressed for the price (I think ~$200?)
  • 1 0
 License plate holder? I thought the point of a rack was so the cops can't see that I forgot to renew my registration. (and sometimes holding my overpriced mountain bikes)
  • 1 0
 Are there regulations for how far a bike with a longer wheelbase can protrude beyond the width of the vehicle?
  • 1 0
 I don't have an answer, but I've got a bud that spins the front wheel on his Norco Shore all the way around just to fit it on his hitch rack
  • 1 0
 My small 29 hardtail is bang on exactly as long as my Yaris is wide (mirrors included)
  • 1 0
 Yes but they will vary by location
  • 1 0
 @pmhobson: OOOOOH! That is an interesting hack!! I might have to give that a go.
  • 2 1
 "Tilting system isn't that easy to use"

Its incredibly easy to use, exponentially easier to use than the old Holdup rack
  • 2 0
 Nothing screams quality like a crooked SafetyMate brake light.
  • 2 4
 It absolutely astounds me how much people will pay for a rack. This is clearly a US thing but what the heck are you getting extra over a £100 Thule? The whole of Europe travels the whole of Europe using Thule or similar every year and it just lasts.
Been using Thule or similar since the mid ninties when I started driving and its never failed me.
Mugs game. Its not even like its a boutique rack thats makes your ride so much better. Its just a friggin’ bike rack. Financial priorities check required!
  • 5 0
 Thule is EXTREMELY expensive in North America. A 2 bike tray rack will cost like $600.
  • 2 0
 So racks in Europe are cheap? (Sarcasm)
  • 1 5
flag valrock (May 12, 2022 at 13:27) (Below Threshold)
 the average salary in Ukraine is what? 400 USD a month? You know what it is in US? You getting 150 USD rack in Ukraine is the same as some average Joe getting 700 USD rack in NA. Also if you flex kashima at the front of your bods you might as well flex with kashima rack Big Grin
  • 1 0
 just get the 1up its not a hard decision actually..even with shipping and exchange rate to CAD, its cheaper.
  • 5 3
 Thule T2 still the champ….and less money.
  • 2 0
 Let's see a review of QUIKR Stuff Mach 2 please, Kaz...
  • 2 0
 cracked faded UV damaged plastic and rusted hardware in 6 months.
  • 4 0
 You're talking about the Safari, right? Seems accurate.
  • 3 4
 How did I know this would be an instant, sanctimonious, 1up fanboy party? 1up people are insufferable. When you see another car at the trailhead with a 1up do you stand around and sniff each other’s farts?
  • 1 0
 yes, and if there is PInkbiker around it will give them bj
  • 1 0
 Hey, at least we don't pay extra for Kashima coated rack bits!
  • 2 0
 Talk to me when the trays are Kashima coated.
  • 1 0
 There are two types of people in this world. Those who buy 1up’s and those who wear fanny packs.
  • 1 0
 $850 USD is a joke lol many other great options out there that allow you to carry 4-6 bikes
  • 1 0
 Timely article as I was in the market for a new hitch rack. You've convinced me to get a OneUp
  • 1 1
 I still have my Yakima 4 bike hitch rack..not the best..but holding up well after 8 years of use.
  • 2 0
 Craptastic McCopy
  • 1 0
 Has anyone tried the OneUp? Those things rock.
  • 1 0
 Mike is this your safari?
  • 2 1
 Yakima racks are straight garbage!
  • 1 0
 One of my roof bike rack rail snapped in half, their straps suck too. Stay away from Yakima.
  • 1 0
 Might have to get one of those stickers on my ambulance.
  • 1 0
 Steals
  • 1 0
 Yakimas rust





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