Recon Gen-2 R5 Shuttle Rack – Review

May 18, 2017 at 11:07
by Vernon Felton  
Recon Bike Racks


If you call Recon Racks with a question about one of their products you’re likely to speak to a guy named Cody, who was probably just assembling a rack, or boxing a rack, or working on the website or welding something or…you get the idea. Cody Fuks is a one-man, rack-building machine. If you haven’t heard of Recon yet, that’s because Fuks dove into the rack building business full time a bit more than a year ago, after a whole lot of years spent welding other people’s stuff and tinkering with his own rack designs in his spare time. Recon Racks, however, is quickly building a following.

Recon offers four, five and six-bike versions of their shuttle rack. Prices range from $775 (four-bike model) to $1,170 (six-bike model). We opted for the five-bike model, which sells for $930.
Recon Gen-2 R5 Details
• Hitch-style rack
• Fits 2'' recievers
• Four, Five and Six-bike options
• Three height positions, to adjust for bike-to-ground clearance
• Front wheel baskets fit road to fatbike tires
• No plastic components--all steel, Grade-8 bolt hardware
• Made in Bellingham, WA from Made-In-America parts
• Grom-bike friendly. Stock baskets fit 24-inch wheels. 20-inch compatible baskets also available.
• Five-bike MSRP: $930 USD
www.recon-racks.com


Recon Bike Racks
Loading bikes works best if done from left-to-right, tallest axle-to-stem height bikes first (i.e. DH bikes) down to kids bikes. That said, I just slap bikes into the thing willy nilly and it all works out fine.
Recon Bike Racks
Thanks to its massive pivot, the Recon Rack tilts nicely out of the way. I've been able to load four-foot wide plywood sheets into the back of my car without removing the rack.


The shuttle rack is exactly what it sounds like—a burly beast designed to hold as many downhill bikes as possible while you pound pot-holed fireroads up to the start of the trail. This isn’t a rack that can withstand that kind of abuse—it’s a rack that was made for that kind of abuse. There’s a difference. That said, the Recon clearly does the around town, down-the-interstate, across-the-country bike transport thing just fine. If cruising to the super market in a Sherman tank is your thing (it’s mine), the Recon is your pony.


Recon Bike Racks
I tested the rack for months with an earlier version of the front-wheel baskets. These newer baskets more easily accommodate bigger tires, but will still hold skinny road tires as well.
Recon Bike Racks
Here's a more typical sight--29x2.4-inch tires. The new baskets will accommodate full-fat bike meats. As you can see, the bulk of the contact with the rack is focused on the tire tread itself.



The rack market is full of very innovative products with cool features, such as ratcheting arms and integrated. color-coordinated repair stands. This rack sort of shrugs its shoulders at all of that. Yes, the Recon has the basics down. You can vary the height of the rack (to keep from bottom rear tires on asphalt). You can easily tilt the thing out of the way, to access your trunk or hatchback, and Recon will soon offer a beefy, swing-away option, which will give you full, unrestricted access to your vehicle's backside.

If, however, you are into super-sleek products that aim to marry the sophistication of a fine Italian espresso machine with the lush wood paneling-and buttery-smooth leather aesthetics a Jaguar XJ, the Recon Rack is not going to be your idea of an industrial-design wet-dream. Recon’s design protocol boils down to this: simple, strong and reliable. For instance, let’s say you want ratcheting wheel straps… Well, you’re not getting them here. Instead, Recon offers super-sized bungees. Why? They don’t rattle. They still work great when the temperature has dropped below freezing and they’re coated in ice... And if you ever need to replace one, Recon sells the bungee balls for $2.00. Oh, and it takes about 15 seconds to thread one through a hole and add a knot to the end. Simple.


Recon Bike Racks
Compared to the ratcheting straps on many racks, the bungees on the Recon may seem suspiciously low-tech.
Recon Bike Racks
Then again, I have used these bungees in the snow and mud and they work a charm, don't rattle and allow for plenty of tension adjustments.



Aside from the bungee ball itself, there are no plastic components on this thing. The rack is constructed from thick, plate steel and grade 8 hardware. It’s built to last. As in decades. Fuks says he uses entirely USA-made materials in his Recon racks and that he sources as many of the materials as possible from local vendors in the Bellingham, Washington, area. All that steel is sandblasted and given a good powder coat. The rack, no surprise, is a heavy mother (80 pounds). If you want to take the rack off your rig and store it somewhere, Recon also sells a separate ($165) rack stand. For my part, I carefully (and slowwwwly) flipped the Recon over and let it rest on its baskets.
Recon Bike Racks
Built like a brick shit house. The Recon rack is one beefy mofo.

Assembling the rack requires a handful of sockets and a couple wrenches. Judicious use of a cordless impact driver will speed things up as well. Be prepared to spend bit of time here, though the assembly instructions on Recon's site illustrate that this isn't exactly brain surgery.


Recon Bike Racks
The latest generation of rack features this massive pivot and bearing assembly.
Recon Bike Racks
The 5/8-inch stainless steel key features a beveled leading edge.

Cody Fuks is constantly tweaking and innovating, which is how the Generation 2 racks came to be. The rack's tilt function is enabled by an enormous pivot. Once you pull up the spring-loaded key this thing tilts away nice and easy. As you return the rack to its upright position, the spring loaded key automatically snaps back into its slot.The key itself sports a beveled edge; it's a seemingly trivial detail, but Fuks contends that as the powder coat starts wearing away, the latch key will progressively settle more and more into place and the rack will remain tight and quiet over the years. As it stands, the key is easy to pull up and it snaps confidently back in place. There's no play in our test rack at all.


Recon Racks


Performance

I've spent the past nine months putting the Recon throughout its paces. In that time, I've employed the rack on 16-hour interstate drives, around-town transit and the occasional motoring up shitty fire roads at unsafe speeds. It's gotten plenty of use. About a month ago, Fuks dropped off a new set of front-wheel baskets, since he'd changed to a design that more easily accommodates true fat-bike tires.


Recon Racks


First off, I have never used a rack that is easier to load than the Recon. Lift your bike up, drop the front wheel in the basket, shift it slightly to make sure the front wheel is centered, stretch the bungee cords into place. Done. In seconds. I've used plenty of very good hitch racks, which I thought were dead simple to operate, but the Recon has them all beat on ease of use.

The new baskets don't naturally guide the tire into perfect alignment as well as the previous, narrower baskets did, but they are far burlier than their predecessors and allow you to slap just about any tire on earth in place. The old baskets maxxed out on 3.0-inch tires (which is, admittedly as wide as I'm ever going to run), but with the new baskets you can do the full 5-inch front tire thing if that's the flavor of fat that you roll. Securing the front tire is, again, accomplished courtesy of the bungee cords. They work well and you've got enough slots (four of `em) to securely lock down everything from 700x25c road slicks to the beefiest mountain tires imaginable.


Recon Racks
The business end of the lower tire bar.
Recon Bike Racks
The lower tire bar can be lifted, providing plenty of room to open the ambulance-style rear doors on vans.


Once strapped in, there's very little in the way of bike wiggling. I could confidently tear up dirt roads with five bikes strapped in and not worry that the handlebars and brake levers would be gouging one another. The rack is rock solid--not only in its construction, but in the actual application of holding bikes steady. Recon isn't forging entirely new terrain here--the North Shore Racks built a dedicated following for similar reasons, but I prefer the actual mounting of the Recon--there's no frame or fork contact at all. The front tire is the point of contact. Could you see some degree of sidewall wear because of that fact? When I squeezed 3-inch tires into the older, narrower baskets, there was definitely a fair bit of sidewall contact going on and in that case (some of those 3-inch plus tires have mighty thin sidewalls), it might have made sense to tuck a bit of cardboard between the tire and the basket during long, multi-hour road trips. With these newer baskets, however, there's almost no contact with the tire sidewalls at all. I haven't encountered any sidewall wear. Moreover, I'm stoked to not have any portion of the frame or fork crown resting on the rack.

The only part of the rack that is not built like a brick shithouse is the lower tire bar. There's a reason for that. Cody knows that people have a way of backing into large, immoveable objects and that something has to give when that happens. That something could be your bike or, but in this case, it's likely to be the lower tire bar, which is the only part of the rack that is not constructed from tank steel. If that lower bar does get bent during a bone-headed back-up, it's easily replaced. I know. My mother-in-law drove my car and took out a giant chunk of the hedge in my front yard. Way to go, Grandma. When that happened, I promptly forbid her from ever touching my car keys again, then I bent the lower tire bar back into order and just kept using it for another four months. The rack still worked perfectly, but Cody offered to replace it a couple weeks ago. After about three minutes of wrenching, we did just that. Simple.

Recon Bike Racks
In a pinch, the rack also serves as an impromptu, bike repair stand.
Recon Bike Racks
A welded lock hoop lets you cable-up your bikes.


What's lacking? If you are rocking an inch-and-a-quarter trailer hitch and you want this rack, you're bummed. This is a big, burly rig and you'll need a 2-inch receiver to use it. In other words, some folks with light-duty passenger cars may be out of luck. There are no integrated security cables and locks on this beast. Instead, the rack features a welded hoop that you can attach locks and cables to. It works just fine for securing your bikes to the rack. However, if you're parking for an extended period in a place populated with particularly industrious, wrench-toting thieves, you'll also want to secure the rack to your car by running a cable and a lock between the welded loop and the trailer hitch.... because, no, this rack does not feature a locking hitch pin. I wish it did. But that's my only gripe with the rack.

Oh, wait, it's expensive. How could I leave that till the end? Well, here we are looking at the price tag all the same. So, yes, it is pricey and there is no way to soften that up, but its worth noting that this is a five-back rack. If you buy a hitch-mount rack for two bikes, you're generally looking at about $500. If you want to add another two-bike fixture, you'll spend closer to $900. For four bikes. Not a huge difference in price. The hallowed North Shore Rack comes in at a very cost competitive price--$800 for the six-bike rack. So there's always that to consider.

So, it all comes down to this, this Recon rack holds five bikes, it's made in America and it doesn't feature plastic components that will, eventually, age and go funky after so many seasons in the sun and snow. It's simple. All that either appeals to you or it doesn't. To each his or her own.



Pinkbike's Take
bigquotesIf you are looking for a bullet-proof rack that is easy to use, you can't do better than the Recon. It holds a ton of bikes, it holds them rock steady, it's easy to operate and it will endure anything shy of nuclear blast. It ain't cheap, but racks that hold this many bikes never are easy on the wallet. In this case, you definitely get what you pay for. Vernon Felton

222 Comments

  • + 128
 $1200 for a six bike rack?!?!...You can buy a bungie net at home depot for $10 and easily hold six bikes on the roof of your car. #typicalpinkbikecomment
  • + 28
 a roll of duct tape is even cheaper!
  • + 7
 pipe insulation from the hardware store can protect the bikes, and is also cheap.
  • + 33
 @powderturns: remind me not to shuttle with you guys!
  • + 17
 @dirteveryday: you should see the car we use.
  • + 3
 @powderturns: would Mad Max drive it?
  • + 4
 Super glue is like 4 dollars
  • + 3
 You can put a trunk rack on the side door of a Mazda 3 and then get in dukes of hazard style. Btw recon makes a great rack.
  • + 2
 way cheaper to get a pet leash from Walmart to wrap around your stem and just pull your bike
  • - 1
 Check out Altaracks.com it will also carry ski and snowboards
  • + 72
 Fuks, that's a lot of money for a rack.
  • + 1
 It really is. However, I guess there is the consideration that this is the sort of rack that could be used by a group of people, and could mean that the cost can be shared
  • + 92
 Those bike probably average $6000/pop. That's $30,000 worth of bikes back there. Would you want a more inferior rack at a lower price?
  • + 25
 I'm slightly surprised he didn't go with Fuks Racks as the brand name...
  • + 8
 Ya that is a lot but on par with Thule and Yakima for a rack that holds 4 bikes, most of the other brands 2 bike racks are $450-$550 plus the additional 2 bike add on takes another $400 on to them. However the North Shore racks are significantly cheaper.
  • + 0
 That's quite some money for a shuttle beach to spend.
  • - 3
 @mikeyin19: I love when people assume less expensive means inferior. I have a $125 tray-style rack that treats my bikes much more gently than that, going on 6 years.
  • + 1
 @mikeyin19: Well when you put it like that, I guess it doesn't seem so bad. But for a solo ride, $1K for a bike rack (taxes included) is still pretty steep.

@bishopsmike: What rack you got for $125? I'm in the market Smile
  • + 8
 @bishopsmike:

Yeah that and also the fact that some of us have expensive bikes but we can't necessarily afford other expensive things.
  • - 6
flag bikeordie2772 (May 19, 2017 at 9:32) (Below Threshold)
 @mikeyin19: i could build a amazing bmx or a half decent dirtjumper for that price
  • + 0
 @lobohusky: It's gone up in price, but still a good value. Soft padding where the arm touches your top tube, and I never even bother with the wheel ratchets unless I'm doing a longer or bumpy ride.

www.mec.ca/en/product/5018-825/XTC-2-Bike-XC-Dual-Receiver-Hitch-Rack

If they were both the same price, I'd take this Recon rack or a North Shore, but c'mon man: $225 cdn vs $1,260 cdn.
  • + 2
 @ratedgg13: "Gives No Fuks" or "Fuks The Rest" Racks have a little more zing
  • + 1
 @lobohusky: I've owned 2 swagman jacknife racks (one got backed into by a moving truck. One was 200 and the other one on sale for 125. Doesn't have the nice big pivot but works great for the value. Taken them offroading in my tacoma and everything holds up if you have a 2" receiver.

Currently out of stock bu thats the deal I got:

www.overstock.com/Sports-Toys/Swagman-Jackknife-2-bike-Carrier/9388134/product.html
  • + 4
 @bishopsmike: There's no way that I want any rack touching my carbon top tube. Sure, it's padded, but dirt works it's way under the pad and then you have some serious abrasion to contend with.
  • + 2
 @pdxkid: dude. tape.
  • + 8
 @pdxkid: Third carbon bike on this rack (4 years of carbon top tubes) and that issue is all in your head . If you actually thing that there would be "serious abrasion", then your bike will break from a gust of wind. You can always place a piece of the finest corinthian leather between that padded arm and your top tube if that makes you happier.

But I get it, no touching at all (like a 1up rack) is even better than a 1" padded finger touching your top tube.
  • + 1
 @bishopsmike: Nice, thanks for sharing. It looks like it's still around the $130 mark at some other places online. I like the minimalist design and it looks like it's pretty secure, although I'd have to check that it will clear the spare tire on my Jeep.

@dglass: I like that this rack orients the bikes vertically, it gives it kind of a cool look similar to the North Shore racks and others but at a lower pricepoint. Gonna have to look into both of these Swagman racks some more.

Thanks fellas!
  • + 20
 The most popular racks are, like, $10,000...and made of silicone and such. $1200 is good deal.
  • + 4
 @bishopsmike: +1 to you man. I've had the swagman for going on ten years and it spends a solid six months of the year attached to the back of my truck. It's solid and has always done the trick. The powder coating is a bit thin and I give it a paint job every now and then and replaced the few bolts it has with SS from Home Depot but that's it.. granted it only carries two bikes though...
  • + 1
 @neologisticzand: hahaha ask your buddies for cash cause you bought a new rack, that will go over well!
  • + 3
 @lobohusky: i destroy everything and have yet to destroy one of these. Plus when you like to ride nice bikes and so do your buds its nice to know they are gunna make it to the top undamaged. Price is totally worth it,
  • + 1
 @bishopsmike: lol swagman racks are shit. I broke 3 of them shuttling. they use cheap chinese crap metal and minimal welding. watch your welds lol
  • + 1
 @makripper: Jacknife 2 has worked wonders for me. With the 2" receiver I took it up brohm ridge in squamish a couple times. Before the road was fixed too. Summer 2015.
  • + 0
 @dglass: must have narrow bars haha. I had the original version made by arbutus racks. was way more bad ass and much stronger. it also didn't flex like the jack nifr
  • + 4
 @bishopsmike: Where do the other 3 bikes go?
  • + 2
 Sure is, especially when you can get a small enclosed trailer for not much more...
  • + 4
 I didn't want the extra weight of the pivot on my ReconRack and needed extra ground clearance for my side-by-side. Cody made a custom piece and it actually ended up saving in cost with no moving parts m.pinkbike.com/photo/14744633
  • + 1
 @ratedgg13: I was thinking Rack Fuks. Either way it seems like a missed opportunity.
  • + 3
 @mikeyin19: MY 5010 CC BOLTS TO A 2x4 ON MY ROOF. LOWER PRICE YES, SUPERIOR YES.
  • + 36
 What if you don't have any friends. I suggest a one bike version. Could be called the Solo Fuker.
  • + 87
 Or the Fuk Myself
  • + 1
 @dirteveryday: *what the fuk
  • + 1
 10/10, would purchase a Fuq Myself Elite.
  • + 28
 I've logged a lot of miles with one. And I can attest that this is by far the best way to carry a mountain bike. I've been straight up four wheeling with a full rack of DH bikes and it didn't even flinch. Yeah it costs a bunch, but when you have 30k in bikes on the back of your rig, you don't want to fuck around.
  • + 1
 Doesn't it hit the ground when you make a transition to a slightly steeper road?
  • + 1
 @migkab: no and adjustable height
  • + 1
 @dirteveryday: Just checked that on your website, clever feature ;-). I just asked because those thule 3 bike racks almost scrap the floor on my driveway (even on a small SUV like the one on this review).
  • + 2
 fuk*
  • + 1
 Have you taken it on a longer highway journey? If so, how does it effect MPG vs. a standard tray rack? I have a full size pickup (no topper) and am curious as to the parachute-effect it may have while on the open road.
  • + 1
 Yes, there is an effect on mileage. But it's no worse that adding a roof rack, of bigger tires to your truck. I'd say its worth the piece of mind that the Recon Rack gives you when your 7k bike is hanging from it. @adamhorton1976:
  • + 27
 This guy Fuks
  • + 13
 This guy, Fuks.
  • + 14
 Love it, as an industrial designer I hate seeing plastic BS designed by some intern whose never participated in the activity they are designing it for and made in a factory by someone who will also never participate in that activity. Simplicity, strength and usability when well considered creates an aesthetic that will always win in my book. PROPS to a one man show competing with companies with hundreds of employees. That is the American Dream my friends.
  • + 17
 This rack is as good as Kate Uptons.
  • + 9
 What if there was a 6 rack version of Kate Upton?
  • + 6
 @LittleDominic: total recall x2
  • + 10
 Best rack ever. I know multiple people with them and nobody has a complaint. North shore racks rape your head tube and on shorty shuttle roads can bounce out. I have seen that more then once. The price is fair. One man army building racks all by hand and supplying customer service that far exceeds any other rack manufacture out there. I applaud you cody. Keep doing you, all these keyboard warriors don't understand.
  • + 1
 Have you taken it on a longer highway journey? If so, how does it effect MPG vs. a standard tray rack? I have a full size pickup (no topper) and am curious as to the parachute-effect it may have while on the open road.
  • + 9
 I went with North Shore because the 4 bike model folds out of the way when not in use. The Recon looks great when you've got bikes on it, but that's a lot of metal clogging up your rearview mirror when you don't. The North Shore has been bomber for me.
  • + 4
 It's actually all above sight line. All you(bately) see is a 2" square post. And with one bike in the middle you can't see anything other than a pedal and a bar end
  • + 2
 I have a North Shore 6, and it's great...except...the rubber on the fork mounts gets torn up from the weight of the bikes and all of my bikes have the paint worn through on the fork crown. I've replaced the stock stuff with a heavy duty fuel line hose, but it's still annoying. I've also found that not all fork crowns fit in a North Shore rack. I'd rather have a wheel mount like this. I also think they could space the mounts a little further apart to keep the bikes away from each other. I've had pedal pins rub on chainstays and take all the paint off. I wasn't too happy with that. I try to watch to make sure nothing contacts each other, but sometimes the wind at 80 mph moves the pedals or cranks and you don't realize it until it's too late. I don't know why anybody would buy the 4 bike rack when you can get a 6 pack rack. I'm waiting for them to release an 8 bike hauler!
  • + 0
 @sledMXer: I'm a little disappointed with my NS4 as well
  • + 0
 @sledMXer: agree this a better design than the NS rack. I'm also missing the paint on all my fork crowns and had to bend the rack a little to make some DH bike fit
  • + 9
 Blasting it before the powder coating is an admirable step that is often skipped with new manufacturing due to cost. Blasting before powder coating increased bond strength and makes the coating much more durable. Props to Fuks for including this step even though it increases final product cost.
  • + 8
 I've been running the R6 on my shuttle van for 2 years! Love it, and takes a mega beating. Even hauled bikes up excavator/snowcat roads at Retallack Lodge. No way to break one of these. Good work Cody! Worth every penny!
  • + 1
 They all hit when you go up a steep incline. It's more of a matter of how the rack will take it. I like the bungee system, because if you do drag a bike going up a hill, which is common, the bungee stretches and doesn't allow the wheel to take any damage. So far it's worked well. My only complaint is that they don't come in 'bass boat' red...
  • + 3
 Doesn't this rack place a lot of sideways torque on your front rim, especially when hitting potholes, etc.?
  • + 2
 @bishopsmike: common misconception. All the weight of the bike is directly on top of the wheel, under the crown. The front half of the wheel basket is pretty much just there for sudden stops or impact, and helps keep the wheel aligned
  • + 1
 Don't forget to strap the front wheel though hahaha.....uhhhhhh ????
  • + 4
 This thing looks awesome. I've never liked the North Shore rack because, I have to admit, I do have a road bike and occasionally travel with it. Also the NS rack connection to the bike at the fork isn't the best, and those things look super janky as they age. This thing checks all the boxes: doesn't touch the frame, easy to load, 6 bikes, and built to last. Yes, $1100 is a lot for a rack, but most 4 bike trays like 1up and Kuat are in that ballpark just for 4 bikes.

Sign me up!
  • + 2
 I have put road bikes on my NS Rack for short distances by flipping the bike and mounting the bike from the handlebar. The good thing about the Recon and NS Racks is if they do start to look rusty or janky, you can buy $7 worth of black rust inhibiting spray paint take 30 mins to disassemble it, and paint it to make it look minty fresh. Racks made with plastic parts (Thule/Yakima) that are exposed to sunlight/UV will eventually discolour, become brittle and eventually brake. .
  • + 8
 he doesn't give a Fuks how much it cost!
  • + 3
 I was probably one of the first customers with a Gen -1.0 rack. I have seen these things go from conception(100lbs of square tubing) to reality. I've owned other shuttle racks and tray systems and nothing compares to the ease of operation and downright ruggedness of these racks. I have put well over 10k miles, on road, off road, no road and have only broke one bungie ball. If you are looking for a rack that will outlast any other rack on the market and is absolutely 100% hand built with every detail thought of, look no further.
  • + 0
 Have you taken it on a longer highway journey? If so, how does it effect MPG vs. a standard tray rack? I have a full size pickup (no topper) and am curious as to the parachute-effect it may have while on the open road.
  • + 1
 @adamhorton1976 I drove 7,500 miles from Kentucky to Pemberton BC and back with 4 bikes on the rack. The rack was on a Chevy Colorado without a topper. Maybe noticed 1-2 MPG downflux. The only time I noticed anything was when driving through Eastern WA and there was a good crosswind.
  • + 3
 I've been using an R5 for a year now.

Pros: Easy to load/unload, even for short women. Bikes don't rub. Durable.
Cons: Expensive. Big. Heavy. Bikes with standard size tires move around a bit more in the new baskets.

Two things this article doesn't mention. One, stainless steel key now comes with a round plastic knob. Two, the lower tire bar can also be used as a bike stand, although the tires are still on the ground.
  • + 2
 I love this track and the way it works but covering the rear lights and back plate are not illegal in USA? Here in Brazil it is and for sure the cops will stop the car and give a ticket and even say that the car can not go to the road until the rack is off.
  • + 2
 That's a good question. In the USA you can cover the rear lights and back plate and get away with it. That means there are a bunch of racks that are viable here that aren't almost anywhere else due to the issue you raise. The alternative elsewhere is to run a dedicated light/plate bar behind the rack. I know that Thule has on of these you can buy, but it adds significant hassle.
  • + 1
 man that's crazy. USA is pure safety on the roads and you can cover the backlights? that's dangerous. I think that there you don't need a front plate in the car so you can ride a car without a front plate and with the rear plate covered? that's also dangerous in case of crimes or accidents. anyway the rack is very nice I like it a lot. But for Brazil I will need that extra plate-light board to connect to the light system.... but anyway I like it a lot
  • + 1
 @thefazz: "get away" with it is the key here. I have been stopped with my Yakima in the US but a Asshat cop in Oregon and he stated state law , gave me a ticket and made me remove the bikes from the rack. He was like" you can put them back on when you cross into WA, maybe they wont care, but here its the law"
  • + 1
 @mudmandhbrazil: Same happens here. Most people here use roof racks because they are cheaper and not all cars have tow features.
  • + 1
 I've heard of several people who've been pulled over here in the US because their tray style racks are blocking the plate and lights. This is why I went with a Northshore Rack for my van because if we are only hauling 2 or 3 bikes, it doesn't block the plate and even with 4 bikes it doesn't block the rear brake lights/turn signals.
  • + 2
 In the UK its a massive no no to cover the lights and plate. Its spawned a whole industry of bollocks racks that raise the bikes above the lights and into space pretty much. I have one such thing on my VW T5. A genuine VW 4 biker but I cant put my canoe on the roof when using it. Pricey though. Near £500 now. Mind, thats half this. But this is waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay better.
I remember a being with a mate and he drove into an underground carpark with one on his car. What a smash as the height bar forcably removed it and attached bikes from the car. Tense moments followed.
  • + 1
 @migkab: etrailer.com hitches so cheap
  • + 1
 @speele: Mine just showed up USPS at work yesterday. 40lb giant box and a pissed off mail carrier. $108 and free shipping though!
  • + 2
 I respect what this guy is doing, and acknowledge it's a specialized product for people who beat the piss out of their racks on nasty shuttle roads and such. However, at $930 for an 80 pound rack, it doesn't appeal to me, and I think it may have limited appeal for most riders. The North Shore and Recon racks seem to be getting a huge following, but my Kuat has been rock solid, wobble free, low profile, easy to take between garage and car when I don't need it, and a hell of a lot cheaper.
  • + 2
 I'll be interested in the next, fully swinging model. I have a van that I convert to a mini-camper for trips but my current rack doesn't let me get to the door, even tilted. The door is just too large and swings too far out. That makes it somewhat annoying as I inevitably pack something I need right inside the rear door and it means that I have to take the rack off every night. A swinging rack would be perfect for me.
  • + 2
 Check out the RakAttach. I got one for my Wranger, and with my 1Up I can swing it out and get into the tailgate. Rakattach.com
  • + 1
 @balfadude: could you send me a pick of your setup...do you have the small or medium Rak attach and does it clear the tire ?. We also have a wrangler and have yet to find a rack that works well...
  • + 2
 @balfadude: That's exactly what I've been looking for! I searched a lot when I created my setup a two summers ago and couldn't find anything. Thank!
  • + 1
 @chantalfelten: I'll throw a couple of pics in my photo album.
I have the medium and it does clear the tire with Teraflex hinge and 35x12.5x17 BFG K02
  • + 2
 I used a recon rack with buddies in the PNW. this is the best for 4 + bikes. This is solid and the last rack you will ever buy. shuttling on sketchy roads with this you will arrive with no bike damage at all since they arent even close to each other. no rack sway for movement. You can order it in any color! The only reason why I didnt get one is I mostly only carry 2 bikes so I got the 1up super duty. the 1up is more compact and I can add a second tray for 2 more bikes if some day I want to. for me this was the biggest difference.
  • + 2
 My buddy has an earlier iteration of this rack and it's the real deal. Only reason I didn't get one is it wouldn't fit in the garage I park in at work with bikes on it, but i suspect the height adjust would've solved that. When your consider the price of 4 bike racks, this is at a slight premium in price, but a huge premium in overall performance. I went with the 1UP 4 bike setup, but if I had the decision to make today it be this rack.
  • + 2
 I have the gen 2 5 bike rack. Works great and can load and unload 5 bikes in less than 2 minutes for shuttling. Cody has great customer service. I also have a 1up. The 1up rules the world for two bikes or less. With 3 bikes it starts to bounce around. At that point the Recon becomes the better choice. I find the 1up is great to have on as a regular reck and the Recon for shuttle duty and trips.
  • + 0
 Have you taken the Recon Rack on a longer highway journey? If so, how does it effect MPG vs. a standard tray rack? I have a full size pickup (no topper) and am curious as to the parachute-effect it may have while on the open road.
  • + 4
 Just picked mine up from Cody a few weeks ago, 4000 miles of roadtripping later and quite a few gnarly shuttles, couldn't be more stoked on the set up!
  • + 3
 What other rack has a bottle opener on it? I say it's a hitch mounted bottle opener that holds bikes.
  • + 1
 @clayxbmx: Yakima hitch racks do. But they still suck. SPD pedals are bottle openers too!
  • + 2
 @Glendmcc: check out the pic just under "Performance". Look at the support below the wheel tray cross beam. Bam, bottle opener, and a legit one too.
  • + 6
 Name 'puns', here we come.
  • + 2
 wait, let me get my popcorn...
  • + 6
 What if you got a flat front tire?
  • + 1
 Very good point indeed
  • + 5
 @mollow: I've driven home with dual flats, wrap a towel around it, another time just used my kneepad
  • + 1
 North Shore is awesome but it is incompatible with some frames and will not work on road or bmx bikes. I loved my NS but when my son and I were racing BMX we had to use a different rack. Recon appears to be an improvement over NS in these features. Price may seem steep but if it is like the NS then the resale value will be pretty high. Also, for the features on this rack I doubt anyone would make a one off in a shop for tons cheaper -at least in my neck of the woods.
  • + 3
 As a mechanic I can't just ignore the horrible condition of that derailleur jockey wheel in the closeup photo. For God's sake, man- do some maintenance!
  • + 1
 Beatifully designed!

I like the fact that the front wheel sits in the rack rather than it having prongs that hold the bike around the headtube like the Northshore rack. When you have DH bikes or bikes that have a huge headtube (like an Evil Wreckoning), it gets harder take the bike on or off the rack, if you can even fit it at all without stretching the prongs out.
  • + 1
 I get worrisome about the forces applied on the fork. In the upwards or forward direction. It seemed as though as you go down the road and hit bumps there would be a large force applied to the backside of the front wheel. Forcing things in a bad direction over time. But. I could be overthinking things.
  • + 8
 If that force does anything negative to your fork, you would have snapped it long ago.
  • + 1
 Just expressing my thoughts. I don't think snapping is the kind of damage that would be expected. I would expect something smaller scale.
  • + 2
 @tobes44: been running same boxxer and same pike in my own Recon for 3 years
  • + 1
 I've wondered that too but there's no way the bikes own weight puts out more force than a hard bottom-out.
  • + 4
 The load limit on that Rav is 150lbs. You're gonna cry when your hitch snaps off and carbon litters the highway.
  • + 1
 Relevant comment, especially when the rack itself is so heavy.
  • - 2
 guys we tow are 4 wheelers with a rav. that car is also the biggest sleeper you have ever seen. the V6 version is 280WHP and 0-60 in 5.9 seconds. thats pretty quick for a grocery getter
EDIT: oops my bad didnt see he has the 2 inch hitch and not the 4
  • + 8
 @bikeordie2772: No expert, but tongue weight, tow capacity and 0-60 times are all very different things.
  • + 1
 The V6 with tow-package has a tongue weight limit of 350lbs, without is 200, and the I4 is only 150. This is stated in my owners manual.
  • + 1
 @riiz: Like I said, I'm no expert, but I wasn't aware tongue weight had anything to do with the motor size. I can see how the tow package would augment the strength of the vehicle frame at the hitch area (hence the increased tongue weight capacity), but I don't see how the motor affects that.

No matter...you know your vehicle best. My VW Sportwagon isn't rated for anything but I installed the Curt hitch only for my Thule and it does fine so far. There is a company that makes a 2" hitch receiver but I would never put 4 bikes behind my car and trust them to hold.
  • + 1
 @iammarkstewart: oh definetly, just saying its a sleeper
  • + 1
 @riiz: the uhaul hitch on the Rav isn't the factory tow package
  • + 1
 @iammarkstewart: I think it is due to how most car manufacturers recommend no more than than the max 10% of towing capability to sit on the tongue. With a bike rack you're not towing so I cant see the frame on the I4 not being able to carry as much as the V6 either.
  • + 1
 @bikeordie2772: 4 inch hitch huh?
  • + 1
 @jwrendenver: rofl oops, yah 4 inch. I use it to tow sky scrapers and Thu vs like that
  • + 2
 @riiz: those weight ratings are based on a trailer hitch loaded a few inches from the edge of the received. The center of mass of this thing has to be a good 18-24" from the receiver.

if the rack weights 80lbs and each bike is 30 that's 230 lbs. I'd venture to guess the math works out that this is over loading the hitch based on its designed use.

And Toyota upping the ratings based on engine size has to do with engine and transmission capacity. If they're both 2" hitches I'd be very surprised of Toyota changed anything with the hitch itself.

And even worse this type of loading puts much more stress on a hitch than that of a trailer.

With all of that said I love this rack and will probably buy one of make my own one day but it will be attached to a much bigger vehicle!
  • + 3
 This is the best rack on the market in my opinion (I've got the 4 bike version). And it doesn't f*ck up your bike like a certain rack made just north of the border.
  • + 1
 Most racks won't work on the older Rav4 with the side swing door, and can't see how it can open fully with this rack tilted back. Is the comment, "I've been able to load four-foot wide plywood sheets into the back of my car without removing the rack" for a different car or for the Rav4?
  • + 2
 Cody is working on a swing away modification - we have a Wrangler, aka the car that hates all bike racks...(side swing trunk access + big ass spare tire). Patiently waiting
  • + 1
 @chantalfelten: Nice, I see the appeal for swing away, but for a lower cost option would be very happy with just another notch on the tilt allowing to lower to flat. That and hinge part low enough to clear the door, seems like a pretty simple solution that I'm surprised no rack manufacturer has done.
  • + 1
 Maybe I missed it in the thread, but nobody has mentioned how the Recon Rack affects fuel efficiency on long highway trips vs. standard tray rack. There's no doubt in my mind this is one of the best shuttling weapons out there, but I have a full size pickup and with bikes sticking so far into the air, I'm wondering how much this will lower my MPG when covering long distance (and the accompanying wind/weather). Any comments from people in the know would be appreciated.
  • + 1
 I have the R6 with the gen 2 pivot. I also bought the stand as a storage solution for my bikes, Tims Bike Shop had one in the shop with five bikes stored on the rack in the stand. So I put 6 bikes on the stand and it immediately bent the stand. Granted that's a lot of weight, but it's why I bought the stand and now can't use it for that purpose, in fact even with out any bikes it's now sits at a funny angle. That aside, I love every thing about the rack, it moves and rocks with 6 DH bikes on it when I off road but, again, pushing probably 250 pounds of bikes on it, and I have no worries that it's going anywhere. The pivot geometry in my opinion could be better for purposes of lowering the rack with bikes on it. Follow Cody on IG and you will quickly realize this guy lives and breaths mountain bikes and obviously mountain bike racks.
  • + 0
 Have you taken it on a longer highway journey? If so, how does it effect MPG vs. a standard tray rack? I have a full size pickup (no topper) and am curious as to the parachute-effect it may have while on the open road.
  • + 0
 My initial thought are those are low hanging wheels in the back is sure to scrape entering the trail heads in my local specially with XL frames....better suited on Cargo vans for shuttle service in Downieville or to bike parks at Ski Resorts .
  • + 1
 Has 6" of height adjustment built in, can see it in the side shot of the pivot assembly. Designed for mtn biking means they gotta go up mtns!
  • + 1
 I think if you were actually shuttling any backcountry road with 4/5 people in that car and rack I'm thinking you'd break something easily.recon rack winning,RAV4 losing that battle
  • + 3
 I love my R5. Amazing design. Didn't even mention the built in bottle openers!
  • + 1
 Or the cup holder option or tool holder option... Way more the trail masters rack.
  • + 0
 Racks like this seem to cause handlebars/shifter/brake levers to rub the adjacent bike top tubes. Happens on my North shore 6 bike rack all the time-- I end up loosening stems and turning bars. Anyone seen a better solution???
  • + 3
 Best rack in the business. Had the gen 1.
  • + 1
 Love this rack! When you have a family of 5, who all bike this is the best! Easy to load, even my boys 16-20" BMX bikes. Cody keep up the awesome job!!
  • + 1
 If this rack could handle fire roads it's worth the price I went with a Kuat and will be hoping to help fund either this rack or a north shore
  • + 1
 I bought the five place rack last fall and couldn't be happier with it. Well worth the money unless you ride Wal Mart bikes...
  • + 1
 when i saw the rack in the rav4, im more worried about the vehicle suspension...... 6 bikes + the bikers and their packs inside it.
  • + 1
 Cody fuks is the real deal...the recon rack is next level and worth every penny!! You keyboard warriors are a bunch of hamster heads..
  • + 1
 I may be a hamster head but you're a fuk head
  • + 2
 @JustinLund:
I am indeed a fuk head? It is good that you recognize that you are a hamster head...
Now go get in your hamster wheel!!
  • + 1
 hmm truck just fits 2 adults and 1 dog and riding gear. WTF do I need a $1000 rack that holds 5 to 6 bikes ??? EVOC tailgate pad and some bungy cords for the win!!!
  • + 1
 This rack looks great! the only thing I am not down with is the use of steel due to weight and rust. Can you do this in aluminum?
  • + 2
 Not a single Fuk was given on this day. Oh... no wait. I'm wrong. Cody Fuks.
  • + 1
 Cody we love ours!

I bought a gen one, and sold it for gen 2.
I don't want my carbon frame touchING anything, best rack out there for sure, for 3+ bikes
  • + 3
 Best rack you can buy and the best customer service.
  • + 4
 1UpUsa still wins
  • + 2
 For 2 bikes the 1up is a rad rack! Only tray rack I would use for 2 bikes
  • + 1
 www.northshoreracks.com

half the cost.

Have done multiple 700+ mile rides never so much as a scratch on a single bike.
  • + 3
 Seems like a cool little fuker.
  • + 1
 I paid $800 CAD for a north shore 6 bike rack. Fuks is selling his for 2x the price. Lame. I love my ns rack. Best rack I have used.
  • + 3
 So is the entire weight of the bike, resting on the front wheel?
  • + 2
 More or less, yes.
  • + 0
 If you're bike can't handle hanging from the front wheel on a rack you would break it in half while riding. Best and easiest rack to use ever. Totally worth it.
  • + 0
 @s-one-s: banging around seeing moment loads on the fully extended fork bushings is going to shorten their life no matter how you look at it. No the bike wont break in half, youre just stressing some wear items
  • - 2
 Formula for developing a "NEW" product.

Take a unique design from a competitor, over-engineer some of the (patented) components to avoid any legal challenges, add weigh (and cost) to the product and market it as a NEW concept that is the best thing in racks.

I love the bike industry and it's objective (ie. pay to play) journalism! This article spends all it's time comparing the Recon Gen2 to to every other style of rack, except the one that this rack is so clearly a knock off of. At least give credit where credit is due. If you want to see where it really all started, check out www.northshoreracks.com

Thanks, but I'll keep my North Shore Rack.
  • + 3
 Except the North shore Rack holds your bike by the headtube...This rack holds the front wheel...

Also, swagman made a vertical rack that was similar in the early 2000's. I could be wrong, but i beleive North Shore racks came little later. So is Recon ripping off all of these companies? Or just coming up with better solutions to a problem?

I respect NS racks but cringe whenever the shuttles in moab put my trailbike on one. Recon Rack user for life now.
  • + 1
 Ive got a gen 2 4bike rack and love it! It also doubles a work stand as i can recline the rack, hang my seat on the front tire basket and then bungee my front tire against the lower bar. Im able to fully pedal and shift my bike with the back tire in the air. Cant say enough good things about cody, his customer service is above and beyond. To all the haters, try one out and id wager you'll change your tune.... just saying
  • + 2
 Best rack on the market. I have a Gen 1 and really want the Gen 2.
  • + 1
 You know you have your priorities mixed up when the piece of metal carrying your bike, costs just as much as the bike.
  • + 1
 That's an awesome rack for $1000. You should see my buddy's wife's rack. She spent $5000 on hers.
  • + 1
 Well... Lets see!
  • + 1
 Nice work Cody! Congrats on the write up... well deserved. Bomber product - lets go use one on Sunday Smile
  • + 1
 Lmao. Came to the comment section after reading his name. Not disappointed!
  • + 2
 I'll keep my North Shore thanks
  • + 3
 NSR6 for life!
  • + 3
 northshore racks 6 bike is 100 bux cheaper too!!
  • + 3
 Just bought an NSR2 and i'm loving it! It's a great rack
  • + 0
 The NS is good, but it should come with a disclaimer that says it "holds most bikes."
  • + 5
 The north shore rack is great. I have an NSR4. It is not perfect though. Some things that bug me:

1. The powder coating is weak. I guess they don't ease the edges on the metal or sandblast the unit before coating.
2. Stacking bikes with similar stack heights can be a problem, sometimes re-arranging bikes is needed to keep the top tubes from getting trashed by brake levers.
3. The fork crowns get trashed.
4. Bikes with fat head tubes like my reign rub and get damaged on the fork hooks.

No other bike rack I have tried has lasted on 4WD roads though, and I still think it's the best option out there right now.
  • - 1
 Why can't they design one that has the rear wheel hanging from the top? And $1200, there isn't anything complicated about this design that could possibly warrant $1200, but hey somebody will buy it.....
  • + 1
 @Beau-Doug I work at a metal fabrication shop and has access to a Laser and scrap metal. I also have a nc tubing bender and TIG welders at my house. I.e. I could make this rack for no money out of pocket.

And looking at the time put into laying this out, fabricating it, and power coating it I'm not sure if it's worth the time it build for $900. You can tell he puts a lot of effort into these.

Now if me and 3-5 buddies wanted them it would be a different story ...
  • + 1
 As soon as I read this guy's name I immediately stopped reading and came right to the comments.
  • + 1
 Finally..another option besides the Softride...looks very sturdy...and able! nice rack..definitely getting one!
  • + 1
 When there's bikes on the rack they look pretty close to the ground. Should you worry about clearance on rougher terrain?
  • + 3
 I can't speak from experience but I've seen plenty of Subaru Outbacks rocking this rack and seem to do fine. Not sure about a lower car.
  • + 0
 Lolo racks FTW...cheapest, best option out there. Doesn't damage the bike and even easier to load up. Great quality. Nuff said
  • + 1
 I'm surprised they didn't charge $2,499.99 for this rack, Why not? All the bike manufacturers are in the game.
  • + 2
 $1227CAD? Fuk! How am I going to hide that from my wife?
  • + 1
 @vernonfelton I see you washed the outside of your car before taking these photos... did you vacuum the inside? lol
  • + 1
 @2bigwheels, are you kidding? Hell no. It rolls on a car chassis, but I run it like a truck. For as long as it will last....
  • + 2
 @vernonfelton: its been said if you leave it on the car floor long enough will decompose into the carpet and help it grow... Lol
  • + 1
 I have the Thule T2 and it is a POS. I may ditch it and get this rack, the Northshore or something similar.
  • + 1
 For that price I'll climb up and suffer a stroke.
  • + 1
 But so do not see the plate or the lights
  • + 1
 The brake/turn-signals are visible on the sides, but the rear plate is blocked. It is not an issue in the US if you're carrying cargo, but if the rack is empty and blocking the plate, you can get a ticket.
  • + 1
 Clean ya bloody jockey wheels.
  • + 1
 I wish I had known about this before I bought my Kuat rack
  • + 1
 Whatever happened to arbutus racks?
  • + 1
 And you have to assemble it, Fuk that!
  • + 1
 How to crash four bikes at once!
  • + 1
 Man I really want one of these. The new model looks so sick.
  • + 1
 Toyota RAV4 with a 2" hitch....lolz
  • + 2
 fuks that.
  • + 1
 I really wish our dollar was better at this point...
  • + 1
 DAKINE PAD Buy a Tuck
  • - 1
 my eyes glazed over as soon as I saw the price tag. I thought 1upusa was pretty overpriced for the materials input... =(
  • + 0
 I wonder how many racks he's fuked.
  • + 1
 nice rack
  • + 1
 Nice rack
  • - 3
 Why shuttle? I never understood this concept. Pedal your a$$ up the hill. I think eBikes have one up on these type of riders at least they got some pedal strokes in going up the hill.
  • + 3
 If your that bad ass, don't even drive a car. Just pitfall your bike all places all day every day
  • + 1
 @bizutch: Heck yeah Dude!
  • + 1
 Buy a truck...
  • - 1
 I called and asked how much he could give, Cody replied zero Fuks!
  • + 0
 sick bruh
  • - 2
 I for one don't believe the mother-in-law story.
  • + 3
 You sound unconvinced...
Below threshold threads are hidden

Post a Comment



You must login to Pinkbike.
Don't have an account? Sign up

Join Pinkbike  Login
Copyright © 2000 - 2017. Pinkbike.com. All rights reserved.
dv56 0.101895
Mobile Version of Website