Thursday, August 30, 2012

usbackroads product-Yakima HoldUp Bike Rack

 usbackroads product--Yakima HoldUp Bike Rack

If your into the outdoors you will own a Rack system sooner or later.   The two big dogs in rack systems are Yakima and Thule.  We have owned both their products and they are solid and well made.  Yakima was the favorite since it was founded just a hundred miles south of Wenatchee.  However, chose carefully a rack system since you will live with it for a long time and spend lots of money.  Yakima has round bars.  Thule has square bars.  I will review their product lines later, today we will just focus on Yakima HoldUp bike rack.

The picture above shows the rack in the upright position.  You pull on the little red knob and the 60 lb rack drops into position to carry bicycles.  The rack is about sixteen inches from the front of the Ram in the upright position.  Two feet or more down.   So instead of 21 feet we are now almost 23 feet in length.  Good thing I bought the mid-sized Ram instead of the largest model.

Here is the side view of the rack in the folded up position.  Not too bad.  Notice that we chose to put the rack up front, rather than the back due to the 5th wheel.   Don't let the picture fool you.  That is sixteen inches!  Measure it on your vehicle.

Here is what the rack looks like in the down position with the bike mounted.  Notice the little red knob. That is the pivot point.  Notice that the receiver point is BELOW the pivot point.  The good news is this make the front of the bike rack higher in the hauling position.  This is good from avoiding slopes and small shrubs in front of your vehicle.  It does mean you have to lift the bikes that much higher to put them on the rack.

How much higher??   This is a picture from the other side with a gallon water bottle for scale.  They are about 10 inches high.

It looks like you have to life the bikes two feet to place them on the bike rack.  Your decision if that is too high or short.  Since the rear receiver is higher on the back you have to life the bike a couple more inches.

Here is the photo of the previous Thule rack that we sold.  As you can see it sits much higher due to placement on the rear rather than the front of the truck.  On this Thule rack the bikes are held by the center tube.  Not as good a system as the HoldUp.

Compare to the HoldUp system.  Go back to the water jug picture.  Notice the funny stick with the hook directly above the crack in the sidewalk.  That arm pushes down on the front wheel which is held in a channel.  The rear wheel is also held in a channel and is held in place with a strap.  So it is quick and easy to lift the bike onto the rack, secure the front wheel with the "hook" and then strap the rear wheel.  That's it.  Quick and simple.  The best feature of the HoldUp rack.

To be fair to Thule they also make a bike rack similar to the HoldUp.  We bought the Yakima because all our other stuff is Yakima.

But shop carefully if your just starting to buy a complete system.  We can get towers for our Dodge Ram truck from Thule, but not Yakima!!  So look down the road for all your outdoor rack needs not just this purchase.

Here is the view from the drivers seat.  If your taller you will probably see less of the bike.

Here is what the front of the truck looks like.  Notice the placement of the bikes around the headlights. The Ram does come with fog lights.  A feature that it appears I will appreciate more in the fuure.

So what don't I like about the Yakima HoldUp?  That pivot point.  It could be lower.  Not sure how it would work out on dirt roads and not sure how many bumper stops I would have hit with the truck.  That's the trade-off for a lower rack  is maybe a new bike when you destroy the old bike by hitting low stuff.  So maybe that is ok.

You will not want to cover the bikes if they are up front.  Your view will be blocked and the wind will probably shred everything in short order.  Likewise, remove all batteries and packs before transporting.

The rack comes with a cable bicycle lock.  I tossed mine and just use the regular cable bicycle lock that I already owned.   I have never used the rack on the rear.  But we have driven it on dirt and high speed and so far everything has held together.  BUT check everytime you stop to make sure everything is still secure.  Lots of stuff moves more than you think at 70 MPH!.

You don't want to know how much we have spent on racks to carry our outdoor gear over the years.  Soon I will review more outdoor rack gears and offer my thoughts on why spending thousands of dollars on stuff to carry stuff is worthwhile.

1 comment:

Pam and Wayne said...

We're in the process of trying to figure out what rack system to buy for our kayaks. We got a great rack for our bikes at Camping World that attaches to the back bumper of our fifth wheel, but alas, where do the kayaks go?? ;)