GEAR TEST // YAKIMA HOLDUP 2 BIKE RACK
IF YOU’VE EVER tried to throw a muddy MTB on a roof rack you’d have to agree that hitch-mounted racks will keep your handlebar-calloused hands just a little bit less battered for the drive home… and more importantly prevent the embarrassing carbon-head-stem to McDonald’s drive-through collision incident. Admit it, we’ve nearly all done it.
Here at Outdoor we’ve become a bit of a fan of the Yakima HoldUp 2 Bike Rack. At 22kg straight out of the box the HoldUp 2 is certainly not a featherweight, but it’s sturdy and is super easy to install and remove. The brainiacs at Yakima have thoughtfully provided a locking threaded hitch pin to hold the rack secure and tight to your car. Once fixed, and not in use, the HoldUp 2 hinges up neatly against your tailgate. This not only offers a tidy look, but minimises the chance of backing into something in case you forget the rack is on.
When you feel a need to hit the trails, the HoldUp 2 excels in its ease of use and functionality. A simple locking pin is released to lower the HoldUp 2 into horizontal position and it is immediately ready for loading, which is as simple as throwing your bikes into the wheel cradles and then raising a sturdy swingarm with a ratchet clamp over your front wheel. The rack will take nearly all bikes sizes and styles, including 27.5+ tyres, but if you have a ‘true fatty’ then you may well be in trouble (unless somebody told you a couple of bungee straps would likely work; but I wouldn’t do that because if they failed I wouldn’t want to be blamed). A firm push on the ratcheting swingarm locks the front wheel in place, holding the bike nice and firmly to the rack. The rear wheel is then secured by a ratchet strap and then you’re ready to boogie to the trailhead.
If you’re planning to stop at the local bottlo for a few post-ride craft beers then your bikes can be secured by the cable lock that extends from the swingarm, through your front wheel and fork, then back to the swingarm.
For those who regularly load the same bikes day in/day out, the adjustable horizontal cross bars can be tweaked to avoid bar/seat/frame clashes. Additionally, the swingarm wheel mount means there is no contact with the frame and therefore that worrying “how much pressure can I clamp to my shiny carbon down tube” problem never arises.
The HoldUp 2 makers conveniently thought of those of us who load our bikes and then realise we’ve forgotten our gloves, shoes, helmet… whatever. Simply release the locking pin to allow the entire rack to pivot away from the car so you can access open the tailgate or boot, which on our test car cleared the handlebars with around 3mm to spare. Perfect.
What’s missing? We’d love to see some shrewd and elaborate system to allow the rack to be hinged away from the car without having the bikes lower down on your head/shoulder, and more importantly we’d love to see an accessory licence plate holder. Other than that the Yakima HoldUp 2 is one of the easiest and most usable racks we’ve tested. Oh, and it even comes with Yakima’s signature bottle opener. Perhaps the HoldUp 2 will take prime position in the much-revered 2017
Outdoor bike rack hall of fame (which doesn’t actually exist, but probably should).
wheel clamp is the best in the business and holds the bike tight and securely, eliminating any chance of damaging frame contact.