TESTED: YAKIMA SPARERIDE

JW’S DISCO GETS YAKIMA’S SPARERIDE CAR­RIER, FOR WHEN HE WANTS TO DITCH FOUR WHEELS FOR TWO.

4 x 4 Australia - - Contents -

SINCE I bought the Land Rover Dis­cov­ery TD5 I have been slowly plan­ning what I want to do with it. Its main task is as the fam­ily’s camp­ing ve­hi­cle, but it will also be my bike trans­porter. This led me to look for a suit­able bike car­rier for the Disco; the ve­hi­cle’s tall roofline makes a roof-mount car­rier pos­si­ble, but it would need a bit of a phys­i­cal stretch to lift the bike up there. So, I turned my sights to­ward a spare wheel-mounted bike car­rier, with Yakima’s new two-bike Spareride (an evo­lu­tion of the com­pany’s highly re­garded Spare­time car­rier) my new tester.

Fit­ting the Spareride to the spare wheel was easy, all you need comes in the box, with Yakima of­fer­ing three dif­fer­ent-length sup­port tongues to en­sure it can be fit­ted to spare wheels of var­i­ous widths. The Spareride comes with a mount­ing plate that sits against the spare’s mount and which you then thread the ap­pro­pri­ate tongue through. Once you’ve re­fit­ted the spare wheel over the new bracket/tongue ar­range­ment, slide the Spareride onto the tongue, en­sur­ing it slides past the min­i­mum rec­om­mended mount­ing point (an en­graved line on the tongue). Then, it’s just a mat­ter of en­sur­ing the rub­ber skid mounts on the Spareride sit up against your spare and you lock it all in place via the lock­able red knob (while also fit­ting the lock loop so that it faces up­wards; a cable lock is eas­ily fit­ted).

The Spareride weighs 9.7kg, mak­ing it slightly awk­ward to put on, but the ben­e­fits of the ex­tra heft are its steel con­struc­tion and ro­bust en­gi­neer­ing. Af­ter en­sur­ing the Spareride is in place and se­cured, it’s time to load the bikes and take ad­van­tage of a cool fea­ture of the Spareride cra­dles. Firstly, you lift up the large grey lever at the top of the Spareride, which un­locks the cra­dles, al­low­ing you to set them to hor­i­zon­tal. Then, you can fit your bike, tak­ing care to en­sure the down­tube is tight against the third cra­dle, dubbed the ‘anti-sway cra­dle’ by Yakima, that sits un­der­neath one of the top ones on each arm. This is to en­sure the two bikes don’t sway around when trans­ported and thus risk bang­ing into each other. The cra­dles are se­cured via zip strips that are fed through the cra­dle ratchet, and the job is done. One im­por­tant note, how­ever, is that bikes with non-hor­i­zon­tal top tubes will need one of Yakima’s bike adap­tor bars that mimic a hor­i­zon­tal top tube.

My only tiny drama is the Disco’s of­f­cen­tre spare wheel; the bike wheel juts out to the driver’s/road side a bit. The other thing I would rec­om­mend is to check your tail-lights are still vis­i­ble. It’s also worth pick­ing up a small num­ber plate to at­tach to the rack – again, to avoid any le­gal is­sues.

So far it has worked flaw­lessly. When not in use and folded up, it sits close to the spare with no is­sues in clear­ance or vi­sion ob­struc­tion from the rear-view mir­ror. The ease of op­er­a­tion – and mega-tough build – should see the Spareride last for many years of cy­cling road trips.

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