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