4 x 4 Australia - - Gear -

BE­ING a keen moun­tain biker I was in need of a bike rack af­ter sell­ing my VW Amarok and buy­ing a twodoor Jeep Wran­gler. The Amarok was great for car­ry­ing my bike as it had a big tray – a two-door JK doesn’t have any­where near the same amount of space.

For trans­port­ing my bike (and of­ten my kids’ rigs), the ques­tion was, what to do? It was a straight­for­ward an­swer: get a tow hitch-mounted bike rack. En­ter the Yakima Holdup which, as well as be­ing a top-end bike car­rier from the US brand, al­layed my fears of scratch­ing the frame of my just-ac­quired (and ex­pen­sive) car­bon­fi­bre Yeti SB6 moun­tain bike. Thanks to the Holdup’s Stron­garm de­sign, it se­cures bikes by clamp­ing down and lock­ing said ‘arms’ over the front wheel of the bikes car­ried, thus there’s no con­tact with any part of the bike’s frame (the rear wheel is se­cured via a ratchet strap).

The Holdup is not light­weight (22kg), but the over-en­gi­neered build means it can carry two bikes, each of 27.3kg, so my svelte Yeti SB6 is no prob­lem, and it can cater for wheel sizes rang­ing from 20- to 29-inch, plus there’s an op­tional fat bike at­tach­ment if needed. It has side-to-side ad­justa­bil­ity as well, which means you can avoid any han­dle­bar/frame con­tact be­tween loaded bikes.

Most of the time I’m car­ry­ing just the one bike, but I also have to carry – along with their smelly hel­mets – my sons’ two bikes. Thank­fully, Yakima pro­duces the Holdup +2 that, as the name sug­gests, ups the ca­pac­ity of the Holdup from two to four bikes. It clev­erly slots into the ex­ist­ing Holdup rack and can be re­moved just as eas­ily when you don’t need it.

While the rack spends most of the time on the back of my Jeep, I’ve also had a chance to try it out on a cou­ple of other off-road­ers: a Ford Ever­est and a Nis­san Pa­trol. It is su­per-easy to at­tach and has built-in locks so you can se­cure bikes to the rack.

As well as easy fit­ment to a va­ri­ety of ve­hi­cles, the Holdup’s other nifty trick is that it folds up and out of the way when the bikes are off. This is great when parked and un­loaded and you need space. It also seems to sit high enough on the car, so that if you are off-road­ing the rack will not bot­tom out. Like all Yakima racks it has an in­built bot­tle opener – per­fect for post-ride drinks.

The only neg­a­tive is that, as men­tioned be­fore, it’s heavy. So it can be a bit of a strug­gle when you’re at­tach­ing it to the car or stor­ing it. Apart from the weight, it has been awe­some; it does a great job, is easy to use and, best of all, is durable.

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