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RockyMounts BackStage 2 Bike Platform Rack Review

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Review of the RockyMounts BackStage 2 Bike Platform Rack


What's up everybody, it's AJ with etrailer.com. Today we gonna be checking out the RockyMounts BackStage. It's gonna be a platform-style bike rack, hold the two bikes, and as you can already see the main feature is it swings away from the back of your vehicle with it fully loaded so you can access your tailgate. If you have a vehicle that has a spare tire or a door that opens from the side, on the hinge, you can open that up with the bikes fully loaded with this out of the way and get to the back of your vehicle for whatever cargo you need to get to. Whether you forgot to throw something in there or you're getting something out and you don't wanna have to undo all the bikes. Let's check it out.

The swing-out feature's really handy and it's easy to use, so I appreciate that. Sometimes when you add these feature on bike racks it can be a little convoluted to use. Whereas you use these two blue knobs, so, to tilt it in, you're gonna pull this one up, it starts to come in, then we'll go ahead and pull the one closer to the bikes up here, that's gonna allow that part to move. And once that's unhitched, I'm gonna go to the front, 'cause it's just easier to maneuver this way, and we'll put it back in place. You can see how easily it glides I don't have to push really hard on or anything.

And as I push it in there, that knob goes right into place. You see it's locked in there. And then we have the hand crank, we can just tighten this down as well, and what this is gonna do is further hold it in place. So if for some reason you hit a bump and this latch came undone, this just wouldn't swing right back out. This tightens it up and keeps it all in place.

Now the same thing, just swing it right back out, but I just wanna show you, let's loosen this knob here. That way you can come loose, you can hear it loosen and we'll pull this out so then it'll swing away. So as you bring it out, same thing as last time, bring it to about here. You can turn it as well, cause you wanna turn to make sure it doesn't hit that taillight as you come out. You can do it all in one fluid motion and the knobs lock into place.

The bike rack also has a tilting feature so I can tilt it away by pulling out on this lever here. I'm gonna put my hand on the same post I was telling you to hold onto earlier and slowly tilt it down and away from the vehicle. Now this is a good option just in case you forgot to throw something in the back. You can quickly get to it. Now you can't have full access but this gives you pretty good access. So if you just wanna do something really quick, not that it's hard to swing it out or anything, but there's just as that much easier. You just tilt it down. I grabbed something out of the cooler I was waiting to grab or throw something in here that I forgot, close this up. And just as easy as it was to close the tailgate it's just as easy just to tilt this back up. Status back at a place on its own, so you don't have to do anything. The first thing I would wonder is, with all those moving parts, how does it handle behind your vehicle. So that in the truck we're gonna drive around the parking lot and see how it does. So it look's like there's little side to side movement, which is normal with bike racks, we're gonna go over some speed bumps, looks like it's bouncing back and forth but the bikes aren't moving. So yeah, the bike rack itself bounces back and forth but the bikes aren't moving at all, they're staying in place, which is good. That's what you want. It seems like it would move a little bit more just because of that hinge and the ability to swing out, but it's not bad. So we're past the bumps now and we're just gonna go just slightly uphill in the parking lot, still going kind of slow, but just that way I can keep an eye on the bike rack and the parking lot. Looks fine in the turn, actually moves less than I thought it was going to. Handled pretty good, didn't really move at all, any more than it did on the bumps. There wasn't as much side to side on the aggressive turns I did. That's impressive. The bikes stayed in place, the rack is the only thing that swayed back and forth just a little bit. And that's because of these hooks that put the pressure down on the tire instead of the frame. So this would be good. This is normally for platform racks that have this style, hooks down on the tire, that way you can put this carbon fiber bike on there and don't worry about damaging this frame at all. The hook's not gonna put any pressure here. It just stays on the tire on each end. And then down here on the other side it just has a strap that ratchets in. You can pull it nice and tight on the other tire. So you got the cradle and this pulling down on it, and you see the bike, there's no movement in the tire whatsoever when I'm shaking it like that. So you don't have to worry about it going anywhere. Now that doesn't just benefit carbon-fiber bikes. It also works if you have a woman's bike or a alternative-frame bike or even a children's bike, you know, those frames are different sizes, sometimes they have different slopes and if you even look at our fat tire bike, the top tube on that kind of curves down. So if there was a hook in the center, or it was a hang style bike, it wouldn't hang evenly. So it'd be kind of a problem. That's why this system works better if you have multiple different styles of bikes. Now looking at the fat tire bike gonna come down to the cradle here and show you. This is one of the few bike racks actually can accept a fat tire bike right out of the box, comes with this extra strap that goes around to make the strap go completely around the fat tire. But the cradle was ready to go from the get go. So we didn't have to swap out any cradles or change anything around, it's ready to go to accept that fat tire bike and even your e-bike's gonna fit in there, up to 60 pounds. Now let's go ahead and remove these bikes and we get a closer look at the rack. First off, we're gonna have to remove the cable lock that's included. You'll have the lock down here at the base of the bike rack. It's got a rubber cover on it to keep dust and debris away from it, this is gonna let it last longer. You're gonna get two keys, but the locks are gonna be keyed alike, so there's gonna be one here for the cable lock. And then one at the hitch you see is the exact same thing, uses the same keys. You don't have to add a bunch of keys to your key ring you can just add this one and then save the spare. And you slide off there, gonna put the lock back on. Removing the fat tire bike is next up. You just come here. Always undo the ratchet strap on the tire first 'cause your hook's gonna hold it nice and balanced. Otherwise you're gonna have to try and balance with one hand under the straps with the other. We'll come up front to the hook and you'll notice all the points where I've actually moved something or loosened something is blue. So it's the same thing with the triggers on these hooks here. You got the knob down there. Even the ratchet straps have the blue. So you know, you just push that, that'll release it, slide it up and push it down. Now it's out of the way. Another thing I'd like to point out at this point is fat tire bikes can be a little heavier and it's nice that it holds it by the wheels upfront and there's not a center mast. That can be kind of annoying with these, you'd have to go around it. Even your e-bike, it's kind of a pain. It's nice that I can just reach here, grab it, lift it right off the rack and I don't have that center mast to worry about. There's a closer look at the extension to the strap I was talking about. You see, it just feeds on like this. I'll take it out of here and show you. And just adds that on, so it goes around the fat tire bike. If you're not putting a fat tire bike on you just do this, goes back to normal. It's really easy. I like that I don't have to completely take off the strap or swap out the cradles, you just add this on. Now when you're done with it, for the storage position, I recommend you could leave it like this, but we recommend bring the hook out and going underneath the cradle like this, just keeps everything nice and tight in there. And you can also fold this portion down as well. So now it's nice and flat, tucks into itself, it's not super loose, I can put it in my hands, so that can just pop up and down while you're driving. It all stays nice like that. The cradles are gonna adjust for different wheel bases too. So you can see it tilts back a little bit, gonna move the hook out of the way so you can fully see, you have that much movement in the cradle to adjust for those different wheelbases. So if it's a little bit too big, you can adjust it, or if it's just a little smaller, you can do that to help you out, get a better fit for that bike. Now it also adjusts here in the trays. You have two bolts on each side, so four in total, you can loosen these and then this can shift three inches. That way, if you have two bikes on there that are making contact, let's say the handlebars of this one is in the seat of this one and it's just not going in there, you can adjust that and then it'll fit a lot better. Let's see if this bike rack's gonna work for you. It supports a wheel base up to 48 inches. And then it has a wheel diameter from 20 to 29 inches. And then the tire width is up to five inches. Now from center of cradle to center of cradle you're gonna have 12 inches to work with. So that's just if the bike's sitting here and here there's gonna be 12 inches in between them. Let's see how the Backstage sits on your vehicle. Gonna measure from the center of the hitch to the closest point, it's gonna be here, it's gonna be 45 and 1/2 inches, so that's just how close it's gonna be to your vehicle. We have it on a full sized truck, so most likely you'll be able to swing it out just fine on your vehicle. But if you just wanna be 100% sure, there's that measurement you can check on your vehicle. Now let's see how much it adds to your hitch. So once again, we'll go from the center of the hitch to the furthest point, looks like we're gonna be at 66 inches. So that's just something to keep in mind. Maybe you go to the park and the parking spots are really close together, you might not be able to swing this out at the park but that's a very specific instance, otherwise it should be just fine. Another measurement you wanna keep in mind is this one right here. It's gonna measure up three and 1/2 inches. An issue we had earlier was we had a older Toyota RAV4, we put this on there 'cause we're gonna bring it open with the spare tire, we thought that'd be cool to swing it out and do that, but actually, because the bumper's connected to the back door, when we went to open it, it would make contact here. So what you can do at home is measure from the inside top edge of your hitch up, and if it's over three and 1/2 inches, edge'll be just fine. Let's see how much it adds to the back of your vehicle. It's gonna go from the center of the hitch pin to the outermost edge, and that's gonna be 35 inches. And that's from the center hitch pin to here. And I'll see how close it gets to your vehicle, center of the hitch pin again, to about here so it's gonna be about nine and 1/2 inches. Now, one thing you can do is fold the bike rack up and that'll be a lot less than 35 once you do that. So I'm gonna pull on this handle, the same handle you use the tilt it down. You can actually fold it up, just like that. You can already see far less space but let's see exactly how much. It's gonna be 19 inches from the center of the hitch pin to this handle here, but it does get closer, so we'll get that measurement too. And it looks like the cradle is gonna be the closest part to your bumper, and it's a little bit over four inches away. So that's plenty of space. If I try and shake it or move it you see it doesn't move or shake that much, so you don't have to worry about any contact. Coming down and look at how it fits in the hitch. It's gonna only fit two inch by two inch hitches. And it's an anti-rattle bolt that takes a lot of that shake and play out. You can see, I'm shaking the whole truck back and forth. There's no movement whatsoever in the hitch, which is good. So there won't be any rattling or anything like that. You have the lock, that again, is keyed alike to the same one that the cable lock goes into, so you don't have to worry about having two different sets of keys. One thing I would recommend because this is kind of a bulkier bike rack, to lift it up and put it in the hitch is the etrailer hitch aligner collar. So it'll fit around here and you'll tighten it up before you uninstall this, that way that collar's in place, every time you go to put it in. So then when you go to put it back in the hitch that collar's gonna hit the hitch and then that hitch pin hole will be lined up perfectly on the first try every single time. Might not sound like a lot, but after the first few times of trying to get that hitch in there and going too far and then pulling it back out, it's kind of annoying. That's gonna help you hit it every single time. And then it's just one less thing to do to get on the road. Overall, I really like this bike rack. I like RockyMounts' style, from everything, moving parts being blue makes it really stand out from other bike racks and shows you its functionality from a distance. Also the swing out feature's really gonna help you out if you have a truck with a tailgate or a spare tire on the back of your Jeep, or even if you just have a vehicle that the back opens up on a hinge, it's really gonna help you to get to that back access whether you tilt it away, swing it out, you have all those options to use. Well I think that does it. Thanks for hanging out. And I hope this helps..


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