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RockyMounts Hitch Bike Racks Review - 2021 Ford Ranger

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Review of the RockyMounts Hitch Bike Racks on a 2021 Ford Ranger


Hey, everybody. Welcome to etrailer.com. I'm Bobby. And today we're taking a look at the RockyMounts BackStage 2-bike platform rack on our 2021 Ford Ranger. Now BackStage is one of my favorite bike racks for a lot of reasons. A, I think it looks extremely sleek and nice and simple.

It's always nice to see my bike rack doesn't cloud enough a lot of the back of our space, lets our bikes be on display and we are still getting a lot of neat maneuverability and usability with it as well. So the most malleable bike racks I've seen out there and there's a lot of reasons. So let's go ahead and start taking a look at some of the features. Now out of the gate, you can see that we do have a tire hold system on this platform racks. If you're looking for a way of getting those carbon frame bikes up to the trail head with you, this can be an excellent option as we don't have any frame contact.

Now that also eliminates the need that we might have, if we have any of those women bikes, step-through bikes or kiddos bikes, a lot of times those hanging style and even some of the platform style, you end up having a lot of horizontal support that's needed that ends up needing a bike adapter bar. However with this system, we completely eliminate the need for anything like that, making for a nice streamlined system for ourselves. Now with the CC power capacity per platform as well, we are gonna get our big heavy e-bikes up on here with no trouble at all. So make sure we're moving those battery packs though. We don't want those decoupling causing any damage to our vehicle, our bike racks or our bikes.

It's gonna make for a nice smooth ride regardless. So we'll go ahead and take them out. throw them in the back of the vehicle. Taking a look at the platform too, as I mentioned pretty sleek design here, nothing crazy going on in it. You'll notice there's a lot of blue elements throughout the entirety of it as well and I really do like those as they are our contact points.

So alertness to where all the things are that we wanna access when it's maybe getting dusk and we're getting back from a long ride, it will make that much easy for us to actually clip in. Now the cradles themselves are a little adjustable too, so I really do like how versatile they become. Of course you got that inner groove for those standard 18 C tires, wide enough for your mountain and getting a little bit wider for those fat tire bikes especially maybe your bigger e-bike tires as well. One thing that's cool about RockyMounts too, they've gone ahead and thrown in one fat bike adapter ratchet here, as you can see. So you're getting those two dual straps to see how massive of a strap you can actually get in there. And you can see how that ratchet system is gonna work, just going to clips down like so and I do like the little eye holes as well, they're on for us to get a finger through there to make sure we are nice and secure, really helps too when it's cold out you only pinching your fingers nearly as much. So pretty cool design there. The arm system works really great too. Pretty straightforward design, clamps down near the wheel doesn't allow to go up unless we push in that blue lever that's waiting for us. Again that blue letting us know where we are and what we need to access. So quick, simple little guy to actually hold that in. And the cradles themselves do a good job of folding in when not in use. And again, you're getting that standard groove a little wider for the mountain. Of course, for those fat tires. Well, nothing too crazy in the cradles. I think they do a good job and I do like this one pivots up. It gives us the backbone really for that front tire. Always great to see. So well I've seen those holes work well. And I think this way this guy really starts shining though, is it's maneuverability. Now, unfortunately today our tilt away feature does work on most vehicles. However, being in a Ranger, we're gonna have a little bit of issue here with our tailgate. Now you're gonna start seeing this on a lot of these models, especially for the Ranger. They have a little bit of the longer tailgate here. You can see how far it really extends past here and you can see right away making contact right on that cradle of that side there. So definitely be causing a little bit of damage especially if we drop this real heavy. So I'd be very careful about it in this position. However, if you really needed to we do a quick little snatch and grab on the back end here not have to park to the sidewalk and get it over here. However, that's a little cumbersome, right We're gonna be causing any damage to our tailgate or our bike rack. So we actually have a different way of accessing the back of our vehicle. And now this is gonna be a problem you're gonna see in the Ranger on a lot of different things, is that whole tilt away system not working to its full potential. That's where we actually have our swing-away feature that's really gonna save the day here. The bottom hearing ahead and loosen up this lever. Going counter-clockwise to go ahead and loosen that from our inner assembly. Wait till it's nice and loose. You probably feel it a little bit too there when you're pulling it down. On the back end here, there is another little blue knob that we wanna pull over. Hopefully you guys can get a little angle of that. You can see I'm just gonna go ahead and pull that knob up. That's gonna go ahead and release the base from itself. Get this guy a little bit more loose. And as you can see, we're gonna start swinging while and clear out of the way. So look how much range we're getting on this guy. Now we can go ahead and stick them over on the end. And as you can see, gonna do in a good job of holding right there. Now, if I needed to, A, I could start accessing my bike on the inside. That's something you don't really see a lot. It's hard to do work on these guys while they're on the rack. Now we're getting full range of the entirety of our bikes, but not only that, we're getting complete access to our tailgate. Look at this, I can drop it down, set it down. Now I can pull those heavy items here with no trouble at all. And I got all this space nice that it sits right or any of that tailgate. I get all my leg room here that I normally would. I can come up here. I can sit down, put on my riding boots if I need to or my shoes, change it all out. Great that we get full access to the back of this tailgate especially for if we're done with a hard ride. We can just go ahead, relax on the back for a little bit, before we're ready to go. Really, really like how much the system starts working for itself and how much space we're actually getting with it. Get in there, use your tailgate, get anything we might need. To bring this back is even simpler just sort of pull up in the snob, start swinging this arm and like so. I like to go ahead and just counter rotate this as I go. See, make sure we're grabbing onto the arms of our swing-away system so we can get in this position, you're gonna hear that back when click that means that's locked up, ready to go. We can start tightening down our lever and I just watch it to make sure I'm not getting too wonky on the sides. And we can go ahead and tighten this up, going clockwise. So really quick and easy to use. You saw how fast I was able to swing that out and swing it right back in. So it's not like a huge take-down maneuver either, right You're getting a lot of maneuverability without having to really eat into our day to really start making those adjustments. So love how quick and easy those guys are to do. Let's go ahead and take the bike off. See how quick and fast that's for us as well. Getting that brings us to a ratchet strip system which I'm going ahead press in that blue lever. That blue always being good to show us just where we want to put our hands. Go ahead and swing that to the side as well. Getting that well up out of the way. That brings us to our last contact point. Now, before we disengage this, make sure we have a good firm hand on our bike. We don't want that tilting and our vehicle or ourselves especially if you get a little bit heavier and heavier on these guys. I like this too, because it has an ergonomic grip, real easy to grab it, push it to the side. And when you get up here and get close, I like to also get this arm. If you set to the side as well, you can see that gives you just like another half step in but that really starts adding up as you're getting heavier and heavier bikes on here. And one thing I really liked about it too I can just walk it straight out. There's no platform or center mass sits in the way. I just simply have to walk it out, walk it on and I'm ready to use the rack. So already ready to ride in a matter of seconds. We just love to see that any time we can just cut down on the expenditure of getting ready will really gonna start helping us in the long run. Let me go ahead and bring this arm in like so. Get it nice in class with no problem. So quick and easy to do. It makes it nice and condensed as well as you can see just makes for a nice, smooth, clean looking rack on the end there. Now with any hitch mounted accessory, we are adding a little bit of length to our vehicle especially being the Ranger already, a little bit of length to consider. I'll just go ahead and take a quick look at what we're working with here. From the rear of our bumper, going to the end here and a slight little curve. So keep that in mind. So yeah, right at 36 inches, probably just over a little bit under that, nothing too crazy, especially for the system that we are getting here. Definitely a little bit of length to consider though. So maybe we're in the garage or maybe we're in the tight parking places at the trailhead. They actually have a way of making this just a little bit easier for ourselves. Now let's go ahead and take a quick look to see how this tailgate does just in its normal position. I think again, we have a little bit of contact right there in that cradle, as you can see. So unfortunately not going to get that full range again but again, they really built the similarity feature. I know I'd be using that quite a lot. You see, not really doing too much time and is maybe there to actually make that possible but that brings us to our put away function. This blue lever at the bottom is actually what allows us to do that tilts away as you saw. Again, I still think we're gonna have that same issue right there in that contact in this position. However, we go ahead and just walk this guy all the way up. You're gonna hear it click and it's gonna hold itself very, very easily. No pins and clips really to worry about. Nothing that we're finagling with. Just a simple lever, walk it up and it's right in place. I really like how little play there is in this position. We're not going to be worried about this hitting our vehicle at all, causing any kind of damage. One thing about these arms you can see, pretty good natural resistance. So if you're worried about these flop around hitting the back of the tailgate, I wouldn't be as it does take pretty good amount of force, nothing crazy mind you, but just enough that our normal rattles are gonna be doing anything to our vehicle. So let's go ahead and take a look at how much length we actually shaved there. And by sitting at 18 1/2 inches to the furthest point of our lever, definitely shaving down almost half of that entirety of that length. So great to see that that can actually shorten down. Now we can get this in the garage hopefully, especially getting a little bit more maneuverability inside those tight parking places where we needed to take it. And just for the giggles, let's take a look and see how close we are to our bumper with our arm system and just under six inches. So about 5 7/8 definitely be well and up out of the way. Nothing I'm gonna be too worried about. But with you guys, it'll be nice and have that to actually keep in mind and worry about. Now on the bottom here another important dimension to keep in mind is our clearance to the ground. Now why that's important as those front wheels go up, the back will go down and so our hitch mounted accessories. So going from the end of our position here if we we're in this position configuration as we move to the put us right at 20 3/4 to the bottom of our posts. So definitely gonna be well and up out of the way. I don't think you're gonna have too much worry about it but you have any insane driveways or terrain keep in mind. Definitely just something to be conscious of. Go ahead and take a quick look at this guy. Definitely you're not gonna have any issues. You can see how well this guy actually sits up and out of the way. Her way from the ground right in at 32 1/4 inches. Definitely don't think it's going to be an issue at all for us as we are going. But like I said, if you started getting crazy, started going over some boulders it might be something just to be mindful of but I don't think we're having any issue with that guy on the end. That's thanks just to our housing and how well our Ranger sits up and out of the way. Well, that brings us to our receiver here in the end. We do have a 2-inch receiver on this guy. So it limits it to its capabilities. We are getting a big, pretty big and heavy rack up on here but fortunately for us, we do have a 2-inch hitch today. And you'll notice on here too, we do have the etrailer hitch pin alignment collar. Now what this guy does, all I have to do is now that I when I get this set for the first time, I get my pin set through, I can come on, I can throw this collar in right to the edge of that flange right there for the receiver. And now every time I pull this carrier on and off I just walk it right up, that collar's gonna perfectly align my pen and I can start getting my anti-rattle threaded hitch bolt threaded in with no problem at all. So make sense out of that, take down and take off that much easier, especially with a bit of a heavier rack like this guy, it can really start saving our hands and our knees in the long run, not to mention our fingers getting pinched in here as well. Now that does bring us as we mentioned to our threaded anti-rattle hitch bolt. Now these are pretty standard across the industry. However, they do a good job of actually bringing this all in line to one system. So that's gonna tighten our receiver to our hitch and our hitch is with our frame. So you can see that's shaking the entirety of the vehicle. So that means we're taking the play out of our rack a lot. Take you for a nice, smooth ride for ourselves, our bike rack and especially our bikes. And then we can do to reduce that jostle, we're really gonna feel it. Now the back end here too you can see, we do have a locking core. Now, we do have another locking core in this guy that will break down here a little bit. So there will be keyed alike but this is a great way of making sure that our rack stays to our vehicle when we leave it unattended. So that will be keyed alike and you can see right here on this guy to another little locking core here right on the end. What's great about this guy, this does come with a cable lock that we can throw through the entirety of our vehicle. We'll loop it that around in here, tight off and then lock it with this core making sure that our bikes also stay to our rack when we leave it unattended. Well, the BackStage is one of my favorite racks for a reason. I think it looks really good. I'm a big fan of blue and there's also really easy to see those. That way I know exactly where my points of contact are to get my bikes on and off and to get a little bit more maneuverability. I think you can't really beat that swing-away function either. You saw how much of that tailgate we can actually start accessing. Great to start seeing that and how easy that is to access and utilize. Well, I think it pretty much speaks for itself but I think that about does it for a look at the RockyMounts BackStage 2-bike platform rack on our 2021 Ford Ranger. I'm Bobby. Thank you for watching. Voiceover Here on our test course, we'll start by going through the slalom and this is going to show us the side to side action which simulates turning corners or evasive maneuvers. Once we get to the full speed bumps we'll see the up and down action. This will be just like driving in and out of a parking lot, garage or driveway. Once we get to the alternating speed bumps we'll see the twisting action. This will simulate hitting a curb or pothole or driving over uneven pavement..


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