Rola Convoy 2 Bike Platform Rack Review

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Review of the Rola Convoy 2 Bike Platform Rack


Colin: Hey guys, it's Colin here at etrailer and today we're going to take a look at the Rola Convoy 2 bike rack. This is a platform style rack. It's going to allow you to get up to two bikes loaded so you can get them to and from your destination. What's really cool about the Convoy is that it's a modular designed bike rack, meaning that when you first get your bike rack, you're going to have a 1-bike platform rack with the Rola Convoy and you're going to get a 1-bike add-on to put it on and then make it a 2-bike rack. So it's going .. This nice and simple process to put on the addition or even take it off depending on if you want to carry one or two bikes.

A lot of times people like to take off that 1-bike addition if they're only carrying 1-bike because that's less length added to the back of their vehicle and it's also less weight added to the hitch as well.So if you use the 2-bike rack for a while, then all of a sudden you've got to carry a third or even a fourth bike rack. You don't really need to get a new bike rack, just get those add-ons and convert yours into a four bike rack. Now this bike rack is going to be very versatile as well, can carry a wide variety of bikes. We've got a mountain bike and an e-bike loaded up. It is going to have a weight capacity of 75 pounds per bike, so that's going to be more than enough to you to get even those heavier e-bikes or even a fat tire bike loaded up here.

Even though if we fat tire bikes up to 5" wide loaded up. What is actually pretty cool about this mass right here where we have our hook on our wheel is that you can adjust it to two different spots.If you would prefer to have the hook on your frame of your bike rack, you could move it back to this slot, have it on the front or you can move it back even to right here. To have it on the back towards the seat post tube. Really it's going to allow you to get your bike mounted with the hook and whatever way you feel is best. And if you do choose to mount it to your frame, it does have this really nice soft padding so you're not going to have to worry too much about it scuffing up or scratching the frame of your bike.

Now right here I've gone ahead and move the mass over from our wheel to the front part of our frame. Just to give you guys a different look at it. Now something that is really nice about this bike rack is that it gives you that versatility in those options to be able to mount your bikes in the best way you see fit.In my experience with bike racks, I can tell you guys that I prefer to have my hook on my wheel if possible. That's just how I like to do things a little bit easier for me. Obviously it is up to you and you got to do what you're going to be most comfortable with.

Now for our fat tire rack, we are going to need to replace this strap with the other one that's included in our kit. This one is a lot longer so it can wrap around our fat tire wheel and you can see that I have that rear cradle that's holding the strap all the way back to the back. This is going to be able to accommodate bikes with a wheelbase up to 48" and that longer strap's going to be more than enough to get around our tire right here to be able to secure it onto the platform.Now like most platform racks, you are able to tilt this away from your vehicle to gain access to your trunk, even with two bikes loaded. What we're going to do is come in here and remove this pin and clip. We can just let that hang right there on the little cable and then we're going to lift up on the bike rack just a little bit. You'll see that bolt move and then we need to pull it into that channel to let it tilt away. So as you let it tilt away, you can see our bikes are still being held very securely. We can open up our hatch and with our SUV right here, it does have a longer hatch than a lot of other vehicles out there. And you can see the angle that we have and the distance we have with clearance is still more than enough.So we get that hatch fully open and it would slide in, grab whatever we might need out of our trunk. And when tilting it back up I do want to point out, always grab a hold of the bike rack itself and never the bikes loaded. That just leaves more room for something to happen. So we're just going to grab right here, lift up until that bolt slides back into the original channel then we can let it sit and we'll replace that pin and clip. Now I've worked with a lot of different bike racks here and I do want to point out that this is one of the more difficult tilt away features I've dealt with. It wasn't that hard, but I have worked with a lot of bike racks where they just have handles back here where you simply just pull it and then it tilts away. You don't have to lean in, pull a pin and clip and then have to pull that bike rack into that channel.And right now with the current load we have, it wasn't that difficult, but if you we're to get additional add-ons, so like a three or four bike rack and then try to lift it up and pull it into that channel could get pretty difficult to do by yourself because of the weight of the rack and then the load you have on top of it. The hooks are also going to have some lock cylinders on them. It's going to be nice theft deterrent so that no one can come up and just remove the hook and walk off with your bike. You get the key included so when you have this secured you just lock it up. That way you can no longer push down on that trigger to unlock your hook and pull off of your wheel.When you ready to unload it, we'll just unlock it. And from there we actually have a two way system. So we have our button right here, we need to push down but right now it's still locked. However, if we just pull up on that locking lever, that allows us to push down on the button and lift up on the hook. Kind of a nice double safety feature to make sure that if the button should fail then we still have this locking lever down here to make sure that our hook does not come up and off of our bike. And then besides that hook, we're also going to have a second point of contact for each bike. We have a strap securing our back wheel onto the platform. Works just like all the other ratchet straps out there. Just push that button in, the strap comes out. What's nice is that this cradle is going to slide back and forth so you can line it up with the center of your tire. When you have it lined up, just feed it through, pull it down and you're good to go.Now I want to go ahead and unload my mountain bike right now. I would always advise starting with the rear strap. So let's again push down on that button, pull it out and we'll go over our wheel hook. Now from here, once you pull up on that lever like we talked about, just press down on the trigger. We actually take the hook all the way off. That'll just help out from loading. We'll just hang out on the bike rack for now. Then we're going to unload our bike. Now to help us unload our e-bike, we'll go ahead and pull this T-pin down here and fold down our arm so that we can gain full access to our bike and not have to go around it. Now with our front cradle you're going to be able to see that they got slots for our road bike tires right here that are going to be a little bit smaller.We got our mountain bike tires right here. Then we're going to have our fat tire bikes that will fit into the cradles up to 5" wide. What's nice is that our back cradle right here also pivots back and forth to accommodate wheels of different sizes. So at this smallest it will accommodate a 20" wheel diameter and that is biggest when it's pivoted all the way back. That'll accommodate a 29" wheel diameter. Now one thing I think is pretty cool about the Rola Convoy, especially compared to a lot of other modular bike racks when you can add on two to three to four pieces to make it whatever number bike rack you need, is that as we add onto this, so from the one to the two and it'd be the same thing to the three into the four, it increases our ground clearance at the back of the bike rack.So right here at our 1-bike you can see as we come to our two we get that extra ground clearance at the back. So steep inclines aren't going to affect you as much. Now the majority of the bike rack is going to have a really heavy duty steel construction to it. It's built to really handle those heavier bikes to make sure that they fully secures them so you can get them safely to and from your destination. It's also got a nice powder coat finish as well that helps it resist rust and corrosion. Really the only parts that don't have that steel construction are going to be our wheel cradles. It just have a really durable plastic construction, so as our back strap right here and cradle. And then the casing around our hook right here, it's going to have a plastic construction as well.The bike rack is going to come with an anti-rattle threaded hitch pin. We have it secured. You could use that same included tool that we used to get the mast moved over a section. So you can see that as I shake the bike rack, the vehicle is moving. There's not really any play in the hitch right now. So that's really going to cut down on that rattling and that noise that you might experience. We'll also going to have a lock on the other side so it's going to be a nice theft deterrent to make sure no one can just come up and take that bolt off. Now one thing you do want to keep in mind is that with any hitch mounted accessory you have, you do have added length to your vehicle.Now in the case of our Rola Convoy, we'll give you a measurement so you can judge if it's going to fit your application. From the center of the hitch pin hole to the outermost part of our rack that is 40" added onto the back. That is for the 2-bike version as well. Now we can actually cut down on that space by folding it up towards our vehicle. What we're going to do is come in here and remove that same pin and clip that we removed earlier to tilt it away.We'll let that hang down there and then all we have to do is fold it up and then replace the pin and clip down here. Now if we measure again from the center of our hitch pin hole to the outermost part, that's now 20-1/2". So we took away a lot of space. This is something you want to keep in mind. Pretty close quarter situations. A lot of times people want to be able to park in their garages, but if the bike rack can't fold up like this, then they might lose that ability. So it's really convenient that you won't have to remove this to shut your garage door. One thing I do want to point out that you guys probably already see is that with our tiered loading system, it's not as noticeable with a 2-bike rack, but if you get three or the four, you will notice it, is that it doesn't fold up flush with the back of your vehicle.You can see it still is at an angle like this. Well, the reason it's like that is because we are sitting closer to the vehicle. So if we we're to tilt this farther up and have it straight up and down, then our cradles would come pretty close to making contact with our vehicle. And that would only get closer with our three and then our 4-bike rack. Now if you want a direct comparison, probably the best one I can give you is the RockyMounts Monorail Solo 1-bike platform rack. That one's pretty comparable with this in that it's a 1-bike rack where you can get an add-on and convert it to a 2-bike rack. However, it'll only stop right there, whereas with your Convoy you could get additional sections to go three and 4-bike rack if you wanted to.The other thing about the Rola Convoy that I'll say probably excels in compared to the Monorail is that the weight limits are much higher. So we got 75 pounds per bike with a 2-bike one. If we take the addition off we're at 80 pounds, whereas with the Monorail we're at 60 pounds per bike, no matter if it's the one or the 2-bike sections. Now with the Monorail, one thing I do want to point out is that it is a little bit user friendly, like I talked about earlier with the tilt away feature. This one being a little bit more on the difficult side compared to other ones. With the Monorail it's just a lever right here. You pull it, tilts away right away and it's very convenient.But when it comes to what I prefer, I think this bike rack is going to be great for those heavier bikes. So if you're frequently carrying fat tire bikes, e-bikes, this one's going to be a great option so it can handle that weight. But because it is on the heavier side, if you have a lighter bike like a road bike or even a small mountain bike and you're only carrying those types of bikes, you might to think about maybe something a little less abrasive. This one might be a little bit of overkill. However this one would still get the job done if you prefer this one. Let's go ahead and take a look at it on our test course. Up first is going to be our slalom, which is going to simulate side to side action, like evasive maneuvering or taking a sharp turn. And now our alternating speed bumps, which is going to simulate driving over uneven pavement like potholes. Now we're onto the solid speed bumps, which is going to simulate the up and down action like going over a speed bump or pulling into your driveway.Now I'm going to go ahead and show you guys how to get that extension piece installed because when you get your Rola Convoy it's going to come with a 1-bike rack in one box and then you're going to get a second box which has the extension piece in it. So you can convert it from a one to two or two to one, whatever's convenient for you. So there's two plugs right here. There's going to be two more on the bottom. You want to make sure you pop all those out. As I have a small five screwdriver, that'll work just fine.Once you get these top two off. Easiest way to get those bottom ones just stick your screwdriver down there and push it out. From there we'll just set our extension piece in place. You can see the tab right here is just going to go into that slot down there and that'll help the holes to line up. When you put it together make sure that you put the front wheel cradle on the opposite side of where the 1-bike is. So right here we have the cradle on the left side for the front bike, so for the extended piece we have the front cradle on the right side.Now we're going to bring our two bolts and feed them up through those holes. We have a little plate right here we're going to put on there first and we have a lock washer on each bolt. You just feed it up there and just begin threading it on. There we go, there's one. Do the second one. Tread it up before we tighten it down more. Now there's getting to be a good amount of tension right there so what I want to do is take the tool that was included in the kit and then we'll just tighten down the bolts for our extension piece. Just give it a good shake, make sure everything's secure, and that's it.So as you saw that really didn't take a lot of time at all, and it's just as easy to remove this 1-bike addition as it was to install it. So you're going to have a really versatile rack with the Rola Convoy that you can get one or two bikes loaded and hit the trails.


Questions and Comments about this Video

David B.

Question on loading a heavy 60# fat tire 3bike. How easy is it to load? I can’t deadlift this bike but with some racks like the KAC can lock the rear wheel and pivot the front tire in then lift the rear tire easily. Can you do this with this rack or do I need to buy some type of ramp. Thanks

Etrailer Expert
Reply from Jon G.

You basically have to go all Hulk on it and lift the bike straight up into the carrier. For something that helps with loading your heavy bike I recommend the Yakima OnRamp # Y36FR which comes with a ramp installed on the rack. Since you have a fat tire bike you'll also need the straps # Y23FR which allow you to fit up to the following tires sizes: 26x 4.5", 27.5" x 4.5" and 29x 3.25".