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Yakima RidgeBack Bike Rack Review

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Review of the Yakima RidgeBack Bike Rack

Speaker 1: Today we're going to be taking a look at the Yakima Ridgeback 4 bike rack, for inch and a quarter, and two inch hitches. Part number Y02458. The Yakima Ridgeback 4 is great for a family of four traveling across country, and you want to take your bikes with you. This can carry a wide variety of bikes, as you see here, we have a mountain bike, a road bike, an alternate frame bike, and a kid's bike.While this is a great bike rack, there's a couple things to consider. It can fit kid's bikes and alternate frame bikes, but in some cases you may need to purchase bike adapter bars to keep them level, like Yakima wants on your bike racks. So, in this case we used the Yakima adapter bar, and that's going to be part number Y02531.

This is sold separately, and you can find this bike rack does have the anti-sway cradles, which that's going to help prevent bike to bike contact while driving, so it won't say too far back and forth. Also, it has this shock absorbent TPE padding on the actual cradles themselves, and that's going to absorb some of that shock from the up and down motion when you're driving with this as well. And this does come with a stabilization strap when all four bikes are attached, that wraps around the bike rack itself as well to give you that extra stability while you drive, and to keep the bikes all together.We've gone ahead and taken the bikes off to show you a few more additional features here. And now you get a better view of that TPE padding that we talked about earlier, that's very shock absorbent. It's also padded slightly on our actual zip strips on the top here as well.

The cradles themselves are stationary, meaning they can not move back and forth, or side to side. However, they are spaced evenly enough that as you saw earlier, spacing wasn't an issue.And when the bike's not in use, and you want to fold down the arms for either close quarter situations such as parking, or putting in your garage, or putting it away in your garage, it does have this quick release trigger finger at the top here. It's a little bit of a light gray color. You pull that up, let it come down, and you hear an audible click and you know it's locked in to place.And also, this can tilt away from the vehicle to gain rear hatch access. It has this latch in the front, you just pull it towards you.

You hear it kind of click, let it come down, and now we have full access to get what we need, and plenty of space on either side to do so. I would like to emphasis, you can not have the bikes attached when you tilt this away.Also, you notice the mast here is actually slightly arced, or curved. This is going to provide better clearance from the rear of our vehicle, but also better clearance when we actually tilt this away and lift up our hatch.Now let me give you a couple quick measurements here. The distance from the center of the hitch pin hole to the back of the mast, is going to be 11 and a half inches. The distance from the center of the hitch pin hole to the closest part of the rack, is nine and a half inches.

The distance between the arms, from the outside cradle to outside cradle, is going to be 13 and a half inches. This can carry up to four bikes, and has a weight capacity of 150 pounds.Kevin T. says, "The Yakima Ridgeback bike rack is a top quality rack. It's a very sturdy rack, easy to put on and use." And one year later, he says, "I still love the rack. It's still holding up and working well."When comparing this with other products, one that comes up is going to be the Thule Apex 4 bike rack for inch and a quarter, and two inches. It's part number TH9025. Now, these two share a lot of similarities, but let's look at a couple of the differences.First off, with the Thule Apex, you can adjust the cradles back and forth as needed, for better fits for your bikes. One thing to note though, are the Thule's anti-sway cradle's a little bit more adjustable to accommodate the different styles of bikes. They do tend to come loose after time, and can fall off. However, with the Yakima Ridgeback here, this is connected, and it will not fall off.One final difference between these two racks, while they both work with cars, trucks, SUVs and vans, the Thule is actually going to work with motor homes as well. And how this installs into the vehicle is pretty unique as well. This is pretty much a tool-free installation process. You just slide it in to place, push the red pin into the side, and you do have options as to which hole you can use. So, if you have hitches that sit further in or further out, you can adjust accordingly.Then at the end here, we have the speed knob. Right now it's in the locked position, so it's just going to free spin. But when it's not locked, you can tighten it by turning it to the right, which will take out the shake and play in the shank, and make for a really smooth ride.To convert it to an inch and a quarter, you remove the one bolt here from our outer collar, and then the two bolts on either side of the bracket here. And it does come with the tools to do so. And then you're ready to use it with an inch and a quarter hitch. Although, you always want to make sure that it's going to be a class two inch and a quarter hitch that you're putting this in to.Now that we have everything installed and it's nice and tight, we can come up to the top gray lever here and fold it out so we can have it in it's loading position. You want to push it up until you hear a click. Now we can start getting it ready to load up our bikes.We'll start by folding out our anti-sway cradle, and we'll remove all of our zip strips up at the top here. You just push them in at the same time, and that will take them out completely. These are very easy to use. And then we can grab our first bike. And with those zip strips, they simply just push right in to place like so. You want to repeat this for other connections as well.Now that we have all four bikes installed, we can take our security strap here, wrap it around all four bikes as well as the main mast, to keep them all together while we travel. Pull nice and tight. And if there is excess, go ahead and tie it off, or tuck it away.Now that we have all four bikes installed on our vehicle, now we're ready to take it out on our test course and show you how it looks. First we'll take it on to our slalom course, and this will show you the side to side action such as making turns, or a basic maneuver. Finally, we're at the solid speed bumps, which simulates going into your driveway, or parking lots.And there you have it for the Yakima Ridgeback 4 bike rack, for inch and a quarter, and two inch hitches. Part number Y02458.

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