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Yakima RidgeBack 2 Bike Rack Review

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Review of the Yakima RidgeBack 2 Bike Rack

Speaker 1: Today, we're going to be taking a look at the Yakima RidgeBack 2 Bike Rack for 1-1/4" and 2" hitches, part number Y02457. The Yakima RidgeBack Bike Rack is great for two people on the go who want to take their bikes from point A to point B. This will fit a wide variety of bikes, ranging from our road bike to our mountain bike that we have right now, but this will also work with alternate frame bikes and some kids bikes with the use of a bike adapter bar.The bike rack has nice sturdy arms here that actually can carry two bikes up to 40 pounds each, so this can work with either class three hitches or class two hitches only. This is going to grip your bike by three points. We'll have the two ZipStrips up at the top, and one off to the side which will serve as an anti-sway cradle to keep the bike from moving too far back and forth and causing bike-to-bike contact. And the ZipStrips do have a quick release to them, where you just push in the tabs on either side, and they remove very easily.

And, they install just as easily.It has this TPE padding at the base of our cradles here, and that's going to help absorb some of the shock while you drive and the bike's are bouncing a little bit up and down. While there are no locks provided to secure your bikes to the bike rack, there are after market options, such as part number Y02466, the handcuff lock from Yakima, which will attach to the back portion of our bike rack. Also, like many other Yakima bike racks, we do have bottle openers at the end of both of our arms, so you can share a cold one after a ride on the trail.We went ahead and removed the bikes to show off some of the features with a little more detail. We'll start with our cradles. Here's the TPE or super-cushioned material here at the base that we mentioned before helps with shock absorbency while you're driving.

Also, the tops of our ZipStrips also have a nice cushioned padding here as well. The cradles are stationary, meaning you can't move them back and forth, however, the anti-sway cradles are adjustable for varying bike styles.Right now, we have it in the loading position, but these arms do fold down for those close quarter situations such as parking by lifting up on this handle here, and letting the arms come down until you hear it click. This also tilts away from the vehicle to gain rear hatch access. Now, I would like to emphasis, you cannot do this when both bikes are attached. You'll pull forward on the lever in the front, and pull it forward, and now we have full rear hatch access and plenty of space on either side to get what we need.And how this attaches to the hitch, this is going to be a tool-free install, which is pretty unique amongst most bike racks.

What you would do is insert this into the hitch, you push the red pin into the side, and then we come to the speed knob at the end, tighten it down to take out the shake and play in the shank. Also, the speed knob is in its locked position now, meaning it just free spins so it can't be removed from the vehicle. You would need the key to unlock that to loosen it up. Also, by removing the collar here, as well as this wedge, this can be converted to an 1-1/4" hitch as well, so this can work as we said earlier with class two and three 2" hitches in this configuration. With this removed, it can work with class two 1-1/4" hitches as well.

So this will work with multiple vehicles.Now, we're going to give you some quick measurements here for some additional information. The distance from the center of the hitch pin hole to the back of the mast is going to be 11-1/2". The distance from the center of the hitch pin hole to the closest part of the rack is going to be 9-1/2". The distance between the arms, outside cradle to outside cradle, will be 13-1/2". The carrier weight itself is about 32 pounds, and the weight capacity is going to be about 40 pounds per bike.This bike does work really well with cars, trucks, SUVs, and vans, but is not rated for fifth wheels, motor homes, or towable campers. When comparing this with other bike racks, one that comes up is going to be the Thule Vertex 2 Bike Rack for 1-1/4" and 2" hitches, part number TH9028XT. Some of the big differences between these two bike racks, for one, the Thule Vertex you can shift the cradles back and forth, while the Yakima's are going to remain stationary. With the Thule Vertex, the straps do wrap around and have notches to put them in place, while with the Yakima ZipStrips, they simply just push into place and you're ready to go. With the Thule Vertex, it is rated for motor homes, while the Yakima RidgeBack is not.Now, we'll take a look at some of our customer comments. Edward writes one year later, "Good product. I only used it a few times a year, and I take my bikes from New York to Florida and back, and a few times locally." Now that we've gone over some of the features, let's go ahead and show you how this installs. Before you install this on your vehicle, you have to determine if you have an 1-1/4" or 2" hitch. In this case, we have a 2" hitch so we don't have to make any alterations.We'll first line up our shank with the hitch, and push it into place. At this point, you have a choice. There are two points you can choose from to line up the hole with. This is so if your hitch may sit further behind the bumper, you can have it further out just for clearance purposes. Then we're going to take our pin here, and just push that into place, and then we'll come to our speed knob at the end. With our speed knob, you want to turn it to the right, which will tighten it up inside the hitch to take out the play that you see here.As you tighten it down, it might help to move it back and forth to get it seated properly. You can see now, with it tightened down, that shake and play is gone. Then we'll take our included key, turn it, and now it just free spins. It can't be removed. Right now we have it in the stowing position. We can put it to the loading position by lifting up the gray lever at the top, and folding it out. You're going to hear a little bit of a click, and now we're ready to start taking off our ZipStrips and loading up our bikes.To remove our ZipStrips, there's these tabs on either side. You push them in at the same time, and that will release the ZipStrip completely. Go ahead and remove these on all of them. A little trick to help out with loading the bikes is we're actually going to push our anti-sway cradle up out of the way, and that's going to make sliding the first bike on that much easier. Now, when loading your bikes, you want to make sure you load them as level as possible. To make this happen for alternate frame bikes, you may need to utilize a bike adapter bar. Yakima has one. We're utilizing it today. You can find this on we have it set in place, I'm going to push this all the way up, so we're facing our anti-sway cradle here. Then, we can take our ZipStrips, and we just push those in place nice and tight all the way around. You may have to work at it a little bit for the ones closer. There we go. To give you an example of what I'm talking about when I say load the bikes evenly, with the adapter bar you can see how it sits level on the bike rake here. In the instructions, what they don't want is bikes to sit on it like so, where the tires are going to be at this extreme angle.Then we'll repeat this process for the second bike. Now, in some situations you may find that the front tire of one of the bikes makes contact with the other, or possibly even with the vehicle depending on how close it is. We do have straps online that you can find to help keep the tires in place and keep that from happening. Now that we got everything loaded up, we'll take it out on our test course and show you how it looks.First we'll take it onto our slalom course. This will show you the side to side action such as making turns or evasive maneuvers. Finally, we're at the solid speed bumps, which simulates going into your driveway or parking lots. There you have it for the Yakima RidgeBack 2 Bike Rack for 1-1/4" and 2" hitches, part number Y02457.

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