SoftRide Access 400 Hitch Rack Bike Rack

4.58/5 (12 Reviews)


Product Description

Access 400 Hitch Rack


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Reviews 1 - 12 (12 Reviews Total)

User Reviews

Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:4
Submitted by Lorie a Weekend Warrior from Portland, OR, USA

Date Reviewed: August 29, 2006

Strengths:    We bought the Access Pull Pin Bike/Ski Combo. What a cool gizmo! We got it just in time for our vacation and loved it. Super easy to load and given that we sleep in the back of the truck with a canopy, it gave us great access and kept the bikes safe.

Weaknesses:    I read other reviews on this site before buying this, thanks for all the input. We didn't experience any issues with paint chipping off due to quick stops? Maybe they changed the model since that reviewer purchased?

Bottom Line:   
We had an issue when the product arrived that would have ruined our vacation. But Hitchsource.com the company that sold it to us came to our rescue above and beyond the call of duty. The Softride company sent us what we needed and the trip was saved! I highly recommend Hitchsource and Softride. Can't wait to use the ski/snowboard attachment this winter!

Expand full review >>

Duration Product Used:   Less than 1 month

Price Paid:    $309.00

Purchased At:   Hitchsource.com

Similar Products Used:   Yakima roof rack

Bike Setup:   mountain bikes

Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Rob a Weekend Warrior from Clinton

Date Reviewed: June 26, 2006

Strengths:    Sturdy, flexible, solid, built well. Very heavy, but when our tongue weight limit is 200, this is also a weakness. Holds 4 bikes easily, but weight allows only three. Bikes stay parallel to ground. Integrated cable for locking bikes.

Weaknesses:    May not fit aesthetically with a smaller car or wagon. Slight rattle when arms are on without bikes. Extends out alot from rear of car.

Bottom Line:   
This rack is better than Thule or Yakima for the price. Its built well, but reall made for a larger van or SUV. Top quality.

Expand full review >>

Duration Product Used:   Less than 1 month

Price Paid:    $188.00

Purchased At:   eBay

Similar Products Used:   Thule

Bike Setup:   Various

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Alex a Weekend Warrior from Los Angeles

Date Reviewed: February 9, 2006

Strengths:    Very solid, easy to use, holds 4 bikes easy.

Weaknesses:    none really - perhaps a little heavy

Bottom Line:   
This is the only hitch mount rack I've owned and it's great. Very solid construction, lowers for easy mounting (though I never lower it for that) and also to allow access into the back of your SUV. And the price is very competative, even if you can't find it for dirt cheap on ebay as I did.

Expand full review >>

Duration Product Used:   6 months

Price Paid:    $130.00

Purchased At:   ebay

Similar Products Used:   trunk rack

Bike Setup:   specialized hardrock pro disc

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Michael Wright a Weekend Warrior from Seattle

Date Reviewed: October 12, 2005

Strengths:    This review is for the Softride Access Pull Pin rack. The bike rack is affordable, a good value, and easy to use and still allows full access to the back of your vehicle.
The rack is also extremely sturdy. I was rear-ended by a guy in a full size SUV going about 25 mph. The bike rack bore the brunt of the collision. The only damage was to the hitch lock that I replaced for $30.


Weaknesses:    The rack is a little stiff and heavy while fully loaded.

Bottom Line:   
Another great product by Softride!

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   Preston

Duration Product Used:   2 Years

Price Paid:    $100.00

Purchased At:   Costco


Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by K1dude a Weekend Warrior from Lincoln, CA USA

Date Reviewed: July 21, 2005

Strengths:    Everything! Folds down with bikes still vertical. Strong. Easy to use.

Weaknesses:    Need to put padding on vertical support bar or your bike will hit it and scratch your paint when you stop quickly.

Bottom Line:   
This review is for the Softride Access Pull Pin Rack. Few people are aware of this rack. But everytime people see it in use, they are amazed and want one to replace their POS hitch racks. I have never encountered a better folding hitch rack than the Softride before or since my purchase. I also managed to get it for a steal at Supergo on clearance.

It keeps your bikes vertical. It operates easily. It looks good. It's really sturdy. I can't imagine their need to make newer heavy duty models. Mine is as strong as it ever needs to be.

The rubber padding that totally encloses the horizontal bars is great for preventing scratches, but they need to put some padding on the vertical bar as well. I use a piece of pipe insulation zip-tied to eliminate the problem.

Expand full review >>

Duration Product Used:   2 Years

Price Paid:    $100.00

Purchased At:   Supergo

Bike Setup:   Prophet 1000. Blur.

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by rocker1 a Cross Country Rider from So Cal

Date Reviewed: March 28, 2004

Strengths:    Cheap, works well, holds odd v-frame cannondales w/o problems.

Weaknesses:    Haven't found one yet.

Bottom Line:   
Simple to attach bikes. Rubber straps keep don't scratch the paint. Very secure mounting. Never tried Thule products but at this price and performance I don't need too...

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   anything dirt

Duration Product Used:   Less than 1 month

Price Paid:    $100.00

Purchased At:   Supergo

Similar Products Used:   Bike tights.

Bike Setup:   C-Dale hardtail and fs.

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Kent White a Cross Country Rider from Portland

Date Reviewed: March 25, 2004

Strengths:    The Access Pull-Pin rack is the best rack I've found for the money. It's sturdy, but light weight, making it easy to handle. It has a very soft bike mount that does not scratch the paint or dent the frame (unlike other racks I've tried). It comes with a built in security cable, making it convenient and easy to secure the bikes. It also comes with a locking hitch pin that also serves to tighten the rack in the receiver to eliminate rattling.

I drive a Ford Explorer and I selected this rack so I could access the back of the SUV without taking the bikes off the rack. It works beautifully. The way it's designed, the bikes remain perpendicular to the ground at all times. Very cool...

The rack has several optional attachments. I bought mine a "Car-BQ" grill attachment for Oregon Ducks games. They also offer a ski rack attachment, although I haven't tried that one.


Weaknesses:    I really don't have much to complain about. I guess it could be a little easier to put down. I'm sure it will get easier over time, though. Better too tight than too loose...

Bottom Line:   
I haven't found a better rack for the $$$.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   Brown's camp

Duration Product Used:   6 months

Price Paid:    $179.00

Purchased At:   Hitchsource.com

Similar Products Used:   Yakima ROC - That racks sucks, bigtime!

Bike Setup:   Specialized FSR XC
Scattante R-650

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by jays55 a Cross Country Rider from Granada Hills, Ca. USA

Date Reviewed: December 14, 2003

Strengths:    solid construction, rigidity

Weaknesses:    No two bike models

Bottom Line:   
I purchased the Access Pull Pin Model online. I use it on my 2001 VW Jetta. This unit is very rigid and quiet. There is no back and forth motion and the side to side motion is negligible. Soft supports do not scratch bikes. I use bungee straps to secure the front tire to the bike frame and the frame to bike rack. Mine came with a lock for the hitch mount included (nice option). I would have purchased a two bike model if it had been available. I have used this rack on the freeway and twisty canyon roads and have complete confidence in it. Though apparently designed for trucks and SUVs, it works great on cars...just be careful to pull into driveways at an angle so that it doesn't drag!!!

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   single track to 3 trees

Duration Product Used:   3 months

Price Paid:    $175.00

Purchased At:   online

Bike Setup:   Specialized Epic Comp

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Paul a Weekend Warrior from Sata Rosa, CA USA

Date Reviewed: October 20, 2000

Strengths:    Yhe BEST for its purpose - it lowers enough to drop tailgate (old style 4-Runnere) AND it supports top tube gently - okay for carbon frame. Absolutely rigid. Good customer service.

Weaknesses:    Heavy to lower with bikes on. Can't lower rack with pedal crank cinched to upright.

Bottom Line:   
I researched EVERY rack available - I needed one that would allow access to tailgate - most don't lower very far. Some swing outwards, but many of the good racks, especially the strong ones, use a single clamp for the top tube. Do you want to clamp your carbon or Al frame?

The 2 arms that support top tube work with slanting tubes and do not grip tightly.

This rack has proved great - I leave it on the 4-Runner all the time and remove the arms when not in use - the pins holding the arms are a nuisance, but tie the pull-rings together with a shoelace so they don't get lost.

For security I got the optional locking bar, and a couple of cable locks.
To prevent sway with one bike I cinch the handlebar to an arm or the pedal crank to the upright - then use pipe insulation to prevent paint scratching and strap the outer bike to the upright - all bikes are absolutely rigid.

I couldn't obtain a couple of accessories - customer service was very helpful.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   roadie

Duration Product Used:   1 Year

Similar Products Used:   Rak-N-Lok (Thule)

Bike Setup:   Kestrel road bike; Cannondale mtn bike; steel road bikes.

Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:4
Submitted by Thomas Uhl a Cross Country Rider from San Diego, CA, USA

Date Reviewed: October 15, 2000

Bottom Line:   
The only time I've had trouble with it was when we tried to put 5 mountain bikes on it. These bikes were cheap (and heavy), and the flat metal plate started to bend downward on one side. Note that we had close to 200 pounds of bike on there, including one on the very farthest mountpoint, so I wouldn't consider this a serious problem - it's only rated for 4 bikes anyway. I have it mounted on a 93 RX-7 so I never have to use the lowering mechanism, can't comment on that. Other than the 5-bike incident, under normal conditions, it's very solid and secure, which is good because I don't like to drive slow just because I have a couple mountain bikes on the back.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   mt. st. helens

Duration Product Used:   More than 3 years

Purchased At:   some online place in canada


Overall Rating:3
Value Rating:2
Submitted by Barry a Cross Country Rider from Newton, NJ

Date Reviewed: June 23, 2000

Strengths:    It's well made. It bolts solidly to receiver so it doesn't sway.

Weaknesses:    Bikes sit too low. It holds a road bike OK, but the front wheel of a hardtail will drag. I've got to remove the front wheel to use. Hardware started falling off soon after purchase. I locktighted stuff back on but some small parts got lost. I called there customer service several times about the missing hardware. They always promise to send it out, but I never get it. (I was able to get replacement parts from a hardware store.) Also, a couple bungie cords work better than the straps that came with it.

Bottom Line:   
It works, but if I get rear ended, I wouldn't buy another.

Expand full review >>

Duration Product Used:   1 Year


Overall Rating:5
Submitted by Rackboy a weekend warrior from Utah

Date Reviewed: July 19, 1998

Bottom Line:   

The Softride is the best hitch-mount rack I have found. It is extremely well-built, folds down out of the way of my SUV tailgate like a charm and keeps the bikes nicely horizontal. It is still necessary to tie down the bikes to the rack. I have driven with this rack in complete confidence 100 miles across the desert on a dirt (well, mostly gravel and rock) road.I had bought the Yakima Supreme Getaway before the Softride and returned it a few days later. It is very well designed and built EXCEPT for the support. It doesn't have the positive support of two widely-spaced arms like the Softride, so my bike rocked back and forth like crazy.The Softride could still be improved as follows:
1) Reduce the number of loose parts. For example, the 2 support arms detach from the main assembly and each have a separate fastener pin. Could these 4 parts be replaced with a design that makes them part of the main assembly ?
2) Continuing with the above point, replace the hitch bolt (which secures the hitch to the receiver) with an integral crank mechanism like Yakima's.I'm starting to get interested in bike frames that don't have a conventional top tube, so I would also be interested in a rack that has fork/wheel supports AND still folds out of the way.

Reviews 1 - 12 (12 Reviews Total)

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