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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I'm shopping for 4-bike hitch tray rack but I will often only need it for 2 bikes and therefore prefer a rack that detaches. I am considering the Yakima 4Timer since it can be separated and I know there are some other 2-bike racks with 2-bike add-ons. I have seen some terrible reviews of the 4Timer.

Bikes range from big 29ers down to 24" kids mtb.

Also, am I being silly to limit myself to racks that come apart? Better off with a solid 4-bike rack?
 

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Get ready for near unison chant of "1UP"

Thules are good too

If you will be using it mostly for two bikes, definitely get something that detaches.

Edit: Don't know too much about the Yakima
 

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Yeah, you will get the usual 1up recommendations. Obviously, there are several good racks.

To address your requirements... usually hauling two bikes, sometimes 4... the 1up does fit the bill. Won't be cheap, though. But you can piece meal it. Buy the rack for two bikes. Then later add a 3rd rack. And, again later, add a 4th. And yes, I own a 1up. And yes, I started with the two rack, and later added a 3rd. I pull the 3rd rack off when I don't need it for a while.

If you go this route, I recommend buying their wheel locks, as well as their add-on lock for the 3rd and 4th add on trays, with the first order. Even if you don't buy the add on racks right away. The reason is, they will key match all the locks you buy at the same time, including the lock that comes with the rack itself. They cannot match them for different orders.

The EZ Pull is a nice add on too for three or more trays.

And don't forget the bottle opener!
 

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Have you looked at a swagman quad 2+2?

I have this rack and it has served me well, and I once needed s sort from swagman and they sent it to me quickly.

I will note I have never seen a 1up rack in person, they look really nice.
 

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I wanted the 2 or 4 option and went with a Yaki 4-timer that converts as you need (2-timer). It works well, simple design, no frills.
I didn't go heavy on research, just had a buddy that has one and is happy. The timing was either get a bit of deal thru his source or REI 20% off. I went REI.

*Recent hit from behind and was able to get rack parts via REI / Yakima. Very impressed with help, parts research, availability and cost. All parties took very good care and concern !

With racks, I always see the same 4 to 6 brands recommended and I'm not plugging Yaki / REI other than proven great customer care if you ever need anything beyond the sale. -Never really a thought until you need it.
Some cars or situations likely make certain features or brands better options but if it's simple basics of a rack and the Yaki works with your set up, I'd just go by pricing unless someone chimes in with some other reasoning.
I think I spent about $460. Some posts I'd seen makes me think $700 and up is a thing per 4 bike carriers.
 

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After some more research I went with the Yakima HoldUp 2 with the 2 bike add-on. Price and maximizing ground clearance were big factors for me. Liking it so far.
How are you liking this rack so far? Any cons to it and do you have any pics of it mounted with your bike on there? Im looking at this one currently so wanted some real world stories
 

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I went with the Küat NV 2.0 with the Add-On in June. Since I just went through this process, I'll share my opinions of the various brands I looked at as well as review the NV. I shopped at REI because they'll take anything back, and my search was largely limited to what they displayed on the floor, so I could play with them.

In my mind there are three top tier racks, the Küat NV 2.0, the Thule T2 Pro XT, and Yakima's DrTray. The DrTray was my runner up, it's got a great handle system and a nice lock attachment point, but it only holds three bikes (I seriously considered tying a bike to the roof and going with this rack). Thule has a plastic fetish that I just can't get behind, maybe their racks are fine, but if the plastic breaks in five years will there still be replacement parts?

The next tier down from that has the same brands again, the Küat Sherpa, Yakima HoldUp, and the Thule T2 Classic. All of these are scaled down versions of their top tier counterparts, though on the flip side, they weigh less too. I liked the Sherpa's integrated lock system, and their flip-up wheel holders made for a clean look. I liked that the Yakima could adjust the relative position of the bikes so that you can keep them from scratching each other (I worried needlessly that the NV would have this problem). And once again Thule is plastic city.

In the end, I chose the NV 2.0 because it held 4 bikes, had a decent lock system, was made of solid steel, minimal plastic, and it came with an integrated bike repair stand. Having used it for about three months, I've got praise and complaints. I really like the bike stand. I thought that this was kind of gimmicky, but actually I use it a lot at the trail head, and at home too because I don't have a dedicated stand. The wheel clamps work well, and Küat will send you a free kids bike adapter if you need to adapt a 20" wheel.

Annoyingly the NV has some thin laminated plastic to protect the paint where the wheels sit on the metal support bars. This has bubbled up and torn in a couple places. Thule's plastic would not have this issue, so a point to them. Also, while the NV's release lever is a nice solid lever which is easy to use for raising and lowering the rack when empty, when fully loaded with bikes, it's difficult to reach in order to tilt the rack back for car hatch access. I find that I have to lift the rack with one hand (or shoulder) to relieve tension on the lever before I can move it using my other hand, which is an exercise for plastic man. When it does lower, the rack rests on the ground instead of the stops. In 2 bike mode this lever is easily accessible and the rack tilts back and rests on the stops.

The Add-On attaches easily with two long bolts which run along the inside of the center support bar. It would be easy enough to pop the extension off, but honestly I wouldn't bother unless I knew I'd be going many trips without needing it. You'd probably want to lube the bolts so they don't seize. One thing to watch out for is that in the 4 bike configuration your exit angle is very limited. I scraped the crap out of my rack on day one, and have had several fun-filled scraping sessions since. I had zero problems in 2 bike mode. The rack easily clears curbs though, so it makes it easy to back into parking spots with a sidewalk or small grass divider and not worry about having your rack blocking traffic. I got my Add-On separately from my base, and the keys don't match. I hear you can order a kit to fix this, but I have no problem with the mismatch as the keys are numbered and I know which goes where.
 

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Great info Tyreless. I ended up picking up the Yakima HoldUp EVO due to the great price I got on it. I watched several reviews and getting it for 40% off, I couldn't pass it up.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
See you already purchased. No pics, but I'll share some thoughts.

One thing I like about it for the price point, is each bike has its own "mast" with the clamp, making bike 2 easy to load. I know that is common for higher end racks, but for this price point it is rare.

It has been perfect for pairings of various size bikes/saddle heights, with no interference: 29er, 27.5, 26, and 24"

I have a Kona Big Honzo set up with 29x2.6, and the ratchet arm barely swings over the tire. Works just fine, but I think this is the upper size limit.

Biggest con thus far is probably the weight, especially the 2-bike add on part. I still think it is the right rack for my criteria, but I wish it were a bit lighter.
 

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Great thoughts. I haven’t even unboxed yet. I actually tweaked my back loading it in the back of my SUV. Sales staff didn’t want to help since the store was closing for good. I wanted to wait for people’s thoughts and reviews but they only had one left and with the clearance price, it was under $300 out the door. I thought I couldn’t pass this deal up.

Sounds like it will work fine for my Honzo since it has 2.25 tires and if I go up it would probably be only to a 2.3. They had some of the fat bike tire straps on clearance as well but I didn’t grab any since I don’t have one. I think for the money it will be perfect and I read others mention the weight of it as well. I hoping the extra weight means extra durable.

Thanks


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Will also add that for some reason the rack can tilt towards the vehicle, so you have to ensure it doesn't go that way and hit your vehicle when dropping it to flat. Sure, the user can ensure that does not happen, but I'd like to be able to drop the rack somewhat one-handed for trunk access when holding groceries or something and not worry about hitting the car.
 

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The plastic simply gave out. I assume they will offer me another replacement tray, but feeling a bit of buyers remorse.
Hopefully no bike damage or yard-sales on the highway?

I took a training class from an old-timer at General Motors in the early 90's -- I will always remember his quote "Plastic is for flower-pots and children's toys"
 
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