With so many bike carriers to choose from, finding one that ticks all the boxes can be a pain. Choosing a bike carrier depends on a host of variables: car type, number of bikes to carry, where you often carry your bikes to, and of course price. Every variable has to be carefully weighed against the rack’s features before selecting a suitable carrier.
Sometimes, finding a rack that meets all your needs may not be feasible, in which case you will have to make compromises. It’s important to do your groundwork to ensure that the compromises you make will not hurt you in the long run. If you’re looking for a heavy duty bike carrier that’s perfect for the whole family or for group adventures, we think the Hollywood Racks HR1400 is a great contender.
The Hollywood HR1400 Sport Rider is a heavy duty rack that loads up to 4 bikes on your truck’s rear. It’s essentially a 2-in-1 rack; a set of two conjoined platform-style racks each carrying 2 bikes. The first rack is the base unit while the second, (removable) unit is the extension. This setup allows you to use the Sport Rider as either a 2 or 4 bike rack.
The Sport Rider features a precision-clamping system, cushioned grip arms for holding bikes, adjustable wheel cradles, and spring pins that allow the rack to fold. The rack uses a turn handle on the base unit to augment the joint between the receiver hitch and the shank, thus reducing wobbling. The Sport Rider Special Edition is a full-featured rack that gives plenty of possibilities. Let’s go deeper into its features and setup below.
Features & Setup
As you’d expect of a heavy duty rack, the Sport Rider SE comes with lots of features and parts. The platform-style hitch mount carrier comprises two units: a 2-bike base unit that attaches directly to the hitch receiver and another 2-bike extension unit that attaches to the base unit.
The base unit has a built-in anti-wobble handle that secures the rack shank firmly into the 2-inch receiver hitch. It creates a firm joint that prevents the rack from wobbling around inside the receiver hitch when the car hits bumps. To install the extension, an additional lever is used to attach it to the base unit and the joint is tightened with a fastener.
The bikes are mounted onto the rack by means of adjustable wheel mounts. Each unit has a set of 2 wheel mounts that slide along horizontal steel arms. To change the length of the bike’s wheelbase, simply slide the wheel mount along the horizontal arm until you achieve the desired wheelbase. The wheel mount is then fixed at the desired position using hand knobs. This way, the rack can seamlessly accommodate a variety of wheelbases (bike sizes), with 60-inches as the maximum wheelbase size that can be accommodated on the rack.
That said, you can carry a big bike on the Sport Rider by using a specially built fat wheel mount bought separately. The rack comes with hook-and-loop straps to secure your bike’s wheels onto the wheel mounts.
At the top end of each rack is a clamping system that uses grip arms (hooks) to hold the mounted bikes in position and add to their stability during transportation. The grip arms are held in place by a slide system on the rack’s mast. The grip arms slide up and down the mast by means of a push-to-release lever to achieve the right frame positioning depending on the size of the bike.
One of the features that make this rack truly versatile is that the hooks on the clamping system are not of uniform size and each is independent of the other. This allows for two bikes to be mounted on one unit regardless of frame size (can be same or different). The rack’s tilting design allows it to fold (even when fully loaded) so you can easily access your vehicle’s trunk. When not in use, you can fold the rack up against your car’s backside to create room for spot parking.
For added security, the Sport Rider ships with an 8-foot long cable lock, in addition to a hitch lock that secures the rack and hitch receiver point of connection. Another feature that adds versatility to this rack is the ability to carry extra cargo via a cargo basket that you purchase separately.
- The Sport Rider SE offers exceptional versatility, thanks to its ingenious, extensible design. You can use it as a 2-bike rack by only attaching the base unit or you can use it in its full mode by adding the extension unit. You can also extend its capabilities by fitting add-on accessories to carry extra gear and other things.
- The SE has a fairly large load capacity. It takes up to 4 bikes and can also carry extra luggage with the right extensions fitted.
- It is a very sturdy rack. The high-strength steel used in its construction ensures great performance and durability.
- The adjustable clamping system that holds the hooks plus the sliding wheel mounts allow for bikes of different sizes to be mounted.
- The fully padded grip arms prevent damage to the bike’s frame and .
- When fully loaded, the rack adds extra weight to your car’s load.
- The bikes may block your rear view through the rear-view mirror especially on lower cars.
- While the rack is easy to setup, it’s easy to mess things up given there are many independent parts that have to be assembled.
Overall, the Hollywood Racks Sport Rider SE bike rack is a great heavy duty bike carrier that offers plenty of features and unmatched versatility. It’s easily extensible with separately bought add-ons and can be also be used to carry extra gear. It comes with nifty security features and also offers good stability for your bikes during transportation.
If you’re looking for a heavy load rack with plenty of options to extend its use, the Sport Rider SE is definitely up there with the top racks in the heavy duty category.