The hitch-mounted bike rack is definitely the most popular choice when it comes to choosing bike racks for any vehicle. And with such a wide variety to choose from, it can be a bit of a daunting task; with different bike rack brands, sizes and possible extras that need to be fitted, it’s always a good idea to do some research prior to buying. To start off, take a look at these hitch mounted bike racks from this best list. For something more specific, the Yakima Holdup Hitch Bike Rack is a definite worthwhile consideration. So I decided to take a look and see whether the Holdup was as good as it appeared to be.
Obviously, Yakima know what they are doing, they have been in business for nearly 40 years and are at the forefront of the industry, constantly creating new solutions to travel needs that many people didn’t realize they had.
This is also a company that has inspired professionals. Their first foray was to deck every race vehicle with original aerodynamic fairings, that was back in 1984 and they remain at the top of their game to the present day.
There is no doubt that Yakima has the credentials but can the Yakima Holdup deliver when it really counts?
Let’s take a look.
I have to admit to liking this rack, there are a number of great features:
It’s nice to see SKS locks included with the product, although they are also sold separately. There are two locks on the Holdup, one which locks through the hitch, preventing the hitch pin from being moved and ensuring no one can take your bike rack.
The other is built into the rack and s for wrapping around the bikes, keeping them safely attached to the rack.
That should be enough to give you peace of mind! Although you should note that the cable will only loop around the frame, not the wheels. It simply isn’t long enough. If the security of your wheels is an issue you’ll need an extra cable, these are sold separately.
The Holdup is made of steel which has been powder coated in black. This gives it a heavy-duty feel and looks which ensures it is capable of carrying your bikes for any amount of distance.
The attention to detail seems to be present in all the plastic fittings providing you with a high-quality product that should last for years.
Ease of Installation & Use
To fit this to your vehicle you simply slide the hitch into the hitch receiver and then secure the locking pin in position. If you have a 2” hitch you’ll need to use the adaptor that is included.
As noted later, make sure you tighten the hitch bolt up properly as this will prevent wobble in the bike rack.
Once the rack is in position you’ll note the red button at the back, this allows the rack to tilt away from your vehicle, providing you with access to your trunk.
The trays will handle almost any bike tire up to 2.5” width, that means even fat bikes should fit, although it is worth checking first.
Once you’ve unfolded the front wheel tray you can lift the bike into position and wrap the strap around the rear wheel, securing it in place.
The front clamp lifts over the tire of your bike and slides down, without making frame contact. It can be easily released by pushing on the red button at the top of the clamp.
That’s it, your bike is secured and you’re ready to put the next one on.
When you’re not using the rack you can simply fold the clampdown and the wheel trays in. This minimizes the amount of space the rack takes up, effectively allowing you to keep it on your vehicle regardless of what you’re doing.
This also helps if you’re removing it to store in your garage.
I was very pleased to discover that there is a Holdup +2 which can be added to the Yakima Holdup Hitch Mounted Bike Rack. This creates an extra 2 bike slots. Perfect for taking the whole family away.
Perhaps the best thing about the Holdup and the Holdup +2 is that it’s very easy to connect the two together and get going, with 4 bikes. This makes it great for the family vacation and perfect for my weekend trips.
There is a reasonable amount of clearance between the bikes when loaded. However, you may struggle to fit two bikes with wide handlebars.
It’s not surprising that a company that has a real passion for the outdoors delivers excellent customer service. My rack arrived with a couple of bolts missing, it took just one call and the replacement bolts arrived in the next day’s post.
On top of that, the assistant was friendly and helpful, that’s a big plus if you do have an issue. They can even help with the limited lifetime warranty, although it is worth reading the terms first.
No product is perfect and there were a couple of small issues:
The Yakima Holdup Hitch Bike Rack is not the cheapest on the market, and if you want to add the Holdup +2 it will cost you nearly as much as the original rack.
However, it is worthwhile as this is a high-quality rack, providing it is within your budget.
At 49 pounds it’s heavy enough to be hard work holding it while you align it with your hitch. Although this isn’t a deal-breaker it is not the lightest hitch bike rack on the market. You should be aware of the weight, it’s possible you’ll need help when installing it.
If you tighten the hitch pin properly there is no issue. However, if you don’t, you’ll notice that the rack wobbles a little while you’re driving.
This isn’t enough to cause a safety concern but it is something you should be aware of.
It should be noted that the pin which releases the rack, allowing access to the trunk, is set at a slightly funny angle. It can be difficult to support the bikes as you release the pin.
Fitting the rack is easy but, the first time you use this rack you’re going to need to assemble it. Although the rack comes with everything you need and a set of instructions, they are not the best designed.
You’ll need to allow at least 30 minutes to put the rack together, potentially more.
The Yakima Holdup hitch bike rack is a high-quality bit of kit and easy to install. It does exactly what you expect it to do and it’s easy to forget it’s on your trunk.
The fact that it’s backed by a limited lifetime warranty and excellent customer service makes me believe that, if you’re looking for a rack, you should consider this one.
There are other racks available but the convenience of being able to add on, or take off space for 2 extra bikes makes the Yakima Holdup a practical option and one that should last you for years.