Yakima Dr. Tray hitch rack review

Lightweight with true fat bike and plus bike compatibility

Gear
Yakima Dr. Tray

Loaded up with a long-travel 29er on board.

What is it

Yakima is among the leaders in bike racks in the U.S. with their long history of roof racks and now hitch racks. Very few companies can produce roof racks because of the complexity of attachments that are compatible with the hundreds of vehicles available. But hitch racks have gained popularity among mountain bikers because of their ease of use, improved gas mileage, and less chance of a tired cyclist crashing their bike into their garage door roof.

Yakima has been very successful with their ultra-compact HoldUp rack that’s reviewed here. But for the new platform, they wanted tool free versatility and the ability to handle all tire sizes, including fat bikes. Their new effort is called the Dr. Tray, a two-bike system that’s easily expandable to three.

Yakima Dr. Tray

The tilt lever is one of the best Mtbr has tested.

Pros
  • So light at 34 pounds for a 2-bike tray system
  • Trays slide front/back and left/right without use of tools
  • Great pin and cam system for security and wobble free performance
  • Excellent build and materials with best in class tilt lever
  • True fat bike and plus bike compatibility
  • Easy to expand to three bike capacity
Cons
  • Huge rack for just three bikes because of fat bike compatibility
  • For bikes with long wheelbase, rear wheel hangs low off tray
  • Arm button for telescoping action hard to activate
  • Even with two bikes, height is high because of the rack backbone
Yakima Dr. Tray

Rack is ready to take on any kind of bike.

Key Features
  • Securely carries 26” to 29” wheels and tires up to 5” wide
  • Ample spacing between bikes – up to 18” between each bike
  • QuickChange lever provides tool-free adjustment while bikes are loaded, minimizing the potential for bike-to-bike interference.
  • Easy-to-use RemoteControl tilt lever and lightweight, aluminum design makes raising and lowering the rack easy
  • Tool-free locking SpeedKnob for a secure and easy install to your vehicle
  • Extra burly SKS cable lock system for each bike secures both wheels and frame
  • 40lbs weight maximum per bike
  • Add the EZ+1 and carry a third bike (sold separately)
  • Available in 1.25″ Hitch Size – L 16” x W 54” x H 11.50” 41lbs
  • Available in 2″ Hitch Size – L 16” x W 54” x H 11.50” 34lbs
Yakima Dr. Tray

Rack is very big when third bike attachment is installed.

Mtbr’s Take

It’s a whole new platform for Yakima and it’s not perfect yet. But we’ve seen the 2018 version and they’ve addressed most of our concerns like longer trays for long wheelbase bikes and a big, easy to use button to extend the arms. But if you want a lightweight rack that can take the biggest variation of bikes from fat bikes to BMX bikes, this is a good option.

Rating: 3.5 out of 5 3.5 Flamin' Chili Peppers
Price: $570
More Info: www.yakima.com

Photo Thumbnails (click to enlarge)

About the author: Francis Cebedo

The founder of mtbr and roadbikereview, Francis Cebedo believes that every cyclist has a lot to teach and a lot to learn. "Our websites are communal hubs for sharing cycling experiences, trading adventure stories, and passing along product information and opinions." Francis' favorite bike is the last bike he rode, whether it's a dirt jumper, singlespeed, trail bike, lugged commuter or ultralight carbon road steed. Indeed, Francis loves cycling in all its forms and is happiest when infecting others with that same passion. Francis also believes that IPA will save America.


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  • ColinL says:

    I’ve used the Dr Tray and EZ+1 for about 5 months with my family of 3 who all ride. Previously I’ve used several roof systems and both hanging and tray-style hitch racks. The worst by far, no contest, are hanging style racks. If you haul more than one bike they will move and scrape against each other unless you pad them and bungee extensively. (And even though, good luck.) Trays solve that, but if you have bar-to-bar or bar-to-saddle interference you normally can’t do much. That’s the whole value Dr Tray brings. And roof racks are a huge hit in vehicle MPG at highway speeds. My old Audi wagon went from 25 mpg at 75mph to 17.5 mpg (yes) with 3 MTBs on the roof and sounded like a ride in a small commuter jetliner. Dr Tray isn’t that massive on a typical 3-row crossover, SUV or pickup truck. The vehicle used in this review is about the smallest you can expect to have a hitch with sufficient departure clearance. Anyway, I think this is the best 2- or 3-bike tray on the market.

  • Sam says:

    Had this rack for a trip to Moab and ran into the same issue Robert Gibson had — our size small and size medium trail bikes would basically fall backwards. The bikes never fell off the rack — but seeing two $8k bikes teetering at 75mph freeway and on the offroad trails was enough to give this rack away and switch back to the old Yakima hitch rack.

  • Alain says:

    crazy light at 34lbs for 2 bikes… my custom made ALU 2 bike (expandable back to 4) re-using the Thule T2 parts (which are still heavy steal for arms) but rebuilt with ALU bars is 24lbs.

  • Safety Guy says:

    What about tail lights and license plate mount? Why is Europe the only place doing bike racks properly??

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