The vertical mountain bike hitch rack is set to go mainstream with the soon-to-launch Yakima HangOver, the first of its kind from a leading manufacturer.
Offering a similar fork-crown perching system to North Shore Rack’s mountain bike hitch rack, the Yakima HangOver is big on ease of use, security and stability. It will come in 4-bike and 6-bike configurations for 2-inch hitches only.
Because front wheels must be lifted above the shoulders to mount, and because hitch receiver heights vary significantly on different vehicles, the Yakima HangOver rack offers two height positions, which also helps bikes with long wheelbases to avoid water bars and high curbs.
“The bikes are going to be the first thing to hit the ground if the rack is too low,” explained Evan Hampton, Yakima’s category manager for rear of car and cargo equipment. “We wanted to make sure there’s plenty of clearance.”
Both the fork and the rear wheel — which sits on a plastic cup — are fastened with straps to make sure bikes can’t bounce free. In a variation from the pronged North Shore mount, the Yakima HangOver support is triangulated for increased ease of mounting and greater stability underway.
The mount is designed for suspension forks but can also handle rigid forks, said Hampton. The triangle is positioned to reduce handlebar conflicts with mounting bikes. Another nice touch is that the mount can be replaced if bent or damaged.
The Yakima HangOver comes with a hitch-pin lock and features a steel lock loop to run cable or chain through for securing bikes. The rear-wheel cup can be flipped to accommodate shorter bikes, including a 24-inch wheels.
The Yakima HangOver’s hitch tongue is short, reducing chances of getting accidentally bumped in a parking lot or by a following car when not carrying bikes. And the rack can sit in three positions — upright for open-bed trucks, tilted for most applications, and flat for ease of access when unloaded. A convenient foot pedal activates each setting except for flat, where the rack simply rests on the hitch yoke and can be lifted without a release — another subtle but convenient touch.
Yakima spent two years in R&D on the HangOver, Hampton said, and the company has not licensed any North Shore Racks technology. “[Yakima] studies all kinds of competitors seeing what we can come up with in original ideas,” added Hampton.
Asked by Mtbr for comment on the new Yakima offering, North Shore founder Malcolm Hammond characterized the Yakima HangOver as, “a case of a big company going after the little guy.” Hammond added that North Shore Racks, “will defend our patents vigorously.” North Shore was contacted by Yakima “several times” during development but no agreement was reached.
The Yakima HangOver drew a steady stream of curious onlookers at the company’s Whistler Crankworx booth. Release date is set for February 2019. Price will be $549 for the 4-bike rack and $699 for the 6-bike version.
For more information keep an eye on www.yakima.com.