Yakima SpareRide Bike Rack

What better way to test the Yakima SpareRide than with a multi state road trip. We packed up a Jeep full of gear, tossed on the bikes and headed north. Okay maybe it wasn’t that simple. First we had to install the SpareRide which Yakima claims takes about 30 minutes. That might be a little on the exaggerated side. We’ll argue that as it took us 50 to 60 minutes with cleanup. It is not overly difficult or anything, but does take a little time to get the tire off and everything back together. Nice thing is, when the rack is on there is no dealing with it unless you decide to take it off for the winter, which we later found out was a GOOD idea.

Yakima SpareRide Bike Rack
Packed and ready for another adventure. The Yakima SpareRide mounts on the spare tire and is capable of carrying two bikes in super stable fashion. When not in use, it folds down and is tucked nicely out of the way.

Fast forward past the install, car packed up, iPod synced and bikes ready to load and we were on the road putting it to use. What did we learn? The Yakima SpareRide will keep your 2 wheeled investment stable and secure while resting on three cushioned anti-sway cradles that are designed to minimize bike-to-bike contact. Super easy to use ZipStrips™ secure bikes to the rack, are simple to use and are fully removable when not in use. Two bikes on the rack is a perfect fit; they don’t rub or even come close to touching, they stay secure and have ample ground clearance. How secure? We had the opportunity to hit some dirt roads and backcountry trails with no issues with two bikes mounted. Taking this into consideration, I think the SpareRide can handle those horrible midwest potholes.

Yakima SpareRide Bike Rack
Bikes are secured to the SpareRide rack with Yakima’s ZipStrips™. Shown in the photo above is 2 of the mounts. One on the top tube for vertical support and one around the seat tube to keep your bike from banging on the back of your vehicle or floating in the wind.

TheZipStrips™ are fully removable when not in use. Although most of the time we just left them on there. Luckily, no one decided to walk off with them.

In addition to a secure ride, the SpareRide offers an integrated SKS lock that will lock the rack to your spare tire (ironically locks the spare tire as well) and also includes a rather long locking cable (same key) that will prevent the quick grab and go while you’re grabbing a burger. FYI don’t leave your key at home, because if you do get a flat on your car … well you are SOL, unless it is in front of a Yakima dealer.

Flat Tire? On the car not the bike. No worries! Remove the bike(s) and the rack will slide off with a quick turning of the “hand knob” giving you full access to your spare. The work that was done to mount the rack is not required to remove the tire.

Overall a great rack for a very specific market but Yakima did a great job. More stable than a hitch mount with an adaptor (needed on Jeeps) and most importantly getting the rear door open on our jeep was a snap.

Cost $299.00 and additional details can be found at yakima.com or bought online at backcountry.com or REI.com.

Yakima SpareRide Bike Rack
On the top of this photo you’ll see the ZipStrips in action holding our REED secure with no marking. Further down (look at the Jeep tire) you’ll see the top of Yakima’s TireTread™ pads which help add stability and protection.
Yakima SpareRide Bike Rack
Unfortunately on our REEB Dikyelous the cable guides fall right in line with the ZipStrip cradle but luckily still works due to the supple rubber pads.
Yakima SpareRide Bike Rack
The SpareRide comes with this handy little nylon webbing that is long enough to go around 2 bikes, front and rear wheels both. This keeps the front wheels from spinning while driving and also from “turning” and banging into things. We liked to wrap it through the crank as well to help prevent the crank from spinning around and the pedal banging the spare tire (rim).
Yakima SpareRide Bike Rack
One of my favorite features about this rack is when it is not in use. It literally takes 2 seconds flip the rack down into a “not in use position”. Once folded down, you’ll hardly even notice it is there.
Yakima SpareRide Bike Rack
We had to get a little creative with smaller bikes, but all was good. Note the seat tube ZipStrip around the front tire.
Yakima SpareRide Bike Rack Bottle Opener
Post-ride refreshments courtesy of Yakima. Yep, the SpareRide includes two integrated bottle openers that are handy post-ride and shooting the breeze when hanging out in the garage.

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