Yakima LiteRider: Product test

NOW and again I like take a break from four-wheelin’ for some two-wheelin’ fun, and often the best tracks for the kind of cycling I prefer aren’t within cooee of the local bike path.

So I find myself frequently loading up the fourbie with a couple of bikes for a weekend away to some treacherous, broken-arm-inducing trail.

And it’s the time-consuming bike-loading aspect of any adventure that’s often the worst part. Enter the easy-to-set-up Yakima LiteRider aluminium hitch rack.

Yakima Literider Side ProfileAvailable as a two- or a three-bike carrier, the LiteRider simply attaches to a 32mm or 50mm tow hitch and locks in place with a pin. Turning the tool-free SpeedKnob tightens the rack into the hitch, and then it’s just a matter of connecting the bike mount section and fitting the bikes.

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Fitting a bike is a quick and easy process. You can either directly mount the frame of the bike, or you can use a tube top to avoid contact with the frame, which is beneficial if you have an expensive (read: carbon) bike.

Fitting, utilising Yakima’s ZipStrips, takes between five and 20 minutes, depending on how many bikes you have. The LiteRider is also great for bikes with massive tyres (Fat bikes), as the tyres just hang and don’t need special mounts.

Yakima Literider attachementOn the road, the unit is quiet and doesn’t vibrate, due in part to the anti-sway cradle design that limits bike-to-bike contact.

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However, the bike closest to the rack has a tendency to tap its crank against the rack’s upright – it’s best to strap the bottom of the bike (as the bikes are only secured at the top) to avoid this. My only other gripes are that the LiteRider obscures the tail-lights and number plate.

Yakima Literider RearYou can feel secure in the knowledge that the bikes will still be there when you get to the top of a mountain, because the rack locks onto the hitch using a built-in lock-on knob. Plus, an integrated SKS LockDown pull-out cable adds a layer of security.

Yakima stickers are reflective, making the unit safe for night-time transit. Plus, it folds down to provide easy access to the hatch area or tailgate.

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The lightweight, easy-to-use LiteRider removes the hassle of loading up a 4x4 for a weekend away, and it’s safe, secure and convenient. Plus it comes with a built-in bottle opener. What’s not to like?

Yakima LiteriderAVAILABLE FROM: www.yakima.com
RRP: From $359

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