Choosing a Yakima bike rack generally means you’re using quality and practicality and that is what’s important if you’re looking to carry your bike around with you. But is the Yakima Ridgeback 4 the right rack for you?
It should be noted that this is a hitch rack, if that’s not what you’re after then you can also check out our bike roof rack options, or you could even take a look at the Allen Sports Deluxe 2 trunk rack.
Let’s take a closer look at the Yakima Ridgeback 4-bike hitch rack:
You won’t be surprised to find that the Yakima Ridgeback 4 is designed to carry 4 bikes. In fact, it is a stylish rack with several intriguing features that should make it a top contender when choosing a new hitch rack.
- Designed to fit 1 ¼ or 2” hitches; with adapter included. It takes 3 Allen bolts to add the adapter.
- Arrives Assembled and ready to use.
- Ratcheting Strap System
- Anti-Sway Cradles
- Powder Coated Steel
- ZipStrips for securing bikes
- Weighs 47.6 pounds
- Measures 48” x 15.2” x 12.8”
- 13” between support arms
- Supports 150lbs
- Holds 4 bikes!
Ease of Fitting
Whether you intend to leave your Yakima Ridgeback 4-bike hitch rack on all the time or take it n and off as you need it; you’ll be pleased to discover that fitting is really simple.
You’ll have to start by checking the size of your hitch; if it’s a 2” receiver you’ll need to use the adapter supplied; it’s easy to add and slide into the hitch:
Fitting the rack is as easy as sliding the receiver into the hitch on your car. You’ll then need to turn the large red speedknob at the bottom of the hitch, you can’t miss it! Once it’s fully tightened your Yakima Ridgeback 4 won’t move on your vehicle. To finish simply put the key into the lock and turn it, ensuring no one else can remove your rack without your permission!
The rack arrives fully assembled and ready to use. In fact, it is flat. A lever at the top if the main column allows you to bring the bike support arms out; or lie them back flat. This ensures you can leave the Yakima Ridgeback 4 on when not in use; if you wish.
It also makes storing the rack easily, simply fold the arms down unlock the red knob and unscrew it. The rack can then be kept in your garage until you need it.
Loading Bikes Is Simple
Of course, sliding the rack into position so easily is only a positive point if the same can be said of the bikes you’re loading.
Fortunately, it is very easy to load bikes onto the Yakima Ridgeback 4.
Simply lift the first bike onto the cradle bars and into the anti-sway cradles, which can be moved into the best position for your bike frame. The ZipStrips close over the bike and pull tight in seconds. You can then add the second bike, you’ll need to make sure the handlebars are at opposite ends to ensure you have enough space for 4 bikes.
The anti-sway cables will help to ensure your bikes don’t bang into each other in transit. Of course, if you want to be certain of this you can always add a lower cable through the bikes and round the rack.
It is worth mentioning the design. Instead of a straight bar with the cradles coming out from the top, the Yakima Ridgeback 4 has a gentle curve in it. This potentially adds to the strength, but it also makes the rack look good.
In fact, both of those reasons are bonuses, the actual reason for the curved design is to ensure the pedals and other parts of your bike are not in contact with the frame; protecting both the frame and the bike from damage.
This is an important detail as, if you damage the powder coating on the rack, you’ll have exposed metal which will rust; weakening the rack.
This Yakima Ridgeback 4-bike rack is made with powder coated steel. This means it’s solid, will take the weight of 4 bikes without an issue, and will last for years.
Yakima testify to the strength and durability of all their products by giving you a limited lifetime warranty. It won’t just help if you have issues, it will give you peace of mind.
Of course, no rack is perfect, there are a few small concerns you should be aware of:
Weight A Concern
This rack weighs nearly 50 pounds, it’s not the lightest to lift into position. Alongside this, if you add 4 bikes to the rack you’re adding a substantial amount of weight to the back of the vehicle. It is likely to create drag; although this is an issue with many bike racks.
The Yakima Ridgeback 4 is a great rack. It is easy to fit and will last for years. But, it does come at a price. This is not the cheapest option on the market; you’ll need to consider carefully how much you’re going to use this rack, and whether you have the budget for it.
It is also important to remember that there is a lock built into the rack which secures it to the hitch on your car. But, there is no lock provided to secure your bikes to the rack. Unless you’re never going to leave the bikes unattended, you’ll need to get a cable lock to secure them from opportunist thieves.
Summing Up The Yakima Ridgeback 4
There are plenty of bike racks to choose from, it can make it hard to know why you would want to choose one at the higher end of the price range. However, the simple truth is that the Yakima Ridgeback 4 is an extremely practical bike rack. It is heavy when installing but this is compensated for by the ease of loading bikes and the strength/durability it offers.
In short, if you’re in need of a hitch bike rack then you need to consider the Yakima Ridgeback 4; there aren’t many better options available.