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Reviewed by
Reviewed by
Last updated: August 12, 2021

Yakima Ridgeback 4 Review: Bike Enthusiasts’ Saver

By
Reviewed by
Reviewed by
Last updated: August 12, 2021
Ideal for:
  • Racers with traditional geometry bikes
  • Professional cyclists, campers, and vacationers
  • Passenger cars
Key features:
  • SpeedKnob™ button and removable ZipStrips, and UpperHand lever
  • For 4 bikes; also available in 2 and 5-capacity version
  • Fully assembled
Editor's Rating
9.7
out of 10
  • Capacity 9.8
  • Versatility 9.5
  • Durability 9.6
  • Safety 9.7
Users’ Rating
4.3
out of 5
  • 130 Users’ Ratings rating rating rating rating rating
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    4.3
    out of
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    130 Users’ Ratings
    • 5 stars
      35%
    • 4 stars
      58%
    • 3 stars
      6%
    • 2 stars
      1%
    • 1 stars
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As a cyclist, sometimes you have the challenge of transporting a bike across the country without actually pedaling it. That is why we advise you to buy a quality bicycle rack. One of the safest, most practical, and accommodating bike carriers on the market is the Yakima Ridgeback 4.

In this Yakima Ridgeback 4 review, we'll give you in-depth information based on selected criteria for analysis in a car-bike hitch. However, the Ridgeback is a safe, lightweight, and affordable bike carrier with features that make it an excellent choice for any vehicle that has a drawbar.

Specifications

Mount type
Tilt-away hitch rack
Capacity
4 bikes
Hitch size
1-1/4 or 2 inches
Weight capacity
150 pounds
Dimensions
44 (L) x 12 (W) x 16 (H) inches
Weight
32 pounds
Warranty
Limited lifetime

Yakima Ridgeback 4 Review

The Yakima Ridgeback bike rack is an accessory that allows bikes to be securely mounted and harnessed to other means of transport such as cars, SUVs, and buses. Indeed, when it is not foldable, the bicycle is a rather bulky sports equipment which is very difficult to transport over a long distance. The highlights of the bike rack are the SpeedKnob™ button, ZipStrip straps, and the capacity. Thanks to these features, transporting bicycles has become a simpler task for practitioners. In this review, you’ll be able to find out the various practicalities and features of the bike rack and know if it’s ideal for your needs.

Design

If you want to equip yourself with a device that combines the practicality and simplicity of assembly, the Ridgeback 4 is an ideal product. It has a hitch-back design Trusted Source How to Install a Hitch-Mounted Bike Rack | Trucks.com Accessing the roof of larger vehicles like trucks, SUVs, vans or crossovers isn’t always easy, making roof-mounted bike racks hard to use. Hitch-mounted bike racks bring accessibility closer to the ground while providing a reliable method for storing gear that frees up interior vehicle space. www.trucks.com . That is, it can be mounted to the back of your vehicle with the help of a compatible hitch. No matter what type of bikes with traditional geometry you have (eBike and electric bike included), the hitch model will transport them without a hitch.

The tow bar has received many positive reviews from both hobby and professional cyclists because of its high capacity. It can carry up to four bikes.

Fully assembled, this model has the advantage of giving full access to the trunk of the vehicle.

Bike Capacity and Spacing

It’sIt’s a hitch bike rack that comes with 4 bike capacity, and it’s quite easy to use. When you mount your bikes, the rack has adequate spacing between each bike and will not cause contacts or brushing that can cause damages to the bikes, hitch, rack, or vehicle.

This capacity is sufficient to meet the needs of almost all cyclists. In this product lineup, there are also bike racks for two and five bikes.

This large assortment allows you to choose the bike carrier that best suits your situation without being limited to an insufficient bike carrier.

Weight Capacity

Yakima Ridgeback 4 Review: Bike Enthusiasts' Saver

Yakima Racks stand out in the bicycle network for their strength and high quality, and we can see that here. This rack weighs just 35 pounds but can carry four bikes that weigh up to 150 pounds overall. You can fit it all in without having to resort to a lot of confusing devices, and the mount incorporates flawless technology to keep bikes safe and quiet as you travel.

Bike Compatibility

The wheel braces are flexible for a wide range of types of bikes. Barring exceptions, you should make sure that every type of bike you take for a ride is usable with the hitch mount. In any case, the bike rack is suitable for all bikes with the traditional geometry. Other types of bikes may require the use of a top tube adapter.

Vehicle Compatibility

You can attach the bike rack to all types of passenger cars, provided you have the proper hitch installed. Unlike roof models, this will not cause a car to sway under the effect of strong wind resistance. However, you should be aware that the tilt-away hitch rack model increases the length of the car, which makes some maneuvering difficult.

However, cyclists, whether amateurs or professionals, can acquire this to transport their two wheels in the back of their cars in the same way as the assistance teams of professional cyclists who participate in renowned races such as the Tour de France, Milan-San Remo, or Giro d’Italia.

Whether in the back of your motorhome or SUV, transporting your bikes and those of your children becomes child’s play with increasingly functional and practical carrying systems.

Folding

The bike rack is equipped with folding carrying arms that detach when not in use and a tilting system for easy access to the tailgate. For ease of storage, it folds flat. Most hitch-back racks don’t allow access to the vehicle’s trunk. However, when you are not carrying bikes, the rack folds down so you can have full access to your car trunk. It folds very low enough to offer you plenty of room to open the latch.

Durability

This bike rack is made of premium steel and is coated with dark powder paint to eliminate the risk of rust. However, it includes some plastic components. The plastic used in the strap components is not of high quality. The straps, however, have some rubber components on the inside that faces the bikes. A few users reported that the plastic components are very fragile and broke after a few months. Regardless, the steel materials should ensure the rack lasts up to a lifetime.

Warranty

As proof of its overall durability, this Yakima Ridgeback 4 comes with a limited lifetime warranty. However, to activate the lifetime warranty, you will have to register it. Meanwhile, the warranty doesn’t cover problems that come from regular wear and tear, accidents, unlawful use of vehicles, modifications, repairs not done or authorized by Yakima, or commercial use. The wear and tear situations do not include scratches, tears, dents, oxidation, natural breakdown of materials and colors over an extended period of use.

Installation

Yakima Ridgeback 4 Review: Bike Enthusiasts' Saver

It is delivered fully assembled right out of the box, without an assembly table for the parts to be fixed. It is ready for a 2-inch hitch but can be quickly adapted to a 1 in 1/4 hitch. It’s also quick to install.

An interesting feature of the Ridgeback is the tilting mast: To have full access to your rear hitch or trunk, all you need is to pull the blacktop lever without the bikes loaded, release the mast in the tilt position, and that’s all.

You can also use the safety strap that comes with the mast to secure the front wheel to the bike before you hit the road.

If you have multiple Yakima products, get the same SKS key system, change your locks, and you only need one key for everything. The tilting mast is a nice feature of the Ridgeback: To have full access to your tailgate or trunk, all you need to do is pull the black lever with your upper hand without the bikes being loaded, release the mast in the tilted position, and that’s all.

How It Works

Do you plan to take your bikes with you on your next vacation? It will be very easy with the Yakima bike rack. It is attached to the metal parts of the automobile.

In principle, this device is supplied with all the fixing accessories and fasteners necessary to properly immobilize the bikes. It offers dual hitch size to accommodate 2 inches or 1-1 / 4-inch hitches. If you have a vehicle with the correct hitch, then you can purchase this bike rack. The trademarked individual lashing system secures and protects your bikes. Both bolts must be fully tightened to eliminate any movement between these two parts; then, you are good to load your bikes and go.

In any case, the bike rack is an accessory that can be used all year round. Once it is properly hooked onto the towing ball, the locking systems must be taken care of. To avoid any accident, the bicycle must be properly harnessed to its support. The straps need to be snug; otherwise, the bikes will not hold in place. This device has ZipStrip straps that secure the bike to the rack. There’sThere’s also a SpeedKnob lock system that tightens the bike to the rack. With this anti-theft system, no one will be able to remove your bikes.

If you have multiple Yakima products, you can use the same SKS key system to change your locks, and you only need one key for everything.

The Yakima RideBack 4 is a bike rack that is very well designed. Easy to install, bikes can be assembled quickly and effortlessly. The bikes are very well stabilized during the trip, and the sudden movements do not affect either the rack or the bikes. It’sIt’s so easy to install and disassemble. Once you lower the bikes to use them, disassemble the rack and store it in the trunk, even if you have a key so that it stays mounted and cannot be removed.

Key features

Some of the biggest features of the Yakima Ridgeback are the following:

  • SpeedKnob™ button: Several security features are accompanying this purchase. One of these is the SpeedKnob button. This is designed to clamp and lock the bike rack to the vehicle. The lock can be used to ward of thefts or to ensure that bikes mounted on the rack will not go anywhere.
  • Removable ZipStrips: The removable ZipStrips secure the bicycles perfectly to the rack. In addition, they can be fully removed. The anti-sway cradle also eliminates bike-to-bike contacts that can cause scratches, tears, and wears.
  • UpperHand Lever: The UpperHand lever ensures you can tilt the rack down to a near-flat low position, enough for you to have access to the trunk of your vehicle when you have no bikes hitched. This feature also ensures you can fold the rack flat for storage.
  • Fully-assembled: This bike rack comes fully assembled and can be set up in less than five minutes. Just install it in the hitch of your vehicle. Either way that means you need to have the right hitch to use this bike rack, which can make it impossible to use. However, it installs easily and right away for a 2 inch or 1.25-inch receiver. The installation also doesn’t need tools.

The advantages and disadvantages of the bike carrier according to customer reviews and our opinions are:

PROS CONS
  • It’s full assembled and easy to hitch
  • The device can carry between 2 and 4 adult bikes
  • Suitable for frequent use
  • The hitch model does not increase the height of the car
  • When in place, the bikes do not collide
  • SpeedKnob ensures tool-less locking
  • UpperHand lever tilts the rack down
  • ZipStrips secure bikes to rack
  • Fits 1.25 ″ and 2 hitches
  • Lifetime limited warranty
  • It can obstruct the driver’s rear visibility
  • Once mounted to the back rack, the bikes may get dirty, unlike rooftop racks
  • The plastic used in some components could be of higher quality

Conclusion

The Yakima Ridgeback comes with a lot of practical and security features, as we have seen in the Yakima Ridgeback 4 review. The premium and latest SuperCush ZipStrip offers bike protection while the UpperHand lever tilts the bike rack down for vehicle access and folds flat for easy storage. While the ZipStrip straps keep bikes in place and are fully removable, the SpeedKnob ™ button quickly clamps and locks the bike rack to the vehicle without tools. It’s, therefore, a good accessory for professional or hobby cyclists who are preparing for a camp, competition, or a recreational race.

References

1.
How to Install a Hitch-Mounted Bike Rack | Trucks.com
Accessing the roof of larger vehicles like trucks, SUVs, vans or crossovers isn’t always easy, making roof-mounted bike racks hard to use. Hitch-mounted bike racks bring accessibility closer to the ground while providing a reliable method for storing gear that frees up interior vehicle space.
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