Yakima Products Ridgeback Hitch Bike Rack

Last updated date: August 19, 2019

DWYM Score
9.2

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Look for the DWYM seal for products that are the best in the category.

We looked at the top 1 Bike Racks and dug through the reviews from 11 of the most popular review sites including BestReviews, New York Times Wirecutter, Car Bibles, Switchback Travel, Car Care Total, Digital Trends, Wiki EZ Vid, Top 10 Perfect, Gearing Out, Thrill Appeal, Buy The Best 10 and more. Through this analysis, we've determined the best Bike Rack you should buy.

Overall Take

An anti-sway design and innovative tilting lever make this bike rack stand out, eliminating bike-to-bike contact and allowing trunk access. Plus, it can hold a whopping four bikes. That also makes it perfect for family outings or road trips with multiple riders. In our analysis of 72 expert reviews, the Yakima Yakima Ridgeback Hitch Bike Rack placed 3rd when we looked at the top 10 products in the category. For the full ranking, see below.

Editor's Note August 19, 2019:
Checkout The Best Car Bike Rack for a detailed review of all the top bike racks.

Expert Summarized Score
9.7
11 expert reviews
User Summarized Score
7.8
372 user reviews
Our Favorite Video Reviews
What experts liked
Stellar construction. 4 bike capacity. Neat design makes bike mounting incredibly easy and secure.
- BestReviews
In use, bikes are easy to load and are secured in place with easy to use but secure zip strips.
- Car Bibles
Yakima’s RidgeBack is a long-time favorite: it features a durable build, reasonable price, and anti-sway design that limits bike movement while on the road.
- Switchback Travel
The Yakima RidgeBack stands out from the rest with its unique design and innovative features. Its first highlight is the UpperHand lever which both offers support for the bikes and additionally tilts for rear vehicle access.
- Car Care Total
Yakima even developed anti-sway cradle to make sure the bikes don’t rub against each other out on the open road.
- Digital Trends
May 21, 2019 | Full review
The hitch can be lifted even when it's loaded, so you don't need to take everything off when you make quick stops and need something from your trunk.
- Wiki EZ Vid
June 15, 2018 | Full review
The anti-sway cradle eliminates bike-to-bike contact even on uneven roads.
- Top 10 Perfect
April 8, 2019 | Full review
For the casual rider, this rack can be a great choice as it is lightweight and easy to maneuver on and off your hitch receiver.
- Gearing Out
The rack tilts backward and down with the touch of a convenient lever, allowing you to access the rear of your vehicle, and the unique ZipSecure system offers outstanding security for your bikes while in transit.
- Thrill Appeal
It won’t come into contact with your car which means you can take everything from full suspension to carbon road bikes without bothering about scratches and scuffs.
- Buy The Best 10
What experts didn't like
Fitting is a 2-person task (heavy). Mild sway when carrying 4 bikes at once. Most expensive of our picks.
- BestReviews
A price point of around.a couple of hundred bucks (depending on the model carrying capacity) is toward the pricier end of the market, but still a lot less than some other models.
- Car Bibles
Moreover, there is very little space between the bikes when they’re loaded, which can lead to rubbing and damage to the paint.
- Switchback Travel
It's a costly hitch bike rack.
- Car Care Total
As there is no added feature to stop your bikes from swinging, you will have to MacGyver your way out of this by using additional straps or bungee cords.
- Gearing Out

From The Manufacturer

Tool-free locking SpeedKnob for quick installation locks the rack to your vehicle. UpperHand lever tilts rack down for vehicle access and folds it flat for storage. ZipStrips secure bikes to the rack and are fully removable combined with anti-sway cradles eliminate bike-to-bike contact Fits 1.25" and 2" hitch receiver. Love it 'Till You Leave It Limited Lifetime Warranty.

Overall Product Rankings

1. Kuat 2 Bike Beta Rack
Overall Score: 9.4
Expert Reviews: 3
2. Kuat Racks Sherpa 2.0-2 Bike Rack
Overall Score: 9.2
Expert Reviews: 4
3. Yakima Products Ridgeback Hitch Bike Rack
Overall Score: 9.2
Expert Reviews: 11
4. Allen Sports Deluxe Hitch Mounted Bike Rack
Overall Score: 8.9
Expert Reviews: 5
5. Swagman XC Cross-Country 2-Bike Hitch Mount Rack
Overall Score: 8.9
Expert Reviews: 7
6. Allen Sports Deluxe Trunk Mounted Bike Rack
Overall Score: 8.7
Expert Reviews: 8
7. Hollywood Racks Express Trunk Mounted Bike Rack
Overall Score: 8.7
Expert Reviews: 4
8. Saris Superclamp 4 Ex
Overall Score: 8.4
Expert Reviews: 2
9. Thule Passage Trunk Mount Carrier
Overall Score: 8.4
Expert Reviews: 8
10. Saris Bones 2-Bike Trunk Rack
Overall Score: 7.8
Expert Reviews: 9

An Overview On Bike Racks

Riding a bicycle is a fun, healthy activity that can be enjoyed by those of all ages and abilities. Most people who enjoy spending time outdoors will tell you bike riding is a must-do no matter where you are. It’s a great way to explore new terrain, work on fitness, spend time outside and bond with friends.

But riding around your neighborhood gets old after a while, and getting your bike from point A to point B is always a concern. If you don’t have a truck bed with room for bike storage, a bike rack is your solution.

These handy contraptions allow you to secure a bicycle (the Yakima Ridgeback Hitch Mounted Bike Rack holds four) to the back of your truck, SUV or car. This way, you won’t have to fully dismantle the bicycle or buy a trailer to tote them around.

There are a number of different kinds of bike racks on the market. The racks reviewed here are all the hitch-mounted style. That means these racks attach to the trailer hitch located at the back of the vehicle. Because trailer hitches are built to carry heavy items, you won’t need to be too concerned about weight distribution. Hitch-mounted bike racks are a dependable way to go.

Bikes on a hitch-mounted bike rack are held a few inches from the back of the vehicle, which significantly reduces the risk of them scratching your car windows or paint.

Your vehicle may or may not already have a trailer hitch attached. If not, head to your local parts store to purchase one. Then, you can use any of these bike racks to bring your bicycle wherever you go hassle-free.

DYWM Fun Fact

During cold weather, when biking isn’t at the top of your to-do list, you can still utilize your bike rack for winter sports. Hitch-mounted bicycle racks can often be adapted to carry skis and snowboards. This may require an added accessory (sold at bike stores or online), but it’s worth it for the year-round athlete. Plus, it gets rid of the need to purchase a whole new rack for your winter activities. When it’s time to break out the bikes, you can remove the ski and snowboard rack adapter with a few tools and some elbow grease. Then, you can store it until next time.

The Bike Rack Buying Guide

  • Drivers should be aware that carrying bikes using a hitch-mounted bike rack will extend the length of the vehicle. That’s important to keep in mind when backing up, parking and maneuvering the vehicle in tight spaces.
  • If you are a casual rider and would like to be able to remove your rack easily and often, the weight of the bike rack is crucial. A lighter bike rack also means better gas mileage for your vehicle. The Allen Sports Deluxe rack is a good option that maintains both a lightweight and heavy-duty construction.
  • Trunk access is always a concern with bike racks, especially for those who are using them on road trips. It would be a hassle to have to remove your rack every time you stopped to grab something from the trunk. The Kuat 2 Bike Beta Rack, Yakima Ridgeback Hitch Bike Rack and Allen Sports Deluxe Hitch Mounted Bike Rack all have a feature that allows the rack to tilt, eliminating the need for its removal and allowing free access to the trunk.
  • Having your bike so close to your car may cause some anxiety. What if the bike falls and damages the car? That could be a costly fix. There are accessories, called swing away racks, that prevent this issue.
  • Be sure to always wear a helmet when riding a bicycle. Like wearing a seatbelt in the car, strapping on a protective helmet is an extremely easy way to safeguard yourself in case of an accident. It doesn’t matter how experienced you are, accidents do happen. Some states even have helmet laws in place, heavily penalizing violators.
  • With most bike racks, you will still need to use your own cable bike lock to reduce the risk of theft if leaving them on the rack overnight or while you are away from your car. While these locks don’t completely eliminate the chance of theft, they highly reduce the risk. Casual thieves won’t typically take the time or effort to cut a bike lock. Cable bicycle locks are relatively inexpensive and can be bought at any bicycle shop.
  • If your vehicle has a spare tire on the back, you will probably need a hitch extension to install a hitch-mounted bike rack. This will move the bikes and the rack even further out from the back of your vehicle, so they don’t rub against the spare tire. Hitch extensions can be found at any auto parts retailer.