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.
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.
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.