How Does A Tow Bar Bike Rack Work?

Are you interested in getting a bike rack but not sure where to start? Or are you keen to know how a hitch tow bar bike rack works? Here at Yakima, we have multiple easy to use hitch tow bar bike racks you can choose from, but one of our easiest to use is the HoldUp which we’ll run through with you below. Hitch tow bar carriers are great for safely and easily transporting bikes and are the fastest way to get you set up and on the road in more ways than one.

Here is a quick and easy step by step guide on the top-selling HoldUp and how to fit it to your car's hitch tow rack.

Firstly, you need to ensure your vehicle has a 50 mm hitch receiver on the rear tow bar - in simple terms, a hitch receiver is a square reinforced metal receiver that the bike carrier can fit into. Then follow our three easy steps below.

holdup HoldUp

The Yakima HoldUp Bike Carriers

The HoldUp fits two bikes, and with the HoldUp + 2 adaptor rack (sold separately), you can carry up to 4 bikes and is the fastest and easiest way to load bikes. Its beefed-up arm pivot makes it stronger than ever and the side-to-side adjustability reduces the chance for bike-to-bike interference. It’s easy to load onto your car's hitch tow bar in a few quick steps.

Here’s how to easily fit the hitch tow bar bike rack to your car:

Step 1 - Insert base in the hitch receiver to your car's tow bar and then insert the hitch bolt from right to left and tighten. Secure the base with the safety clip and hitch lock.

Step 2 - Rotate the base by lifting the spring pin to install the first bike tray by aligning the holes in the base and then using the bolts and washer with the allen wrench. The tray should be open and have the wheel strap to the right with the pivot arm on the left-hand side.

Step 3 - Reverse this to install the second tray by ensuring the wheel strap is to the left and the pivot arm is to the right.

Once you’ve installed the tow bar bike rack you can load your bikes on to the rack. Always load the heaviest bike on to the rack first ensuring you are within the bike rack tray weight and size limits. Make sure you refer to our website for these details. Double-check the front wheel of the bike is on the same side as the StrongArm and then rotate it up to the top of the wheel so the hook sits 2.5 cm or less from the fork. Use the wheel strap to secure the rear wheel by threading the strap through the spokes. Load the second bike in the opposite direction and adjust the position of the trays to stop the bikes from knocking each other. Use the integrated locking cable to secure bikes to the rack and you're ready to go!

holdup-2-tow-bar-bike-rack HoldUp Attached to Vehicle

When you’re not using the HoldUp rack, the unit can be moved to an upright position simply by folding the wheel trays in and rotating the StrongArm down. From there it’s easy as pulling the spring pin to release the HoldUp from its upright position. Once you hear it snap into place, you’re ready to reload the bikes.

Then all there is to do is have celebratory beers, using the integrated bottle opener. Now you know how a HoldUp hitch tow bar bike rack works!

Take it easy.


Watch Our Video to Learn More

Last updated: 5th August 2020

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