BIKE RIDE

RATED

WORDS AND PHOTOS CRISTIAN BRUNELLI

gear PRODUCT TEST Ė YAKIMA LITERIDER

RATED

AVAILABLE FROM: www.yakima.com RRP: From $359 WE SAY: Easy to install, quiet and secure.

SWAPPING FOUR WHEELS FOR TWO.

NOW AND again I like take a break from four-wheeliní for some two-wheeliní fun, and often the best tracks for the kind of cycling I prefer arenít within cooee of the local bike path. So I find myself frequently loading up the fourbie with a couple of bikes for a weekend away to some treacherous, broken-arm-inducing trail.

And itís the time-consuming bike-loading aspect of any adventure thatís often the worst part. Enter the easy-to-set-up Yakima LiteRider aluminium hitch rack.

Available as a two- or a three-bike carrier, the LiteRider simply attaches to a 32mm or 50mm tow hitch and locks in place with a pin. Turning the tool-free SpeedKnob tightens the rack into the hitch, and then itís just a matter of connecting the bike mount section and fitting the bikes.

Fitting a bike is a quick and easy process.

You can either directly mount the frame of the bike, or you can use a tube top to avoid contact with the frame, which is beneficial if you have an expensive (read: carbon) bike.

The LiteRider is also great for bikes with massive tyres (Fat bikes), as the tyres just hang and donít need any special mounts.

On the road, the unit is quiet and doesnít vibrate, due in part to the anti-sway cradle design that limits bike-to-bike contact.

However, the bike closest to the rack has a tendency to tap its crank against the rackís upright Ė itís best to strap the bottom of the bike (as the bikes are only secured at the top) to avoid this. My only other gripes are that the LiteRider obscures the tail-lights and number plate.

You can feel secure knowing that the bikes will still be there when you get to the top of a mountain, because the rack locks onto the hitch using a built-in lock-on knob.

Yakima stickers are reflective, making the unit safe for night-time transit. Plus, it folds down to provide easy access to the hatch area or tailgate.

The lightweight, easy-to-use LiteRider removes the hassle of loading up a 4x4 for a weekend away, and itís safe, secure and convenient. Plus it comes with a built-in bottle opener. Whatís not to like?