CyclingNews – Best roof bike racks for cars 2022 – Comparing the best of the integrated bike rack choice – Yakima HighSpeed

From CyclingNews.com By Josh Ross

The best roof bike rack for you and your car will feel like an extension of your car that you never have to think about

The best roof bike racks are one of the three options in the wider spectrum of mounting your bike on the outside of your car, alongside trunk-mounted and hitch-mounted racks. 

Here at Cyclingnews, we already have an overarching list covering the best bike racks for cars but we also wanted to dive a little deeper into the specific sub-types. We’ve previously covered the best trunk bike racks, and now it’s the turn of rooftop bike racks. As cars have grown in size, the popularity of rooftop bike racks has dropped a bit but they continue to be a quality option for some. With that in mind, we’ve taken the time to understand which systems work best in which situations. 

In our opinion, rooftop bike racks for cars have some specific advantages over their counterparts. One of those is just how integrated they feel. Some cars have front-to-back luggage rails and require only cross bars, some have channels that work in the same way, some have a slick roof, and some come with everything you need to add a rack. In all those situations, once you have everything installed, it will never be in your way. The bars and racks sit out of your line of sight and don’t interfere with opening the hatch or trunk. If you want to remove the rooftop bike rack, they are light and easy to store. 

There are a few downsides to rooftop bike racks too though. The first is that they are comparatively more difficult to mount your bike onto, especially if it’s heavy, as you’ll need to lift it above your head. The second is the risk of entering multistorey car parks – we’ve all heard of someone getting that wrong and totalling their pride and joy. Another downside is that there are some initial setup hurdles to get the parts you need on top of your car. Don’t despair though, Thule and Yakima make it an easy affair and you don’t need to have anything installed from the factory. It does add to the initial expense but both brands have expansive options and they make it easy to get started. Adding the base bars will also add value to your car and it also opens up the whole system to whatever brand of rack, or other accessories, you decide you want in the years to follow. 

Yakima HighSpeed

The best rooftop bike rack for bikes with fenders

SPECIFICATIONS

  • Rack weight: 4.4 kg / 9.6lbs
  • Max tyre size: 5in
  • Max wheelbase: 1219mm / 48in
  • Integrated lock: Needs an extra purchase of lock cores
  • Bike mount style: Wheel off quick release (9mm) and thru axle (12mm, 15mm, 20mm)

REASONS TO BUY

  • TorqueRight knob ensures proper tightening
  • Compatible with fenders
  • Easy mounting and lightweight makes adding/removing the rack no big deal

REASONS TO AVOID

  • Rear strap lacks much in the way of padding
  • Front thru-axle needs to be a consistent size and stay with the frame

Yakima is one of two options for adding crossbars to your car’s roof. The brand will walk you through getting what you need for your car and make it ready to accept a rack. From there it has a wide range of products and multiple options that could just as easily be on this list of the best rooftop bike racks. 

If you are purchasing Yakima base bar pieces then the HighRoad is a great wheel-on option and if you plan to unmount your rack regularly, Yakima is by far the easiest. There is one specific challenge that racks of all kinds experience though, and that is fenders/mudguards. If you ride in rainy climates then you know that fenders are a necessity, but it can be hard to find a rack solution. Kuat has an accessory to make the Piston SR work but it feels a little bit like a band-aid. If you transport a bike with fenders often, then something different might be the best choice. Like myself, Yakima calls the Pacific Northwest home, and much like our British friends across the pond, anyone from around here knows what it means to ride in the rain. When Yakima’s employees need a solution for transporting a bike with fenders, they turn to the HighSpeed. 

The Yakima HighSpeed is a fork-mounted rooftop bike rack. That means you’ll need to remove the front wheel. With the wheel removed, there is a clamp that grabs the front axle and tightens down until it clicks. It works with thru-axles and there’s an adapter for quick-release bikes that essentially turns the quick release into a thru-axle. One detail about that is you will need a thru-axle with a consistent width from side to side that easily stays with the frame. Some systems, such as those from Mavic might have you buying an extra thru-axle. With that sorted, the rear wheel stays on and there’s a strap that holds it tight to the rack. That strap could use a bit of extra padding for fancy carbon wheels but it keeps things secure and while removing the front wheel is extra work, it keeps the bike lower when installed and means fenders aren’t an issue. 

For CyclingNews other Best Bike Racks of 2022 CLICK HERE

Keep reading for more on roof rack basics

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Yakima OpenRange – Shipping Now!

Feed Your Appetite for Adventure

The Yakima EXO OpenRange is the ultimate outdoor kitchen organizer. Set it on your back seat, slide it into your truck bed, or secure it to your hitch as part of the revolutionary EXO System.

The OpenRange is available now! Ask your local Yakima dealer.

The Manual | E-Bike Gear Roundup: Everything You Need to Enjoy for Safety and Peace of Mind | Yakima OnRamp

By Nick Hilden from The Manual

E-bikes are the latest, coolest thing in the cycling world, and while they’re certainly just as awesome as they’re hyped up to be, they do come with some unique considerations. As far as safety goes, they can be significantly faster and sometimes even flat-out difficult to control compared to non-powered bikes. They also stand out on a bike rack in terms of steal appeal. Luckily, some great e-bike gear has been developed over the past couple of years to address these issues.

With this in mind, let’s take a look at some of the best e-bike gear out there. These items have been selected specifically to address concerns relating to safety and security. Each has been tested extensively by our reviewer, so you can ride assured that this e-bike gear is truly unrivaled.

Yakima OnRamp E-Bike Hitch Bike Rack

Best All-Around E-Bike Rack

One issue some people have with e-bikes is that they can be difficult to transport due to their large size and weight, which makes most vehicle racks unsuitable for the task. That’s not the case with the OnRamp from Yakima, which was specifically designed for e-bikes. Capable of carrying two 66-pound bikes, it offers the capacity necessary for pretty much any bike on the market. It also has a unique ramp to assist with loading, which is a huge help.

OnRamp Product Details
  • Engineered to carry 2 bikes up to 66-lbs each
  • Integrated ramp for easy, roll-on loading, and stows away neatly
  • Adjustable frame attachments means you can carry E-Bikes, mountain, road, hybrid, women’s specific, BMX, kids bikes and bikes with fenders with ease.
  • Accommodates tires up to 29×3.25″ and up to 27.5x 4.5” wide tires with the FatStrap Kit (sold separately)
  • Accommodates bike wheelbases up to 50” 
  • Integrated SKS (Same Key System) locks included to secure bikes to rack and rack to vehicle receiver
  • Tilts forward with bikes loaded for trunk access
  • Adjustable bike trays minimize bike to bike interference
  • Off-Road Rated at 40lbs per bike
  • RV Rated at 40lbs per bike
  • Compatible with the Yakima BackSwing and StraightShot
  • Weight: 42.60 lbs.
  • Limited Lifetime Warranty
  • Price: $729

For the rest of the list from The Manual CLICK HERE

Gear Junkie – The Best Rooftop Tents of 2022 – Yakima SkyRise HD

From GearJunkie.com By Berne Broudy

For overland adventures, life on the road, or just an elevated and more comfortable campout experience, here are our picks for the best rooftop tents.

If you’ve never slept in a rooftop tent, it’s hard to imagine how different it is from sleeping in a traditional tent. In general, we’ve found that rooftop tent (RTT) sleeping feels safer and more secure than sleeping in a tent on the ground.

Plus, RTTs offer a bird’s-eye view of your surroundings, airflow that’s unheard of in a ground tent, protection (and peace of mind), and generally superior comfort for sleeping.

The drawbacks: Unlike a ground tent or a tow-behind camper, when your tent is on your roof, you have to break camp before you drive away. And, for those who make nighttime visits to the loo, there’s a ladder to negotiate between you and relief (unless you’re willing to get creative).

Also, if your dog gets to share the human bed, practice your one-handed ladder climb before you attempt to hoist them up. Multiply that effort if you have more than one dog.

Not every rooftop tent fits every vehicle or every budget. But some tents work for almost every car or truck. Rooftop tents are all pricier than even the plushest backpacking tent, but if you’re able to invest, you won’t regret it.

Best 3-Person Rooftop Tent: Yakima SkyRise HD

Two of the biggest barriers to entry for campers considering a rooftop tent are weight and price. Yakima’s SkyRise HD ($2,399) is not only relatively light, but it’s also competitively priced for a three-person tent. And it’s the most similar to backpacking and car camping tents that many backcountry enthusiasts are already familiar with.

The SkyRise is made from the same stuff as most tents you’d pitch on the ground. The 600D nylon tent body is light and breathable, with mesh ventilation panels that double as windows into the Milky Way. All the windows and the two skylights have solid and mesh panels that zip open for ventilation and views.

Much like a standard ground tent, the SkyRise’s waterproof fly is polyurethane-coated, and the tent can be set up with the fly on or off. Aluminum poles give the tent structure. They’re strong, pre-set, and easy to engage once you manually flip this tent open.

Consider a three-person tent if you’ll be sleeping with a child. This is also a good option if you’re a dog owner whose dog climbs ladders, or if you’re willing to shuttle your pooch into your rooftop nest. Everyone will appreciate the plush, 2.5-inch-thick, wall-to-wall mattress.

And after this tent gets some use, you’ll also appreciate that the mattress has a removable cover for easy cleaning. The SkyRise M is one of the easiest tents to mount on a roof rack. It goes on and comes off tool-free. It also locks to your roof with the same system used in all Yakima bars and mounts, SKS lock cores, which are included with the tent.

Specs:
  • Dimensions open: 58″ x 96″ x 48″
  • Dimensions closed: 58″ x 48″ x 17″
  • Sleeping footprint: 58″ x 96″
  • Peak internal height: 48″
  • Weight: 115 lbs.
  • Static weight capacity: 600 lbs
  • Minimum bar spread: 26″
Pros:
  • Super easy to mount
  • Locks to your roof
Cons:
  • Lighter fabrics flap more on windy nights

For the rest of the GearJunkie’s top RTTs of 2022 CLICK HERE

GearJunkie – Sea Otter Classic 2022 – Yakima EXO

From GearJunkie.com By Seiji Ishii

Sea Otter Classic 2022: The 5 Coolest Things According to a Cycling Lifer

The Sea Otter Classic is America’s largest cycling industry gathering. After years of cancellations and delays, the 2022 edition, April 7-10, was one of the largest ever.

Over a thousand brands presented countless wares at the Laguna Seca Raceway in Monterey County, Calif. This made deciding what was worthy of GearJunkie’s attention difficult.

But after plenty of deliberations and discussions, here are our top five coolest things at the 2022 Sea Otter Classic.

Yakima EXO OpenRange Kitchen Sneak Peek

Overlanding is so hot right now. But many don’t want or have the resources to join van life. Products that allow outdoor enthusiasts to overland (wasn’t this just car camping a while ago?) with their daily drivers catch my attention.

Yakima bet on cyclists thinking the same, as it allowed a sneak peek of its soon-to-be-released OpenRange Kitchen at the 2022 Sea Otter Classic.

Mimicking the DYI chuck box, the Open Range houses all the required kitchen elements in a compact and transformable form factor. It interfaces with Yakima’s EXO Swing Base or EXO Top Shelf for no-hassle cooking and clean-up at the next race or ride.

The EXO compatibility means the Open Range will always have a solid base of operations at the campsite, and it doesn’t take up valuable storage space inside the vehicle. Yakima will sell optional legs ($199) for use independent of the EXO system.

The box holds 85 L of kitchen gear, and it had a stout-looking rubber seal and locking latches to shelter contents from weather, dust, thieves, and critters. The lid folds down and functions as a table surface. The Basic version ($749) will include the box, SKS (same key system), locking latches, backboard organizer (think spice and utensil rack), and lantern hook.

The more desirable Deluxe package ($1,199) will include two side tables. The wood one houses an optional sink, drain, and cutting board. The metal table is perfect for a stove, including a new optional Yakima-branded two-burner stove dubbed the CookOut ($149).

Every accouterment on the Deluxe version is available separately, except for the sink.

The kitchen box isn’t a new idea, but Yakima showed how slick it could be at Sea Otter. Look for it in June.

Click here for the rest of GearJunkie’s list.

Basecamp in a box: New Yakima EXO Open Range Camp Kitchen connects to your bike rack

From BikeRumor.com by Jordan Villella

Want to live the #vanlife without actually buying a van? Or maybe you just want to have a pro cooking station at your next outdoor event? Whatever the reason, Yakima’s newest EXO accessory turned a lot of heads at the Sea Otter Classic. That standout piece at the Yakima booth was the new EXO Open Range Camp Kitchen — a full kitchen that works with the Yakima EXO modular hitch system.

Essentially a basecamp in a box, the new Open Range Camp Kitchen comes in two main options with many accessories available for purchase. The US-made toto-molded box is designed to be mounted to an EXO SwingBase or EXO TopShelf rack setup using the EXO cleat system. If you don’t have an EXO rack, you can also just store the box in your trunk or truck bed.

If you’re using the EXO TopShelf mount, the box will already be at the right height and you can just open the front of the sealed box, fold out the accessory side tables, and get to cooking.

If you’re using the lower SwingBase position (we believe this should allow you to use the TopShelf position for two bikes), you’ll need to remove the box from the rack and mount it to the accessory four-leg stand. This is also how you would use the system without an EXO rack.

The OpenRange Leg Kit is available separately for $199.99 and the telescoping legs adjust the height from 20-33″.

Yakima EXO Open Range Camp Kitchen models

The Yakima Open Range Camp Kitchen comes in a base model, including the OpenRange Camp box with a lantern hook and organizing shelf (pictured inside) for $750.

For those looking for the whole experience, the Yakima EXO Open Range Camp Kitchen is also available in a deluxe version. The deluxe version comes with a wood side table with cutting board, collapsible wash basin with drain hose, metal cook side table with flexible fuel hose, a hanging fuel canister pouch, and the CookOut 2-Burner stove.

The whole Open Range Camp Kitchen Deluxe experience comes in at $1,199 — excluding stemware, plates, and cutlery. If you don’t go for the Deluxe version, many of the accessories can still be purchased separately with the OpenRange Wood and Metal Side Tables and CookOut Camp stove going for $149 each.

Yakima EXO Open Range Camp Kitchen pricing

  • Yakima Open Range Kitchen Base: $749
  • Yakima Open Range Kitchen Deluxe: $1,199
  • Bamboo table: $149
  • Metal table: $149
  • Double burner stove: $149

Yakima EXO Open Range Camp Kitchen details

  • Connects to the EXO SwingBase or EXO TopShelf in seconds using the included EXO cleat system
  • A durable roto-molded enclosure with a rubber door seal keeps your gear fully protected from weather, dust, and critters
  • Fold-down front door allows easy access to your gear and can be used as a prep surface
  • Internal shelf and integrated utensil drawer help to organize your cooking and camp gear
  • 85 liters (90 quarts) of internal storage space
  • Includes SKS locking latches to secure your gear
  • Tool-free, locking SpeedKnobs attach and lock EXO OpenRange to EXO SwingBase or EXO TopShelf
  • Includes a lantern hook, backboard organizer, and handheld bottle opener
  • Full suite of accessories available to expand your EXO OpenRange
  • EXO SwingBase and EXO TopShelf are recommended but not required for transport
  • Made in the USA with a 2-year warranty

Yakima EXO Open Range Camp Kitchen availability

Though the actual release date is uncertain, Yakima assured us it would be available for your late spring camping and cookout adventures. One thing is for sure, after laying hands on the new Yakima Open Range Camp Kitchen were excited to put it through the family camping gauntlet and long mountain bike race trips — hopefully we can get one in for a full review.

Outside Journal – Best Gear of Fall/Winter ’22 – Yakima EXO OpenRange Deluxe

From Outside By Justin and Patrice La Vigne

Combing through 243 submissions for the coolest gear of Fall/Winter ’22 is not unlike postholing through unconsolidated snow: We spent weeks slogging through specs, photos, videos, and emails with PR reps.

Here’s what we noticed: Gear just keeps getting more innovative—and, often, more expensive. Inflation is rising at its fastest pace in a generation, after all. Prices ranged from $2.99 for a hydration mix to $14,500 for a bike. Some categories had a plethora of submissions (we’re looking at you, shoes and apparel), while others had a dearth (where’s the ski and snowboard equipment this year?).

With submissions up this year, we needed help making final decisions. We combed through mountains of entries, winnowed the list to 64, and then tapped the opinions of internal editorial staff, a panel of trusted gear testers, and consumers drawn from the pool of Outside+ members. Each voter ranked the products on a scale from 1 (zero interest) to 10 (high stoke), and then we tallied the totals to come up with the top 50 picks. To provide some transparency, we’ve indicated the top three picks (according to average scores) among each voting group.

Bottom line: There’s a ton of exciting new stuff launching this season. For the full list of the 50 most coveted products, ranked CLICK HERE.

#14 On the list – Yakima EXO OpenRange Deluxe

Yakima EXO OpenRange Deluxe

MSRP: $1,199

The promise: This roadworthy storage box unfolds into a camp kitchen.

The deets: Made of impact-resistant plastic, the box can live inside a vehicle or attach to your trailer hitch via Yakima’s EXO connector system. The all-in-one design will fit your whole cooking kit, and deploys into a fully functional kitchen with tables, a cutting board, a collapsible water station, and lantern hooks.

Stay tuned for more on the EXO OpenRange coming soon!

GearJunkie – The Best Hitch Bike Racks of 2022

From GearJunkie By Billy Brown & Austin Beck-Doss

Whether you’re riding solo or bringing along the whole crew, these are the best hitch bike racks to haul your bike to the trailhead.

Besides taking a header over your handlebars, wrestling your bike onto a rack (and compulsively checking your rearview mirror to make sure your bike isn’t cartwheeling down the highway) is probably your least favorite part of cycling.

Luckily, there are a host of options for conveniently and safely getting your bike to where you want to go, especially if you have a tow hitch. With features like ratcheting arms, integrated cable locks, and swing-away arms, it’s easy to find the perfect way to load and unload your bike, securely hold it, and hit the trail without worry.

We looked around for the best hitch bike rack of 2022, and we found some very solid contenders in a wide range of price points.

See some of the picks below and for the full list check out GearJunkie.com.

The Best Hitch Bike Racks of 2022

Best E-Bike Rack: Yakima OnRamp

Electric bikes are great for taking up some of the load when a ride gets tough, or if you just want to get outside but don’t necessarily want a workout that day. Unfortunately, the added weight makes a mini-weightlifting session out of putting it on a hitch rack. As one of the most well-respected rack companies on the market, Yakima had this in mind when designing the OnRamp ($699).

Not only does it have the heaviest carry rating that we’ve seen at 66 pounds per bike, but it also sports a handy roll-on feature. The cradle tilts down to the floor, letting you roll your bike up onto it and into position. As anyone who’s ever had to muscle a heavy bike onto a rack will attest, this is one of those features you’ll wonder how you ever lived without.

It’s not just for e-bikes, either. The wide cradles can handle everything up to and including fat bike tires and wheelbases up to 50 inches. And the expanding and height-adjusting frame attachments allow you to carry everything from e-bikes to BMX bikes to kids’ bikes with equal security. Speaking of security, it sports a hitch lock and integrated cable lock to keep your bikes safe.

Specs:
  • Bonus: The hitch and cable locks use the same key, so you won’t have that annoying trial-and-error process every time you lock and unlock your bikes
  • Weight: 43 lbs.
  • Number of bikes: 2
  • Type: Platform
Pros:
  • Convenient loading system
  • Most versatile rack on this list
Cons:
  • Low for on-ramping systems
  • The $500-plus price may be out of range for some riders

Best 4-Bike Hitch Rack: Yakima RidgeBack 4

We’ve often felt that the best features are the ones you don’t notice, and Yakima’s RidgeBack 4 ($399) is an excellent example of this. It strikes a perfect blend of features and simplicity. It comes assembled right out of the box, and the locking, tool-free SpeedKnob lets you mount it in minutes.

The two arms sport a set of eight anti-sway cradles that prevent your bikes from banging into each other during transport, and the zip strip ratcheting straps are fast, easy to use, and removable.

The rack tilts away from your car via an easy-to-use UpperHand lever, and the whole rack folds flat for easy storage when not in use. All the adjustments on the main joints are via button or lever, which makes adjusting it a breeze.

We also appreciate the add-ons that give the rack a little more versatility and security. You can add a bike frame adapter that will allow it to accommodate kids’ bikes, BMX bikes, and other unconventional bikes (like step-throughs).

Then there’s the Handcuff lock ($49), a proprietary cable lock designed to work specifically with the RidgeBack (as well as Yakima’s SwingDaddy rack).

Specs:
  • Bonus: Yakima’s signature bottle opener on the end of the swing arm is always handy for post-ride celebrations
  • Weight: 35 lbs.
  • Number of bikes: 4
  • Type: Hanging
Pros:
  • Security features
  • Ease of use
  • Bottle opener
Cons:
  • Cable lock and frame adapter are separate purchases

Best of the Rest

Yakima HangOver 6

If you roll deep, the Yakima HangOver 6 ($949) is the best way to haul your crew’s bikes around. Great for big families, group rides, or tour guides, Yakima’s beastly bike rack loads up to six bikes at up to 37.5 pounds each in a very cool vertical carry system. It’s a great SUV bike rack for hauling your bikes and gear.

The bikes are secured by the rear tire and fork base, with the front tire pointing toward the sky. The HangOver manages to carry half a dozen bikes while taking up minimal space.

The vertical tower has two adjustable tilt angles that are operated via a pedal at the base. This allows you to adjust the bikes’ distance from your car (the tires may bump the rear windows of Sprinter vans at the vertical setting) and to access the rear of your vehicle without taking the bikes off the rack.

Soft padding in the cups protects the forks’ finish, keeping them clean until you and your buddies thrash them on the trails, and they’re adjustable enough to accommodate fat bike suspension forks. The hitch lock is included, an integrated lock loop lets you secure your bikes and, of course, the built-in bottle openers are a plus.

Specs:
  • Weight: 73 lbs.
  • Number of bikes: 6
  • Type: Unique rear wheel and rear fork cradle syatem
Pros:
  • Huge carrying capacity
  • Innovative design
Cons:
  • Only works with suspension forks

Yakima HoldUp 2

This lightweight entry from Yakima ($549) is the easiest way to load bikes that doesn’t involve a ramp. A huge front-wheel cradle pairs with a ratcheting security hook, while a smaller cradle for the rear tire locks down the other end. The result is a rack that punches above its weight, providing the security you would expect from a much bigger, more overbuilt rack.

When not in use, the rack is small and unassuming, folding flat against the vehicle. It fits a wide range of bikes, accommodating wheels from 20 to 27.5 inches with tires up to 3 inches wide, and 29ers with tires up to 2.5 inches wide. The hook-and-cradle design also allows you to rack bikes with disc brakes, thru-axles, and full-suspension bikes with no issue.

Side-to-side adjustability ensures a safe distance between bikes so they don’t bump against each other during transit. And the rack can tilt down to allow access to your vehicle’s rear compartment, even fully loaded.

In addition to the model-specific features, the HoldUp also sports the welcome details we’ve come to expect from Yakima — locks included for the hitch and bikes, and an integrated bottle opener, which comes in handy when you need to replace some calories post-ride.

Specs:
  • Weight: 49 lbs.
  • Number of bikes: 2
  • Type: Hook and cradle (zero frame contact)
Pros:
  • No frame contact
  • Very secure hold
Cons:
  • Slight wobbles during highway travel

For the rack buyers guide and other picks check out the full list at GearJunkie.com.

Yakima – Your Ticket To Ride – StageTwo and HangTight

You first hear it in the grinding of your gears. The noise of the gravel and mud as you push yourself to go faster, and dig deeper. It’s the loud rally cry that first starts as background noise—growing and growing, until it becomes heavy metal thunder to drown out everything else. It’s the sound that says, don’t wait, ride now, and don’t let anything hold you back. This moment is the perfect place to start. The time to gain new momentum. To climb a little higher. To go a little faster. To live a little wilder. To fire everything all at once. Finally, you have your ticket to ride.

StageTwo

Get ready to take the stage. Designed with spacious stadium style trays and SpeedKnob tech, the new StageTwo bike rack transports your bikes safely, with no handlebar rub and no wobble.

HangTight

Bring the whole crew, whether the crew has full-suspension bikes, kids bikes, or road bikes, there’s room for everyone. The new HangTight loads up to six bikes on the fly. Smartly designed with tough steel construction, each bike is vertically and securely held in place, making it the ultimate ticket to ride.

BikeRumor.com – Yakima Goes Premium w/ New StageTwo Tray Rack

From BikeRumor.com by Zach Overholt

Yakima StageTwo

It’s taken a while, but it seems like bike racks in the U.S. are catching up to their European counterparts. Well, at least in terms of lighting, that is. That’s probably because having lights and a license plate holder isn’t a requirement in many parts of the U.S.—or it is a requirement, but generally isn’t enforced. However, to improve vehicle safety when carrying bikes, and give police one less reason to potentially pull you over, more brands stateside are offering racks with integrated lighting—like the new Yakima StageTwo with the optional SafetyMate package.

Yakima is taking an interesting route here, as the lights aren’t included in the base model StageTwo. Instead, they’re offered as an additional accessory package that sells for $219. That package includes full rear lighting with tail, brake, and turn signal lights along with a rear license plate light for the external license plate bracket. We’ve seen new racks with lights from Kuat and Saris recently, but both of those omit the rear license plate holder which may or may not be needed. The whole point to any of this is that a bike on a bike rack can block your taillights and license plate. Repositioning them keeps them visible, and keeps you legal depending on the local laws.

The SafetyMate uses a standard flat 4-way connector, and the wiring harness routes through the frame of the rack.

Due to the positioning of the lights, Yakima designed them to rotate 90° so that they’re still visible when the rack is folded up.

For those that don’t want the lights, the new StageTwo tray style rack will be sold without the SafetyMate package and starts at $749. The rack gets a premium Anthracite or Vapor Grey finish, and a few updates that position it at the top of the Yakima range.

A new tilt lever offers access on either side of the handle for easy access in either position.

There’s also an updated speed knob that tightens the rack down in the hitch and locks it to the vehicle with their SKS (Single Key System).

Locking is also available for each bike with SKS cable locks at each upright, and there’s an additional lock loop on the body of the rack to add a burly chain lock for secure storage when you need it.

Each tray is positioned with ‘stadium tiering’ and staggered trays to make loading multiple bikes easier. The trays have a 52″ maximum wheelbase, and will fit up to 3.25″ tires before you’ll need the additional fat bike strap for bigger tires. In terms of the weight limit, Yakima has the StageTwo for two levels of use: there is a 60lb per bike maximum tray capability or a maximum of 36lb per bike if using the rack for RV or off-road use. A two bike add-on will be offered in each color for another $549.

There will also be a Ramp Up accessory offered for $99. This ramp connects to the tray and allows you to push your bike up the ramp into the rack for easier loading. It does not store on the rack, so you’ll need to install and remove this every time you want to use it while storing it inside the vehicle between use.