Interbike 2017: Goodies from Day 1 – Yakima

The following is from

Bike transport solutions from Yakima

We’re in Vegas for the last Interbike in Sin City and here are a few interesting and/or new things we found on our first day wandering the show floor.

Yakima BackSwing

The BackSwing adapter from Yakima converts almost any hitch rack with a two-inch receiver into a swing-away rack (even those that aren’t Yakima). It will hold up to a four-bike rack with bikes (or about 250 pounds), will retail for $299 and will be available in April.

Yakima SingleSpeed

The SingleSpeed one-bike rack is designed for folks who tend to travel solo (or don’t have any friends) and want a minimalist hitch rack. It is compatible with a variety of sizes of bikes from 20-inch BMX to fat. It will also be available in the spring and will retail for $259.

Yakima GateKeeper


The GateKeeper truck tailgate pad will be available in two different sizes (fitting five or six bikes depending on the size of your truck) and features individual straps to hold each bike in places as well as a cutout to allow use of a backup camera with the pad in place. The larger of the two (62 inches wide and holds 6 bikes) will retail for $149 while the smaller (54 inches wide and holds 5 bikes) will cost you $139. They’ll be available in February.



Yakima UnRacked: Kayaking with Tex Alexander


Tex makes sure your rack is gonna fit. “My job is to go out to auto dealers, or customers who are willing to let us use their brand new cars, and assess the auto/rack interface. We have a network of car dealers in Portland, so we have access to new vehicles once they come to the market. We look them over, take measurements, check structural integrity, gather all the data. Say a new Ford Fusion comes out, we’ll go out and test it in the field, relate that to our internal testing, measure everything, then post the info up for consumers.”

Tex loves racks. But his true love is paddling. He’s so dialed into the scene up here that he actually doesn’t own a boat right now. “I Moved to Colorado a while back and sold my boat. But I used to guide and teach roll and rescue for a kayaking outfit here, and now that I’m back they still give me access to stuff for free.”



Borrowing expensive boats means Tex better have a good way to carry them. “I’m a huge fan of the DeckHand saddles – they offer the best boat protection on the market. They’re super easy to use, adjust to almost any hull, and help protect your $4000 Kevlar kayak,” he says.

“It’s just one of the best boat products we’ve ever made.”

Because Tex is a truck owner, the new LongArm truck bed extender has been exciting for him to work on and test fit.  “It’s one of those products we’ve needed for awhile, and I’m happy it’s finally here, both for the company and for me to use on paddling trips.”

Like most of Yakima, Tex is a four-season multi-sporter. In the winter, he loves to snowboard – and this means switching up his Yakima system. When the temperature drops and the DeckHands come off his JetStream bars, the cargo box goes on. “The SkyBox is essential for snowboarding. Hands down the best box ever made, super strong, holds what I need, and looks great on my Tacoma.”

And what’s his don’t-leave-home-without-it essential that’s not 100% Yakima?

“Bottle opener. Luckily we put those on just about all of our products.”



  1. Always dress for the water temp, not the air temp
  2. If your bow and stern lines “hum” in the wind, give them a few twists to eliminate the harmonic vibration
  3. When tying down a sit-on-top to your crossbars, rout the straps through the scupper holes for a more secure carry
  4. Drip rings are worthless, remove them from your paddle
  5. Get out there, learn to roll, have fun


When Tex grabs an afternoon paddle, he heads west. “I do like to get out to the coast – I don’t want to disclose where, cuz, you know…it’s my spot. We’re in a wonderful place, one hour and you’re in the mountains or at the ocean. And just to the north are the San Juans – Anderson Island in three hours, Anacortes in about five. Actual time may vary – depends on how many people I have to motivate.”


The day Tex first learned to roll his boat was a big one for him. “It was at Trillium Lake near Mount Hood. It gave me the confidence to right my boat in any situation, and this opened more options – surf, whitewater – and it allows you to play while touring. Also, on a hot day, it is nice to roll and cool off.”

He also shared a snowboarding memory. “It was the first time I hiked to the Bald Spot in Beaver Creek,” he says. “Just the area itself is beautiful – tons of riding, great way to finish the day. We brought a grill along for hot dogs, then would ski and board to the car. It was great to find a place so remote, so close to home.”


Tex isn’t our only awesome employee. Checkout our entire UnRacked series to see who else here at Yakima is getting outdoors, how they have their car racked out, tips and tricks, and their favorite Pacific Northwest adventure spots.

Stop in to your local Yakima dealer to find out more about the Deckhand as well as all our boat racks and pickup whatever you may need to make the most out of your next adventure.

Yakima UnRacked: Road Biking with Kenny Graham




“I ride as much as I can,” says Kenny.  “I ride to work  – an hour and a half commute – then I’ll commute home, and after work I try and ride for a couple more hours if I can. Plus long weekend rides.”

What about lunch? “Sometimes. But lunchtime rides are over too quick.”

Kenny is a Product Integrity Specialist, but that’s just a title. “I like to share the Yakima culture – I consider myself to be a brand ambassador. I want to make sure the cycling community knows what Yakima is about, what our presence is in the cycling world – and in the outdoor community, too – so I work hard to insert our involvement so people can understand what we are and what we do.”

Kenny is on a cycling team Revenge Cycling & Racingand owns a cycling promotion company that puts on events. Yakima sponsors both. He’s also heavily involved with OBRA – the Oregon Bicycle Racing Association – and is a race official. “Official, rider, promoter – I get to see cycling from all vantage points.”



In the dark ages, Kenny used to haul his bike in the backseat. But one Yakima rack changed all that. His first true Yakima love?“Initially it was the HoldUp. It gave me the  ability to carry more than just one bike – and get it out of the backseat. The HoldUp let me stack bikes on the rack, giving my backseat some space for my friends and other stuff.” Recently, he upgraded his HoldUp to a Dr.Tray, continuing to iterate his ride to make getting out on his bike even easier.

And what’s some go-to gear that isn’t a bike or a rack? “My GQ6 hydration drinks are my go-to now. They are a sponsor and I believe in their product – keeps me hydrated, no cramps, I don’t leave home without it.”




  1. Take your time when installing bikes on your rack system. When rushed, you will forget steps. This is not a good thing for your bike! 
  2. Always take your keys to lock your bike to your rack – and never leave your bike out of your sight. If they want it bad enough – they will steal your car with your bike on it!
  3. Always carry enough water while you’re riding or plan so you can get a refill on your route.
  4. Never let a certain friend of mine – we’ll call her Brenda M. – create the route. NEVER EVER – NEVER EVER!!! (See tip 3)
  5. Always have fun! #cyclingiseverything!




Where does he unrack? “I love to go over Neskowin. It’s on the Oregon Coast, ten miles north of Lincoln City on highway 101. There’s the old highway that carves it way through the forest. Low traffic, nice climbing. I can spend a couple of hours getting things out of my system. Riding the old highway is my escape.”





“My brother and I took a day trip to Paulina Lake in Central Oregon, and he decided he wanted to climb to the top of Paulina Peak,” recalls Kenny. Kenny wasn’t psyched on pedaling up a long, steep road – it was 99 degrees out – but his brother sold him on it and told him to bring a coat. Good advice. “Paulina was a crazy ride – it was brutal, but my brother and I were determined! At the top it was 20 degrees colder, and conditions weren’t great,” says Kenny. “But, I could literally see all of Oregon. Every mountain and weather systems rolling in – the view from all angles was amazing. I could have stayed there all day… all day long.”



Kenny’s not our only awesome employee. Checkout our entire Unracked series to see who else here at Yakima is getting outdoors, how they have their car racked out, tips and tricks, and their favorite Pacific Northwest adventure spots.




At Yakima, we believe the outdoors is more fun when shared. Shared with friends. And with family. Shared with goofballs, wingmen, dreamers, crushes and jokers. The more the merrier. Because the outdoors is not just about the adventure, it’s about the stories told, the inside jokes and the shared memories.

Stop in to your local Yakima dealer to find out more about the Dr Tray or pickup whatever you may need to make the most out of your adventures and make memories. Memories that remain, long after the trip is over.

Yakima UnRacked: Paddleboarding with Jenna Fallon

Jenna loves to stand-up paddle. “Every moment in the sunshine makes me do a happy dance.” And she makes it a point – even living in the rainy Pacific Northwest – to do her SUP and sun inspired happy dancing as often as possible.  

But she does have a day job. Jenna is our Digital Director. “I manage the user experience. My job is to help consumers find what they need on our website to create their first-ever roof rack system by setting up the online process that helps you figure out how to find the right one for your car as simply and easily as possible.”

But when she gets the time, she loads up her husband, their kids – and maybe some friends’ kids, too – packs the sunblock and trail mix, and hits the Willamette River or Lake Oswego for some stand up paddling.  

Paddling in the Pacific Northwest

The Right Gear

The right gear makes life easier. Jenna is not tall, so getting SUPs to the top of her Honda Pilot used to be a chore. Not anymore.

“I love the ShowDown. The load assist – it makes it easy for my 5’1” self to load my board so I can easily get from home to the lake or river. My husband likes it, too. The ShowDown is making life easier for him because I don’t have to ask him to come help every time I want to load the boards. I am the tiniest of all my friends…and it’s a little challenging.”

Another piece of go-to gear?  “It’s my paddle. I own two of them – Slingshots – and won’t use any other kind. It’s adjustable so it works for my husband, kids and myself, and it’s super lightweight. I do love that thing.”

Jenna’s Wheels


  1. Sun protection! Bring sunblock, a trucker hat, sunglasses and a UV protective long sleeve shirt
  2. Bring snacks like trail mix…
  3. …and make you own. Just combine dried mango, homemade baked almonds, shredded coconut, and chocolate chips
  4. If you are not especially tall, get a load-assist SUP rack, like the ShowDown. You, your friends and family will appreciate it (more below)
  5. Some things bare repeating: SUNBLOCK!


Where does Jenna UnRack? “I like to go to the Willamette River – George Rogers Park – or right by the office at Lake Oswego to SUP with my daughter. She is six and knows how to use her paddle and board. If it’s not her, it’s with my friends.”
And she loves to share her sport. “I love teaching people how to SUP – my friends and kids. It’s really fun to see them get it. It’s easy to learn – once you get it you’re on the water and you’re free to go.”


Jenna SUPs a lot, and that makes for a bunch of epic days. Is there a most epic? “It’s hard to pick one. Doing Yoga on a stand-up paddleboard on the San Diego bay with a group of friends. Or being on a paddleboard on one July Fourth evening in Portland and watching fireworks. Or my after-work adventures hanging with my daughter and son on paddleboards together.”

All awesome, but then she hits on it: “Getting my family on our boards is the best way to spend quality time together. Watching the Oregon sun go down and watching the colors of the sunset is moving for all of us.”


Jenna’s not our only awesome employee. Checkout our entire UnRacked series to see who else here at Yakima is getting outdoors, how they have their car racked out, tips and tricks, and their favorite Pacific Northwest adventure spots.




At Yakima, we believe the outdoors is more fun when shared. Shared with friends. And with family. Shared with goofballs, wingmen, dreamers, crushes and jokers. The more the merrier. Because the outdoors is not just about the adventure, it’s about the stories told, the inside jokes and the shared memories.

Stop in to your local Yakima dealer to find out more about the ShowDown or pickup whatever you may need to make the most out of your adventures and make memories. Memories that remain, long after the trip is over.

How to Carry All the Gear You Need While Living on the Road

Or, in other words, an exercise in decluttering and organization necessitated by a 200-square-foot living space


A decade ago, I’d have scoffed at the suggestion that fitting everything we needed for road life into a 23-foot travel trailer would be tricky. Back then, my wife Jen and I embarked on all manner of western adventures in a 1998 Volkswagen Golf, stuffed to the gills. How hard could it be to fit all our stuff into a setup that, along with a pickup, measures nearly 40 feet long?

Turns out, it’s harder than you think, even if you’re committed to simplicity.

The day-to-day infrastructure in an Airstream is mostly self-contained, but there are some bulky exceptions: camp chairs, a table, solar panel and battery, a generator, outdoor grill, etc. We also need work essentials, including laptops, backup drives, and photo and video gear.

Beyond that, our interests are wide ranging. We both ride on the mountain and road, which means four bikes and appropriate sundries. We hike and camp, so we always roll with a couple of packs, a tent, and a trail cooking setup, plus bikepacking gear for overnights on the bikes. Fly fishing means we need rods, tackle, and waders. Hunting necessitates bows, a rifle, and camo. Climbing demands shoes, harness, a rope, and a small rack. And that doesn’t even get into skiing, surfing, kayaking, or any of the really unwieldy stuff that’s currently relegated to storage back home in Santa Fe, New Mexico.

But we’re somehow able to fit it all, thanks to some deliberate pruning—and a few carefully chosen accessories.


Yakima Showcase 15

For extra storage and organization, we added crossbars on the roof and a Yakima Showcase 15 cargo box. I’ve used a lot of roof boxes through the years, and this one is the best yet. It solves my main complaint from past models—poor opening and closing—with a clearly marked key-lock system and a large button that works every time. As is standard, it opens from either side. Installation was simple, courtesy of locking levers that hold the feet in place and ratcheting knobs that clamp the feet onto any shape bars: round, square, or aero. Yakima makes a box with 30 percent more space, the Showcase 20, but this one is ample for our needs, providing storage for bulky items like sleeping bags, backpacks, bikepacking gear, and a tent that we don’t use every day. Best of all, we haven’t seen any real decrease in gas mileage with it installed.

Friends tease that we need less stuff, a bigger truck, or both. The less stuff is probably true, but honestly, we could fit everything into just the truck and trailer—no box or racks. The add-ons, however, let us spread out and keep organized. So instead of constantly packing, unpacking, and digging for gear, we spend more time out using it.

Read More

Stop by your Local Yakima Dealer to learn more about the Showcase series and other great Yakima products.

Aaron and Jen also use a tray style hitch mount bike rack and fork mount roof top bike racks. Check out the Dr Tray and HighSpeed to complete your optimal #AdventureMobile.

Yakima Dr. Tray hitch rack first look review –

from MTBR.COM by Francis Cebedo


Slight upward rise of the rack provides more clearance for steep driveways.


A lightweight rack that easily expands to 3-bike capacity

The new Dr. Tray Rack from Yakima is a bit of an enigma. It looks massive but it weighs only 34 lbs when most of its competition comes in at over 50 lbs. Underneath the black powdercoating is 6063-T5 aluminum material used throughout the rack.

It can take on any tire size from road bikes to 29 Plus to 5-inch fat bikes. But it’s not approved for most heavy bikes since since the maximum capacity for this rack is 40 lbs per bike.


The weight for the 3-bike configuration is a shockingly light 44 lbs.

But its coolest trick is the the trays can slide side to side and front to back ensuring fitment of any combination of bikes without interference. And with an optional bike tray the Dr. Tray can be converted to a 3-bike carrier very easily.


Rack is slid forward to accommodate the third rail.

What we like so far
  • Incredibly light at 34 lbs for the 2-bike system and 44 lbs for the 3-bike
  • Trays slide in all directions to provide bike interference
  • Tilt mechanism lever is big and is at the most convenient spot
  • Massive tire size range allowed
  • Allows a 3-bike option for 1.25 inch hitch
  • fully fat bike compatible
  • No tools needed to install and remove from vehicle.

Tilt allows one to open the hatch even with bikes with 800mm bars.

Dr. Tray Features
  • Low weight due to all aluminum construction (34 pounds)
  • Available in two hitch sizes: 1.25” and 2”
  • Fat bike compatible up to 5” tires
  • Add the EZ+1 and carry a third bike (sold separately for $229).
  • Clearance of up to 18” between trays
  • Remote Control tilt lever and lightweight, aluminum design simplifies raising and lowering rack
  • Tool-free locking SpeedKnob for a secure and easy install to your vehicle
  • SKS cable lock system for each bike secures both wheels and frame
  • Price: $579


    PRW Note: it appears MTBR installed the first two trays backwards. But the rack will still operate fine, just a little tougher to reach the pivot arms.

So there’s our initial impressions so far. We’ve just had it a week but we’ll put it through its paces on many bike trips this summer.

For the full review check out and for more information stop in to your local Yakima Dealer.


Cam mechanism tightens the hitch interface and secures the rack with a lock.


Yakima HighRoad Roof Rack Review

The following is a review By Dave Krueger from

I generally have a choice when I want to travel with one or more of my bikes: do we leave my bikes home and take the kids, or leave the kids to fend for themselves and bring whatever two-wheeled steed I favor? Of course the kids always win. Well, most of the time.

Another issue that has arisen with the advent of fat bikes and car racks is that some sort of modification is needed to allow your fatty to fit – if they fit at all. Hitch racks generally need new fat-compatible trays and roof racks generally need you to remove the front wheel. Fortunately, manufacturers are quickly adapting their racks to fit most bikes right out of the box. Hmm, I wonder if the Yakima HighRoad will fit my road, cross, and fat bike?

The aptly named HighRoad ($229) is a roof-rack that places your bike high above the road. It attaches to most factory and aftermarket cross-bars. If you are the lazy type like me, the HighRoad is an upright bike carrier which does not require the front wheel to be removed. The rack functions by securely clamping the front wheel whilst a strap secures the rear. This system of securing the bike has the sweet benefit of only touching the wheels and not the frame. Thus the Highroad does its best to keep your sexy frame scratch-free.

Setup of the HighRoad was very easy. Without reading the directions, I had it secured to my factory crossbars and ready to go in less than ten minutes (and now that it’s properly adjusted, it take about three minutes to put on/take off). The sturdy, yet flexible, straps are tensioned via an adjustment screw then snapped into place via a camming lever. There are two straps up front and one strap with a SKS lock on back to affix it to the cross bars. The clamp arms are tightened to the front wheel via a knob with a built-in torque setting. Just turn the knob until it clicks and your bike is secure!

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