Yakima HangOver Review
Cons: Only works with bikes with suspension forks, can't handle e-bikes, not a good option for smaller vehicles
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Our Analysis and Test Results
Analysis and Test Results
The Yakima HangOver rack is a quality rack that has a relatively narrow range of applications. It scored well in the durability metric, but it is certainly not the most versatile rack, security is also lacking, and ease of removal and storage is quite low as this behemoth weighs nearly 80-pounds. Judging by the relatively low scores in some of these metrics, one may think this isn't a good bike rack. Quite the contrary, it functions exceptionally well for the right buyer with the right needs.
Ease of Everyday Use
The HangOver is easy to use when compared to other racks with high carrying capacity. What does that mean? Within the scope of racks that carry 4+ bikes, the Yakima is easy to use. We have tested some of our favorite tray-style racks with the "add-on" accessories that allow you to carry a total of four bikes. These tray-style racks can be quite challenging to use in the four bike configuration. Dropper post and handlebar interference can be a real problem and can lead to scratched seatposts…an unpleasant and expensive problem.
The Hangover has a vertical configuration and becomes significantly more user-friendly when loading 4+ bikes. There is far less interference with handlebars and seat posts as long as you load properly.
Loading is quite simple even if it is a bit more involved than tray-style or roof-mounted options. Simply grab the bike on the lower fork leg and seat stay and lift the front end onto the fork cradle by turning the wheel slightly to the right. This does require a little bit of effort and it can be cumbersome with heavy bikes. Once the fork is in the cradle, the rear wheel drops into place on the lower mast of the rack. At this point, use the rubber straps to secure the fork crown to the rack and the ratchet system to secure the rear wheel to the lower mast. The process is relatively user-friendly, but it is certainly more work than simply dropping a bike onto a tray-style setup and clamping it down.
The fork cradle is a bit simpler than it looks. We like the rubberized strap that secures the fork to the rack. The ratchet-system that clamps the rear wheel to the rack is a bit more finicky. We are not quite sure as to why they wouldn't have used the stretchy, rubberized, strap for the rear wheel too. The ratchet system is a more complicated two-hand process. Yakima provides a rope that you can loop through the front wheels if you want to keep the front wheels from spinning.
The rack tilts down quite easily. There is a pedal on the lower portion of the rack that allows you to tilt the mast away from the vehicle. This is a slick system. You do need to be careful as when there are bikes on the rack, you have to prepare yourself for the weight that will come backward.
The HangOver is not as user-friendly as roof-mounted or tray-style racks. Fact. That said, if you're looking to carry a lot of bikes, it is one of the better options out there.
Ease of Removal and Storage
The HangOver posts a low score in terms of ease of removal and storage. This rack is quite heavy. It weighs close to 80-lbs. For most folks, it will be a two-person job to safely remove this rack off the vehicle and into the shed or garage.
In addition to the obvious weight of the rack, it is exceptionally large. It is wide, tall, wide, and bulky. Trying to maneuver this thing through gates or doorways is exponentially more difficult than almost any other rack in our test.
The major caveat about that rack is that it only works with suspension forks. This means road bikes, hybrid bikes with rigid forks, BMX bikes, and kids bikes with rigid forks will not work. This is a huge deal and cannot be understated. Even if you primarily mountain bike, having the ability to transport a road bike occasionally is important. As a result, the HangOver scored quite low in terms of versatility.
This rack is a great example of a product that does what it does very well. When mounted on a truck or a big SUV, the HangOver is right at home hauling your crew's enduro sleds to the top of a rad downhill. There is no doubt that Yakima delivered a quality product, but it has a narrow range of applications. It really doesn't make much sense unless you are carrying 4+ mountain bikes frequently.
On smaller vehicles, including small to small-mid-sized SUVs, the HangOver is simply too large. The mast and upper horizontal bar will protrude significantly above the roofline of your vehicle and stick out wider than your mirrors. To be frank, it looks quite goofy on smaller vehicles. In addition, it only works on vehicles with a 2" receiver. The 1.25" crowd is out of luck.
According to Yakima, the HangOver has a maximum weight capacity of 37.5-lbs per bike. That is a notably low carrying capacity. Most trail and enduro bikes shouldn't have any problems. But downhill bikes, and more importantly E-bikes, regularly weigh significantly more than 37.5-lbs. We suspect you could slightly exceed the recommended weight limit, but we would be extremely careful as this could void your warranty.
Ease of Assembly
The HangOver was reasonably easy and intuitive to assemble. Once you wrestle the exceptionally heavy box to the location where you will slap it together, things get much easier. It is best to assemble the rack on the back of a vehicle.
The rack comes in a few main pieces with separate bags of the straps and ratchets brackets that you will install last. There is a base piece that includes the hitch portion as well as the broad metal mast with the word Yakima printed on it. This is where the bulk of that 80-pound weight lives. Next, there is a lighter and thinner upper portion of the mast that you attach. The horizontal bars are attached and then you go about putting ratchets on.
Assembly took about 45 minutes. It is a little intimidating when you crack the box open and see all of the parts, but the directions are well-written and the process is more or less intuitive. The North Shore NSR-6 is a very similar vertical-style rack and assembly is far more complicated with a whole lot more nuts and bolts involved.
The HangOver 6 posts a mediocre score in terms of security. The only security feature is a locking barrel that secures the hitch pin. This means that nobody will be able to simply detach the entire rack from your vehicle (without breaking the lock). The hitch pin lock isn't especially meaty, but it is well-designed and low profile.
The bikes are fair game to a thief. Given the design of the HangOver there really was no way for Yakima to provide security features. If you have this rack, it is best to carry around a long, beefy, cable lock in the event you need to run to the grocery store after a ride.
If this rack is one thing, it is robust. The HangOver is chunky and has a built-to-last appearance to it. We don't have any serious concerns about the structural integrity of the rack if you abide by the maximum weight suggestion. We can see many folks, sometimes unknowingly, exceeding the weight limit on this rack. The horizontal bars are substantial, but we wouldn't load this thing full of a half-dozen e-bikes.
One relatively minor area of concern is the longevity of the rubberized straps that secure the fork crown to the rack and the ratchet system on the rear wheel. If you are leaving your rack on during the winter and use it heavily, these might have a tendency to fail.
At $799, the HangOver is expensive. In fact, it is the most expensive rack in our test. It is difficult to call the HangOver 6 a good value. For the exceptionally high price tag, it only works on a somewhat narrow range of vehicles and bicycles.
Still, the Yakima delivers a strong value for the right buyer as it can carry six mountain bikes, with plenty of ground clearance.
The Yakima HangOver 6 is a mean bike rack intended for the aggressive trail and gravity rider. This rack works well within its intended application which is undeniably narrow. It only works with suspension forks and has a surprisingly low weight limit of 37.5-lbs per bike. This weight limit disqualifies E-bikes and some downhill bikes. This rack might make sense for the enduro crowd with large vehicles and lots of friends. Casual riders or those seeking more versatility should consider a tray-style rack.
— Pat Donahue