Yakima OnRamp Review
Cons: Clumsy bike holding abilities, complex loading process, tilt mechanism can be hard to engage
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|Pros||Sturdy and simple construction, ramp for easy loading of heavy bikes, 60 lbs per bike weight limit||Easy tilt release function, durable, fat bike compatible, tool-free installation||Reasonably priced, highly versatile, solid construction, user-friendly tilt release, comes with locks||Very secure hold, no frame or fork contact||More security features than other trunk racks, comes in 2 and 3 bike versions, lightweight, folds small for transport or storage, more stable than other trunk racks|
|Cons||Clumsy bike holding abilities, complex loading process, tilt mechanism can be hard to engage||Hefty, pricey||Sits slightly closer to vehicle than some, some assembly required||Design seems a little over-complicated, limited to vehicles with low roof height, you have to lift bike to height of roof to load||Some assembly required, 33 lbs per bike weight limit, may not be compatible with all frames styles and shapes|
|Bottom Line||An e-bike friendly hitch-mount tray rack that is functional but not without its quirks||Impressively easy to use and highly versatile, we think this is the best hitch-mount rack on the market||A versatile hitch-mount rack that provides a high price to performance ratio||A roof-mount rack with an exceptionally sturdy and secure hold of your bicycle with no frame contact||A quality trunk mount rack that stands out for its security features, stability, and adjustability|
|Rating Categories||Yakima OnRamp||Thule T2 Pro XTR||RockyMounts MonoRail||Thule UpRide||Thule Outway Hanging 2|
|Ease of EveryDay Use (20%)|
|Ease of Removal and Storage (20%)|
|Ease of Assembly (10%)|
|Specs||Yakima OnRamp||Thule T2 Pro XTR||RockyMounts MonoRail||Thule UpRide||Thule Outway Hanging 2|
|Style||Hitch (tray)||Hitch (tray)||Hitch (tray)||Roof||Trunk|
|Lock?||Yes, locks for hitch and bikes||Yes||Yes||Available but not included||Yes|
|Rack Weight||43 lbs||51 lbs||44 lbs 2 oz||17 lbs||17 lbs 1oz|
|Max Weight Per Bike||66 lbs||60 lbs||60 lbs||44 lbs||33 lbs|
|Other Sizes Available?||Comes in 1.25" or 2" receiver sizes||Yes, 1.25" receiver and rack add-on for 2 additional bikes||Yes, 1.25" reciever, single bike add-on sold separately||No||Yes, 3 bike|
|Cross Bar Compatibility||N/A||N/A||N/A||Round, Square, Aero, Most Factory||N/A|
Our Analysis and Test Results
Here at GearLab, we appreciate a fresh approach to modern challenges. There is no arguing that e-bikes are rapidly growing in popularity and their heavier weight makes them more challenging to load onto more traditional tray-style hitch mount racks. The OnRamp takes aim at this problem and delivers a functional, albeit far from perfect, solution. We found this rack to work well enough, although it is not incredibly intuitive and some aspects can be somewhat clumsy. That said, we feel it is a viable solution for riders to transport and load heavy e-bikes.
Ease of Everyday Use
In some ways, the OnRamp makes life easier, although other aspects of its design seem somewhat clunky and unrefined. Due to the many steps involved in the process, it takes getting used to, and even then it takes more time to load and secure bikes than some other models. If you're frequently loading and unloading heavy e-bikes, however, the ramp system may be your new best friend regardless of the additional time it takes. Once you get everything adjusted and you become familiar with the strapping system, it is generally quite easy to use. If you are an infrequent user, or you often switch between the bikes you are transporting, this rack can feel a bit cumbersome at times.
Loading bikes on this rack isn't particularly difficult, it just isn't incredibly intuitive. We found ourselves fumbling around with nearly every step in the process the first couple of times we used it, but after that, it became easier and more straightforward. The OnRamp has two horizontal bike trays with wheel cradles and ratcheting straps at each end. There is a folding mast in between the trays with adjustable arms and ratcheting straps to secure the bike frames. The bike trays are adjustable and can be moved side to side to prevent bike-on-bike contact, and the wheel straps can also be adjusted to fit the length of the bike. Likewise, the arms on the mast can be rotated and moved up or down to orient the ratchet strap in the best position to secure the frame. If you're loading bikes that are easy to lift, simply lift them into place on the desired wheel tray, stand up the mast and spin and attach one of the arms to the frame, then attach and tighten the wheel securing straps. Repeat the process with the second bike.
If you're loading heavy bikes that are difficult to lift, you'll want to use the ramp system. Remove the ramp from its transport position at the front of the rack by unscrewing the knob that secures it in place. Insert the tabs of the ramp into the end of your desired bike tray. Roll your bike onto the tray and fold the mast into the upright position. Adjust the arms on the main mast and secure one of the ratcheting straps to the bike frame before securing the wheels to the tray. Make sure all of the straps and adjustment knobs are nice and tight, then repeat these steps with the second bike. Once you're finished with the ramp, return it to its transport location at the front of the rack and secure it with the knob. To unload the bikes, simply reverse the steps in the loading process.
If this process sounds a little complicated, well it is, but it does get easier with repeated use. Another additional concern is that the mechanism used to fold the rack up when not in use can be hard to reach and engage, and Yakima recommends 2 people to tilt the rack when it is loaded. Similarly, the mechanism that allows you to raise and lower the main mast can also be a little finicky. There is also no way to secure your bike to this rack without the straps making frame and wheel contact, and this wouldn't be our choice for transporting expensive carbon-framed bikes. It should also be noted that the 66 lb per bike weight limit applies to smooth, paved roads, it is off-road rated at only 40 lbs per bike.
Ease of Removal and Storage
The OnRamp uses a threaded hitch pin to secure the rack in place. It only requires a wrench to loosen and remove the hitch pin. Some other racks utilize a tool-free removal and installation of the rack which is a little easier to deal with. That said, we don't mind the trusty bolt-on system. This simple design has fewer moving parts that could eventually fail.
The OnRamp weighs 42.5-pounds and is relatively easy to carry and store. It isn't the most compact rack in our review, nor is it the bulkiest. It measures 34-inches x 52-inches x 45-inches. While it isn't exactly small, it won't occupy too much space in the corner of a garage or shed.
The OnRamp is a relatively versatile bike rack. It works with mountain bikes, road bikes, BMX, kids bikes, e-bikes, you name it. With a total carrying capacity of 132-pounds, or 66-pounds per bike, it should be able to handle the weight of just about any bike out there. Yakima claims it can fit tires up to 3.25-inches wide and can work with tires up to 4.5-inches wide with the purchase of the FatStrap Kit. A maximum wheelbase length of 50-inches, or 1,270mm, ensures that it should work with all but the longest of modern enduro or downhill mountain bikes.
The OnRamp is sold in both 1.25-inch or 2-inch receiver sizes. During testing, we found this rack works best on lower vehicles where the angle of the ramp is less steep. It works on slightly taller vehicles like pickup trucks and SUVs, but the steeper angle makes rolling the bike up the ramp slightly more difficult.
Ease of Assembly
The OnRamp comes mostly put together, and the remaining assembly is relatively straightforward. The unboxing and assembly process took under a half-hour and all the tools and instructions were included. The main body of the bike rack with the two trays, main mast, and ramp comes totally pre-assembled. The only remaining assembly step is to attach the tongue portion of the rack to the main body. This process entails carefully lining up a set of holes at the interface of the tongue and main rack and using a ½-inch bolt to join the two pieces. It is important to carefully examine the instructions as it can be a little tricky to figure out the correct orientation.
The OnRamp comes with a long cable that allows you to lock the bicycles and rack to the threaded hitch pin. We enjoy the simplicity of a cable lock, and it is nice and long so it can be looped through frames and wheels. It might not be the most user-friendly, but the cable system allows you to get a little creative with how you use it. One potential downside to the cable lock is that since it isn't permanently attached to the rack it can be misplaced. Also, like most security features on bike racks, this cable lock is a great theft deterrent, but likely won't stop a determined bike thief.
Throughout our testing process, we observed no concerning signs of premature wear or failure. There is a fair amount of plastic used in its construction, most notably the attachment straps and the hooks of the ramp, which could be prone to damage if used carelessly. If used with care, however, we feel this rack should stand up to years of use.
At its retail price, the OnRamp is the most affordable ramp-loading hitch-mount bike rack that we have tested. While it has its quirks, it is completely functional and less expensive than the competition. We feel this rack represents the best value for the user who is seeking an easier way to load and transport heavy e-bikes.
The Yakima OnRamp is a serviceable bike rack that addresses some of the challenges presented by the growing popularity of heavy electric bicycles. This hitch-mount tray rack employs a ramp system to load and unload the bikes instead of lifting them. The attachment system takes a little getting used to, but when used correctly it holds bikes up to 66 lbs securely. This rack would not be our first choice for lighter-weight bikes that are easily loaded, but we feel it is a relatively good value for the user seeking an e-bike transport solution.
— Pat Donahue
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