Anyone have a North Shore 4 bike rack- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
    bikeboatbrewski
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    Anyone have a North Shore 4 bike rack

    Just got a Toyota 4R and was wondering if anyone here can tell their experience with the ns-4?

    I emailed NS and finally got a reply from them that it will work with my vehicle but also would like to hear from real world folks before I pony up that much cash.

  2. #2
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    I have an NSR-6 an use it on my '11 4-Runner with no issues. It's easily the best MTB rack on the market, by such a great distance that I feel bad for other racks and don't even much bother to post in this forum and wave it in their faces. heh

    Fast loading, no damage, completely stable at high speeds over rough terrain.

    A couple friends have sold off their T2/Hookups since seeing the NSR in person. One of those is using the NSR-4 on an Acura MDX and works great. The biggest drawback to using any 4-bike rack on an SUV is that SUV's tend to have soft, comfy suspension for passengers and highway miles which leads to sag under a load of heavy bikes. My pickup carries 6 bikes with ease, my 4-Runner rides a little low in the back with 6 bikes and associated people and gear.

    Shots of my rack on my pickup:

    From the side, on an SUV, the rack tilts back incrementally to allow the bikes to clear the back door-


    6 bikes loaded up, note how high they sit, keeping road debris from sandblasting or mud from caking the bikes ->


    The tail lights are somewhat obscured with 6 bikes but not nearly as much as this picture suggests due to the wide angle of the lens used in this shot ->


    FWIW, I have no affiliation with North Shore Racks and paid full retail like everyone else.

  3. #3
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    This will be the rack I order, now that my truck has a shell on it. No doubt.

  4. #4
    bikeboatbrewski
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    Thanks Err!

  5. #5
    bikeboatbrewski
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    I just got the email that they have the 4 & 6 bike racks in stock, pulled that trigger.

  6. #6
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    Only thing that comes to mind looking at that pic is: "Taste the rainbow"

  7. #7
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    not sure what's worth more, the truck or the cargo. nice quiver...

  8. #8
    bikeboatbrewski
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    Finally got my rack and put it together today.



  9. #9
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    oh man I want one of those...

  10. #10
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    I have had mine for over a year now and will stay with NSR for as long as I am transporting bikes. It is too easy and secure to go elsewhere. I also recently changed cars from a Jeep wrangler toa Mazda Speed3 and was able to make all the adjustments I wanted to make it fit the different profile of the back of the 3. Awesome rack, highly reccomend.

  11. #11
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    Worth noting that I believe you can only transport mountain bikes, is that not correct?

    J.

  12. #12
    oh crap...
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    This is making me reconsider the purchase of a Thule 917 T2 that I can get used for $225. Which direction do you guys think I should go? Like J80 reminded us...I've got a Salsa Vaya, along with my FS 29er and many other types of bikes friends of mine have that I could potentially haul around. Do you think I'll have trouble with the Vaya?
    Grow some food for yourself.

  13. #13
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    I believe it's the fork spacing that is the issue.

    North Shore Racks


  14. #14
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    Anyone have any trouble with their hydrolic brakes after hanging the bike vertically? I suspect I have an air bubble in the lines, as every time I hang my bike vertically the brakes are spongey until I cycle then a few times. I know I probably just need to bleed them, but I am wondering if this type of rack will make the problem worse or magnify it.

  15. #15
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    Is there any possibility that really lightweight xc bikes will bounce out? My friends have some 21lbs full susp full carbon rigs, and I'm paranoid about being responsible for them in transport....

  16. #16
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    I'd think if the bike is properly tied down at the rear wheel you should be ok. If you are concerned, use a strap (like a Surly Junk Strap) at the head tube mount.
    I plan on picking up one of these shortly. I have a Kuat NV today, but am selling due to it does not work that well with my Fat Bike. The NSR should solve my current woes.

  17. #17
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    My Truth is about 24 lbs, and I have no issues. I usually run a bungee around the front wheel to keep it from spinning; the other goes around the rear wheel/rack for my piece of mind (though not really neccessary).

  18. #18
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    i think this may be the rack i go with now!

  19. #19
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    Are there any bikes that cause a problem for these racks? They really seem ideal. Was thinking about the Kuat NV, not so much now.

  20. #20
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    Road bikes seem to be a problem, as the crown design is more narrow on the fork.

  21. #21
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    Yep... any bike with a narrow crowned fork... my wife's hybrid bike does not fit, nor my son's BMX bike. However both of my son's XS mountain bikes fit very well.

  22. #22
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    Quick question for you guys with this rack -
    Is it possible to fit a kid's bike? 16" or 20" wheel with BMX style fork?

    I figure with some ingenuity (duct tape, ratchet, bungies etc) I could get it to work. I'd like one to carry both my bikes and my kiddos' bikes, but I'm not sure if it will work.

    I know it will obviously NOT reach the lower support, I can work around that - it is the upper support/fork crown interface that makes me ask.

    Thanks in advance!

  23. #23
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    I can fit my son's Gary Fisher Pre-Cal with 20" wheels on the rack as it has a fairly large fork crown. His Trek with 24" wheels also fits very well... again, it has a large crown.
    As mentioned, my son's Haro BMX bike, which has a narrow fork crown, will not fit.

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bacons View Post
    I can fit my son's Gary Fisher Pre-Cal with 20" wheels on the rack as it has a fairly large fork crown. His Trek with 24" wheels also fits very well... again, it has a large crown.
    As mentioned, my son's Haro BMX bike, which has a narrow fork crown, will not fit.
    Thanks for the heads up.

    I see they disclaim it is hit&miss on the site, but they say they've fit 12" and 20" bikes on there.

    I figure, worst comes to worst, I can hang the wheel thru the hooks and rig something to pull the kids bike to the center mast (for lack of better term). Thinking two adult bikes on the outside, kids in the middle, or something like that. With all those mounting points, it has to be pretty easily rigged.

  25. #25
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    Get a six pack of Surly Junk Straps, they will be your best friend. They do a great job of tying anything down.
    You'll love the rack.

  26. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by CharacterZero View Post
    Thanks for the heads up.

    I see they disclaim it is hit&miss on the site, but they say they've fit 12" and 20" bikes on there.

    I figure, worst comes to worst, I can hang the wheel thru the hooks and rig something to pull the kids bike to the center mast (for lack of better term). Thinking two adult bikes on the outside, kids in the middle, or something like that. With all those mounting points, it has to be pretty easily rigged.
    I have hung as small as 12" on mine with no issues other than needing a longer strap for the rear wheel. Also had 14", 16" and 20" without issue. I have one bike (daughters BMX race bike) that has a funny aluminum fork that won't fit in the bars. That one rides inside.

  27. #27
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    I just got the NSR-4 last week and I have to agree this is the best rack I've ever owned. The complaints I've had about other racks is that they've been wobbly or I had to lower, raise, twist seatposts or stems to avoid contact with the bike next to it. This rack has none of those issues. I'm amazed how stable it is. If I set the lean back to the 3rd cotter pin hole back, I can fully open my bed cover and tailgate without touching the rack or bikes. Before I saw it in person, I was leary of whether or not I would use the delivered ropes to hold down the back wheel or come up with something different. The rope idea is so simple and it really works well. I can get a bike on or off the rack in less than 30 seconds.

  28. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by CharacterZero View Post
    This will be the rack I order, now that my truck has a shell on it. No doubt.
    Truck is gone, which increased the need for the rack. Thanks for the responses here, it fit the kiddos bikes just fine (not pictured, they were using them before I could even get to unloading the gear)...


  29. #29
    Err
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    Nice! I have a 5th gen TE 4-runner as well. I ended up throwing a set of airbags in the back to help with the weight of the bikes. It's really only an issue when fully loaded down but it was definitely annoying. Airbags were $90 shipped and about 2 hrs to install.

  30. #30
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    I'm using the airbags as well. They work great when I have 5+ bikes. I also use a strap between the rack and the hatch when I have a lot of weight to cut down on the hitch flex.

  31. #31
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    van,kids bikes

    I have a full size van and a mess of kids we take on bike trips. Will the rack support the smaller size bikes? If not any suggestions for a rack that can support different size bikes and can carry +5 bikes.

  32. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by gwenhop View Post
    I have a full size van and a mess of kids we take on bike trips. Will the rack support the smaller size bikes? If not any suggestions for a rack that can support different size bikes and can carry +5 bikes.
    The rack supports my kids' bikes just fine - 16" hotrock and a 12" strider.

    I just make sure to junk strap/bungee them to the center mast and mount the adult bikes on the outside. 2 kids bikes and 2 adult bikes no problem.

  33. #33
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    Thanks

  34. #34
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    In the 6-Bike picture on the previous page, it looks like the bars overlap the frame of the adjacent bike. So do you have to unload the bikes from left to right, and load them in reverse?

  35. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by turfnsurf View Post
    In the 6-Bike picture on the previous page, it looks like the bars overlap the frame of the adjacent bike. So do you have to unload the bikes from left to right, and load them in reverse?
    same MO with the 4 and 6, the bars do overlap the frames.

  36. #36
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    Load left to right; Unload right to left. Since the steering angle is to the right, it dictates the load order.

  37. #37
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    Man...Me likey. Seems they are sold out of the NS-4 and NS-2. I'll contact them and see when they'll be back in stock.

  38. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rock rover View Post
    Man...Me likey. Seems they are sold out of the NS-4 and NS-2. I'll contact them and see when they'll be back in stock.
    next week...

  39. #39
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    I really like how compact this rack is. But I'm also wandering if it'll damaged the crown area after some prolong use. I'm torn between this and the raxter rack. Raxter sticks quite a bit but I like it being very light and simple. How much does nsr4 weighs.

  40. #40
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    I've been using mine for a year now for weekend use. One major road trip (1,200 miles). None of the forks have suffered any wear damage. If you are concerned about rubbing of the paint, I would suggest using a paint protection film (example: XPEL Clear Universal Door Sill Guard (60" x 2.75") Paint Protection Film Kit : Amazon.com : Automotive ) on the contact areas (I don't use this tape on my forks, but I do on cable/frame rub areas).
    I have not weighed my NSR-4, but I suspect it's around 50~60lbs. It's lighter than my Küat NV was, but it is awkward to move around.
    If I had a complaint about the rack, it would be the thin powder coat. Around some of the welds I had to touch it up due to mild surface rust. But overall, I would recommend the rack.

  41. #41
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    Friend has one, we use it all the time. Best way to transport 4 or more MTB's IMO, and I own a 1UP.


  42. #42
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    Quote Originally Posted by digifun View Post
    But I'm also wandering if it'll damaged the crown area after some prolong use..
    None with about 15k miles so far.
    Only two infinite things exist: the universe and stupidity. And, I am unsure of the universe
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  43. #43
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    We used my buddy's North Shore rack for about 5 shuttles up a gravel road and the crowns on my Lyrik got scratched up pretty bad. Its not a big deal, but I cant imagine using it all the time what it would do.

  44. #44
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    Anyone used one of these on Jetta Wagon or similar wagon? I have a 1 and 1/4 hitch, and worry that it won't fold down enough to open the large hatch.

    My T2 drives me nuts with the clearance issue on my semi low car.
    GG Smash

  45. #45
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    yO... I just poached this off NSR's website. You should have clearance on your wagon. However, I would ping them directly to make 100% sure.

    I can tell you the rack folds pretty far back to access the hatch (sadly, not far enough for my swing-gated Jeep... but it does on the wife's minivan).

  46. #46
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    Thanks for the response. I think my main concern is back wheel clearance. I have a semi-steep driveway and my T2 scratches with more than 1 person in the car. I worry that the NSR will cause the back wheel to hit, shooting the freaking bikes into outer space.
    GG Smash

  47. #47
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    Quote Originally Posted by y0bailey View Post
    Anyone used one of these on Jetta Wagon or similar wagon? I have a 1 and 1/4 hitch, and worry that it won't fold down enough to open the large hatch.

    My T2 drives me nuts with the clearance issue on my semi low car.
    My buddy has a Passat wagon and can open his hatch without any issues, without bikes loaded (he's never tried with bikes loaded).

  48. #48
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    Quote Originally Posted by kntr View Post
    We used my buddy's North Shore rack for about 5 shuttles up a gravel road and the crowns on my Lyrik got scratched up pretty bad. Its not a big deal, but I cant imagine using it all the time what it would do.
    My fork crown fits pretty snug in the U hooks and have not caused any issues yet. I could see it rubbing the paint off in time but I think most racks have some cons.

    On my T2 XTR that I sold, I had to clamp down my front wheel away from the fork because many have said the arm rubbed off the paint.

  49. #49
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    Good job!

    In my opinion, it's the best 4 bike rack out there.

    20", 24", 26", and 29" bikes fit nicely.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Anyone have a North Shore 4 bike rack-img-20130317-00083.jpg  


  50. #50
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    Old thread, but I'd like to know if anyone has flipped a road bike around and hung them by the handle bars? Kind of like the softride rack does. I use both road and mtb but love this rack and would like to get it if I can make the road bikes work somehow. If anyone has done it or could take a picture of theirs with one of theirs on?

  51. #51
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    I've tried flipping my xbike around and no dice. That aside, still the best rack I've ever used for mountain bikes. When I need to haul the xbike, I'll throw her in the back or use my Thule Helium Aero.

  52. #52
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    I have a carbon rigid that i have to flip around to haul. It's not ideal as the back of the stem rubs on the U bracket. I ended up wrapping the bracket with a towel. I also bungee the bars and stem at the bracket so the bike doesn't jump off when going over bumps. Again, not ideal but will work on short distances.

  53. #53
    Si vales, valeo.
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    Anyone got an NSR4 (or NSR6) they'd want to sell??
    "An inconvenience is an adventure wrongly considered." G.K. Chesterton

  54. #54
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    hey warshade - try searchallcraigs to look around, that is how I found mine (guy shipped it from NY to TX).

    Good luck though, I have 3 friends who'd buy mine if I needed to move it on. With my ACL injury this year, the rack is making more trips than I am.

  55. #55
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    Quote Originally Posted by CharacterZero View Post
    hey warshade - try searchallcraigs to look around, that is how I found mine (guy shipped it from NY to TX).

    Good luck though, I have 3 friends who'd buy mine if I needed to move it on. With my ACL injury this year, the rack is making more trips than I am.
    There's an NSR6 on the other side of the country...looking into it, but it's doubtful that the final shipped price will be reasonable. We'll see what the response is...
    "An inconvenience is an adventure wrongly considered." G.K. Chesterton

  56. #56
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    Fat bike friendly?

    Just curious how the fat bikes fit if they rigid front forks? Wife has a carbon fork and not sure if it is a good idea to have that holding the weight of the bike. Thoughts?

    Have a Thule T2 and it's ok, not worth the $ it costs and with 4 bikes spots it weights a ton and u practically throw ur back out lifting and lowering it.

  57. #57
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    Here is wife's hybrid in the rack. Just one of the fork blades down the middle. Add a bungee and I think it will be ok. The cantilever brake snugs in between the hooks.

    I got this rack knowing for her bike is have to figure something out. Alternatively I have 1 rood tray for this bike if this didn't work.

    North shore rack NSR-4

    Anyone have a North Shore 4 bike rack-imageuploadedbytapatalk1436632772.580543.jpg
    Anyone have a North Shore 4 bike rack-imageuploadedbytapatalk1436632822.069262.jpg

  58. #58
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    The Recon Rack is a way better rack.

    Recon Rack Co

  59. #59
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    Quote Originally Posted by kntr View Post
    The Recon Rack is a way better rack.

    Recon Rack Co
    And cost a whole lot more

  60. #60
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    Quote Originally Posted by forrestvt View Post
    Just curious how the fat bikes fit if they rigid front forks? Wife has a carbon fork and not sure if it is a good idea to have that holding the weight of the bike. Thoughts?

    Have a Thule T2 and it's ok, not worth the $ it costs and with 4 bikes spots it weights a ton and u practically throw ur back out lifting and lowering it.
    I used mine to haul 4 fatbikes this winter, no issues at all.

  61. #61
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    Quote Originally Posted by digifun View Post
    And cost a whole lot more
    You get what you pay for.

  62. #62
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    What makes the Recon rack so much better?

  63. #63
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    Recon Rack does not look like it would fit a fat bike. Deal breaker for some, soon to be many with growing popularity.
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