Yakima doubledown ? hitch rack- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Yakima doubledown ? hitch rack

    I did a search and didn't see anything on this rack.. I saw it at the store today and it seemed sturdy / solid.. I am looking to haul 2-3 bikes. Wondering who's had any experience with it or comments... Lists for about $225


    Yakima Racks & Carriers Shop Bike Hitch DoubleDown 4
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  2. #2
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    In general, these sorts of racks that hold the bikes by the top tube are likely to damage the paint on your bikes and can be just a bear and a half to get the bikes on the rack due to the geometries of the bike frames. As well, you often have conflicts between handlebars and seats as well as pedals hitting the frames.

    Better choices are to hold the bike by the wheels like the Rola, the 1UpUSA (high end), Kuat, Yak and Thule all have options as well.

    J.

  3. #3
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    Hi Alex. I do social media for Yakima. Saw your question via google search, so I created an MTBR Forums acct so I could respond (been meaning to do that anyway, so thanks in advance for the prompt).

    Here are some (totally biased) highlights for the DoubleDown Ace:

    -Totally tool-less installation.

    -The lock comes with it.

    -Completely wobble-less (not sure if that's a word, but I'm going with it).

    -Anti-sway cradles (these address John's point above).

    -Bottle openers. :-)

    Edit: I included a few links to reviews, but the mtbr forum (understandably) won't let me post links b/c I'm a new user.

    Let me know, if you're interested and I can probably direct you that way.

    Hope this helps.

    -Ben

    P.S. This comment is in no way meant to spam the forum. Just wanted to reach out RE your question.

  4. #4
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    I had a DoubleDown Ace (2 bike version). Worked well enough. I liked that the "anti-wobble" knob had an integrated hitch lock on it. The ArmLock addition could've been better though, but the rack itself worked as expected and I didn't have any issues with it.
    Last edited by rogsim; 07-06-2012 at 01:53 PM.

  5. #5
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    Just look at racks of this style with modern geometry bikes on them. It's a mess - bikes at every odd angle imaginable. Coming back from a road trip today, we got a good look at many of these - yikes! These worked great in the day of straight top tubes. Now? Not so much.

    With slanting top tubes and since you have to pretty much flip the bikes around alternating which side the front tire is on to keep the handlebars and seats from hitting. You wind up with a "daisy" of bikes on the back if you have more than one bike.

    Then there is the issue the of holding onto a bike with an expensive paint job by gripping the paint job. One of these (Thule version, but no different) pretty much demolished the decals on my mtb and then scratched the paint. All you need is a little grit on your frame and it starts. Then, it's typically a bit of a rubic's cube getting the pedals, seats and handlebars to not conflict with each other. Pedals hitting your frame can chew the heck out of the paint in no time flat. It's easy to get it to not hit on one side, but both sides and with 2 or more bikes, it's time consuming and tricky. The more bikes you add the more fun it gets.

    These work great for department store bikes, but if you have some money into your ride, you really want to hold them and mount them to the rack by the wheels. You can do enough damage in one trip to pay for a new rack.

    These sorts of racks have been around forever, they are a design more than 20 years old. If you mount the bike by the tires, you have the bikes pretty much held by constant points that don't vary with bike geometry (there are always two wheels on the ground and they have to touch the ground in a straight line - perfect for a tray). Yak and Thule have options here. Also look at Raxter, 1UpUSA (my favorite far and away) and Rola's NV2 (really a cute design for 2 bikes). All of these are much cleaner in the way the bikes mount to the bike, the ease with which you can take bikes on and off (and much faster too).

    Finally, take any rack that tips down to "get into the back". Try doing that with 4 bikes on the rack and then trying to get into the back. 4 MTB's are going to weigh in at around 100-120lbs for starters. You don't just "tip" that much weight out of the way and then "snap" it back into place. Empty, then I suppose it's a nice feature but pretty much every hitch rack of substance can flip up or down or whatever.

    J.

  6. #6
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    As stated above, the racks that hold by the tires are the only way to go. I have this rack and although it's stronger then you can believe it creates a nightmare of scratches and tangles with the pedals thru the spokes and the worst problem was my freshly powdercoated bike had the pedal of another bike rubbing on the frame for a hundred miles. Completely destroyed the paint and rubbed into the aluminum.

    It was not rubbing and not loaded improperly. I even used Bungie cords to add additional support to keep pedals and wheels lined up properly. Nevertheless their was a pedal that rotated and the bikes moved from bumps in the road. So now my great custom powdercoating is ruined completely.

    The best racks are hitch mounts that hold by the tire. I have a Yakima King Cobra roof mount that is flawless, but require some armand back strength to load the bikes. It also leaves me endlessly paranoid with thousands of dollars of bikes on my roof at 70MPH down the highway.

    They have never come loose, and never given any concern other then my own paranoia. The biggest fear is that a tire will go flat while up there after a ride. They maintain tension against the inflated tire. That bugs me too. I found that I adjust my passenger side view mirror up as far as I can to keep an eye on the bike on that side. The King Cobra used as a Receiver mount would be flawless! If only it were possible!

  7. #7
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    Yep. Exactly right. Good point on the pedal and frame conflict. I also had a handlebar/seat conflict that destroyed a $150 seat by wearing through the covering on the saddle. It's just impossible, or at least very difficult, to get all the pedals, seats, handlebars to not touch something else and then you have to worry about the grip on the frame.

    Hitch rack tray style or roof top rack - I prefer fork mounts (Thule Echelons for aero bars or Yakima Sprocket Rockets for round or square bars) on the roof or the 1UpUSA trays for either. Fork mounts are essentially wheel trays without the front wheel. Every bike has a front fork.

    J.

  8. #8
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    I'm an owner

    I have the Doubledown 4. Overall I like it but there are several things to keep in mind.

    CONS:
    • Security is a bit of a joke. If someone wanted to break the hitch lock off, they could do it pretty easily. It is also a threaded hitch pin which keeps it stable. Aftermarket pins would allow the rack to have a little play. Also, if they had a socket set, they wouldn't have to even break the lock. Just unscrew the main beam and walk off with everything. Some people drill another hole so they can lock it all together.
    • Cradles - The anti-sway cradles are nice but they can move a little under high winds (like on the highway).
    • Space. I've never put 4 bikes on mine but it seems it would be a bit tight for 4 bikes. Perfect for 2 or 3 bikes.


    PROS:
    • Cost.
    • Quality. I think it is made well minus the security points. It is stable enough with really only a little up and down movement on bumps. I've taken up to around 80 MPH and it is fine on my Civic.
    • Easy installation and use. In a matter of minutes I can connect my hitch rack to my car, load my bike, and be on the road. Much cleaner, safer (for the paint), and easier than loading bikes into my trunk.
    • Good rack for hatches since it tilts
    • Yakima apparently treats their customers well. Although I haven't had to call them yet.
    • Anti-sway cradles pretty much keep the bikes stable. Like a said, they can move under or tilt a bit with high winds
    • Bottle opener just in case you forgot one.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by jjhack View Post
    As stated above, the racks that hold by the tires are the only way to go. I have this rack and although it's stronger then you can believe it creates a nightmare of scratches and tangles with the pedals thru the spokes and the worst problem was my freshly powdercoated bike had the pedal of another bike rubbing on the frame for a hundred miles. Completely destroyed the paint and rubbed into the aluminum.

    It was not rubbing and not loaded improperly. I even used Bungie cords to add additional support to keep pedals and wheels lined up properly. Nevertheless their was a pedal that rotated and the bikes moved from bumps in the road. So now my great custom powdercoating is ruined completely.

    The best racks are hitch mounts that hold by the tire. I have a Yakima King Cobra roof mount that is flawless, but require some armand back strength to load the bikes. It also leaves me endlessly paranoid with thousands of dollars of bikes on my roof at 70MPH down the highway.

    They have never come loose, and never given any concern other then my own paranoia. The biggest fear is that a tire will go flat while up there after a ride. They maintain tension against the inflated tire. That bugs me too. I found that I adjust my passenger side view mirror up as far as I can to keep an eye on the bike on that side. The King Cobra used as a Receiver mount would be flawless! If only it were possible!
    I was researching this rack to replace the one on my Jeep as I just got a new Subie outback and wanted a new non rust bucket rack on it. I bought the DD ace 5. I'm gonna pull 1 of the cradles off and just run it for 4 bikes, give me more room. I also have thule fork hold trays for the top. Thats where my CF bikes ride. Aluminums go on the back usually.

    I have learned through personal experience that if you have high dollar bikes you care about put them ON TOP. Back racks, either top tube or tire hold trays are not a safe place for multi thousand dollar rides. I ride MTB, road, cross, and do Triathlons. Some of my race bikes are 3K+ and up not including wheelsets that may be on the ride at that time.

    I put my training bikes on my back rack and my old MTB bike on the back when I need a shuttle bike kayaking. All my CF wonder bikes go on the roof. I learned this the hard way after a Triathlon a few yeard back. On the way home my wife and I stopped at the store for groceries and some A hole backed into the jeep with a tire tray and about 10k worth of Tri bikes with deep wheels on them. Destroyed both our bikes and wheels. Then the aforementioned a hole fled the scene.

    Try claiming 10K in damage with your auto insurance for bikes! It was a fiasco. I took a huge loss on it. Even when they paid up they depreciated the bikes and wheels several grand. If you don't have independent full insurance on the BIKE don't put it on the back. Your not covered for full loss.

    Your bikes are never safe on the back. On top you only need to worry about clearance issues. On the back you have to watch out when you back up and then worry about all the other morons out there. You know there is a problem when Yakima puts that orange flag on the hold up rack.

    Just my 2 cents....

  10. #10
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    Hey Yakimaguy.

    if Yakima made a Holdup with a swingdaddy arm, I would totally be in for that. Pass it along.

  11. #11
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    You'd better bring a few tires for your travel.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Steepcreeker View Post

    Your bikes are never safe on the back. On top you only need to worry about clearance issues. On the back you have to watch out when you back up and then worry about all the other morons out there. You know there is a problem when Yakima puts that orange flag on the hold up rack.

    Just my 2 cents....
    ... and they are never safe on the top either. Having driven one into a garage, I can vouch for that. When I called to talk to Yakima about damage to the rack and parts, they told me that this sort of call happens several times a day during bike riding season. Yes, it's a stupid thing, but it's just so incredibly easy to do - even more so when you are not home (driving it into other overhangs).

    Basically, set up your insurance. Have a good company. Take all the precautions you can. We have a 1UpUSA that we use on the back with very expensive bikes. We never leave it unattended with the bikes on it so if we park, there is someone always with the car. That means in the back of the lot where there is no traffic.

    J.

  13. #13
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    Well, a year after purchasing it and using it extensively, I can report that it is a piece of sh.it.

    The bikes shift side to side since the bike mounts slide. This causes paints to scratch, seats to get torn, brake levers to get tangled up with the other bikes' wheel spokes, etc. on the highway? If I don't use bungee cords purchases seperately I would've lost 1 or 2 bikes by now.

    Recommendation? Go with their competition.
    Better 2 ask 4 pardon than 2 ask for permission. Recall that nxt time U feel you have 2 ask ur wife if U can buy something

  14. #14
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    I just bought the Yakima double down ace 4 and I'll be mounting 2 Trek mtb on it. I hope I have some good luck with it.

  15. #15
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    So far this rack is working great for me!

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