I love Yakima products but this one is not one of them. I own a hitch mounted yakima that swings away and good for 4 bikes. Also use a ski carrier on the same bike rack. very good bike rack, but hard to mount 4 bikes with busy frames on. So we went for this bike rack and its extension.
Our swings away bike rack was perfect except the bike mounting part. easy to access the rear door with/without the bikes on it. The new bike rack is completely the opposite. The only good part is bike loading and rest is pure disaster.
This is a heavy rack with 4 positions (which is OK), but release system is a stupid one. Imagine the bike rack in vertical position and you want to bring it down to load the bikes. If you release the pins and not holding to the bike rack (on a down hill or a lose grip), it goes forward and hits the rear of the vehicle hitch door. Very stupid design.
Next issue is the safety pin cord. it is secured to the main hitch by a flimsy plastic pin that does not last a week!
Next issue is bringing the bike rack up to vertical from horizontal. you have to release the locking pin while playing with that heavy 4 bike rack. So imagine bending your back 90� (worse position), pulling the pin out with your left, while lifting the bike rack with your right hand up and down. as soon as pin gets released, then you need to lift the entire load with your right arm and your backbone at 90� will most likely snap after a week! This is just rack with no bikes on it! now imagine it with bikes. I usually go out with my kids (6 and 7) and we have 3 bikes on the rack. I have to ask my kids to pull the pin in/out while I am lifting the bike rack at the end.
Next issue is the down park position to access the rear hitch door. Same issue. You have to lift the entire rack with your back at an awkward position.
part of the rack that holds the tires folds on the rack to take less space (while rack is at vertical position). they suppose to be locked but only 1-2 mm of plastic interference holds them down. after hard braking, they pop open and bang to the rear hitch door/window. I ended up putting a bungee cord to keep them in place.
So 1200+ tax and all the pain living with this thing? I called Yakima and asked them the question. They said they will pass it to the design department to consider it!!!!
If they had:
1. a nice screw lock for a secure rack locking in different positions
2. Solid tension cord lock to the hitch (safety pin)
3. a handle at the end of the rack to lift it and release the locking pin while standing at the end of the rack (rather than bu the hitch)
4. a stop to prevent the rack to pass vertical and hit the rear hitch door.
5. a secure lock system to prevent tire support to open during braking. (rack in vertical position)
Then it was a ultimate bike rack. But with these 5 design issues, it is a disaster to live with.
2007 Audi Q7