We don't stop hiking because we grow old, we grow old because we stop hiking. -- Finis Mitchell

Product Review: Yakima King Joe 2 Bike Carrier

I recently purchased a new mountain bike (I'll review that later this week once I get to take it out on the trail) and since I drive a Dodge Neon I needed a way to carry it.

My dad has a trailer hitch mount bicycle rack on his car. The main complaint that he had about this form of bike rack was that it was pretty unstable. Because of the 1 1/4 inch mount to the 2 inch rack he has to use an adapter. The adapter adds length and some wiggle.

For what I will be using my rack for we decided the best rack would be a trunk mounted one. This way I could take it off and since I didn't drive a Subaru I wasn't going for a roof rack.

I only needed a rack that would haul two bikes and I looked at the various models out there. After reading some reviews on the models (some people who used them obviously didn't know how to follow directions but I'll get to that more in a minute) I opted for the Yakima King Joe 2 Bike Carrier.

I purchased the carrier at REI last week and got to try it out on Friday for the first time. I was carrying two bikes. My old school, weighs almost as much as my car mountain bike, and my street bike.

I found that the bike rack was very easy to install and the pads that rested on my trunk didn't scratch my car. There are six straps that connect to various points on the trunk. Two up, two down and two to the side. After tightening the straps there was no wiggle in the rack.

The rubber holders on the bar for the bikes to be strapped on are great too. They open up to add extra support on the bike frame with three separate straps to hold the bike snugly to the rack.

I drove just over 50 miles on Friday over a very windy and curvy road. I kept my eyes on the rack for any movement in the bikes. When I got home I found that the straps were just as tight as when I left and the bikes hadn't moved at all.

This is a great trunk mounted bike rack especially for the price. It runs $135.00 at REI. But I got it at the anniversary sale so saved a good chunk of change.

I've only used it for that trip and some smaller ones of about 15 miles each, but have yet to have any problems.

The negative reviews that I have read about it seem to be more user error than product error. Most of them talk about the straps being loose and lots of movement before they even started driving. I believe that is due to the user not tightening the straps. Another review said they didn't like that it could be removed from the trunk. To this I say, "You bought a REMOVABLE bike rack!" That's not the products fault, that is the users fault.

It is also great because this model not only fits my car, but also my fiance's 2008 Dodge Avenger. She has a spoiler on her car and the Yakima King Joe 2 allows for clearance over the spoiler. You can also open the the trunk with the rack still in place.

I give it a review of five stars for trunk mounted bike racks.

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