It all started for me back in the early 90’s while living in Washington State. I grew up in a military family and moved all over the world. But Washington is where I graduated from high school and spent my time in the 2nd Ranger Battalion. A beautiful place with snow-capped peaks, endless evergreen forests and the Puget Sound. It would be difficult to live there and not develop an affinity for the outdoors. I grew up skiing, cycling and exploring. One of my early vehicles was a 1990 VW Corrado and the first to require a roof rack. With only a couple of reputable brands to pick from, I chose the roof rack that got its start in my home state of Washington, Yakima Racks.

Before the cell phone and internet era, I felt strongly about a company that would be supportive. By that, I mean supportive with advice, products and service. Yakima Racks had a stronghold at the local sporting goods stores in the Pacific Northwest. So I knew I could walk in and have a good selection of parts and attachments for my future needs. That 1990 Corrado rocked the early crossbars and fairing to haul bikes, skis and snowboards. Being an avid skier, I liked to ride my road bike to keep the legs in shape during the summer months.

HoldUp EVO & BackSwing combo

The latest Yakima product added to the fleet is a hitch mounted bike rack. The Yakima HoldUp EVO. This rack fits into the 2″ receiver on our Toyota Tundra “Roja”. Built for Overland travel, Roja carries our Roof Top Tent over the bed leaving the hitch available for a bike rack. Like all products from Yakima, the HoldUp EVO is robust and over-engineered. This heavy-duty rack carries a pair of bikes by their wheels and secures them with the padded StrongArm Hook. The safest way to transport modern carbon fiber or painted frames. Integrated SKS cable locks further secure your investment when not near your vehicle.

Yakima HoldUp EVO: A bicycle rack built for two

Yakima HoldUp EVO specs courtesy of

  • Hitch mounted tray rack that loads quickly and carries two bikes without frame contact
  • NEW Easy-access tilt mechanism and KickStart™ foot pedal make raising and lowering the rack a breeze, even with bikes loaded
  • NEW Tool-free locking SpeedKnob™ makes installation and removal fast, easy and secure
  • StrongArm hook secures bike at wheels, protecting painted surfaces and carbon frames
  • Easily adjust trays to reduce bike-to-bike interference
  • Fits most bikes, including fat-tire, mountain, road, hybrid, women’s specific, BMX, kids’ bikes, & E-bikes under 50 lbs.
  • Accommodates disc brakes, through axles, boost hubs, and full suspension bikes
  • Fits 20” to 29” wheel sizes and tires up to 4.8” wide
  • Integrated SKS (Same Key System) locks included for added bike security
  • Available in two sizes: 1.25” hitch receivers & 2” hitch receivers
  • Carry four bikes – just add the HoldUp EVO +2 (compatible with 2” version only)

Overland Expo Video:

A simple tool-less installation will have you on the road quickly. Versatile tire trays accommodate a wide variety of modern bikes. From super skinny 20mm road bike tires to mega 4.8″ fat tire bikes. It even works with the growing segment of electric bikes under 50 pounds. But mounting a bike rack behind a truck or SUV would block access to the rear hatch or tailgate, right? Yakima designers are one step ahead with the KickStart mechanism. This latch allows the user to tilt the bike rack down so access to the rear hatch is still possible. While this solution worked perfectly for our family SUV, it didn’t provide enough clearance to fully drop the tailgate on the Tundra.

That’s where the Yakima BackSwing comes in. The BackSwing Hitch Adapter fits between the hitch receiver and the HoldUp Evo. And allows the entire bike rack to swing out 90 degrees and securely lock in place. Which is the perfect addition for anyone with a full-size truck. While traveling to Overland Expo in North Carolina, my wife and I used this combination for the first time. The addition of the BackSwing does add to the overall length of the vehicle so keep that in mind while backing up. It did, however, prove to be the perfect set-up for Overland travel with bikes. Since we use the tailgate for cooking and require access to the gear inside the bed while parked. The piece de resistance, however, is the bottle opener found at the rear of the HoldUp EVO. A perfect way to end the day.

Yakima BackSwing specs courtesy of

  • Hitch extension converts most 2″ hitch products to a swing-away rack
  • Provides easy tailgate access – even with a rack fully loaded with bikes
  • Easily swings open 90 degrees and locks in place with the simple to use release lever
  • Safety latch secures the rack closed while you’re on the road
  • Secures to any 2″ hitch receiver using a threaded pin
  • Included SKS (Same Key System) lock keeps the rack secure
  • 250 lb maximum load capacity (rack plus gear)
Yakima Kayak Rack and Crossbars on the previous Tundra

A lot has changed in my life since the 90’s. I’ve been married for 23 years. Have a kid in college and one in high school. Moved to Northern Michigan and started a construction company. But one thing remains unchanged. Yakima Racks. Every single vehicle I’ve owned has had a Yakima Rack on it. They have never let me us down and diligently carry my our gear. Our family continues to ski, cycle, camp, kayak and Overland travel. No matter what the activity, Yakima has a solution. From bikes to kayaks, skis and SUP boards. Yakima has just what the doctor ordered to safely transport your recreational toys on whatever vehicle you own.

Old school 90’s cycling in the Olympic Mountains, Washington