Many people prefer Yakima over other brands because they manufacture affordable accessories and racks yet come with outstanding quality.
Usually, when we look at something with a low price, the first thing that pops into our mind is that it must be of poor quality. However, it isn’t the case with Yakima, and it certainly isn’t the case with OnRamp.
After using the Thule EasyFold XT 2, I was looking for an affordable alternative, and that is when I came across the Yakima OnRamp. I had my doubts about the rack at first, but they were soon cleared once I got to test it out with my own hands.
Don’t worry; I won’t be keeping the secrets to myself. In my Yakima OnRamp review, I have discussed everything there is to know about the rack and how it is an excellent alternative to the EasyFold XT 2.
Taking a Closer Look into The Yakima OnRamp Hitch Bike Rack 2
Nothing beats the convenience of Yakima OnRamp when it comes to carrying e-bikes.Yes, it’s not as compact or portable as the Thule EasyFold XT 2, but it is undoubtedly a more affordable choice.
Nevertheless, I will discuss the differences later in another section; for now, I would like to show you guys’ what OnRamp offers.
Build and Design
The Yakima OnRamp doesn’t come with a state-of-the-art design. In fact, the overall look of the rack is quite mediocre, not too bad, but not great. It does have a smooth black finish, but other than that, it appears the same as a standard bike rack.
Appearance aside, the build or the design of the carrier is ingenious.
Unlike typical racks, it doesn’t come with a ratcheting hook to secure bicycles; instead, it has a mast at the center with two clamp arms.
The clamps, along with the ratcheting straps attached to the wheel trays, keep bicycles locked on the rack.
In any case, the OnRamp weighs 57 pounds, which is not a lot but not something you can neglect either. Yes, if you have a strong build, it shouldn’t be a problem to move around and lift the rack to the hitch of your car. However, if you aren’t, then it might cause you some minor issues.
Apart from that, the rack is durable. I’ve used mine for a couple of years, and there was nothing worth mentioning except for a few minor scratches and loose bolts.
However, I do need to tell you guys that I have used my one with care, meaning I used to maintain it, so unless you do the same, I can’t guarantee how long your rack will last.
Bike Quantity and Maximum Weight Capacity
The OnRamp can accommodate two bicycles. If you look at the rack, you’ll see two trays on each side of the foldable mast.
So, you can use the carrier to haul either one or two bicycles max. The rack doesn’t come with adapters or extenders, which you can use to make it a 4-bike rack. So, if you want to carry more than two bikes, then the OnRamp isn’t a good option.
Although the rack doesn’t shine when carrying a few bicycles at once, it does a great job of accommodating even the heaviest of e-bikes.
As mentioned before, the carrier has two platforms with a maximum weight capacity of 66 pounds each. So, the total hauling ability of the rack is somewhere around 130 lbs.
To test out the limit of the carrier, I tried hauling almost all the e-bikes in my collection. I started with a few semi-lightweight ones. They weighed somewhere between 30 lbs and 40 lbs. So, the rack had no issues whatsoever carrying them.
My heaviest e-bikes are the Lectric XP 2.0 (65 lbs) and Aventon Level.2 (59.8 bs). At first, I didn’t dare to haul both of them simultaneously because their combined weight was around 125 lbs. However, after a few weeks of using the OnRamp,
I finally decided to do it. Mounting the Lectric XP 2.0 was a little tricky because of its weird design, but I will discuss it later.
Well, almost everything was perfect. The rack was able to hold the e-bikes without any signs of accidents. I double-checked the bolts and if anything was coming off or not, and as you can guess no issues.
However, it became impossible for me to tilt the rack down with the bikes on it. I needed an extra pair of hands for the job.
Unless a bike rack can accommodate a wide range of bicycles, it shouldn’t be considered a top-tier carrier, even if it has a great weight capacity. The best thing about the Yakima OnRamp is that it can hold many different bikes and even the heaviest of e-bikes.
So, the rack features a foldable mast at the center with two clamp arms and ratcheting straps. There are also four cradles on both trays, which come with straps to keep the wheels in place. The OnRamp can carry bikes with a maximum wheel size of 29 inches and a tire width of 3.25 inches. The trays, straps, clamps, and almost everything are adjustable, making it easier to mount any type of bike.
Anything smaller than that won’t be an issue, but if you need to carry bicycles with a fatter tire, you’ll need to use the FatStrap kit. The kit doesn’t come with the rack, and you’ll need to purchase it separately.
So, I didn’t try mounting only e-bikes on the carrier; I also hauled a few mountain and road bikes, for instance, the Yeti SB130, REI Electra Cruiser, and a few others, to see if it could accommodate them or not. Well, anything with a tire less than 3.25 inches wide went smoothly on the trays.
Afterward, I used the rack for what it was meant to do— carrying e-bikes. I already told you guys that I mounted the Aventon Level.2 and the Lectric XP 2.0 on the Yakima OnRamp. The former has 27.5-inch wheels and 2.1-inch-wide tires. On the other hand, the latter has 20-inch wheels and 3-inch tires.
Mounting the Aventon was effortless; I didn’t need to make any special adjustments. However, the Lectric XP 2.0 has a smaller frame than most bicycles. Moreover, the slanted top tube of it is pretty thick, so I couldn’t connect the clamp to the frame.
What I did is— I adjusted the trays and made sure the clamp was near the seat of the XP 2.0.
I usually attach the clamps to the frame of my bicycles, but in this case, I had to connect it to the seat of the XP 2.0. It is a tiny adjustment, but you must keep this in mind when installing bicycles with a short frame.
Nevertheless, I also bought the FatStrap kit to check if it can help the carrier hold fat tire bikes. The answer— Yes, it does, but there is a catch.
Using the kit, you can haul bicycles with tires as wide as 4.5 inches, but the overall wheel size can’t be more than 27.5 inches.
Hitch Size and Accessories
The Yakima OnRamp comes in both 1.25-inch and 2-inch hitch options. You won’t have the option to switch between the 1.25-inch and 2-inch options; therefore, make sure to buy the model that supports or fits your vehicle’s receiver.
I got the 2-inch hitch model, as I installed a 2-inch receiver on my Subaru Forester 2019 long before getting the rack.
I would like to add that if you’re planning to haul extremely heavy bicycles, like the ones that weigh 60lbs to 65lbs, you should go for the 2-inch model. It is safer that way, and there won’t be any risk of unwanted accidents.
Installation is easy once you get used to it. The first few times may be a little challenging, especially if you don’t have any experience installing a bike rack.
Nevertheless, you will receive some tools with the package, which should help you attach the carrier to your vehicle. You should get two 19-millimeter wrenches and some bolts and lock washers. Keep them safe because you’ll need to assemble the rack and install it on your car.
To ensure the security of the bicycles and the rack, the Yakima OnRamp comes with a long cable lock featuring the SKS system. It’s pretty much like one key to unlock or lock them all.
Nevertheless, the cable is unique and does two jobs instead of one. You can use it to lock your bicycles to the rack only or simultaneously lock your bikes and carrier to the vehicle.
Usually, racks come with a lockdown point at the hitch or somewhere around the platform. The OnRamp does have a locking pin on the edge of the hitch, but you will also find a small independent lockdown point on the cable itself.
So, it’s up to you to decide whether you want to lock your rack and bicycles together with the same cable or if you want to use something else to secure your carrier and use the cord for your bikes.
Nonetheless, the cable doesn’t look sturdy, and anyone willing to steal your bike can cut it with a little effort. If you’re making small stops, it shouldn’t be a problem; however, if you need to make a big stop, you should take other measures to keep your bikes and rack safe.
A hitch-mounted bike rack would be incomplete if it can’t fold up or tilt away. Thankfully, the Yakima OnRamp has the feature to tilt upward for storage or parking purposes and downward for trunk or rear vehicle access.
To fold the rack up so it stays close to your car, you first need to fold the mast at the center. Afterward, you will have to remove the safety pin, which is situated at the rear of the tongue, and finally, pull the auto pin.
Tilting the carrier downward will be a little more challenging, especially if you do it alone. If your rack isn’t loaded, then you shouldn’t come across any issues doing it. Still, if it is loaded, I suggest you grab an extra pair of hands to support the load of your bicycles.
So, tilting the carrier away is also easy (when it doesn’t have any bike on it). You will first need to remove the safety pin and then pull the auto pin.
Let gravity do its magic and let the rack come down automatically. Make sure to hold the carrier while tilting it downwards, or else the jerk can cause some severe damage to your rack.
Mounting the Yakima OnRamp on your vehicle may be a little difficult, but mounting your bicycles on the carrier won’t be because of the included ramp.
The bicycle ramp is about 51 inches long, so even if you’re using a tall vehicle, it will still be able to reach the ground from the notch point of the rack.
The ramp makes it much easier to haul bicycles on the carrier. It can be connected to the end of the trays, and it doesn’t matter which side you’re using.
Once attached, you can simply roll your bikes and place them on the rack. A piece of advice— don’t ever use the electric power of your e-bikes to load them on the carrier. It can be very dangerous.
Once you’re done using the mounting ramp, you can simply store it at the front. You will find a pin right above the tongue or the rack hitch (near your car’s rear). You can store the ramp there using the included threaded knob.
How to Install and Mount Bikes on The Yakima OnRamp?
Installing the Rack
- Included 19-millimeter wrench
- 24-millimeter wrench
- Included lock washers
Before installing the Yakima OnRamp, you will first need to assemble it. The assembling process is straightforward, and almost anyone can do it. You will notice that the tongue and carrier are separated from each other. So, your first job will be to connect the tongue.
Pull the auto pin out and align the tongue’s holes to the rack’s holes. Release the pin, and it will automatically sit in place.
Now, secure the rack to the tongue using the included half-inch bolt. Use a nut to secure the other side and take the wrench to tighten both sides of the bolt.
Once the tongue is in place, lift the rack up and insert it inside your vehicle’s receiver. Align the holes of the carrier to the holes of the hitch. Insert the hitch bolt with the lock washer and tighten it using the 24-millimeter wrench.
Make sure to do it properly, or the rack will wobble while driving with it. That’s it. You’re done assembling and installing the Yakima OnRamp.
Mounting Bikes on the Rack
Mounting your bicycles on the carrier is much easier because of the included ramp. First of all, you will need to bring the rack to the carrying position by pulling the auto pin.
Now, release the pin and connect the safety pin. If the ramp is connected to the rack, you will need to remove it by removing the knob. Afterward, place the ramp inside the pockets on the trays’ ends.
Now, adjust the wheel cradles and straps to accommodate your bikes. There are knobs underneath the trays, which lets you adjust the cradles.
You can also change the wheel straps or remove them using a screwdriver. Unfold the mast at the center and adjust the clamps so they don’t come in contact with your bicycles when you’re loading them.
Roll one of your bikes on the carrier and use one of the clamp arms to keep it secured. Position the pad of the arm, so it doesn’t scratch your bike’s frame.
Use the knob at the end and the ratcheting strap to tighten the clamp. Make sure to position the heavier bicycle closest to your car. Finally, use the wheel straps to further secure your bike on the rack.
Repeat the same thing with your second bicycle, and you’re done. Remove the mounting ramp and put it back in its storage space.
Who is it for/Not for?
This is For:
- People who are planning on taking e-bikes
- Someone who prefers to haul a wide range of bicycles
- People who need to carry more than one bike
- Someone looking for a more affordable option to take e-bikes on trips
- People who need to take more than two bicycles on their journey
- Someone who wants a low-profile hitch bike rack
Comparing the Yakima OnRamp
As promised, this is where I tell you guys the difference between the Yakima OnRamp and Thule EasyFold XT 2. I chose the XT 2 because it is almost the same as the OnRamp. You can say— it’s a premium alternative to the former. So, have a look.
Portable and Compact
The Thule EasyFold XT 2 is much more portable than the Yakima OnRamp. Here is why. The former comes with wheels at the bottom and can fold into the size of a briefcase. It also has a handlebar, so you can use it to drag the rack around like a cart or case.
Furthermore, it weighs only 45 pounds, and the OnRamp weighs 57 pounds. So, you can understand why the former is more portable than the latter.
The Yakima OnRamp can’t be folded like the XT 2, so without a doubt, the round goes to Thule EasyFold XT 2. It is much more portable and compact than the OnRamp.
Both Yakima OnRamp and Thule EasyFold XT 2 feature mounting ramps to make it easier for the users to haul their bicycles on the rack. However, the ramps differ quite a lot from each other.
The one on OnRamp is a single solid steel piece. It is sturdy but can’t be folded, meaning the ramp is durable but not compact. On the other hand, the ramp on the XT 2 is divided into three pieces and connected using plastic parts.
It makes the ramp more compact and allows it to be stored in the smallest places, but it doesn’t look very durable.
There is a drawback to almost everything, and the downside to the compact size of Thule EasyFold XT 2 is that it can’t carry bicycles with big wheels.
It’s evident that the rack can accommodate a wide range of bicycles using the Fat Bike Wheel Strap kit. Still, the Yakima OnRamp does a better job at carrying different bicycles.
The latter can accommodate specific bikes, which the former cannot. So, I have to give this round to the Yakima OnRamp.
I believe the tilting mechanism of the Thule EasyFold XT 2 is better when compared to the system of the Yakima OnRamp.
You can’t tilt away the former on your own when it is fully loaded; even if you manage to do it, the process will require a lot of unnecessary effort.
On the other hand, the former can be titled downward even when it is fully loaded without any extra pair of hands.
As I’ve told you, the Yakima OnRamp is an affordable alternative to the Thule EasyFold XT 2. The latter costs a few hundred dollars more than the former.
So, if you need to carry e-bikes, but don’t have the budget to buy the EasyFold XT 2, then the OnRamp can be a perfect choice.
On the other hand, the EasyFold XT 2 is an excellent option only if you have the budget to purchase it.
Another related bike rack: YAKIMA RidgeBack Tilt-Away 4-Bike Hitch Rack
As you can see, the Yakima OnRamp is undoubtedly a magnificent alternative to the Thule EasyFold XT 2. There are quite a few differences between the two, but despite being a few hundred dollars less than the latter, the OnRamp does a great job of standing out on its own.
My experience with the carrier was terrific, as you have seen in the Yakima OnRamp review. Yes, a few things can be better, but you can’t expect everything to be perfect. I hope you learned everything you needed about the Yakima OnRamp. Good Luck with your next journey.