On a recent outing to the Mckenzie River Trail, we elected to utilize the shuttle, and ride the entire length as an all mountain ride, with as much descending as possible. I highly recommend this option, as it was wicked-fun, and even though we’ve been riding a decent amount, by the end of the ride, everyone was low on energy.
It also was our first chance to check out the North Shore 6-Bike Rack. At a first glance, these things are pretty sweet. Mounting up bikes goes quickly, and is just a matter of hanging the bike on the hook, and tying down the back wheel. Because the way the bars are turned on the bikes, this rack packs them tight, didn’t bounce around and the bikes don’t even block the rear brake lights. In fact, the only drawback to this rack design appears to be for those that also ride bikes of the skinny tire variety. The fork mounts don’t play well unless you have a mountain bike, due to the way the hooks fit. Kid’s bikes? Maybe. It would depend on the clearance on the fork. However, for mountain bikers with that play hard and often, it is a pretty sweet system that should be checked out. It is a simple design, and folds down when not in use. Two, four, as well as six bike options are available and are priced in line with other brand models with similar capacity. We’ve talked to a few guys that have them, and they love theirs.
There are a few cons to the system though. The high weight capacity comes at a price. The rack is heavy and apparently is a pain to install or remove it. Because the bikes hang vertically, there can be some clearance issues- if you were moving away from roof racks because you keep scraping your bike on the parking garage, this rack plus a large SUV will probably have similar issues. The rack doesn’t offer a lockable hitch pin either, so security of the rack could be an issue.
North Shore Racks is a new company and availability is also an issue. They don’t have a dealer network here in the states, so if you want one, they have to ship it to you, and that won’t be cheap based on the weight of the rack.
For more info on the North Shore Racks: