Modify a yakima rack


I have a yakima on-ramp for my 2 ride1up cafe cruisers. Overall it’s a sturdy rack, but in spite of the claim that it fits tires up to 3.25” … it doesn’t. And yakima doesn’t care. I left a poor review, and there are several others all complaining about the tire fit, but yakima has not posted any official responses.

The problem surfaces during loading, it’s really easy for the tires to slip off the track. It’s bad enough that my wife cannot load a bike by herself. So i set out to correct the problem. My initial thought was to completely replace the track with a length of 4” pvc pipe, but as i got into it i realized that wasn’t practical. The tire straps are attached to the track, i was concerned about the strength if the pipe, and the ends of the track have slots for the ramp, so overall i realized the stock track had to stay. Sidebar: the factory ramp sux too, it’s way too narrow and flimsy, it twists out of shape very easily. I built a new ramp the second day.

I started by cutting the pvc pipe to the same length as the tracks, less the plastic tips. That was because I was going to replace the tracks, turns out it worked out to be a good length. After cutting the pipe in half on my table saw, I cut a slot to fit around the plastic tips. In my case, the width of the slot is 3” which fits around the box part of the tips. The length of the slot allows it to fit between the inboard ends of the tips. I sanded all the edges and rounded the ends. In the picture, one end has rounded cuts in the pvc and one end is square. The square cut was first, i realized they should be rounded and did that for the second one.

I had to trim the flanges of the plastic tip, which you can see in one of the pictures, which shows a stock and a trimmed tip. Without trimming the flanges, the ends of the pvc were spread apart. I could have trimmed the pvc, but i wanted as much pvc as possible for strength. I secured the pvc to the track with 1/4” machine screws and lock nut. The slot in the bottom is 1/4” wide so it was easy to get the screw in the middle. A little black paint, and it looks factory. The wet spots in one picture are fresh paint where i covered the screws after they were installed.


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