Whether embarking on a family road trip or packing your buddies into a stinky shuttle rig, multi-bike vertical racks have become one of the most popular ways to securely and safely transport numerous bikes from point A to B. Yakima is a staple in the rack business, and their latest vertical rack, the HangTight, can carry up to six bikes with various wheel sizes, bar styles, and fork setups. You’ve heard of the quiver killer, but the HangTight is after the title of 'quiver carrier,' ready to transport just about any bike on your next adventure.
- Transports up to six flat bar bikes or four drop bar bikes
- Supports most road, mountain, kids, and cruiser bikes by the handlebar
- Fits 2-inch hitch receivers only
- Fully padded cradles protect handlebars
- Rotating rear wheel cup fits a wide range of wheelbases up to 50-inches
- Accommodates bikes up to 37.5 lbs (17kgs) each
- Compatible with 20” - 29” wheels and tires up to 5-inches wide
- Integrated lock loop
- Foot-operated tilt mechanism for rear vehicle access
- Dual cradle retention straps stabilize and protect bikes from one another
- Hitchlock included
- Compatible with the Yakima BackSwing and StraightShot (HangTight 4 only)
- May require a minimum stem length of 40mm with a 10mm spacer, depending on frame and handlebar geometry (standard cradle only)
- Not compatible with aero handlebars, clip-on aero bars, or handlebars larger than 35mm in diameter
- Transport dual-crown fork bikes with the HangTight DH Cradle accessories (Sold Separately)
- MSRP: $1,099 USD (HangTight 4 MSRP: $899 USD)
The HangTight rack was designed to be your end-all-be-all bike rack that can transport just about any bike you own. Yakima offers a four and six-bike model, and we tested the six-bike iteration that can hold up to six flat bar bikes, four drop bar bikes, or a mixture of both (only in the four-bike configuration). The ability to carry drop bar bikes is what separates the HangTight from Yakima's HangOver vertical rack, which can only carry bikes with suspension forks.
The rack functions by holding the handlebars between two rubber-lined cradles. Then, two straps loop over the top and pull downward to tighten, making it easy to yank as much elbow grease into the straps as desired. The rear wheel is secured with a single ratcheting strap, the same style as used on the handlebars, and the wheel tray can be angled to fit different length bikes or wheel sizes. When mounted, the handlebars are turned roughly 30 degrees to the right, so it's best to load bikes from left to right.
We know some of you are happy tossing multiple bikes over your truck's tailgate and don't see the point in a vertical rack, which is all fine and dandy. But, one of the benefits of any vertical rack is the lack of bike-on-bike contact during transport. No more getting to the trailhead and realizing your buddy's bar end has been sawing your top tube in half for the past hour. With the HangTight, space between bikes is enough to limit any handlebar or pedal contact but is still tight enough to keep the rack from sticking excessively far out the side of your vehicle. When installed, you can still access the rear of your vehicle via a step-actuated mechanism that allows the rack to hinge forward.
Putting the HangTight rack together was a straightforward yet time-consuming process. Each bike slot requires multiple screws to install the handlebar mount and rear wheel tray, and the mainframe must be constructed. There are holes on the upper cross arm to configure the handlebar cradles for either six flat bar bikes or four drop bar bikes. We built the rack to transport six mountain bikes, but for riders who want to load a mixture of drop bar and flat bar bikes, follow the four-bike mounting layout. Putting the rack together should be well within the abilities of most cyclists. Just plan to set aside an hour to build the HangTight before you hit the road.
Once built, mounting the rack is as simple as installing the rack into the hitch receiver, tightening the hitch bolt, and installing the bridge pin and lock. The lock has a rubber cover which we appreciated a couple of thousand miles down the road when we removed the rack and had no problem sliding the key into the lock. The HangTight is only compatible with a 2-inch receiver, and Yakima has a thorough Hitch Fitting guide to help insure the HangTight or any of their racks will fit your vehicle. During testing, we mounted the rack to a Chevy Colorado, Toyota 4Runner, Ford Bronco, and Fleetwood RV and experienced no compatibility issues. Depending on the mounting height of the hitch receiver, the height of the HangTight rack will vary, making loading or unloading bikes more or less difficult. Additionally, parking inside most garages or covered parking is a no-go due to the height of the rack, even without bikes mounted.
Depending on how tall you are, how much your bike weighs, and how much you've been hitting the gym, standing up your mountain bike and placing it on a vertical rack could be deemed easy or difficult. For us, placing bikes into the handlebar cradles on the HangTight rack required the same level of finesse as any other vertical rack we've tested. Guiding the straps into the ratchet mechanism was a smooth process, and we appreciate Yakima leaving the straps long so you can easily pull everything tight. Adjusting the wheel tray via the plastic knob did require some hefty grip strength to tighten, but once snugged up, the trays remained in place regardless of the bike they carried. The only annoying aspect of loading bikes on the HangTight rack was the rear wheel strap that naturally fell across the tray. After holding our bikes at chest height and trying to hook the strap between our spokes so the tire would sit into the tray, we resorted to folding and tucking the strap into itself before loading bikes. This didn't take much time and, in the long run, kept us from steaming at the ears trying to load up bikes after a long day of riding.
With the rack set up to carry six bikes, the distance between bikes was snug. We never had bikes touch each other once installed on the rack, but loading bikes required some awareness not to smash pedals and bars into already loaded bikes. When unloading, the only viable option was to remove bikes from right to left. We tried to pull off bikes mounted in the middle of the rack, and while it was possible, it was a painstaking process that often resulted in cables wrapped around bars and pedal pins stabbing into ribs. Releasing tension on the straps took minimal force or finagling, which we appreciated after dealing with some rack straps that bind and get stuck.
Our HangTight rack logged some serious road miles over the past few months, with two memorable trips from Boise, Idaho, to Bentonville, Arkansas, and Boise to Whistler, British Columbia. After a few thousand miles of use, there hasn't been a single aspect of the rack that has shown signs of wear or concerned us. The quality of the ratcheting straps, handlebar mounts, mainframe, and hinge are all robust and built to last. The straps might be plastic, but after months of use in varying temperatures and exposure to weather and sunlight, we haven't experienced any areas of fatigue or failure.
We periodically bolt-checked the rack to double-check our handy work and never found anything rattled loose. The only bolt that we did apply some extra love to was the main hitch bolt. On two separate occasions, we were able to muscle another quarter turn out of the bolt, which gave us the reassurance needed to log another multi-hour drive. As for bike movement, the HangTight had an expected amount of sway when fully loaded that we would expect from any six-bike rack. The bikes themselves never budged despite plenty of windy roads and a few offroad excursions.
Things That Could Be Improved
We may not have dealt with any bike-on-bike contact while using the HangTight rack, but the rack itself did leave some battle scars on our bikes. The design of the handlebar cradle is bulky enough that bikes with a sub 40mm stem or little to no stem spacers below the stem are at risk of the cradle contacting the top tube. We had this happen to a few bikes, and the only solution we found was to wedge a shop rag between the frame and rack. This won't be an issue for many bikes, but if you run a low and short cockpit setup, take note.
The lack of a folding feature made storing the HangTight challenging. The rack is big and awkwardly shaped, taking up much more space than you might expect staring at it on the back of your car. There are other vertical racks in the market that fold and take up less real estate, and for how well the HangTight rack performed, we wish it offered a storing solution when not in use.
Whether you like it or not, e-bikes are here to stay, and the number of riders adding an e-steed to their list of bikes continues to grow. Not being able to carry our eMTB on the HangTight rack was disappointing and will limit potential customers to riders with only acoustic bikes (yep, acoustic, we said it).
What's The Bottom Line?
From epic road trips to after-work shuttle laps, Yakima's HangTight vertical rack provides a secure transportation solution for multiple bikes, with various wheel sizes and handlebar or fork setups. With quality straps and robust mounts built to withstand years of use and abuse, the cradle design ensures that your bikes will arrive at your final destination safely without any unwanted bike-on-bike contact, regardless of how rowdy you drive. The only limiting factors riders should consider are the inability to carry full-size eMTBs and the lack of a folding feature for easy storage when not in use.
For more information on the HangTight 6, please visit yakima.com
Jason Schroeder - Age: 27 // Years Riding MTB: 16 // Height: 6-feet (182cm) // Weight: 175-pounds (79.3kg)
A once-upon-a-time World Cup downhill racer turned desk jockey, Jason has spent years within the bicycle industry from both sides of the tape. A fan of all day adventures in the saddle or flowing around a bowl at the skatepark, he doesn't discriminate from any form of two wheeled riding. A SoCal native who doesn't spend too much time in any single place, you can find Jason camped out in his van most weekends somewhere on the West Coast.