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Vertical / shuttle bike rack options for 4 bikes (or more?)

July 30, 2019, 7:10 p.m.
Posts: 190
Joined: Feb. 13, 2016

I'm looking around for a bike rack option to hold 4 mountain bikes to use with my truck (Ford F150) and ideally would like one that is actually in stock somewhere in the Pacific North West because ideally I'd like to have it by the end of next week.

  • North Shore Racks (NSR) seems to be the most economical option but they are sold out of the 4 bike option until after my preferred date.   I could get their 6 bike rack but really don't really want the extra size because I already have a tailgate pad for local shuttles and just need the rack for family trips.  Also, somewhat strangely NSR does not sell the parts to convert a 6 bike rack to a 4, even though it seems they would be 'bolt on' interchangeable.  (Which is also annoying because if you ever damage the horizontal bars on the rack, you can't buy replacements).
  • Recon racks in Ferndale WA seem awesome and crazily over built but they are also out of the 4 bike option.
  • Lolo Racks in Portland are also an interesting option and they may actually have stock in their 4 bike rack but I've never seen one in person and loading their rack with the tires facing backwards seems kind of awkward.

Are there any other 4 bike rack options I've missed or should consider?

Has anyone ever bought a 6 bike rack and wished they had bought a 4 (or vice versa)?


 Last edited by: Xorrox on July 30, 2019, 7:11 p.m., edited 1 time in total.
July 30, 2019, 8:13 p.m.
Posts: 2035
Joined: Jan. 5, 2010

https://www.pinkbike.com/buysell/2611998/

https://www.pinkbike.com/buysell/2611703/

July 30, 2019, 8:25 p.m.
Posts: 1289
Joined: March 18, 2017

If I was buying a new rack today I’d either go 1Up or Recon Rack. If the exchange rate had me quivering (like it rightfully does) I’d go with a True north Rack. 

I currently have a NSR-4 rack. 

Cons: Mtn bike specific, bikes pop off the prongs on bumpy roads. 

They really should switch to aluminum w/ stainless steel hardware

July 30, 2019, 9:35 p.m.
Posts: 190
Joined: Feb. 13, 2016

Thanks Cheez1ts and Endur-Bro. Had not heard of True north Rack; will check them out.

July 31, 2019, 7:46 a.m.
Posts: 1781
Joined: Feb. 26, 2015

Posted by: Endur-Bro

If I was buying a new rack today I’d either go 1Up or Recon Rack. If the exchange rate had me quivering (like it rightfully does) I’d go with a True north Rack. 

I currently have a NSR-4 rack. 

Cons: Mtn bike specific, bikes pop off the prongs on bumpy roads. 

They really should switch to aluminum w/ stainless steel hardware

I have the two bike option for the 1up. The four is pretty huge when folded up and in carry mode. I don't wanna obscure my licence plate and get pulled over on some trumped up charges.

Have had it on the car year round since I bought it two years ago. Not a speck of corrosion on the stainless steel parts, super high quality.  I did have to lubricate the gaskets on the swing arms which were a bit dry from road salt.  I really like the NS racks but they need to be made out of aluminum.  The rust factor is a no go for me.

July 31, 2019, 10:23 a.m.
Posts: 1675
Joined: July 11, 2014

I have a 4 bike NS rack that was on my car when I got rear ended, the car that hit me bent the lower U bar on the left side. I visited NS racks and while they give no guarantee, they guy there helped me bend the U bar back and said it's not load bearing and the rack is probably fine to keep using... the hitch tube, lower pivot and mast are all straight and functioning fine. I've been using this rack for the last month with no problems (and trust my new $7600 bike on it). Rack is about 2 years old and has the anti rattle pin.

Insurance bought me a new rack this week, will sell you the old one cheap if you want, PM me and I can email you pics or you can come look at it. I'm also going out of town Friday after work, located in East Van.

July 31, 2019, 12:28 p.m.
Posts: 190
Joined: Feb. 13, 2016

Posted by: grambo

I have a 4 bike NS rack that was on my car when I got rear ended, the car that hit me bent the lower U bar on the left side. I visited NS racks and while they give no guarantee, they guy there helped me bend the U bar back and said it's not load bearing and the rack is probably fine to keep using... the hitch tube, lower pivot and mast are all straight and functioning fine. I've been using this rack for the last month with no problems (and trust my new $7600 bike on it). Rack is about 2 years old and has the anti rattle pin.

Insurance bought me a new rack this week, will sell you the old one cheap if you want, PM me and I can email you pics or you can come look at it. I'm also going out of town Friday after work, located in East Van.

Definitely interested - pm sent!

July 31, 2019, 1:32 p.m.
Posts: 1188
Joined: May 4, 2006

Posted by: grambo

I have a 4 bike NS rack that was on my car when I got rear ended, the car that hit me bent the lower U bar on the left side. I visited NS racks and while they give no guarantee, they guy there helped me bend the U bar back and said it's not load bearing and the rack is probably fine to keep using... the hitch tube, lower pivot and mast are all straight and functioning fine. I've been using this rack for the last month with no problems (and trust my new $7600 bike on it). Rack is about 2 years old and has the anti rattle pin.

Insurance bought me a new rack this week, will sell you the old one cheap if you want, PM me and I can email you pics or you can come look at it. I'm also going out of town Friday after work, located in East Van.

Hey Grambo, as you know from your other thread, I have also had my NSR-4 damaged.

I'm curious whether the insurance company asked you to get the rack repaired (and if so, whether NSR said it was possible or quoted you a cost).

Also, it seems they let you keep the old NSR-4, or did you need to 'buy it back' from the insurer once they coughed up for a replacement? (What are you getting?)

July 31, 2019, 5:15 p.m.
Posts: 201
Joined: Feb. 24, 2017

My ns4 was bent in a rear ender, as was the hitch receiver. ICBC replaced both with new ones and didn't ask for the old ones back. I repaired the old rack and sold it for a good price to someone who was happy to get it.

July 31, 2019, 5:25 p.m.
Posts: 1289
Joined: March 18, 2017

Posted by: Brocklanders

I have the two bike option for the 1up. The four is pretty huge when folded up and in carry mode. I don't wanna obscure my licence plate and get pulled over on some trumped up charges.

Have had it on the car year round since I bought it two years ago. Not a speck of corrosion on the stainless steel parts, super high quality.  I did have to lubricate the gaskets on the swing arms which were a bit dry from road salt.  I really like the NS racks but they need to be made out of aluminum.  The rust factor is a no go for me.

I’m interested in picking up a pair of 1Up trays for a roof rack on the GFs Subaru. But I can likely get a Thule or Yakima setup for less

Aug. 1, 2019, 11:51 a.m.
Posts: 1675
Joined: July 11, 2014

Posted by: SixZeroSixOne

Posted by: grambo

I have a 4 bike NS rack that was on my car when I got rear ended, the car that hit me bent the lower U bar on the left side. I visited NS racks and while they give no guarantee, they guy there helped me bend the U bar back and said it's not load bearing and the rack is probably fine to keep using... the hitch tube, lower pivot and mast are all straight and functioning fine. I've been using this rack for the last month with no problems (and trust my new $7600 bike on it). Rack is about 2 years old and has the anti rattle pin.

Insurance bought me a new rack this week, will sell you the old one cheap if you want, PM me and I can email you pics or you can come look at it. I'm also going out of town Friday after work, located in East Van.

Hey Grambo, as you know from your other thread, I have also had my NSR-4 damaged.

I'm curious whether the insurance company asked you to get the rack repaired (and if so, whether NSR said it was possible or quoted you a cost).

Also, it seems they let you keep the old NSR-4, or did you need to 'buy it back' from the insurer once they coughed up for a replacement? (What are you getting?)

Same as Skooks for me, ICBC did not ask for the old rack back or ask for repairs, they gave me money toward a new one and I sold the old one to Xorrox yesterday. I probably could've just kept the money and used the old rack but happy to pass on a good deal to him.

Sept. 26, 2019, 11 a.m.
Posts: 1659
Joined: Aug. 6, 2009

Lolo Racks in Portland are also an interesting option and they may actually have stock in their 4 bike rack but I've never seen one in person and loading their rack with the tires facing backwards seems kind of awkward.

I've seen one of these around town lately. https://www.loloracks.com/

Seems like a good solution for my menagerie of MTB, road, commuter, and kids bikes, which do not all play well together on most racks.


 Last edited by: PaulB on Sept. 26, 2019, 11:02 a.m., edited 1 time in total.
July 5, 2020, 6:26 p.m.
Posts: 14
Joined: July 1, 2019

Curious what the current thoughts are on vertical racks? I recently got a canopy for my truck and am looking at options for shuttles/trips etc.

Recon rack would likely be my top pick if it wasn't for the exchange rate, so NSR-4 is looking more likely.

July 5, 2020, 7:48 p.m.
Posts: 1289
Joined: March 18, 2017

What ever happened to that rack company out of Alberta? 

I have an NSR4. Wouldn’t get another.

July 6, 2020, 11:39 a.m.
Posts: 14
Joined: July 1, 2019

Posted by: Endur-Bro

What ever happened to that rack company out of Alberta? 

I have an NSR4. Wouldn’t get another.

Guessing you mean True North Racks mentioned earlier in this thread? Can't find anything other than a defunct twitter with that name so assuming they're no longer an option. It is kind of surprising there isn't more made on Canada options.

Why wouldn't you go with the NSR again?

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