PNW Components Rainier Gen 3 Dropper Post And Loam Lever Review

PNW Components Rainier Gen 3 dropper and Loam lever review

We subjected a PNW Rainier Gen 3 Dropper Post and PNW Loam Lever to a 13 year-old lad who does his best to put his bike through the wringer over the course of a season. This trio of participants rode hard from Virgin to Bend to Port Angeles. Not one of them gave up. Click the jolly red buttons below to get a live price. You’ll be pleasantly surprised.

PNW Components Rainier Gen 3 dropper and Loam lever review

Ahhhh… the dropper post. Over the last few years, this accessory has become mandatory for mountain bikers. With the press of a lever, you raise your saddle to get optimal leg extension on the pedals and then a couple of seconds later – another quick actuation, and the saddle is out of the way for the descending. Doing this over-and-over along a ride adds up. Doing it over the course of a season for avid riders and the count is easily in the tens of thousands if not billions.

PNW Components Rainier Gen 3 dropper post detail

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Right off the bat, we have to let you know that PNW has differentiated itself from other brands by integrating a tool-less travel adjust system. Over the range of 30mm in 5mm increments, you can reduce the travel of the Rainier Gen 3 post. This is cool because as you know, kids grow. Yes – of course you can raise the post out of the seat tube to adjust the height until the minimum allowance of the post is in the seat tube. But if you get the post for your kid early enough, you get over an extra inch over the course of a growth spurt. Very cool.

How The Rainier Gen 3 Tool-less Dropper Adjustment Works

Like your office chair with a similar feature, you just want the dang things to work. Sure, we don’t subject our chairs to dozens of up-and-down cycles over the course of a rigorous shift at the desk, but you get the point. Maintaining a dropper is to be expected, so we were sure to use the dropper for several months before letting you know what we thought about it.

PNW Components Loam Lever Review

How To Install Your PNW Components Rainier Gen 3 Dropper

The Rainier Gen 3 Dropper

With a number of diameters and travel lengths to choose from, it’s simple to find the right model – say one with a 30.9 mm diameter and 150 mm travel. The post consists of a sealed air cartridge designed to hold up to plenty of use. It has internal cable routing, as well as a shortened overall length, meaning that you won’t have to worry about it being too long for the seat tube of your bike.

Installing the Rainier Gen 3 was simple. We liked the fact that the head of the derailleur cable gets attached to the base of the post instead of the lever. This makes it a lot easier to measure, cut and just crimp a cable tip.

PNW Components Rainier Gen 3 Dropper Post Review
PNW Components Loam Grips and Dropper Lever

The Loam Lever

The Loam Dropper Lever is both stylish and functional. It comes in your choice of colors, as long as they’re gray, red, black on black, or even a cool black with seafoam teal accents. It has an ergonomic handle that features an injection-molded pad. It adjusts in two different ways, ensuring that you can comfortably move your seat to the correct height. The lever weighs a mere 32 ounces without the clamp and is compatible with several popular droppers other than the PNW Components Rainier Gen 3. Get bonus style points by adding matchy-matchy PNW Loam Grips to the ensemble.

On the pedals with the Rainier Gen 3 dropper and Loam lever from PNW Components
Descending with the PNW Components dropper and lever

You Will Like This Dropper Post And Lever

The PNW Rainier Gen 3 Dropper and Loam Dropper Lever have held up very well for our kid across six months of heavy use in the desert heat and PNW moisture. We have had no issues with the post sagging, slowing down when traveling, getting stuck in place. It just works. The Loam Lever is still buttery-smooth and has even survived a couple of above-average crashes. We have not had to do any maintenance or adjustments and we are looking forward to seeing how the combo continues to perform. If you’re done with bleeding a dropper or having reliability/maintenance issues with other brands, the offerings from PNW Components are definitely worth a look.

Yakima Hangover 6 Bike Rack Review

Yakima Hangover 6 Review mountain bike rack for families

When I first learned the Yakima Hangover Bike Rack was being produced, I was eager to get a hold of one. I wanted to compare it against the other vertical hang style racks we have come across including the North Shore NSR 6-Bike and the Alta Racks GPR.

Yakima Hangover 6 Review mountain bike rack for families

NOTE: Our review is for the Yakima Hangover 6 Bike Rack , which of course holds up to 6 bikes. The Hangover 4 is also available from: Amazon | Backcountry | Jenson USA

Yakima Hangover mountain bike rack - factory photo

The Design Concept Behind The Yakima Hangover 6

The Yakima Hangover 6 follows a similar approach as other vertical racks. A mast extends vertically from your vehicle’s hitch and 2 perpendicular bars span the width of your car.

These 2 perpendicular bars (horizontal with the ground), are the base for attaching the crown of your bike and its rear wheel. Rotate a “H” 90º and you’ll get the picture.

Unboxing the rack revealed a set of tools necessary for installation. There was also a hitch lock, and a set of well written and easy to understand instructions. In short, my wife and I were able to get everything put together in just under 20 minutes.

Yakima Hangover 6 Review - closed box
Yakima Hangover 6 - open box
Hangover 6 - cradles and wheel cups
Tools included with the Yakima Hangover 6

Yakima Hangover 6 Mountain Bike Rack Specifications

Weight:73.00 lbs
Dimensions:L 22.00in x W 69.50in x H 60.00in
Mast Height Positions:2, for improved ground clearance and ease of loading
Mast Angles:2, to avoid bike-tire contact with your vehicle
Max Weight Per Bike (lbs):37.5 pounds
Live PriceBackcountry | Jenson USA

How The Yakima Hangover 6 Works

Here are the steps to load bikes onto the Yakima Hangover Bike Rack.

Step 1 – secure the fork

Firstly, lift your mountain bike up to nestle the suspension fork between the brace and post on the top bar. Secondly, pull the strong rubber chain strap over the fork and connect it to the knob on the rack. Now the top of your bike is secured . It’s a simple design. However, it took us a few tries to put bikes on correctly.

Step 2 – secure the rear wheel

Once your bike’s fork is resting in the cradle and the strap has been secured, the rear wheel should be hanging down freely. Next, secure the rear wheel to the lower horizontal bar. To do this, you’ll first tilt the bike towards the lower horizontal bar. Finally, fasten it against the wheel cup with locking plastic strap.

You need to load bikes on the Hangover 6 from left-to-right when facing the rear of your vehicle. This is so the next bike loaded can be “stacked” to the right without a previously loaded bike’s bars interfering. You’ll unload bikes right-to-left. Go ahead and try it in reverse if you enjoy a good struggle and/or don’t mind busting cables.

Mountain bike in Yakima Hangover 6 rack - crown detail

The bike’s crown gets nestled in cradle on the top horizontal bar of the rack.

Fastening a bike's rear wheel to the Yakima Hangover 6

The bike’s rear wheel gets attached to a cup on the lower horizontal bar. 

The position of the cradles on the top horizontal bar are immobile. However, you can slide the wheel cups on the bottom horizontal bar by loosening them and shifting along the horizontal axis. We learned the best way to align the rear wheel to the wheel cup is to just let it hang naturally. Then position the wheel cup to where the rear tire will connect by pushing the rear wheel against the lower bar.

Upper side view - Yakima Hangover 6

In this photo, you can see how much clearance there is between the bikes’ front wheels and the van’s rear end

Loading mountain bikes on the Yakima Hangover 6

Loading up the Hangover 6.

Limitations With The Yakima Hangover Bike Racks…

  • This rack will not work with kids bikes with 20 inch wheels or smaller. When we tried putting a 20 inch wheel bike on the rack, it would not seat in the cradle to our liking. The smallest bikes we are using are: a Norco Fluid FS 1 with 24in wheels, a dirt jumper with 26 inch wheels, and a Trailcraft with 26 inch wheels. Some bikes with 24 inch wheels may not work.
  • It’s for mountain bikes with two stanchion suspension forks only. This is because the cradle system is engineered to safely secure the bike by a fork’s crown. Also, we could not figure out how to get a Cannondale with a Lefty fork on this rack.
  • The rack will only fit hitches with 2-inch receivers
Font wheel clearance - Yakima Hangover 6 on mini-van

The Hangover features a foot-operated tilt mechanism. You can adjust the angle of the rack for hauling bikes and accessing the rear of the vehicle. Compared to our old 1st gen Yakima Hold-Up, where locking and safety pins had to be removed and inserted, the Hangover 6 is a welcome addition to the family.

I read a negative review stating the rack did not work with well with a user’s mini-van. However, in our case, that’s simply not true. Although you can’t load bikes with the mast in the 90º position on our van, there is plenty of clearance when the mast is in its 2nd position.

Yakima Hangover 6 position pedal

This foot pedal allows you to easily adjust the angle of the rack.

Yakima Hangover 6 - upright position mountain bike rack for families

The rack in the 90º position.

Yakima Hangover 6 - mid position

Middle angle for the Yakima Hangover.

Yakima Hangover 6 - down position

Lower angle for the Yakima Hangover.

Cable loop on the Yakima Hangover

Bike Security For The Yakima Hangover

You can thread a cable lock and/or a chain lock through the welded loop on the back of the mast to secure your bikes. You know the best way to keep your bikes secure is to always keep them in sight. But if you’re in the market for some additional security – we choose some of the best bike locks for your mountain bikes here.

Loading bikes on the Yakima Hangover is not as easy as a loading a tray style rack. For one thing, you have to raise the fork’s crown above the top cradle. A lot of younger and/or shorter people will not be able to do this comfortably- if at all. Additionally, you also have to make sure the strap on the top cradle is in the correct position so you can gain purchase and thread it over the crown and fasten it properly. With practice, this is getting easier for us.

Youth loading Yakima Hangover mountain bike rack

So far, the ground clearance for the Yakima Hangover has been an improvement vs. our old Hold-Up tray system. Due to the angle of our driveway and depending on the weight in the van, the old rack would scrape the pavement when backing out of the driveway. After we installed the Hangover 6 and fixed the mast to its highest setting, there was no scraping.

Yakima Hangover 6 bottom wheel clearance

Ground clearance on our Toyota Sienna with the Hangover 6.

View from the top of the vehicle

View from the roof of our vehicle.

Driving Off With The Yakima Hangover Mountain Bike Rack

The Yakima Hangover 6 is ideal for our family for a few reasons. Firstly, my wife and I are NICA coaches. Secondly, our family of 4 often rides with friends. In the past, we had to take 2 cars in order to get 6 riders with bikes to the trails. Now, with the Hangover 6, we can easily get 6 full-sized bikes and 6 riders to the single track or a venue in our mini-van.

We’re looking forward to how durable the Hangover 6 is, too. We keep the rack on our van all year long due to frequent trips to the desert in the winter months. However, some of the parts on the Hangover are constructed of plastic as opposed to forged steel unlike other bike racks in this category. Will the plastic parts wear down and crack as January and February roll by? Time will tell. In the mean time, we are ready to use this rack often. It’s a well-priced, functional piece of equipment for mountain bikers who need to get more bikes on cars.

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