VelociRAX Bike Rack Review

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Velocirax Bike Rack Review

Vertical bike racks are becoming more popular and the latest brand to hit the mountain bike market is VelociRAX. What makes offerings from VelociRAX stand out is each unit’s damper assisted hinge. The dampers allow the rack, without bikes or fully loaded, to gently descend to a level where the bikes can be removed or set into the rack. As of this writing, models vary in price from $699.00 [3 bikes] – $895.00 [7 bikes] USD. Models that transport four, five, and six bikes are also available.

Velocirax Bike Rack Review

We tested a 4x model and from the get-go it stood out as a sturdy, durable rack. Like all vertical bike racks, there is a mast that extends from the center of the vehicle hitch at a 90º angle and there are 2 crossbars parallel to the ground. The higher bar has baskets where the front wheels of each bike are secured. A bike’s rear wheel is fastened to the lower bar. Strong but pliable rubber straps are used to affix a bike’s wheels to the rack with studs attached to each bar.

The rack’s c-hoops or baskets are designed very well and only the front tires were making contact with the baskets – not the wheels’ rims. As opposed to hitch tray racks, we did not have to arrange our bikes in a certain order to prevent the brake levers from contacting another bike’s saddle, frame or rear wheel. This is one of the most appealing features of owning a vertically oriented bike rack. The bikes will not touch each other and therefore, bike’s can’t strike each other while being transported and cause damage.

C-loop for front wheel - Velocirax

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Velocirax - Lever for releasing the bike rack mast

To lower and raise the rack, you have to press a lever on the mast. An empty rack requires a bit of effort to get it it lowered because it is not weighted with bikes. Bikes are intended to be loaded when the rack is in its lowered position because you won’t have to lift them and this will help you access and affix the straps to the c-hoops for the front wheels, and crossbar for the rear wheels. Note that you have to load bikes from left-to-right so the wheels and bars “stack” at the proper slanted angle.

Top half of a loaded Velocirax bike rack
Anti-rattle adjustment bolt / Velocirax bike rack
Anti-rattle system for the Velocirax mountain bike rack

Another great feature we like with the VelociRAX is the anti-rattle bolt. This prevents the rack from clunking around in the hitch. Simply use a 17mm socket to tighten the bolt at the bottom of the hitch assembly and the rack will not bounce around. We’ve done a little traveling on dirt roads and everything remained tight and in-place. An additional benefit of the anti-rattle bolt is that a pin [with a lock] is used to attach the main assembly to your vehicle’s 2-inch hitch. The rack also features a loop on the mast so you can thread a cable lock or chain lock for protection against theft.

Loading a mountain bike into the Velocirax 4x vertical bike rack

When it comes to loading and unloading bikes, the VelociRAX outshines all the other brands on the market. You really can just wheel the bikes in and out of the rack. Once the bikes are secured to the crossbars, you simply push the rack into its upright position by applying pressure to where the top tube of a bike meets the stem and walk forward. Just think about it – your gangly kids can finally assist with loading and unloading bikes, And, they’ll probably like it.

A front wheel cradled in the Velocirax bike rack
Fastened front wheel in a Velocirax 4x bike rack
Loop for a bike lock on the Velocirax bike rack

Originally we thought that the rack was on the heavy side, but when we spoke with one of the VelociRAX owners, he told us that the racks are rated to carry up to 55 lbs. of bike per slot. Although VelociRAX recommends removing each bike’s battery during transportation, this means your e-Bikes can be easily and safely transported via a beautifully designed rack. Below, you can see the additional safety bolt that should be used when driving. It will ensure the mast stays in place during highway and off-road travel.

Assembly safety pin - open
Bike rack assembly safety pin - closed
Bike rack assembly safety pin - installed

All of the bikes in our family range from 27.5 inch to 29 inch wheel sizes, but VelociRAX boasts that their racks will accommodate wheel sizes as small as 20 inch. There’s a great FAQ/Info page that we strongly suggest you read on the VelociRAX website. It should answer all of your questions.

The rack even pivots so the mast will lower all the way to the ground and be completely out of the way. This was especially useful during our test period because we went camping and wanted to access the entire rear cargo area of our van. The baskets will make contact with the ground when the rack is in this position, so if you don’t want to scratch them, throw down a blanket or jackets to protect them.

Velocirax review - loaded 4x rack

We’re very impressed with the VelociRAX vertical bike rack. In our opinion, the company did their research and came up with a unique solution for making the chore of loading and unloading bikes easier. The dampers allow the rack to smoothly lower and raise, eliminating the need for one to lift a bike to a height so it’s crown can be set in a mount or its front wheel placed in a basket. It’s priced right, too. Compare it against other vertical racks – and you’ll see that a durable, easy-to-use rack that can carry up to 7 bikes costs a lot less than what you may expect.

Mountain Biking The Slickrock Trail In Moab, Utah

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Riding Moab's Slickrock Trail with Kids

Overview of Moab’s Slickrock Trail

Many bikers consider this one of the best trails in the world. And, although this trail is often rated “high technical” difficulty, it does not require the same skills needed to ride over roots and on sharp turns through some alpine trails. This scenic trail is mostly on Navajo sandstone, which is a tacky surface for bike tires. We learned the name “slickrock” was given to the area by people riding horses with metal shoes.

This ride is on a mesa and it features beautiful landscapes. If you haven’t been on terrain like this, it is fun and unique sandstone mountain biking

The transitions between climbing and descending can be tricky. Watch for cactus. Be mindful of the exposure. We suggest a skilled adult with at least intermediate skills pre-ride this trail before determining if your kids are ready for it.

Riding Moab's Slickrock Trail with Kids

Getting To The Slickrock Trail In Moab: [1] Head east on E Center St toward S 100 E/S 1st E St (0.4 mi). [2] Turn right onto Fourth E St (0.4 mi) [3] Turn left onto Mill Creek Dr (0.5 mi) [3] Continue straight onto Sand Flats Rd (2.3 mi). There will be a toll booth. The parking lot for the Slickrock trailhead will be on your left.

Riding The Slickrock Trail With Kids

When our kids rode this trail for the first time, our youngest was on a heavy 20-inch mountain bike with v-brakes, heavy entry-level spring fork, and tires with tubes. His hands were as tired as his legs when we finished – but what an accomplishment!

Climbing the Slickrock Trail is really fun because the rock is grippy. Once you become comfortable, you’ll be amazed at how you can ride up climbs that look way too steep. The key is keeping your front tire on the ground and pedaling smoothly. We taught the kids to zig-zag up the steeper slopes that were wide enough and they can make almost every climb.

Slickrock Trail Practice Loop with Kids

The Slickrock Trail is made up of many short and steep undulating climbs and descents. The trail is easy to follow – white dots and arrows painted right on the rock. The views are breathtaking. A quarter mile from the parking lot, you’ll hit the 1.7-mile practice loop. This is a great introduction to riding on sandstone. You can just ride this loop, or add it to the full Slickrock Trail. It will add a mile and re-connects with the main trail.

At 2 miles, you’ll get to the loop part of the lollipop – you can ride either way, but we have only ridden it clockwise by taking a left at the fork.

Out And About On The Slickrock Trail With Family

Moab Slickrock Trail with Kids
Family Friendly Trails in Moab, Utah - Slickrock Trail

Along the way, there are optional short spurs that will take you to the edge of the cliff. These only add a bit to the length the ride – and add a lot to the overall experience of the trail. We took breaks at each overlook.

There are a few places where you have to ride/walk through sand. And many, many places to take breaks and enjoy the view.

Keep an eye out for potholes with sand and cactus. One time we rode this trail, our youngest managed to fall off his bike right into a pothole filled with cactus about mid-way through the trail. It was awful. His butt and leg were full of cactus barbs. After we removed as many of the barbs as we could, he demonstrated his toughness and completed the remainder of the ride. For a while he rode so slowly that I thought we might die out there, but we made it! If you’re wondering about the best way to remove cactus barbs, it turns out Elmer’s school glue works well. We initially used duct tape.

Landscapes are big while mountain biking in Moab, Utah

Being Prepared For The Slickrock Trail

Depending on the time of year, you want to make sure you have plenty of water and snacks for the ride. Bring proper clothing, tools, sunscreen and your camera! Your kids may want to take a lot of breaks because there are several long climbs where both kids and adults may need to hike-a-bike. It can also be quite windy. And, of course, be sure you check the weather so you don’t get stuck in a rainstorm several miles from the trailhead.