VELOCIRAX 5X BIKE RACK REVIEW
ONE RACK TO RULE THEM ALL
Review by Alex Sardella
Bike transportation is hugely important for most of us to access our rides. While some are lucky to have trails out of the garage, I’d say the majority of riders out there have to drive at least 10-20 minutes to their local trailhead and getting the bike to and from the garage safely can often be overlooked. VelociRAX hopes to offer the ultimate in bike rack safety and convenience with their 5X rack, read on to find out if it hits the mark.
The VelociRAX 5X vertical bike rack is designed to hold up to five bikes with 15 inches of space between each tire. Once the VelociRAX is installed, you’ll notice the steel rack comes with a black industrial powder coat finish that looks rugged and tough, while the red horizontal bars are a bit sleeker. There is an assembled width of 73 inches, and the rack is 58 inches tall from the hitch. Speaking of the hitch, all VelociRAX products require a Class III hitch with a tongue capacity of 500 lbs, and the rack company recommends you do not exceed a total bike weight of 230 lbs. Additionally, VelociRAX suggests removing e-bike batteries if loading lots of e-bikes. The tire baskets are pretty versatile and can easily fit all major tire diameters and sizes – 29”, 27.5”, 26”. 24” and 20”. The 5X rack that I opted for, has suitable spacing between the bikes to allow drop bar machines to be loaded side-by-side, and is a bit wider than the standard five-bike counterpart.
Once the front tire is set into place in the bike basket, VelociRAX uses their own durable, rubber straps to hold the bike in place around each tire. The straps each have a series of small holes that will fit different wheel diameters and fix onto a bolt. The straps are stretchy yet firm and have seen no durability or wear issues over the course of the year. VelociRAX does sell the straps separately if something were to happen. Some other vertical racks use simple string or ratcheting systems, but I really like the small attention to secure the bike onto the rack; the straps are easy to use, and never fail.
There are some additional add-ons you could opt for such as a fat bike tire bracket, integrated locking system, or hitch receiver adapters to fit 2.5” or 3” hitches. VelociRAX also provides a mechanism to install the rack in the garage when not in use. I have not found a need for this but maybe come winter I could opt for this. All VelociRAX racks come with a 2-year limited warranty for material defect or error in workmanship, it does not include standard wear n tear.
Before we talk about its performance, let’s go over installation and removal of the VelociRAX 5X rack. It took me roughly 60-90 minutes to fully install the 5X rack for the first time. It’s straightforward, and like everything these days comes with simple step by step directions. Over the course of the summer, I have seen no issues with any bolts or hitch integration issues, it’s all been super smooth. I have had the need to remove the rack a few times this summer, and it is a two-step process: remove the master lock and pin, then loosen the rack off the hitch. The 5X can be a bit heavy and awkward to move by yourself, but I have been able to get it done solo.
There is a lot to like about the VelociRAX bike rack. The load in/out, the way it holds the bikes, the variety of bikes it can hold, and the way the rack has held up to dirt road shuttle laps this summer. The standout feature of the rack is the way it uses a hydraulic damper to lower the rack, making rolling the bike into the tire basket a breeze. For women or kids, this is a massive feature. I will say it can be a bit heavy pushing the rack back into place once the bike or bikes are in place, but two people can easily muscle it back into place. I am a bit taller so don’t find myself using this feature all that much, however I can see it being a bigger selling point for families.
A key standout feature that made me look to VelociRAX in the first place was the ability to hold a downhill bike. Some of the vertical bike racks out there cannot hold a dual crown fork due to the rack design, and for me, summer shuttles can often mean DH shuttles at the local trails. The tire basket design makes the VelociRAX incredibly versatile, so it’ll truly hold any style of bike. My quiver includes a variety of bikes – a beach cruiser, gravel, dirt jumper, trail, and DH bike, all which can fit on the rack at the same time despite all having different wheelbases, tire sizes, and styles of handlebars.
The VelociRAX platform and carrier style is really dialed, and there’s not much to gripe about. VelociRAX says it shouldn’t matter which bikes sit where, but I have found that loading bikes XL to S and from right to left is the way to go for optimal ease. I am pleased with the 15-inch spacing between the baskets, as the regular 5 model might be a touch tight if there is lots of variety of bikes on the rack. The brake levers can get a bit close to the frame when stacked next to each other, and the best way to avoid this is using the XL-S right-to-left method I mentioned.
The Wolf’s Last Word
The VelociRAX is my first owned vertical style bike rack, and to be honest, I don’t really see a need to look anywhere else. The basket design, build quality, robust structure, and durable straps are as good as it gets. This is truly one rack to rule them all. Shuttle rides with friends this year have been fun to coordinate and fitting more bikes on the truck means more friends along for the ride.