ROCKYMOUNTS GUIDERAIL BIKE RACK REVIEW
Review by Max Rhulen
Many bike racks make contact with the fork, handlebars, or even sections of the frame, which can cause damage to your bike. This is a common and unfortunate flaw that the new RockyMounts GuideRail aims to address. The GuideRail is a 2-bike system compatible with most bikes, including eBikes, that only makes contact with the tires while transporting your bikes securely. We’ve been road-tripping hard with our Rocky Mounts GuideRail rack loaded up, and it has us thoroughly impressed.
The RockyMounts GuideRail bike rack is a two-bike platform rack with a very slick appearance thanks to the black paint and blue anodized accents. Costing $849.95 the GuideRail is one of the more expensive two bike tray racks on the market, aiming to be a long-term investment built to last. The GuideRail is available for 1.25” and 2”, class II or higher hitch receivers. It can carry bikes with wheel sizes from 20” to 29” and tire widths of 19mm to 3 inches. There is a minimum and maximum wheelbase size of 36” and 55”, which covers the vast majority of bikes on the market. Bikes are loaded asymmetrically to prevent handlebar interference, and the trays are tiered keeping the bikes at slightly different heights. Each tray can carry a bike weighing up to 60 pounds, making it eMTB friendly, and they are secured by two load arms that cinch down on the tires of the bike only. For those looking to transport 3 bikes, the 2” hitch version will accept an add-on (purchased separately), which takes the maximum bike weight down to 45lbs per tray.
The GuideRail bike rack uses RockyMounts premium 3-axis anti wobble system to keep the rack in place on those bumpy shuttle roads. The hitch bolt threads through the rack from the passenger side and comes with a locking pod that prevents your rack from being stolen. The GuideRail has three positions: it folds upright against the vehicle when not carrying bikes; flat for carrying bikes; and it tilts down at a 30-degree angle to allow access to the rear hatch of your vehicle. RockyMounts provides a 10mm square link chain to lock around your bikes when leaving them on the rack unattended. The end link of this chain drops into a slot in the end of the rack, and the lock then pushes a pin through, giving some peace of mind that your pride and joy machines will still be there when you return.
The GuideRail works much like a 1Up rack, which has become the household name for this style of rack, but I found it to be more refined and user friendly. Road bikes, gravel bikes, and mountain bikes were all transported with ease over thousands of highway miles and countless shuttle roads. The GuideRail has never caused any issues, holding firmly onto the tow hitch regardless of the terrain faced. It has become a piece of my everyday life that I don’t have to think about. The bikes are held securely to the rack thanks to the load arms that cinch down tightly on the tires. To lower the load arms, you push in on the release levers relieving the tension. Once the tension is relieved the release levers click open to slide the load arm away from the bike tire. This system works flawlessly once you learn the trick to relieving the tension on the load arms. With the 1Up rack I felt like I sometimes needed three hands to unload a bike, but the GuideRail is a little more user-friendly.
As mentioned above, bikes can be loaded asymmetrically to eliminate handlebar interference. When testing I did run into a combination of bikes that had handlebar and seat interference. This was quickly remedied by lowering the seat using our dropper seatposts. If lowering the seat didn’t solve the interference issue, I found that the bikes can easily be positioned slightly forward or back on the tray giving more room for handlebars. Overall, it does a good job at keeping the bikes separated and making life easy for mounting, but you would hope so when it only has two bikes to juggle.
While there is not much to complain about with the GuideRail bike rack from RockyMounts, the big and burly 10mm square link chain that comes with the rack could be an area of critique. The security this big chain offers is one of the great perks of this rack and the neat integration of the chain with the rack makes it even better. It is very beefy, heavy and secure, which alleviates some worries when running into the supermarket, but also makes it a beast to move around.
Bike thieves suck! Our first sample came with the older, shorter length chain and I found that it was not quite long enough to run through the frames of some two-bike combinations. Rocky Mounts informed us that they’ve lengthened the chain and this should no longer be a problem but with modern geometry and frame designs, it could be something to note. Mountain bikes like the new Santa Cruz lineup, where the shock is mounted very low in the front triangle, will take up extra length. Additionally, the chain is only long enough to go through the frame(s) and will not reach far enough to include the wheels. An additional, longer cable lock would be a wise purchase if you plan on leaving multiple bikes on the GuideRail for longer periods of time, to deter thieves from stealing your fancy hoops.
The Wolf’s Last Word
I love using the RockyMounts GuideRail bike rack. It’s simple, works well, looks good, and it does everything you want a rack to do. Unlike other racks on the market the GuideRail only makes contact with the tires of the bike, which alleviates any worries about wear on fork lowers or handlebars during transportation. The security that the 10mm link chain offers is tremendous, but I just wish it was a few links longer to secure a wider range of two bike combinations.
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