Jeeps and mountain biking are another great summer combination of ways to spend time outside and away from the madness and demands of the daily routine. There are so many things that connect with the Jeep and adventure lifestyle and getting to a favorite or new mountain bike trail seem to go hand in hand with piling in and making a day or weekend of the trip.
Once again we decided to do just that and were left with the dilemma of transporting our bikes to one of our favorite trail heads for a weekend of mountain biking in one of South Dakotas most popular trails, the George Mickelson trail. The “Mickelson Trail” is just outside of the historic town of Deadwood and a popular destination for many outdoor activities in both the summer and winter months.
When it comes to transporting bikes and other adventure equipment a Jeep doesn’t always have enough room to fit everything in depending on the adventure you’re planning. Enter Yakima, when it comes to getting our gear to the destination we rely on a transport system as much as we rely on our Jeep to get us where we want to go.
Yakima’s “Double Down” bike carriers come in different applications depending on how many bikes you want or need to transport. Here we are going to show the set up and use of the Yakima Double Down 2 used on a 1996 Jeep Grand Cherokee.
The box is small enough that if you want to keep the rack in the box and store it during the winter months it is a convenient way to keep it tucked away. Once you open and remove the carrier you can see another example of simplicity and function in Yakima’s design of their products. Everything needed to utilize the carrier comes with it with the exception of a small crescent wrench to assemble the base and the main frame. It also comes with complete, easy to read and understand instructions for the assembly.
The hitch mount and the main frame need to be bolted together with the provided hardware and tightened down to start.
The “Double Down” is capable and designed to be used in 1 ¼” or 2” receiver hitches. If you will be using it in a 1 ¼ receiver the adapter will need to be removed for fit before inserting it into the hitch.
The mount is held into place by a bolt that is also included with the hardware instead of your typical hitch pin. It simply screws into place and locks in with a clip to keep it secure. Yakima even includes wrenches to tighten and secure the bolt so you don’t have to go scrounging around or to the store for tools for the install.
With the carrier locked in and in place the armature that holds the bikes is easily raised by pressing a lock release that allows the frame to fold up when not in use and then locks again when you are ready to load and carry your bikes.
The carrier’s anti-sway “Switchblade” cradles hold the bikes in position so they don’t make contact with each other and helps keep them held firmly in place when strapped down. The carrier comes with the rubber straps that wrap around the bike frames and hooks to the cradle to accomplish this.
Another great function of the rack is that if you have a rear hatch that needs to be accessed while the Double Down is in place and full of bikes you don’t have to take it all apart, there is a simple trigger system that releases the main frame so it swings away and the rear of the vehicle can be accessed. We have taken the Double Down on a few different trips and really like the use of the carrier as well as the looks and design, the bikes stay in place as we want them to and can travel comfortably knowing they are not going to be shifting around and making contact with the vehicle and damaging the paint or the bikes.
Yakima has proven why it is a leader in the industry when it comes to transporting your gear from one adventure to another. If you happen to be looking into a rack system for your bike transportation needs we highly recommend you check out Yakima’s website and product line to see what they have and which carrier system is best suited for your needs.