VelociRAX Bike Rack Review – Best Large Bike Rack

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The number of bike racks that we’ve gone through in our family is incredible.  While there have been a few features about each that we liked, there has not been a bike rack that we truly LOVED until the VelociRAX.

Prior to owning our VelociRAX, we had another rack snap off on the freeway and completely destroy all of our bikes.  It was a budget rack that was “okay, but not great” and we learned our lesson the hard way.  If you want to take care of your bikes well, you need to invest in a high quality bike rack.  

velocirax bike rack review

After doing LOTS of research, we decided to buy a VelociRAX bike rack, and can honestly say that it’s been one of the best bike related purchases that we’ve ever made.  

I’ll also freely admit that every other bike rack we’ve owned has caused a large amount of frustration while loading it and a fair amount of curse words muttered under my breath.  Our old rack felt a bit like a tetris game, and took about 15 minutes to load, but with the VelociRAX, we can truthfully load or unload 7 bikes in about 2 minutes, completely frustration free.  

About VelociRAX Large Bike Racks

VelociRAX is a Utah based company that was looking to build the STRONGEST bike rack on the market.  They tested their racks on rugged terrain all over the state (desert, mountains, 4×4 roads, etc) to make sure that VelociRAX could stand up to just about anything.  Their goal was to create a rack that was functional, made transport easy and could work for the whole family. 

TIP: If you’re a Utah local like we are, you can pick up your rack from their shop to save on shipping costs.

What makes VelociRAX different?

velocirax bike rack review

Low Profile Design

We love that when we don’t have bikes on our VelociRAX, the rack has a very low profile design.  That means that I can easily see out my rear window when the rack isn’t loaded and that I can still navigate just about anywhere with my rack on.  Truthfully, our VelociRAX stays on our car from April until October, and we rarely take it off.  

Self Lowering Bike Rack

velocirax bike rack review self lowering bike rack
Rack can be lowered to fully open the back hatch

Since VelociRAX transports bikes vertically, the bikes are higher off the ground than with most other racks.  To sold the problem of loading and unloading such a tall rack, VelociRAX installed a self lowering hydraulic system.  Simply pull the lever, and the rack will come down (if the rack is fully loaded, you need an extra person to push the rack 1/2″ towards the car to release the tension).  This works fantastically when the rack is full of bikes, but when there are no bikes on the rack, it’s pretty slow, so we always give it a little push to speed things up.

When this vertical bike rack is fully lowered, my kids can load their own bikes (kids 9 and older) into the rack on their own).

This self lowering rack also allows for easy access to the rear of the car.  In our car (a 2012 Ford Expedition), we can open the liftgate glass with the rack in the upright position.  When we lower the bike rack, we can then open the back hatch of the car fully.   When the rack is lowered

Bike Rack Contact With Tires ONLY

One feature that we really love about the VelociRAX is that the rack only contacts the bike tires, and nothing else.  This has helped to prevent lots of damage to our bikes, while still keeping them very secure.  Because of the way that bikes fit on a VelociRAX, it’s possible to make sure that none of the bikes are touching each other so you don’t get paint or frame damage. 

Can Be Used As Garage Bike Storage

We keep our VelociRAX on our car for a solid 6 months of the year, since we bike A LOT.  When we’re not using our rack in the winter, we love that it can be mounted on the wall of the garage to store our bikes vertically and out of the way in the off season.  We had hoped that we could store everyone’s bike here in the winter, but realistically, it didn’t work for our younger kdis to lift their small bikes onto the rack independently.  Since our kids still ride bikes 3-5 days a week around the neighborhood, we only store the adult sized bikes in our garage VelociRAX.  

UPDATE: Velocirax recently came out with a permanent garage storage rack and we LOVE IT! We have 2 and use them almost daily year-round. Read all about the best garage bike racks and why we love this one so much.

VelociRAX Vertical Bike Transport

velocirax bike rack review

VelociRAX racks transport bikes easily, allowing a large number of bikes to be transported at once.  The vertical transportation allows more bikes to fit on one rack, which is fantastic for families.  

NOTE: If you are using a VelociRAX or any other vertical bike rack, always make sure to check your brakes before you ride (you should be doing this anyway).  If there is an air bubble in your brake line, it will often move during vertical transport and could make your brakes not function.  If this does happen to you, pumping your brakes several times often resolves the problem, but you should ultimately bleed and refill your brake lines if this happens.

How Sturdy Are VelociRAX Bike Racks?

velocirax bike rack review

We have put our VelociRAX to the test OVER AND OVER AGAIN and have yet to be disappointed.  The rack comes with an anti-rattle wedge that really helps to secure the rack into our hitch receiver.  

Most recently, we took our VelociRAX on the 100 mile White Rim 4×4 trail through Canyonlands Utah.  We did this trail as a ride, with car support and since we have several younger kids who couldn’t ride the whole thing, we took our VelociRAX for their bikes.  Truthfully, this rack did incredible.  There is some side to side wobble on super rough roads like this (think 4-Low 4×4 road), so we did end up using some straps to stabilize the rack to our car roof rack, to help prevent the bikes from wobbling as much.  It performed wonderfully.

velocirax bike rack review 4x4 road

On every other road we’ve driven (paved, dirt, washboard), we’ve never had the need for any additional stabilization.  

How Many Bikes Can VelociRAX Hold?

VelociRAX racks can be made to hold 3, 4, 5, 6, or even seven bikes.  This is the only rack we’ve seen that holds seven bikes, making it the best bike rack for large families.  

VelociRAX Costs

We looked a lot for the best vertical bike rack when we were buying our rack.  While we knew that anything we bought would be a stretch for our bike rack budget, we also wanted to get the most bang for our buck.  VelociRAX came in about $300-$500 less than other vertical bike racks we looked at.  Rack prices start at $799 for a 3 bike rack and go up to $985 for the large 7 bike rack that we have.  

VelociRAX Security Features

If you’ve got a lot of bikes on your bike rack, then that also means that you’ve probably invested a lot of money into your biking setup.  VelociRAX has several security features that help keep your bikes safea nd from being stolen while you’re out.  First of all, the hitch bike rack has a locking pin, that opens with a key, so that no one can steal your rack off of your car.  

For an additional cost, you can get a lockable cable that can secure all of your bikes to your rack, so that none of your bikes get stolen.  While this will make the cost of the rack about $100 more, the peace of mind to always having a way to lock up your bikes is absolutely worth the cost.  

What Types Of Bikes Does VelociRAX Work For?

We’ve used the VelociRAX with a mountain bike, also fat tire bikes, road bikes, and kids bikes and think that all work well.  

velocirax bike rack review

What Size of Kids Bikes fits on the VelociRAX?

The smallest bike that fits on a VelociRAX is a 20” kids bike (20” tire size), though just barely.  We’ve found that there is some variability with how well different 20” bikes fit.  Our 20” Guardian bike small frame just barely fits (and we add some extra padding to the fork to prevent rubbing).  Our 20” Woom bike with a slightly bigger frame fits better though it’s still a tight fit (this bike is still on the small side for a 20” kids bike). A normal sized 20” bike fits better than either of these.  

If you have a 20” kids bike that isn’t fitting well, to make VelociRAX kids bikes fit better, they now make a smaller tire basket for 20” bikes (but we haven’t tested it yet).  If you do have a small kids bike, I recommend seeing how it fits on your rack before deciding if you need a smaller tire basket.  

velocirax bike rack review for kids bikes
Kids from 5-15 and all their bikes fit on a Velocirax

Downsides To The VelociRAX

While we love almost everything about our VelociRAX, there are a few features that aren’t our favorite.

  1.  The rack is HEAVY!  That means that it always takes 2 people to put it onto the car (2 adults or one teen and one adult).  This is common for most large vertical racks.
  2. 2 people are needed to both raise and lower the rack when it’s fully loaded.  To release the self lowering hinge, we have to push the rack towards the car, to release the weight and then pull the lever.  We can lower the rack when there are 3 bikes or less without an extra person.  The good news is that a child can easily help with this task.  To push up a fully loaded rack of 7 bikes, 2 adults are needed, since the rack is REALLY HEAVY.  We wish that there were a system to make raising the rack as easy as lowering it, but that’s probably just wishful thinking.  
  3. It barely fits 20” bikes and a $100 adaptor must be added to really fit then well.  We wish there was an option to customize a rack with a 20” basket instead of just buying it as an accessory.
About Jessica Averett

Hi, I’m Jessica, a mom of 5 kids and married to my favorite adventure partner. I love to bike, ski, camp and hike. We've visited over 40 countries with our kids, but are equally happy on the road as we are exploring our home state of Utah.