It is important not to jump to conclusions right there and then.
Despite the fact that the HoldUp EVO is newer than the HoldUp, that does not mean it is better than the latter. We have all been exposed to new and old products in the past, and sometimes we find the newer version to be better but sometimes the opposite is true.
It is therefore important to make a decision between the Yakima HoldUp vs. HoldUp EVO only after you know every detail of both racks in order to make an informed choice.
My Time with the Two Hitch Mounted Racks
My suggestion is that before I get into the similarities and differences of the Yakima HoldUp and HoldUp EVO carriers, it would be best for you guys to understand what these carriers are about first. You find it much easier to connect the dots when I discuss the similarities and differences between the racks when you understand how the racks work, or at the very least what I have experienced with both of them.
Yakima HoldUp Hitch Mount Tray Bike Rack
That fateful day still haunts me to this very day. A couple of years back, on a warm summer day, I went to a party at a friend of mine’s house. I got there a little too early and he decided to show me around his house. As I was going through his garage, I noticed that there was a rack behind his SUV.
The carrier looked very stylish and compact, so I couldn’t keep my curiosity in check, so I asked him what the carrier was about. The Yakima HoldUp hitch bike rack came into my life the very day I saw it for the first time. As soon as I saw the carrier for the first time, I became a huge fan of it, so later in the year I decided to purchase it for myself.
The Yakima HoldUp was not what I expected. That is not to say that I had a horrible experience with the rack, but I also must confess that it wasn’t perfect either.
As I mentioned, the first thing I noticed about the carrier was that it didn’t come preassembled right out of the box. I had to do a little tinkering which took me about 15-20 minutes to complete.
In spite of this, let me remind you that I have dealt with many bike racks in the past, so naturally it would take me the minimum amount of time to assemble and install any bicycle carrier. However, if you’re not familiar with bike racks, then it might take you longer to assemble and install one.
However, you do get everything you need to set up and attach it to your vehicle, so it may seem a little tricky at first, but after a while, you’ll be able to do it quite easily.
In terms of hitch size, there are two options for you to choose from, 1.25 inches or 2-inches. In my opinion, I would suggest you go with the 2-inch hitch model since it tends to wobble less when you’re driving with a bicycle on board.
There is a lot of weight on the HoldUp rack considering how big it is. It is probably due to the fact that it is made from solid steel but it also has a powder coat finish which makes it look magnificent and resistant to corrosion at the same time.
In addition to that, the rack is able to carry two bikes out of the box (each weighing 60 pounds). An extension is also available for purchase separately if you want to make the carrier capable of holding four bikes at once.
The good thing about the rack is that it is able to carry a wide range of bicycle sizes from 20-inch wheels to 29-inch wheels. I have mounted both the Yeti SB130 (29-inch wheel) and the Cleary Owl (20-inch wheel) on the rack without encountering any problems.
In each mounting slot, there is an arm with a hook. The hook is attached to the wheels, so that they won’t connect to the frames. The rear wheel slots are equipped with ratcheting straps in order to ensure that your bikes are further secured to the rack. As an added bonus, the rear wheel cradle pivots, so that you can mount a wide variety of bikes on it.
As a bonus, I also like the fact that you can adjust the wheel trays from one side to the other by using a tool that comes with the carrier. This allows you to minimize or eliminate contact between your bike and the carrier.
Additionally, the HoldUp comes with a cable lock that will keep the bicycles locked to the carrier. Furthermore, the HoldUp can be tilted up and down so that the rear vehicle can be accessed from the back.
While I liked everything about the rack, the one thing that bothered me was that if the handle of the first bike is the same height as the handle of the second bike, there would be a small difference between the handle of the first bike and the seat of the second bike. The seat should be adjustable, so you should not have any problems with it.
Things I Found Interesting About the Rack
- It can accommodate a wide range of bicycles
- The carrier can tilt down for rear vehicle access even when it is fully loaded
- I was able to adjust the wheel trays to remove the bike-to-bike connection
- It comes with a cable lock, so you don’t have to buy one separately
- The arms and straps made sure there was no frame connection
Things That Need Improving
- The rack wobbles a little as there is no SpeedKnob, but it doesn’t come off from the vehicle.
Yakima HoldUp EVO Tray-Style Hitch-Mounted Bike Rack
Now that we are done with the HoldUp, it is time for me to tell you about the HoldUp EVO. I will not bore you with all the details of why I got the HoldUp EVO.
In spite of that, let me tell you something; I thought that the HoldUp EVO would be an excellent competitor against the HoldUp because of the similarities in their designs and the fact that they are two different versions of the same machine.
The Yakima HoldUp EVO Rack is not a hitch-mounted rack like the Yakima HighRoad and FrontLoader, but rather is a hitch-mounted rack with two trays that hold two bicycles.
In addition to its solid steel construction, it has also been powder coated, which adds to its durability and makes it quite durable, as it is able to withstand some severe beatings. The carrier weighs around 51 pounds, and it is made from stainless steel.
There are two trays included with the rack out of the box. However, if you wish to carry additional bikes, then you will need to use an adapter or extension. This carrier is bigger than the HoldUp, but it can only hold bicycles with a maximum weight of 50 pounds.
It is also similar to the HoldUp in the sense that it comes with two different sizes of hitch to choose from. You can either get a 1.25-inch hitch or a 2-inch hitch for this model.
The Thule Apex XT Swing and the Yakima FullSwing were both mounted to my Subaru XV Crosstrek, where I had already installed a 2-inch receiver to test out the Thule Apex XT Swing and the Yakima FullSwing.
The installation of the carrier took me a short time, and I found the whole process to be pretty straightforward. There was a slight wobble at first, but as soon as I tightened the SpeedKnob around the hitch area, there was no more play in it.
As well as securing the carrier to the vehicle even more, the SpeedKnob also came with a lock, which made it almost impossible for the rack to be removed without the key.
My favorite thing about the rack is that it has the ability to carry almost any kind of bicycle, and it can support bikes with a wheel size ranging from 20 to 29 inches and a tire size as wide as 4.8 inches.
I wanted to test the bag to see if it was really able to accommodate a road bike and a fat-tire bicycle at the same time. Much to my surprise, the bag was able to accommodate both bikes without the need for additional adapters.
As you would expect, the HoldUp EVO has an adjustable arm and a wheel strap on each of the trays. The arm attaches to the tire rather than the frame, which I found to be convenient as it also protected my bike from scratches.
It is important to note that the rear wheel tray of the rack pivots and this allows different types of bicycles to be positioned on it.
The HoldUp EVO is a modified version of the former HoldUp carrier and is equipped with adjustable wheel trays that eliminate bike-to-bike interference and keep the bikes at a reasonable distance from one another.
On top of that, the HoldUp EVO is able to tilt away and in for rear vehicle access and storage. The tilting system is different from that of the HoldUp. On the HoldUp, you have to pull on a lever to tilt the carrier, whereas on the HoldUp, you have to lift the lock pin to tilt the carrier.
There is also an included locking cable with the rack, which can be used to secure your bikes to the carrier. This does not eliminate the possibility of bike theft completely, but it certainly reduces the risk of it.
Things I Found Interesting About the Rack
- It is durable and can resist corrosion, allowing it to last long
- I was able to adjust the wheel trays and remove bike-to-bike interference
- The rack can accommodate bikes with a tire width up to 4.8-inches
- Adjustable arms and wheel straps don’t ruin the paint job of your bicycle
- It is effortless to tilt away and in the carrier with the help of the lever
Things That Need Improving
- The locking cable is a little too short
Similarities Between the Two Hitch-Mounted Racks
I am sure that by now you have understood the features of the carriers and how they work. If you have, then it’s time to discuss what the carriers have in common with one another.
In contrast to Yakima FullTilt and Yakima RidgeBack, these carriers do not come with an arm-style hitch mount design; instead, they feature a tray-style hitch mount design. Both HoldUp and HoldUp EVO are almost the same, and their overall build is almost identical as well.
It is worth noting that both of these racks come with two trays out of the box. The trays have a locking arm for the front wheel and ratcheting straps for the rear wheel, respectively.
As a result, the trays can be adjusted from side to side to isolate bicycles from each other, and the rear wheel tray can pivot to accommodate a wide range of bicycles.
In addition to that, both of the carriers come with a locking cable, which is what you’ll use to lock your bicycles to the rack. Both of the carriers can tilt away when you want to access the rear of your vehicle or tilt in when it’s not needed.
The arms and wheels trays of the racks can also be folded, which is the same for both carriers. This feature will come in handy in case you need to store the rack when it is not in use.
Finally, both HoldUp and HoldUp EVO can accommodate bicycles between the diameters of 20 and 29 inches, although the latter can carry bicycles with tires wider than 20 inches.
The Different Aspects Between the Yakima HoldUp and HoldUp EVO
My apologies for taking so long to get here. I know everyone is eagerly waiting to know about the differences between the carriers, but I believe it is crucial that you learn more about the racks before discussing the carriers in detail. As a result, I will not waste any more of your precious time and jump right in.
In terms of weight capacity, there is a significant difference
My first point is that I would like to emphasize the fact that these two racks can carry a considerable amount of weight. I think it is extremely important. Whenever I go on trail rides or camp out in remote areas, I always bring my bikes out for a spin. The number of bikes varies depending on the number of tourmates or family members that are with me.
It went without saying that the weight of the bikes would also vary. With the HoldUp version (basic rack), you can carry two bikes weighing 60lbs each. of maximum weight. This is ideal if your bikes have fat tires and the frame is on the heavy side of things. However, the HoldUp EVO wins by the slightest margin.
In addition to the 2 bikes it can carry by default, the Yakima HoldUp EVO comes with two trays as well. I wanted additional bikes to be hauled as well, so I ended up buying an adapter so I could extend it. Even though the HoldUp EVO wins in the “Number” game, the weight capacity for each tray is limited.
A bike that weighs more than 50 pounds CANNOT be carried by one person.
Thin or Fat Tire
Earlier in this post, I told you all that both racks are designed to accommodate bikes with a width ranging from 20 to 29 inches, so it is obvious that these carriers are able to handle a wide range of bicycles.
There are some restrictions in this regard to the Yakima HoldUp, as it can only support bikes with a maximum tire width of three inches; however, if you are using a 29-inch bicycle, the tire width will be reduced to 2.5 inches.
If you look at the picture above, you will be able to carry a wide range of mountain bikes, road bikes, women’s bikes, and even children’s bikes, so long as they have tires that are less than 3 inches wide.
In contrast, the HoldUp EVO excels on this front as it is capable of accommodating tires that are 4.8 inches wide. As a result, you can use it to carry fat-tires bikes and even electric bicycles, which commonly come with thick wheels.
Therefore, if you are struggling with a fat-tire bicycle, then the latter should be your go-to carrier, and if you are not, then you can settle for the former instead.
SpeedKnob – Yes, or No?
In order to understand what a SpeedKnob is and what it does, let me start with a brief definition of the device. In most cases, it is positioned at the end of the hitch and looks and acts like a knob. Its primary function is to eliminate play from your rack, which you notice while driving your vehicle with a carrier attached.
It doesn’t come with a SpeedKnob with the HoldUp, so when you take it out for a ride, you will feel the carrier wobble a little. Without a SpeedKnob, I’m not saying that the rack will fall off or something, but I personally find it to be a little irritating to see my carrier moving when I’m driving.
It should be noted that the HoldUp EVO has a SpeedKnob, which can be used to tighten up the carrier on a vehicle and eliminate any unwanted movement. This will ensure that the carrier will sit tight on the vehicle, with no unwanted movement.
Having a SpeedKnob also has another advantage in that it can be locked with a key so no one is able to loosen or remove the rack without the key. That ensures that your carrier is sitting in a safe and secure place.
The Way These Racks Tilts
You probably know that both carriers come with the ability to tilt in and out for storage purposes or allowing access to the rear of the vehicle. So, what’s the difference between the two?
The HoldUp comes with a lock pin for the tilting system, while the HoldUp EVO comes with a lever for the same purpose. Personally, I like the lever better than the lock pin for the tilting system.
If you are going to pull the pin, it may take some effort since it is a bit rough and has a weird shape. Furthermore, the pin is placed in a strange position on your rack. If it is loaded with bikes, you won’t be able to get to it from the back of the rack. If you are trying to tilt down the carrier by yourself, it can be quite a challenge.
It is also pretty easy to tilt down the HoldUp EVO, and you can do it by yourself even when the carrier is fully loaded with bicycles. In addition, the lever can be accessed easily, but you do need to stretch the fingers a little bit.
Let’s Not Forget the Price
If you’re thinking about buying the Yakima HoldUp, you’re probably wondering why anyone would choose the HoldUp over HoldUp EVO, which is a much more versatile bag and comes with more features than the HoldUp. So, why should anyone even consider buying the HoldUp?
I think the answer to your question is that if you do not require the extra features, then why would you spend an extra dollar on the rack that has the extra features? There is a significant difference in price between the two racks. The former is relatively cheaper than the latter. Thus, if you do not require the extra features, then why would you spend more money on the rack that has those features?
There is no doubt that the price evens out the playing field.
Time for the Big Announcement
There is no doubt that the Yakima HoldUp and the HoldUp EVO are in a great fight. Both racks are very similar in design yet both are still very different from each other.
It is more expensive than the HoldUp EVO but is a much older version of it. As a result, if you have a tight budget and don’t require extra features, then the former is definitely a better choice than the latter. I cannot deny, however, that the HoldUp EVO excels in many aspects where the HoldUp seems to struggle.
If you ask me what is the better choice between the Yakima HoldUp and the HoldUp EVO, I am likely to side with the latter. Despite this, it is not up to me to make the final decision. Would you rather stick to the old, yet cheaper rack or choose the new one? Best of luck to you.