Tested: Yakima HoldUp 2 bike rack

The not-so-minor details


Yakima HoldUp 2


Yakima Australia




Extremely well executed.
Strong as a Sherman tank, yet ergonomic enough that your grandma can use it.
Bottle opener? Why yes, thank you.


No clear mounting place for an accessory number plate.

The HoldUp 2 has been one of Yakima most successful products, selling as soon as it lands on the docks. Lucky for us, the crew at Yakima Australia were able to track down a HoldUp 2 in October last year, and the rack has never left the back of the car since.

With the bar set extremely high for Yakima products after our experiences with the Front Loader roof-mounted bike carrier, we were expecting the HoldUp 2 to carry the frothing Yakima torch forward.

The HoldUp 2, holding up two bikes.
The HoldUp 2, holding up two bikes.

One of the features that we liked about the Front Loader was how it doesn’t clamp onto the bike’s frame, meaning there’s no risk of scuffing your frame finish and that the rack will work with absolutely any frame design. Yakima has kept this approach with the HoldUp; a flip up arm with a ratcheting clamp secures your front wheel into robust cradle, then a simple strap restrains the rear wheel into a smaller, pivoting mount.

No frame clamping here.
No frame clamping here.

The wheel cradles are a solid piece of engineering and are deep enough to almost cup your wheel through its radius. This system is able to accommodate 14-29” wheel sizes, and if it really necessary, up to a 48” wheel (for those of us with novelty bikes).

To help avoid clashes between bars/frames etc, the actual cross pieces to which each cradle is mounted can be shifted laterally, so there’s never a need to remove a seat post or turn the bars.

A simple ratchet strap secures the rear wheel. The rear wheel cradle tilts to accommodate different wheelbase lengths.
A simple ratchet strap secures the rear wheel. The rear wheel cradle tilts to accommodate different wheelbase lengths.

The HoldUp 2 utilises a hitch tow bar receiver, so there’s no doubting it can take the weight. Additionally it ensures that there is no vertical or horizontal movement of the carrier (make sure you tighten the stabilising bolt on the bottom of your hitch to stop any vertical movement). Additionally, the hitch system allows the Holdup 2 to be secured to your vehicle via a nifty locking bolt that is supplied with the rack.

For a bike rack that can accommodate two bikes the HoldUp 2 is surprisingly compact. The clamp arms fold flat, and the whole rack folds up vertically too, so you can drive around with the rack mounted and not have worry about knee-capping pedestrians or denting the boss’s Porsche Cayenne.

Yakima HoldUp2 rack-9
Stashed away neatly, for all your reverse parking convenience.

When you do have bikes on the rack, the entire assembly can be tilted down, away from the car too. This means you can still get to your boot, even with two bikes loaded up. The system is strong enough to tilt like this even when loaded up with burly downhill rigs.

The whole rack tilts down to allow you access to the boot.
The whole rack tilts down to allow you access to the boot.

We’re happy to say that the HoldUp 2 is definitely a contender for the best bike rack on the market. Its ability to carry any bike regardless of wheel size or frame configuration, the simplicity of the clamping mechanism, the way it folds away so neatly and how it lets you to access the boot even when fully loaded, all make this a fantastic rack.

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