First Look: Yakima DR.Tray Hitch Rack
We first spotted the new pinnacle of Yakima hitch racks at the Interbike Show last year. It caught our eye because it seemed to solve many of the troubles that one can encounter when using a hitch rack. Yes, there are lots of options out there but the Dr. Tray seems to have simplified it.
The first thing after opening the box is that the entire rack assembled in less than 15 minutes with absolutely no tools. Yes, that’s correct no tools were needed to get the unit from box to vehicle and ready for transport. We were a bit leery of this but the way Yakima has aligned the entire system it’s also very secure. There is a cable lock tucked into each of the two bike trays that secure onto the only bolt that keeps the tray from being removed. This not only acts as security for the bike but also from disassembly of the rack. The two cables and the Speedknob that is attached to a wedge bolt to secure the rack in the hitch all have SKS “Same Key System” locks.
The Dr. Tray has a large handle at the furthest part of the rack for tilting the rack up or down, this means no more reaching through the bikes and trying to hold the weight while tilting the rack down. The handle also makes for a great bottled beverage opener after a long ride.
The best and most impressive part of the whole rack is that both trays can quickly and easily be adjusted, even with the bikes secured on the rack. Just lift the two large silver handles that are located on each tray near the center and it is able to move closer or further way from the vehicle or left and right. No more bars rubbing saddles or contact with the rear hatch when getting into the rear of the car. The trays are meant for 26-29 inch wheels and up to a 5″ tire. The rear tire tray is stationary but tilts to accommodate different length bikes and the ratcheting strap is extremely long.
The entire rack has a very secure feeling and with the limited number of uses, we have on it so far not a single complaint. One odd thing we noticed was when it’s in the vertical position (folded up no bikes) it is no straight up and down, it is about 2-3 degrees off of 90. This hasn’t changed the way we use it but is different than most. Also for those that remove their rack and store it in the garage when not in use the portion the inserts into the hitch receiver folds up 180 degrees leaving less chance of someone tripping if it’s leaned against a wall.
At $579.00 it’s in line with most of its competitors but offers some conveniences that most can not like the toolless adjustments. There is a one bike add-on (EZ+1) for $229 that will limit the overall adjustment of the original two but not much. The downside is that it’s limited to three bikes total and the third has minimal adjustment. The rack is also not meant for kids bike but those are usually smaller and easier to get up on the roof or in the back of an SUZ or minivan.