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Yakima Hold Up 2 Bike Rack


The Yakima Hold-Up 2 trailer hitch bike rack utilizes Yakima’s “Strong-arm” design to secure bike at the wheels preventing any damage to bike frame.
There are two models one that fits a 1.25″ hitch and one that fits a 2″ hitch. The 2 inch model can be expanded with the HoldUp +2 Bike Rack Add-On Extension (sold separately-$329)
to hold a total of four bikes and is rated for 240 lbs. (120+120)

We tested the 1.25″ and even with the smaller receiver size the rack was quite stable even when carrying two mountain bikes this is achieved in part by the use of Yakima’s stability pin which helps prevent the rack from shimmying .


When folded the Hold-up 2 has a small footprint keeping the rack within the bounds of the cars width

The Hold-up 2 has a small footprint

The rack is attractive,  painted in high gloss black with reflective red Yakima logo decals. When not in use it folds into a compact size that does not extend past the width of the car.
The only issue with the rack when folded is that it hides your license plate and limits the use of  a backup camera.

The rack comes with integrated cable locks so if you need to run an errand or stop for a bite to eat your bikes will be more secure.



Rack Dropped to enable opening of the Hatchback door

Rack Dropped to enable opening of the Hatchback door

Other nice features are the built in bottle opener and tilt down capability which allows a hatch back lift to open when bikes are loaded.

The Hold-Up 2 allows for side-to-side adjust-ability to set the space between bikes but I was unable to fit 2 mountain bikes without the handlebars bumping the seat on the other.

The Yakima Hold-Up 2 fits most bikes we tested 20″, 26″, 29″ and 700 c  wheels. All the bikes tested were held securely.

Installation of the rack is pretty simple and took about 20-30 minutes all tools required to install the rack are included.

Yakima also has an online video to walk you through the installation process which I recommend watching.

The Hold-Up 2 lists for $449.00 and while the price tag is a bit steep it is in line with other premium racks like the Thule T2.

Bottom Line: Good Looking, Easy to install, Easy to load and unload bikes, Keeps bikes safe and secure but be ready to layout some cash.  

Note: The “stability pin is secured to the rack by a cable leash however the leash is held on by a plastic tab which will fall out so add a zip tie or use
small nut and bolt to ensure that you don’t loose the stability pin .
(Not sure whyrack5 Yakima skimped here.)



Essential Items that every Cyclist needs

There are a few essential items that every cyclist should own. Our top three picks were chosen based on quality, function, ease of use, and price.

Essential Item #1 our Top Pick

Joe Blow Floor PumpFloor Pump – First and foremost every cyclist needs a quality floor pump if your tires are flat you arent going anywhere. I highly recommend the Joe Blow Sport II Floor Pump from Topeak
It is simple to use, has accurate pressure gauge, and Dual head grey side for presta vlaves and black for Schrader a yellow lever locks the head in place pump stroke is smooth and efficient with about 15-20 pumps filling a 100% deflated MTB tube to 35-40 psi




Essential Item #2

Topeak Multitool

Multi-tool – The swiss army knife of tools. This compact (fits in your camelback or saddle bag can fix almost anything that comes up on the trail or road.
Our recommendation is the Topeak Alien II 26-Function Bicycle Tool. This Little package contains:

  • 2, 2.5, 3, 4, 5, 6, 8, and 10mm Allen Wrenches (Fix a Loose stem bolt, adjust a seat, fix a creaking noise)
  • 8, 9, and 10mm Box Wrenches
  • 2 Chain Pin Compartments (Repair a chain)
  • Phillips and Flat-head Screwdrivers (adjust a Derailleur)
  • Chain Tool (Repair a Chain)
  • 15g and 14g Spoke Wrenches (True a Wheel)
  • Knife
  • 2 Tire Levers (Fix a flat)
  • T25 Torx (adjust with precision)
  • Mini Pedal Wrench Fix a loose pedal
  • Bottle Opener (pop open a well deserved cool one after a ride)

Essential Item #3

Park Hex WrenchesHex Wrenches – Where a multitool is great option when you are out on the trail or road. Any home workbench should have a quality set of hex wrenches.
They are easier to use, can provide more torque, and will make your home shop look pro. our 2 picks are:
Basic Level – Park Tool HXS-2 Professional Hex Wrench Set with Holder
Pro Level – Park Tool bike tools PH-1 p-handle Hex Wrench

ParkP-Type (Pictured) Hex Wrenches provide greater torque and are harder to loose than L-type wrenches.


Have a favorite product or Essential Item you think we missed let us know in our comments section

Rising From the Ashes a Review

Rising from the Ashes the MovieI was invited to go to a screening of Rising from the Ashes. I had no idea what to expect was it going to be a boring documentary. Was it going to be a bunch of raw footage strewn together. Was it going to be.. worth the effort.

After viewing the film and having an opportunity to speak with the two of the producers. (Peb Jackson and Dan Cooper) I can say this – See this film! Even if you are not a cyclist. The story will move, you it will educate you, it will lift your spirit and leave you feeling grateful for all that you have.

The story follows Jock Boyer (The first american to compete in the Tour de France) and a group of riders from Rwanda who through the help of Jock, and each other go from riders with raw talent and diverse backgrounds to a professional cycling team and family. The story culminates with rider Adrien Niyonshuti’s 2012 Olympic finish.

Rising from the Ashes touches on Rwanda’s past and the genocide that took place. Some have criticized that it does not give justice to the history and merely glosses over the death of millions. But this is not a story about death and tragedy of the past. It is about the hope and triumph of the future. The riders and their coach all have tragedy in their past and we learn about their personal struggles.
Through the film you get to know the characters. You will grow to like them, and cheer for them. You will laugh with them and you will be saddened even cry with them. I know this because I experienced first hand throughout the film it was going on all around and within me.

Rising from the ashes Opens in Boston at the Landmark Kendall Square in Boston on August 16th
In Atlanta August 23rd at the Landmark Midtown Art
In Port Orchard, WA at the Dragonfly Cinema on September 7th

For more information and previews Please visit rising from the ashes

If you would like to donate to the team and their efforts Please visit

Selecting the Perfect Mountain Bike Tire

tiresPicking a tire for your bike can be a daunting and expensive tasks. Quality tires start at around $40.

So before you plunk down your hard earned cash for a new set of tires take a moment to understand the properties that affect tire performance.

Primary performance factors are: Traction, Durability, Ride Quality, Braking, Rolling Resistance.

There are two wheel diameters for mountain bikes which.

1) The traditional 26″ Wheel
2) The increasingly popular 29″ wheel.
Benefits of the 29″ are better traction and braking due to a larger contact patch.

Width is another story, much like women’s clothing, tire width designation can vary by manufacturer and tire model.

General guidelines:
1.8-2.0 Light Trail and XC Racing
2.0-2.3 Aggressive XC and All-Mountain
2.4-3.0 Downhill and Free-Ride

In general a wider tire will provide a smoother more subtle ride, a more narrow tire will have less rolling resistance.
The trick is finding the sweet spot for your type of riding.


Next we will look at the tires casing. This weaved thread is what makes up the foundation of the tire. Threads per inch (TPI) can range from 30-300. The higher the count the better the quality. (think bed sheets) A higher thread count will positively affect tire weight, traction, and puncture resistance.

The more aggressive the tread the better the traction and cornering. But there is a trade-off between traction and rolling resistance.

Tread spacing and depth: Wide spaced treads shed mud and debris.
Deeper knobs maintain better traction when riding in loose and/or muddy conditions, but have greater rolling resistance when riding on hard-pack surfaces.
A tight tread pattern with shallow knobs will roll well in hard-pack conditions but traction suffers in loose and muddy conditions.

There are a number of tread patterns designed to fit your riding style.

  • Slick: Asphalt, commuting.
  • Inverted-Tread: Asphalt light trail, rough commuting.
  • Semi-slick: Dirt paths and Light trail riding.
  • Knobbies: Trail riding, Downhill, and Free-ride.

Durometer: Natural rubber is sticky and unstable. So a process called vulcanization is used to make the rubber more suitable for use in Bike Tires. By adding Sulfur or other polymers and cooking, manufactures can create rubber that is as hard or soft as they require.
Tire hardness is measured in Durometer, the higher the number the harder the rubber and the more durable the tire. Most tires range in Durometer from 42 to 70. Higher durometer tires roll fast but sacrifice traction, especially in wet conditions. A 42 durometer tire will have great traction but wear quickly and roll slow, most tires will fall in between. Better, more expensive tires often will have a dual or triple compound of around 55 for the center knobs and 45 for the side.

Front and Rear specific TiresDirectional and Front/Rear specific Tread:
Directional Tires have tread designed to run in a specific direction usually with ramped knobbies and/or a chevron pattern that performs optimally in a one direction or another. The mounting direction of the tire is usually noted on the sidewall of the tire.
Front/Rear specific tires – Front tires are designed for carving turns with better traction when cornering.
Rear tires are designed to provide optimal power transmission and rear wheel control.


Parts of a MTB Tire and RimBead:
Wire Bead tires are less expensive and heavier than their Aramid bead counterparts but generally stay on the rim even at low tire pressure
Aramid Bead Tires are more expensive but lighter up to a 100 grams but run a greater risk of coming off the rim during a flat. (Also known as Kevlar or folding bead tires)

Tube vs Tubeless

Tubed tires require an inner tube to hold air. Bike tubes have two valve types: Schrader and Presta the one that you require is determined by your rim type.
Schrader valves are the same as the valve on most cars. Presta valves have a long skinny metal shaft with a threaded top. Pros of tubed tires – Generally less expensive easier to repair flat on the trail. Cons – Prone to pinch flats.

Tubeless tires allow you to ride at a lower pressure providing better traction without pinch flats.
Tubless Tire Systems:
UST – Universal System for Tubeless set standards for rim and tire manufacturers to work towards. UST compatible systems allow you to install the tire by hand and inflate with a standard floor pump. The tires have an extra layer of rubber inside the carcass to seal against leaks. They do not have to be used with a liquid sealant.
Tubeless ready systems and the use of Rim strips can benefit from the use of No Tubes Stan’s Tire Sealant.
I have used Stan’s on both Mavic UST wheels and Shimano tubeless ready wheels to guard against flats, however some tire manufacturers warn against this. And use of a sealant and will void the tires warranty.




Jersey’s that make a statement

When you are being passed by someone who is cruising along 30 mph faster than you it in a vehicle that weighs 2000 lbs you can feel a little outclassed. But we are not second class citizens and we have a right to be on the road and to be safe. These jerseys allow you to make a statement and send a gentle reminder to motorists that you have a right to be on the road and that they need to provide some room. For those deserving they even provide a Thank You.

Check out the full line of Jersey designs at
Get Outside and Enjoy the Ride

A review of Race Across the Sky

Just got back from seeing Race across the Sky – Similiar to the feeling some might have after seeing a Rocky Film, people I spoke with wanted to hop on their bikes and ride out to Leadville. The film was awesome with it’s images, soundtrack The drama of Leadville comes to life on the big screen. The panel with Lance, Dave Wiens, and Travis Brown after the movie brought you even closer to the race experience at Leadville.

If you missed it…Too Bad (Just Kidding) WHat you can do is call your theatre and ask them to show it again if enough people ask this movie can make it as a mainstream film. While it not be the sleeper of the year this is a great cycling movie that brings you into the action and emotion of this epic race.
Get Outside and Enjoy the Ride

New online magazine for Mountain Bikers

IMBIKEMAG is free to read and aimed at the everyday rider out there. The online magazine is totally free and packed full of tips, techniques, and reviews. There are also some cool videos embedded on the pages be sure to check it out.

There is also the chance to win a set of DAKINE gloves inside

Get Outside and Enjoy the Ride

A second look at Clif Quench

Cliff_QuenchLast month I reviewed the Orange flavor Clif Quench. After my review I received an email from Emily at Clifbar and Company.
She was kind enough to send me another bottle of Clif Quench. I chose a bottle of fruit punch from the available flavors of Orange, Fruit Punch, Strawberry Citrus, and Limeade. While the fruit punch was more palatable than the orange flavor. It still wasn’t a open the fridge and chug down a bottle type of beverage and I don’t think Quench is trying to be that.

Clif Quench is a simple drink made up of water, cane sugar, natural flavors, and electrolytes (salt, magnesium, and potassium). While Quench is a sports drink it is not loaded with a lot of sugars and extra calories. What it does provide in spades is hydration and electrolytes. Making this an ideal drink for those who are working out to burn calories and not get them all back with a sugary sports drink.
The 16 oz bottle is perfect for your next spin class or run.

There are a lot sports drinks out there to meet different needs of athletes. Most provide electrolytes and simple carbs. Some have caffeine, antioxidants, and vitamins while others may even provide protein.
The important thing is to find a drink that meets your needs, has a taste that will encourage you to drink often to help you stay hydrated, and enables you to perform at your peak level.

So whether you out for a short spin, completing an epic ride, or putting down the hammer in a race.
Clif Quench combined with other Clif Products like their gel, shot bloks, and bars can keep you going strong and gives you the option to get what you need and nothing you don’t.
Get Outside and Enjoy the Ride

First Endurance Optygen Supplement

First Endurance Optygen Supplement
Optygen is unlike any other endurance product available.
This revolutionary formula is based on clinical trials and the latest scientific research on maximizing oxygen utilization.

Optygen was developed to increase VO2Max, increase the body’s ability to adapt to high levels of physical stress, increase anaerobic threshold and reduce lactic acid.

“I noticed a decreased heart rate at intensity and the ability to push hard for longer periods of time”

Increases ability to adapt to stress Increases endurance and performance Reduces lactic acid Patent pending, nothing else like it Ingredients: Chromium as Chelavite amino acid Chelate (200mcg); Cordyceps CS-4 as Cordyceps Sinensis and Mycelia Biomass – minimum 7% cordycepic acid (1000mg); ATPro Matrix as Calcium Pyruvate, Sodium Phosphate, Potassium Phosphate, Ribose, Adenosine (800mg); Rhodiola Extract as Rhodiola Rosea Root – minimum 2.5% salidrosides, minimum 3.0% rosavins (300mg) I have used Optygen and this product works you will be able to push harder and recover faster.

Manufacturer Website:
Loading Phase: Take six (6) capsules every morning for (7) days.
Maintenance Phase: After loading phase, take three (3) capsules every morning.

Get Outside and Enjoy the Ride

A review of Clif Quench

clif quench orange Flavor
This past Sunday I was doing a ride in NYC it was hot and humid and I had emptied my 4th water bottle and was looking for something to drink. The street vendors in Battery Park were selling Vitamin Waters for 4.00 a bottle. I was thirsty but not delirious so I decided to try my luck at a nearby deli.

Upon perusing the cold drink aisle a new drink from Clif caught my eye. (New to this East Coaster, it was released in March of 09) I figured what the heck I’m young and adventuresome, I’m in the Big City and I have 2 Bucks.

I tried the Orange flavor and while the 16 oz bottle (made of 40% Post Consumer recycles Plastic) got me through the next 12 miles. The taste left something to be desired actually it was pretty bad. This was Surprising because other Clif Products like their bars, shots, and blocks are tasty enough to be enjoyed even when you not on the bike. (Don’t even get me started on the Builder Bars they are just like having desert)

I don’t think I would ever reach for the Clif drink unless I was on a ride and really needed something to drink.

However, The drink did quench my thirst and gave me a boost of energy to finish the last leg of my ride strong.

I would like to try some other flavors like fruit punch or Lime-ade

Let me know if you have tried any of the Clif Quench flavors and if any were palatable enough to reach for as an everyday drink.

Get Outside and Enjoy the Ride