Reese Explore 4 Bike Rack Review

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Review of the Reese Explore 4 Bike Rack


Speaker 1: Today we're going to be taking a look at the Reese tilting 4-bike rack for 2" hitches. Part number is 63124. The Reese Eclipse is a hanging-style 4-bike rack. It's got very sturdy construction and it's a really good cost-effective solution to transport all different types of bikes anywhere you might want to go.Another great thing about the rack is that it is approved for use on motor homes, fifth wheel, and bumper-pull campers. Now it is designed to work with all different types of bikes, whether that's mountain, road bikes, women's bikes, children's bikes. Rather than having the traditional two arms that come out, we're just going to have one center cradle in all four positions for our bike to rest down and on.

Here you can see we're using a bike adapter bar. That just helps us maintain the levelness of our bike. If we weren't using that, we could still put it underneath our tube here. But you could imagine that back end would be kicked up a little bit higher than the front, and it's not going to allow them to sit as even as with the bar.Also to help increase visibility you'll see here on the back we've got a built-in reflector. As lights hit that, people will be able to see that and determine that you do have a rack on the back of the vehicle.Now all along the top section here you're going to see six oblong holes.

These are designed so we can pass a cable lock through and around each of our bikes, and then reconnect it at the back. This will allow you to lock the bikes to the rack. By using a cable lock you're able to secure the bikes to the rack so you won't have to worry about them disappearing. Now with bikes loaded we are able to tilt the rack away from our vehicle. Now when you do this with this type of rack, you want to keep in mind your bikes are probably going to make contact with each other, and it's likely the larger bikes will touch the ground.

So while you can do it, if you have higher end or nicer bikes, not something we necessarily recommend.You're also probably going to need two people to do this if you have it fully loaded. We'll have AJ come in and help us out. He's going to lift on the back of the rack slightly. That's going to help us remove the pin. As you can see, you just want to guide it down pretty gently until either one of the tires on your bikes makes contact with the ground or it rests on that rubber gasket or that rubber piece there.

As you can see, full access into the hatch. Now that's going to save you a lot of time and a lot of headaches as compared to unloading all of the bikes and tilt it away. But remember those things that we talked about. Then to bring it back up, just going to reverse the process.Now when not in use, the shank of the rack will also fold up against the mast so it's not sticking out there. This is going to allow you an easier time storing it. Now to install the rack we need to line up the threaded hole that's here on the left side with the pin hole in our hitch, so we'll just be sliding that in. Then we'll thread in our provided anti-rattle bolt. This should be threaded in from the left side. You want to be sure that you've got your lock washer on there when you do it. We'll get that ran down hand tight. Then we're going to tighten it with a 24mm socket. We'll want that to be nice and snug. Then we can install the clip. That's just going to slide right in.Now a couple things I like. You can see the steel cable here. That's going to help ensure we don't lose our pin. As the rack comes down, it's going to rest on the rubber portion right here. That'll help make sure that we don't have any scratches or anything on that powder coat to help resist corrosion for a long time.Now in all four of our cradles you can see we've got the V-shaped rubber that's in place here. That allows the top tube of our bike to rest down and in. We're not going to have to worry about damage. Also, that larger groove you see on the bottom can help accommodate your brake and shifter cables.Now the cradles, the main portion of the rack, and the shank going into your car have all been treated with a nice powder coat finish. This should help to resist corrosion for a very long time.Now to get your bike installed on the rack you're of course going to want to remove the hook and loop straps, get them open. Then we're just going to place the top tube of the bike into the cradle. At that point we'll bring our strap through the ring on the other side and pull it down tight just like that. We can do the same thing for our other one.Now the cradles and straps have been designed to work with the smallest top tubes on the market all the way up to 2-1/4" in diameter. Now at this point you're ready to load up the rest of your bikes. You do want to keep in mind the rack has a 120 pound maximum capacity so you want to keep your bikes to about 30 pounds a piece. The heaviest bike should go in the front. As you go back you want those to get lighter. We found it's generally best to alternate the direction of the handlebars, so we have this one loaded this way. Our next one we would load that way.Now we can take just a second and compare the Eclipse to another very, very similar bike rack. In this case we're going to go with the Swagman Trailhead. Really good, well built bike rack just like what we have here with the Eclipse. It has a dual-arm setup and some pretty big cradles on it with rubber straps. Now those cradles are going to offer anti-sway control. This rocking motion that we have hr with the bikes will be eliminated slightly using that setup. But it can be harder to get bikes loaded up on there. Especially with when you've got the smaller areas like this, it's going to offer you a little bit more of a challenge. It's a 4-bike hanging-style rack just like what we have here. Tilts away from the vehicle very similarly to what this is going to do.Now a few other things to keep in mind. The Trailhead will work with 1-1/4" or with 2" hitches, where the Eclipse is going to be limited to just the 2" hitch. The weight capacity on that Trailhead is a little bit higher. Where the Eclipse is at 30 pounds per pike, the Trailhead's going to be at 35. Now that's really only going to come into effect probably if you've got ebikes that you're trying to load up. Then the last thing would be that while we can tilt this one away from our vehicle with the bikes loaded, it's not going to be something we can do with the Trailhead.Now one area I think the Trailhead does have an advantage over the Eclipse is going to be in the shank design. With the Trailhead, it comes up about 3" as it comes back. That's going to help to give us more ground clearance. That can be especially important if your hitch is very close to the ground. Now in another area where the Eclipse is going to have an advantage over the Trailhead is that we're able to use it with fifth wheel and bumper-pull campers. With the Trailhead, it's not approved for use on those.The Eclipse also receives really positive customer reviews. It's like Daniel A. said: "I was thrilled with how well packaged the rack was and I had no trouble assembling it and putting it on my vehicle. It fits great. The bikes I have fit on the rack well. It's one men's mountain bike, one women's 10-speed, and one child's bike. The child's bike is a close fit but it all works well. Great product." After one year out he said, "One year out and this product is still as great as it was when I first got it. No complaints here."Here on our test course we'll start by going through the slalom. This is going to show us the side to side action. This simulates turning corners or evasively maneuvering. Once we get to the alternating speed bumps, we'll see the twisting action. This will simulate hitting a curb or a pothole, or driving over uneven pavement. Once we get to the full speed bumps, we'll see the up and down action. This will be just like driving in and out of a parking lot, parking garage, or driveway.That'll complete our look at the Reese Explore tilting 4-bike rack, part number 63124.


Questions and Comments about this Video

Rich

In the video for the Reese Explore 63124 4-bike hanging rack you refer to it as the Reese Eclipse. Is this bike rack the same as the Pro-Series Eclipse 63124 that you used to sell? older customer photos of this Reese Explore show the Pro-Series with Pro-Series sticker. The only difference looks to be the rear reflector of different design. I'm thinking Reese makes the Pro-Series or vice-versa? 80372

Reply from Chris R.

You're exactly right, the Reese Explore # 63124 is the current version of the Pro Series Eclipse rack. Pro Series and Reese are under the same parent company (Horizon Global). 66242