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Yakima EXO System 2 Bike Rack and Cargo Carrier Review

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Review of the Yakima EXO System 2 Bike Rack and Cargo Carrier


Hi everyone. It's Eve Angeline here etrailer. And today we are looking at the Yakima EXO System with the double up two bike rack and the GearWarrior cargo carrier here at etrailer. The EXO System is great because you can use different accessories. Now, this kit comes with the bike rack, the cargo carrier as well as your two bases which is the top shelf and the swing base. If you really want to get into the EXO System but you are an avid biker and you need to carry around a bunch of stuff I think this is a great combination and a great way to start.

Because of how tall your bikes are when you do you do want to use this kit You need to have the bikes on top. So with this, you have a weight capacity of 40 pounds per bike. And down here with your GearWarrior you have a weight capacity of 110 pounds. The actual weight capacities do depend on where you have them. If you have them on the swing base alone you do get more weight capacity.

Like the GearWarrior has a total of 250 max. While the double has a total of 50 per bike max weight capacity. But when you combine them all, please double check that you have enough weight capacity for everything because you can very easily be carrying around 300 pounds. The main reason you should get the whole kit together is because, well, not only does it work together very well. There are eight different lock cores on the system.

So when you get it as one all those lock cores are keyed alike. Now, if you do have another system and you're looking at the different accessories please get those lock cores to match all eight. Now let's take a look at the best feature which I think of the entire system and that's that it can swing away. And to do so you start with a knob in the back. Loosen this knob all the way until it releases from the swing base then pull this knob and then push out on that base.

This is going to swing out 90 degrees until that knob in the corner catches it and secures it. With your system fully loaded I highly recommend installing the jack to support the swing base. This comes with a top shelf and especially if you haven't swung out for an extended period of time. You can see that now I have plenty of space open up my hatch or they're using us on a truck to lower your tailgate all without having to take any of your equipment off. Also, one thing to notice is how this is perfectly positioned to make it easy to take off your bike on this side. So you can be taking off your bike here while your friend is taking off their bike on the other side. Not only is this swing based swing out but the top shelf rotates too and this is especially helpful let's say, if you have this cooler right over here and you need an extra clearance. So to swing the top shelf you first start with this hitch pin lock and then take out that hitch pin. Once that hitch pin is removed you can then swivel the top shelf, a full 180 degrees for full access to both your bike rack and your GearWarrior. I'm going to take these bikes off so we can take a look at the system but I'll show you how to take those bikes off. First, you have this rear wheel strap in the back. So press that button and lift that strap out. Here in the front you have this front wheel clamp so hold onto your bike as you do so press that button, lift that up and then out and then lift your bike. And after you've put that away you can then get the second bike. With the bikes off let's take a look at the bike rack itself. So we have a bunch of different components here. First is the rear wheel cradle. This has a wheel strap that goes around and ratchets down to secure your wheel. Notice how it can be angled back and forth to accommodate different wheel bases. So on the inside the closest or surest wheel base is 20 inches. And the longest is 29 inches. The front wheel cradle has a tab holding it in the folded position. So just push it out of that tab and swing it out to the open position. So you can see how it is a large shaped cradle with a small invention for your smaller wheels. And it's a large loop for your fat tire. So this can carry fat tire bikes of up to 4.8 inches in width. This bike rack is made of a solid steel construction which makes it really heavy duty. Now with us having different weight capacities depending on where you mount it. If you have it mounted like what we have here on the top shelf it has a weight capacity of 40 pounds per bike. Now, if you have it on this swing base it has a weight capacity of 50 pounds per bike. On each arm you're going to get an integrated cable lock. So this cable lock pulls out and can be wrapped around your front wheel. Yep that's how long it's going to be. So it's not a long length, but just enough for each bike. Now I'm going to take off the bike and the top shelf is so that we can take a closer look at the GearWarrior that comes with his kit. The taking off processes is very quick and simple. Make sure these are loose and then lift up your bike rack. And you're good to go. The inside dimensions where you have the smallest amount of space within the bars from bar to bar it sits at 54 inches long and for width we have it at 21 inches. With this style of cargo carrier it's kind of like a roof basket on your hitch. And they have a gap on the inside that allows things to dry out, or just sit out in the air and you don't have to worry about water pooling. You do have a gap between the bars of three and an eighth inches though. So just keep that in mind with whatever your storing. Let's talk about what it's made of. So the entire GearWarrior is made of a durable steel construction with this black powder coat that helps it stay rust resistant. Now, if you do scratch it up, I recommend trying to touch it up just to maintain that resistance. If you have back deck from the Yakima EXO System you can see how it also fits perfectly inside your GearWarrior if you want to carry that with you. I highly recommend picking up the warrior wheels cart kit because this will transform your cargo carrier into a cart. The clips underneath the bike rack attached to the tracks in the arms. So you can see here with it tightened down. It's a very sturdy connection that will keep your bike rack as well as your bike secure. Now I'm going to show you how you're going to load your bike. One thing to notice is that since it's on the top shelf you do have a little bit of height you need to lift up onto. So just be careful with that with your heavier bikes, hold onto it as you clamp it down and try to get your clamp as close to the top of the wheel as you can. After your front wheels strapped down you've been secure your rear wheel with this ratcheting wheel strap. Notice how it secures our bike by the front wheel. This is great, especially with if you have an alternate frame bikes like a Carre frame, electric bike with a step through or women's bike, children's bike, this works really well with that. If you have any other questions about this system I actually just had a conversation with some of my coworkers where they asked them questions about it let's take a look at that discussion. So we've been able to play around with all of the Yakima EXO System down here all week we've been throwing things on the swing base, the top shelves, we've been mixing them around, moving them up, taking them off. It's a lot of different products. So I understand if you guys have any questions about how the system works, this is your time. So these products will only work on the swing base correctYeah, they will. The swing base is the core to this entire system and nothing else will work if you do not have that swing base. And what products do you have on there right nowSo right now I have the swing base and on top of the swing base is our GearWarrior which is like a roof basket for your pitch. And then we have the top shelf installed. Cameraman With the GearWarrior you can actually throw on these little wheels and we can actually make it into something that's portable. The GearWarrior turned into a cart through. Now, could you carry two of the GearWarriors Could you carry one where it is now and then put another one up on top. Yes absolutely you can. So you can for the cargo carrier you can carry two of them each. The GearWarrior is the cargo carrier and the gear locker is the enclosed cargo carrier that looks like a box. So you can have both of those on there at the same time. Cameraman So both of those or two of the GearWarrior, two of the locker that you can like mix and match those which is really nice. And then do you have the bike rackYes I actually grab that bike rack real quick. So the thing about the bike rack is if you're going to be loading two things at the same time the bike rack has to be by itself on top. All right if it doesn't get. So like for the bike rack, if you do have bikes obviously it's going to be pretty tall. But so if you have the GearWarrior or the gear locker on the bottom the bike rack goes on top. And you couldn't put two bike racks on there. No, you can't. There's not very much room. For that no. So that's how quick and easy it is to pass something on top. And now you can carry two bikes as well as all of your equipment on the bottom. And how about locksThere's a lot of places to put lock cores on this system. I think the most I counted was nine all at once. I think it was with the bike rack and the like the gear locker on the bottom. It was the gear locker yeah. Because the swing base comes with three locks. So one for each of the knobs, and then there's a hitch pin. The top shelf comes with three locks again for the knobs and the hitch pins to hold the top shelf. And then each of the items have their own spots for lock cores. Like the bike racks have to lock core spots on each arm to lock each bike. So you can have at least nine lock cores on your system at once. And these don't come with the lock cores pre-installed you have to add them separately. Yes so they come with a plastic end and that's what you add the lock cores to. Right I mean that way you could make sure that you have all of them the same key numbers you can have them all keyed alike. Yeah so here on our snow bank we still kept the plastic lock core on there just so you can see what it looks like. So it'll still function the exact same way. It just won't be able to be locked until you add a lock core. Now the swing base comes with three locks. Cause that's an important part. I believe it comes with the locks. Cameraman Yep it did whenever we we're putting it together. Cause that's what you need to use the knob. Cameraman So lock cores are definitely a big one. It's almost like if you're getting one of the kits systems you'd almost want to just have those bought already. I think the best thing to do is once you get the swing base also get like eight locks in anticipation of your future accessories. Cameraman Yeah cause we we're talking about it with some of our other coworkers and it would be a pain if you got like almost everything that the EXO System can give you and then you have like seven or eight keys that you have to go through and figure out which ones are which it wouldn't be fun. Yeah better to get them all at once and then just have one key that works for all of them. Then just add them as you go. So the hitch lock comes with the swing base and the knobs on the swing base come with locks but everything else is separate. Cameraman Everything else is separate. Some of them come with like little lock cores with them but they're not key to like with the rest. So it's better to buy a pack like you said of eight and then just make sure they're all the same. Cameraman Yeah because right now like this top shelf is going to have a different key from the bottom swing base. And then the actual like bike locks are going to have different keys. So that's already three keys that you have to, you know, keep track of. And that's only, you know, a full setup right. This is one of the kits, correctYes so, and if you switch it out with this snowbank or you switch this one with another gear locker who's also had different locks. So in anticipation of how many accessories you have try to think about lock cores as well. Is the weight capacity the same for the upper tier as it is the lower tierNo and that's what you're going to have to be super sure of. Well not sure of. But check before you load things up. Like here we have the GearWarrior and it has the highest possible weight capacity which is 250 pounds if it's installed alone on the swing base. But once you install the top shelf anything on the bottom has a slightly less weight capacity. And if you put the GearWarrior on this top shelf it will have a weight capacity of 80 pounds. So it's a big difference depending on where you mount it. That is a big difference. Yeah that is a big difference. And that's mostly to do with the hitch itself rather than the actual components, weight capacities. Yes all cause it's further away from the hitch. Like with any we have the weight capacity. So also the top shelf can be pushed out if you're worried about clearance for your back. So I believe that would also be why they have a lower base weight. Now much like a lot of bike racks will fold up so you can pull into a garage or whatnot. Is there any kind of fold-up option for this or do you have to remove it from your hitch if you're in a tight spotYes you'd have to. Well, yeah. You'd have to remove it. It swings away, which is, it's you know compromised for not being able to tilt away or fold up. But yes. Cameraman The closest thing you could get to like folding it is taking almost everything off. Like you can take off your equipment and you can take off the top. And then the two bottom arms fold in that's about the closest thing that you would get to it but it's not like you can fold it any other way and you still got a good amount sticking out but at least those two Yakima arms are going to slide in against the base. Can you remove the bike rack and put on the ski rack real quickI can. One thing though about the top shelf is that it does add a little bit to where it feels slightly heavier, but yes. So first you just have to lock it with that where it's open. Then lift your bike rack off then I'll find somewhere to put this and then snow bank comes in two parts. So here's one. I just slides into those tracks, then we'll tighten those clips down on that. And then lock that tab into place. That secures it. The tabs only turn when it's tightened down that lets you know it's fully tight down. And that's it. Ready to move. Remind me, you can't just buy the like fit feet and add them to your previously existing Yakima accessories to make them work with this correct. They're all stamped. They have to be for the EXO System. Yes actual clamps are available anywhere to install. So it's just EXO System accessories that fit into those tracks. Cameraman We haven't seen any evidence to the contrary that we'd be able to do that so. No, that makes sense. I just wanted to double check. I think like the only thing from Yakima's previous line that fits on this is the skinny warrior and that's because the clamps for the GearWarrior are attached to the GearWarrior. So that's what allows the skinny warrior to be retrofit because it fits perfectly on top of that too. But other than that, nothing else that I know of. Cameraman Okay well glad we could answer some of your questions on the EXO System. It's a definitely an interesting one. We've messed around it with it for what Like last three days four days. Four days yes. It's definitely something for people who've already build up the roof rack or can't get a roof rack. So they're looking into this because this is a roof basket, but on my hitch or a roof box on my hitch plus a ski and snowboard carrier. So I do see people that are thinking of whether they get a trailer or this as an option, as a comparison. Cameraman And I would definitely say that if somebody is wanting to buy this they're going to want to be able to get as many of the pieces as possible. This doesn't seem like something you would want to be like, "Oh I'm just getting this for skis or for bike." Like, this is something like, "Oh I need room for my skis, my bikes. And then maybe I'm going to go just camping. And I need two cargo carriers for the week." Or something like that. That makes sense. That was going to be, that was my one question is after our conversation this morning, that is this is a bike rack. Like if you we're just going to get the bike rack is it really that comparable to other swing away bike racks Or is this kind of more trouble than it's worth If you know what I meanIt's definitely good. But like, it's like, you know, having a piece of like a massive puzzle it's like, you just don't want that specific piece if you can't fill out the rest of it. Yeah I think the beauty of it is how fast it is to mix and match. Like I cannot, I have not been able to install a bike rack as fast as I was to do this. Like any other hitch mounted bike rack. So that base is what creates the speed. And I don't it's the beauty of it is that mix and match modular ability. So at this price point let's say just a bike rack on the swing base. I do not think is as effective as a bike rack created just for your hitch. If that makes sense. Yeah totally that's what I was wondering. So I just, after you guys have been able to think about it a little bit more or, you know reflect how it compares to other swing away bike racks. So I think if anybody we're to stumble upon it in that bike rack category, that's good to know that it's like, yeah, you can buy this just as a bike rack but there are better options if that's all you want. And this is really more. Absolutely. My final thoughts about this whole kit is I love how the bike rack is paired with the GearWarrior. I think it's a great setup for when you went to go camping out for a bike ride or for a long trip. Now the bike rack itself does carry two bikes. Just keep that in mind. If you want to carry more, your roof rack is now free for other gear, other equipment, other toys you may want to bring for your adventures. Please check out all our other extra products on our e-trailer website page and take look at our other videos we have up there but as for how this system works and this kit works I think it works amazingly and gives you the best of both worlds. That was a look here at our Yakima EXO system with a double up bike rack and the GearWarrior cargo care here at e-trailer..


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