Recently, my family and I acquired a new Ford Transit van that we have converted into a camper. I spent the entire Spring season working on it.
It has been great in helping us get out in the woods. Once the snow melted, we were road tripping in full force. Luckily, we were able to bring all the bikes thanks to our new Velocirax 6-Pack bike rack.
Velocirax is a relatively new company to the market that provides bike racks and related accessories. We were in need of a rack that could hold 2 bikes for each of us and the 6-Pack fit the bill.
While we get the 6 bike rack, the Velocirax offerings range from a 3 bike holder all the way up to 7 bikes. There are options to hold 20” bikes and road bikes all the way through fat bikes.
Read on to learn more about our experience…..
Review In A Nutshell
- Holds Several Bikes Easily
- Tilts for Easy Loading
- Garage Mount
- Robust Design
- Holds a Wide Range of Bikes
- Quite Heavy
- Unwanted Movement
Price: $849 (6-Pack Base Price)
What It’s All About
The Velocirax is durable, holding up to 55 lbs per tray. It has a robust hitch pin that locks and a tilting mechanism fastened at the pivot point with steel joints, a lynch pin, and two spring loaded shocks. Like many other new comers (Lolo Racks, Northshore, etc), the Velocirax 6-Pack is a vertically mounted rack.
Bikes are loaded front wheel up in a wheel tray. Bungees hooked to welded knobs provide strapping duty on the front and rear wheels. The back wheel rests on a support bar with a small welded plate to support each tire as they are strapped in place.
My one concern is the rubber bungee straps. Based on my experience with straps on other racks, I can almost guarantee they will harden, crack and break over time in the sun and weather. I suppose that keeps owners coming back for small parts.
All Velocirax racks require a 2-inch receiver. Wheel trays are wide enough for about 4-inch tires. Most wheels tilt to the right in the tray, but I have found my fat bike will only mount vertically. That creates some slight adjustments when mounting several bikes as the handlebars tend to collide with one another when not all aligned in the same manner.
Velociraxes website recommends mounting bikes biggest to smallest for best fit and it is great advice. I have tried mounting our bikes all mixed up and it was much more challenging to get handlebars, pedals, and brake levers to clear each other.
One of the coolest parts about the rack is that it can lean out to make loading easier, as well as allowing you to access the rear doors of your vehicle. There is a pin to hold the rack in it’s varying positions and a handle to help the situation. While I was able to easily load the rack with it upright, my wife definitely needed this reclining feature to load the bikes.
Another nifty feature is the garage mount if you want to use the rack for storage as well as transport. Migrating the heavy rack back and forth from car to garage is not ideal to me. Luckily, I already have two racks built that house our 20 bikes (I know it’s a lot, but it’s our business) so the garage mount is useless to me, but might come in handy for you!
It is easy to install, and just allows the rack to mount against the wall as it would into the hitch of the vehicle. Velocirax also offers some other wall storage options if that is something that is needed. These are nice options if you’re struggling to find clean mounts for your bikes.
We have upgraded and updated our Velocirax this year with some great features. The first of them is the addition of two fat bike wheel mounts. Now I can safely load my fat bikes without handlebars crashing into the other bikes. My fat wheels did fit in the normal wheel mounts, but where unable to turn and match the handlebar angle of all our other bikes in the rack. Now I can throw on those 5″ fatties for deep snow!
Velocirax has created a great internal lock system that has been installed on our rack. A pair of tubed sleeves is placed inside the upper wheel mount bar and bolted in via the outer wheel mounts. The end caps are replaced with sliding door caps and cable is easily pulled out and ran through bike frames. Locks are never a guarantee that bikes will not be taken, but they at least slow the theives down. This solution is better than the makeshift arrangement I had going on before installing Velocirax’s specific lock.
Velocirax racks are quite heavy. If you are the type of person that likes to remove the bike rack from your vehicle, then their new rolling stand can help. Being able to wheel the stand out and move just the rack back into the garage or move bikes out of the way in the garage is a great luxury. The wall mount for the rack is pretty cool. You can use your car’s bike rack as a garage rack too! Well, now you don’t even need the wall! This accessory shows the innovation that Velocirax is bringing to the market. I dig it.
We have experienced some intense bouncing from the rack while traveling. Unwanted movements don’t seem to move the bikes on the rack, but the whole rack seems to really bounce around when loaded and going offroad or traveling on rough roads.
I have never noticed tray racks move like that. We are using the RakAttach in conjunction with the Velocirax rack and that could be part of the cause.
I have opted to utilize a ratcheting tie-down as a kind of “sway-bar” wrapping around the vehicle’s hitch mount and looping around through the welded handle (also where I run the cable lock through). That dramatically decreased the bouncing on rough roads.
Velocirax suggests rubber bands on brake levers, but I can’t tell that the bikes themselves are actually moving on the rack. They seem solid in their mounts.
UPDATE: With experience using the rack more I have come to find that the RakAttach was wearing and the main cause of our movement. We have mounted our bike rack on a long body Ford Transit van so there is extra inertia back there. Once I removed the Rak Attach the movements really calmed down and I can just use the pivoting system of the Velocirax to access the rear end of the van.
Competitors in the vertical mount world are abundant and there are choices from big brands like Yakima and Thule to newcomers like North Shore Racks, and Lolo Racks. They all have their variations on mounting (handlebars vs wheels, etc.), but most don’t seem to maintain the weight limits of the Velocirax. It is built quite robust.
It terms of price, most vertical racks, including Velocirax, are quite expensive with most competitors nearly matching (or even exceeding) their prices. While the Velocirax isn’t cheap, it does seem to be on par with market price.
Instead of waiting for my rack to ship to Idaho, I was able to change the order. My family and I recently moved from Utah back to Idaho and decided to venture on a little vacation back in Utah. I was able to pick up our new rack in person which allowed me to save $200 on shipping.
Where is Customer Service?!
All of my email interactions were fine. I was able to change my order from shipping to in person pick up. Once I arrived, however, customer service was questionable and awkward.
The operations are being performed out of a house (which is fine, I work from home as do many people these days). Once arrived, there was a phone number on the front door of the house I was to call and then some random guy opened the garage door. Without saying anything he started shuffling through inventory trying to locate a matching set of boxes for my order. I was told I was lucky they had a 6-Pack available.
Why did I receive a confirmation email and try to schedule a pickup time for the rack? It seemed as though they were shipping racks as fast as they could get them confirmed without consideration of anyone showing up for their purchase or not. It was weird. The rack came in three separate boxes and assembly was definitely required.
Update: Velocirax has now obtained a warehouse from which to operate. It has helped to streamline their orders and provide a public space for in-person pickups.
Our summer would not have been the same camping in our new van without our mountain bikes and this rack has enabled us to bring them all. The rack is relatively expensive, most certainly heavy and I question the strap design, but the rack itself is heavy-duty and serves our needs. With the tie down on, we don’t really use the tilting mechanism so loading and unloading are left up to me as my wife can’t lift the bikes high enough to mount.
I do like that I can take my Megatrail, fat bike, wife’s bike, and kiddo’s mountain bike and ebike all at the same time. Having all of our bikes along for the variable rides we like to do is key to our family adventures.
More Stuff You Might Like
- 11 Family Friendly Bike Racks That Will Make Your Life Easier
- 7 Bike Storage Ideas For Kids Bikes, Apartments, Garages, & Outdoors
The Rascals are a family of three. Kristen (mom), Blair (dad), and Parker (kiddo). We started Rascal Rides when Parker was born and we didn’t want to give up our passion for biking. As we learned, we shared. Over the years, we’ve tested hundreds of kids bikes, helmets, bike trailers, and more.
Kristen is a USA Cycling certified coach and loves to share her passion for biking with other families. Blair is a bike geek, mechanic, and mountain bike junkie. Parker is our resident tester and inspiration.
If you see us out on the trail, make sure to say hi!