Yakima HoldUp EVO: Tested

Yakima’s HoldUp EVO bike carrier promises a quick loading time and secure transport for your bikes. We put it to the test.
By Justin Walker Photos Mark Watson October 26, 2021 Reading Time: 4 Minutes Print this page

It sure has been all about the bikes during this pandemic: bike sales have gone through the roof, with demand outstripping supply as families clamber to jump on two wheels. Of course, once said bikes are in the shed, the next issue is how to transport them. The Yakima HoldUp EVO is a two-bike carrier we recently tested.


Design

The Yakima HoldUp EVO is a hitch-mount carrier that fits a two-inch (50mm) hitch receiver. It includes Yakima’s highly-regarded StrongArm hooks, which tighten down (via a ratchet system) on the front wheel, and a strap at the rear wheel. Securing the bike this way means there are no touch-points on the frame itself. The HoldUp EVO tilts down and away from the car, ensuring access to the rear of your vehicle (if it has a lift-up rear door). 

A couple of minutes to load up, and equally as quick to unload, the HoldUp EVO ensures you’re on the trails as soon as possible.

The HoldUp EVO can accommodate wheel sizes from 20-inch to 29-inch, and a tyre width of up to 4.8-inches wide, with a maximum wheelbase of 1200mm. This has been great for transporting my own, plus my kids’ bikes on different occasions; my son’s 20-inch goes on along with my 26-inch, saving having to put his small-wheeled rig in the car’s cargo area. The HoldUp EVO can hold two bikes weighing up to 23kg each (you can also add the accessory HoldUp EVO +2, which adds space for two more bikes, as long as the total weight does not exceed 72kg). There’s the ubiquitous integrated same key system lock set-up (the cable lock is 810mm long), plus you get the standard-feature Yakima bottle-opener – of course!


In the field

This HoldUp EVO has been tested on the back of my Land Rover Discovery, which has meant, due to that vehicle’s side-opening door, it had to be attached to Yakima’s clever BackSwing (look for our review of this soon), which transforms the HoldUp EVO into a swingaway carrier, ensuring I can still access the Disco’s cargo area.

Note that when fitted to the BackSwing (as on the Land Rover), the HoldUp EVO sits a bit further out from the rear of the vehicle compared to if fitted straight to a hitch on a vehicle with a lift-up rear door. Fitting the carrier to a hitch is straightforward: slide it in to the hitch, use the SpeedKnob to tighten the expansion nut inside, then add the safety pin through your hitch and tighten the safety bolt and you’re done. 

The HoldUp EVO is quick to load up two bikes. My hardtail MTB and my son’s 20-inch MTB can be on, and secured, within a couple of minutes at most; you simply fold out the StrongArm and wheel cradle, lift the bike on to the tray, then bring the StrongArm over the front wheel, lock it down, secure the rear wheel strap and you’re done.

Using the tilt function is slightly tricky in terms of accessing the lever with your arm while holding the carrier/bikes so they don’t tilt on to you. However, you do soon get the hang of it. Handily, the tilt function also works the other way, so you can fold up the carrier vertically when not in use (and use the KickStart foot pedal to lower it back down). As with all of these carrier-types, though, you will need to run a car number-plate plus a light-bar if the bikes/carrier combo obscure your tail lights. Yakima’s LightMate, at $119, incorporates lights plus space for a number plate and yeah, it’s additional dosh, but we reckon it’s money well-spent. 


The final word on the Yakima HoldUp EVO

The Yakima HoldUp EVO asking price is not shy, but for that money you do get a bike carrier that is a robust and well-built. It is easy to operate, offers frame-free contact points to secure bikes, the ability to add two more bikes if you need to – thanks to the optional ($499) HoldUp EVO+2 accessory – and comes with the promise of years of reliable service.  

RRP: $699 See Yakima for more info and to view the rest of its bike carrier range.