Yakima StageTwo: Tested

By Aus Geo ADVENTURE 18 October 2022
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Yakima’s new StageTwo rethinks the humble bike carrier with a unique design for lugging all bike types. We load it up and head to the trails.

As bikes get heavier and larger, often with a longer wheelbase, transporting them requires a stronger bike rack. To that end, the Yakima StageTwo is designed for all bike types: road to kids to mountain, plus e-bikes, up to 27.2kg each in weight (two-bike capacity).


The Yakima StageTwo hits the scales at 30kg, but to accommodate the heft of e-MTBs, it simply has to be stronger, and thus heavier. The StageTwo nails it, with its hitch assembly and backbone area constructed of robust steel, the clamp support arms tubular steel, and the bike trays are aluminium.

Other innovative features include the locking SpeedKnob 2.0 for fitment to a two-inch hitch. The StageTwo tilts forwards, via the remote tilt lever, to allow access to the rear of your vehicle, plus it can be folded up when not in use. The StageTwo can fit 16- to 29-inch wheel sizes and tyres up to 3.25-inch (up to 5-inch with optional Fat Bike Kit). It can fit a wheelbase of up to 1320mm.

The StageTwo’s tiered and offset trays make loading up two bikes (or four, with the +2 Add-On accessory) a lot easier, while minimising the chance of frame-to-frame contact.

The rack is suited to off-road travel (its base angles upward for clearance), with a rating of 16.3kg/bike (two-bike capacity) in this scenario. Another nifty design element is the tiered individual bike trays that allow for more ‘fitting space’, and the fact you can offset the trays, again to ensure you can secure two bikes more effectively. As per all Yakima bike racks, the StageTwo also includes a bottle-opener and integrated locks (for bikes and for rack to vehicle). It is available in two colours: Anthracite (dark) and the cream/sand Vapor. There’s also the StageTwo+2 Add-On accessory, that attaches to the main unit and allows you to carry four bikes.

In the field

At 30kg the StageTwo is no lightweight, and lifting it up to the hitch is the most difficult part of the attachment process. However, once the rack is slid into the hitch, it is straightforward; the safety pin is secured, then you tighten the anti-wobble wedge via the SpeedKnob 2.0 (this is a great improvement on the previous-geo SpeedKnob).

The rear clamp is easy to use and allows the StageTwo to be tilted backward for easier loading and access to the rear of your vehicle, or tilted up/down for when it is not in use.

Bikes are easy to load. Simply pull the large lever to lower the rack, lift out the clamp arms, lift the bike on to its tray (you can lower the StageTwo below horizontal for easier loading/lifting), load the front wheel into the nice, large cradle, then secure the clamp arm on the front wheel. Then, secure the rear wheel via the ratchet strap (which slides, to adjust for wheelbase length).

The final word on the Yakima StageTwo

The Yakima StageTwo does an excellent job of transporting all bike types, safely and securely. The weight of the thing is impossible to ignore, and the asking price is definitely up there, too, but you get plenty of (hefty) bang for your bucks, in terms of the robust construction and the simplicity of use. For reliable bike transport, it’s worth checking out.

RRP: $1099 See Yakima Australia for more info.