When it comes to carrying a lot of mountain bikes, few racks can match the North Shore Rack. While there are many options for carrying capacity from the brand, this post will only address the 6-bike NSR design, since it’s the only one I’ve ever used personally. Granted, the 4-bike NSR will also apply here, since it’s a very similar design. After our Nevada Highway 50 MTB trip, I was impressed with the versatility of this unique rack design. The North Shore Rack carries mountain bikes and mountain bikes only. Due to its fork crown hanger, it has to attach to modern MTB fork crowns, not road bike forks. Yes, it’ll work on rigid forks too!
Loading is easy, so long as you pay attention to the brake lever and top tube interactions. It helps to space the bikes based on sizing, with the largest bike being on the left of the rack and the smallest on the right. This ensures the brake levers don’t scratch your top tube during transport.
Then, when you unload the rack, you’d do this in reverse. Once the rack is unloaded, you can remove the safety pin, drop the rack to the ground and open your vehicles rear hatch or doors with ease. The same safety pin system allows you to change the angle at which the bikes are carried as well, if, for instance, you end up with window interferrance. I wish I took photos of that, but you can see it at North Shore Racks’ website and on their Youtube page.
There’s one by-product of the North Shore Rack’s design that might be annoying if you do any wheelin’ when you’re carrying bikes. Due to the way the bikes are “hung” from the rack, the exit angle clearance is compromised. Even if your hitch is a bit higher up off the ground, the wheels of the bike will make contact with the ground. Each time we went through a rock garden on our trip, we had to unload the bikes. Now, find me a bike rack that attaches to a 2″ receiver and carries 6 bikes and I’d love to try that out, but right now the 6-bike NSR is the best rack I’ve used for shuttles like this. It does get a bit tedious however, when you’ve ensured the bikes aren’t rubbing and locked the wheels in place.
This isn’t meant to be a full review, since we only used the rack for a week. It’s more of a shout out to a company that has ruled the game for so long and continues to make these racks in house in their Canada-based offices and facilities.
See more at North Shore Racks! Do you have experience with these racks? Share them in the comments.
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