Thanks to the huge variation of bikes out there, we ask a lot from our bike racks. They need to fit everything from 20mm to 5″ wide tires, frames of vastly different shape, and all without interference between multiple bikes. Because of that, most racks top out at four bikes maximum, though vertical racks have started to get more popular because of this very reason.
Vertical racks, like the ALTA SIX work by supporting the front wheel with a basket, and then a lower tie down strap secures the rear wheel. By tilting the front wheel slightly, the handlebars don’t smash into each other, allowing in this case to carry up to six bikes. It does all of this without frame contact, and offers three adjustments to fit different wheel bases and 24″ – 29+ wheels.
ALTA is a pretty unique company that started as a passion project by engineers that previously spent years designing and building products for the military and offroad industry. Seeing a chance to create a better rack system that helped people to get outside and enjoy the outdoors, ALTA started selling the SIX earlier this year.
The SIX gets its name from the six bike capacity, and is sold with your choice of basket size. There are three different sizes – Standard which fits road tires to 3″ wide tires, Mid-Fat which fits 3-4″ tires, and Fat which fits 4-6″ wide tires. When you order the rack, you can mix and match the baskets if you want, and rack owners can purchase additional baskets which are easily swapped out.
The rack also works with adapters that let you run roof mounts so you can mount things like horizontal ski racks for use in the winter.
There’s also a repair stand accessory for $75 that allows you to fix bikes right off the rack, or when the rack is stored in your garage if you purchase the rolling Floor Stand shown above for $349. Note that if you purchase the floor stand, you can also store your bikes on the rack when it’s in the garage and not on your vehicle.
Equally important to the SIX’s design is the fact that it clears most tail gates from trucks, mini vans, etc. The hitch mount has a 15° rise with 25″ of clearance to offer better angles for off road driving, and there’s a safety pin and release which allows the rack to pivot backwards.
Future options may include a hammock stand and a lift gate table which is held in place by ratchet straps secured to the rear end plates of the rack. These also function as a strap down system for off road driving to further support the rack.
Weighing in at 82lbs for the six bike carrier, all ALTA racks are designed and made in Utah, offer a lifetime warranty, and the ALTA SIX sells for $1,185 with your choice of baskets.