Roam Offroad is an expedition outfitter focused on making bad ass Jeeps capable of traversing terrain no reasonable person should try to traverse. And now they’re adding a way to securely transport your bike over that terrain so you can ride on the other side!
The design uses two fold-down arms with position-adjustable trays to capture your front and rear tires. The frame’s downtube is held by an arm that folds down from the spare tire mount, all of which is integrated into a single swing-away arm. As such, the upper and lower attachment points all stay in sync regardless of how the terrain might be tweaking the vehicle’s frame, and it’s all kept very high off the ground.
The unit is separate from the “bumper”, which is also included in the package and floats off of the frame and mount. It’s designed like this so that even if you hit something (or someone hits you), the bumper part is designed to absorb and disperse the impact without affecting the functionality of the rack.
When not in use, it folds up and out of the way. And because it’s attached to the same swingarm as the spare, you only need move one thing for full access to the tail gate.
Why not just use a hitch rack?
Nevermind that typical hitch mount racks might sit too low for the types of exit angles most off roaders want, they also probably wouldn’t hold up to that type of rocking, swaying and potential banging either. To solve the problem, the engineering firm behind this design started with an entire bumper reinforcement piece that bolts directly onto the vehicle’s frame. It’s extremely overbuilt out of 1/4″ and 5/16″ high strength steel, designed to limit the independent flex from side to side.
This version is designed specifically for the Jeep Wrangler JL and will carry up to 40″ tires on the spare mount. They may be working on other models, including one for the smaller Jeep Renegade, which would offer a more stable solution than the articulating design we saw earlier this year.
These photos show a pre-production prototype; final versions will have silicone rubber coated touch points all around that are designed to keep your frame (metal or carbon) safe. They say the Class IV hitch can still be used even with two bikes mounted, and that they’re working on a double-folding four-bike version for early- to mid-2019.
The complete kit retails for $999 and includes a rear brake light and camera relocation kit, license plate mount, spare tire mount/bike rack swingaway structure, and the external bumper. It’s a bolt-on part, no welding or drilling required, and everything is poly-powdercoated for corrosion resistance. Designed and manufactured in the USA. Accessory mounting kits and high jack mounting kits sold separately, allowing you to use the fold-down arms for more than just bikes. System weight is 175lbs, and it’s off-road rated to carry up to two bikes of 100lbs each. Lighter weight alloy/chromoly versions should be available for $1,199, as well as chromoly/stainless versions for $1,399.