The new Rocky Mounts WestSlope rear hitch-mount bike rack is a nod to their new Colorado headquarters in the name. But it’s a bigger nod to anyone seeking an easy to use, compact two-bike rack. Designed to have a minimal footprint both in the box (for shops to more easily stock it) and on the car, it helps keep both bikes from bumping into each other, too.
The design angles upward, sitting one bike 4″ higher than the inside one. There’s also a good bit of space between them:
The design uses a U-shaped base (that’s multiple pieces, some assembly required) that’s narrower than typical tray-style hitch racks.
The trays are fixed in width but work for wheelbases from 34″ to 48″ and hold tires up to 3.0″. A center groove keeps road bike skinnies from wandering.
The rear wheel is held down with straps that ratchet on both sides. You only need undo one side, but the cool feature is that you can run a small lock through the ends for a bit of extra security.
About that rust you see…we received an early pre-production unit that wasn’t fully sealed at the ends. So, when not in use and folded up, water could get in and just sit in there. Rocky Mounts’ rep says they’ve sealed the ends and may add drain holes. Either way, they say that problem is resolved for production units.
The arms click down to clamp the front wheel and hold the bike steady. They’re designed to fit anything from 20″ to 29″ wheels.
The rack uses a simple pull handle to release it, letting it fold down lower to allow partial access to a liftgate (like on our van) or (probably) full access to a rear window. When folded up, it sits really close to the vehicle. Which is cool, as long as it’ll fit. If you have an extended rear bumper, it might be tight.
Rocky Mounts WestSlope first impressions
The Rocky Mounts WestSlope rack does a fine job of keeping two bikes stable, with plenty of room between them. The elevated rear end helps keep equally sized bikes from bumping into each other, and road bikes shouldn’t have any issues playing nice.
It’s designed with an 1-1/4″ mount and comes with the adapter to fit 2″ hitches. It bolts in, so there’s no wobble, but I did have a slight bit of vertical play when lifting the rack to fold it up. Nothing that was an issue when transporting bikes.
Despite the rack’s proximity to the vehicle when folded, the height of the trays puts the bikes well away from the car. With some racks, I’ve had issues with my wider mountain bike handlebars hitting the rear window…which is really disconcerting when they keep tapping it on bumpy roads. The WestSlope sits the bikes much farther from the window.
The other nice thing is the price. At $329.95, it’s a hundred bucks less than many of the premium tray-style racks on the market. Some of those have a bit of wheelbase adjustability, but I didn’t miss it. And at 36lbs, the WestSlope is also anywhere from 10 to 15 pounds lighter than many of those larger racks, too. It comes packed in a smaller box (34″ x 24″ x 5″ if you’re measuring), so shops don’t have to take up as much floor space to sell it. It’ll hold two bikes up to 40 pounds each, so other than e-bikes it should handle just about anything you’ve got. Assembly was easy, with color-coded stickers helping make sure the right parts go in the right place. Worth a look if you’re in the market for a solid rack.