Gear Review: Super-Simple Truck Rack|
Sunday, March 13, 2005
Years ago, Sportworks revolutionized the hitch-mount bike rack with their Transport series racks. Thereís simply no easier or faster way to haul your bike.
Not one to rest on its laurels, Sportworks applied their quick-load technology to the pickup truck and came up with the Insta-Gater rack.
The Insta-Gater features the same trademark Ratcheting Quick-Load System (RQL) which means you donít have to take your front tire off. This also means the rack can handle a wide variety of tires from 20 to 29 inches.
The quickest way to load your bike into a pickup is to literally throw it in the back and go. Of course, your bike will be tossed around like a used box of crayons. The next quickest way to load your bike in the back of truck is the Insta-Gater. Sure the Insta-Gater will cost you an extra 5 or so seconds to load but your pride and joy will be riding in comfort and held safely in the loving jaws of Insta-Gater.
When you first see the rack, you realize thereís really not much to it. It is so simple, yet so effective. The rack not only allows you to load your bike in seconds, but it installs in seconds. There are two ratchet straps with anchors that drop between the tailgate and the bed of the truck. No drilling or bolting needed. Once the tailgate is closed, these straps secure the rack in place tighter than a face lift on a 50 year old auditioning for 'Dawson's Creek.í This is the fastest installing rack you will ever find. And to ensure anyone can do it, it comes fully assembled right out of the box. Thatís right. No assembly required.
The beauty of Sportworks designs with all their racks (Insta-Gater included) is that they will work with practically any bike. This can be accomplished because no part of the rack ever touches your frame. If your bike has wheels, itíll work. In fact, the only scenario I could find that didnít work with the Insta-Gater was my road bike when I had the front fender attached. Other than that, whether itís a Lefty fork, a super-wide downhill tire, or your kidís bike, the thing works like a champ.
Ok, itís obvious by now that I love this rack. But now itís time to get back to a bit of that editorial integrity. With all its wondrous time-saving features, the Insta-Gater does fall victim to one significant shortcoming. Because the rack is so easy to install, it is just as easy to uninstall (a.k.a. steal). Unless you have a locking tailgate, you will need a cable lock to lock the rack to your truck or lock your bike to the rack. If you donít plan on leaving your bike unattended during the post-ride carbo-loading session at your local pub then simply tossing the rack in the cab during your rides is a simple solution to ensure your rack is still there when you return.
The bottom line is if you have a pickup and a bike then you should really consider the Insta-Gater.