Yakima StageTwo Bike Rack Review

Yakima’s premium hitch mount bike rack offers best-in-class carrying capacity and is very user-friendly

Yakima StageTwo hitch bike rack with red and black Marin Alpine E1 Trail eMTB loaded on it.
Photo: Erik Nilson

Yakima StageTwo Bike Rack

Price: $749 MSRP
Type: Hitch, platform
Hitch Size: 2 inches, 1.25 inches
Bike Capacity: 2, 4 with add-on
Wheel Size(s): 20 inches to 29 inches
Max Load: 70 lbs. per bike
E-Bike Rated: Yes
RV Rated: Yes
Off-road Rated: Yes
Integrated Lock(s): Yes, 3
Loading Ramp: Yes, sold separately
Weight: 66 lbs.

– Versatile, easy to operate, and works with just about any bike style out there.
– One of the highest max load capacities of any bike rack.
– Optional ramp makes loading heavy e-bikes a breeze.
– At 66 pounds, it’s about 15 pounds heavier than its competitors.
– Like most premium hitch racks, it takes up a lot of space when stored.

The Bottom Line

After about four months of heavy use–which included thousands of miles of dirt roads, mountain passes, and highways–I came away thoroughly impressed with the Yakima StageTwo. The overall versatility and ease of use are among the best of any bike rack I’ve used in the past decade. From lightweight carbon gravel models, to heavy full-suspension e-bikes, the Yakima StageTwo handled them all with grace. In fact, this may just be my new favorite bike rack.

Unboxing the Yakima StageTwo

Unboxing the Yakima StageTwo hitch bike rack.
Top-notch packaging from Yakima. Photo: Erik Nilson

The fact that there wasn’t a single scratch on any of the pieces certainly impressed me–despite the fact that the rest of the rack’s life will see an abundance of miles and gravel roads, it’s nice to know it arrived in pristine condition. Which, honestly, is sort of what I expect for an approximately $750 item.

Assembling the Yakima StageTwo

Yakima StageTwo Performance

Weight and Bike Capacity

Mountain biker lifting Santa Cruz Bronson mountain bike on Yakima StageTwo hitch rack.
Easy on, easy off. The Yakima StageTwo is very user-friendly. Photo: Dustin Kingman

Bike Compatibility

Build Quality and Durability

Vehicle Access

Yakima StageTwo bike rack tilted down and rider grabbing gear out of back of pickup truck.
The StageTwo offer relatively easy access to the back of a pickup, SUV, or van. Photo: Dustin Kingman

Removal and Storage

How Much Does the Yakima StageTwo Weigh?

Folding down the Yakima StageTwo hitch bike rack.
Tilting the rack up and down is easy and quick. Photo: Dustin Kingman

Key Features of the Yakima StageTwo


Yakima StageTwo bike rack tilt lever.
The StageTwo’s tilt lever is easy-to-use and in a convenient location. Photo: Dustin Kingman


Anti-sway Knob

Anti wobble hitch on the Yakima StageTwo bike rack.
The anti-sway knob has a grippy texture which makes it easy to turn. Lock included. Photo: Dustin Kingman

Popular Accessories for the Yakima StageTwo

Yakima RampUp Loading Ramp

Yakima StageTwo +2 Add-On

Rear Light Kit

Santa Cruz Bronson on Yakima StageTwo bike rack blocking rear brake lights.
Unfortunately, hitch-mounted bike racks often obscure taillights. Photo: Dustin Kingman

Yakima StageTwo Fat Bike Kit

Issues with the Yakima StageTwo

Pickup tailgate hitting the Yakima StageTwo bike rack.
A common problem among hitch-mount bike racks, the front tire craddle comes into contact with a pickup tailgate. Photo: Dustin Kingman

However, when it comes to fit, there is one minor annoyance that I run into. Unless the Yakima StageTwo is completely lowered, the tailgate on my pickup comes into contact with the front wheel cradle. This isn’t unique to the Yakima–I have this same issue with Thule and Kuat carriers–but it’s a consideration nonetheless. For reference, this was on a 2019 Chevy Colorado. That being said, I’ve already become accustomed to dropping the rack all the way down should I need to get in the back of my pickup, which isn’t a big deal given how easy the tilt feature is to use.

Find this review helpful? Consider supporting us by purchasing through our links. Thanks!

How Does the Yakima StageTwo Compare?



T2 Pro XTR

1UP USA Heavy Duty Double

EasyFold XT 2


Yakima StageTwo hitch mountain bike rack.
Thule T2 Pro XTR bike rack.
1UP USA Heavy Duty Double hitch bike rack.
Thule EasyFold XT 2 hitch bike rack.







Hitch, platform

Hitch, platform

Hitch, platform

Hitch, platform

Hitch Size

1.25 inches,
2 inches

1.25 inches,
2 inches

1.25 inches,
2 inches

1.25 inches and
2 inches

Bike Capacity

(4 w/add-on)

(4 w/add-on)

(4 w/add-on)


Wheel Size

20" - 29"

20" - 29"

16" - 29"

Up to 29"

Max Tire Width

(5" with fatbike kit)


(4.9" with fatbike kit)

(4.7" with fatbike kit)

Max Load per Bike

70 lbs.

60 lbs.

50 lbs.

65 lbs.

E-Bike Compatible





RV Rated





Locks (qty)

Yes (3)

Yes (3)

Yes (1)

Yes (3)


66 lbs.

52 lbs.

46 lbs.

45 lbs.

Shop 2" Hitch Racks

Yakima StageTwo vs Thule T2 Pro XTR

Thule T2 Pro XTR hitch bike rack on back of Toyota 4Runner.
Thule’s T2 Pro XTR is a long-time favorite. Photo: Erik Nilson

Yakima StageTwo vs 1UP USA Heavy Duty Double

1UP USA bike rack attached to 4runner in gravel parking lot.
1UP USA’s Heavy Duty Double after about 30,000 miles of abuse. Photo: Erik Nilson

Yakima StageTwo vs Thule EasyFold XT 2

Shop the Yakima StageTwo at:

Cascade Gear Reviews is rider-supported. Please consider supporting us by purchasing through our links. Thanks!

Published by Erik Nilson

Erik Nilson, founder of Cascade Gear Reviews, boasts a decade-long journey in the outdoor industry. He began his career at REI, excelling in marketing, merchandising, and product development. Later, at Switchback Travel, Erik managed cycling content. With multiple Pro podium finishes in mountain biking, he's not just an industry expert; he's an active participant. Whether testing gear, capturing photos, or crafting reviews, Erik's hands-on approach defines his dedication. Based in Winthrop, WA, he brings experience, expertise, and passion to outdoor gear reviews.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *