The RockyMounts SplitRail LS is a svelte, no-frills platform hitch rack for your bikes. In our review, the bikes didn’t budge an inch on windy roads.
I look through the rear window of my buddy’s Nissan Titan, trying to catch a glimpse of some evidence of wobbling on the bikes. The road twists, the driver floors it, but nothing. This rack is bomber.
RockyMounts released an update to its platform hitch, the SplitRail LS hitch-mounted bike rack. New for 2019, the SplitRail LS is the first to use “anti-wobble” technology. MSRP for the rack is $550, but it’s on sale right now for $440.
Throw on best-in-class ground clearance in addition to anti-wobble, and you’re looking at a well-featured hitch rack.
In a word, RockyMounts ingeniously engineered a ball bearing within the hitch receiver that clamps the SplitRail LS into the hitch extra tight. In my testing, it was hard to spot anything wrong with it.
I tested the SplitRail LS in Colorado’s Front Range for this review. While I haven’t had it for much time, so far the rack impresses me.
RockyMounts SplitRail LS Platform Hitch Rack
The Boulder, Colorado-based brand redesigned the base of the SplitRail LS for 2019. The update yielded higher ground clearance and more stability.
“The SplitRail LS balances aesthetics and functionality with a design that puts everything in the right place and not distract from a vehicle’s looks,” wrote RockyMounts in the press release. The SplitRail LS indeed is one of the more svelte-looking racks on the market.
There aren’t any superfluous straps or bulky components. And it folds up thinly behind your car.
With the SplitRail LS, you get a two-bike capacity that’s expandable to three or four bikes. It fits 20- to 29-inch wheels and tires up to 3 inches wide. When you put the bikes on the trays, they don’t rub or bump each other much. Obviously, this could vary depending on your bikes, but in our testing two mountain bikes fit nicely side by side with dropper posts down.
The SplitRail is compatible with 2-inch hitches. You can lay the rack flat for bike transport, fold it up if you aren’t transporting bikes, and fold the tray away from your trunk if you need to get in the boot.
It weighs 44 pounds and costs $550. (It’s on sale for $440 right now.)
Anti-Wobble: What Does That Mean?
RockyMounts redesigned how the SplitRail LS fits into your car’s hitch for 2019. The secret to the brand’s anti-wobble claims is a small metal ball in the rack.
When you tighten down the rack into your hitch, the ball slides into place, creating resistance that prevents the SplitRail LS from wobbling. The gif to the right offers a visual explainer.
If you hold the rack off your vehicle, you can actually hear the ball roll around. So rest easy — it’s not a broken part.
Time will tell if the SplitRail LS will hold up to its anti-wobble claims month after month. So far, it’s in the clear. I will update the article if I need to continually readjust the rack to limit wobbling.
Drive Test: SplitRail LS Review
Installation was easy with the SplitRail LS. RockyMounts ships everything you need to assemble it. I had the job finished in under an hour.
The lever to switch modes was easy to use and enabled relatively easy access to the trunk. RockyMounts claims the SplitRail LS tilts down 30 degrees for trunk access.
There wasn’t any noticeable sag with the rack when two bikes were loaded. I didn’t test the three- or four-bike extensions. RockyMounts incorporates a slight rise in the design for more ground clearance.
Securing bikes was easy with the SplitRail, and the clamps inspired confidence when driving at high speeds.
So far, the anti-wobble tech seems to work great. It didn’t interfere with mounting the rack, and it didn’t cause the rack to become loose. On the road, the bikes were secure. Even over small, bumpy sections off the pavement, I felt like I would have to really push the car to see any movement. Those bikes aren’t going anywhere.
For downsides, I wish the integrated bike locks were a bit longer. I could only fit them effectively around the bike’s fork as opposed to the frame. And there aren’t really any extras with the rack. Competitor racks can fold with a press of your foot and have a bottle opener, to name a few. But that’s OK — this product is for transporting bikes.
Other than that, I’m at a loss for clear issues with the SplitRail LS. The rack is well-made.
The price is competitive if more affordable than other premium hitch-mounted bike racks. And in our test, it performed with high marks. If you’re after a no-frills hitch-mounted bike rack to transport your steeds with confidence, check out the SplitRail LS.