If you don’t just leave your bike rack on the back of your car full-time – but take it on and off as needed – it would certainly help if that rack were light. That’s where the LightBull comes in, as it’s said to be the world’s lightest and most compact-folding rear bike rack.
Invented by Illinois-based mechanical engineer George Dratewski, the two-bike LightBull mounts on a vehicle’s existing trailer hitch, and reportedly tips the scales at just 18 lb (8.2 kg). By contrast, most existing two-bike hitch-mounted racks fall within the high-30 to mid-50-lb range.
Constructed mainly of aluminum, the LightBull certainly must save several pounds by not incorporating wheel troughs or top tube supports. Instead, the bike is clamped and primarily supported at the crankset – it’s also supported at the down tube, while a hook-and-loop strap is used to keep its front wheel from flopping around.
This minimalist design additionally allows the rack to be folded down into a package measuring just 24 by 15 by 11 inches (610 by 381 by 279 mm).
According to the LightBull company, the rack can be connected to a third-party trailer hitch within a matter of seconds, with the bike then being mounted on the rack similarly quickly. A sort of wingnut-like key is used to tighten down and lock the rack to the hitch, and the bike to the rack. The bike-holding part of the rack can subsequently be tilted back and down when users wish to open the vehicle’s tailgate.
Because there are no wheel supports, the LightBull can accommodate all wheel sizes, tire widths and wheelbases – as long as the weight of each bike doesn’t exceed 75 lb (34 kg). It is also said to be safe for use on carbon fiber frames.
Should you be interested, the LightBull rack is presently the subject of an Indiegogo campaign. Assuming it reaches production, a pledge of US$499 will get you one – the planned retail price is $800.
It’s demonstrated in the following video.
LightBull: The Lightest, Most Compact Bicycle Rack
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