Ivor Allsop and his two kids came up with the idea for the first hitch-mount bike rack one day, and as a result, Softride Access Bike Racks was born out of that brainstorming session some 17 years ago. Since then, Softride Bike Racks has grown into a successful business.
The insurmountable challenge that Ivor’s wife experienced while trying to get a bike onto the roof of their vehicle served as inspiration for the group. Therefore, the objective was to create a bike rack that would be fast and simple to use for loading bikes onto, while at the same time functioning as a rock-solid secure carrier for the bicycles.
The problem was solved when the hitch mount was moved to the back of the vehicle; however, there was still the challenge of figuring out how to move the hitch rack that was fixed to the back of the vehicle out of the way to allow perfect access into the back of the vehicle without having to unload bikes or remove the bike rack.
This riddle was answered by their ground-breaking parallelogram design, which was then promptly copyrighted by the family. Because of this ingenious system, the user is able to easily lower the rack away from the back of the vehicle without dropping the bikes onto the ground. As a consequence, Softride Access Racks came into existence, and the Allsop family has been at the forefront of hitch mount bike rack innovation ever since.
When a bike rack is attached to a hitch receiver, one of the issues that might arise is an uncomfortable rattling while the vehicle is in motion. Softride understood this issue early on in the company’s history. By developing the tightening hitch pin, which prevents sway and puts a halt to rattling in the receiver while the vehicle is in motion, they were able to fix the ‘clanking’ problem that was occurring.
When it comes to their hitch mount bike racks, Softride continually introduces new and inventive designs to the market. These designs ensure that there is always excellent access into the car without the need to unload the bikes first.