Softride, Inc. has created innovative, patented hitch-mounted bike racks and towing accessories since its inception in 1991. Softride products are not only the best products in their respective industries; they are the safest, most durable and aesthetically pleasing available. Softride’s patented Access Racks™ allow users the ability to access the rear of their vehicle, even with bikes fully loaded. Softride also offers patented QuietRide™ Towing Products that safely eliminate the annoying clanking sound associated with towing.

Ivor Allsop and his family have sought to make everyday tasks easier. Like all of our products, Softride Access Racks developed out of necessity.

Ivor’s brainchild arose with the realization that his five-foot-tall wife, Betty, would never be able to lift her bike atop the family’s Suburban. Like he had been doing for nearly 25 years, Ivor sought to make this burdensome process easier by creating a hitch-mounted bike rack.

In one afternoon, Ivor and his two sons, Jim and Mike, sat down and brainstormed what was the first hitch-mounted bike rack. The men quickly went to work patenting their ingenious parallelogram design that allows individuals to lower their rack parallel to the ground.

The parallelogram functionality is unsurpassed because it does not “dump” bikes onto the ground when the user lowers the rack. This allows the user to easily access the rear of their vehicle without having to remove their bikes from the rack.

Over two decades later, the Allsop family and the Softride team have maintained the same primary focus: solving consumer problems. Maintaining the “access” advantage over the years, Softride continues to update the features and aesthetics of their racks and expand the line to serve a large range of consumer needs.

Video of Jim telling the story of the first road trip with the first bike rack?