‘Bomber’ Hitch Bike Rack? Check Out 1UP

Filed under: Biking 

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Made in the USA and bomber in its build, the 1UP mount has become the go-to bike toting solution for our contributing editor.

1upracked
A bike rack is a key component if the cyclist’s lifestyle, bringing your high-priced steed safely to the trailhead and back home. The 1UP Quik Rack is about as good as it gets, and made in the U.S.A.

Review: 1UP Bike Rack

I’m driving back from Park City, Utah, across the Idaho desert. The wind is blowing from the south, pushing long haul trucks over the yellow line. I look in the rearview mirror to check on the bikes. We are pushing 80, but the bike’s aren’t budging.

If you live in the city or like to travel with your bike, you want to protect your ride. And because I’ve seen more than one bike get clipped off a car rooftop, I’m a big fan of transporting the bike on a hitch.

I’ve been using 1UP USA’s Super Duty Quik Rack for a few months now, hauling bikes over a 1,000 miles on tarmac, gravel and everything in between. By nearly all standards, the 1UP Quick Rack is one of the best purchases I’ve ever made.

Made In USA Bike Rack

1UP offers a single and double tray rack, in both a “heavy duty” and “super duty” rack. Because I’m American and partial to overkill … and I’m typically hauling a flotilla of bikes and riders … I opted to buy 1UP’s Super Duty Double Quick Rack ($560), which can hold up to four bikes at 50 lb. each or three bikes at 75 lb.

The double rack comes standard with a 2″ hitch bar and is offered in silver and anodized black ($640). At $30 less, the heavy duty is no slouch either, capable of hauling four bikes below 50 lbs. each.

1UP Bike Rack Set Up

The rack came tightly folded in a 2’x2’x4′ box, making me think they forgot something. I pulled the rack out and unfolded it like a lotus to find four trays ready to mount two bikes.

1UpLock
The rack is secured with a unique, hollow allen wrench. It’s easy to lock – hard to steal.

I hoisted the rack and slipped the 2″ hitch bar into the truck’s receptacle hitch and torqued the recessed allen wrench to lock the hitch into place. Too easy.

Worried someone might take your hitch? It’s unlikely that they’ll have the proprietary recessed allen wrench to do so. For the extra cautious, 1UP sells a hitch bar lock for $20.

Loading Bikes

IMG_1236
Three 1UP Quik Rack trays racked with 27.5″, 20″, and 16″ wheels

Off the shelf, the rack arms can accommodate up to a 29+, 3¼ inch tire. But the spacers readily hold a 700c tire and can be configured to hold a 16 inch kids bike.

I lowered the spacers on the arms–one to its lowest rung–to snug two kids bikes to the trays. For those with fatbikes, you can purchase aftermarket spacers ($34) to swallow up to five inches of tire.

To load the bikes, you push the red lever on the tray, find the sweet spot between lock and slide and pull the arms open.

1upLeverTo secure the bike, roll the bike into one set of the arms and then close the second arm around the other wheel. You’ll hear the comforting sound of the lever ratcheting tightly as you push the arms over the tires. That’s it–the bikes are ready for travel.

FatTo release the bikes, push on one of the arms and simultaneously release the ratchet and slide the parallel arms off one of the wheels. You could release the second wheel too, but unless you have a partner holding the bike, the bike will fall over. To free the bike, it’s better to roll the bike out of the second arm.

1up34When not hauling bikes, the rack folds up snug behind the automobile. The tray has a spring loaded black bar that when pulled allows the rack to fold up. The bar has a twist lock that secures the bar in the locked position.

1Up Bike Rack Review: The Good

Loading and unloading the bikes is a snap. And because the bikes are held in place between the tire arms, the rack never touches the frame–only tires. There’s really no way to scuff your bike’s polished finish (or time earned patina).

For whom it matters, the Quik Rack is made in ‘Merica. All parts are aluminum and C&C milled in Dickeyville, Wisconsin, giving the 1UP a Mac-like clean appearance.

You’d be hard pressed to find a rack system compact as the 1UP. Unfolded, the rack extends a compact 20 inches. Because the arms can sway open to the far right and left, you can stagger the bikes, minimizing the required spread between the trays.

Things to Think About

Peculiarly, the 1UP doesn’t have a simple hitch pin, securing the rack to the vehicle hitch. Rather, they included security velcro strap for piece of mind. I love Velcro. Because of it, I no longer have to tie my kids shoes. But it seems awkwardly paired to back up bike rack lock.

1UPwallRack
The Double Rack (with added tray) stored to the bolted Rack Stash.

Second, all this made in USA quality comes at a weight penalty. The Double Super Duty Quik Rack weighs a staggering 47 lb. This weight makes lowering the rack from the upright position to bike-ready a bit of a chore and makes hauling the rack from storage to the truck an downright P90X workout.

Stacked in the corner of a garage, the rack is a heavy chunk of gear that could all to easily fall on an unlucky person. I bolted a garage rack ($60) to the wall to keep it up and out of the way.

Parting Notes

It’s worth noting that the double rack cannot be reduced to a single rack, (though the single rack can be configured to carry up to three bikes. Each additional tray is $190-240). If carrying more than one bike is in your future, you’ll want to purchase the double rack, which can carry up to four bikes.

1UP3
1UP Double Super Duty Quik Rack configured with an extra tray to haul 3 bikes.

The double rack cannot be reduced down to 1¼ inch hitches. Though the single is offered in 1¼ inch diameter.

Though the price and weight are steep, if hauling bikes is part of your after hours pursuit, nothing works harder to keep the bikes secure than 1UP’s Quik Rack system.

1UP USA Quik Rack

  • Weight: 47 lb
  • Accommodates: 16″ to 29+” wheels
  • Volume: Two bikes. Can carry up to 4 bikes (with aftermarket racks)
  • $560
  • More info/company contact

 

 

 

Steve GraepelSteve Graepel
By
Contributing Editor (and Gear Junkie Idaho Bureau Chief) Steve Graepel is allegedly a crook and a thief, conning his friends to steal away time from their families in pursuit of premeditated leisure, which typically involves a bike, a pack-raft, skis, running shoes, climbing rack, or all of the above.
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