Let me start this review by simply stating that the 1UP USA rack is a real winner. There, I said it. This is the kind of bike rack that you want to cover in the parking lot and hide from your friends just so the secret won’t get out.
Specifically, this review covers the 2″ Heavy Duty Double:
The rack is almost entirely aluminum with a few items anodized in colors to help signify their function. Pull the red levers to open the arms for bike loading, swing the blue levers to fold the rack up, etc.
It folds up by using the gold colored locking collar. Simply unscrew the collar, grab the spring-loaded black bar and the rack will lock in 3 positions: up, in-the-middle, and down. It can also go fully down without locking into place. Say, for instance you loaded your bikes, and forgot your gatorade in the back – only now, the bikes are in the way of the rear hatch. Instead of unloading the bikes, you can lay the rack down gently with the bikes angling away from the vehicle, grab your stuff, then pull the rack up until it locks back into place.
1UP USA offers additional bike mounts that simply bolt on and allow for up 4 bikes on the single rack.
To mount the rack onto your vehicle, it uses a very ingenious method for securing to the vehicle’s trailer hitch. Instead of using a typical hitch pin that allows some slop which means rattles, shakes, and noises – 1UP USA uses a screw which pushes a ball out of the rack’s trailer insert and forces it against the vehicle’s trailer hitch. This means no rattles! A special allen wrench is supplied as the rack uses a secure bolt head – similar to the screws you may see in bathroom stalls.
If the special, secure tool isn’t enough comfort for you and your $500+ rack, they designed the rack to accept a standard hitch lock which prevents anyone from using any tool to access the bolt head and remove the rack. The black strap to the right of the lock is simply a long velcro strap that acts as a final method of safety should the rack not be tight enough and find it’s way detached from the trailer hitch – It’s great that 1UP USA provides this as a precaution, but the rack isn’t going to move if correctly secured to the vehicle.
As for loading the bikes, it’s amazingly simple. While pulling the red lever, raise each arm wide, load the bike and then close the arms onto the bikes tires. Done. The arms automatically lock into detents on the rack when closing. The red levers release the lock for opening, and no levers or special locks are needed when closing the arms. It’s a very satisfying feeling to use the rack – it feels like your money was well spent!
If using bike wheels smaller than 26″, the arms are adjustable using a wrench to remove the bolt and replace as needed. This pic shows a small adjustment on one arm to accommodate a 24″ kids bike. The top position is compatible with 26″, 27.5″, 29″ (oh, and those 700C wheels as well).
Additionally, the rack folds up for storage. Flip the blue levers and each arm swings in fully, saving space in your closet.
So many features in this rack, very little plastic, expansion options for additional racks, no rattles, very high quality. Other “high quality” racks such as those from Thule and Kuat, use lots of plastic, less precision, and many times at a higher price! Like I mentioned, this feels like the rack everyone should use, but you just don’t want to let the secret out.