1upUSA Heavy Duty Double Bicycle Quik Rack 2″ Hitch Carrier Review

in Cycling, Featured by Carl H. Martens

Manufacturing product in southwestern Wisconsin, roughly just ten miles north of Dubuque, IA is 1upUSA.  Calling the town of Dickeyville home, they are bringing fame to this little town.  Well known for their trainers and rollers, 1upUSA also makes some of the best bicycle racks.  The 1upUSA Heavy Duty Double Bicycle Quik Rack 2″ Hitch Carrier ($609) is just that…one of the best bicycle racks on the market.  Read on to find out why. 

The unit arrived in a brown box with black lettering reading “MADE IN U.S.A.” and that’s all it needs to say, you’ll appreciate this more and more as you get acquainted with this bicycle rack.  From our first impression of that box…nothing flashy, but brilliantly functional as we’ll provide further detail of.  Read on.  Assembly out of the box?  What assembly, it comes 99% fully assembled and ready to mount to your vehicle.  You’ll just have to attach the blue and red levers.  The bike rack is machined from aluminum and weighs 46lbs using stainless fasteners with nylon washers. The almost non-existent plastic parts means much less to fail over time.  We’ve experienced that plenty of times!

1upusa bike rack corner expander ballIt’ll take all of 10 seconds to secure the bicycle rack to the hitch of your vehicle.  The unique corner expander ball enables it to go on fast without bolts or nuts and it definitely won’t leave you with skinned knuckles.  The Quick-Rack gets inserted into your hitch and by turning a proprietary hollow allen key the anti-theft security bolt will cause the expanding ball to engage and secure the bike rack in place in just a couple turns.  There are some disappointments noted on the web by others that the allen key is too long prohibiting a full 360 degree rotation, although that would be nice, disregard these comments as ultimately they’re just really stretching to find something unappealing about this rack (because it’s pretty hard to do).  It’d be nice if 1upUSA provided a shorter key for this reason, but with that said, it’s not a point I’d engage in a review if it hadn’t been noted elsewhere already.  The corner expander ball provides for a quiet, secure and wobble free hitch mounted bicycle rack.  It can take on the most extreme situations without failing too, check out this video.

1upusa bike rack truck tailgateIt’s designed so that you are not dependent on wheel compression to hold the bike in the rack because both wheels are contained and can’t come out – unlike the sidearm/rear wheel strap designs.  If your tires go flat, the bike will not come out.  No other bike rack we’ve tested can load or unload a bike quicker and not jeopardize security.  There are three positions; vertical, half-mast, and horizontal.  Vertical is used when no bikes are loaded, half-mast if you need to open your liftgate (without bikes loaded) or the tailgate of your truck (with bikes loaded), and horizontal when transporting bikes.

state bicycle monolith on 1upusa bike rackThe standard arms will fit wheels from 16″ to 29×3.0 and Fat Tire Spacer Kit ($34) are available as an add-on purchase to fit fat tires up to 5.0.   The arms ratchet down onto the trays and are released when you lift the small red arm up and make it level with the silver ribbed section.  Then you can open the arm up and do the same to the other side.  So, to load a bike, you’ll lift the red lever causing the arms to release and then fold the arms open from center.  Once the arms are spread open, you simply lift your bike up and set in the tray then fold the arms down securing them against the tires of your bike.  The arms close on the bike and squeeze at the tires and the arms can only be released via the ratcheting release.  When removing your bike, you’ll press the arms in toward the bike to relieve pressure, then lift the small red arm up to open one side’s arm and then simply just roll and lift your bike out of the tray.  No need when unloading to open both arms.  This allows the bikes to load in the same position after a ride as you had them setup when you transported them to the trail.

1upusa bike rack single bike loadedThe 1upUSA heavy duty double bicycle quik rack does not touch anywhere on the bike, except the tires.  If you’ve got fenders, they’ve got you covered with the Fender Cusion ($12.99).  Most other hitch mounted bike racks have an arm that touch the fork or a strap that may touch the rim or spoke’s nipple.  Another difference between the 1upUSA rack and others is the ability to slide and position bikes left and right to avoid handlebar, seats, or pedals of other bikes sharing the same bike rack.  You are also able to secure your bike facing the same direction or spun around at 180 so handlebars are on opposite ends…this versatility provides the perfect fit for your bikes every time without the bikes interfering with one another.

We love hitch mounted solutions because they’re quieter than a roof rack and won’t result in lower miles per gallon when driving, 1-2 mpg when empty and 4-5 mpg when loaded…over 70mph those numbers get worse.  And compared to a trunk mounted bike rack, they are more secure and you don’t risk scratching your vehicle or if loaded with more than one bike, damaging your bikes.  The 1upUSA bike rack also has the ability to expand and hold more than the initial two bikes by attaching the Quik Rack Add On making it possible to carry a total of four bikes.

1up also has many additional accessories available for the Heavy Duty Double Bicycle Quik Rack.  We recommend the License Plate Holder ($29) so that your license plate remains visible so that you are legal on the public roadways (check your local laws).  Unfortunately, this is currently only available in silver color, not black.  We were told that a new license plate holder will be available later this year which will include a light kit.  No word on if this will be available in black or not.  If you’re someone who doesn’t roll around with their rack always attached, check out the Rack Stash ($59), the first we’ve seen something like this.  Talk about a smart storage solution!

This rack is awesome, it may not be the flashiest rack which might hinder your interest initially, but if you look past that and give it a chance it’s a purchase you won’t regret.  Sure, the price is a little high in comparison to others, but you pay for what you get.  They say you only cry once with a big purchase, we don’t think you’ll cry at all.  This is a no-nonsense rack that has been ingeniously engineered and manufactured beautifully.  1upUSA stands behind all of their products guaranteeing customers will be completely satisfied.  How’s this for service and a guarantee?  From their About Us page:  free shipping to anywhere in the continental US on orders of $525 or more, 100% refunds, pre-paid return labels…they certainly do want customers completely satisfied and with those terms it’s evident they’re confident they will be.  We are too.  This won’t be a purchase, it’ll be an investment that will appreciate in value each and every time you use it and it will stand the test of time retaining it’s value.  Total quality, made in the good ol’ USofA.