1UP USA makes some of the most popular bike racks for cars, especially in the fat bike market. They are a small company located in Southwestern Wisconsin that manufactures their racks in Wisconsin and sells them directly to the consumer. I see increasing numbers of their racks popping up at different singletrack trails around the Twin Cities. There are large number of them at the trailheads for the Bloomington River Bottoms Trail, because many enjoy riding fat bikes along the sandy shores of the Minnesota River. Even one of my neighbors has a rack for each of his two cars to haul around his mountain bikes.
What motivated me to buy and test out a 1UP USA fat bike rack were the positive reviews highlighting the quality and functionality of these racks. This past spring, I took a road trip to New Mexico with my Salsa Mukluk, and I ordered a 1UP USA rack to haul it down there. I used to have a Thule hanging rack for my bikes, but the bikes would swing into each other during transportation. I would try to use bungee cords and towels to lessen the rubbing between bikes, but the bikes would always find a way to damage each other’s paint. Bikes on the hanging rack would also sway on the highway with the handle bars swinging freely. The 1UP USA rack is unique because it secures the bikes by attaching to the tires. This eliminates any rubbing on the frame and minimizes any swaying.
I ordered the 2” Single Super Duty Quik Rack Single, Fat Tire Spacer Kit, and a Fat Bike Wheel Lock a week before I left for my trip to New Mexico. I was surprised when the rack arrived 2-3 business days after I ordered it just in time for my trip. The rack arrived in a cardboard box with no assembly required. When you order the Fat Tire Spacer Kit, you can ask them to install it in the comment section when checking out.
The 2” Single Super Duty Quik Rack Single is made exclusively for 2” hitch receivers. If you have a 1 ¼” hitch receiver, the Single Bicycle Quik Rack can be used for both 1 ¼” and 2” hitch receivers. The rack is securely held in place by tightening an anti-theft expander bolt 1-2 turns. An Allen wrench with a center hole is used to loosen and tighten the anti-theft bolt. By tightening the bolt, a ball bearing in the upper left corner is pushed out. This allows the rack to sit tightly in the receiver.
I personally didn’t think that this provided enough security to the rack, because all someone would need to steal your bike is a modified Allen wrench. However, 1UP USA offers a Hitch Bar Lock for purchase that blocks access to the expander bolt.
The 1UP USA rack can be made more compact by turning down a blue tab on both sides and folding each side towards the front of the rack. By doing this, the rack folds small enough to fit in the trunk of a car and weighs approximately 23 lbs. When the rack is attached to a car or truck, there are three locking positions and one tilting position the rack can assume. When I drive my truck into my garage, I take the bike off the rack and lift the rack into the first position, making the rack vertical, so I am able to still close the garage door without removing the rack.
The third position is used when the bike is being transported. Finally, the tilting position tilts the bike forward so that you should be able to open a hatchback without removing the bike from the rack.
Putting the bike on the rack is a fairly quick and simple process. There are two red levers, one for each wheel, that control the latching mechanism that secures the bike in place. After you put the bike in the wheel trays, you firmly push the wheel holders towards each other.
To remove the bike, lift up on the red levers and pull the wheel holders apart. Next, simply lift the bike off the wheel trays. After almost a year of use, I have noticed some wear on the teeth used in the latching mechanism. It doesn’t seem to be affecting the performance of the rack however.
Overall, the 1UP USA rack has worked pretty well for me. I haven’t had any problems with the rack even during the long road trip from Minnesota to New Mexico and back. The rack can be removed quickly from the receiver and is easily stow-able in the bed of my truck. Taking bikes on and off the rack is extremely simple and quick. No need to mess with straps. These racks are compatible with virtually any bike with any style frame because it attaches only to the wheels. If you are looking for a no-hassle rack made from quality materials, I would definitely recommend 1UP USA racks.
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