1Up USA is famous for their bike trainers so we were excited at the opportunity to try their bike racks. At first glance, it looks like a science project as the whole unit looks CNC’d and the bike retention mechanism looks unlike any we’ve seen before. But as we used it extensively, we learned about the logic behind the design. This is a unit of the highest quality and it folds up in to such a small package when shipped or stored. It can get work with one tray or be expanded like a Lego system in to a versatile multi-bike rack. Continue reading →
Strengths: Quality craftsmanship, low profile, looks good
Weaknesses: Difficult to rotate rack with add-ons
After my old Sportworks was hit in an accident, I had to go looking for a new rack. I will say that the old Sportworks Transport is the rack by which I judge all others. It was well built and I could load it in under 10 seconds with one hand (loading would be a 5 out of 5).
The 1Up is good. What really stands out is its craftsmanship and materials...it is exceptionally well built.
Loading..not as good as my old Sportworks as loading does take two hands in order to operate the wheel cradles but it is fairly easy (4 out of 5). I was initially a little worried if it would hold the bike tight enough but that doesn't seem to be a problem..just give the wheel cradle/arm a good push and the bike seems to be firmly in place.
The hitch interface is also very good. It cranks down inside your receiver with a large allen wrench and in my experience is rock solid. No play at all and it seems to stay tight (something that I can't say for my old Sportworks). For good measure, they also provide a small safety strap to connect the rack to your receiver should the mechanism ever come loose. But the strap is cheap and flimsy so I replaced it with a 1" heavy duty nylon cam strap.
Another pro for the 1Up is that it mounts very close to the bumper and is compact enough (the wheel trays are closer together than on most other racks) that I can open my rear hatch even when the rack is up. The rack also folds in on itself for storage. Pretty slick if you need to load it in a trunk.
The only real knock I have on the one up is the locking mechanism that allows you to rotate the rack up or down. It is a single spring loaded cross bar that locks the rack in place. You pull the bar to allow the rack to rotate up or down. However the bar is located so far forward it's difficult to reach and operate when you have two bikes loaded (and want to rotate the rack down to open a hatch) and just about impossible if you have add on's to extend your rack to hold 4 bikes..regardless of wether you have bikes loaded. At the very least, its a two person operation.
In all...the 1UP is a quality rack and I'm happy with my purchase. Materials and craftsmanship-wise its probably the best made rack on the market . Loading, though not quite as easy as some, is good and the design accommodates a wide range of wheel sizes. The only downsize is it's release lever and price. It is more expensive that others in it's class but I'm willing to pay a little more for something made here in the good ol US of A. In all..a solid 4+. If they could figure out a more user friendly release lever I'd give them a 5.
Weaknesses: - Expensive, but you get what you pay for.
This rack is great. 1UP's customer service is also great. I read here on MTBR someone mentioned that they would be willing to swap the standard 1 1/4" hitch mount for a 2" for a fee, so I asked them about it. For an extra $50, they made me a custom rack with the 2" hitch and shipped it out only one day later.
As others have mentioned, there's really no play when the rack is installed. It holds the bike steady and you can load/unload in just a few seconds. The one-bike rack is also small enough that I can leave it on and still open the back gate with it folded up.
If you have the money, there's really no comparison to this rack. It is expensive, but I feel it was money well-spent.
a All Mountain Rider
Date Reviewed: April 3, 2013
Strengths: Strong, stable, durable, looks great, fits all bike sizes. Amazing customer service. Quick and appropriate response.
I've put this bike rack thru the ringer. No issues after a gazillion bike vacations. Ultra-durable. No plastic parts. Easy installation and removal. Best customer service ever.
Strengths: - Great design and materials - it's the last rack I will ever own and when I hand it down to my kids one day it will be the only one they own
- Unbeatable customer service
Weaknesses: - I was hoping it would be a little lighter. This is aluminum, right? Still beats my old Thule
It's all been said already so let me share a story that speaks volumes about the incredible customer service at 1upUSA. I received my $1,100 rack but it did not secure tightly in the hitch. I took a close look and there was a part missing in the locking mechanism. Ugh.
I had to take off for my family trip in an hour and now I was faced with leaving all 4 bikes behind because of this. I was really bummed but I figured I should call 1UP and see what they had to say about it.
I spoke with Rob the owner who said this only happened once before. He was mad about the defect and felt really bad about my trip possibly getting ruined. He said all I needed was a 3/4" ball bearing. Well great, where am I supposed to get that, at the 7-11? I did not have time to figure this out so he offered to call around to source a replacement part near me. 10 minutes later I got a call from Rob saying that he found one 10 minutes from my house. He paid for it over the phone and all I needed to do was pick it up and stick it in the rack! As a gesture of goodwill, HE CREDITED ME $180 for the difference between the black and regular finish.
Wow, I have never had service like this anywhere. I would say customer for life but unless I get rear-ended I will never have to buy another one of these. So let's say, fan for life. Rob stands by his rack and I am going to tell every biker I meet to buy one of these.
Weaknesses: None found in first 5 months of frequent use.
This falls into a category of products I call "shut up and buy it".
It's the ultimate. It's a single rack that lets my wagon open when it's folded up in single bike mode. It's light. It works with everything from kiddie bikes to fat bikes. The trays stack and it works with both receiver sizes so it goes from perfect for my 4 cyl car and equally perfect for 3 riding buddies to use with a larger vehicle on a trip.
Strengths: Intelligent design.
Flawless construction quality.
Very secure bike fitment.
Ease of use.
Modular based on your needs.
Looks so damn cool!!!
Weaknesses: Sturdy but heavy.
Buying the additional racks brings the price up pretty high.
Transporting a bike with a flat tire could be an issue.
I've had this rack for a few years now and this is the first time I've ever used a rack where I enjoyed using the actual rack. The design is so simple and intelligent. It can accomodate my mountain bikes (26", 650b, 29") and my road bike. The staggered height design and flexibility to move bikes left or right makes loading multiple bikes very simple. No bike-on-bike conflicts like rubbing.
I've found the easiest way to remove the bike is to loosen the rear tire bracket first then hold the front tire and bracket with one hand as you loosen the second bracket.
Reviwers who complain about the lack of adaptability for various tire sizes don't appear to know how to use the rack. The bracket needs only be about at a 45 degree angle pressed firmly against the tire. The brackets should not be at zero degrees directly above the tire. The shallow "V" in the round cross bracket allows solid fitment for the skiniest road tire or the fattest MTB tire.
I'm definitely sold on this rack system. The best thing about it is that it's modular. You and your riding buddies can buy a two tray rack and if you all get together for that occasional road trip, each of you can show up with your additional tray and add it to the drivers 1UP making a 4 tray rack. There just is no better rack out there...IMHO.
Strengths: All aluminum construction, solid build quality, rack does not touch any part of the frame, foldable for easy storage, easily expandable, no assembly required, very quick and easy loading and unloading.
Weaknesses: A bit on the expensive side, not lockable, durability of slide/locking mechanism questionable.
I've only had this rack for a few weeks and driven it with a bike for about 100 miles (combination of highway, around town, and a bit off road to get to the trail head) and so far it is a solid performer. I love the fact that when I'm riding I can take the rack off, fold it, and put it in the trunk of my car in a matter of minutes and the same for putting it back on. I can also load and unload a bike in less than a minute. Soon I will get the add-on attachment so I can carry 2 bikes. I'm not too thrilled about having to get a cable lock to lock the bike to the rack and the rack to the hitch but that's a small price to pay considering all that the bike offers. It is a bit more expensive than others but I think it is a small price to pay considering I'm using it to transport a $4000+ bike.
Strengths: 1. No rubber, foam, or plastic pieces to degrade in the sun.
2. No part of the rack contacts the frame of the bike.
3. Folds up small enough for any trunk.
4. Small fold-up size allows for storage anywhere - even the floor of a small closet.
5. Very sturdy. Zero wobble in the hitch (2-inch version)
6. No assembly at all. Just take it out of the box and insert into hitch.
Weaknesses: 1. I have the 2-bike carrier and it is a bit heavy (about 50 lbs), but I don't know how that compares to other 2-bike carriers.
2. If cost is a concern, this rack is more expensive than 2-bike offerings from other manufacturers.
First of all, this rack looks much better in person than in the pictures. I have the 2-bike aluminum version. I found it simple to unfold, to insert into the hitch, and to mount my bike; however, it's a bit heavy and a little awkward at first to handle until you figure out where to grab it. It holds my large frame Santa Cruz Tallboy w/ 29" wheels just fine - very secure, but with enough movement to soften any impact from bumps and road vibrations. Once the hitch ball is tightened, there is no movement. Yes, it is more expensive than comparable racks, but after looking at those racks, I found the extra money to be worth the investement.
Robbie the owner answers the phone himself otherwise the phone doesn't get answered at all. He has an answering machine but he quite often takes his time calling you back and hasn't always called back. I asked for a torque spec. on the hinges that were squeaking and Robbie told me 35ft-lbs. but when I tried tightening the hinge bolt to the torque that he said I stopped way shy of it because it felt like way too much torque. I measured the other 3 hinge bolts and they ranged from 100-110in-lbs which converts to only 8.75ft-lbs. The hinges were currently only at 25% of what he was telling me to tighten them to. I called him back and told him about my dillemma and he told me that they tighten the hinge bolts with an impact wrench and he was only really guessing at a torque spec. because their impact wrench doesn't have torque adjustment. Thanks. Not real impressed with Robbie and the way he runs things there but I do like the rack. I think that Robbie runs a small shop and professionalism and accuracy aren't on the top of his list of priorities. I heard he bought the rack/company from someone else and is new to running this business.
If this rack were to given to someone with good CAD skills and a decent craving to improve the weak spots it would be an easy 5/5 chilis and a home run. Almost there.
Strengths: -Very solid, extremely well built to last
-Easiest rack I've ever used to fold up, rock back, install on vehicle, add/remove bike, even assemble cause it comes assembled!
-Doesn't stick very far out (can close garage door without removing or folding up)
-They shipped the same day from order
-Can run with just 1, and easily throw the add-ons for 2 more when I take my kids riding
Weaknesses: -When folded up it blocks the license plate so well it's like they meant to lol, but that's a factor of how solid build and low profile it is, it happens to fold in front of the plate.
I tried to save some $ with a smoking deal on another rack that had good reviews. But after multiple issues with it the first week, I sucked it up and gave this a shot since they even offer to pay return shipping if you don't like it. Wow, glad I did. This was twice the cost of the other rack but 10 times better. I ride hard but I'm lazy when it comes to installing a rack and loading/unloading bikes. This thing makes it super easy and secure. With 1 rack on, it's so out of the way I can just leave it on permanently, though removing it would take me probably 30 seconds lol. I'm not sure how they could make it better outside of inventing some magical locking system making my bike impossible to steal. I drive a Yukon XL and the single rack sticks out less than my other rack did folded up!
Bike Setup: Kona Hei Hei 29er 20" frame, and a 24" and 26" Trek bikes 2 of my kids ride.
Date Reviewed: September 17, 2012
Strengths: The best rack you could buy. Ease of use is outstanding. Very sturdy, solid, but I am able to handle it
I feel I could travel anywhere with my bikes on this rack. Quick on, off.
And made in the usa!
Date Reviewed: September 17, 2012
Strengths: Fast connection and secure. The rack goes on the trailer hitch in less than one minute. The bike then goes in the rack in less 30 seconds. Reversing the process is just as fast.
Weaknesses: I'm really stretching to find a weakness...maybe, just a little heavy.
When I had to down size, literally down SIZEed from my Dodge Ram 2500 mega bike hauler, to a midsize SUV I needed a bike rack system that was secure and efficient. The 1up USA was that bike rack. I couldn't be happier with my choice.
Strengths: I bought the heavy duty 2" hitch version. This rack is one of the nicest ones I've seen out there. It is easy to install on the truck, easy to install the bike on the rack and holds the bike securely! That is all I ask and that is what it does!
Weaknesses: I do not consider the cost an issue like some of the other reviewers. If you have a bike or bikes of any substantial value would you trust them to just any run of the mill rack? The fat tire spacer kit didn't come with instructions, but it wasn't that hard to figure out.
Buy it, use it, tell your friends! Customer service was great!
Similar Products Used: Home made PVC rack in the back of my truck!
Bike Setup: Surly Pugsley with all the whistles, and a Salsa Warbird on the way!
Date Reviewed: September 13, 2012
Weaknesses: Poor quality control
total disregard to product safety
The rack arrived missing the ball in the locking mechanism for the hitch.
Their initial solution was to send me a ball and hammer it in. Keep in mind the ball is responsible for holding the rack inside the hitch so it does not come flying out on the highway.
I had to return the rack and look for a safer product.
In conclusion, the company does not have a good quality and safety check. My rack should have never left their facility.
Robbie Lange blamed their machinist for doing this mistake on ten of their racks.
That is a very dangerous admission. every owner should double check their racks.
Date Reviewed: September 11, 2012
Strengths: Easy to mount, durable large parts.
Weaknesses: fragile, easily damaged small parts, particularly the locking lever and spring mechanism.
After having put about 1500 highway miles on the rack and additional bike carrier, the light gauge wire springs on the locking mechanisms don't securely hold the block in place on the slide bar. The levers flop around under normal road vibration, and the capture arms open, allowing the bike to roll back and forth in the tray. The company sent replacement parts and an essential black washer the spring coil rides on that was completely missing in the original locking mechanism on the hitch mounted carrier. (Something that came to my attention only after taking a closer look at my additional carrier.) An owner's manual with diagrams and procedures for replacing parts would be extremely helpful, but for whatever reason, USA 1up doesn't provide one w/ purchase. Their idea of customer support leaves a great deal to be desired, as does their pre-shipment quality control.