1up USA Quick-Rack

My new bike rack, a 1up USA Quick-Rack arrived today. I’ve had my eye on these for a while because they are well-engineered, well-made, simple, US-made, all aluminum and stainless steel racks that hold both wheels at once. Ever since getting my first real mountain bike at the beginning of 2008 I’ve used this Thule 917 T2 rack. While it works sufficiently, I didn’t like how it held just one wheel, it’s inability to fit in the trunk without folding down the seats, it obscuring my license place when folded up, and the amount of work required to fit two bikes on it without the bars and seats hitting each other. After Erik picked up one of these 1up USA racks for his new car I got to seeing how nice it is and I decided to finally get one for myself.

Along with the one-bike rack I picked up an add-on to allow a second bike to be carried. Because of how the arms work the bike’s position isn’t fixed side to side, and coupled with the second rack being slightly taller than the first it’s trivial to fit two bikes. This photo shows my single speed and the Titus easily fitting on the rack together, something which would require unbolting and adjusting the bars on the Thule, or turning the bars so they didn’t hit the other bike’s seat. This rack also folds up small enough that I could put it on the floor of the back seat behind one seat if needed.

The biggest downside to this rack is that there’s no built-in system for locking up bikes. The Thule had locks on the tire-holding arms, and while these are easily defeated I can’t help but think the presence of a lock provides a slight deterrence. As such I’ll likely be getting a U lock and cable so that, if needed, I can easily lock the rack to the hitch and then string the cable through the bikes. While I wouldn’t drive with this setup (for fear of cable rub wearing needlessly on paint) it’d be sufficient to keep the bikes from walking away while parked. Even just a simple cable through the rack, bikes, and tow chain loops may be sufficient as well.

If you’d like to see more photos of this rack, including the packaging it came in, please look in this album: 1up USA Quick-Rack

To remove a bike from one of these racks, simply deflate the front tire slightly and the arm will be free. It is also often possible to remove the front skewer, lift the rest of the bike off the rack, then pull the arm down over the tire.

9 Comments

  1. Richard Grieve:

    Hi, I’m considering getting one of these racks. I currently have a swagman style rack, and I struggle somewhat with interference when mounting a road bike and a mountain bike. Have you ever done a road/mountain combo on this rack? I can’t seem to find any pictures, and I hesitate to order one without some idea that it’ll work reasonably well.

  2. c0nsumer:

    Richard Grieve: I haven’t, but I don’t doubt that the two would fit nicely. On my Thule T2 I constantly had issues with two mountain bikes or a mountain and comfort bike interfering with each other. However, with the 1up USA rack it’s trivial to slide the bikes side to side to ensure that they fit. I imagine that one could possibly have issues with the cranks rotating and pedals making contact, but this would be easy enough to solve with just a little velcro.

  3. Richard Grieve:

    OK, that’s good news. i don’t worry too much about the cranks, with my existing rack I’ve found there is always a way I can position them to make it work. By the way, approximately how much side-to-side offset is there?

  4. c0nsumer:

    Richard Grieve: I think that’d actually depend on the wheelbase of your bike, since it can be positioned anywhere on the trays that the arms will still hold it. In my case for two typical medium-ish 29er mountain bikes I think I could easily move them each eight to ten inches side to side. I think this will be enough to eliminate any conflicts.

  5. Richard Grieve:

    I got the rack yesterday – I got the new 2″ version, which comes with 2 trays on the base, and is expandable up to 4 bikes. I’m very impressed! I like the mechanism used to hold it in the receiver, it allows for fine adjustment of insertion depth, and much easier installation/removal compared to a standard hitch pin, and there is no need for a hitch stabilizer. The bikes load very quickly, and I have no problems mixing all the combos I need (road + 29er, road + 26″, 26″ + 29er). It definitely helps that the second tray is at a different height than the first, as this offers another degree of freedom, beyond the ability to move the bikes left/right.
    Thanks for your advice.

  6. minaz:

    Hello,
    I’m getting more and more convinced that this is the rack to buy…however, I have a Crossover and was wondering how easy it would be to open the back hatch with the bikes on the rack. Does the rack tilt away to allow access or is the setup far enough away from the rear to allow the hatch to open without any difficulty?
    Minaz

  7. c0nsumer:

    minaz: Yep, it tilts away just as easily as it tilts upward. As far as distance from the hatch, that’s very dependent on your hitch, particularly vehicle, etc.

  8. Idris:

    Great write up! Did you need a hitch extension to clear the bumper (fender) on your Civic to use the 1up rack? I’m also ordering this to put on a Civic and ordered a Curt hitch that according to specs has 5″ inset to the outside of the bumper, not sure if the rack folds up without an extension?
    Thanks

  9. Steve Vigneau:

    Idris: Nope, no extension needed at all. If anything, it almost sits a little further out then I’d like, but it’s still just fine. Take a look at this image for an illustration of how it sits folded up at the bumper.

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