Bicycle, fat bike, Gear, Travel

Review: 1UPUSA Quik Rack

Last winter, after a disappointing run with my Thule hitch mounted rack, I reached out to 1UPUSA to see what they had to offer. I was out to test a rack that would work with a wide selection of bikes. From a 25c road bike to a 5” tire fat bike, I was looking for one rack to rule them all. Well it’s been about a year and the rack has lived on the truck since day one- through rain, sleet, snow, sand and the salt air of my seaside fishing village.

Enter the Double Bicycle Quik Rack.

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The rack design is eye catching and sparks questions about it from friends and acquaintances- some not even cyclists, just folks with an eye for well made goods. It looks far more complicated than it actually is, resembling an erector set or something that a retired engineer or home tinkerer with extremely nice equipment would put together. Machined from aluminum- it uses stainless fasteners with nylon washers.*

Installation is easy- it uses an expanding ball/cam type system, as opposed to a hitch pin. The rack I have is for a 2” receiver, and built tough.

As easy as it is to install- the anti-theft bolt and weatherproof construction has allowed me to leave it on the truck- mainly so I don’t have to carry the thing up the 40 stairs to my house. It’s not all that heavy, but the weight combined with the lack of storage makes the back of my truck a way better option. I have noticed over time the rack loosens up a little, so I keep the wrench in the truck.

I really like the solid feel of the rack in any position it’s in. The expanding hitch takes all the vibration and rattle out of the rack, and even with two fatbikes onboard it feels solid. There are four positions in all- vertical, “halfmast” which I assume is for folks that keep a spare tire on the back of their vehicle, horizontal (when bikes are on), and lowered, which allows access to the tailgate when bikes are loaded.

It’s also great that you don’t need straps or hold-downs and the lack of plastic parts seems one less thing prone to failure. That was one of my biggest gripes with Thule is that all the plastic parts were cheap and not built for the stresses of a heavier bike. With this rack, you don’t need to worry about lowering the rack to gain access to the bed of the truck.

If you have the desire to carry more, you can expand onto your two bike rack- attaching another rack and add two more bikes. Something I’m hoping to do in the future, but it may stick out a little too far for my personal preference.

The cons:

  • *When we set up the review- I told them that I had a 5” fat bike in mind. They installed the adapter kit (sold separately) to allow for the wider tires. The accessory bolts used were not stainless steel- the only non stainless on the unit. Surprisingly, these haven’t rusted while living on my truck- but they don’t match the bling status of all stainless hardware.
  • The allen key used for install is a little long due to the off center position of the cam tensioning bolt on the hitch. All it means is that you have to reposition the allen key to gain purchase- requiring precious seconds to the process. Not a big issue at all- but I may find myself cutting off ¾” from the end of it so it spins freely.
  • Lubrication seems necessary of the nylon bushings. I’ve been using silicone lubricant on the moving parts to keep things going- the bolts don’t seem to spin freely in the bushings after nearly a year of outside use.
  • License plate placement varies on vehicles, but it could be an issue if the rack will live on your ride. The license plate attachment that I purchased, was designed a little differently than I thought it would be. You have to choose whether or not the plate is visible in the up or down position. It seems to me that they could design it to be installed in the empty holes that are in the hitch receiver. That way the plate would be visible on or off the vehicle (though this may be a clearance issue for some.)
  • The bike that is most difficult to carry is my porteur bike with fenders. In order to keep it secure, the fender gets a lot of pressure on it, and it doesn’t seem like a good thing. I know that 1UPUSA makes a fender attachment, but I don’t know how effective it is.

None of these cons are deal breakers by any means. All I can live with, some have remedies and they may not be an issue to anyone else.

All in all- I’d say that this is one of the best racks I’ve seen on the market. Made in the USA, it retails for $529. After a year of use and abuse on my truck, it may well be the last rack I own.

Funny story: Last winter, I was moving my truck out of the way for the snow plow to get by. I drove down the hill to turn around, and because there was a little snow on the ground and I’m kind of a jackass- I hit the gas and broke the rear end loose- doing what many people refer to as “whipping a shitty.” All was fine and dandy, but I didn’t leave enough room between me and the snow bank. On top of that I forgot that I hadn’t put the rack in the up position after our ride that day. As the rear end of my ¾ ton diesel truck came spinning around, the rack found the snow bank, which after being plowed into place had solidified into something more akin to concrete. SCHTUNK! The truck came to an abrupt halt, with all the force directed at the rack. I thought for sure it was done for. I went back to look at it- it was fine. I couldn’t believe it. So for as much as I like this rack for the features it has- it’s apparently Asshole-proof as well. So that is great news.

 

 

One Comments

  • Steve Vigneau

    January 18, 2015

    A bunch of us here in Southeast Michigan have been using these racks for a few years now; particularly as they were the only non-hanging fatbike hitch rack on the market for a while. The horizontal bars which are part of the locking mechanism on mine have a good bit of corrosion after 4-5 salty winters, but the rack itself is still solid and working great. I’ve been very happy with mine.

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