1Up USA 2" Heavy Duty Double Review
Cons: Lacks security features, difficult to tilt, heavy
Manufacturer: 1UP USA
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Our Analysis and Test Results
1Up racks are among the most noticeable models on the market due to their unique design. They have a somewhat cult-like following, and recently several brands have copied this style of rack. After years of seeing them at trailheads, we were stoked to get our hands on one for testing. We love the all-aluminum construction from a durability standpoint, but many of our testers found the appearance of the rack to be a bit too industrial. The overall score of the 1UP suffered due to ease of use issues and a lack of security features.
Ease of Everyday Use
Loading and unloading bikes on the 1Up is a rather different procedure compared to more traditional tray-style hitch racks with front wheel clamps. Rather than a single wheel clamp for the front wheel, the 1Up has dual, nondirectional clamps, which allows a bike to be loaded facing either direction. Because the trays do not have a trough for the front wheel, securing a single clamp will still enable the bike to roll backward until the second wheel clamp is in place; this makes loading bikes a bit trickier and less user-friendly.
Our other issue with the 1UP is the difficult to access tilt release that is located under the rack. To lower the rack, you must reach underneath. While releasing the tilt mechanism is challenging, the biggest problem is how low the rack tilts. While we appreciate the access the extra-low tilt setting provides, it goes so low that it's hard to lower the rack and get out of the way. 1Up sells an aftermarket EZ Pull system and handle that moved the tilt-release handle out to the end of the main support arms in a much easier-to-reach location. It will set you back a few bucks, but it should make it much easier to utilize the tilt function on this rack.
Ease of Removal and Storage
The 1Up sits in the middle of the pack with a weight of 48lbs. It's not light, but the trays fold in towards the center of the rack making it relatively easy to carry. The folding trays also make it one of the most compact hitch racks we tested for storage. With the trays folded in, it will fit in the trunk of many cars, which is a useful feature for those without a garage who want to stow their rack to prevent theft.
The 1Up is the only rack we tested that has no safety pin at the hitch receiver. The rack is secured to the vehicle by an expanding wedge that also takes the wobble out of the system. The wedge is turned with a special hex wrench that comes included with the rack. The rack must be inserted into the receiver a minimum of 2", but there are no markings to indicate the insertion depth. We added our mark with a sharpie but would like to see a mark from the manufacturer added for safety reasons. Without a safety pin, the likelihood of not inserting the rack far enough into the receiver increases and a minimum insertion mark would help to eliminate this issue.
This rack will work on any vehicle with a 2" hitch receiver. It carries two bikes with a weight of 50 lbs per bike (the Super Duty version can handle up to 75 lbs per bike) and can handle wheelbase up to 54-inches. 1Up claims it fits wheel diameters from 16-inches up to 29-inches and tires up to 3.1-inches wide. In its standard configuration, it doesn't work with fat tires bikes, although 1Up sells a Fat Tire Spacer Kit for tires between 3.1 and 4.9-inches. Additionally, 1Up sells add-ons to increase your racks capacity by 1 bike (up to 4 bikes max).
Ease of Assembly
No complaints here, the 1Up was the easiest hitch rack we tested. It comes out of the box fully assembled and ready for use. The folding tray design allows 1Up to ship the model with the trays folded, so when the rack arrives, all you have to do is remove it from the box, fold open the trays and attach it to your vehicle.
The 1UP is one of the only hitch racks we tested that does not include any locking hardware. The rack secures to the vehicle by tightening the expansion bolt and associated wedge with a unique hex wrench that is hollowed out on one end. Without this hollow hex wrench, you can't remove the rack. We admit that it's unlikely the average thief would have this tool, but it can be ordered from 1Up, and having the tool would allow you to remove any rack the company makes. We'd like to see some keyed lock system as an additional security feature. 1UP also leaves the security of bikes to the user, no locking system is included with the rack, and there are many places on the rack to loop a cable through.
The 1Up USA is the highest scoring rack we tested for durability. The all aluminum construction makes the rack impervious to the deterioration that other racks experience as a result of sun-damaged plastic. All of the other racks in our test, including the Thule T2 Pro XT have plastic components that are prone to failure over time. Also, the bolts and fasteners on the 1UP are all stainless steel for corrosion resistance. Each part of the rack can also be replaced if necessary.
The 1UP Heavy Duty Double is about the average price for a hitch-mount rack. We feel that the durability and quality are excellent, and the rack represents a good value.
The 1UP Heavy Duty Quick Rack is a durable rack with a unique design that features folding trays for easy storage. It may be slightly less user-friendly than our favorite models, but we feel it is a great rack that will likely outlast the vehicle you put it on.
— Curtis Smith
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