So, I'm now a 1 Up USA Hitch Rack Convert (story w/photos)

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by ofcounsel, Jun 10, 2013.

  1. ofcounsel

    ofcounsel Member

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    So, I'd been using Thule roof racks for years. I had a set of Thule Criteriums that I'd been transferring from car to car for about 9 years now. Loved them (except that I couldn't take my bike to work because I park in an underground parking garage).


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    This past April, I traveled to Vegas with 2 buddies of mine to do some MTB riding. Our first day in town, we got up bright and early to trek out to Bootleg Canyon. I should have had my coffee, because I was confused and having a hard time getting out of the parking lot. I finally saw an opening out of the parking lot through a pedestrian overpass.

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    As I headed towards the overpass, my buddies were buried in their cellphones. None of us gave the overpass much thought or notice. Unfortunately, I forgot I had 3 29er MTB's loaded on the roof racks. Not good. The bikes missed clearing the overpass by about 4 inches, causing significant damage to all three of the mountain bikes.


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    As the leading edge of the bikes hit the overpass, they peeled the bikes up, and bent them back causing racks to buckle up and break, and also pushing down onto the back of the roof, causing it to buckle. As the rear window crashed in on us, it sounded like a large explosion. My buddy in the back seat got glass all over him. As I put the car in reverse to back away from the overpass, the two bikes on the end of the racks had broken off the rack arm but were still attached to the wheel straps, so they fell, slamming on the side of my doors.

    Turned out to be a scene out of a goofy insurance commercial.

    After the incident, I sent my car to a BMW dealer in Vegas to get fixed, rented some bikes from a local shop and a truck to transport us around.

    53 days later, I got my car back. This time around, I thought I try out a hitch rack. So I went to Uhaul, and had them mount a hitch (cost about $300). I then bought myself a 1 Up USA hitch mounted rack. The rack is an awesome machined piece of art.

    It folds up nice and compact, fitting nicely in the back of my trunk with lots of room to spare.

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    It weighs about 26 1/2 pounds, so it's not too heavy to carry around.


    Installing is pretty quick and easy, taking only about 2 minutes.

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    It unfolds nicely.

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    It slides in easily into the hitch receiver

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    Once in the receiver, it tightens up in place using a proprietary Allen wrench that's provided with the hitch. Once tightened, it's rock solid, with absolutely no side to side or up/down movement. The proprietary allen bolt mount allows the rack to be effectively theft proof.

    The rack holds onto the bike without any part of the rack touching the frame. The arms are designed to slide on to the tires easily, and once pushed on, remain locked in place until lifting up on the red levers at the bottom.

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    When no bike is mounted, you can fold the rack up for clearance.

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    The rack is part of a modular system, which allows up to 3 bikes with a 1 1/4" hitch and up to 4 bikes with a 2" hitch. The base rack carrier is $299. Additional racks bolt on to the base rack in a bout 30 seconds using the same allen bolt/key system. Each one is $199. It may sound like a boat load to spend on a rack, but the overall system even with hitch installed is a couple of hundred dollars cheaper than my Thule set up.

    Admittedly, it's not aesthetically cool as my roof rack set up. But it's quieter than the roof rack and I get an extra 2mpg now. And I can now take my bike to work for after work excursions with friends. Another big plus is that it comes fully assembled right out of the box.
     
  2. bvader

    bvader Long Live The Gorn!

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    I am a *HUGE* fan of my 1 Up probably best bike accessory I have ever bought, great design easy / fast to use and serious quality, and you have to pay a bit extra but worth it.

    Not trying to be that guy...but Actually with that nice dark color it would have been more aesthetically cool if you had got the black anodized for a few $$$ more.

    Here is mine on my dark grey Subi... oh and sorry to hear about the orginal reason for needed the 1 Up.

    IMG_0169.jpg
     
  3. 2wheel_lee

    2wheel_lee Active Member

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    A friend of mine got one. I asked him what he thought. He said to simply google "most bad-ass bike rack."

    After further inspection of his rack (don't go there guys! ;) ) I think he was right.

    I asked him how much it costs, and he said to google "most expensive bike rack."
     
  4. irv_usc

    irv_usc Active Member

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    Exact thoughts, owning one...

    OP, sorry to hear about the roof setup.
     
  5. Albacore

    Albacore 34x18

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    I've seen plenty of pics of this rack and I always thought it looked like a kid's erector set. I figured it was an overpriced piece of farm equipment by some start-up company in a garage. I finally saw one in person last week. I am impressed. The pics do not do it justice. My Yakima roof rack is now for sale.

    Also, sorry about the Vegas catastrophe.
     
  6. Ratt

    Ratt Member

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    Pic #3 is the most impressive bike roof rack accident I have ever seen. Usually the whole rack slides off the roof and leaves between no damage to a 1" dent in the roof. Your rack must have been really secure. I've bummed enough rides over the years to have loaded a bike onto just about every bike rack made and I came away convinced the T2 type hitch racks were the best way to go. I am/going to be a lifetime renter so when I got my first car in 25 yrs (pickup trucks prior) the 1up was the only choice, it folds up so compact that it can be stored anywhere. The T2 pretty much needs a garage. I can't say the 1up is perfect because $600 (for a black one) to carry 2 bikes is a lot of beer.
     
  7. ofcounsel

    ofcounsel Member

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    Thanks!Yeah, agreed. The black would have looked much nicer.

    It's certainly not cheap. But when compared to my roof rack set up (which cost over $1k), the 1 up is a bit more reasonable. And if you're using the rack 3 or 4 times a week, I think having a good rack is essential.
     
  8. M.C. Gong

    M.C. Gong I am the motor

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    Just had a roof incident myself last Friday. Put a huge dent on the roof of my car. Thinking about the hitch mount now too.
     
  9. bvader

    bvader Long Live The Gorn!

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    A couple other big pluses to the 1 up is quick / easy mount both the rack and the extra rack. 95% I just have my bike but when I want the second takes less the 2 minutes to securely mount the add on. It also folds up to 45 deg... that way I push it even further under the car and it is even less visible.

    Biggest Drawback... Walking quickly around the back of the car forgetting its there folded up and seriously catching your knee on it...you will only do that twice!
     
  10. irv_usc

    irv_usc Active Member

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    another downside, when someone follows you home to ask about the rack..
     
  11. northshore

    northshore Active Member

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    The photo with the damage is so painful to look at!
     
  12. Chewyeti

    Chewyeti Circus Bear

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    your insurance (and buddies) must love you!!! LOL

    Bummer man. Glad you found a better solution!
     
  13. Lovin

    Lovin Calmer 'n you are

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    [​IMG]
     
  14. jae2460

    jae2460 Active Member

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    I've used a Yakima hitch mount for years and it's been great, I think you'll be very happy.

    Just beware that police like to ticket people with hitchracks when they have their bikes on them and the license plate can't be seen.

    I haven't gotten such a ticket, but they seem to go after people with sedans or wagons whereas I have an SUV that has a little more plate showing I think.

    Just trying to help you avoid the police adding insult to injury. I don't know know if it's possible to get an extra plate to mount to the rack or something--I've never seen that, but have heard that's what some people have done. You would think the rack companies would come up with something if it was a significant problem, which I believe it is at least in OC or South OC at least.
     
  15. ofcounsel

    ofcounsel Member

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    Thanks for the heads up!
     
  16. BigTex

    BigTex Member

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    That's one of the beauties of the 1Up - even folded up, it doesn't block the plate. Even the two-bike version won't block the plate on most vehicles.

    ofcounsel, Here I was thinking about getting a roof rack setup for my BMW so I wouldn't have to switch cars with my wife to use the hitch mount... I think I'll reconsider that now!
     
  17. Waldo

    Waldo Lebowski Urban Achiever

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    I thought I'd read that was more of an issue with racks that obscured the plate even when there were no bikes on it. Yes/no?
    Either way, in the pic above it looks as if the plate would still be pretty visible if it wasn't for the bottles in the cages, at least with this bike. (BTW: Nice Synapse. I really like mine too)

    To the OP: Wow, I almost teared up a little at your story and pics. That is by far the worst roof rack damage I've seen, and thank you for sparing us carnage pics of the poor bikes. Glad to see you found a better solution though, and I appreciate your info about the 1-Up. I wasn't familiar with those, but it looks like a great product and will go on my short list when I'm in the market for a hitch rack.
     
  18. dstepper

    dstepper Over the hill

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    States that have lots of speeding and traffic cameras highly enforce anything that blocks the license plate. In AZ if the license plate frame covers up the state name along the top they will ticket, let alone a bike covering it up.
     
  19. pachaven

    pachaven Member

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    One more plus with 1up is the customer service. I have one of the first 2" bike racks and had to replace one of the arms that would not hold the bike when driving. I called and they sent a new one no questions asked. I just bought a add on and when the little expander ball would not drop into its channel all the way, I call Robbie and he said take a picture and send it to make sure they send the right part to me. Again no question asked and no charge. This is on a 5 or 6 year old bike rack. Your going to love and have this rack for YEARS!!!
     
  20. asphaltsucks

    asphaltsucks New Member

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    I have a 2 bike 1UP and it is a great rack. I have taken this offroad and on long road trips to Oregon with zero issues. I like that there is no plastic to get brittle and break. My rack is for a 2" receiver which means I can put this on my truck as well. If you want an actual hidden hitch check out these guys http://torkliftcentral.com/trailer_hitches.php#hitches. On my Subaru Outback only the receiver can be seen. Yes this rack costs more than a Uhaul, Hidden Hitch, or Reese (all made by the same company) but if you want a nice hitch this is it. I would recommend buying the 2 bike version, that way you can add on later if needed.
     

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