First look: 1Up USA Quik Rack

1up-hitch-rack-8

Hailing from southwest Wisconsin, 1Up USA’s products represent some of the same qualities that its Midwestern roots are known for: understated, hard work. There’s nothing flashy or glamorous about the 1Up rack, it is broad-shouldered and square-jawed in a reassuring way.

Aside from oozig quality, its standout feature is the unique corner expander ball system that forgoes a hitch pin and provides a measure of security when installed (as long as bad guys don’t get their hands on the special tool to remove it). With just a few turns it locks into the receiver and there is zero wobble. Zero. You can see some of the extreme “product testing” it has experienced here.

The rack arrives fully assembled, with no parts to attach or install. It folds up neatly for storage, but it is a bit heft: 48 pounds on the Feedback Sports scale.

The standard Quik Rack ($529) holds two bikes, but can be expanded to three or four by purchasing additional trays. The rack grips your bikes tires at each end and squeezes it in tight. Because there is some wiggle room in how you mount the bike (side to side in relation to the vehicle, fore and aft for the bike) it makes it easy to position them without handlebars bumping seats or pedals scraping the frame. Nothing makes contact with your frame, but it does grip on fenders, and 1UP sells a padded bumper ($13) if you carry bikes with fenders often. To access your truck or tailgate there is a three-notch tilt that allows the trays to drop down out of the way.

The stock arms are big enough to accommodate wheels from 16 to 29 inches and it’s wide enough to swallow up to a 29×3.0 tire. I purchased the fat bike spacer kit ($34 per bike) that widens the arms to fit up to a 26×4.8 tire and it still holds skinny tires just fine. Be warned though: the hardware used throughout the rack is SAE rather than metric, so you might have to dig around for the right tools.

The arms close on the bike freely but can only be released via a ratcheting release. They don’t lock, but you can insert a wheel lock ($19) that should deter casual thieves. For piece of mind I carry a length of chain that I can wrap through the bike frames and down around the receiver hitch itself.

While the price of entry may seem steep it is not that much more than a high-end hitch rack from the usual other brands, and the piece of mind and customer service benefit from buying a made-in-USA product is hard to put a price on.

Gallery