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A platform-style hitch rack is usually the way to go if you want to carry heavy bikes on your vehicle.
While there are many strong bike racks on the market, none are quite like the 1UP USA Heavy Duty Double Bike Rack.
The 1UP USA Heavy Duty Double Bike Rack excels in its build quality, ease of use, and compact folded size.
We’ll be looking at its finer details in this 1up bike rack review.
- Type: 2” hitch rack (platform-style)
- Weight: 46 lbs.
- Material: Aluminum
- Hitch size: 2”
- Load Capacity: 2 x 50 lbs. (up to 4 bikes with add-ons)
Who The 1UP Heavy Duty Double Bike Rack Is Aimed At
This style of bike rack is ideal for anyone that has heavy bikes to carry, or bikes with “awkward” geometries that might require adapters with other bike racks.
The 1UP Heavy-Duty rack easily carries step-through bikes or bikes with sloping top tubes.
It’s ideal for transporting electric bikes, albeit only up to 50 lbs in weight. With the help of an optional fat tire spacer kit, it’ll carry fat bikes.
An important factor to consider is the type of vehicle you have. This 1UP rack fits onto a 2” hitch receiver, which you’ll often find on SUVs, mini-vans, and pick-up trucks.
It may be possible to buy a 2” hitch receiver for some sedans if their tongue weight capacity is at the Class II and III border (i.e., around 350 pounds).
You can also buy a 1.25” to 2” hitch adapter from 1UP, but you must be careful not to overload your vehicle’s tongue weight capacity if you go down this route. The size of the hitch receiver is related to the amount of weight the vehicle can tow or carry.
This is a good rack to buy for anyone who prioritizes durability, easy storage, ease of use, and USA manufacturing.
Top Features Of The 1UP Heavy Duty Bike Rack
Build Quality & Low Weight
A standout feature of this made-in-the-USA bike rack is its build quality. The all-metal aluminum construction instills confidence in its durability and fitness for purpose. And as it’s made of aluminum, it won’t rust.
All the fixings and fasteners that come with this rack are made of stainless steel, so they’re resistant to rust, too.
The use of aluminum also makes this rack lightweight compared to many rival products. It’s common for platform-style bike racks to exceed 50 lbs. This one is lighter than the bikes it can hold.
Dual Wheel Clamps & Versatility
Most wheel-clamping hitch racks hold your bike only by the front wheel. This 1UP rack has a wheel clamp for each wheel.
Wheel-clamping racks are useful for their versatility. Hitch racks that hold bikes by their frames often struggle with step-through bikes and others with a low crossbar. This rack holds most bikes with a 16” to 29” wheel diameter.
On the subject of versatility, this rack is also rated for RV and trailer use as long as you stick to the native 2-bike capacity.
Anti-Wobble & Security
This rack is exceptionally good for its lack of rack movement or “wobble” during transit. 1UP achieves this by using a “corner expander ball”, which expands into the receiver when tightened and prevents movement.
The expander ball also does away with the need for a hitch pin, since it also secures the hitch to the receiver. You use a special hex wrench (aka Allen wrench) to tighten and release the expander.
Security features are sparse on this 1UP rack. It wouldn’t be easy for a thief to steal the rack because the hex wrench isn’t a standard off-the-shelf wrench. There are no integrated locks for your bikes.
Read more: How to lock your bicycle to a hitch rack
Video: Using The Security Hex Wrench On A 1Up Bike Rack
Compactness & Storage
Once you’ve folded the wheel trays up on this rack, it’s an unusually compact rack that can easily be stored in most car trunks or garages. If you need easy storage in a rack, this 1UP model should be at the top of your list.
The rack is delivered folded in a reusable 38” X 14” X 10” storage box. If you compare that with the folded dimensions of other racks (e.g., 54.7” x 22.5” x 33.8” Thule T2 Pro XTR), it’s several thousand cubic inches more compact.
Similarly, the 1UP is a rack that doesn’t take up much space on your car if you choose to leave it installed when not in use.
Like most hitch-mounted bike racks, you can tilt the 1UP Heavy Duty Bike Rack back for access to the trunk of your vehicle.
Unfortunately, the tilting lever is not as accessible as it is on many other hitch racks, as you have to fumble around under the wheel trays to reach it.
You can tilt the loaded bike rack at an angle or, when it’s unloaded, tilt it flat. You might need the latter for tailgate access on some vehicles.
If you envisage needing access to the rear of your vehicle regularly when carrying bikes, there are better options. Some models, like the latest 2023 Lolo bike racks, have foot-activated tilt mechanisms that leave both hands free.
Easy To Install
The 1UP Heavy Duty Bike Rack is delivered fully assembled and folded, so there’s no complicated set-up to undergo before you can mount it. It doesn’t hurt that the rack is a few pounds lighter than competing products, either.
If you check out the 1UP online store, you’ll find plenty of accessories that expand the functionality of this rack. There is a choice of bike locks, for instance. An optional ramp helps you to load heavy bikes without lifting them.
You can even add a splash of color to the 1UP Heavy Duty Bike Rack with the custom anodized kits, which come in a variety of bright hues. There’s a bottle opener, too, for hard-earned refreshments after a vigorous day’s riding.
1UP Heavy Duty 2-Bike Rack Alternatives
Below, we look at three bike racks that you might prefer to the 1UP Heavy Duty 2-Bike Rack.
1. 1UP Super Duty Double Bike Rack
The main reason for buying the 1UP Super Duty Double Bike Rack over our review rack is for its increased weight capacity. This rack accepts bikes of up to 75 lbs, as opposed to the 50 lbs limit on the heavy-duty model.
With its extra weight capacity, this rack has the potential to carry extreme bikes like electric fat-tire bikes, though you’ll need the separate tire spacer kit before that works. The rack itself only weighs a pound more than the heavy-duty model.
As is the case with the Heavy Duty model, you can install two add-ons to this rack to carry up to four bikes. Note that this reduces the per-bike capacity to 50 lbs. These racks are ideal for high-end carbon bikes because they don’t touch the frames.
What We Like
- Weight capacity – this reinforced rack holds bikes of up to 75 lbs.
- Versatile – accepts a wide variety of bikes, like our review model.
- Construction – extremely robust USA-made build quality.
What We Don’t Like
- Tilt – like the review model, the tilt mechanism could be easier to access and use.
2. Thule T2 Pro XTR Hitch-Mounted Bike Rack
From one of the biggest names in bike racks, the Thule T2 Pro XTR is heavier than our 1UP review rack but can take bikes of up to 60 lbs. It’ll cost you more money, too, but you do get a more ergonomic “HitchSwitch” tilt feature and built-in security for that.
Thule racks are not exclusively made in the USA, so you’re not necessarily investing in home manufacturing if you’re a US citizen. Though there’s not much wrong with the solid build quality of Thule racks.
The XTR version of this rack (compared to the original XT model) also includes built-in rollers for easy movement off the car. This is not a rack that folds even close to the compact dimensions of a 1UP rack, but the extra features may appeal to you.
What We Like
- Security – includes built-in rack and bike security, unlike the 1UP rack.
- Versatile – similar versatility to our review model.
- Tilt – easier to reach “HitchSwitch” tilt lever for trunk or hatch access.
- Capacity – holds bikes up to 10 lbs heavier than the 1UP Heavy Duty.
What We Don’t Like
- Size – does not fold to the compact dimensions of our review rack.
- Weight – several pounds heavier than the aluminum 1UP rack.
3. Hollywood Racks Sport Rider 2″ Hitch Bike Rack
If you need to transport very heavy bikes, the Hollywood Racks Sport Rider 2″ Hitch Bike Rack has few peers. Each of its two platforms can hold a bike of up to 80 lbs, which is in electric fat bike territory.
One of the prices you pay for this weight-bearing prowess is a heavier bike rack. This one is 10 lbs heavier than our review rack. However, it does offer an easy-to-use smart tilting feature as well as built-in security.
The Hollywood Racks Sport Rider has lockable hooks that hold down your bikes by their frames. A downside to this system is that you may need crossbar adapters for step-through bikes or other bikes without a horizontal top tube.
What We Like
- Capacity – holds heavier bikes than most racks on the market.
- Security – lockable hooked arms secure bikes to rack.
- Tilt – Smart tilt feature is easier to use than the 1UP tilt lever.
What We Don’t Like
- Weight – 10 lbs heavier than the Heavy Duty 1UP.
- Adapters – you may need crossbar adapters for some bikes.
Is The 1UP Heavy Duty Bike Rack Any Good?
The 1UP Heavy Duty Bike Rack is a great product if your main priorities are robust build quality and ease of use.
Bear in mind that bike security on many bike racks is very basic, so this might not be a deal-breaker.
What We Like
- Construction – exemplary USA-made build quality.
- Aluminum – use of aluminum makes this rack lighter than many similar products.
- Anti-wobble – no wobbling at the hitch thanks to the expander ball design.
- Storage – more compact when folded than most hitch-mounted racks.
What We Don’t Like
- Security – no unique key to lock the hitch and no integrated bike security.
- Tilt – the tilt feature is handy but trickier to use than it should be.
We hope you enjoyed this article and found it useful in your bike-rack search. Please feel free to leave comments or share.
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