Hands-on Gear Review
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Pros: Inexpensive, no assembly required.
Cons: Not adjustable, lacks versatility, no security features.
Best Uses: Ideal for the infrequent user, short trips.
The Allen Deluxe 2 is an economical trunk mount rack that uses the bicycle frame as the primary point of attachment. It lacks security and adjustability, but at $59.99 it is one of the least expensive options for bike transport available. Ideal for the occasional user who is transporting bikes a short distance, or for toting your junker bike to Burning Man.
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OutdoorGearLab Editors' Hands-on Review
The Allen Deluxe 2 is a no frills trunk mount rack with a 2-bike capacity. Ideal for carrying bikes with traditional front triangle design and horizontal top tubes.
The Allen Deluxe 2 is secured to the vehicle trunk or hatch by nylon straps in a similar manner to other trunk mount racks we tested, such as the Saris Freedom 2-Bike and the Yakima King Joe 2. Metal support arms wrapped in soft foam contact the vehicle. The Allen Deluxe 2 is the only trunk mount rack we tested that has no adjustability to allow optimum fit for different vehicles. The metal support arms are fixed in place, so they can not be adjusted for stability or to avoid contact with latches, lights, or areas that may not be suited to supporting weight. Access to rear vehicle compartments is not possible when the rack is mounted to the vehicle, but this is the case with all trunk mount racks we tested. The Deluxe 2 has a two-bike capacity and a weight limit of 75lbs. It holds bikes by making direct contact with the frame, and is not well suited to carrying full suspension bikes or bikes with unique frame shapes. The Deluxe 2 uses the same straps for securing bicycles as the Allen Deluxe 4-Bike Hitch Carrier, and we found that they frequently came loose during testing.
Ease of Assembly/Attachment
The Allen Deluxe 2 comes out of the box already assembled. Two attached wire struts must be inserted into pre-drilled holes on the upper support arm, and then the rack is ready for use. Finding the optimum attachment points for the nylon straps is an exercise of trial and error. The directions give only generic instructions with no specifics for different vehicles, which is in contrast to the extremely versatile and easy-to-use Fit Dial system found on the Top Pick winning trunk mount rack, the Thule Raceway 2-Bike.
Ergonomics/Ease of Use
Loading bicycles on the Allen Deluxe 2 is relatively easy and the loading height is low. Front wheel removal is not required. Bikes are placed on the plastic cradles and secured using nylon straps with plastic buckles. Threading and tightening the plastic buckles is not as fast and simple as the rubber straps used by the Thule Raceway. We had problems with the nylon straps loosening while in use, requiring frequent re-tensioning. The Allen Deluxe 2 is easy to fold up when not in use and does not take up much storage space.
Overall construction is not as robust as on other trunk racks we tested. Nylon straps are prone to damage from the sun, and the foam bumpers that contact the vehicle will become brittle with extended use. We did not experience failure of the plastic buckles used to secure the bikes, but they appear to be identical to the buckles used on the Allen Deluxe 4 which did experience a buckle failure during testing.
The Allen Deluxe 2 has no security features to secure the rack or the bicycles on the rack.
Despite the lack of versatility, the Allen Deluxe 2 is a good value for $59.99, so long as the buyer is aware of its shortcomings. For those that plan to use a rack on a regular basis, we recommend you consider our Top Pick trunk mount rack, the Thule Raceway.
Allen offers a 3 bike version for $89.99 and a 4 bike version for $139.99. Allen also makes other trunk mount racks with upgraded cradles and different clamp/strap designs that are found in their Premier series.
— Curtis Smith
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OutdoorGearLab Member Reviews
Most recent review: December 18, 2013
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