This is a heavy duty made in the USA, tray style hitch rack. The unique design features two tire clamps rather than the single clamp design found on every other hitch rack we tested. The all aluminum construction provides unmatched durability. We did not determine the design to be as user-friendly as other contenders we tested and a lack of security features made us a bit nervous. Overall, the 1UP is a solid, well-built rack with an attractive design, but the lack of versatility and a difficult to use tilt mechanism reduces its overall score.
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 many riders swear by the design. 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 like the T2 Pro XT or the Kuat Sherpa. 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 a 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. This issue was most apparent on vehicles that sit low to the ground such as sedans and wagons.
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 contender 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. However, the low tilt height reduces the versatility, particularly for those who have a vehicle that sits low to the ground. Lowering the rack on a vehicle with low clearance is so awkward that we can not recommend the rack. Also, the 1UP can only accept tires up to 3.25" in width, compared to the 5" capacity of racks like the T2 Pro XT, so if fat bikes are your thing, then this is not the rack for you.
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 rack is best suited to riders who have higher clearance vehicles due to the awkward tilt release system. If you have a fat bike or envision one in your future, then this is also not the rack for you.
The $529 retail price of the 1UP is a lot for a rack with no locks, but we feel that the durability and quality are excellent, and the rack still 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. Lack of security features and a difficult to use tilt function prevent it from competing with our highest rated hitch racks.
— Curtis Smith