Allen Sports revised the Deluxe 2 Bike Trunk Carrier rack since our testing period, namely the addition of side straps for added security. The price has also dropped from $60 to $50. Compare the new rack (left) to the version we tested (right)
Hands-On Review of the Deluxe 2 Bike
The Allen Deluxe 2 is a no-frills trunk mount rack with a 2-bike capacity.
The Support arms that contact the vehicle are not adjustable on the Allen Deluxe 2.
Ease of Everyday Use
Loading bicycles on this competitor are 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 straightforward as the rubber straps employed by the Thule Raceway or the ladder straps on the Kuat Highline. We had problems with the nylon straps loosening while in use, requiring frequent re-tensioning. This rack is easy to fold up when not in use and does not take up much storage space.
Ease of Removal and Storage
Finding the optimal 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 previous Top Pick trunk mount rack, the Thule Raceway Pro 2. The Allen Deluxe 2 is lightweight and does fold up relatively small for storage.
This model 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. Metal support arms wrapped in soft foam contact the vehicle. This contender is the only trunk mount rack we tested that has no adjustability to allow an optimal fit for different vehicles. The metal support arms are fixed in place, so they cannot be adjusted for stability or to avoid contact with latches, lights, or areas that may not be suited to supporting the 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 can hold 2 bikes with a max weight limit of 75 lbs. It holds bikes by making direct contact with the frame which is not ideal for carrying full suspension bikes or bikes with funky 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
This bike rack 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 model is ready for use.
This model has no security features to secure the rack to the vehicle or the bicycles on the rack.
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.
Despite the lack of versatility, the Allen Deluxe 2 is a good value, 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 Pro 2, or the Kuat Highline.
The Allen Deluxe 2 is one of the cheapest racks on the market. The trunk mount design with fixed bike mounting supports limits its ability to carry full suspension bikes. Frankly, we would only recommend this rack to the occasional user with inexpensive bikes.