My long running search for the perfect bike rack ended last month when I received exactly that from 1 UP USA. American made by a small company in Wisconsin. All-aluminum construction with none of the easily breakable plastic parts used by most manufacturers. This review is specific to the roof tray version, but I’ll touch upon the hitch-mount product that I later ordered.
Unlike most bike racks that take hours to assemble, the 1 UP USA products come ready to install right out of the box. You simply set the tray on your crossbars and tighten the clamps. It took me just a few minutes for initial installation and about the same for subsequent removal and re-installation.
Getting a bike on top of my Tundra’s topper is quite difficult with any other bike rack. Even my wife’s old Honda Pilot saw me dropping the bike on several occasions because of the difficult arm attachment and wheel ratchet strap design employed by most roof racks. With the 1 UP USA roof tray, I simply spread each of the arms, bring the bike onto the tray from the rear while standing on the tailgate, and then tighten the arms into a secure position. This genius approach takes me less than a minute to mount the bike myself with no assistance! Lower height vehicles are even easier bringing the bike in from the side.
The bikes travel extremely well on the 1 UP USA roof tray. As shown above, you bring the arms together to hold the bike down and create opposite pressure on the front and rear tire/wheel to hold everything securely in place. This picture was taken after several miles driving down an extremely rough 4×4 jeep road in the Colorado backcountry.
If you look at the front wheel of the black bike, you’ll see 1 UP’s optional wheel lock. Install one on the front and another on the rear wheel for extra security when leaving the bikes and vehicle unattended. The tray itself utilizes a proprietary wrench and bolt system shown in the close-up photo above that makes it very difficult for anyone but another 1 UP USA roof tray owner to remove.
The thing I enjoy most about this roof rack is not having to deal with the bikes until we are ready to ride. In the past, we stuffed everything inside the truck, which was inconvenient when getting all the other camping items out. Even a roof rack on the popup camper is a pain because you must unload the bikes before popping up.
I like the 1 UP roof tray so much that I am also ordering the hitch mount version for my other vehicle. Like the roof tray, it comes ready to install right out of the box with “Made in America” all-aluminum construction and a liberal warranty. 1 UP USA products aren’t cheap, but as my grandfather used to say, this product will last me the “rest of my days.” Additional information is available on 1 UP’s website, including testimonials from other owners.
To prevent any vehicle or bike damage from forgetting about the extra clearance required, install a simple “Look Up Dummy” static cling sticker to your windshield when transporting.