Well I just picked up the 1 Up USA hitch mounted bike rack. Don't let the geocities style web site fool you. ( this is a dead joke as they revamped their web page ). These guys don't need to market like Thule or Yakima ( my previous rack brand ) they have a killer product a solid patent (s) and a inherent knowledge of what mountain bikers need to haul bikes to trail heads all over North America. I ordered the rack on a Friday afternoon had a tracking number by the end of the day and the rack arrived 3 business days later. They offer free shipping if your in the US and they do ship to Canada ( they actually offered to reduce the shipping fee to compensate for the duties / brokerage ).
There is a small upcharge for the black rack of $50 per piece ( additional $ 100 for the 2 bike rack ) and this and the overall price seems to be the biggest complaint reviewers have but if you have a few thousand invested in your bike (s) it seems to be a non issue to me.
The main reason I switched is because I got tired of taking the rack on and off for track days with the car on non riding ones. This rack also has rave reviews. 4.9 I believe on mtbr.com. The second reason is the fact most of the forks now are through axles so now the wheels stay on during transport. Getting the bike off the roof and behind the car is also probably going to be noticeable at the pumps this summer.
The 2011 Subaru Impreza WRX STI does not have a factory hitch option so you have a few choices if this applies to you. The Forester and the Curt. I opted for the Forester due to the strength of the design. The max you can do for bikes with the 1 Up is 3 ( same as the roof route ) and you free up the hatch by not having three 29" wheels back there. The Forester hitch came with a wiring harness but this is all I will be hauling so no need for reverse and additional brake lights. You have excellent rear light visibility as these sit right in the middle of the bike wheels so unless your running a Tioga Disc Wheel your good to go :) The license plate is also in the middle of the front triangle so with no water bottles I am hoping I get no aggro for plate obstruction. I don't think even with 2 bikes / trays I will get a 407 pass though...wishful thinking.
Cris at Barrie Subaru was the go-to guy for getting this install sorted out. If you have a STI or WRX I would suggest calling them they made sure all of the questions I had got answered and their install of the hitch was flawless.
You can't help but be impressed with the quality and workmanship that went into this rack and a further review will follow in a few weeks although I can't think of what I can possibly add to this. It does whats it's supposed to do period......A friend saw it and commented that it looks like it comes from the lineage of the golden age of cnc'd bike parts, Grafton, Pauls, Machine Tech, Ringle etc.
Update: Used the rack this past weekend and the only thing I need to do at this point is sort out a lock for the bikes. You don't need to lock the rack to the hitch as 1 Up as they offer a lifetime theft replacement guarantee for their product but you do need to lock the bikes. I have a few options.
1. Run a chain / mini U lock through frame and either affix to the rack or secure through the unused hitch cover hole ( see # 2 or 3 pic below ). Planet Bike has a good fit for this.
2. Run a reciever lock or hitch stop lock from either Yakima or Thule through the un used holes in the arms ( see pic # 8 below ) you would only need 2 really for a 2 bike set up. 1 through each bikes rear wheel via the empty slot hole (s) on the 1 Up arm.
I think option 2 might be better as you probably would not want to drive around with the 10 pound bike chain attached so you'd have to remember to secure it when leaving the bikes on the car unattended. I saw this option on the 1 Up's web page on the Orbea carbon time trial road bike picture.
|What's in the box - Single base tray|
|Forester trailer hitch on 2011 Subaru STI|
|Very nice install, looks likes a factory option. This takes a few hours to install.|
|Plastic cap and security hole in metal cover|
|Rack comes completely assembled. Just unfold and your set.|
|Security hex key that locks the rack in hitch. I UP offers a lifetime theft replacement.|
|Single bike rack mounted in hitch. The red lever is what opens the wheel braces|
|Blue levers open and lock the wheel trays|
|Ball joint that secures the rack in the hitch. I UP ships these with a 2 " adapter as well.|
|On car view from above. Not one piece of plastic anywhere on this rack|
|Close Up of Blue Tray Locking Levers|
|There are 3 slots for rack angles. This is adjusted with a bar / spring tab|
|Side clearance shot. Rack will eventually be mounted 1.5 " out from pictured so it clears muffler.|
|See above, it goes through and touches muffler so you only need 2 ' depth so lots of wiggle room|
|Folded up it does not touch bumper at all and as noted above will be mounted properly|
|The tape marker is how much of the rack is inserted in the hitch to sit flush on the back end|
|Folded down so the hatch can be opened when bikes are mounted|
|See above caption note|
|Security hex key insert location, takes literally 4 min to install on and off car|
|2 Tray Set Up in the folded position|
|Niner MCR 9 Hitched Up ( 2.2 rear 2.4 front x 29" )|
|Sight lines are very good, no real obstructions|
|Bike Folded Down for Hatch Access|
|Side Shot - Lot's of Clearance|
This video was one of the key factors in me deciding on this rack ( his others show how you would get the second tray installed ) so I thought I would embed it here for others to see as well. I kept watching it saying " that can't be that easy ". It is....