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Old 04-01-2016, 04:13 PM   #1
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Looking for a good bike rack under $200

I know that there have been several threads on here about bike racks, and lots of folks are willing to spend mega-bucks on a bike rack (such as the 1-UP, etc).

But for cheap folks like myself, are the any good racks for $200 or (preferably) less that you would consider using on the back of your trailer?

We will be carrying 2 bikes. Mine is a Schwinn single speed cruiser type bike, and Teresa's is an Electra Townie 21 speed. So not cheap bikes, but not super expensive either.

Thanks for any and all feedback.
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Old 04-01-2016, 04:33 PM   #2
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Greg, the problems with cheaper racks are many.

Most of them just bounce way too much, especially on a trailer. I had a Swagman that cost more than what you are looking for, and thought it was quite tough, that is until a buddy following me on a trip told me it was bouncing around like crazy.

Most of the cheaper ones grab the bike by the frame, instead of the tires. This can cause damage to the finish, or even the frame on carbon fibre bikes.

Plus, they are often not that easy to use.

Others will likely have come to a different conclusion. I just know I have had the 1-Up for we over a year now, and just love the thing. It is WAY faster to install, and load bikes on than any other I have used, PLUS it is rock solid, one great piece of workmanship.
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Old 04-01-2016, 04:40 PM   #3
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I've never owned a bike rack before, and had no idea that good ones were so darned expensive. Maybe it's just my initial sticker shock, and I'll move past it and invest in a good one at some point. I was just hoping that maybe someone had some good experiences with some of the others. But perhaps not. Thanks for your feedback Jim as always.
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Old 04-01-2016, 04:42 PM   #4
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Have to agree; we've tried 2 Swagman(almost lost a bike with one) and a V-shape one you hang your rims on. All three were horrible. 1UP will cost more, but will remind you each time you use it that you certainly got what you paid for
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Old 04-01-2016, 04:44 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GregandTeresa View Post
I was just hoping that maybe someone had some good experiences with some of the others. But perhaps not.
I know others have listed cheaper racks they did like, and I hope they will chime in.
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Old 04-01-2016, 04:44 PM   #6
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Have to agree; we've tried 2 Swagman(almost lost a bike with one) and a V-shape one you hang your rims on. All three were horrible. 1UP will cost more, but will remind you each time you use it that you certainly got what you paid for
Thanks, I should have mentioned, that is the kind of feedback I want too. Folks who have tried the cheaper ones and regretted it.
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Old 04-01-2016, 05:14 PM   #7
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I received the 2-bike 1up today-it is one of the best engineered products I've ever seen. It makes me kind of proud that the US can design and build something of this quality in these times. Even though it cost more than the bikes I'm carrying, I looked at it as a long term investment like the trailer itself. I can transfer it easily from my trailer to my truck, and loading and unloading the bikes takes seconds.

Some things seem like they cost too much money for no good reason. Even though this rack is expensive, you can tell why as soon as you see it and use it.
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Old 04-01-2016, 05:21 PM   #8
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I received the 2-bike 1up today-it is one of the best engineered products I've ever seen. It makes me kind of proud that the US can design and build something of this quality in these times. Even though it cost more than the bikes I'm carrying, I looked at it as a long term investment like the trailer itself. I can transfer it easily from my trailer to my truck, and loading and unloading the bikes takes seconds.

Some things seem like they cost too much money for no good reason. Even though this rack is expensive, you can tell why as soon as you see it and use it.
Yep. My sentiments exactly. Our 1Up has exceeded expectations.
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Old 04-01-2016, 06:20 PM   #9
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I've got an older 2 bike hanger style Thule, kind of an old Apex. I know it's not ideal but I'm not dropping another $500 on another rack unless I have issues. So far I have about 10K miles on the back of the Escape with this one without problems. It is certainly a bit of a hassle as I strap the bikes and the rack to the bumper and the spare.

If I didn't already own mine I'd spend the extra for one of the 1ups, it's not all that much more.
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Old 04-01-2016, 06:42 PM   #10
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I have this bike rack. This is from Canadian Tire Store, but something similar may be available in a US Store.

SportRack Crest 2 Platform Hitch Bike Carrier | Canadian Tire

The basic concept of the rack is good but does have some shortfalls.
It fits a 1 1/4" receiver but comes with a spacer that fits into a 2" receiver.

The connection is a somewhat loose fit and the rack tends to wobble. I solved the wobble by securing the top of the rack to the bumper/frame connection with 2 cargo straps tensioned to take out almost all the bounce.

The vertical bar that clamps onto the top tube of the bike does tend to rub the frame. Have lost the paint where it rubs the tube.
I solved this issue by wrapping a protective cover/wrap around the frame.

Another issued I had was that almost lost a bike once when the vertical support arm disconnected from the top tube of the bike. Rack was on the back of the vehicle at the time, not on the trailer. Not sure why, perhaps I didn't tighten it enough.
I have resolved this issue by wrapping a secure tie around where the vertical support arm and top tube of the bike connect which also holds the protective cover/wrap in place.

So yes, there are cheaper racks, but they seem to come with disadvantages, as compared to something like the 1Up.

That being said we have hauled our bikes everywhere we go on this rack for a number of years and have had some great bike rides.
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Old 04-01-2016, 10:25 PM   #11
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Thanks for all the feedback. You've definitely given me some things to think about
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Old 04-01-2016, 10:43 PM   #12
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This might be another way to go - I've had really good luck finding equipment on Craigslist. Way cheaper and often very lightly used. If you can afford the time to find exactly what you want, that option might work for you.
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Old 04-02-2016, 06:29 AM   #13
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Not sure how many remember, but a few years back when bike racks were being discussed, someone who was a brand new member, who had never posted before, and has not posted since, mentioned the 1UP rack here. Until then, it had never come up in bike rack discussions, nor had I even heard of it.

Bike Rack

I kinda thought this strange, but looked into it and liked what I saw. Nobody knew anything about them then, 2 years ago. But right after mentioning it I got a PM from a member here (sorry, forget who) who used the 4 rack version and had a double cartop one as well, and gave them great kudos.

So I bought one, and sure had a lot of folks checking it out at the rally that year. Thi is one of those purchases I have absolutely zero regrets making.

I think that now there is quite a few who owe this 'flew' fellow some thanks for his one and only post on the forum.
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Old 04-15-2016, 02:09 PM   #14
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I have used this model with success. It includes a bolt to tighten down the rack to minimize (eliminate?) rattling. I used that and some large velcro straps to hold the bikes down tight.

I like the peace of mind that the platform style racks offer, but this has worked well over a few thousand miles of road so far.

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Old 06-15-2016, 10:10 AM   #15
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Just wanted to post a little update. Since we don't have our camper yet and don't need to spend the money on a really good bike rack yet, I went on Craigslist and bought a used cheap hanging bike rack, just to use to transport our bikes from our house to a local state park for now. Let me state for the record that I never had any intention of using this rack on the back of the camper.

Having never used a bike rack before, I had no idea what to expect. The rack is heavy, it's hard to get the bikes on and off, and even on the back of my pathfinder, our bikes are going to get scratched up.

So this has only re-enforced the advice that I got here to buy a quality rack when we get the camper. So my intention now is go buy the 1UPUSA double bike rack when the time comes.

Thanks everyone for all of the advice. Sometimes I just have to actually experience something to overcome my natural cheapskate ways.
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Old 06-15-2016, 10:33 AM   #16
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Originally Posted by GregandTeresa View Post
The rack is heavy.......

So my intention now is go buy the 1UPUSA double bike rack when the time comes..
The 1UP rack is no lightweight slouch either. Sure it is aluminum, but is very solidly made, which brings the weight up.

That aside, it is so easy to mount, and put the bikes on, it makes its weight more than tolerable. I have been using mine for over two years now, and always marvel at the good engineering and quality build that make using it so simple and easy.
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Old 06-15-2016, 11:37 AM   #17
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Jim, Mr X single post guy was actually online a little while ago. I stalked him to his public profile
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Old 06-15-2016, 03:49 PM   #18
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We've never felt comfortable with bike racks of any kind. We now own folding bikes and they fold up and store in the trailer or truck bed or back seat or anywhere space allows.
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Old 06-15-2016, 03:54 PM   #19
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When I am ripping downhill on a single track, definitely not wanting a folding bike. I know there is a few with 26" wheels, but not any good ones I have seen.

For cruising campgrounds they can be fine though.

J Mac, if you were to try a 1UP, you would find your comfort zone.
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Old 06-15-2016, 04:14 PM   #20
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When I am ripping downhill on a single track, definitely not wanting a folding bike. I know there is a few with 26" wheels, but not any good ones I have seen.

For cruising campgrounds they can be fine though.

J Mac, if you were to try a 1UP, you would find your comfort zone.
I probably do less "ripping downhill on a single track" (what ever that means) than you Jim. The folding bikes of yesteryear have improved considerably since the add on of disc breaks, suspension and multi gears.
Have you heard, there's such a thing as colour TV now Jim. The programming is still the same tho.
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