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Hitch Rack Shootout – The Final Showdown

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1 Up USA

Here’s the moment that we’ve all been waiting for….the Hitch Rack Shootout – by the numbers! First we’ll see how our 4 testers rated eack rack for quality of Construction.

qualityof const

Looks like the 1 Up wins this category, but the yakima held up pretty well against the more expensive Saris. Next up is Stability with 2 Bikes Loaded.

stability

The Kuat NV won this category by one point over the 1 Up USA and the Yakima beat the more expensive Saris! The next category is Overall Bike Loading and Unloading.

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Saris Freedom Superclamp 2

bikeloadingoa

We have a 3 way tie with the 1 Up USA, Saris and Kuat totaling 31 points each with another solid showing for the Yakima Two Timer at 26. The next chart shows how each rack loaded, either 4″, 5″ or 1-2″ bikes.

bike loadin 452

The Kuat wins the 1-2″ catagory – The 1 Up USA wins both the 4 & 5″ Cataegories. I was surprised to see how close the score were. Next up we look at security and there’s a clear winner in that category.

security

Kuat is the clear winner in the security department, The integrated cable lock along with the hitch pin lock put it ahead of the Saris with a nice second place for security. Our last cataegory is Overall ease of operation.

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Yakima Two Timer

overall ease

n101-a-armsupIn our final category the Kuat edged out the 1 Up by just one point.

So which rack is the best? I think it depends on what kind of bikes that you’ll be transporting. The Kuat takes the prize if you have road or cross bikes that you want to carry in addition to fat-bikes. The 1 Up USA has a slight edge as the best pure fat-bike rack. If Security is a high priority, then the Kuat again shines brightest. The rack that is the best value, may well be the Yakima Two Timer or maybe a better description might be best fat rack on a budget. My choice would be driven by the fact that I have carbon wheels on my fatback, so I would pick the 1 up over the Kuat, because of the strap bolt on the kuat, but I bet Julio would choose a Kuat if he had to do it all over again. It’s so close that both the 1 Up and the Kuat are in a virtual tie for best rack of the shootout. With that being said, the Kuat is less expensive than the 1Up, so if you make that the tie breaker, the Kuat wins.

Let us know what you gather from all of this data. If you’ve been following along with all of this, which rack would you purchase?

 

 

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5 Responses to Hitch Rack Shootout – The Final Showdown

  1. Patrick September 29, 2015 at 8:41 am #

    Great write up, would be interested to see how these hold up after a couple winters of salt brine.
    I know that the Saris and 1UP racks are made in Wisconsin, but do you know where Kuat and Yakima racks are made these days?

    • Burke October 14, 2015 at 9:10 am #

      That’s a great point. Both Yakima and Kuat’s racks are made in China. I am not sure what their testing procedure’s are but you can’t get too much more salt and grime than you can testing in Wisconsin.

  2. Frank December 29, 2015 at 9:32 am #

    I’m a little suspect of the kuat ratings for the 5″ tires. Maybe just loading them but, but I doubt they’d want to drive anywhere with them without strapping down the front wheel in some way.

    I enjoy the kuat enough for other bikes, cross and mtb is fine. And locking up after cross races is great. But now I have a fat caad 1 with lefty so it would have to sit on the outside of the rack with fiancé’s fitting easier inside the Mazda 5. Plus, the kuat arm can rub the fork on cross bikes (took my plasti dip off the fork on a 600 mile drive).

    Since our bikes fit pretty easily inside the vehicle, I’m leaning toward 1up for short trips and inside for longer drives. I don’t want to have to take the front wheel off for a 30 minute drive to ride.

  3. Dave Reed September 20, 2016 at 11:55 am #

    What about the Thule T2 Pro? I’d imagine it would be the winner of these as it is fatbike compatible right out of the box and is one of the easiest to use racks I’ve come across.

    • Gomez September 20, 2016 at 1:55 pm #

      We’re currently testing the Thule.