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Review: My First Year with the 5-Bike 1Up Recon Rack

Jun 6, 2023
by Alicia Leggett  
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Ever since 1Up acquired Recon Racks, many have wondered what exactly would happen next. 1Up is a Wisconsin brand known for making quality products with little fanfare. Recon Racks was a Bellingham-based grassroots operation, making vertical-hang bike racks. While the acquisition hasn't exactly made Recon an oversized player, the hanging racks do benefit from having a little more development potential with a larger (but still small) company, and they serve as the first vertical rack designs from 1Up.

The Recon 5 I've been testing fits, as the name suggests, five bikes hanging vertically. Each front wheel sits in a metal basket at the top, with the rest of the bike hanging below and the rear wheel sitting in another small metal basket. The rack relies on webbing cam straps to hold the bikes in place: a strap is threaded through and around the rear rim, then looped up around the pedal and tightened.
1UP Recon Rack Details
• Carries either five of six bikes (depending on model)
• 24"-29" x 3" tire size compatible, additional options for kid or fat bikes
• Anti-wobble hitch
• Capacity: 45lbs per bike
• Rated for off-road use
• MSRP: $1,200 USD for Recon 5, $1,400 for Recon 6
• Available accessories include a cable lock, Rack Stash storage system
1up-usa.com


I've had this bike rack for a little over a year now. During that time, I've used it for all manner of moving bikes around both for utility and shuttling, even using it for the long drive that was part of moving two states over. I have not had any actual problems with it during that time period, and the rack doesn't show any wear and tear.

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PERFORMANCE

My biggest takeaway from using the Recon 5 over the last year is that it is very, very secure. The fact that the rack is rated for off-road use gives me an extra bit of confidence in the rack, and means that when I'm traveling somewhere rough and remote my biggest concern is for my mediocre-condition van, not my bike rack. The strap system adds to that feeling of security, because the loop around each bike's pedal pulls the bike downward into safety, meaning also that how tightly each bike is attached is dependent on how tightly the user decides to fasten the attachment.

One of my complaints - minor compared to the likelihood or unlikelihood of losing a prized bike - is that the rack includes a lot of moving parts. I like things fairly neat and tidy, and I'm partial to bike racks that stay in one piece when they don't have bikes on them. This one includes five cam straps that aren't connected to the rack, which I stored inside my vehicle. I've seen one of these racks around Bellingham with the straps all fastened vertically to the rack when not in use, so it's possible, but not intuitive, and I chose to put my cam straps securely in my van where I knew they'd stay safe.

I have a similar very minor complaint about the cable lock: there's no neat place to store it when not in use. I wrapped it around the rack and locked it in place, which I feel is a relatively elegant solution, but it still means I have a cable lock wrapped around my bike rack even when there's nothing that needs to be locked in place.

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Lots of moving parts.

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The rack can tilt back and allow trunk access.

The rack itself is quite heavy and unwieldy - as you might expect from this style of bike rack - so it's not easy to move and install. The Rack Stash storage system helps with this. The device is a metal storage piece that fits the 2" hitch and can be rolled (across flat ground, ideally pavement, I've discovered the hard way) to make it much easier to re-situate the rack. That means that the only actual lifting and lowering is the process of moving the rack up to the hitch receiver and back down, which feels plenty realistic.

The rack is compatible with 24"to 29" wheels using the standard wheel baskets, which will fit tires up to 3" wide, and baskets for kids' bikes and fat bikes are available, too. When ordering the racks, users must select what baskets they want in each position, so people are unlikely to end up with a bunch of extras, though the baskets of all sizes are available for purchase as extra, too.

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The storage device could also turn the rack into a garage bike storage system.

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Another minor complaint - I do want to specify that all my complaints are pretty small, since this rack does perform very well in general - is that it's designed for bikes with pedals on them. As someone who has done quite a bit of bike testing for work, I've often moved bikes around without pedals on them. It's fully possible to route a cam strap through the pedal attachment hole in the crank, but it's less of a tidy solution than when the bikes have pedals.

And while I'm mentioning the cam straps, I do appreciate that they're not specific to this product. Any cam straps that aren't terribly wide will work just fine, and I like that a lot. Although I didn't lose any of the original ones, it was reassuring that if I did lose some I'd be able to have the rack working again to its full potential within the day.

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Nice-looking details.



Pros

+ Very secure
+ Nice styling
+ Effective, keeps bikes from running each other
+ No frame or fork contact

Cons
- Heavy and unwieldy, though the Rack Stash helps
- Many moving parts
- Pricey
- Meant for bikes with pedals on them





Pinkbike's Take
bigquotesThe 1Up Recon rack works very well. I never had any doubts about its security, which gave me confidence to take it everywhere. The most noticeable negative piece is just how many moving parts there are, as it uses cam straps that aren't attached to the rack and a cable lock that has no good hideaway spot. It's also pricey, costing $1,200 for the five-bike version. Still, a little bit of untidiness and some extra money spent will be well worth it to many people looking for security. Alicia Leggett


Author Info:
alicialeggett avatar

Member since Jun 19, 2015
745 articles

175 Comments
  • 84 0
 This rack reminds me I need friends lol
  • 53 9
 riding with more than 2 other people, has exponentially decreasing enjoyment, every person you add to a ride. group rides are what I will be on forever in hell.....
  • 4 0
 Nah, without friends you get to drive around looking like you've got a radio antenna on the back of your car.
  • 15 0
 @Mtbdialed: Totally agree. For a couple years I would ride with 2-3 people. It was great fun. Then a 4th person came into the group, and a 5th. And more. They're all individually super cool people, fun to hang out with, fun to talk to. But for me it just killed the vibe of a small group of friends that had regularly scheduled rides.

Usually only a subset of the group shows up, but even that just isn't as fun. And when a larger group really does come, the chit-chatters chit-chat and slow things down, the guy who has to pee all the time pees all the time and slows things down, the lolly gagger in back slows things down, the guy who flats and never has tools slows things down. The whole endeavor just becomes more sitting around than riding.
  • 24 1
 @igxqrrl: One of my friends has a great rule of thumb - for every extra person on a ride add 20 minutes to the completion time. I've found that to be scarily accurate. Based on his name I'm going to call it "Clinton's Law".
  • 13 0
 No group ride is complete until that guy brings his dog that bites ankles
  • 3 1
 I love big group rides... but I self select for riders who show up on time and and are completely prepared to ride hard. Otherwise forget it. It's too much of a PITA.
  • 1 0
 How much is the rack stash
  • 17 29
flag Mtbdialed (Jun 6, 2023 at 8:58) (Below Threshold)
 @preston67: there is a different Clinton's Law, that goes: snitches commit suicide by shooting themselves in the back of the head, twice. Big Grin
  • 5 0
 @Mtbdialed: every time I ride with friends I'm reminded why I mostly ride alone ... my dogs are the best riding buddies ever, just gotta give them rests and keep them hydrated Smile
  • 3 0
 The only regular group rides I do are in the evenings and involve multiple pub stops.
  • 1 0
 @preston67: you just described sled skiing, but add an hour...
  • 13 7
 @Mtbdialed: why is it that on a Canadian based MTB forum we wanker Americans have to make everything political? Imagine if all these folks in here from other countries did the same thing with their local politics? You’d be sitting there saying “who gives a shit I came here for bikes?” Which is preciously what they are all doing when you make posts like this. Take your tin foil hat elsewhere.
  • 4 0
 @igxqrrl: I had to pee whilst reading this. Hold on.
  • 6 0
 @igxqrrl: you forgot " shows up last all the time" guy, who also needs to adjust his tire pressure and check his fork and shock pressures with the whole group standing there waiting...oh and add or remove a layer....oh and change to different sunglasses...oh and just take a quick call...Oh I think I forgot to lock my car.

4 is my limit, agree 2-3 best.
  • 1 0
 Anyone used the old bungees(on an older rack)and this new strap version? Bungees seem better. Mine haven’t ever let me down. What am I missing?
  • 1 0
 @preston67: Also know as fiddle factor five. factor in 5 minutes of fiddling per person per hour
  • 5 14
flag Mtbdialed (Jun 6, 2023 at 19:12) (Below Threshold)
 @Struggleteam: it's not political as much as it's making a f*cking joke, you miserable SOB. good lord. learn to laugh, and not get triggered by every single time someone lampoons another culture/country/whatever. it's all fun, and if you think I meant any ill will, that is a product of your own thought processes.

EDIT: holy f*ck, it's worse than I thought. you are bent out of shape because I made a reference to the dozens of close acquaintances of the Clinton's that have mYsTerIoUsLy died, in a joking manner? Are jokes about anything non-bike related Vorboten with you?....wait....CHELSEA!!! IS THAT YOU?????
  • 1 3
 @culine8750: wait....so by my mediocre math skills, that means as soon as the ride is 12 people, there will be no actual riding???


well.......that math actually checks out. lol
  • 3 1
 @preston67: I understood that the Clinton law was 'deny deny deny deny'
  • 1 0
 @txcx166: yes but I use monkey fingers bungee specifically, look them up, it’ll change your life. Hook one pedal then around the rack and grab a pedal from the bike next to it then tighten em up. 6 bikes with three monkey fingers. Also I have the fat tire baskets and will use a ski strap on the front tire if it’s a long or rough trip. Going on year 6 with my 6 up rekon over approx 30k miles. No exaggeration, 5 trips from Alaska to Arizona and several cross country from Arizona. Recon is the we only rack that fits almost every bike I’ve tried, even bmx.
  • 1 0
 @DizzyNinja: f that dog lol
  • 1 0
 @fabwizard: *Dr. Evil voice* One meeeeeeeeeelllion dollars! *evil laugh*
  • 1 0
 @therealnobody: I don't hate the dog
  • 2 0
 @Mtbdialed: Group rides where we're pedaling? Agreed. Shuttling? The more the merrier.
  • 1 0
 @OldschoolAK: I bought mine during the era of fat tires and wish my baskets weren’t the huge ones for that. I’ll have to try those tricks. I was gonna add pool noodles and tape over to take some play out and I also rubber band my brake levers on the rack and that helps with movement a lot too
  • 2 0
 @DizzyNinja: That must be the Australian Cattle Dog or “Heeler” as they’re called. Their herding instincts are very strong. Great dogs actually. Capable of running up to 40 miles a day. I have one and I have the bitten up shoes to prove it! He does like to run with the bike but he still tries to herd me around on it too.
  • 1 0
 @fattyheadshok: just don't call it a blue heeler hahahahahahahaha
  • 1 0
 @fattyheadshok: yea I love mine also!! He starts screaming when he sees the bike. Doesn’t nip and stays right at the peddle on the left, damn near pressing against me. Gets tough on the skinny’s.
  • 32 1
 Can we just pause for a moment to acknowledge that the price of the rack is nearly half the cost of that Safari that it's on?

I'm not sure if I'm highlighting the insane cost of bike racks or the lack of good used cars nowadays? Or the price inflation of everything? ... just imagine this 10 years ago...
  • 4 0
 All true but if you think about spending $200-300 per rack for other popular hitch or roof mounted options, you’re going north of $1k for five bikes anyway (if you can even fit that many).
  • 21 0
 Good luck finding a running, not falling apart Safari/Astro Van for less than $4k. Those things have a cult following, they're they poor mans sprinter van.
  • 4 0
 @everythingsucks: it truly is an awesome vehicle. Its always been an IYKYK kinda car and have always been hard to get people to part with.
  • 8 0
 Can we just pause for a moment to acknowledge economies of scale.
  • 5 0
 @everythingsucks: A Sprinter is a rich man's Safari/Astro
  • 3 1
 Yes, but it's made in the USA (for whatever the hell good that does)
  • 21 6
 The velocirax fixes all the problems with this rack for the same price
  • 5 7
 Agreed. I really wanted to buy a US or Canada made product for my rack but the Velociraxk checked all the boxes. And it can hold 7 bikes. It was a hard pill to a willow buying Chinese made over domestic but the rack itself is great.
  • 2 1
 Agree,Also RV compatible, which is more important then offloading imho, also damping system on VR superior to any other on the market.
  • 3 2
 Alta Racks is also an option
  • 2 1
 @wburnes: I've got a friend with one of those, and it seems to work fine, but just look a lot flimsier than a VR.
  • 6 1
 Except it's a complete rip-off of the recon rack. Rather support the original rather than a copy cat.
  • 1 1
 For me, the best options are 1up, tailgate pad, and Velocirax / Alta Racks, depending on your budget and needs.

www.youtube.com/watch?v=Pr46x4nuvBw
  • 1 0
 @bcatt: Cody sold his design.
  • 5 0
 @rx1ton: Well, yes he sold the whole company to 1Up. And man...is he happy not having to deal with all the asshats and total mouth breathing, whining, complaining, unreasonable and "it's not red" morons that buy a Velocirax rip off.

It's also hilarious that the copycat copied his OLD design, not the current one that 1UP now owns, helped him with in the background & now produces.
The new Recon fixes issues with the old one and the Velocirax folks will never what those issues are until their $10k moped is in distress. Beer

Take both off road. See what happens.
  • 2 0
 This comment sent me to Velocirax site and I ended up buying their 8 bike garage rack. You need to be more careful with what you post.
  • 1 0
 @ewingate: It's OK. You'll be like a Tesla owner...raving about your thing to look at.
  • 1 0
 @bcatt: Recon wasn't the first rack this style, he copied somebody else too.
  • 1 0
 @bcatt: Ummm Cody sold his business to them, So this is now what was Recon!
  • 13 1
 Over the years I’ve just landed on that no rack is perfect, you’re always making some kind of compromise. I just keep coming back to my NSR-6. Going strong after all these years, simple design and bullletproof.
  • 2 0
 8 years in on mine and still as strong as the day I bought it. I might have it refinished since some of the coating has worn away after keeping it on through a few NE winters but will last forever given the simplicity of design and materials used. Just replace the tips and ties when they get worn out. Super cheap parts and easy installation.
  • 1 0
 Have you had trouble getting some bikes on there? We were unable to get a TR11 on a NSR and would imagine other dual crown bikes would face similar issues. I like the fact that the head tube is not touched in these racks that hold it by the front wheel but I love the compactness of the NSR.
  • 6 3
 I've got some concerns about fork and bushing wear with these front tire hanging racks. That's a lot of bouncing and jarring on the fork in a way that it's not designed for. If you're shuttling or going on a road trip your doing thousands of km driving with that force on the front fork it can't be good.
  • 3 0
 @azinwood: Dual drown bikes can be a little weird...just mess with the hooks for certain bikes making them a bit wider and remember that to be your hook for the TR11. I've been carting DH bikes on mine for 10+ years.
  • 2 1
 @schili: NSR mounts by the crown not the wheel. Hard to believe the weight of the wheel would cause issues...the OneUps on the other hand perhaps...Frankly the LoLo one is most sketch IMO mounted by the handlebar then using force taht is the equivalent of pulling up on your bars.
  • 4 1
 NSR FTW! The weight of the rack itself is a win. The others are so heavy which makes taking it on/off a pain.
  • 1 0
 I guess if you ride with people who routinely have their stems come off their bikes and who also refuse to keep their headset preload top caps on their forks. I know exactly 0 people who would fall into this group. Regardless the maximum force you can get on the bars with a LoLo even over a big drop on the vehicle is lower than many riders can output pulling up over ledges while riding. We have used the LoLo on all terrain with 4-6 bikes (no e-bikes) with 0 issues.

I have seen bikes fall off of racks with that hold the wheels up though due to people not having their axles full fastened, which is of course 100% operator error and not the rack......
  • 2 0
 @stom5: and the NRS rack folds up really small and tight against the back of the vehicle, so there is almost no need to ever take it off. My NSR rack has been on the back of my jeep for 3 years straight and I can easily park in the garage at home, parallel park on city streets, parking garage at work, etc.
  • 8 1
 @azinwood: The TR11 definetly has a large headtube and was actually one of the bikes we took into consideration when updating our latest lineup to work great with all DH and E-bikes.
  • 1 0
 @NorthShoreRacks: Great to know, thanks for the info!
  • 11 0
 NSR6 still the standard in simplicity of design, function, and reliability.
  • 7 0
 I think all 5 bike racks are heavy and unwieldy. I think this is par for the course and if you want lighter you should probably got with a modular tray system that you can add trays to if needed but keep light when you aren’t riding with friends.

I would love to know how the one up’s weight compares to other 5 bike vertical racks and against four tray systems.
  • 1 0
 I had that rack for 1 trip and the main vertical support bent outward 1.5". One up has a great return and warranty policy. They refunded my purchase.
  • 3 0
 I'd love to see one of the rack companies use the Saris Superclamp as inspiration to make a modular design (2+2 or 2+3). The key with that rack was that two bikes shared one horizontal support beam, instead of a separate beam for each bike. It meant that the rack was a lot lighter. At the time I was shopping for racks about 5 years ago, I think it was a good 40+ lbs lighter than the equivalent Thule or Yakima 4-bike rack.
  • 2 0
 @big-red: I love my Superclamp. I have a 2-bike model, and it's so neat & compact. added bonus - I can open the hatch of my Crosstrek even with the rack folded up. And it is light enough that my wife takes ot on and off herself.

Saris went bankrupt at the end of last year, and was bought by another company - I hope that they keep making/supporting the racks!
  • 1 0
 @FatTonyNJ: Yup. If you need to move a lot of bikes, but also need/want to have a car without a bike rack installed full-time, it's easily the best option IMO. Light and easy to tuck away in a small corner when not in use.
  • 1 0
 I’m not an engineer but the tray racks have the weight of the bikes cantilevered way out, the force on the hitch must be tremendously stressful.
  • 10 0
 Hell, I don’t have 2 friends that I would want to ride with.
  • 1 0
 Me & you are similar. We should say we're gonna ride together to be courteous but with the intention of just going when we feel like.

We don't have to wait on each other or listen to each other yammer the whole freaking time that way.
  • 7 0
 Been using a 6 bike lolo rack for a few years. Love it. Made in Portland, USA. Sits a lot closer to the car too so more compact.
  • 3 0
 My Lolo has been great for a the 1.5 yrs I have had it, super solid construction. Without the baskets it is lighter and easier to handle. Also can hang in garage or shed wall with just simple hooks - no special mount needed.
Does work best with 4 full size Mtn bikes with flat bars but I have been able to get to kids bikes with bmx bars to work and also wider gravel drop bars (though on my 4 bike rack can only get 2 drop bar bikes or 2 flat bar and 1 drop bar)
  • 5 0
 Only downside of Lolo is that it contacts the bike on the bars and over time causes wear on the bars. I have little grooves on my aluminum bars where they sit in the Lolo rack's cradle. I put transparent tape on my bars where they contact the rack's cradle to prevent this.
  • 1 0
 @absentminded: I have experienced the same scruffs. Figure if going to get rack rash the handlebar is the place and worth it to me for the weight savings over the racks with wheel baskets as I am constantly taking the Lolo on and off the truck
  • 9 5
 Such a 5 bike rack I imagine would never be allowed by law in EU, because :
- with 5 bikes weighing about 100kgs at least including rack it is too heavy for any normal car AFAIK (80kgs is normal load on a hook)
- fully loaded the taillights and the plate are invisible, a no-go over here
- I guess the handling of any car, even a VW bus, would be really dangerous at 130 km/h up

Testing such bike racks over here includes a slalom test track and braking from 100km/h at least.
I don't want to imagine what happens with this kind of rack when doing this fully loaded.
  • 9 0
 You sound right, but no

Buy yours, made in spain

mrtbikes.com/portabicis-vertical-bikes
  • 8 5
 ...and who says a nanny state is bad?


as an aside, most of these racks in the US and CAN, go on full size trucks(which you don't have in the EU) or sprinter vans. so even a couple hundred Kg on the receiver(a 2" square stock, welded apparatus that is bolted or welded to the frame of the vehicle, not like the "donkey dick" thing you see on cars in the UK and EU. lol) is not a lot. these mounts are made to tow 20,000lbs or more.
  • 1 0
 @downhiller900sl:
Ah great! It says it comes with extra taillights, and the weight of the rack for 4+ bikes is 36kgs - so with a max load of e.g. 80kgs on the hook you may carry 44kgs of bikes.
That would be about 9kgs/bike with 5 bikes.
Great solution for roadbikes.
Big Grin
  • 1 0
 www.atera.de/dl-3.html
this one works well on my Van and I hope it´s legal...
  • 4 0
 This is one of the most German things I’ve ever read, and I studied German language and literature at Ludwig-Maximilian-Üniversität in Munich.
  • 3 0
 @Mtbdialed: We do have the Unimog!
  • 4 0
 I stay with the normal Thule Towbar bike rack, the vertical version would produce way to much drag when driving 200km/h to the alps for a weekend trip...
  • 4 0
 @TheR: well it's funny how in the US one may sue everyone if he likes to for the simplest reason ("objects in the mirror.."), but you may drive around with an Astro Van that failed the iihs crash test in the 90s and you may modify it with a small block C3 and a lift kit as you like.
Or fit a bike rack that weighs with 5 enduro bikes about 250lbs while it may only have a load of 150lbs allowed on the hook.

Just that good old "who cares" thinking - as long as it doesn't fall off when trying the quarter mile lol .
  • 1 0
 I have an older Rav4 that I tow a sled (snowmobile) trailer with. the car is rated to tow 1600pounds and handles the trailer and sled just fine. I also have a 4 bike north shore rack. the few times I have had 4 bikes on the rack, and 4 people in the car, I want air bags for the rear suspension. all that weight way behind the rear axle is an issue for smaller vehicles.
  • 2 0
 @Chridel: If I had a Mog, I would never stop to ride my bike! lol
  • 1 0
 I've noticed quite a few pro riders on the continent have imported Yakima racks.
There's also a guy on the French side of the Pyrenees building vertical racks (Ex'Pyr) so there's definitely a demand for these in Europe, legal or not.
  • 5 0
 @cxfahrer: Another funny thing … I knew you weren’t Bavarian before checking your profile. Something like this could only come from a “Preuss,” as my friends in Munich would say. The only thing missing is a stern lecture about walking against a red light.

Ha! All in good fun, friend. I love Germany and my Germans. We all have things that make us what we are.
  • 1 0
 @cxfahrer: yeah that's kinda the way we roll over here. It's a lot of fun, you should try it!
  • 2 0
 @cxfahrer: A class II hitch with a 2" square (like the rack requires) is usually 525# tongue weight and a car with a Class II hitch is a capable of a minimum of 300# tongue weight . Class III (2" square) is 800# tongue weight minimum.

not sure where you're getting 80kg or 150# or any of those numbers.
  • 1 0
 Haha understandable
  • 2 1
 @JoeDick: On a Sienna, the 5 place Recon would make the steering awfully light with anything more than 3 mountain bikes on it. It's not just the weight - it's the leverage, because of how far back the weight is from the rear axle. Air bags made that better; not great, but better.
  • 1 0
 @downhiller900sl: Now that's a nice rack!
  • 3 0
 @TheR: I‘m from bavaria, that’s close to Germany ;-)
  • 2 0
 @michaelheinrich: Yes, but sometimes worlds apart in terms of mentality.
  • 1 0
 @gaberoc: hes German. if you have been to the EU or UK and seen the hitches they deal with, you wouldn't want to put more than 200lbs on one either. lol. They simply do not have anything remotely as robust as even a class I reciever, until you get into commercial vehicles.
  • 5 1
 Has anyone had any issues with this style of racks causing premature wear on their fork bushings? With the weight of their bike hanging from the fork, there's probably a lot of force going through the fork bushings, especially when driving on a bumpy road. Is it more than the typical fore/aft forces you see on a trail...maybe?. The alternative would be something like a North Shore rack.
  • 9 4
 Just go with a NSR. They are bullet proof and no fumbling with the ratchet strap nonsense.
  • 20 1
 opposed to bashing down a double black trail with a 200lb rider on it?
  • 2 2
 @wolftwenty1: they hold the bikes a little too close and some bikes don’t fit (trek session, YT tues, and most evils,) anything with a 56 headset really gets hard to fit. Granted they are a LOT cheeper but they only hold mtb forks
  • 5 2
 @zachblair: Bashing down a double black trail is telescoping the fork as it was literally designed to do.
  • 2 0
 Been using mine for several years and have not noticed any issues with premature wear on the bushings, nor has any shop that serviced the forks mentioned that. For reference I use mine 3-4 times a week to carry bikes.
  • 3 0
 No man, the weight of a bike is pittance compared to the force on stantions or bushings from a small huck. The only thing to worry about with this rack is rubbing frames.
  • 1 0
 Since the fork is not moving while on the rack you will not encounter any bushing wear. The only way the bushings could get damaged on the rack is if the yield strength of the bushing polymer was exceeded, which it never will be unless you huck your car off a roof or race the Baja 1000 flat out or something.
  • 5 1
 I'm with you on this. It can't be good for the forks. Probably no big deal if you're just driving to the local trailhead, but with lot's of offroad shuttling, or long road trips I'd go with a NSR every day. Putting hours and hours of stress in the direction a fork isn't designed for can't be good.
  • 5 0
 @schili: I have almost 100,000 miles on a recon rack with bikes I’ve had for that entire durations Fox 36, Fox 49, Fox 40, EXT Era, Rockshock Pike DJ, Rockshock Pike, Rockshock pike select….. all with zero issues from the rack. It doesn’t stress them or move like people think. I also live full time on the road with my wife and we usually are camped on a dirt road and also go ride 7 days a week. Shuttle a crap ton too. I’d say they are doing fine
  • 2 0
 @schili: when you land, especially when it’s a huck to flat, the force from the impact tries to bend the fork forwards so it’s definitely a direction the fork is able to handle load in. This rack is not going to damage your fork. The only thing they have been known to do in the past is scuff up tires pretty bad. Not sure how the new one is with that though.
  • 2 0
 @wolftwenty1: had an NSR on a Toyota Highlander which worked fine until I started buying 29ers. It then bottomed out on every curb or speed bump. That's a really common car/bike combo so I can be the only one having problems. Its also hard to believe they've just sat there and watched all these other companies eat their lunch. Have a velocirax now and couldn't be happier.
  • 1 0
 @taquitos: No doubt they can take abuse in that direction, but I'm just apprehensive of putting hundreds of extra hours of movement on them when there are alternatives.
  • 1 0
 @schili: the fork doesn’t move when they are hanging there. Everything is too locked down and the forces act in the wrong direction.
  • 4 1
 @Super7: As bikes have evolved over the years, we have come out with updates to our rack design, including added height to accomodate larger wheel bases. For the outlier situations with XXXXL bikes on vehciles with low hitches, we also have Extra Long Lower Masts available through our website seperately.
  • 1 2
 @NorthShoreRacks: My family has 1 large, 3 med and 1 small 29er. We tried a hitch extension which elevated the rack. This solved the bottom out on speed bump problem but 3/5 people in our house couldn't reach to hang bikes. It's fair to say we gave it a college try and were happy with the rack for many years. Sorry to state the obvious but look around the Sea to Sky corridor. You guys had 90% of the market and now have maybe 20%.
  • 6 3
 Just bought a Velocirax 6 bike rack, metal quality is second to none. I paid around $1200, came with the hitch lock, wall hanging mount and all the hardware is grade 6 and above. It also has a hitch tensioning system that doesn't allow any movement in the hitch. I haven't seen another rack that has that. There are gas struts to take the weight off the rack when you have bikes attached - amazing.
  • 4 1
 So you wanna carry a bunch of bikes, on a rack, and you have friends Wink

Here's a non commercial reality list of pros and cons for hanging racks:

Cons:
- Bike bounce, all hanging racks bounce, but it's much worse for racks that hang the bike from the wheel
- Weight, yeah, these racks weigh a bunch, esp racks that are overbuilt or look overbuilt
- Cost, goes with the territory, seems like we're paying by the bike ...

Pros:
- More bikes per shuttle
- Looking cool in your Tacoma with a big bro rack
- Carries bike securely and places them up high

Caveats:
- You can lose bikes off a hanging rack if you hit a solid bump, this happened to me when I was using the pre-1Up version of this rack ... I sold that rack and bought a Velocirax which is a far better rack.

For the biggest bang for your buck, I'd get a Northshore 4 or the 1Up tray rack; I have both of these now.
  • 4 1
 NSR is hard to beat. Of course if you are hauling gravel bikes its a poor choice (although they now have an adaptor). I have had an NSR for seven years now and use it all the time. I have had a wide variety of racks and still have a couple different ones, The NSR rack is so simple, durable and secure nothing else I have had compares. It can be a pain for small people to load, which is worth thinking about if you are expecting a smaller person to use it. The other thing about the NSR is that it gets ugly after a couple winters, which people who are concerned about their car and bike looking really attractive may not like. Mine has 2-3 nothern (and 4 VI winters) Manitoba winters and looks ugly even after going after it with a wire brush and spray paint this year (but my vehicles are also ugly and old just like me). Its also ubiquitous in the trailhead parking (and at the grocery store ) on Vancouver Island so its not exactly a way to show everyone you are part of the cycling elite anymore (which is clearly a factor) .
I am actually writing this in case anyone is actually reading this review and comments who is trying to decide on what a rack will carry your mountain bikes securely in rough conditions for a reasonable price. All the other decent racks cost more and have their own strengths and weaknesses, people are saying Hoho racks this and FMe racks that, but realistically unless you are into consumer adventures or just want to spend more, NSR.
  • 3 1
 Northshore is an awesome rack. One overlooked feature is that it folds down to almost nothing, so you can leave it on your vehicle all the time and still fit in the garage.

As for non-mountain bikes, I’ve yet to encounter a bike the NSR won’t carry by just flipping the bike around and putting the handlebar thru the fork crown mount doohickeys
  • 3 0
 @boopiejones absolutely right, I'm pretty positive the NSR is the most compact and lightest way to carry 4+ bikes. Everything else is 20-40 pounds heavier and takes up WAY more room.

If you constantly take on & off your rack, a folding North Shore rack is a great option.
  • 5 1
 With the exception of weight most likely, haha.
That said, I freakin’ love my velocirax. So easy to load, super stable, durable, functional.
  • 1 0
 Oops, meant this as a reply to another comment.
  • 2 0
 I recently saw a Khyber Rack on the back of someone's truck. Looks like a much nicer build than the Recon. Would be nice to see a review comparing Khyber, Velocirax, Recon, North Shore, Lolo, etc. I think a Khyber will definitely be my next rack purchase though, the stainless steel is an awesome feature.
  • 3 0
 I was a die hard NSR 6x fan for a decade and only had to give it up because of all the latest ginormous head tubes on bikes mixed with dual crown forks and/or large/tall/fat single crowns. As I can't always predict what kind of bike/fork will be showing up to go on it, with the NSR for years I had to carry a pipe to leverage bend the prongs to fit the bikes. It wasn't hard but it adds to the load up pack out time. Also being mine was on the back of a very flat rear van, the rack had to ride with bikes in a tilted out angle to clear the front wheels which with any rack will add to the bike bounce and steering influence to the vehicle.

The Khyber (6x) was crazy expensive by a large margin and is super heavy but is smartly designed, functional, and 100% rebuildable in a bolt together platform. If I were to design a rack in a ridiculously overbuilt way with no compromise to hold 6 or 7 big bikes, go to a machine shop and have them fab it up, not sure how I could make it better. I had a shop I parked near once look at mine and ask what I paid and they said to make that here in the USA it would be three times the cost with the quality of materials and thicknesses. There has not been one MTB bike of any size or fork that has not fit on it, load out is the fastest it's ever been, and the rack is as snug up to the rear as a rack can get.

I still stoke people out on the NSR brand when they are looking for a solid and affordable 5-6 bike rack and the bikes they bring are mostly their own, but I could not be happier now for my use case. I even sold my 6x NSR decade old rack (helping me finance my new rack) to a large bike riding family that loves it and should get another decade out of it. At its worst just send it out for a fresh blast and powder coating.
  • 2 0
 The biggest problem with any rack this style is access to the rear of your vehicle. I have a Velocirax and I couldn't drop the tailgate on my Tacoma. Now I can't access the rear of my van unless I unload all of the bikes and lower the rack all the way to the ground. So I had to spend $830 on a Wilco Swing-Away hitch. Then I found out that the hitch receiver on the swing arm wasn't deep enough, so I had to cut off my velocirax and weld it directly into the hitch.

It works, but man. What an adventure.
  • 2 0
 I have a recon rack I bought just before they sold to 1up. Yes, it’s a beast but boy does it work well! It’s solid. Bikes ride up high and safe. No chafe. Rack works well as storage in garage. Thrilled with it and love the made in US story with no plastic or other complex parts to fail. Ideal world is having this larger rack for group/family trips and a smaller 2 bike hitch rack for when just solo or 2 bikes.
I 100% recommend this 1up recon rack and have been extremely pleased with it.
  • 2 0
 I had the 2nd version of the R-5 and purchased from Recon before they sold to 1-up. The build on v2 was simpler than this iteration. It was an awesome rack and helped create many awesome memories riding with friends in the Santa Cruz Mountains and around Lake Tahoe. I have since sold it as life dictates other priorities.
  • 8 4
 Utterly useless review for Europeans, but I've read the whole thing because Alicia is back!!!!
  • 2 0
 SHE IS BACK, SHE IS BACK, SHE IS BACKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKk obviously i hope she doesnt overdo her come back, but we are still pretty happy to see her doing her thing. P.S. the pinkies are rooting for ya
  • 2 1
 Buying a LoLo last year was the best bike rack purchase for the family by far.

The LoLo sits close to your vehicle frame,and by holding by the bars your bikes and the rack is far more secure (compared to the other 4+ bike racks like Yakima's lolo clone, velocirackter, or these 1up's) the level of sway of those racks is much higher, you don't have to lift the bikes as high to load, etc.

Add on that LoLo are made and assembled in the US with US sourced steel and most parts, and is owned an operated by actual mountain bikers.... no brainer
  • 2 3
 Issue with that one is the mounting and force literally being on pulling your stem off your bike in a direction its not meant to go...
  • 2 0
 The best part about Lolo is their ultra-awesome swingout. It's a godsend, fully integrated and burly. I can pull up in camper, swingout the rack with 6 bikes on it (4 MTB, 2 BMX...kids stuff too) and load up at a grocery store and go. Then when camping, it's swung-out of the way and locked down with a massive Pewag chain for ultra security. Not more wrangle to lockup bikes randomly to a tree or vehicle running boards at night etc.
  • 2 0
 @wolftwenty1: aluminum is anisotropic. Also, the force of you leaning down on your bars and encountering a bump on the trail is more than your bike hanging from the bars.
  • 1 0
 Aah I need sleep. Isotropic.
  • 4 0
 Tell me more about this garage that has two perpendicular garage doors, what!
  • 3 0
 The rack is nice-as it should be. But how about a review of the sweet Safari van? Drivetrain mods? Suspension mods? Interior setup????
  • 1 0
 @alicialeggett Would love to see a short and long term review/buyers guide for Vertical Carry style racks. North Shore Racks, VelociRAX, Mammoth Mounts, River City Racks, Yakima, Alta Rack... probably a few others as well. More and more options now. Off-road testing, mixed wheel size loading, rack durability. Toss a different rack on PB staff whips and trade them around. Load up some clunker bikes and get Levy to do some SUV huck-to-flats and try bouncing bikes off.
  • 2 1
 Basket style racks are a flawed design that should've been abandoned long ago. They allow your bikes to bounce, and mounting to the front wheel allows your bike to pivot around it and roll right out of the rack.

All these copycat companies stealing each other's bad design, and then adding poorly thought-out straps as the only thing securing the bike to the rack is pretty sad: voile straps, cinch strap tie downs etc.

Bike racks require redundant security. People make mistakes. Hitch racks bounce. Straps come loose. Shit happens.

If the only thing securing your bike from falling out onto the highway is a tiny strap that may come loose or be overlooked while loading the shuttle back up, then you will be guaranteed to have someone's bike fall off the rack.

To date, the only style rack that uses the bike's weight to secure itself is the LOLO rack. The weight of the bike and reverse mounting pulls the bike against the rack.

Still, there's tons of room for innovation.

$1000 for all these super primitive designs is absurd.
  • 1 1
 Yup, right on the mark, basket racks allow the bike suspension to remain active when hung, so hit a big enough bounce and your bike will come out of that basket unless the wheel is strapped into the basket; none of teh wheel carriers racks have basket straps.

Fork hung racks are the best, hands down.
  • 1 0
 Not really related but I feel as though oneup did a bad job with the patent on there bikes trays. Everybody and their brother has copied their design. They will still get all my business and I love the 6 trays I already have but everybody has ripped them off.
  • 1 0
 In a somewhat small industry, it's an unfortunate coincidence to have two companies basically named the same thing as far as quick brand association. I know I was first combing One Up Components website for any mention of bike racks when I first heard some solid word-of-mouth props about this rack, and was properly confused Smile
  • 1 0
 1up dropped the wedge pivot lock and kickout lower bar of the latest recon brand rack when they bought it. Sad. This new style will develop play, old will not. I am weighing between Velocirax 6 and Bike E-rack 6. I dislike the Velocirax height and distance from rear if vehicle.
  • 1 0
 Do brake levers interfere with the top tube of an adjacent bike? I had this problem on my NSR 6 constantly (over a decade of hard use and 15000+ miles).
I often shuttled friends and carried a variety of bikes. I was always either moving brake levers around and/or scratching adjacent top tubes.
  • 1 0
 It can. I had no problems for a year or so. Then we got two new e-bikes and one of the brake levers did rub. It was only through the “bouncing”. I didn’t see it would happen while it was static. Now I know I have to twist 1/4 bike’s levers.
  • 1 0
 RECOMMEND INSPECTION OF YOUR INSERT IF YOU HAVE AN OLDER RECON
My Gen 1 has been great. However I just had the nut fail strip out on the attachment when swapping to another vehicle. Upon removing the insert for inspection, it was very rusty and and in bad shape and did not appear to be Grade 8 like the bolt.. It would have been catastrophic to have this fail with bikes while driving down the road...
1-up purchase of Recon's does not cover warranty for their OG racks. They will however sell you a new $30 nut insert replacement.
  • 4 0
 Minivan + Hanging Rack = the ultimate mountain town shuttle.
  • 2 1
 I'll stick with my 6 bike Mammoth. No wear on the suspension and fits anything but drop bars by grabbing the handlebars. Long Enduro 29er to my kids 20" shredder have rocked 12 hour road trips with no issues.
  • 3 0
 Is the wheel basket compatible with a standard size mudhugger front fender? Is wish that was addressed in the review.
  • 3 0
 I keep trying to picture a toddler loading a bike with no pedals.
  • 6 0
 Username checks out. Really tall toddlers should be fine.
  • 3 0
 Use this in Sheffield and get all 5 of your bikes stolen at once..
  • 3 0
 Tailgate pad. Still brilliant.
  • 1 0
 The OG.
  • 7 4
 Bike inside car. Always.
  • 2 0
 I reckon the mess, hassle, and reduced interior space outweigh the increased security in most cases. I’d only put my bike in my car if I had to leave it unattended overnight with no other option for storage, although I can imagine a few scenarios where it is no big deal. My dad actually transports his road bike inside his minivan. He created a slotted rack and just wheels the bike in backwards. A muddy mountain bike would be less ideal obviously.
  • 3 0
 Bike inside the car is fun until the race track is on a cattle property and the mud on the bike isn't mud.
  • 4 1
 Here in the UK bikes get stolen off of vehicles at traffic lights. They also get stolen off of vehicles parked up at campsites and even at race events in the middle of nowhere. No bike is safe on the outside of a vehicle. Locks will be cut. I'll be removing wheels and carefully layering all my stuff in the back of my Ford Fiesta for as long as bike theft continues... forever then! I sound like a complete doom-spreading fear-mongerer but you can't be too careful in my opinion. And I doubt it's confined to the UK either.
  • 2 0
 @haroman666: any hypothesis about why this is so common in the uk? I’ve heard of bikes being stolen over here, of course, but don’t think I know anyone who has had it happen to them.
  • 4 0
 @haroman666: Got lots of room here in Canada for ya! That sounds insane.
  • 2 0
 All six bike inside? Wow, you have a big van!
  • 1 0
 OMG ASTRO/SAFARI!!!

Make sure you take care of that transmission. We love ours for camping and riding trips!
  • 1 0
 It is rated offroad, but do you think it can handle Québec roads?
  • 7 0
 Sure, just not Quebec drivers ;-)
  • 2 0
 @bishopsmike: for real. They even give Ma*sholes a run for their money
  • 1 0
 Still rocking my old 5 bike Yakima hitch rack..lol
  • 1 0
 I miss my old astro/safari van
  • 2 0
 weird looking spoiler
  • 1 0
 Make it in raw metal and take my money.
  • 1 0
 Not made for bikes without pedals means not made fr for ebikes.
  • 1 0
 TV reception is through the roof with one of these things.
  • 1 0
 rip Josh's revel
  • 3 5
 Absolute garbage. Do not buy. Welds rust and fail. 1Up customer service sucks too.
  • 3 0
 I only have one ups roof trays which are fantastic so I can’t speak on this hitch rack. However, you are the first person I have heard say their customer service was bad. Somebody always answered the phone when I called. They are always helpful and to the point. Just like the racks, all business and no frills.
  • 8 10
 Cons:
-not a northshore rack
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