Super Duty Hitch-Mounted Bike Racks Help Us Reach Those Wild Off-Road Trails We Seek

New SD 13 photos
Photo: 1UP USA
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If you ride a bike or e-bike, then you know the pleasure of riding through some forgotten landscape. However, it's not easy getting there, and so, for those of us who regularly load up our bicycles or e-bikes into or onto our vehicles, 1UP USA is here with their newest addition to their constantly growing family.
I swear, it was only a few months to a year ago that I first encountered 1UP, and in that time, this crew has added several pieces of gear for us two-wheel-loving bipeds. One of the most recent is the Super Duty (SD) lineup), a hitch-mounted bike rack with so much going on that it can actually fill an entire article on our website.

But, before I get to talking about the SD series and all it has to offer, let's first get to know a bit about the minds and hands behind the magic, in this case, none other than 1UP USA. If that name doesn't ring a bell, but you regularly ride a bicycle or e-bike and have dreams of exploring lands tens to hundreds of miles away, keep reading.

Now, 1UP is not some new kid on the block, having been around since 2001, but since they took a different approach to this game, their name hasn't been as popular until recent times. That said, their products are suitable for an array of two-wheelers ranging from your classic bicycles all the way up to massive e-bikes or electric dirt bikes the likes of Sur-Rons. All that brings us to the SD.

New SD
Photo: Jordan Rosen Photography
As mentioned, SD builds an array of bike racks and mounts. Some are built to be added to the roof of your vehicle, while others to your car's hitch, and the SD belongs to the latter category. Why does this matter? Because it defines your loading, carrying, and unloading experience.

Everything starts off with nothing more than timeless aluminum to build the tray-style rack. From there, the manufacturer adds one or two trays to kick off the base model, suitable for up to 100 lbs (45 kg) of cycling goodness. Yet, that's just what sits as a base for what's to follow.

For instance, 1UP's racks are typically rated for extreme off-road use, but to go one step further, the new SD also includes a wheel chock to snuggly hold the front tire in place and keep the steerer tube from rotating. Moreover, tires with up to five inches of cross-section can be accommodated "right out of the box."

Moving forward, we begin to see the beauty in hitch-mounted bicycle racks. One neat feature of the SD is its ability to occupy minimal space behind your truck or vehicle. I'm talking about it "protruding as little as
eight inches from the hitch
." While mounted to some vehicles, the single bike option will even allow the rear hatch to be opened without you lowering or dismounting the rack.

New SD
Photo: 1UP USA
It's this positioning that also allows the SD to perform its one-handed operations. A feature that 1UP has included in the SD is its ability to help its user load and unload bikes with nothing more than one hand, assuming the other is holding up your aluminum or carbon steed. With the inclusion of beefier glide bars and levers, the SD can disengage the ratchet and open and close the arms with just one hand. As a bonus, this version is also compatible with 1UP's loading ramp, so be sure to look into that piece of hardware if you have heavy bikes.

Now, bikes come in all shapes and sizes, and one trick of the SD is its ability to accommodate a variety of bikes. Integrated into the hunks of aluminum we see is an adjustable wheelbase, and aside from allowing for a range of two-wheelers, another benefit is that it helps when loading multiple bikes by offering just a touch of leeway to move pedals and BB away from one another.

Last but not least, one bike is nice, and two is even better, but how would you feel knowing that up to four full-squish MTBs are rolling along the highway behind you? What I mean to say is that the SD can even carry four bikes, all made possible by an array of add-ons bearing the 1UP stamp.

New SD
Photo: 1UP USA
But, how much is all this magic going to run us? Well, according to the manufacturer, you can expect to begin your Super Duty experience for no less than $600 (€560 at current exchange rates), and that's for the most basic, single-bike rack this lineup offers. A two-ride rack starts at $950 (€880).

Sure, it's not the sort of cash you may be looking to spend on a piece of equipment that you'll only use on the weekends, but bear with me through the following true story. I can safely say that I've bought a $200 trunk-mounted cargo rack before, and aside from some damage to my car's bodywork and a few successful trips before I ended up hauling my bike down the highway at 60 miles (96 kph) an hour, it wasn't such a promising experience.

We can blame my lack of knowledge regarding setup, or it could have been the Chinese instructions, but none of that seems to be a problem with the Super Duty; 1UP is a proudly American crew, and their racks even come with a lifetime warranty. All that's left to do now is daydream a little as to what your life may end up being like with an SD.
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About the author: Cristian Curmei
Cristian Curmei profile photo

A bit of a nomad at heart (being born in Europe and raised in several places in the USA), Cristian is enamored with travel trailers, campers and bikes. He also tests and writes about urban means of transportation like scooters, mopeds and e-bikes (when he's not busy hosting our video stories and guides).
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