on November 3, 2012
What a great product! I am completely satisfied with the bike rack itself. It was easy to assemble, is made of high quality durable materials, and is exactly what I was expecting.
The problem is that it comes with a threaded hitch pin - instead of the standard pin that all other hitches use. When I travel with my bikes, I want to ensure that while I'm on a bike path - no one can take off with this quality bike rack. However, with the threaded hitch pin, I am not able to lock the bike rack to my car. This became immediately apparent the first time I tried to use it to go away for the weekend. I was able to lock my bikes to the rack itself using a standard bike lock. However, I could not secure the hitch to my car.
While the bike hitch itself is AWESOME, I cannot believe that Bell did not consider the fact that people may want to travel overnight with their bikes, and offered no way to lock it to the car itself. :-(
on April 21, 2012
After much research for a platform rack that wasn't overly heavy or overly expensive I came across this Bell Right Up. Very few reviews were available for this rack and as I rely on them for most products, I was really taking my chances with this purchase. I am so impressed that I thought I would add my recommendation for others looking for the same thing.
There is no other rack at this price that is this well made. The build is strong and very well finished; someone cared about this design. The majority of platform racks I've seen were very heavy (not so easy to lift into place by myself) and poorly finished, so lots of places to get scratched up on and for rust to creep in from.
When tightened firmly in 1.25" hitch there is slight up and down movement, but very little sway. At highway speeds the bikes were stable and the rack noise free. One of its great features is that it folds up small enough to be left on the car, yet it's also easily removable and fits easily into the trunk of my "09 Honda Civic. The tube that inserts into the hitch is angled up well enough that the bikes are nowhere near the ground.
If you keep the centre structure folded down, then the first bike is easier to load. Clever design; not perfect, but for the price highly recommended!
on June 29, 2013
This is a great rack for a very reasonable price. It holds two bikes standing on their wheels and can adapt to a variety of frame types. It's relatively lightweight yet sturdy enough. When assembled properly, there's no sway or noise, even at highway speeds. The rack also folds up easily, allowing you to keep it installed while not in use (see more about security below.) This product is compatible with 1 1/4 and 2" hitch receivers (it comes with a metal 2" adapter) and uses a threaded pin design. The threaded pin holds the rack firmly in place, but removal is not as easy as using regular hitch pins. As a bonus, this product has a "raised arm" design that improves clearance significantly, even for low clearance vehicles.
Now, for the details...
Rack packaging and Assembly
The rack comes well protected inside two layers of boxes and padding. It survived the trip without any problems.
Many other reviewers complained about the assembly instructions, but honestly, they're not that bad. I'd recommend looking at the parts list so you can familiarize yourself with the screws. In any case, it's hard to install the wrong screws in the wrong places (they won't fit in most cases.)
Having said that, I also feel obliged to list a few possible caveats during assembly that may not be so obvious:
1) Use proper tools instead of the supplied wrench: If you have ratchet wrenches, use them! The supplied tool is really uncomfortable. I kept it in my car in case I need to remove the rack for some reason.
2) The rack uses metric screws and nuts! Your SAE (inch) tools may work, but please don't use them! They will "almost fit" in most cases and strip the nuts. Get yourself a small metric wrench set. You'll need 10mm (mostly), 17mm, and 19mm wrenches.
3) Do not over tighten! The metal is somewhat soft (don't worry, it's not softer than it needs to be for this application). If you over-tighten the nuts, they'll pull the screw heads into the metal arms, deforming the arms.
4) When assembling the arms, remember that there are two "left" arms and two "right" arms. This is briefly indicated in the installation instructions but there are no markings on the parts themselves (that I could see.) Remember that the metal "bracket" goes into the *short* arms! Put them all side by side and the difference will be obvious.
5) Still, when assembling the arms, there will be only two screws to attach the brackets to the arms. Remember that at this point, only one screw will be used for each bracket! The other will come in later when the "central post" (the U-shaped thing) is put in place.
What I like about this rack:
1) It looks nice: The design looks contemporary and it comes in a nice dark gray color.
2) It is comparatively inexpensive. Racks with similar functions of "premium" brands sell for way over twice the price of this product.
3) It's not bulky, allowing you to easily store it in your car or garage when not in use.
4) It's not horribly heavy: Some racks are built to withstand a nuclear attack. This rack is relatively lightweight, which makes moving it around easier. Don't worry, it is sturdy enough to hold two bikes and it doesn't even wobble.
5) Did I say there's no sway? There's a bit of up/down motion (which is normal) but absolutely no sideways motion when installed. I think this is partially due to the fact this rack uses a threaded pin instead of the standard hitch pins. Some people see this as a drawback, but I'd definitely trade the need to carry a tool for the lack of sway.
What could be improved about this rack:
1) When the bikes are installed, their wheels rest on concave plastic pads. These pads "slide" into the arms and are held in place by nylon straps with a metal buckle. The same nylon straps are used to tie bike + pads + arms together. While this design works well to keep the bike properly attached, there's nothing permanently holding the pads to the arms, making it very easy to steal them. Worse, I couldn't find a place to buy spare parts for this rack. Maybe a "metal" design like the Swagmans would be best here?
2) Unlike other racks, the bikes are held to the "central post" with the same nylon/metal buckle mechanism as the wheel straps. I'd have preferred a "slide and lock arm" mechanism as seen on the Swagmans and Thules, but on the other hand, those could fail catastrophically (see the reports of people using Swagman racks.) The straps should never fail and you can always add a bungee or something else as redundancy, if you feel the need.
3) The rack comes with a long red nylon strap that should be wrapped around the two bikes once they're in place. The instructions don't explain why this is needed and I can only imagine this is a second layer of protection.
4) I'd have preferred something else instead of the nylon straps (but this is a matter of personal preference.)
A note about security:
I've seen a lot of people complaining that the threaded pin makes this rack insecure (most locks designed for the traditional hitch pins won't work) and that thieves could steal the bikes on the rack or even the rack itself, etc. I think when people say such things, they're not considering the whole picture...
About protecting your bike:
If you leave your (expensive) bikes on any rack outside, you're looking for trouble. Any cable can be easily cut with a proper bolt cutter. The same goes for padlocks of all shapes and sizes. Got a U-Lock? If it's old, it can be opened with a BIC pen. If it's new, it can be broken down easily with a car jack. In short, if you want to protect your bikes, do not leave them unattended outside.
About protecting your rack:
The rack itself can be stolen, and there are products to help prevent that. Unfortunately, I don't think they'll be too effective. This rack bolts into the car with a 19mm screw, meaning a thief will need to have the correct tool to remove it. The problem is, people with the correct tool can disassemble the rack itself and leave you with only the arm connected to your hitch! I think the most effective way to make things difficult for thieves and vandals is to thread a braided cable around your hitch and the rack itself. Naturally, as mentioned above, this won't stop thieves, but will possibly make it a less interesting prospect for a $120 product.
on July 4, 2011
This rack looks great on my Honda Element. Folds up when not in used looks great.
I loved the screw in hitch pin. Rock solid on my 2" receiver. I especially loved the extended neck because lifts the bikes up high passed the top of my bumper.
This is so much easier, faster and looks way cooler than the old dangling racks I used. You simply lift the bike on to the plastic wheel tray, strap down the center of the bike center bar. I was afraid the bar is too low for my men's bike, but all I had to do was extend the strap to the crossbar and tighten it down. There's a 5" gap between the rack's round bar and the crossbar on the bike, but it held the bike solid in place. Finally, strap the wheels in the plastic trays. Takes about 2 minutes.
If you have a woman's bike, tt held just fine with only the center strap and the wheel straps were not really needed except to keep the plastic tray from slipping off the bar. I may use a skinny screw to keep it in place.
Another great feature about this rack is I can remove the bike carrier assembly then bolt on a custom size sheet of plywood and turn it into a cargo hauler.
My only problem is I am having a hard time finding a way to lock this rack to my hitch. I may have to go with a cable and lock it to the safety loop on the hitch.
On the road, this my bikes are rock solid. I loved taking turns, hitting bumps and see the bikes hardly moving at all. With this hitch, it makes me want to take the bikes out because it's so easy to install and quick to strap the bikes in.
on June 14, 2013
I purchased this rack as I have a woman's "step thru" type bicycle and a platform rack is a better solution for me. Having read all the reviews for this product I kept my eye out for 3 major things.
1. Following the directions for assembly. Yes, you must look at pictures, there are no "written" instructions, but the way everything was packaged made it easy to line up all the parts you need with ease. I was able to put it together with little frustration. I did use my own wrenches to speed up the tightening in a couple of the connections.
2. Wobble while driving. I originally noticed this, but on my return trip, I made a better point of tightening down the knob that you use when folding the rack up - or dropping down to the "in-use" position. This knob needs to be fully hand tightened to avoid shake.
3. Inability to lock rack to vehicle. Now that I know I am satisfied with the rack and will be keeping it, I will make the purchase of the locking hitch pin suggested by another reviewer.
I am very pleased with this rack and thank all the reviewers that helped in my decision and aided in my understanding of the product.
on November 17, 2013
No assembly instructions, iffy straps, takes 2 people to load an electric bike and the bolt has no lock. With a little effort, they could have made this a good product. It's not bad, just not great. Velcro straps, a pin lock and some beefy wheel trays wouls make this a good buy. 2-1/2 stars overall. If you are going to carry 1-2 bike occassionally, it will work. If you do it on a regular basis, buy a Hollywood rack. There are quality levels in Chinese goods like anything else. This rack comes from the other side of the tracks.
on September 17, 2011
I shopped a few bike shops and looked at the same style rack, all costing between $200 and $350. This rack is just as solid, easy to use and has the same features as all the other racks, difference is this one could save you up to 200 bucks. Do yourself a favor and get this one.
on April 1, 2013
I just installed this on my suv. The instructions, all pix, no words (international language?) was hard to understand. So to make sure I used the right bolts for the right holes, I only finger-tightened the nuts. Fortunately, the bolts ended up in all the correct places. So read, read again, and re-read to make sure you understand the drawings before you start assembling. I fit my bike (racing) on, and the fit is good. The straps provided work well, and provide a solid fit. I'll know better once I take it on the road. I can fold the rack and still lift my hatch on the suv (Toyota Highlander '07). Con is the hitch only has a bolt attaching it to my car, so I"ll have to add an extra locking cable so no one gets ideas of taking the rack. The rack feels pretty solid, and for the price, I think it's worth it. Just give yourself time to assemble it. And wine.
on August 2, 2012
You need at least 3 hands to put this together. And a 10mm wrench, not included. Once it is put together though, it does install on the SUV very quickly. The bikes sit securely. A great rack at a great price but a total pain to assemble. We can open our hatch with the bikes off, when the rack is not folded up. It does also fold up easily when not in use, though I prefer to remove it.