by Wil Barrett
December 14, 2016
As demonstrated in our poll from last week, the vast majority of mountain bikers make use of a car in order to access non-local trails. While we’re all in this for the joy of pedalling, a car is an essential tool for many to be able to access singletrack further afield. Because travelling and exploring new territory is also what it’s all about right? Oh, and coffee and beer and pies.
As for how you travel with your bike and your car, just over a 1/3rd of respondents in our poll said they typically travel with their bike inside the car, and just under 1/3rd of respondents said they use a roof rack to port their bike cross country. There’s certainly pros and cons of each, but for many riders, being able to quickly and easily wang a bike on top of the car on a rack is the preferred way of doing it.
Enter the Upside rack.
Designed by a small Aussie outfit, the Upside rack is a new rack design that aims to offer simple and quick installation of your bike onto your car’s roof racks. It’s a fold-up design that claims to be compact when not in use, so you can stow it in the boot when you’re not adventuring in the wild. In a style that’s not dissimilar to the SeaSucker, the Upside Rack is designed to mount your bike upside down on the car, though the Upside Rack does require your car to have existing roof racks.
When riding awaits, the rack folds out and clamps onto both your saddle and each grip on the handlebar. The hooks are made from a ‘tough polymer’ (read: fancy plastic), and use a locking mechanism to tighten down on the saddle and grips. Upside claims its rack is compatible with any bike, whether it’s a mountain bike, fat bike, road bike, commuter or kids bike. There are no clamps on the frame, so you don’t have to worry about crushing lightweight carbon tubing.
Then you flip the bike upside down and place the rack onto your car’s roof racks. There’s a rear hook that slides the rear cross bar, and two front hooks that slide over the front cross bar (assuming the bike is facing forwards). A big ol’ bolt running inside the length of the Upside rack then helps these hooks to tighten down on the roof rack, and hey presto – you’re good to ride!
It’s certainly an interesting design, despite others claiming that installing a bike upside-down on your roof is unsafe, and the fact that the Upside rack is a clear violation of Rule #49.
If you want to know more about Upside, check out the Kickstarter page, and let us know if you’ve got any questions or thoughts on the Upside rack in the comments section below.