I like that 1Up only touches the tire too. I have a crabon frame and wheels and dont like the wheel strap. My MTB wheels cost more than my truck wheels lolNice Pic. I am leaning toward Kuat or 1Up for two bikes. I like both but 1up cost less and has no plastic that can break so may lean this way.
I second the Kuat NV. I’ve been through it all and this is my personal choice for many reasons.I went through the same thing, so here's my take and what I ultimately ended up with:
1) Tailgate pad: always just seemed like too cheap and too poor of a solution for anyone other than a very casual rider--the kind of person that rides so little that they would just put the bike in the bed when necessary. Also, this solution uses up a lot of bed space for the bikes. I guess I just can't see myself dangling $10k of bikes over the tailgate of the truck. Big pain to get bikes on/off, too.
2) Recon rack: awesome solution, but way overkill except for the most hardcore users. Super easy to get bikes on/off. It's expensive, tall, and top heavy but is probably what I would use if I needed to carry 5-6 bikes all the time.
3) Frame hitch rack: these things absolutely suck. They scuff up your bikes, most have no provision for security, many of them shake all around. Bikes are a pain to take on/off. I hated every minute that I used one of these.
4) Platform hitch rack: this was the sweet spot for me. I have 3-bike and 2-bike versions of the Kuat NV 2.0 and they're rock solid. Short of a Recon style rack, it's by far easier to get the bikes on/off than the others. "Security" is integrated into the rack, the only point of contact with the bike is on the wheels/tires, and the whole thing is just a pleasure to use. The only downside I've found is that a 3-4 bike rack like this starts to make the truck a little on the long side, but I can live with that.
I snapped this pic at a local brewery when I saw another Raptor (with a 3-bike 1up rack) park next to my Raptor with the 3-bike Kuat.
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