Honda Element: Kuat NV or 1up or ???- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Honda Element: Kuat NV or 1up or ???

    I have a 2005 Element (great car) and I need to expand my bike carrying capacity. I've had two Yakima King Cobras (the name has changed) up top, but when we load up the car with more than three dudes/dudettes, I have no way of carrying bikes (3 people: 2 bikes on top, 1 inside).

    So, duh, I need a hitch rack.

    I initially wanted the Yakima HoldUp 2, but read that it doesn't tilt down and the lower part of the split tailgate on the Element can't lay flat because of it.

    Instead, I'm looking at the (arguably better anyway) racks from Kuat and 1up. I live in an apartment in the city and can't really store a rack when it's not in use, so this guy will be on the car full time.

    Here's my initial thoughts:

    The 1up looks cooler, better made, has a license plate swivel attachment, but doesn't have an integrated lock and is a little more expensive when you've gotten all the accessories you need (pin lock, cable lock, the license plate pivot thing).

    The NV, however, comes with everything and has that nifty little repair stand and it seems like it's easier to adjust for varying bikes.

    I'll be using it for all of my bikes: road, cx, and mountain (though road less so, as I usually ride from home). For races, not carrying a stand is appealing. That said the Kuat is not as smooth looking as the 1up.

    Thoughts? Experiences with both? Anything else I should consider? The cost isn't really a big deal considering how long I will undoubtably have it. The irony is that we actually have a team Transit van that can carry many bikes, but it only holds two people and is constantly breaking down (Found On Road Dead, indeed). My good old Element ends up being our race/adventure wagon of choice, so I'm not afraid of spending $$$.

  2. #2
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    The 1up is a nicer rack and it's not hard to adjust for varying bikes. You can easily scoot each bike forward or backward to make sure they don't interfere. I use a $10 padlock with a long loop to lock up my rack to the hitch instead of a pin lock. And it's light and compact enough that you could easily unmount it and put it inside the Element when you're not using it.

  3. #3
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    I have a Honda Crosstour and bought a Kuat NV w/1.25" receiver back in 2010. No regrets.

    In my opinion, the OneUp looks quite utilitarian (like a high school metal shop project) and if you get a double, it is definitely heavier than the NV.

    A bunch of my friends have them and are baffled that I like the Kuat. To each their own...
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  4. #4
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    I have a Honda Element with a Saris Superclamp 4 which does tilt down. If there is no bike on the rack and the bike rack is folded flat I can open the clam shell all the way with the superclamp retention arms extended out not folded in. I can open all the way with the rack tilted down.

    Either way though the rack does get in the way of actually sitting on the tailgate, so if that is your plan, its probably not going to happen. I would make a suggestion, or maybe this is what you are thinking is to sell the roof racks and get a 4 bike carrier on the back.

    I have loaded 4 people, 4 bikes and all their crap and mine in the element for a 3 day trip. The tallest guy was 6ft 5in and he actually sat in the back finding it more comfortable than the front.
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  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr Pink57 View Post
    I have a Honda Element with a Saris Superclamp 4 which does tilt down. If there is no bike on the rack and the bike rack is folded flat I can open the clam shell all the way with the superclamp retention arms extended out not folded in. I can open all the way with the rack tilted down.

    Either way though the rack does get in the way of actually sitting on the tailgate, so if that is your plan, its probably not going to happen. I would make a suggestion, or maybe this is what you are thinking is to sell the roof racks and get a 4 bike carrier on the back.

    I have loaded 4 people, 4 bikes and all their crap and mine in the element for a 3 day trip. The tallest guy was 6ft 5in and he actually sat in the back finding it more comfortable than the front.
    Yeah, that might be the longterm plan. I'm short enough (5'8") that I use a tiny step ladder to put bikes on the roof. I also am tired of loading bikes into the car... my CX bike goes in easy, but my MTB, even being a 15" 29er still has to be angled just so.

  6. #6
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    Tried the NV on my element before buying, couldn't open the bottom of tailgate without it striking the rack (that was a few years ago so maybe a different version of what's out now).

    Went with Thule b/c it had more clearance and tailgate cleared it even when not tilted down. That and 4 bike capability, hate dirty MTBs on the roof.

  7. #7
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    The 1up is just so pleasing to me, and I always recommend it to my fiends as the last bike rack they'll ever buy... there's a reason they never come up for sale. The modularity is great - ride solo take one tray... going with friends/family, take 3-4 trays.

    But, for any rack, tilting it out of the way every time you want to get into your hatch will get old fast. I have no experience with it, but you could always add one of these -- the company recently posted here:
    http://forums.mtbr.com/car-biker/rak...ay-994033.html

    I'd also recommend going 2" instead of 1-1/4" for carrying 3 bikes to reduce the bouncing over rough roads.
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  8. #8
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    I'm about 5ft 9in and I could not imagine having a bike on top of the toaster, that is pretty far up in the air. I had a roof rack on my old VW Passat Wagon and even that was a challenge getting a MTB or Fat Bike up there. Once I got the hitch rack everything became sooooooo much easier.
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  9. #9
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    [QUOTE=ezweave;12307153]

    The 1up looks cooler, better made, has a license plate swivel attachment, but doesn't have an integrated lock and is a little more expensive when you've gotten all the accessories you need (pin lock, cable lock, the license plate pivot thing).QUOTE]

    What is a license plate swivel attachment?

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by ltspd1 View Post

    What is a license plate swivel attachment?
    You can mount your license plate to the rack. Linkages on the rack keep the plate visible whether up or down. Truthfully, I will probably never take the rack off, so that is appealing.

  11. #11
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    The Yakima DOES tilt down.
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  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by ezweave View Post
    You can mount your license plate to the rack. Linkages on the rack keep the plate visible whether up or down. Truthfully, I will probably never take the rack off, so that is appealing.
    With the 1UpUSA you would likely have the ability to take the rack off and store it if you got the three bike version. The pieces are modular and fold up pretty small. Before they made the current 4 bike version, they made just what is the three bike version but you could go to 4 bikes with it as long as you were in a 2" receiver (1.25" has insufficient load capacity - it's not the rack, it's the receiver). That's what I have and how I use it. I'm not advocating 4 bikes on the current rack, but if you were at three, you'd be good.

    Other racks that have multiple trays are hard to remove (heavy) and a pain to store.

    J.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Triple8Sol View Post
    The Yakima DOES tilt down.
    Tilting down is the feature everyone thinks they have got to have until they try it with bikes attached. Then it never gets used again.

    J.

  14. #14
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    My vote is for the 1-up rack. The lack of a lock I do not consider a huge issue. Namely because the built in lock on the Kuat is just a cheap cable lock that one can cut threw with a hack saw in about 30 sec.
    The 1up you can get a cheap lock that for like 20 bucks that you can lock your wheel to the rack. I would say it is about as good as the kuat lock (or any build in locking system).
    Honestly I just do not trust those locking system much at all for any real security. I relay on just not being away from the car with the bike on it.

    Now that the rant about the locks is over I will go into why I like my 1up.
    I drive a crosstour with 1up rack with one add on so I can carry 2 bike. I like that I can take it off my car and throw it in my back end easily when I need to for say running it threw a car wash. It lives on my car most of the year. Easy to put the bikes on and off. I can also take the add on if I want to drop some weight. It is over engineered and it will get attention from random people. More than once I have been stopped at the grocery store and ask about it. It is a great rack.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by ezweave View Post
    You can mount your license plate to the rack. Linkages on the rack keep the plate visible whether up or down. Truthfully, I will probably never take the rack off, so that is appealing.
    Are you sure about this? I only ask because I've had my 1UP w/add on for almost a year and I see nothing that resembles what you're describing. I could easily attach a license plat to the rack itself, but see nothing that would act as linkages to keep the plate visible whether the rack is up or down. What am I missing? Thanks.

  16. #16
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  17. #17
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    I have a Honda Element and a 1Up Rack, I absolutely love both of them..!

  18. #18
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    Kuat's work great as two bike racks. They're the worst as 3+ bike racks. In 2 bike configuration there is plenty of space between bikes. In order to carry 3+, you have to unbolt and move the 2nd tray in closer so the attachment can bolt on. Then the 3 and 4 bike placements are also too close.

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  19. #19
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    Thanks

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