Tired of complicated roof rack systems that are semi-permanently attached to your car? That’s exactly what Upside Racks set out to improve on when they started designing their own roof rack. We’ve all probably seen someone driving down the highway with a bicycle upside down and tied to the roof rack, and while the Upside Rack might look similar at first, it’s actually a fairly innovative approach to transporting a bicycle on your roof.
The key to design is that the rack is less a permanent part of your car and more an accessory that allows you to quickly mount almost any bike to almost any car with a factory roof rack (or aftermarket cross bars)…
Realistically, roof racks have a lot of benefits. They offer secure transport of your bike, they’re relatively convenient since they’re always there, and they keep your trunk free and clear for easy access. But they also can be tricky to install which leads to most of us leaving them on semi-permanently which ultimately cuts down on gas mileage to some degree, and in some cases can make getting into a garage a bit tricky.
Upside Racks wanted to create something that was super easy to install, easy to remove, mostly universal, and secure for transport of almost any bike. That led them to turn things upside down.
Where most roof racks attache to the fork or front wheel and include a strap for the rear wheel, the Upside Rack starts by unfolding and attaching directly to the bike before you mount it to the car. The front of the rack clips on to the handlebars with soft clamps to prevent damage. The rear of the rack then adjusts to mount to the saddle. Once the rack is mounted to the bike, the whole assembly is then turned upside down and mounted to a roof rack with opposing hooks that latch on to the cross bars. The design is said to fit may cross bar set ups (outer edges 550-930mm, cross rail thickness less than 35mm) and allows for the rack to be installed and removed in a claimed 20 seconds which makes it possible to easily switch between cars, install on a rental, your friend’s car that’s bailing you out from a mechanical, etc.
That last bit is made possible by the fact that the rack folds up and can be stored in a travel case that is fairly portable. With the exception of bikes with tri bars, the rack is said to fit almost any bike and has a weight limit of 25kg (55lb).
Taking to Kickstarter to get things mounted, pricing starts around $112 for the Super Early Bird with delivery estimated by April, 2017.