June 20, 2011 11 Comments
Since the summer travel season is in full swing, it seemed like the perfect time to do a product profile on that cycling travel necessity, the trunk-mounted car rack. We know what you’re thinking – what could be interesting about a car rack? They do the job, but they can be so big and heavy that you end up leaving them mounted to your trunk all the time so you don’t have to deal with taking them off and storing them (come on, you know you’ve done this)!
That’s where the Allen Sports MT1 Bike Rack comes to the rescue (along with it’s higher capacity brother the MT2 Bike Rack). The MT1 Bike Rack is so compact and easy to use that you can literally bring it along in it’s included carrying bag, just for when you need it, even when you’re travelling! Take a look at this video of the MT-2 Bike Rack in action (the only difference from the MT1 Bike Rack is its extendable arms, to carry 2 bikes instead of one):
In case you forget how to unfold and install the rack, the folks at Allen Sports conveniently print all of their instructions right on the back of the rack, with clear diagrams that you can refer to when you get started with the installation process:
As you can see from the instructions, it is just a matter of unfolding the arms in the correct order to get the rack ready to install on the trunk of your car. Unfold the lower foot first, and then open up the upper support arms (which snap into place with those little silver buttons):
Here’s a better view of the little buttons that snap the arms in place – when you are ready to fold up the MT1 Bike Rack, you just reverse the steps of unfolding the arms, and you start the process by pushing in the silver buttons to release the arms:
Once the MT1 Bike Rack is fully unfolded, you are ready to mount it to the trunk of your car. After you have the rack situated correctly, it’s just a matter of tightening down the 2 upper straps and one lower strap to secure the rack in place. The feet that contact your car are covered in a durable but soft rubber compound, so as not to mar your paint job (even if your car is a vintage Volvo 240, like the test model seen here). The adjustable feet of the MT1 Bike Rack allow it to fit a wide range of vehicles, but you can refer to the Allen Sports website to see if your car is compatible:
Another nice feature of the MT-1 Bike Rack is the padded lower frame, which keeps your bike out and away from your car, so that your car’s or (more importantly) your bike’s paint is left scratch-free:
If you are looking for a trunk-mounted bike rack that is easy to install (and un-install), is stable and secure while in use, yet is compact enough to bring along when you are travelling, then the Allen Sports MT1 Bike Rack or MT2 Bike Rack could be just what you are looking for. Give either one a try, and you’ll be surprised at how often you’ll reach for this unassuming little bike rack when you need to hit the road with your bike.