Cal Phillips is the dreamer and inventor behind the Quik Rack Mach2 bike carrier. It’s packed with innovative designs that could only come from his fertile mind, but where did it all begin?
It began at the go-kart track in North Miami Beach where he spent his Saturday afternoons as a kid. He loved to ride them, but building them was even more fun. A natural-born tinkerer, he created a mini assembly line to build them using hardware store parts and a knack for “making stuff.”
“I’m an inventor. Critical thinking and innovation are second nature to me,” he says.
That inventive spirit revved up even more when, as a teen, he found freedom with a driver’s license and a motorcycle. They were fun to ride and even more fun to work on. Hearing an extra jingle, he’d do tuneups and, for the fun of it, rebuild them. Always looking for more, he created custom exhaust systems, wielding a welder to fuse the parts. Cal was always leveling up.
From Motorcycles to Bicycles
It was the owner of Gary’s Bike Shop, a store in his North Miami Beach neighborhood, that turned Cal on to working with non-motorized transportation. “He’d call me up and say he had a welding job for me,” Cal says. “Someone would break something and I could weld and form it.”
Thus began Cal Phillips’ journey in the bicycle industry. It was a world he was already comfortable with. “I’ve lived on a bike ever since I can remember. I once went for two years and only rode in a car twice!”
Applying for patents, he soon created a hand-powered bike which he exhibited at several trade shows. A chance meeting in the 1980s with the president of Fila Bikes pointed him toward quick release racks and the promised land of success.
“He told me that if I could invent a quick release hub that’s safe, I’d have the best product in the industry,” Cal recalls. Cal acquired a milling machine and lathe, learned how to use them, and developed a new kind of quick release. In 1985, he hit the trade show circuit
Ideas followed the young designer as his brain was always looking to solve the impossible. He developed an in-home bike trainer and launched a company to bring it to the public. When he gained an understanding of computer-aided design or CAD technology, more new ideas started flowing at an increasing cadence. “I didn’t get into CAD drawing until the late 1990s,” he explains. “Once I did, I was able to make a part on a drawing board and then go out and machine it.” The CAD led him to create a new full-tray bike carrier. It would eventually become the Quik Rack and he would found a company 1upUSA to sell it. It was an instant hit. Cal’s unique two-arm design was exclusive for years. If you have a look around the cycling industry now, it’s everywhere. But Cal Phillips wasn’t content.
Introducing the New, Improved Mach2 Bike Rack
Cal’s original patent for the Quik Rack expired in 2015. At that point, he decided to take all of the knowledge gained and the user feedback received to create the next iteration, the Quik Rack Mach2. The new rack has ten new features that improve on the already amazing original. Of many, he points with pride to the integrated locking handle and the new pin design which secures the bikes. No more wondering which bump sent your trusty steed tumbling.
The speed of installation is simply said, speedy. The Mach2 is “quikr.”
“It takes about five seconds to put it on a car and lock it into place,” says Cal. “It’s the speediest, easiest, most-functional, and solid bike rack for sale.”
Envisioning Cal with his feet up, sipping a lemonade? Of course not. He’s still working on new designs to blow your mind. A tinkerer at his core, it feeds his passion.
“I like to solve problems,” he says with a grin. ”When I look at a design I always think to myself, ’How can I make this design better and QuikR?’ A lot happens on my bike. I traveled along the California Pacific Coast Highway on my bike. I thought up my bike rack designs on my bike. I even met my beautiful wife on my bike. And here we are still riding on our bikes together 28 years later.”
QuikRStuff was founded in 2020 in Grand Junction, Colorado to bring revolutionary new outdoor recreation products like the Mach2 bicycle rack to adventurous consumers. The journey is just beginning. QuikRStuff will work with daring designers to produce innovative products that are 100% made in America.