Küat NV 2.0 Bike Rack Review

Kuat Nv 2 0 Bike Rack Review
Kuat Nv 2 0
Kuat Nv 2 0 Side View Two Ebikes
Kuat Nv 2 0 Tipped Back For Hatch Trunk Access
Kuat Nv 2 0 With Electric Bikes
Kuat Nv 2 0 Two Heavy Bikes Loaded
Kuat Nv 2 0 Front Arm Secured With Fenders
Kuat Nv 2 0 Front View On A Toyota Prius
Kuat Nv 2 0 Smaller 1 25 Hitch Hand Cam Tightener Locking Pin
Curt Hitch Receiver For Toyota Prius
Kuat Nv 2 Stock Photo 1
Kuat Nv 2 Stock Photo 2
Kuat Nv 2 Stock Photo 3
Kuat Nv 2 Stock Photo 4
Kuat Nv 2 Stock Photo 5
Prorack Bike Rack Hitch Platform Box
Prorack Bicycle Rack Hitch Platform
Prorack Bike Rack Hitch Platform Side
Prorack Bike Rack Hitch Platform 1 25 Hitch
Prorack Bike Rack Hitch Platform Folded Back
Prorack Bike Rack Hitch Platform Folded Side
Prorack Bike Rack Hitch Platform Folding Point
Kuat Nv 2 0 Bike Rack Review
Kuat Nv 2 0
Kuat Nv 2 0 Side View Two Ebikes
Kuat Nv 2 0 Tipped Back For Hatch Trunk Access
Kuat Nv 2 0 With Electric Bikes
Kuat Nv 2 0 Two Heavy Bikes Loaded
Kuat Nv 2 0 Front Arm Secured With Fenders
Kuat Nv 2 0 Front View On A Toyota Prius
Kuat Nv 2 0 Smaller 1 25 Hitch Hand Cam Tightener Locking Pin
Curt Hitch Receiver For Toyota Prius
Kuat Nv 2 Stock Photo 1
Kuat Nv 2 Stock Photo 2
Kuat Nv 2 Stock Photo 3
Kuat Nv 2 Stock Photo 4
Kuat Nv 2 Stock Photo 5
Prorack Bike Rack Hitch Platform Box
Prorack Bicycle Rack Hitch Platform
Prorack Bike Rack Hitch Platform Side
Prorack Bike Rack Hitch Platform 1 25 Hitch
Prorack Bike Rack Hitch Platform Folded Back
Prorack Bike Rack Hitch Platform Folded Side
Prorack Bike Rack Hitch Platform Folding Point

Summary

  • A hitch mounted platform rack capable of supporting two 60 lb bicycles (perfect for ebikes) with optional Add On for up to four bikes total if you get the 2" vs. 1.25" model
  • Secures firmly without tools thanks to a hand-tightening cam system, comes with a locking pin and two integrated cable locks to keep the rack and bikes safe and secure
  • Bikes are spaced 12" apart in opposite directions to reduce collision, the rack itself can tilt up when not in use for shorter profile or down to make opening a hatchback or trunks easier, new foot pedal mechanism activates tilt hands free
  • Swing arm design may interfere with fenders, the rack positions bikes fairly high and may block a rear view or tail lights somewhat, it's pricey at ~$630 and weighs a lot at ~54 lbs

Video Review

Trusted Advertisers

Introduction

make:

Küat

model:

NV 2.0

price:

$ 629.00

warranty:

Lifetime

availability:

United States

model year:

2016

Accessory Details

total weight:

54 lbs ( 24.49 kg )

colors:

Metallic Gray and Orange

accessories:

Quick Release Bike Stand for Use withe Rack, Included Tri Doc Free Standing Bike Stand ($89 Value), Three Keys with Bottle Opener Keychain, Integrated Locking Cables

other:

When Folded Up the Rack Protrudes ~15.5" From Bumper, Rack Tray Centers Are ~12" Apart

Trusted Advertisers



Written Review

The original Kuat NV has been around since 2010 earning a reputation of strength, reliability and great looks. The NV 2.0 is an updated version, completely replacing the NV, offering several visual enhancements and a foot-activated pivot lever that’s easier to use if your hands are full holding a bike. So far, this feature has been really useful for me because I ride a lot of mountain bikes that don’t have kickstands and sometimes there isn’t a tree or post to lean it up against. I’ve had bad experiences leaning my bike against my car in the past… only to have it slide down and scratch the paint. For electric bike riders, the Küat NV2 is especially appealing because it delivers a platform style tray that is much easier to load than a roof rack. It’s capable of handling 120 lbs total (60 lbs per bike) and can even be extended to carry four bikes with an optional Add On. Note that this only works for the 2″ hitch version of the NV 2 and not the 1.25″ version I got… but that you can still use the 1.25″ version with 2″ hitches thanks to a little adapter.

This is an expensive bike rack, but it’s one of the best I’ve tested. Note that I purchased an NV in 2015 for personal use and that Küat gifted me the updated NV 2.0 because they know I do videos and reviews like this. I want to acknowledge this conflict of interest but reiterate that I paid a lot of money the first time around because I saw the value. The included locking pin is great and I love that the swing arms also lock for security. I travel frequently and often load multiple electric bikes for testing and the additional security cannot be overstated. Still, I use a cable and U-lock with my bikes when mounted to this rack overnight… it just feels safer. I love that when the rack is unloaded you can swing it up to reduce the overall length of the car and I’ve put some reflective tape on mine just to improve the visual footprint considering the darker paint job. The older Küat NV was lighter but didn’t look as professional and the stickers were surface applied vs. painted on with the NV 2.0.

Regardless of the bike or bicycles you and your friends or family have, this Kuat rack is designed to be modular and work with everything from 20″ to 29″ and narrow road bike tires all the way up to 4.8″ fat bike tires. Note however that you’ll need adapters to fit them. The standard setup works with 26″ to 29″ or 700c and up to 3″ wide. I wasn’t thrilled with how heavy the rack was when it arrived (it really surprised me actually) but that translates to strength and the higher load capacity. For those who ride bicycles with fenders, this rack may prove difficult as the swing arm latches down on top of your front tire which means it would collide with a fender. Consider removing the fender entirely or clamping the arm further out front… just be careful as it might not be as secure or theft-proof as if it were mounted properly. This is the kind of bicycle rack that you buy once and keep forever. There’s a reason they didn’t have to change very much going from the original (that lasted six years) to this updated model. It’s one of my favorite racks and one of the the few that can be expanded to accommodate four 60 lb bicycles! This is the go-to rack for people with electric bikes and the one I see many shop owners using for their personal automobiles (many shops ferry bikes to and from customers for sales and maintenance). It can be worth the price and will last but yes, it doesn’t come cheap. Note that Kuat offers a lifetime warranty on their products for the original owner.

Pros:

  • On its own, the Küat NV 2.0 is capable of carrying two bikes with each one weighing up to 60 lbs (27.2 kg) which is more than most electric bikes weigh, it feels solid and sturdy which is important given how much ebikes can cost
  • If you opt for the heavy duty 2″ receiver model the rack system can accommodate four bikes with the optional Küat NV 2.0 Add On, I got the 1.25″ receiver version (which has an adapter to work with 2″) but just isn’t as sturdy… it was the only option for my smaller hitch receiver for my Toyota Prius
  • The rack comes with a locking hitch pin and locking platforms so you can feel secure leaving your bikes on your car parked outside when traveling
  • The platform style is often easier to load than hanging style racks and supports step-thru and full suspension models that don’t have an open triangle area in the frame or a straight top tube
  • You can fold the rack up towards the back of your car to reduce length when bikes aren’t mounted to it, this is handy considering how heavy and large the rack is… I tend to leave it on my car permanently
  • Extremely versatile design works stock with 20″ to 29″ diameter wheels from wheelbases up to 48″ but there’s a wheel adapter for those who have 20″ and 24″ tires and a phat bike kit for people with fat bike (works with up to 4.8″ wide tires)
  • Comes with a bike stand adapter so you can hang your bike and perform maintenance easily on the go, the clamp is also compatible with Kuat’s Tri Doc stand which could be setup in your garage or other work space (it’s included free with the NV 2.0!)
  • Special “hand tight” cam system lets you install the rack on your car without using tools, the locking pin secures it against theft
  • Gloss metallic powder coat for a clean professional look and protection against weather and road debris, co-molded tire strap secures the rear wheel by pulling down on the rim but is designed to not scratch or damage the wheel
  • Each bike tray has a neat integrated cable lock that stows inside! just pull it out then loop around your frame and lock… I love that they the same key as the hitch pin but am not sure about the Add On racks, whether you can get a matching locking core set for those

Cons:

  • In order to secure each bike, there’s a swing arm that pushes down on the tire and sometimes comes into contact with the fork or seat stays, unfortunately it doesn’t work well if your bike has fenders
  • The rack itself is very heavy at ~54 lbs, I struggled to maneuver the large box it came in and found myself taking extra time and care moving the rack around so it wouldn’t hurt my back or get dinged up and scratched when setting it down on concrete
  • Extremely expensive at ~$630, there are other racks out there… you can even get ~$150 racks on Amazon but they don’t have locks, don’t pivot and aren’t rated for the same weight, they also don’t come with neat accessories like the integrated bike stand
  • Because the rack is a bit higher (possibly for ground clearance?) it positions the bike higher and might reduce car efficiency and miles per gallon as well as obstructing your rear view and blocking tail lights, I found that my right tail light was partially blocked when the rack was folded up, consider adding reflective tape for safety
  • If one or both of your bikes have longer bars (as my mountain bike did) they may collide with the seat of the second bike and you might need to drop the seat down lower temporarily to make it all fit, the trays are about twelve inches apart center to center

Resources:

Trusted Advertisers

Max
1 year ago

I have the original NV with optional extension to accommodate 4 bikes and generally love it. However after a years use I find that the rack has significant play at the lever point and when carrying 4 ebikes they bounce considerably over bumps in the road. Also the unit slopes downward when loaded. I have adjustment knob fully locked and unfortunately the locking pin doesnt screw into the hitch (unlike my old THULE rack) which i believe would steady the rack in place better.

This unit appears to have an improved design and looks like it possibly eliminates the play (as well as foot operated lever – god bless them). Can you comment on 1) whether you have seen the play and/or excessive movement on the original model with load and 2) if this new model design eliminates it?

Note even though they have bounced and shook, sometimes significantly, I have never lost or damaged a bike. While I hate to have to purchase another rack and its optional accessory after only 1 year and at these prices (is there an upgrade path for previous owners??), for the safe travels of my families investment in 4 ebikes I would have to consider it if the NV 2.0 is more secure.

Reply
Court Rye
1 year ago

Great point about the locking pin Max… Using the 1 1/4″ hitch style myself, the hole doesn’t thread and the pin just slides around vs. securing it more like I think you’re describing. I have seen threaded pins before on other racks and they do seem to make a difference. Surprisingly, the cheaper ProRack I bought for $100 on Amazon a while back (to test and compare with) does thread but it doesn’t have the hand crank with the little ball that wedges the rack in like the Küat does. My rack is bouncing a bit but I figured this was due in part to the narrower, thinner mount arm and overall weight of the rack with heavier electric bikes secured.

Reply
bob armani
10 months ago

Hi Court-

Great review on this rack. I really love all the great options that come on this rack. I have a Sport Rack for my standard bikes, however, if I get the BULLS or Levo, I wanted to load it with some kind of ramp system like they use on the traditional dirt bike car racks with a built in optional ramp. Most of them I looked at are class 2 racks. I currently have a class 1 (1 1/4) receiver. Do you know if they make a bike rack with a ramp system that would fit an electric bike? This way I can allieviate the need for lifting when loading the bike . I assume the other option would be to have to jimmy rig some sort of ramp system on my current rack. Any thoughts? Thanks Court and keep up the great reviews!! Happy trails…

Reply
Court Rye
10 months ago

Hi bob! I know exactly what you’re talking about with the ramp design for motorcycle platform racks. I feel like I saw this once or twice on bicycle platform racks but am coming up short now looking for you. A big draw of the Küat for me was that it came in an 1-1/4″ design that would fit my receiver. I recently bruised or cracked a rib and have had difficulty lifting my bikes up but found that by using the rear brake and backing my bike up into a wheelie position, I could then set the front wheel on the rack easily and then roll it forward from there, lifting the rear at the end. It’s not quiet as stable or easy as a true ramp but this approach significantly reduces the lifting strength required. I hope this suggestion helps and maybe others will chime in with ideas? An alternative approach would be to get a 2″ rack with a ramp and use a receiver adapter like this to make it work. Note that it might create some slop in the connection and would not increase your carrying capacity… but at least you could use a wider range of racks, and perhaps one with a ramp :)

Reply
bob armani
10 months ago

Thanks for your reply Court- Those are great suggestions and very well said. I hope you heal rapidly as I also have suffered bike injuries through the years causing trips to the chiropractor and PT treatments. Biking has been my passion most of my life and e-bikes are a breakthrough that everyone can benefit! I see the leverage you are using with your bike lifting. That may be a great alternative until I build more lifting muscles. Thanks for that!

There is a European e-bike electric auto-lift I spotted on you tube, however, is very expensive and perhaps unavailable in the US. E-trailer.com has many variations of bike racks, but nothing with a simplified ramp system that would work great for all e-bikers and make transporting a cinch. Like you mentioned, go with a 2 inch receiver and just use a dirt bike rack system (starting @ $150.00 US) and use tie down straps for the e-bike. I do not understand why the rack people have not considered a ramp system for all bicycles. Loading and unloading would be so much more practical! I agree, going from 1 1/4 to 2 inch receiver would be a bit sloppy, however, would solve a boat load of problems. Please heal quickly Court and I look forward to your awesome work at EBR! You Rock dude!

Connie
10 months ago

My Pedego ebike is on its way! I’m still studying racks as I am only 5 feet tall and not able to lift alot. Just an FYI that Thule makes the 9032 Easy Fold rack for ebikes and it includes a portable ramp. In reading reviews of owners the jury is still out on this item. My concern is also its weight of 41 lbs. and how far it protrudes. I’m still looking foir the perfect rack.

Reply
Court Rye
10 months ago

That’s awesome Connie, thanks for sharing! I found a picture of the rack here which shows the ramp in action. I knew I’d heard something about this but from the stock images I just didn’t see the ramp. Could be a great solution for Bob :)

bob armani
10 months ago

Hi Connie- Thanks! Finding the right rack is very difficult. I saw a review for this rack on Amazon and it looks like the rack broke off and Thule voided the owners warranty and changed company policy. Another point to ponder when checking reviews.. Court found the image I was looking for that displays the ramp. This looks like a good rack, however, a bit pricey considering there are mixed reviews concerning quality and functionality. I always thought Thule made quality products! Congrats on your new Pedego ebike!

Post a Comment

Your email address will not be published.