Kuat Racks NV 2.0 Bike Rack Review

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The Kuat NV 2.0 Bike Rack is a fully featured carrier solution that is stylish, durable and high quality. It is a favourite of the trailhead. According to Kuat, the bike rack is a hitch rack imagined, designed and built with the most discerning enthusiasts in mind.

The customer agrees one hundred percent with the company, one reviewer stated that

“After a lifetime of bike racks, I have finally found one that is high quality, heavy duty, and attractive to boot”.  

I have a bike that tips the scales at over 50 lbs and needed a rack that is capable and did not want any that is rated at 45 pounds per bike because that would not make any sense. I debated with myself over and over, read may reviews on amazon on all different types of racks.

I went as far as visiting may bike shops, as many as I could locate that is not too far from where I lived to see, touch and feel them in person. The search was eventually narrowed down to the Kuat NV 2.0. The NV 2.0 is rated at 60 pounds per bike.

The Built Quality of the Kuat NV 2.0

The guys and gals at Kuat seem as if they really work hard and thought through this new design. There were simply so may improvements from the previous designs. The construction of the rack to be very good and in parts “overbuilt” compared to the models that cost much less.

This is one of the instances when the phrase, you get what you paid for, is true. The Kuat rack is a bit on the heavy side but it is evident that it is a solid build. The proof is in the pudding, from watching many reviews on YouTube and other sites you realise before buying that this rack can withstand some serious abuse.

I rate both the NV 2.0 and the Thule T2 Pro XT highly. They are among the best bike racks on the market. You can read my review of the Thule T2 Pro XT here or see some of the reviews on amazon here.

The Kuat NV 2.0 is surprisingly sturdy and has tension adjustments at all points of movement. I do place a lot of confidence on this bike rack. The thing that intrigued me the most was the inclusion of the bike stand. I feel very comfortable using the bike stand for trail-side service.

My mountain bike comes with deep profile carbon wheels and with big tires and the molded wheel cups fit it perfectly. The wheel cups are made to fit different width wheels, comes with straps longer and wider making them more durable and perfect for most bikes.

But even if the new straps aren’t long enough, they (Kuat) include an extender kit. I say BRILLIANT to this.

Security

Security is one thing that I look out for when selecting a bike rack and this bike transportation system does not disappoint. This rack came with two separate integrated locking cables.

This feature made it much easier than the older model that only had 1 for securing both bikes. They provide 3 keys attached to a nice little bottle opener. The locks and the supplied pin lock are all keyed alike.

When installed, the bikes are very secure and do not move. The integrated steel security cord is extended and now is almost double the length of the old one and plus it now has 2 locks. Great. KUAT, include a nice box that contains the three keys, a locking hitch pin, a cap if you are not using the trial doc to make it look nice and also one fat tyre strap kit.

Ease of use

The assembly of the rack took less than 10 minutes. I was really quick. It may take you a bit longer. The rack offers convenience and ease of use. The platform nature of the bike rack make is must easier to use than other types of racks, like the trunk mount bike racks or the roof mount bike racks.

I love that you can simply turn a knob to tighten the hitch receiver so that the rack doesn’t move around. I also have a road bike and a mountain bike and therefore can share with you that there is plenty of room for a wider tire bike.

The back wheel secure strap slides to accommodate different wheels. The pedal/handle will allow it to tilt down when a bike is installed so you can open the back door. When not in use it can be tilted up to be out of the way. This makes if perfect for parking in tight spaces.

Assemble

The assembly is really as easy as the videos indicate. I found that by laying the rack assembly upside down on the box it was shipped in and assembling the trays one side at a time made handling it myself much easier. 

I was also pleased with the packaging. Most companies fail to consider the abuse that a 60 pound box will get in transit. 

I did consider assembling it with the center mounted in the hitch, however, I decided to do it inside the garage.

The knob that tightens the whole rack on my hitch assures that unlike other racks, this rack does not sway when driving. 

Storage of the rack

How to store such a large rack in the limited space of our garage? Is a question that is asked all the time. For me, it is not much of a problem because I let it remain on the vehicle. On reviewer on a website have an ingenious idea, he created a dolly system to store the rack when not in use. The is what he said,

“I used an inexpensive furniture dolly, a 2″ receiver hitch designed for truck bumpers, and then a base of 3/4″ plywood, a piece of 2X12 and a top of 2X10 wood that I had lying around.

The wood is secured to the dolly with the proper length decking screws to ensure all three pieces are screwed together.

I then drilled four mounting holes for the hitch. Used 3 1/2″ lag bolts to secure that to the dolly.

The rack will “ride” on the dolly without the counterweights, however, to be able to move it without worrying about it tipping I added some iron pipe uprights and four 25-pound weight plates.

Secured with the hitch pin and now with the counterweights, it moves with ease. You can lower it down without tipping it and raise it up to stowed position etc.

I even rolled it right over to the car and pulled the pin to swap it to the cars hitch.  It was a low-cost alternative to get it out of the way when not in use.”

You can share in the comment how you store your Kuat NV 2.0 when you purchase yours.

FEATURES

Adjustable Front Tire Cradle System Redesigned Pivot with Foot Assist Fully Integrated Cable Locks Trail-Doc Included Intuitive Front Tire Ratchet Co-Molded Tire Strap   Hand-Tight Hitch Cam System Premium Gloss Metallic Powdercoat Gray Metallic with Orange Anodize Black Metallic with Gray Anodize Hitch Lock Included Patent Pending Design  

SPECS

2 bike capacity up to 60 lbs. each Holds wheelbases up to 48” and tires as large as 4.8” with use of the Phat Bike Kit Fits 20″ to 29″ tires Wheel adapter needed for 20-24″ tires   Available in both 2” & 1.25” hitch sizes Dedicated 2” model can carry up to 4 bikes with optional NV 2.0 Add-On Rack weighs 52 lbs.  

Cons

The only problem I have it that when it is folded up the bike stand somewhat blocks the license plate. The solution to that is to get a copy of your plate and attached it to the bike rack. Check your local rules because your state may be a bit different. Alternatively, you can remove when folded.

The rack is pricey, but in this case, you truly get what you pay for.

After going through mud, water and rain, the lock cable is a bit difficult to get in and out.

It can be a bit of a chore for some people to assemble the rack.

Final thought

While it is a bit of a chore to assemble the rack, it only took about thirty minutes until mounted. The built-in cable licks are ingenious. The mechanism for holding the front wheel is easy to use and very secure. The tilting feature is fantastic. It can be considered as the best bike rack. Ever. The Kuat NV 2.0 is rugged and heavy duty! It is made to haul 2 bikes at 60 lbs each. 

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Guy Daniels
Hi, my name is Guy Daniels and I am a bike enthusiast, from as long as I can remember. I lost my way for a while, focusing on building a successful career. But, I always felt as if something was missing from my life and it was. I realised that my love for biking is really strong and I can not suppress it anymore. At this moment, i want to share all my passion for biking with you - as you share your passion with me. Let us ride together on this journey, my friend. Share your thoughts on this topic, with friends everywhere.