Trucks and SUVs are used for so much more than just work and transportation these days. These vehicles have become instruments of recreation as well. Not only are they used as the recreational vehicle themselves, they also haul our toys and gear. Chief among these toys are bicycles.
Learning to ride a bicycle is a rite of passage for many Americans. And it is a skill that is carried with us all through our adult life. Although bikes can be ridden most anywhere, heading off to mountain trails and beachside paths often requires loading up the bikes and going for a drive. This is where a good, high-quality rack is desirable.
Most SUVs can't hold a full-size bike inside, and just tossing your expensive bicycle in the bed of a pickup isn't a good plan. The best way to prevent damage and maintain storage space is with a hitch-mounted rack, and the NV 2.0 from Kuat is among the best on the market.
The Kuat NV 2.0 is packed with helpful features, such as a foot-assisted pivot system that allows the rack to be lowered from the stored position with just the press of a foot. Also included is a built-in cable lock system for keeping the precious cargo secure, the integrated Trail Doc repair stand that easily extends for service and then stows out of the way, easily adjustable tire cradles, and a hitch cam system that allows for hand tightening in the receiver.
The rack is designed to carry two bicycles weighing up to 60 pounds each, while the rack itself tips the scales at 52 pounds. It will fit bikes with tires from ranging from 20-29 inches, though a 20-24-inch bike will require an adapter, and with a wheelbase up to 50 inches long. By using the company's Phat Bike Kit, the rack can accommodate tires up to 5 inches wide. Need to carry more bikes? The NV 2.0 Add-On allows owners to add two more bike cradles to the rack, for a total of four bikes on the hitch.
We've been using the NV 2.0 to haul around a pair of cheap but heavy E-bikes for a few months now, and we have very little to complain about. The NV 2.0 rack works great, looks fabulous, and gets compliments everywhere we go. We love the cam-lock feature built into the rack to help stop sway and rattle, and especially love that it can be tightened by hand. The ratchet front tire locking system works well, and we love the peace of mind provided by the rear tire straps. Even our 26-inch fat-tire bike fits well with the company's Phat Bike Kit, which really is just an extender for the rear tire strap, and an additional Velcro strap for the front tire. We've had no issues lifting our E-bikes onto the rack, but if yours are too heavy to lift Kuat offers an E-bike ramp for the NV 2.0 as well.
With solid construction, beautiful anodizing, and a lifetime warranty, the NV 2.0 is quite likely the last bike rack you'll ever need to buy.
Phat Bike Kit
Fat tire bikes are getting really popular these days, and thankfully the Kuat NV 2.0 can accommodate these bikes as well—unlike some of the competition. Tires of up to 5 inches in width can fit in the NV 2.0 saddles, and the only thing needed in addition is the Phat Bike Kit. This kit includes an extension for the rear tire strap along with an additional Velcro strap for the front tire, for added peace of mind. The Phat Bike Kit came included with our NV 2.0, but additional kits can also be purchased.