What is that
Kuat’s NV 2.0 is the most solid and easy to understand (and run) hitch rack On the market for carrying multiple bikes (and multiple types of bikes). You should read this as meaning: This rack is set up to instantly hold all of your slim fit road bikes and huge e-bikes With fatter tires. In addition to ease of use, when it comes to confidently carrying heavy (and often expensive) electric bikes, there are also some added security guarantees with NV 2.0Smart integrated cable locks.
Why do we love it
The platform is designed for two bikes. Purchasing additional separate mounts allows you to attach an additional single or double tray for one or two additional bikes. Loading is simple: lift the bike up the stairs; Put the front wheel into the adjustable tire cradle; swing the arm, and pull it down to install the front frame; Then attach the back frame to the tray with the back tape stepping up.
It sounded pretty simple, so I tested the setup with a small fleet of three e-bikes on a road trip in West Coast National Park. The weight slightly exceeded the manufacturer’s recommended maximum bike weight of 40 pounds per stair with the two-bike add-on (60 pounds for the two-bike base system), and loading the bulky e-sleds made me wonder about the bachelorette-arm fixing down at highway speeds. Arriving at Sequoia National Park slithering through some off-season snow, and more than our share of bumps along the way, the overload didn’t budge or bounce to give me a second thought.
I added a secondary locking around the bike’s package, much as an additional visual deterrent to any pedestrians during a stop. However, the more I use the NV 2.0 system, the more I appreciate (and just rely on) the simplicity of the locking system. The cable is overlapped inside the tray, and half of it is on the locking mechanism. You disconnect the two lengths of the cable when pulled out, long enough to run through the frame and back into the locking mechanism (see below), which unlocks again using the same keys that lock the mount to the 2-inch hitch receiver. (Kuat also makes a 1.25-inch receiver version that works with the platform, but not with the add-ons.)
After some off-road adventures with the questionable load, I was sold out on the system by the time we hit the Yosemite Valley floor, and the bikes were ready to ride through any crowds in the park. With this fully loaded machine and ride, another added bonus of the rack system was the foot-assisted pivot lever, which made it possible to lower the full rack + bike setup to access the rear hatch. Unloaded, this lever also allows you to flip the rack up and down with one hand.
We mentioned the hard part first, right? The platform is manageable like any regular 52-pound e-bike. Add the add-on of two bikes and you’re looking at 91 lbs. Assembly requires a bit of hard work accordingly. Then the rammed leg wiggled and wiggled to schlep, lift, and wear alone. But so is the e-bike use and towing. So, download it already and stop complaining.
For wider off-road tires, the platform retains slack (up to 4.8 inches in width). Despite being pushed to that maximum width, as the air pressure drops, you need a little force to push the rear tire down to the last ratchet of the belt. Quat Offers belt extender Better eyeliner. And there are plenty of other top-notch problem-solving accessories from this US-based Missouri-based brand, such as bike ramp For those heavier rides mentioned, a swing arm Allows you to move the fully loaded rack system away from the hatch or tailgate, and prison To store the system outside your vehicle.
Once I turned it on, I found it best to leave. The overall ease of folding provides an extra handy platform: an extra impromptu camp table, a surfboard stand when doing the parking swap, and even a climbing gym for hyperactive kids. Even though you use a system that is backed by a lifetime warranty, the extensive versatility suits users well with a range of different types of bikes that need safe transportation.
[$749; $339 for one-bike Add-On, $539 for two-bike Add-On; kuatracks.com]
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