Our "Rider Review" article series features the honest reviews from verified purchasers of Worldwide Cyclery. They contain the photos, thoughts, feedback & overall review you are looking for.
As mountain bikers, we seem to focus on racing, the next trip, new places to ride throughout the season. In winter, we get to take everything apart, upgrade, spice up our bikes to make us “better” for the new season. It seems like we’re only thinking about something like a bike rack when loading the bikes for the first event of the season. That's where I was this spring when I decided to get a better platform style hitch bike rack and I chose the Kuat NV 2.0.
I bought the NV BASE 2.0 in all grey/black. It has a matte finish (instead of glossy grey/ orange) and does not come with the repair stand. The stand (Trail Doc) can be bought as an accessory and adds about 5 lbs to the weight, and about 3 inches to the overall length of the rack. Even though this is a 2 bike rack, the 2-inch hitch version allows for a rack extension, making this a 4 bike rack. Rack and extension come in separate boxes and everything inside is neatly packed and protected.
If you can install Ikea furniture you’ll be fine with this as well. You have 5 or 6 bolts to install and you’re done, ready to go. I was able to do it by myself in a bit over an hour. For more detailed instructions and quick check, I have a video posted here - https://youtu.be/yQ2etM5zqXs
I Installed the rack on the car, then added the extension. It is 2 bolts and a cap, relatively easy to switch between the 2-4 bike version. The rack is secured with a keyed hitch pin. Bikes have their own locks and they are all keyed alike, which is very convenient.
One of the issues with multiple bike racks is the interference between the handlebars and seat posts. Kuat solved that in this 2.0 version of the rack by allowing you to move the front tire tray up and down to three different positions. Even though three of our bikes are very similar in dimensions I managed to get all three of them on with no issues thanks to the adjustments. Now I just have to remember the order of loading the bikes on the rack. Bikes are held in place with a tire hook which must be tightened as close to the fork legs as possible. If you have front wheel fenders that can interfere with it. We have the small, flexible ones and had no issues. The same tire hook can possibly touch the lower leg of your forks but they are covered in a rubbery coat that does not seem to leave any marks.
The Pivot lever allows for the rack to be folded up when not in use and it’s fairly easy to do by yourself. The same lever can be used to tilt the rack down, allowing you access to the trunk. This is definitely a 2-person job but easily accomplished.
We just completed a 500-mile trip with 29er and 27.5 wheel bikes loaded. The rack is solid, held the bikes very well, and seems to be exactly what we hoped for. There were a few times that I had some questions and Kuat's support was top notch.
We have considered other competitor’s racks like the Thule T2 Pro. We ended up with the Kuat based on the fact that is lighter, shorter length overall, and has a smaller footprint when folded up. It’s versatile - I can load my mid-fat tires on it and even a fat bike if I ever decide to buy one. With the option to add the repair stand later, and recommendation from WWC, I think we made the right decision. Looking forward to many MTB trips around the country! Thanks, WWC!