Product Review: KUAT NV Bicycle Rack

KUAT NV Rack in position to mount bikes

KUAT NV Rack in position to mount bikes

I am blown away. Blown away at the look, ease, strength, security, and most recently the customer service of Kuat, the company that manufactures the NV bike rack. The Kuat (koo-at) NV bike rack is packed with some of the greatest features that I didn’t know I needed in a bike rack until I recently started using this hitch mounted bike rack. Aside from the WOW factor of a bike rack that happens to match Bicycle.Net colors, it’s one of the most functional bike racks that I have ever tested.

As I mentioned before I was blown away by the look of the rack, and let me explain why. So many times a bike rack is black with the usual white logo writing. Whether a hitch, roof, or rear mounted bike carrier, they all seem to be black. There are some exceptions, but usually black is the only option. But the black chrome finish with orange accent trim are two great colors that make the bike rack stand out and are bright enough for other motorists to see. Whether the rack is being used with bikes on them or folded up, the colors make the bike rack more visible than the standard black.

Ease of use, is one of the most important features of the Kuat NV bike rack. My fiancee has had problems in the past with my other bike racks getting bikes on and off the rack. Either they were to tall to put a bike on, they were hard to figure out which way the bike should face, or you couldn’t fit the number of bikes that the rack “suggested” could fit very easily. The Kuat NV bicycle rack has none of these problems. My fiancee actually enjoys and helps me put my bikes on the rack when my hands are full. She can put the bike rack down in the proper position, lock it in place, put a bike on, and lock it in all under one minute. Taking a bike off the rack, and placing the rack back up in the “up” position is just as easy.

There is another aspect to the Kuat NV bike rack that makes fixing a bike as simple and as easy as placing the bike on the rack. The Kuat NV comes with a bike repair stand that is attached to the bike rack. At first I thought “when would I use it?” But after one month of using the rack, the bike stand came in handy while at a race. I needed to switch out the wheels and it was so much easier to do it with a bike repair stand already on the rack. Another time I used it was when I stopped on the side of the road because I noticed that a fellow cyclist was having issues on his bike. I pulled over, put his bike on the stand and within ten minutes he was off on his ride while I was stuck in my car.

The overall ease of this rack is terrific, and yet I have not mentioned that the rack allows me to get in and out of the trunk of the car with ease, even with a bike or two on the rack.

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The strength of this bike rack is beyond any other bike rack than I have ever experienced. It can hold two or four bikes easily, without them touching or scratching each other. The hitch and latch system are strong, and sturdy. There is no fear whatsoever about the durability of this bike rack, and I have been using it for over 10 months. The bikes have not fallen off of it, and no amount of wind has damaged or made me worry about the strength and security of the rack. The rack includes a hand-tight cam system so there is no need for additional tools to ensure that the rack is secured onto the hitch of the car.

Front and rear tire ratchets make loading and unloading so easy. The rack comes with standard length of ties, that will only fit wheel sizes of 50mm or less, but if your wheels are larger than that, then you can ask for Kuat to send some extended size straps. The bikes will never shift when tied down properly, which gives me a huge amount of piece of mind.

Why would anybody not want to secure and lock their bike or bikes to a bike rack? I am always locking the bike to the rack. The Kuat NV comes with a built-in cable lock. It is an integrated system, so that when it is not locked it is out of sight and out of mind but when I want to lock the bike, it is easy to thread the cable through the wheels and frame. The lock is a key lock and will definitively make it more difficult for a bike thief to grab your bike. However, it is not a U-Lock, but just a cable lock so the strength of the cable is questionable. When asked why the lock could not be stronger the company replied by saying that it is not meant for the driver to leave the car and bike unattended for a lengthy amount of time. The lock is great if the driver of the vehicle needed to go and pick up the dry cleaning and wanted to park outside of the cleaners for five minutes. But I would not leave it in a shady neighborhood or in a parking garage for any period of time longer than five minutes.

The last category that is important to me and that I found the Kuat company to excel in was their customer service. I I had to recently call Kuat in search for an answer about their product. I was surprised immediately when after two rings of the phone a gentleman picked up. Wait, did that sink in. I called a company, and an actual person picked up. Not a recording, not a person in a different country from overseas, but a person who works at the company. The man on the other end of the phone uses the product and rides a bike. I knew I liked this company even before I called, because the rack rocks. But to have the phone answered when I called means a lot to me. I expected to have been transferred to multiple people, I even expected to have been put on hold. But that never happened. He understood my question and gave me solutions and answers about my inquiry. With in ten minutes of being on the phone, I had my answer.

As you can tell by now I really like the Kuat NV bike rack! There are lots of reasons why I like but to find out more about the rack visit the website here: http://kuatracks.com/en/products/hitch/the-nv/#overview and below you can see some of the features mentioned on their website.

Features:
• Carries 2 bikes (Up to 60 lbs. each)
• Total carrying capacity of up to 120 lbs.
• Folds up quickly for storage
• Tilts down for easy vehicle access
• Integrated cable lock system AND hitch lock for maximum security (locking hitch pin included)
• Includes built-in TRAIL DOC ™ repair stand for quick fixes on-the-go
• Front and rear tire ratchets make loading and unloading a breeze
• Hand-tight cam system – no need for additional tools!
• Increase bike capacity to up to FOUR bikes with available NV-Add On (sold separately, 2″ model only)
• The NV is the best option for downhill, free-ride, and other large bikes
• Black Chrome powder coat finish
• Anodized aluminum accents
SPECS
• No Worries Warranty
• Weighs 49 lbs. assembled
• Accommodates up to a 48″ wheelbase
• Fits 20″ – 29″ wheels
• Accommodates 2″ OR 1.25″ receiver options
• Fits up to a 3″ tire
• Best-in-class 13″ between bikes

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