Best Kuat Bike Rack Review – Top Rated Models with Buying Guide
Finding the best Kuat bike rack can be a tough job these days, with so many models both large and small offering quite nice features. The good news is that you won’t have to read every single Kuat bike racks review out there since we’ve done the work for you. We’ve gathered info about some of the most popular models, compared their features, and decided that the Kuat NV 2.0 Bike Rack is the one you should first consider. This rack comes with a front tire ratchet as well as cable locks so you can secure the bikes fast and there’s also a pivot adjustment system that allows you to lower the rack to get access to the trunk. In the unfortunate event that this model is out of stock, you might want to take a look at the Kuat Transfer 2 Bike Rack Black which offers similar features.
This model comes with an adjustable cradle system as well as cable locks so you can secure the bikes in no time. There’s also the front tire ratchet for extra security while the Trail Doc can help with repairs.
The rack comes disassembled and putting it together might require the help of another person. It’s also not really that cheap.
If you’re looking for a bike rack to get your beloved bicycles mounted on the car and go on an adventure, this is the perfect choice. It’s easy to use, secure, and you can transport up to two bikes on it.
It is ideal for transporting two bikes. It comes with a ratchet system for the front wheel and the tire scoops are easy to adjust to ensure a tight and secure fit. You can tilt the rack at 45 degrees with the foot-assisted pivot.
The assembly instructions might not be the clearest and neither the installation the easiest. There are also no cable locks included.
This model is quite affordable and it allows you to transport two bikes without a care in the world. It is easy to operate and it comes with several features that allow you to adjust it effortlessly.
Also To Consider
This rack comes with a sturdy design that’s made to last. The front tire ratchet is easy to adjust for a wide range of wheel sizes while the semi-integrated locks secure the bikes and ensure that they’re protected.
This rack is quite expensive. Also, some components such as the foot-assist are optional, so they’re not included.
The Sherpa 2.0 is a decent choice for carrying your bikes with your car. The mounting system is quite easy to use and if you go for the optional foot assist things can get even easier.
10 Best Kuat Bike Racks (Updated Reviews) in 2020
Are you searching for affordable Kuat bike rack reviews but the market is so overcrowded that choosing among those is difficult? Then fear not, as we’ve selected some of the most appreciated models the market has to offer and presented them below so you can make an informed choice and save time and money.
- 1. Kuat NV 2.0 Bike Rack
- 2. Ku2at Transfer 2 Bike Rack Black
- 3. Kuat Sherpa 2.0 2 Bike Rack
- 4. Kuat Transfer Hitch Mount 1-Bike Rack TS01B
- 5. Kuat Racks NV Base 2.0 Bike Rack
- 6. Kuat Highline 2 Bike Trunk Rack Black
- 7. Kuat Highline Trunk Bike Rack Carrier 3 Bike
- 8. Kuat 2 Bike Beta Rack
- 9. Kuat Transfer 3 Bike Hitch Rack
- 10. Kuat Vagabond-X 2 Bike Cargo Rack
- Our Comprehensive Buying Guide
- Frequently Asked Questions
1. Kuat NV 2.0 Bike Rack
If you’re looking to get a bike rack that can help you transport your rides safely and comfortably, then the Kuat NV 2.0 is an ideal choice. It comes with a solid construction that will allow you to get your bikes on your car effortlessly. Thanks to the adjustable front tire cradle system, you can also mount fat bikes or those that have a longer wheelbase.
The new pivot system allows you to lower the rack and get access to the trunk or be able to mount the bikes. There’s also an optional foot assist to make things easier for you. The fully integrated cable locks will ensure that your bikes are secure so you don’t risk anything happening to them even when driving over rugged terrain.
The front tire ratchet system is intuitive and easy to use while the rear tire strap is there to keep your bike secure while also protecting the wheel.
The front tire ratchet does a good job of securing your bike to the stand so you can get two bikes up there really fast.
The re-designed pivot is helpful when trying to lower the track to take something out of the car or prepare to put the bikes on.
The cable locks are very easy to use and they ensure that you will be able to secure the bikes so there’s no risk of them falling over even when riding over bumpy terrain.
Thanks to the Trail Doc that’s included in the package, you can perform all sorts of repairs while you’re on the road, in case you hit trouble along the way.
This rack comes disassembled and it might be quite difficult to install by one person. You might have to ask your spouse or call a friend for help to assemble it.
It’s definitely not the cheapest bike rack around. In fact, some would say that it’s quite expensive.Buy from Amazon.com for ($689)
2. Ku2at Transfer 2 Bike Rack Black
This model from Kuat allows you to conveniently take two bikes with you when you’re driving by car. It is compatible with both 1.25” and 2” receivers. Its construction is rock-solid so you shouldn’t have any problems with it even if you’re planning on mounting two heavy bikes and driving on rugged terrain.
Thanks to the Foot-Assisted Pivot System, you can lower the rack to get it into position to mount a bike without having to leave the ride leaning somewhere, as you can just use your foot, no hands are required. The adjustable ratchet arm helps you stabilize and secure the front wheel without damaging it, and the best part is that you can do this using just one hand.
You can adjust the tire scoop easily using just an Allen key so that you get a perfect fit. You can also tilt the rack at 45 degrees with the pivot system.
This rack can help you get up to two bikes secured so you can enjoy riding in nature without having to actually get to the destination on the bikes.
The adjustable front ratchet system allows you to tightly fit any tires from 20 to 29 inches in diameter.
With the foot pivot system, you can get the rack down in position so you can start adding a bike even if your hands are full.
The construction is solid so you can expect quite a few years of service.
With the foot assist pivot, you can also tilt the rack at 45 degrees so you get access to the trunk without having to remove or lean the bike.
The assembly instructions might not be the best so you may struggle a bit during the first installation.
It does not come with cable locks so you will have to buy these if you want to ensure extra security for your bike.Buy from Amazon.com for ($329)
3. Kuat Sherpa 2.0 2 Bike Rack
The Sherpa 2.0 from Kuat is a trusty rack that you can use to take up to two bikes with you on your car. The construction is rock-solid so you can expect it to give you many years of service without a problem. Thanks to the intuitive tire ratchet design, you can easily secure the wheels while the release system allows you to get the bikes off in a short amount of time.
The pivot has been redesigned and there’s also the optional foot assist that allows you to get the rack into position so you don’t have to let your bike somewhere else or lean it while you do this. The semi-integrated bike lock is useful and it makes things a lot safer.
With the optional foot assist you can also tilt the rack at 45 degrees to get access to the back of the car without having to remove the bikes first.
With the folding front cradle,you also get to add some space between your car and the rack.
The semi-integrated bike locks make for simple and effective securing of your bikes so you don’t waste time before going on an adventure.
The front tire ratchet allows you to adjust the fit tightly for a wide range of wheel sizes so you don’t have to worry regardless of the bike type you have.
You can get the optional foot-assist for the pivot so you can tilt the rack to 45 degrees for seamless access to the back of the car or to get the rack down and start securing the bikes.
It’s quite expensive for a rack that can carry two bikes, especially if we are to look at the competition on the market.
There are several things such as the foot-assist that are optional, which means you have to buy them separately.Buy from Amazon.com for ($498)
4. Kuat Transfer Hitch Mount 1-Bike Rack TS01B
In case you just have one bike to transport by car and you’re looking to save some money as well, then the Transfer Hitch Mount from Kuat is just what you need. This rack is simple yet effective and the best part is that you don’t have to break the bank to get it. The construction is straightforward while the features are intuitive to use.
This model is able to fit tires from 20 to 29 inches in diameter and with a thickness of up to 4.5 inches, so besides the fattest of fat bikes, you should be able to mount just about any type of ride. Thanks to its ingenious design, the frame and the rack won’t touch so you don’t have to worry about dents and scratches even when driving on bumpy terrain.
Thanks to the PerfectFit adjustment system, any bike will be easy to tighten and secure for even long journeys.
The spring-loaded foot pivot is helpful for gaining access to the back of the car so you don’t need to take the bike off to get some luggage out.
The simple yet effective design makes it quite light and easy to use so that’s one reason why it’s a favorite among many riders.
You can fit bikes with a diameter between 20 inches and 29 inches and in terms of width, anything up to 4.5 inches should fit.
With the PerfectFit adjustment, you can secure the bike well without wasting time.
It can only accept one bike so if you want to travel with your spouse, a buddy or just about anyone else, you’ll have to think of a solution or get a 2-bike rack instead.
There are no cable locks included so you will need to add some yourself if you think it would give you some extra peace of mind.Buy from Amazon.com for ($249)
5. Kuat Racks NV Base 2.0 Bike Rack
If you’re in search of a bike rack that’s not the most expensive out there but which doesn’t skimp on quality and features, then the NV Base is just what you need. This model comes with an adjustable front tire cradle which is intuitive to use and it fits many wheel sizes so you shouldn’t have any worries there.
The pivot is redesigned and easy to use and there’s also an optional foot assist you can get if you want. This one would make your life easier as you can tilt the rack at 45 degrees for trunk access or get the rack down to put the bikes on even if your hands are full.
This model comes with cable locks that are adjustable so you can strap the bike tightly. The rear tire strap comes with a co-molded strap so you don’t have to worry about scratches.
The great part is that this rack comes with integrated bike locks which can’t be said about many other similar models from the company.
You can secure the bike with the front tire ratchet system that allows you to easily adjust the height so that it perfectly fits the wheel.
The rear wheel can be easily attached thanks to the strap that also features a co-molded surface that ensures your bike doesn’t get damaged and that the paint remains intact.
The front tire cradle system is easy to use so you can ensure that the wheel stays securely into position for the entire duration of the trip.
This model isn’t exactly cheap, so many people might not be able to afford it.
The foot assist feature for the pivot is not included so you’ll have to spend extra money on it, which already adds to the quite high initial price.Buy from Amazon.com for ($599)
6. Kuat Highline 2 Bike Trunk Rack Black
In case your car doesn’t have a hitch or roof bars but would still love to be able to transport your bikes, then this model can give you the perfect solution. The rack has a solid construction that’s lightweight thanks to the aluminum used. The ratcheting mechanism is also made of aluminum so you get a lighter rack compared to other similar offers on the market.
The maximum weight capacity per bike is of 35 pounds which should be decent unless you’re carrying 2 fully-equipped full-suspension bikes. The adhesive vinyl strips ensure that your car’s paint stays protected.
The bike cradles have an anti-sway construction so your bikes won’t be swinging while you’re driving the car, even on bumpy terrain. These cradles also come with ratchet straps so your bikes are kept secure for the entire duration of the trip. Thanks to the 4 nylon straps, you can easily attach the rack to your car.
The arm pivots are intuitive and easy to use and you can adjust them to perfectly fit the bikes. You can do that for up to two bikes with this model.
This is quite an affordable offer so it won’t cost you an arm and a leg to carry your bikes by car anywhere.
You can easily attach the rack to your car by using the 4 nylon straps. The model also comes with vinyl strips so you don’t risk damaging your car’s paint during transportation.
The anti-sway cradles and the ratchet straps ensure your bikes stay without moving an inch so they arrive safe and sound at the destination.
The maximum carrying capacity is of 35 pounds per bike which isn’t great for users who have heavy bikes such as full-suspension models.
Despite its cheap price, the nylon strap attachment system isn’t top-notch and some users might be unwilling to attach these to their car trunk.Buy from Amazon.com for ($198)
7. Kuat Highline Trunk Bike Rack Carrier 3 Bike
If you’re looking for a bike rack that can carry 3 bikes but which doesn’t cost a ton of money, you’re looking at it. This model has all the features you need to securely transport your beloved bikes anywhere. The arm pivots are intuitive so you can get the rack ready to mount the bikes in no time.
You can carry 3 bikes with each weighing no more than 30 pounds which should be ok for most types of rides. The bike cradles have an anti-sway design so you can easily put the bikes on and stay assured that they won’t move. Then you get the ratchet straps to finish the job and make sure that the bikes stay attached securely to the rack.
The model attaches to the trunk of the car by using 6 nylon straps which are easy to use. The clear adhesive strips made of vinyl will ensure that your car’s paint doesn’t get scratched.
With the help of this unit, you can carry up to 3 bikes so your spouse and kid or two friends can also ride alongside you.
This rack is quite affordable so you don’t have to spend a large amount of money to enjoy great rides far away from town.
The 6 nylon straps allow you to attach the rack to your car even if it doesn’t have a hitch.
The anti-sway cradles and ratchet straps help you secure the bikes properly so that they stay safe no matter where you’re driving.
This bike rack can carry three bikes, but the problem is that the capacity per bike is just 30 pounds, which means that some heavier bikes such as full-suspension ones for DH might not work well with it.
The nylon straps do allow you to mount the rack on a car with no hitch but that doesn’t make them the most effective attachment system.Buy from Amazon.com for ($249)
8. Kuat 2 Bike Beta Rack
The Kuat 2 Bike Beta is a simplistic rack that’s suited for carrying up to two bikes by car. The capacity per bike is of 40 pounds so all but the heaviest rides will have no problem being mounted on it. The rack is made of heat-treated aluminum so you get a strong and durable model that doesn’t weigh a ton, which can’t be said about steel racks.
This rack is quite cheap so that’s a good thing when you think about how expensive many other racks have become nowadays. Installing this on your car’s hitch is a piece of cake and it can be done in a few minutes. The anti-sway carriages ensure your bikes don’t bang against each other while you’re driving.
This unit weighs only 11 pounds so it must be one of the lightest alternatives out there. The hand tight cam system helps you secure the bikes quickly.
With this rack you can carry up to two bikes, each weighing no more than 40 pounds so most types of rides should work with it.
The unit is made of heat-treated aluminum so it’s lightweight as well as resistant to corrosion as opposed to steel alloy.
You can easily fold it up and down so you can have quick access to the back of the car if you need it.
At just 11 pounds, this is one lightweight rack and perhaps one of the lightest on the market so it’s easy to handle and carry.
Given that there’s just one main vertical bar, the rack doesn’t appear to be that stable compared to other models. Some owners might be worried about its performance on rocky terrain.
The wheels aren’t attached properly so they might move during transportation. You might want to add some straps yourself to make sure the bikes stay put without swinging.Buy from Amazon.com for ($215)
9. Kuat Transfer 3 Bike Hitch Rack
Just as the name of this next product suggests, you can carry up to 3 bikes with it. It fits hitch receivers of 1.25” or 2” and you also get the corresponding adapters to make sure you can properly mount it. This model can accept bikes with tires that have a diameter of 20 to 29 inches.
In terms of width, it can accept tires of up to 4.5 inches so there are few bikes that won’t work with it. The downside is that you’ll need to purchase the Kuat Phat Bike Kit separately for tires over 3 inches in width. Thanks to its ingenious design, this rack is easy to install and adjust and no matter how you attach the bikes, their frames won’t touch it.
The weight limit for each bike is of 40 pounds which is quite decent considering that even full-suspension bikes for downhill riding don’t have more than 35 pounds.
You can carry up to three bikes, each weighing up to 40 pounds so unless you have a monster of a bike that’s made of lead, chances are you won’t have the tiniest problem getting it onto the rack.
You can fit bikes with wheels from 20 to 29 inches so pretty much any bike out there.
The tire cradles are easily adjustable so that you ensure that the wheels stay securely in place.
The adjustable ratchet arms help you tighten the wheels so that the bikes don’t move an inch during transportation.
This rack weighs 52 pounds so it’s definitely one of the heaviest out there. You might want to make sure that your hitch receiver is properly bolted and that it can sustain that weight plus the bikes you intend to transport.
The price isn’t the highest but definitely not the lowest either, and in this range, you can find quite a few alternatives on the market.Buy from Amazon.com for ($398)
10. Kuat Vagabond-X 2 Bike Cargo Rack
If your car doesn’t have a hitch receiver and you’re worried that you can’t transport your bikes with your car, then you can stop doing that as the Kuat Vagabond-X 2 rack is here to help. This ingenious design allows you to mount it on most factory and aftermarket roof bars so you should have no problems there.
With this model, you can carry up to two bikes with each weighing 50 pounds maximum, which means that, unless you’re trying to transport motorized bikes, you shouldn’t have any difficulties. You also have the option to add the Xtender extension from the same company and make the rack 73 inches long.
The total load capacity is of 160 pounds so you can get two touring bikes up there and also throw in loaded panniers so that you’re fit for any kind of trip. You also get locking mounts provided for extra safety.
This rack allows you to transport not only two bikes, but also extra stuff that you can strap in any way you want. You can carry bikes weighing 50 pounds maximum, and the total capacity of the rack is of 160 pounds which makes for quite a heavy load.
You can also get the Xtender and make the rack 73 inches long which can be convenient if you’re planning to carry extra stuff on it.
You can mount this model on most aftermarket or factory roof bars so you can take your bikes with you even if your car doesn’t have a hitch.
For this type of rack, the price is pretty high, and with so many alternatives on the market, some users might be tempted to look at what the competition has to offer.
You’ll have to remove the front wheels from the bikes if you want to ensure that you’re transporting your rides safely.Buy from Amazon.com for ($489)
Our Comprehensive Buying Guide
Are you looking for the best Kuat bike racks but with so many models available, you haven’t got the slightest idea which one to go for? There are quite a few aspects to consider when getting a bike rack, such as the type of mount, the number of bikes you can carry, the weight capacity, and so on.
So read on and understand the main criteria for choosing a model so that you can take a look at a Kuat bike rack review or two in this article’s main section and go with the one that offers the right features for your needs.
Type of mount
When it comes to Kuat bike racks or any racks for that matter, you can choose the ones that can be mounted on a hitch or those that can be mounted to the rear trunk door via straps.
The hitch racks are probably the safest and easiest to mount. You can use Kuat models on hitch receivers of 1.25” and 2” and you’ll most likely get adapters with your purchase. Getting these installed is the easy part; putting together 3-bike racks might be more difficult.
Hitch racks have the advantage that they are supported by the underside of the car and they don’t touch any other part so there’s no risk of ruining your car’s paint or denting the surface. These sometimes also come with pivot systems that allow you to tilt them at 45 or 90 angles to mount the bikes or get access to the car’s trunk.
Non-hitch racks mount with the help of usually 4 to 6 nylon straps to the car’s trunk door. They come with hinges that normally shouldn’t damage the car, and there are usually vinyl straps and other plastic/rubber components that should protect your car.
The downside is that they’re more difficult to adjust properly, there’s still a risk that they’ll damage the car, and you lose access to your vehicle’s luggage, which may or may not be an inconvenience to you.
There’s also a cargo rack that can be mounted on roof bars, but that’s not exactly specialized for bikes.
Number of bikes accepted
Before you go on and pick the first Kuat bike rack you can find, you must ask yourself how many bikes you’re planning to transport. If you’re single and love to solo up the mountains, then a lightweight rack for just one bike should suffice. However, if you like to go ride with a spouse or a friend, then getting a 2-bike rack is what you need to do.
Of course, there are also 3-bike racks out there that allow you to safely transport that many rides. These models are the most expensive and they’ll also put quite a bit of pressure on your hitch receiver, so you’d best make sure that it can sustain that much load.
A 3-bike rack will weigh up to 52 pounds and 3 bikes might total 100 pounds, so do the math and make sure that everything’s ok.
Straps or cable locks?
Whether we’re talking about a cheap Kuat bike rack or a more expensive model, you need to figure out which tightening system you need. Some don’t use any types of straps at all, and have just some adjustable ratchet systems.
Some models come with cable locks which are quite easy to use and highly secure, but they usually add to the final price of the rack. There are also nylon straps to be used but also plastic systems that help secure the bikes to the rack.
No matter which type you choose, make sure the bikes stay in their place firmly, especially if you’re planning on riding on rough terrain.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: How many bikes can I transport with a Kuat bike rack?
There are all sorts of models so you can choose the one you need depending on how many bikes you need to carry. To get it out of the way, you can usually carry between 1 and 3 bikes with a Kuat rack. There are some models that are lightweight (down to 11 pounds) and they allow you to carry just one bike, which is ok if you’re single and love to ride alone.
If you’re not much into solo riding, then a 2-bike rack might be in order. These are perhaps the most popular models and no matter if they attach to the hitch or to the trunk door, they can allow you to mount 2 bikes without having them run into each other.
Of course, you can also go for the 3-bike rack. Such a model will most probably cost a pretty penny, but being able to carry 3 bikes can be awesome as you can ride with your spouse and kid or two friends.
Q: What type of Kuat bike rack should I choose?
There are bike racks that attach to the hitch and those that attach to the trunk door. There are also cargo models that attach to the car’s roof bars but these are few when talking about Kuat’s current offer.
The racks that mount to the hitch receiver are perhaps the most stable and the easiest to use. As soon as you receive them, all you need to do is assemble them and mount them to the hitch receiver (which can be 1.25 or 2 inches). These can also be tilted so you can better put the bikes on or gain access to the car’s trunk.
Racks that attach to the trunk door are probably the cheapest but installing them can be a pain sometimes. It depends on the model and how many nylon straps it has, but also on the car you have. You usually get several (4 to 6) nylon straps with hinges for attaching the rack.
Q: How much does a Kuat bike rack cost?
The answer is: it depends on what type of rack you want, how many bikes you’re planning on carrying, whether you want extra features or not, etc. The cheapest model will probably run at around 200 bucks or maybe a bit less, but you’ll probably be able to carry two bikes maximum and you’ll be missing out on many features that could make your life easier.
You can also go for the mid-range models that can cost anywhere from 300 to 400 dollars. These can take up to 3 bikes and they come with all sorts of ratchets, pivot systems and all the bells and whistles.
The most expensive models will probably be over 600 bucks, but you’ll get quality materials, the ability to carry 2 or 3 bikes safely, and you’ll also enjoy foot-assist pivot systems and other goodies that will convince you that you’ve spent the money well.