Küat (pronounced Koo-at) makes the best looking bike racks on the market. Polished chrome powder coating and anodized aluminum accents make the Küat NV 2.0 Bike Rack a thing of beauty that looks good on the back of even the highest end vehicles.
The NV has been around since 2010. In 2016 it upgraded to a 2.0 version. While no drastic, overall changes were made, upgrades included:
The Kuat NV 2.0 Bike Rack fully loaded and ready to roll.
Like the old version, the NV 2.0 rack allows you perform on-the-go bike maintenance, however the new, 2.0 version is easier to use. A single-handed ratchet system allows you to tighten and loosen the clamp onto your bike. Just a quick 3/4 turn and it springs open, releasing your bike once you’re done working on it.
The Küat NV 2.0 Bike Rack can accommodate two 60lb bikes with up to a 48" wheelbase and wheels sized 20" - 29" (a wheel adapter is needed for 20-24" tires). So you can carry downhill, free-ride, road and fat bikes.
The front tire is cradled on a tray with three levels of adjustability to ensure that handle bar/seat post clearance is always maintained. The rear-wheel straps slide along the rack to facilitate different bike lengths. The 2.0 comes with a ratcheting strap system to securely affix the back tire to the rack. Should you wish to carry four bikes and your vehicle has a 2” hitch, you can purchase the optional Küat Add-On 2.0, to turn the NV from a two, into a four-bike rack.
Trunk/cargo area access is easy as the tilt level allows you to tilt the entire rack down and out of the way, even when fully loaded. The same lever raises the rack vertical, storing the rack out of the way while still on your vehicle. This upright position keeps your vehicle profile to a minimum, facilitating day to day driving and parking while you aren’t transporting bikes.
As previously mentioned, the Küat NV 2.0 comes with a revamped Trail Doc. A built-in ratchet system quickly tightens the Trail Doc clamp onto your bike frame. This is crucial when you’re holding 30lb of bike with one hand. The clamp itself can accommodate 3/4" - 2-1/2" diameter tubing and is adjustable to different angles to accommodate bike positions (like the one in the photo below). Once your repairs are complete, the clamp quickly springs open with a 3/4 turn—it’s that simple. The Trail Doc is rated for up to 60lb, which should be more than enough to support the heaviest of bikes. Should you not want the Trail Doc on your NV 2.0 it can be easily removed, and the hole plugged. I have removed mine as I noticed that there was no way to secure it from possible theft.
When you are possibly carrying $10,000+ on the back of your vehicle, security is of huge importance. Not only do your bikes need to be secured to the NV 2.0, but it also has to be safely secured to your car’s hitch.
Both bikes have their own dedicated telescoping cable lock. They are built long enough to wind through the back tire and frame of each bike. When not in use they conveniently stow away inside the frame of the Küat. The frame of the NV 2.0 is then secured to your vehicle with a locking hitch pin. A built-in cam expands to engulf the hitch completely, eliminating any sort of sway in the rack. This can be hand tightened over time should you notice any movement. This is a huge advantage over other racks that rock to and fro as you careen up logging roads to trail heads. There is one key for both the cable locks and hitch pin which keeps things super simple.
Tray style bike carriers such as the Küat NV 2.0 are super easy to use since the tray that holds the bike is at knee level. This eliminates having to lift your bike (which likely weighs 30+ pounds) above your head as you do when handing racks like those from North Shore. Even the Yakima Flipside4 we reviewed a few years back required a fiddly lift and slide to get bikes positioned properly on the rack. Another benefit of the tray design is that bikes don’t increase the vehicle size (other than on the back) so you don’t have to worry about tight parking spots or low-clearance parking garages. Tray style bike racks are where it’s at!
The Küat NV 2.0 Bike Rack sits a little higher from the ground than the older version. This is much better for ground clearance when backing down a hill, but may also create wind drag when you are driving. (The bikes are slightly higher than my Subaru Cross Trek).
The built-in features of the Küat NV 2.0, from the telescoping locks to the anti-sway hitch mechanism and foot assist tilt lever, are all robust and work well. Every inch of the NV 2.0 seems to be very well designed and built. I felt assured that my bike would not come lose or fall off at any time and that it was also safe from thieves.
If I were to make a few recommendations for improvement, it would be to make the Trail Doc securely lock to the rack and move the tile lever closer to the end of the rack. Currently, the lever is located in between the two bike racks which can be difficult to locate when the rack is fully loaded. It’s not a huge issue, but it’s not the ideal location from a user’s perspective. It's also nice to see Kaut take a pro-active approach to correcting the rear wheel ratchets which previously could inadvertently be inserted the wrong way and get stuck. New parts, problem solved!
Overall the Küat NV 2.0 is one stellar bike rack for anyone who appreciates quality. Be sure to read our other bike gear reviews here, and have a look at the reviews of the Thule T2 Pro Bike Rack and Yakima Flipside4.
Price: $849CAN / $629US
Weight: 22kg / 49lb
Capacity: Two 60lb bikes
Spacing between bikes: 13”
Hitch size: 2" OR 1.25" receiver
Colour: Metallic Gray and Orange
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