9 best bike racks for e-bikes: compare & save (2021)
When it comes to high-end e-bike racks, many cyclists are torn between the Thule T2 Pro XT / XTR and the Kuat NV 2.0, which we also looked at. They don’t come cheap, but you get what you pay for in terms of quality, reliability, and features. We’ve broken down the main similarities and differences to help you decide.
Thule has been around since the early 1940s, when it was founded by Eric Thulin in Sweden. Although the company first gained its reputation as a manufacturer of high-end ski racks and roof boxes, he finally released his first bike carrier in 1992. Since the classic tow bar mounted bike carrier first hit the market, Thule has gained an almost cult following among cyclists around the world for its products. High quality.
Both racks are available in 1.25 and 2 inch hitch sizes and fit a wide range of vehicles. They also weigh around 52 pounds. Each bike rack holds two bikes and can hold up to four with add-ons sold separately.
The Thule rack can hold two 60-pound bikes for a maximum load capacity of 120 pounds. It supports tires up to 5 inches wide and a wheel up to 29 inches. You can safely transport carbon fiber frames and fat tire e-bikes.
You will find the same bike and the same weight capacity on the NV 2.0. This Kuat bike carrier will also fit 20 to 29 inch tires, although you will need an adapter for 20 to 24 inch wheels. It comfortably fits wheelbases up to 50 inches. Where the Thule naturally accepts wide tires, you will need to use a Phat Bike Kit (sold separately) to haul such wide tires on the NV 2.0.
Attaching the two e-bike racks to your vehicle is a fairly simple and straightforward process. The Thule does not require additional tools to attach or remove the mount. Kuat NV 2.0 also offers a keyless installation, but you will need a key to remove it. It could be a problem if you leave for the day and forget your key at home.
Loading and unloading heavy e-bikes can be a workout in itself. Kuat has a slight advantage here over the Thule, as you can purchase a ramp for easier loading. Dual luggage racks lock your precious cargo in place and have reliable measures to prevent bikes from shifting once you hit the road. On the Thule, the long arms slide to accommodate different wheels. You’ll find swing arms that slide to keep bikes stable on the Kuat, as well as adjustable arms to accommodate different wheel sizes.
Each rack has a unique feature that makes it particularly attractive. If you frequently repair apartments and do tune-ups on the fly, Kuat’s integrated bike work stand might make more sense. The Thule rack has casters for easier transport and storage.