I’ve owned many bike racks from many different manufacturers over the years. This is the first bike rack I’m excited to talk about. This Kuat NV 2.0 review will cover everything you need to know from how to operate the built-in bike stand, or using the integrated cable locking system.
If you are looking for a new bike rack I would highly recommend considering the Kuat NV 2.0 due to its advanced features and durable build quality. I’ve had my rack for almost a year. Its taken my families bikes across the country thanks to the two bike add-on. When I bought my wife’s e-bike I didn’t have to replace my rack. The Kuat NV 2.0 truly is the last bike rack you will ever need.
Kuat Bike Rack Problems
The problems list is short so lets get it out of the way quickly before diving into the awesome features of this bike rack. I no longer have my enduro mountain bike with the enormous wheel base so this first problem is no longer an issue for me. Its the location of the straps.
The Kuat NV 2.0 mounts to any two inch hitch. Once installed in your vehicle’s hitch you can adjust the bike rack’s components. For example, the straps used to hold the wheels in place extend to the far end of each tray when transporting wide wheelbase bikes. When the straps are in this position they line up with the exhaust. Its not an issue when bikes are on the rack because its so far away.
The issue takes place when you fold the bike rack up. That moves the arm closer to the exhaust, and the strap then hangs backwards even closer to the exhaust. It has caused me to melt more than one wheel strap. Its completely avoidable if you pay attention. I’m guilty of letting the excitement of a road trip cloud my thinking from time to time.
The second problem we’ve had with this bike rack is also my own fault. In the end of each arm is a cable lock. When you let your rack get incredibly dirty it is hard to feed the cable back into the tray. Keep your bike rack clean and you can avoid this issue. As you can see from the photos above, I am guilty of letting my rack get too dirty right now, too.
Kuat NV vs Base Review
No Kuat NV 2.0 review would be complete without discussing pricing. After the 2022 price increase most retailers are selling this rack for $849.99. At a considerably lower price point is the Kuat NV Base 2.0. Most NV Base racks are being sold for $599.95-$749.99.
So what are you giving up for the lower price point? First, the NV Base does not include the built in bike stand. The Trail Doc repair stand is somewhat convenient, but it is a feature I can also live without. To use the stand on the NV 2.0 simply turn the knob on the end to extend the arm out. Clamp the seat post, then you’re off… or actually on in this case.
The second big difference between these racks is the color. The NV 2.0 comes in a gloss black or anodized orange. The Base on the other hand only comes in flat black. Even though the colors are different, both bike rack models have the same high quality and durability Kuat racks are known for.
Is the Kuat NV 2.0 RV Compatible?
The short answer to this question is, no, the Kuat NV 2.0 is not RV compatible. Now, whether or not you need an RV compatible bike rack is another question. The reason RV approved or RV compatible racks exist is because the physics involved with towing long vehicles.
Any bike rack that uses a single arm mounting system is unlikely to be RV approved, no matter how durable it is. Have I put my road bikes on this rack while mounted on the back of our 5th wheel? Yes, and I did so without issue. This was for two 20lbs bikes. I wouldn’t have tried this with my heavier mountain bikes, nor my wife’s e-bike.
There are plenty of RVs that should not have a bike rack installed. Many travel trailers have a bumper rated for less than 250lbs. Travel trailer bumpers are light and have thin sidewalls. Black tank hoses go inside. Before installing a bike rack, make sure your RV is bike rack worthy.
Is the Kuat NV 2.0 E-Bike Approved?
Yes, the Kuat NV 2.0 is e-bike approved. The rating is for two bikes, up to 60lbs each for a total of no more than 120 lbs. When using the two bike add-on the per tray weight capacity is reduces to 40lbs. My wife’s e-bike weighs 52lbs with the battery installed. (Read: Trek Verve+2 Lowstep Review) It’s traveled safely for over 3,000 miles on our Kuat NV 2.0. We’ve never had an issue.
Other than the first couple months of ownership, we always remove the e-bike’s battery before transporting. Most e-bike batteries weigh anywhere from 5-10lbs and removing the battery will prevent unexpected damage to this expensive bike component. The reason we did not remove the battery during those first few months was complete ignorance on our part. We took the bike to the dealership for the free tune and one of the managers let us know its safer to remove it during transport.
Where Can I Buy Kuat Racks?
If you like to get your hands on things when you shop then use Kuat’s Dealer Locator. This will direct you to the closest dealer who will almost certainly have a rack on display for you to touch.
If you’ve done your own Kuat NV 2.0 review in real life and want to buy from the comfort of your own home many bike shops will sell racks from their website and ship it to you for free. Kuat NV 2.0 bike racks weigh 52lbs. Shipping costs will be a factor. To avoid paying for shipping I recommend Amazon. You can kind the Kuat NV 2.0 in their Amazon Kuat Store.